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The Mind in the Cave By David Lewis-Williams

The Mind in the Cave

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Seeking the origins of image-making, the author examines our Cro-Magnon ancestors, whose rock art indicates a higher order of consciousness than the Neanderthals, suggesting that advanced neurology enabled the practice of shamanism and hence a vivid mental imagery, which they then fixed in paint.
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The Mind in the Cave Summary

The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams

The central themes of this intellectually invigorating and wide-ranging book - the evolution of the brain and mind, primary vs. higher-order consciousness, Neanderthals vs. Cro-Magnons, the nature of art, and shamanism - are guaranteed to capture the public imagination. This compellingly written 'detective story' puts forward the most convincing explanation yet proposed for the origins of image-making and art, examining how the Neanderthals lived for over 10,000 years alongside our Cro-Magnon ancestors, but never developed art. The reason for this lay in the evolution of the human mind. Cro-Magnons possessed a higher-order consciousness and more advanced neurological make-up, which enabled them to experience shamanistic trances and vivid mental imagery. It became important for them to 'fix', or paint, these images on to cave walls, which they perceived as the membrane between their world and the spirit world from which the visions came. These illuminating glimpses into the ancient mind are skilfully interwoven with the story of modern-day cave discoveries and vivid descriptions of the beautiful Ice-Age art found in caves such as Lascaux and Altamira.

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About David Lewis-Williams

David Lewis-Williams is Professor Emeritus and Senior Mentor in the Rock Art Research Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His other books include Believing and Seeing: Symbolic Meanings in the Southern San Rock Paintings and, with Jean Clottes, The Shamans of Prehistory: Trance and Magic in the Painted Caves.

Table of Contents

Preface; Three Time-Bytes; 1. Discovering Human Antiquity; 2 Seeking Answers; 3. Creative Illusion; 4. The Matter of the Mind; 5. Case Study 1: Southern African San Rock Art; 6. Case Study 2: North American Rock Art; 7. An Origin of Image-Making; 8. The Cave in the Mind; 9. Cave and Community; 10. Cave and Conflict; Envoi

Additional information

The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams
David Lewis-Williams
Used - Very Good
Thames & Hudson Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.