Brian Fagan was born in England and studied archaeology at Pembroke College, Cambridge University. From 1959 to 1965, he worked in the National Museum of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and excavated early farming villages in Central Africa. He was one of the pioneers of multidisciplinary African history. Since 1966, he has lived in the United States and was Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1967-2003. During this period, he became an expert in communicating archaeology and the study of the human past to general audiences. He is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University and a full-time writer.
Brian has written numerous popular books on archaeology , among them The Adventure of Archaeology and Egypt of the Pharaohs for the National Geographic Society. His other books include a classic of Egyptology, The Rape of the Nile, and three books on ancient climate change: Floods, Famines and Emperors: El Nino and the Collapse of Civilizations, The Little Ice Age, and The Long Summer. He has recently published Before California, the story of California before the Spaniards. His other interests include bicycling, kayaking, sailing, and good food.