9780470373538

The Cave and the Cathedral How a Real-Life Indiana Jones and a Renegade Scholar Decoded the Ancient Art of Man

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780470373538

  • ISBN10:

    0470373539

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-07-20
  • Publisher: Wiley
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Summary

What France's ancient cave drawings may reveal about the origin of language, art, and human thoughtinsights into one of the greatest mysteries in anthropologyThey roam deep underground in the recesses of French (and some Spanish) caves: Bulls and bison. Horses and stags. Rhinos, bears, human-like creatures, and more. Painted, drawn, or engraved, these incredible images are 32,000 years old, yet they seem full of personality and life. Who were the artists? How did they make these paintings miles into labyrinthine caves with only stone candles to light the way? Why did the artists make them and what do they mean? What about the undecipherable signs accompanying the art? Popular science writer Amir Aczel examines the cave drawings and the theories scientists have put forward to explain them, including religious iconography, hunting trophies, and a leap in human brain development. Drawing on years of research and his own visits to Paleolithic caves, Aczel takes us underground on an unforgettable journey of discovery at the crossroads of art, science, and history in the quest to solve the mysteries of this Stone Age art and deepen our understanding of human evolution.Amir D. Aczel (Brookline, MA) is a research fellow in the history of science at Boston University and former visiting scholar at Harvard University. He is the author of 14 books, including Fermat's Last Theorem (978-0-385-31946-1), Descartes's Secret Notebook (978-0-7679-2034-6), and The Jesuit and the Skull (978-1-59448-956-3). He has appeared on the CBS Evening News, CNN, CNBC, and ABC's Nightline, as well as NPR's Weekend Edition and Morning Edition.

Author Biography

Amir D. Aczel is a research fellow in the history of science at Boston University and a former visiting scholar at Harvard University. He is the author of fifteen books, including Fermat's Last Theorem, Descartes's Secret Notebook, and The Jesuit and the Skull. He has appeared on the CBS Evening News, CNN, CNBC, and ABCis Nightline, as well as NPR's Weekend Edition and Morning Edition.

Table of Contents

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. The Adventure of Niaux.

2. The Greatest Mystery.

3. The Neanderthal Enigma.

4. The Roots of Language.

5. Abbé Breuil.

6. Font-de-Gaume and Combarelles.

7. The Tale of a Missing Dog.

8. The Sign of the Bull and the Legend of the Minotaur.

9. Rouffignac and Pech Merle.

10. The Discovery of Lascaux.

11. The Enigma of the Pit.

12. The Groundbreaking Work of Annette Laming-Emperaire.

13. Prehistoric Objets d'Art.

14. The Sign of the Hand.

15. The Legend of the White Lady.

16. Shamans of the Tundra.

17. Stonehenge and Signs in the Sky.

18. The Mediterranean, Australia, and Patagonia.

19. Leroi-Gourhan's Theory.

20. The Relationship between Signs and Animals.

21. The Chauvet Cave.

Notes.

References.

Illustration Credits.

Index.

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