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The Mind in the Cave : Consciousness and the Origins of Art - David J. Lewis-Williams

The Mind in the Cave

Consciousness and the Origins of Art

Paperback Published: 1st May 2004
ISBN: 9780500284650
Number Of Pages: 320

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The breathtakingly beautiful art created deep inside the caves of western Europe has the power to dazzle even the most jaded observers. Emerging from the narrow underground passages into the chambers of caves such as Lascaux, Chauvet, and Altamira, visitors are confronted with symbols, patterns, and depictions of bison, woolly mammoths, ibexes, and other animals. Since its discovery, cave art has provoked great curiosity about why it appeared when and where it did, how it was made, and what it meant to the communities that created it. David Lewis-Williams proposes that the explanation for this lies in the evolution of the human mind. Cro-Magnons, unlike the Neanderthals, possessed a more advanced neurological makeup that enabled them to experience shamanistic trances and vivid mental imagery. It became important for people to "fix," or paint, these images on cave walls, which they perceived as the membrane between their world and the spirit world from which the visions came. Over time, new social distinctions developed as individuals exploited their hallucinations for personal advancement, and the first truly modern society emerged. Illuminating glimpses into the ancient mind are skillfully interwoven here with the still-evolving story of modern-day cave discoveries and research. Now in paperback, "The Mind in the Cave is a superb piece of detective work, casting light on the darkest mysteries of our earliest ancestors while strengthening our wonder at their aesthetic achievements.

'It is hard to praise this book too highly. I have read nothing more fascinating all year' - John Carey, Sunday Times
'The most comprehensive and convincing explanation for the cave art in Europe so far' - Chris Stringer, Evening Standard
'A genuine masterpiece' - Jean Clottes
'A masterly piece of detective work' - Sunday Telegraph
'A thorough, accessible and beautifully illustrated history of the origins of art based on anthropological and neurological research' - Observer
'A fascinating and closely argued analysis' - Colin Renfrew, University of Cambridge

Prefacep. 7
Three Caves: Three Time-Bytesp. 12
Discovering Human Antiquityp. 18
Seeking Answersp. 41
A Creative Illusionp. 69
The Matter of the Mindp. 101
Case Study 1: Southern African San Rock Artp. 136
Case Study 2: North American Rock Artp. 163
An Origin of Image-Makingp. 180
The Cave in the Mindp. 204
Cave and Communityp. 228
Cave and Conflictp. 268
Envoip. 287
Notesp. 292
Bibliography and Guide to Further Readingp. 299
Acknowledgmentsp. 315
Sources of Illustrationsp. 315
Indexp. 316
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780500284650
ISBN-10: 0500284652
Series: 60th Anniversary Edition
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st May 2004
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.8  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.64
Edition Number: 1