Becoming Human

Becoming Human : Innovation in Prehistoric Material and Spiritual Culture

Edited by Lord Colin Renfrew , Edited by Iain Morley

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The Upper Palaeolithic era of Europe has left an abundance of evidence for symbolic activities, such as direct representations of animals and other features of the natural world, personal adornments, and elaborate burials, as well as other vestiges that are more abstract and cryptic. These behaviours are also exhibited by populations throughout the world, from the prehistoric period through to the present day. How can we interpret these activities? What do they tell us about the beliefs and priorities of the people who carried them out? How do these behaviours relate to ideologies, cosmology, and understanding of the world? What can they tell us about the emergence of ritual and religious thought? And how do the activities of humans in prehistoric Europe compare with those of their predecessors there and elsewhere? In this volume, fifteen internationally renowned scholars contribute essays that explore the relationship between symbolism, spirituality, and humanity in the prehistoric societies of Europe and traditional societies elsewhere. The volume is richly illustrated with 50 halftones and 24 colour plates.

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  • Paperback | 324 pages
  • 175.26 x 251.46 x 20.32mm | 793.78g
  • 01 Apr 2009
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • 49 b/w illus. 24 colour illus.
  • 0521734665
  • 9780521734660
  • 442,532

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Author Information

Colin Renfrew (Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) is Emeritus Disney Professor and Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge University. He is the author and editor of a large number of publications, including Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, with Paul Bahn, which is one of the standard textbooks on the subject. Iain Morley is Research Fellow of Darwin College and Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge University. The author of numerous articles in academic journals and books, he is also co-editor, with Colin Renfrew, of Image and Imagination: A Global Prehistory of Figurative Representation.

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Review quote

'This ... book contains very useful and often stimulating reviews of the essential new(ish) archaeology and ideas, written and edited with authority and clarity.' British Archaeology

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