This encyclopedia examines nearly 70 topics in each of eight ancient civilizations: Africa, Egypt, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Greece, Rome, and the Americas, among them the standards such as art, literature, religion, family, and war. There are also entries on topics like crime and punishment, mining, quarrying and salt making, natural disasters, scandals and corruption, social class and abandonment, and sports and recreation. When appropriate, multiple cultures within a geographic region are addressed. For example, in the entry on governmental organization in Africa, Carthage, North Africa, Saharan Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa are all addressed specifically. The thematic arrangement facilitates cross-cultural study. However, while it is possible to examine a particular region or culture, it would take some effort. Each entry was written by a knowledgeable expert and includes cross-references to other entries in the encyclopedia and a list of suggested readings for further research. There are also 250 black-and-white photographs and, where appropriate, translations of primary-source documents within the work. Editor Bogucki, who holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard, is an expert in early farming societies in Europe.