Description : This book is one of a series of volumes resulting from the World Archaeological Congress, September 1986 which addressed world archaeology in its widest sense, investigating how people lived in the past and how and why changes took place to result in the forms of society and culture which exist now. The series brought together archaeologists and anthropologists from many parts of the world, academics from contingent disciplines, and also non-academics from a wide range of cultural backgrounds who could lend their own expertise to the discussions. This book is an exploration of the way in which the animal world features in the works of art of a variety of cultures of different times and places. Contributors have adopted a variety of perspectives for looking at the complex ways in which past and present humans have interrelated with beings they classify as animals. Some of the approaches are predominantly economic and ecological, some are symbolic and others philosophical or theological. All these different views are included in the interpretation of the artworks of the past, revealing some of the foci and inspirations of cultural attitudes to animals. Originally published 1989.
Description : It has long been known that all forms of art – rock paintings, carvings and scribings, and also portable sculpture – are present at various locations throughout Africa. This book was the first inclusive survey and brings together in one volume accounts of African rock art which were previously scattered in scholarly monographs, journals and travellers’ tales. The range of the coverage is geophysically comprehensive, from the Atlas Mountains to the Cape of Good Hope. The art styles are set into a firm chronological framework, and are displayed against a background of human, physical and cultural evolution. Considerable discussion is also devoted to the varied purposes which the paintings and carvings served in the communities which produced them, looking at the differing interpretations fully and fairly. A fascinating collection of illustrations, some in colour, truly reflects the variety of forms in which African rock art is manifested. Originally published 1984.
Description : Presents some current approaches to prehistoric art and offers new insights into the meanings and functions of the era's paintings and sculptures.
Description : This Reader in Archaeological Theory presents sixteen articles of key theoretical significance, in a format which makes this notoriously complex area easier for students to understand. This volume: * provides an intellectual history of different approaches to archaeology which contextualizes the complex traditions of cognitive archaeology and postprocessualism on which it focuses * organizes theories of archaeology, the meanings of things, the prehistoric mind and cognition, gender, ideology and social theory and archaeology's relationship to today's society and politics * includes lucid section introductions to each section which provide context, explain why the papers are so significant and summarize their key points * emphasizes research from the 'New World', making archaeological theory especially relevant and accessible to students in North America.
Description : Some of the oldest art in the world is the subject of this riveting and beautiful book. Paul Bahn and Jean Vertut explore carved objects and wall art discoveries from the Ice Age, covering the period from 300,000 B.P. to 10,000 B.P., and their collaboration marks a signal event for archaeologists and lay readers alike. Utilizing the most modern analytical techniques in archaeology, Bahn presents new accounts of Russian caves only recently opened to foreign specialists; the latest discoveries from China and Brazil; European cave finds at Cosquer, Chauvet, and Covaciella; and the recently discovered sites in Australia. He also studies sites in Africa, India, and the Far East. Included are the only photographic images of many caves that are now closed to protect their fragile environments. A separate chapter in the book examines art fakes and forgeries and relates how such deceptions have been exposed. The beliefs and preoccupations of Paleolithic peoples resonate throughout this book: the importance of the hunt and the magic and shamanism surrounding it, the recording of the seasons, the rituals of sex and fertility, the cosmology and associated myths. Yet enigmas and mysteries emerge as well, particularly as new analytical techniques raise new questions and cast doubt on our earlier suppositions. A comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of all that has been discovered about Ice Age art, Bahn and Vertut's book offers a visually rich link with the past.
Description : Everyone has heard of the Minotaur in the labyrinth on Crete and many know that the Greek gods would adopt the guise of a bull to seduce mortal women. But what lies behind these legends? The Power of the Bull discusses mankind's enduring obsession with bulls. The bull is an almost universal symbol throughout Indo-European cultures. Bull cults proliferated in the Middle East and in many parts of North Africa, and one cult, Mithraism, was the greatest rival to Christianity in the Roman Empire. The Cults are divergent yet have certain core elements in common. Michael Rice argues that the ancient bulls were the supreme sacrificial animal. An examination of evidence from earliest prehistory onwards reveals the bull to be a symbol of political authority, sexual potency, economic wealth and vast subterranean powers. In some areas representations of the bull have varied little from earliest times, in others it has changed vastly over centuries. This volume provides a well-illustrated and accessible analysis of the exceptionally rich artistic inheritance associated with the bull.