Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit

Author: David S. Whitley
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615920560
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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? And in what ways does this artwork reflect the underlying belief system, worldview, and life of the people who created it? In this fascinating discussion of ancient art and religion, Dr David S Whitley -- one of the world's leading experts on cave paintings--guides the reader in an exploration of these intriguing questions, while sharing his firsthand experiences in visiting these exquisite, breath-taking sites. To grasp what drove these ancient artists to create these masterpieces, and to understand the origin of myth and religion, as Whitley explains, is to appreciate what makes us human. Moreover, he broadens our understanding of the genesis of creativity and myth by proposing a radically new and original theory that weds two seemingly warring camps from separate disciplines. On the one hand, archaeologists specialising in prehistoric cave paintings have argued that the visionary rituals of shamans led to the creation of this expressive art. They consider shamanism to be the earliest known form of religion. By contrast, evolutionary psychologists view the emergence of religious beliefs as a normal expression of the human mind. In their eyes, the wild and ecstatic trances of shamans were a form of aberrant behaviour. Far from being typical representatives of ancient religion, shamans were exceptions to the normal rule of early religion. Whitley resolves the controversy by interweaving the archaeological evidence with the latest findings of cutting-edge neuroscience. He thereby rewrites our understanding of shamanism and its connection with artistic creativity, myth, and religion. Combining a colourful narrative describing Whitley's personal explorations at key archaeological sites with robust scientific research, Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit makes for engrossing reading. It provides a profound and poignant perspective on what it means to be human.

Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit

Author: David S. Whitley
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Describes the connection between shamanism and creativity, myth, and religion through an exploration of cave paintings found in France and Spain.

What Is Paleolithic Art

Author: Jean Clottes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022618806X
Format: PDF
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Was it a trick of the light that drew our Stone Age ancestors into caves to paint in charcoal and red hematite, to watch the heads of lions, likenesses of bison, horses, and aurochs in the reliefs of the walls, as they flickered by firelight? Or was it something deeper—a creative impulse, a spiritual dawn, a shamanistic conception of the world efflorescing in the dark, dank spaces beneath the surface of the earth where the spirits were literally at hand? In this book, Jean Clottes, one of the most renowned figures in the study of cave paintings, pursues an answer to this “why” of Paleolithic art. While other books focus on particular sites and surveys, Clottes’s work is a contemplative journey across the world, a personal reflection on how we have viewed these paintings in the past, what we learn from looking at them across geographies, and what these paintings may have meant—what function they may have served—for their artists. Steeped in Clottes’s shamanistic theories of cave painting, What Is Paleolithic Art? travels from well-known Ice Age sites like Chauvet, Altamira, and Lascaux to visits with contemporary aboriginal artists, evoking a continuum between the cave paintings of our prehistoric past and the living rock art of today. Clottes’s work lifts us from the darkness of our Paleolithic origins to reveal, by firelight, how we think, why we create, why we believe, and who we are.

Shamanism

Author: Michael Winkelman
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 031338181X
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book examines shamanism from evolutionary and biological perspectives to identify the origins of shamanic healing in rituals that enhance individual and group function. * Written by an internationally recognized scholar on shamanism * Illustrates evidence of ancient shamanic practices * A bibliography provides current and historical sources on shamanism

A Guide to Rock Art Sites

Author: David S. Whitley
Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing
ISBN: 9780878423323
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This unique full-color field guide is essential for anyone who seeks to understand why shamans in the Far West created rock art and what they sought to depict. Whitley is on the cutting edge of dating and interpreting the images as well as describing the

The Mind in the Cave

Author: J. David Lewis-Williams
Publisher: C. HURST & CO. PUBLISHERS
ISBN: 9780500051177
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Discovering North American Rock Art

