Description : A richly illustrated study provides the most comprehensive representation of Paleolithic art ever published and offers a radical new way of interpreting the art and artifacts of these prehistoric cultures.
Description : Hunter-gatherers of the Upper Paleolithic period of the late Pleistocene epoch in western Europe left a legacy of cave paintings and material remains that have long fascinated modern man. This book draws on theories derived from cultural anthropology and cognitive archaeology to propose a reconstruction of the religious life of those people based on the patterning and provenience of their artifacts. Based on the premises that all members of Homo sapiens sapiens share basically similar psychological processes and capabilities and that human culture is patterned, the author uses ethnographic analogy, inference from material patterns, and formal analysis to find in prehistoric imagery clues to the cosmology that lay behind them. The resulting book is an intriguing speculation on the nature of paleolithic religion, offering scholars a valuable synthesis of anthropological, archaeological, and sociological research, and general readers an accessible account of how our forebears may have regarded the unknown. "A well-written and intellectually rigorous introduction. If you are curious about prehistory, you will enjoy it." —Wilson Library Bulletin "Most interesting to those scholars interested in seeking materialist foundations or ecological explanations for religious practices." —American Antiquity "A well-written and concise account of what has recently been achieved by the investigations of spiritual life of the Earth's most ancient human communities." —Archiv Orientalni (Czechoslovakia)
Description : Was it a trick of the light that drew our Stone Age ancestors into caves to paint in charcoal and red hematite, to watch the heads of lions, likenesses of bison, horses, and aurochs in the reliefs of the walls, as they flickered by firelight? Or was it something deeper—a creative impulse, a spiritual dawn, a shamanistic conception of the world efflorescing in the dark, dank spaces beneath the surface of the earth where the spirits were literally at hand? In this book, Jean Clottes, one of the most renowned figures in the study of cave paintings, pursues an answer to this “why” of Paleolithic art. While other books focus on particular sites and surveys, Clottes’s work is a contemplative journey across the world, a personal reflection on how we have viewed these paintings in the past, what we learn from looking at them across geographies, and what these paintings may have meant—what function they may have served—for their artists. Steeped in Clottes’s shamanistic theories of cave painting, What Is Paleolithic Art? travels from well-known Ice Age sites like Chauvet, Altamira, and Lascaux to visits with contemporary aboriginal artists, evoking a continuum between the cave paintings of our prehistoric past and the living rock art of today. Clottes’s work lifts us from the darkness of our Paleolithic origins to reveal, by firelight, how we think, why we create, why we believe, and who we are.
Description : Drawing from sources including the ethology of art and the cognitive science of religion this book proposes an improved understanding of both art and religion as behaviors developed in the process of human evolution. Looking at both art and religion as closely related, but not identical, behaviors a more coherent definition of religion can be formed that avoids pitfalls such as the Eurocentric characterization of religion as belief or the dismissal of the category as nothing more than false belief or the product of scholarly invention. The book integrates highly relevant insights from the ethology and anthropology of art, particularly the identification of "the special" by Ellen Dissanayake and art as agency by Alfred Gell, with insights from, among others, Ann Taves, who similarly identified "specialness" as characteristic of religion. It integrates these insights into a useful and accurate understanding and explanation of the relationship of art and religion and of religion as a human behavior. This in turn is used to suggest how art can contribute to the development and maintenance of religions. The innovative combination of art, science, and religion in this book makes it a vital resource for scholars of Religion and the Arts, Aesthetics, Religious Studies, Religion and Science and Religious Anthropology.
Description : This nine chapter volume explores creativity in art teaching through contemporary craft. A variety of artists, educators and historians share with readers their wealth of practical resources and frameworks for utilizing craft media (fiber, ceramics, baskets, needlepoint, knitting, etc.) and craft approaches (grassroots projects, digital communities, craftivism, etc.) within contemporary K-12 art education, museum and community programming, and teaching artist residencies. Authors representing a variety of specialties in craft, art, and education examine the resurgence of the handmade and homemade in contemporary youth culture, digital implications of how we define and teach craft creatively, and the overlap of design, function, and beauty in artists’ work. The anthology also describes the challenges and potentialities of working with craft in education settings, including the overarching craft of teaching practices. Each chapter provides a range of creative frameworks and practical models that educators can use comprehensively: from dynamic digital resources, to community groups, and lesson plans and activities in craft with art classes and special needs classes. The book serves to propose a working definition and rationale of the functions of craft in daily life, popular and youth culture, and larger social issues (including craft, D.I.Y., and activism/“craftivism”).
Description : Drawing from ethnographic examples found throughout the world, this text covers what anthropologists know or think about religion, how they have studied it, and how they interpret or explain it. A key text for students of upper division courses in the anthropological study of religion.
Description : The culmination of more than a decade of fieldwork and related study, this unique book uses analyses of perimortem taphonomy in Ice Age Siberia to propose a new hypothesis for the peopling of the New World. The authors present evidence based on examinations of more than 9000 pieces of human and carnivore bone from 30 late Pleistocene archaeological and palaeontological sites, including cave and open locations, which span more than 2000 miles from the Ob River in the West to the Sea of Japan in the East. The observed bone damage signatures suggest that the conventional prehistory of Siberia needs revision and, in particular, that cave hyenas had a significant influence on the lives of Ice Age Siberians. The findings are supported by more than 250 photographs, which illustrate the bone damage described and provide a valuable insight into the context and landscape of the fieldwork for those unfamiliar with Siberia.
Description : This book is a study of the “Great Movies,” that fluid category of feature films deemed by various authorities—film societies, critics, academics, and movie enthusiasts—to be the enduring and memorable works of cinematic history. But what are they about? In Wit’s End, the author attempts to “make sense” of these films in order to understand their greatness in the context of their relation to other films and to the worlds they come from and recreate on screen. To that end, we employ the conceptual power of pragmatic social theory and the rich idea of aesthesis to explore and arrange these films as a means of understanding what they express about the universality of human life in our keen use of wit, organization of social wont, and direction of cultural way. It is hoped that such an inquiry will illuminate the glory of the great films and contribute to the advance of film studies.
Description : Biological Diversity takes a fresh, innovative approach to the teaching of biodiversity. Rather than detailing and cataloguing the major taxa and their evolutionary relationships, the authors have selected 18 groups of organisms and used these as a framework in which to discuss the species and their interactions with man and each other. There is a strong narrative theme throughout – the exploited and the exploiters - and, in many cases, there is emphasis on the historical context. A wide range of organisms are covered, from the unicellular to birds and mammals and with an equal consideration of plants and animals. Species have been chosen for their ability to best illustrate particular biological principles, and for their strong interaction with other species. After an introduction the book is divided into two parts: ‘Exploited’ and ‘Exploiters’. Each of the chapters, although linked to each other, forms a stand-alone essay. They are scientifically rigorous, up-to-date and do not shy away from addressing some controversial issues. Chapters have’ text boxes’ highlighting important issues and concepts, lists of further reading and references. In addition to tables and figures the book has a selection of original illustrations drawn by leading artist Steven Appleby. This fresh approach will appeal to all those interested in the biological sciences, and aims to be accessible to people with a diversity of backgrounds. It will prove particularly useful to biology students, enabling them to get to grips with important biological principles and concepts that underpin the diversity of life, and the interrelationship of humans with other groups of organisms.