The Archaeology of Measurement

The Archaeology of Measurement : Comprehending Heaven, Earth and Time in Ancient Societies

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The construction of formal measurement systems underlies the development of science, technology, economy and new ways of understanding and explaining the world. Human societies have developed such systems in different ways, in different places and at different times, and recent archaeological investigations highlight the importance of these activities for fundamental aspects of human life. Measurement systems have provided the structure for addressing key concerns of cosmological belief systems, as well as the means for articulating relationships between the human form, human action, and the world. The Archaeology of Measurement explores the archaeological evidence for the development of measuring activities in numerous ancient societies, as well as the implications of these discoveries for an understanding of their worlds and beliefs. Featuring contributions from a cast of internationally renowned scholars, it analyses the relationships between measurement, economy, architecture, symbolism, time, cosmology, ritual, and religion among prehistoric and early historic societies.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 213.36 x 276.86 x 15.24mm | 793.78g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 130 b/w illus. 17 maps 19 tables
  • 0521135885
  • 9780521135887
  • 796,309

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Author Information

Iain Morley is a Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and Research Fellow of Darwin College at Cambridge University. A scholar of Palaeolithic archaeology and the evolution of human cognition, he is also co-editor, with Colin Renfrew, of Becoming Human: Innovation in Prehistoric Material and Spiritual Culture and Image and Imagination: A Global Prehistory of Figurative Representation. Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) is Emeritus Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge University, where he is a Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. He is author of many influential books on archaeology and prehistory, including, with Paul Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, which is one of the standard textbooks on the subject.

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Review quote

"In summary, scholars and students of archaeology alike will welcome the comprehensive and balanced approach to such an ambitious topic of measurement." --Kiara Beaulieu, Journal Canadien D'Archeologie 36

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