Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief

Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief


By (author) David S. Whitley

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  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Format: Hardback | 250 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 30mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Amherst
  • ISBN 10: 1591026369
  • ISBN 13: 9781591026365
  • Illustrations note: illus
  • Sales rank: 390,915

Product description

The magnificent prehistoric art discovered in caves throughout France and Spain raises many questions about early human culture. What do these superbly rendered paintings of horses, bison, and enigmatic human figures and symbols mean? How can we explain the sudden flourishing of artistic creativity at such a high level?

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Author information

David S. Whitley, PhD (Tehachapi, CA), who has served as Chief Archaeologist at UCLA, is a Principal at ASM Affiliates, Inc., an archaeological consulting firm. He is also an adjunct professor in the School of Geographical Sciences at Arizona State University and the author of Introduction to Rock Art Research, selected by Choice in 2006 as an Outstanding Academic Title.

Review quote

"This intriguing book is quite suitable for general interest readers. It will appeal to anyone attempting to more fully understand and appreciate the underlying symbolism and cultural significance of Ice Age cave art. In addition to providing a theoretical framework within which to interpret such art, this book reflects the lifelong odyssey of one rock art researcher's own journey to discover humanity's distant origins. In this regard, it is both a scientific treatise and a personal narrative. Recommended. All levels/libraries." -- Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, Vol. 46, No. 09, May 2009. "If you hold an interest in Palaeolithic art, or even an interest in science and its applications through many guises, this will prove to be an engrossing read. Open up to some imaginative ideas; sit back and attempt to dispute Whitley's discourse. It will make you think, successful or not. And you will certainly be entertained." -- Descent, August/ September 2009

Table of contents

Preface; Foreword; The World#s Earliest Cave Art; Inside Chauvet; The Dating Game; Finding Coa; The Myth of Ecstasy & the Origins of Religion -- Entry into the Volp Caves; Creativity & the Emotional Life of the Shamans; Art Beyond Belief: Creativity & Religion in Perspective; Endnotes.