The cave art of France’s Dordogne region is world-famous for the mythology and beauty of its remarkable drawings and paintings. These ancient images of lively bison, horses, and mammoths, as well as symbols of all kinds, are fascinating touchstones in the development of human culture, demonstrating how far humankind has come and reminding us of the ties that bind us across the ages. Over more than twenty-five years of teaching and research, Christine Desdemaines-Hugon has become an unrivaled expert in the cave art and artists of the Dordogne region. In her new book she combines her expertise in both art and archaeology to convey an intimate understanding of the “cave experience.” Her keen insights communicate not only the incomparable artistic value of these works but also the near-spiritual impact of viewing them for oneself. Focusing on five fascinating sites, including the famed Font de Gaume and others that still remain open to the public, Stepping-Stones reveals striking similarities between art forms of the Paleolithic and works of modern artists and gives us a unique pathway toward understanding the culture of the Dordogne Paleolithic peoples and how it still touches our lives today.
A Journey through the Ice Age Caves of the Dordogne
Author: Christine Desdemaines-Hugon
Publisher: Yale University Press
Category: Social Science
The decorated Ice Age caves are some of mankind's greatest artistic achievements, and there is no substitute for seeing the caves themselves. There you can see the art – paintings, engravings, bas-reliefs or drawings – in its original, natural setting, and stand where the artists did 30,000–10,000 years ago. For speleologists and holidaymakers alike – indeed anyone who wants to add a visit to a cave to their itinerary – here is an essential handbook. The first guide to all the decorated Ice Age caves in Europe that are open to the public, Cave Art covers more than 50 caves in England, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, as well as relevant museums and centres. This second edition has been fully revised and includes one additional cave and three new facsimiles.
A Guide to the Decorated Ice Age Caves of Europe
Author: Paul G. Bahn
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
In 1991, a professional diver named Henri Cosquer discovered a wealth of prehistoric art in a cave near Marseilles, France. The opening to the cave, once several miles inland from the Mediterranean, became submerged when the sea began to rise at the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. Since that time, no human had entered this deep cavern or seen the paintings and engravings of animals, human hands, and signs that cover the walls and ceilings until Cosquer swam cautiously up the flooded entrance passage. News of Cosquer's extraordinary find flashed around the world. The French Ministry of Culture immediately sent two eminent archaeologists, Jean Clottes and Jean Courtin, to study the cave. Assisted by teams of specialists, they carried out two diving missions to the site, in 1991 and 1992. This book describes what they found and provides the first complete photographic documentation of this incredible site, one of the major decorated caves of Europe. Because charcoal and charcoal pigment were found in such abundance at the site, and because the archaeological context was undisturbed, Cosquer is now one of the most thoroughly and firmly dated Paleolithic caves in the world. Thanks to a series of twelve radiocarbon dates, we know that the images at Cosquer were made during two different eras. The stenciled hands are extremely ancient, created about 27,000 years ago. The land animals - cold-loving plains horses, ibex, chamois, aurochs, and the huge ice-age deer called megaloceros - are some 18,500 years old. There are also marine animals, very unusual subjects in Paleolithic art: they include seals, great auks (penguin-like birds that are now extinct), and mysterious imagesthat may represent fish and jellyfish. Throughout this fascinating book, which includes notes, a full bibliography, and a glossary of 125 key terms, the Cosquer cave is discussed in relation to other prehistoric decorated caves in Europe. The authors judiciously speculate on the meaning of the ancient images and what they can tell us not only about the lost world of our remote ancestors but about the origins of mythmaking, symboling, and artmaking - in other words, of being truly human.
Paleolithic images at Cosquer
Author: Jean Clottes,Jean Courtin
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
This extensive work explores the changing world of religions, faiths and practices. It discusses a broad range of issues and phenomena that are related to religion, including nature, ethics, secularization, gender and identity. Broadening the context, it studies the interrelation between religion and other fields, including education, business, economics and law. The book presents a vast array of examples to illustrate the changes that have taken place and have led to a new world map of religions. Beginning with an introduction of the concept of the “changing world religion map”, the book first focuses on nature, ethics and the environment. It examines humankind’s eternal search for the sacred, and discusses the emergence of “green” religion as a theme that cuts across many faiths. Next, the book turns to the theme of the pilgrimage, illustrated by many examples from all parts of the world. In its discussion of the interrelation between religion and education, it looks at the role of missionary movements. It explains the relationship between religion, business, economics and law by means of a discussion of legal and moral frameworks, and the financial and business issues of religious organizations. The next part of the book explores the many “new faces” that are part of the religious landscape and culture of the Global North (Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the U.S. and Canada) and the Global South (Latin America, Africa and Asia). It does so by looking at specific population movements, diasporas, and the impact of globalization. The volume next turns to secularization as both a phenomenon occurring in the Global religious North, and as an emerging and distinguishing feature in the metropolitan, cosmopolitan and gateway cities and regions in the Global South. The final part of the book explores the changing world of religion in regards to gender and identity issues, the political/religious nexus, and the new worlds associated with the virtual technologies and visual media.
