Defining ""Palestine"" by natural cultural boundaries rather than political ones, Anati has concentrated primarily on the significance and relationship of art forms and the development of esthetic abstractions in primitive Near-Eastern cultures. His comprehensive treatment of general archaeological subjects -- material culture (pertaining to functional objects), burial customs, skeletal remains, ecology, scientific dating processes -- may be sufficiently stimulating to the professional, but the lay reader may be presumed to have a more abundant knowledge of psychology and philosophy than of archaeology, and he cannot help but be struck by this book's unusually large proportion of facts and theories that may be easily integrated into the framework of his own information. True, some of Anati's passages are technically complex, and the very language of his specialty has a high degree of formality. But looking past words like Mesolithic, Interstadial, Natufian, and the many Arabic place-names, it is possible to become engrossed in the sociological material that is explained with great imagination. The phenomenon of rock drawings by nomadic groups is perhaps the most interesting single subject, traced through the latter chapters. Anati draws extensively on the researches of many colleagues, chiefly Garrod and Kenyon (both women), Perrot, and Braidwood. A variety of well-constructed tables contributes to clarity.