Deciphering Ancient Minds: The Mystery of San Bushmen Rock Art

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9780500051696: Deciphering Ancient Minds: The Mystery of San Bushmen Rock Art

Goes to the heart of contemporary arguments about the "primitive" and the "modern" minds, and draws new social, anthropological, and ethnographic conclusions about the nature of ancient societies.

How did ancient peoples―those living before written records―think? Were their thinking patterns fundamentally different from ours today? Researchers over the years have certainly believed so. Along with the Aborigines of Australia, the indigenous San people of southern Africa―among the last hunter-gatherer societies on Earth―became iconic representatives of all our distant ancestors and were viewed as either irrational fantasists or childlike, highly spiritual conservationists.

Since the 1960s a new wave of research among the San and their world-famous rock art has overturned these misconceived ideas. Here, the great authority David Lewis-Williams and his colleague Sam Challis reveal how analysis of the rock paintings and engravings can be made to yield vital insights into San beliefs and ways of thought. This is possible because we possess comprehensive transcriptions, made in the nineteenth century, of interviews with San informants who were shown copies of the art and gave their interpretations of it. Using the analogy of the Rosetta Stone, the authors move back and forth between these San texts and the rock art, teasing out the subtle meanings behind both.

The picture that emerges is very different from past analysis: this art is not a naive narrative of daily life but rather is imbued with power and religious depth. 29 color and 68 black-and-white illustrations

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About the Author :

David Lewis-Williams is Professor Emeritus and Senior Mentor at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is the author of The Mind in the Cave, Conceiving God, Inside the Neolithic Mind, and Deciphering Ancient Minds.

Sam Challis is a rock art specialist at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Review :

“Poetry meets practicality in these pages: honey-hunting men dance along a thread of light, and a reader’s inspiration results.”
- Choice

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David Lewis-Williams; Sam Challis
Edité par Thames & Hudson (2011)
ISBN 10 : 0500051690 ISBN 13 : 9780500051696
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Description du livre Thames & Hudson, 2011. État : New. Using the rock art of the pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer San people of South Africa as 'an avenue into ancient minds', this study demonstrates how the 'prehistoric' mind was in fact as complex and sophisticated as our own. N° de réf. du libraire 217600

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Description du livre Thames Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How did prehistoric peoples - those living before written records - think? Were their modes of thought fundamentally different from ours today? Researchers over the years have certainly believed so. Along with the Aborigines of Australia, the indigenous San people of southern Africa - among the last hunter-gatherer societies on Earth - became iconic representatives of all our distant ancestors, and were viewed either as irrational fantasists or childlike, highly spiritual conservationists. Since the 1960s, a new wave of research among the San and their world-famous rock art has overturned these misconceived ideas. Here, the great authority David Lewis-Williams and his colleague Sam Challis reveal how analysis of the rock paintings and engravings can be made to yield vital insights into San beliefs and ways of thought. The picture that emerges is very different from past analysis: this art is not a naive narrative of daily life but rather is imbued with power and religious depth. As this elegantly written, enlightening book so ably demonstrates, the prehistoric mind was in fact as complex and sophisticated as that of contemporary humans. N° de réf. du libraire AA29780500051696

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Description du livre Thames Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How did prehistoric peoples - those living before written records - think? Were their modes of thought fundamentally different from ours today? Researchers over the years have certainly believed so. Along with the Aborigines of Australia, the indigenous San people of southern Africa - among the last hunter-gatherer societies on Earth - became iconic representatives of all our distant ancestors, and were viewed either as irrational fantasists or childlike, highly spiritual conservationists. Since the 1960s, a new wave of research among the San and their world-famous rock art has overturned these misconceived ideas. Here, the great authority David Lewis-Williams and his colleague Sam Challis reveal how analysis of the rock paintings and engravings can be made to yield vital insights into San beliefs and ways of thought. The picture that emerges is very different from past analysis: this art is not a naive narrative of daily life but rather is imbued with power and religious depth. As this elegantly written, enlightening book so ably demonstrates, the prehistoric mind was in fact as complex and sophisticated as that of contemporary humans. N° de réf. du libraire AA29780500051696

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Description du livre Thames & Hudson Ltd. Hardback. État : new. BRAND NEW, Deciphering Ancient Minds: The Mystery of San Bushman Rock Art, David J. Lewis-Williams, Sam Challis, How did prehistoric peoples those living before written records think? Were their modes of thought fundamentally different from ours today? Researchers over the years have certainly believed so. Along with the Aborigines of Australia, the indigenous San people of southern Africa among the last hunter-gatherer societies on Earth became iconic representatives of all our distant ancestors, and were viewed either as irrational fantasists or childlike, highly spiritual conservationists. Since the 1960s, a new wave of research among the San and their world-famous rock art has overturned these misconceived ideas. Here, the great authority David Lewis-Williams and his colleague Sam Challis reveal how analysis of the rock paintings and engravings can be made to yield vital insights into San beliefs and ways of thought. The picture that emerges is very different from past analysis: this art is not a naive narrative of daily life but rather is imbued with power and religious depth. As this elegantly written, enlightening book so ably demonstrates, the prehistoric mind was in fact as complex and sophisticated as that of contemporary humans. N° de réf. du libraire B9780500051696

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Description du livre Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2011. État : New. 2011. 0th Edition. Hardcover. How did prehistoric peoples those living before written records think? Were their modes of thought fundamentally different from ours today? This book deals with these questions. Num Pages: 224 pages, 98 illustrations, 29 in colour. BIC Classification: 1HFM; ACBK; HDD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 242 x 165 x 29. Weight in Grams: 764. . . . . . . N° de réf. du libraire V9780500051696

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Description du livre Thames and Hudson Ltd. État : New. 2011. 0th Edition. Hardcover. How did prehistoric peoples those living before written records think? Were their modes of thought fundamentally different from ours today? This book deals with these questions. Num Pages: 224 pages, 98 illustrations, 29 in colour. BIC Classification: 1HFM; ACBK; HDD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 242 x 165 x 29. Weight in Grams: 764. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. N° de réf. du libraire V9780500051696

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