Sacred Places, Identities, Practices and Politics
Author: Stanley D. Brunn
Religions and mythologies from around the world teach that God or gods created humans. Atheist, humanist, and materialist critics, meanwhile, have attempted to turn theology on its head, claiming that religion is a human invention. In this book, E. Fuller Torrey draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to propose a startling answer to the ultimate question. Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods locates the origin of gods within the human brain, arguing that religious belief is a by-product of evolution. Based on an idea originally proposed by Charles Darwin, Torrey marshals evidence that the emergence of gods was an incidental consequence of several evolutionary factors. Using data ranging from ancient skulls and artifacts to brain imaging, primatology, and child development studies, this book traces how new cognitive abilities gave rise to new behaviors. For instance, autobiographical memory, the ability to project ourselves backward and forward in time, gave Homo sapiens a competitive advantage. However, it also led to comprehension of mortality, spurring belief in an alternative to death. Torrey details the neurobiological sequence that explains why the gods appeared when they did, connecting archaeological findings including clothing, art, farming, and urbanization to cognitive developments. This book does not dismiss belief but rather presents religious belief as an inevitable outcome of brain evolution. Providing clear and accessible explanations of evolutionary neuroscience, Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods will shed new light on the mechanics of our deepest mysteries.
Early Humans and the Origins of Religion
Author: E. Fuller Torrey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
A mystery spanning thousands of years—and a compelling study of early mankind and the first sparks of human artistic creativity. Thirty thousand years ago, our prehistoric ancestors painted perfect images of animals on walls of tortuous caves, most often without any light. How was this possible? What meaning and messages did the cavemen want these paintings to convey? In addition, how did these perfect drawings come about at a time when primitive man's sole purpose was surviving? And why, some ten thousand years later, did startlingly similar animal paintings appear once again, on dark cave walls? Scholars and archaeologists have for centuries pored over these works of art, speculating and hoping to come away with the key to the mystery. No one has ever come close to elucidating the paintings’ origin and meaning—until now. Here, the stunning truth is revealed by artist Bertrand David and Professor Jean-Jacques Lefrère, giving us a new understanding of an art lost in time, explaining what had once been unexplainable, and solving the oldest enigma in humanity.
The Key to the Mystery of the Paleolithic Cave Paintings
Author: Bertrand David,Jean-Jacques Lefrère
Language, apart from its cultural and social dimension, has a scientific side that is connected not only to the study of 'grammar' in a more or less traditional sense, but also to disciplines like mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. This book explores developments in linguistic theory, looking in particular at the theory of generative grammar from the perspective of the natural sciences. It highlights the complex and dynamic nature of language, suggesting that a comprehensive and full understanding of such a species-specific property will only be achieved through interdisciplinary work.
Author: Ángel J. Gallego,Roger Martin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Karin Bojs grew up in a small, broken family. At her mother's funeral she felt this more keenly than ever. As a science journalist she was eager to learn more about herself, her family and the interconnectedness of society. After all, we're all related. And in a sense, we are all family. My European Family tells the story of Europe and its people through its genetic legacy, from the first wave of immigration to the present day, weaving in the latest archaeological findings. Karin goes deep in search of her genealogy; by having her DNA sequenced she was able to trace the path of her ancestors back through the Viking and Bronze ages to the Neolithic and beyond into prehistory, even back to a time when Neanderthals ran the European show. Travelling to dozens of countries to follow the story, she learns about early farmers in the Middle East and flute-playing cavemen in Germany and France, and a whole host of other fascinating characters. This book looks at genetics from a uniquely pan-European perspective, with the author meeting dozens of geneticists, historians and archaeologists in the course of her research. The genes of this seemingly ordinary modern European woman have a truly fascinating story to tell, and in many ways it is the true story of Europe. At a time when politics is pushing nations apart, this book shows that, ultimately, our genes will always bind us together.
