AT the end of the last chapter we reached what I tried to demonstrate was a very important turning-point in European prehistory, conveniently marked by the opening years of the second millennium B.C. It may be convenient to recapitulate some of the more significant points. We are looking at a Europe which, with the exception of a few communities in the north still clinging to a hunting and fishing economy, is a continent of agriculturalists, who are in the main still using stone for edge-toolsin other words, a Neolithic Europe. At least three main cultural provinces are perceptible: in eastern Europe, in the Balkans and Carpathians, and in northern Greece, we have the later phases of what is ultimately a westward extension of the earlier peasant economies of the Near East, with settlements of 'tell' type. Beyond this province, in the Ukraine and on the Danube and Rhine as far north-west as Belgium, and on the north European plain, variants of a different settlement-pattern, with shifting agriculture and long houses implying social units of the undivided or great family type, can be uniformly traced. West of the Rhine (already curiously enough a cultural boundary) and in the central and western Mediterranean lands other forms of agricultural economies less easy to define but with fair-sized settlements are recognisable; the British Isles partake mainly of the nature of this western world, but may yet have links with northern Europe. In a few centres-Iberia, TransylvaniaAegean-derived copper-working is established as a technological increment to the older skills, while in the adjacent lands of western AsiaAnatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Egypt-urban cultures of some complexity have developed, and the two latter indeed have achieved literacy and the political status of the kingdoms of Sumer and Akkad in the land of the Twin Rivers, the Egyptian Old Kingdom on the Nile.