Uses artifacts, paintings, and drawings from the hunters of the Ice Age to prove that the origins of thought, the use of symbolic notation, and the development of language occurred much earlier than scientists had previously speculated.
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The first edition of this brilliant work (McGraw-Hill, 1972) was recognized by anthropologists and other scholars as a breakthrough in its approach to the study of Upper Paleolithic "art" and artifacts. Marshack, now a Fellow at the Peabody Museum, Harvard, introduced the concept of "cognitive archaeology" in which artifacts are studied in light of the human capacities or "cognitive" capabilities they bear witness to. This second edition includes research conducted in the ensuing 20 years in some 100 international collections and from analytical studies in Spanish and French caves. Much of the original is reprinted with textual changes; additions appear in the margins. The foreword and a final chapter, "Two Decades Later," further bring Marshack's study up to date and show how his questions and analytical methods have gained widespread validity. Marshack now holds that the extraordinary achievements of the Ice Age must be viewed, not as the "origins" of human symbols and art, but rather as part of "evolving hominid and human-capacity, including the level of capacity apparently present in Homo erectus and the Neanderthals." A revolutionary work. Highly recommended.
- Joan W. Gart land, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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