The First 54,000 Years
Author: Karin Bojs
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
This unique and remarkable work explores the extraordinary creative explosion that happened during the last European Ice Age, between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, when the very first figurative art was created.
The Arrival of the Modern Mind
Author: Jill Cook
Publisher: British Museum Publications Limited
A dark and unexpected novel about a Dublin undertaker who finds himself on the wrong side of the Irish mob. Paddy Buckley is a grieving widower who has worked for years for Gallagher's, a long-established--some say the best--funeral home in Dublin. One night driving home after an unexpected encounter with a client, Paddy hits a pedestrian crossing the street. He pulls over and gets out of his car, intending to do the right thing. As he bends over to help the man, he recognizes him. It's Donal Cullen, brother of one of the most notorious mobsters in Dublin. And he's dead. Shocked and scared, Paddy jumps back in his car and drives away before anyone notices what's happened. The next morning, the Cullen family calls Gallagher's to oversee the funeral arrangements. Paddy, to his dismay, is given the task of meeting with the grieving Vincent Cullen, Dublin's crime boss, and Cullen's entourage. When events go awry, Paddy is plunged into an unexpected eddy of intrigue, deceit, and treachery. By turns a thriller, a love story, and a black comedy of ill manners, The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley is a surprising, compulsively readable debut novel. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jeremy Massey
Publisher: Riverhead Books (Hardcover)
The First Signs is the first-ever exploration of the little-known geometric images that accompany most cave art around the world--the first indications of symbolic meaning, intelligence, and language. Join renowned archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger on an Indiana Jones-worthy adventure from the open-air rock art sites of northern Portugal to the dark depths of a remote cave in Spain that can only be reached by sliding face-first through the mud. Von Petzinger looks past the beautiful horses, powerful bison, graceful ibex, and faceless humans in the ancient paintings. Instead, she's obsessed with the abstract geometric images that accompany them, the terse symbols that appear more often than any other kinds of figures--signs that have never really been studied or explained until now. Part travel journal, part popular science, part personal narrative, von Petzinger's groundbreaking book starts to crack the code on the first form of graphic communication. It's in her blood, as this talented scientist's grandmother served as a code-breaker at Bletchley. Discernible patterns emerge that point to abstract thought and expression, and for the first time, we can begin to understand the changes that might have been happening inside the minds of our Ice Age ancestors--offering a glimpse of when they became us.
Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols
Author: Genevieve von Petzinger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
From Lisa McInerney, hailed by The Irish Times as “arguably the most talented writer at work in Ireland today,” comes The Glorious Heresies, a searing debut novel about life on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. When grandmother Maureen Phelan is surprised in her home by a stranger, she clubs the intruder with a Holy Stone. The consequences of this unplanned murder connect four misfits struggling against their meager circumstances. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father, Tony, whose feud with his next-door neighbor threatens to ruin his family. Georgie is a sex worker who half-heartedly joins a born-again movement to escape her profession and drug habit. And Jimmy Phelan, the most fearsome gangster in the city and Maureen’s estranged son, finds that his mother’s bizarre attempts at redemption threaten his entire organization. Biting and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies presents an unforgettable vision of a city plagued by poverty and exploitation, where salvation still awaits in the most unexpected places. — New York Time's Book Review's "10 Best Crime Novels" of the year
Author: Lisa McInerney
Publisher: Tim Duggan Books
Recounts the true story of how four boys looking for buried treasure in the south of France in 1940 stumbled upon something much more valuable--a sealed cave whose walls were covered with prehistoric paintings and engravings. By the illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winner, Mirette on the High Wire.
Author: Emily Arnold McCully
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
A detailed and far-ranging textbook which frames geologic concepts within an archaeological context, offering specific examples that demonstrate how geologic methods can be used to interpret the human past. The contents list is huge, but a few of the topics covered are: sediments and soils, provenance studies, geologic surveying, mapping and remote sensing, artifact identification and human-environment interaction. The second edition builds on the success and innovation of the first, and includes updates, new concepts and examples, an enhanced bibliography, and many new illustrations.
The Earth-science Approach to Archaeological Interpretation
Author: George Robert Rapp,Christopher L. Hill
Publisher: Yale University Press
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.
