Going West? uses the latest data to question how the Neolithic way of life was diffused from the Near East to Europe via Anatolia. The transformations of the 7th millennium BC in western Anatolia undoubtedly had a significant impact on the neighboring regions of southeastern Europe. Yet the nature, pace and trajectory of this impact needs still to be clarified. Archaeologists previously searched for similarities in prehistoric, especially Early Neolithic material cultures on both sides of the Sea of Marmara. Recent research shows that although the isthmi of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus connect Asia Minor and the Eastern Balkans, they apparently did not serve as passageways for the dissemination of Neolithic innovations. Instead, the first permanent settlements are situated near the Aegean coast of Thrace and Macedonia, often occurring close to the mouths of big rivers in secluded bays. The courses and the valleys of rivers such as the Maritsa, Strymon and Axios, were perfect corridors for contact and exchange not only in a south-north direction but also the other way round. Using previous studies as a basis for fresh research, this volume presents exciting new viewpoints by analyzing recently discovered materials and by applying modern research methods of interdisciplinary investigations.
The 16 authors of this book have dedicated their research to a renewed evaluation of an old problem: namely, the question of how the complex transformations at the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic can be explained. They have focused their studies on the vast area of the Eastern Balkans and the Pontic region comprised between the Bosporus and the rivers Strymon, Danube and Dniestr. Going West? thus offers an overview of the current state of research concerning the Neolithisation of these areas, considering varied viewpoints and also providing useful starting points for future investigations.
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Agathe Reingruber, researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin, is specialized on topics related to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic of Southeast Europe (Greece, Turkey, Romania). She is currently running a project in northeastern Thessaly focusing on population dynamics.
Zoï Tsirtsoni, researcher at the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS, Laboratory Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité, Nanterre), is specialized on the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods in the Aegean and southern Balkans. She is co-director of the Greek-French research project at the multilayer (tell) settlement of Dikili Tash in Northern Greece.
Petranka Nedelcheva, Assist. Professor at the New Bulgarian University (Sofia), is a lithics specialist for the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods in Southeast Europe, Western Anatolia and the Caucasus. She participates in several projects in Greece, Turkey, Romania and Georgia.
The reference literature for Asian philosophy is scant, probably because philosophy and religion are viewed in the West as more inextricably linked in Asian cultures. Many reference works address Asian religious traditions, but the Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy aims to treat only philosophy, including "religion only in so far as it relates to philosophy."
Alphabetically arranged entries are signed by the scholars who wrote them and conclude with bibliographies. They range from ancient times through the twentieth century and include individuals (Gandhi, Mencius), schools of thought (Kagyu school, Yoga), texts (Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads), and concepts (Free will, Subject and object). Topics are drawn from the traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Shinto, and Zoroastrianism and cover the geographic areas of China, India, Japan, Korea, Melanesia, and Tibet. Given their proximity to Asia as well as their experience with indigenous cultures, there are entries for Australia and New Zealand, too. There is also coverage of Western influence on Asian philosophy, an example being Western learning in Japan. Extensive cross-referencing and see also recommendations are used throughout. The encyclopedia begins with a lengthy general bibliography and a thematic outline of entries by religious tradition and geographic area and ends with separate name and subject indexes.
Two other sources treat Asian philosophy fairly exclusively. The first is the Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy (Routledge, 1997). Its drawback is that it consists of lengthy, thematic essays and not discrete entries. Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy (Routledge, 1999) follows a dictionary-like format, but compared to this new encyclopedia, the entries are fewer in number and shorter in length, with no individuals treated in separate entries. The Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy is a valuable resource for readers interested in both Western and Asian philosophy, Asian religions, and Asian culture and civilization and is recommended for academic and large public libraries. RBB
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