Author: Lawrence L. Loendorf
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 9780816524839
Format: PDF, Kindle
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From the high plains of Canada to caves in the southeastern United States, images etched into and painted on stone by ancient Native Americans have aroused in observers the desire to understand their origins and meanings. Rock paintings and engravings can be found in nearly every state and province, and each region has its own distinctive story of discovery and evolving investigation of the rock art record. Rock art in the twenty-first century enjoys a large and growing popularity fueled by scholarly research and public interest alike. This book explores the history of rock art research in North America and is the only volume in the past twenty-five years to provide coverage of the subject on a continental scale. Written by contributors active in rock art research, it examines sites that provide a cross-section of regions and topics and complements existing books on rock art by offering new information, insights, and approaches to research. The first part of the volume explores different regional approaches to the study of rock art, including a set of varied responses to a single site as well as an overview of broader regional research investigations. It tells how Writing-on-Stone in southern Alberta, Canada, reflects changing thought about rock art from the 1870s to today; it describes the role of avocational archaeologists in the Mississippi Valley, where rock art styles differ on each side of the river; it explores discoveries in southwestern mountains and southeastern caves; and it integrates the investigation of cupules along GeorgiaÕs Yellow River into a full study of a site and its context. The book also compares the differences between rock art research in the United States and France: from the outset, rock art was of only marginal interest to most U.S. archaeologists, while French prehistorians considered cave art an integral part of archaeological research. The bookÕs second part is concerned with working with the images today and includes coverage of gender interests, government sponsorship, the role of amateurs in research, and chronometric studies. Much has changed in our understanding of rock art since Cotton Mather first wrote in 1714 of a strange inscription on a Massachusetts boulder, and the cutting-edge contributions in this volume tell us much about both the ancient place of these enduring images and their modern meanings. Discovering North American Rock Art distills todayÕs most authoritative knowledge of the field and is an essential volume for both specialists and hobbyists.

China Lake

Author: Barret Baumgart
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1609384709
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Barret Baumgart’s literary debut presents a haunting and deeply personal portrait of civilization poised at the precipice, a picture of humanity caught between its deepest past and darkest future. In the fall of 2013, during the height of California’s historic drought, Baumgart toured the remote military base, NAWS China Lake, near Death Valley, California. His mother, the survivor of a recent stroke, decided to come along for the ride. She hoped the alleged healing power of the base’s ancient Native American hot springs might cure her crippling headaches. Baumgart sought to debunk claims that the military was spraying the atmosphere with toxic chemicals to control the weather. What follows is a discovery that threatens to sever not only the bonds between mother and son but between planet Earth and life itself. Stalking the fringes of Internet conspiracy, speculative science, and contemporary archaeology, Baumgart weaves memoir, military history, and investigative journalism in a dizzying journey that carries him from the cornfields of Iowa to drought-riddled California, from the Vietnam jungle to the caves of prehistoric Europe and eventually the walls of the US Capitol, the sparkling white hallways of the Pentagon, and straight into the contradicted heart of a worldwide climate emergency.

The Art of the Shaman

Author: David S. Whitley
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780874806502
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Whitley, an archaeologist specializing in the study of prehistoric art and religion, interprets the symbolism of California's ancient rock art, demonstrating that these pictographs were not created simply for artistic expression, but were deliberately intended to represent a relatively few number of specific messages. Color photographs depict such things as vision questing, sexuality, the mythic past, life crises, altered states of consciousness, and more.

Fire in the Mind

Author: George Johnson
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030776544X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Are there really laws governing the universe? Or is the order we see a mere artifact of the way evolution wired the brain? And is what we call science only a set of myths in which quarks, DNA, and information fill the role once occupied by gods? These questions lie at the heart of George Johnson's audacious exploration of the border between science and religion, cosmic accident and timeless law. Northern New Mexico is home both to the most provocative new enterprises in quantum physics, information science, and the evolution of complexity and to the cosmologies of the Tewa Indians and the Catholic Penitentes. As it draws the reader into this landscape, juxtaposing the systems of belief that have taken root there, Fire in the Mind into a gripping intellectual adventure story that compels us to ask where science ends and religion begins. "A must for all those seriously interested in the key ideas at the frontier of scientific discourse."--Paul Davies From the Trade Paperback edition.