Author: Paul G. Bahn,Jean Vertut
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Paleolithic sites from one million years ago, Neolithic sites with extraordinary jade and ceramic artifacts, excavated tombs and palaces of the Shang and Zhou dynasties--all these are part of the archaeological riches of China. This magnificent book surveys China’s archaeological remains and in the process rewrites the early history of the world’s most enduring civilization. Eminent scholars from China and America show how archaeological evidence establishes that Chinese culture did not spread from a single central area, as was long assumed, but emerged out of geographically diverse, interacting Neolithic cultures. Taking us to the great archaeological finds of the past hundred years--tombs, temples, palaces, cities--they shed new light on many aspects of Chinese life. With a wealth of fascinating detail and hundreds of reproductions of archaeological discoveries, including very recent ones, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Chinese antiquity and Chinese views on the formation of their own civilization.
An Archaeological Perspective
Author: Kwang-chih Chang,Pingfang Xu,Sarah Allan,Liancheng Lu
Publisher: Yale University Press
There is a popular and romantic myth about Rembrandt and the Jewish people. One of history's greatest artists, we are often told, had a special affinity for Judaism. With so many of Rembrandt's works devoted to stories of the Hebrew Bible, and with his apparent penchant for Jewish themes and the sympathetic portrayal of Jewish faces, it is no wonder that the myth has endured for centuries. Rembrandt's Jews puts this myth to the test as it examines both the legend and the reality of Rembrandt's relationship to Jews and Judaism. In his elegantly written and engrossing tour of Jewish Amsterdam—which begins in 1653 as workers are repairing Rembrandt's Portuguese-Jewish neighbor's house and completely disrupting the artist's life and livelihood—Steven Nadler tells us the stories of the artist's portraits of Jewish sitters, of his mundane and often contentious dealings with his neighbors in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, and of the tolerant setting that city provided for Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews fleeing persecution in other parts of Europe. As Nadler shows, Rembrandt was only one of a number of prominent seventeenth-century Dutch painters and draftsmen who found inspiration in Jewish subjects. Looking at other artists, such as the landscape painter Jacob van Ruisdael and Emmanuel de Witte, a celebrated painter of architectural interiors, Nadler is able to build a deep and complex account of the remarkable relationship between Dutch and Jewish cultures in the period, evidenced in the dispassionate, even ordinary ways in which Jews and their religion are represented—far from the demonization and grotesque caricatures, the iconography of the outsider, so often found in depictions of Jews during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Through his close look at paintings, etchings, and drawings; in his discussion of intellectual and social life during the Dutch Golden Age; and even through his own travels in pursuit of his subject, Nadler takes the reader through Jewish Amsterdam then and now—a trip that, under ever-threatening Dutch skies, is full of colorful and eccentric personalities, fiery debates, and magnificent art.
Author: Steven Nadler
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
An enjoyable and compelling ride through one of life’s most fascinating enigmas “What, then, is time? If no one ask of me, I know,” St. Augustine of Hippo lamented. “But if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not.” Who wouldn’t sympathize with Augustine’s dilemma? Time is at once intimately familiar and yet deeply mysterious. It is thoroughly intangible: We say it flows like a river — yet when we try to examine that flow, the river seems reduced to a mirage. No wonder philosophers, poets, and scientists have grappled with the idea of time for centuries. The enigma of time has also captivated science journalist Dan Falk, who sets off on an intellectual journey In Search of Time. The quest takes him from the ancient observatories of stone-age Ireland and England to the atomic clocks of the U.S. Naval Observatory; from the layers of geological “deep time” in an Arizona canyon to Albert Einstein’s apartment in Switzerland. Along the way he talks to scientists and scholars from California to New York, from Toronto to Oxford. He speaks with anthropologists and historians about our deep desire to track time’s cycles; he talks to psychologists and neuroscientists about the mysteries of memory; he quizzes astronomers about the beginning and end of time. Not to mention our latest theories about time travel — and the paradoxes it seems to entail. We meet great minds from Aristotle to Kant, from Newton to Einstein — and we hear from today’s most profound thinkers: Roger Penrose, Paul Davies, Julian Barbour, David Deutsch, Lee Smolin, and many more. As usual, Dan Falk’s style combines exhaustive research with a lively, accessible, and often humorous style, making In Search of Time a delightful tour through a most curious dimension. From the Hardcover edition.
Journeys Along a Curious Dimension
Author: Dan Falk
Publisher: Emblem Editions