A Cosmos in Stone: Interpreting Religion and Society through Rock Art

A Cosmos in Stone: Interpreting Religion and Society through Rock Art

by David J. Lewis-Williams
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

J. David Lewis-Williams is world renowned for his work on the rock art of Southern Africa. In this volume, Lewis-Williams describes the key steps in his evolving journey to understand these images painted on stone. He describes the development of technical methods of interpreting rock paintings of the 1970s, shows how a growing understanding of San mythology,

Overview

J. David Lewis-Williams is world renowned for his work on the rock art of Southern Africa. In this volume, Lewis-Williams describes the key steps in his evolving journey to understand these images painted on stone. He describes the development of technical methods of interpreting rock paintings of the 1970s, shows how a growing understanding of San mythology, cosmology, and ethnography helped decode the complex paintings, and traces the development of neuropsychological models for understanding the relationship between belief systems and rock art. The author then applies his theories to the famous rock paintings of prehistoric Western Europe in an attempt to develop a comprehensive theory of rock art. For students of rock art, archaeology, ethnography, comparative religion, and art history, Lewis-Williams' book will be a provocative read and an important reference.

Editorial Reviews

American Antiquity, Vol. 69, No. 1, 2004 - Lawrence H. Robbins
The ideas of David Lewis-Williams, director of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of Witwatersrand, have had a profound impact on rock art studies in southern Africa, and more recently, on the interpretation of Upper Paleolithic art...The book brings together the development of Lewis-Williams's thoughts about rock art, published between 1972-1997...A Cosmos in Stone is a valuable source for students of rock art...
The Midden - Amanda Adams
Individuals with an interest in the extensive rock art found on the Northwest Coast should consider A Cosmos in Stone indispensable.
David S. Whitley
This volume is a compilation of David Lewis-Williams’ seminal papers. Though his data are primarily the rock art of the San (bushmen) of southern Africa and the cave art of the European Paleolithic, this book equally is about archaeological method and especially theory. Even more, it represents an intellectual achievement of the greatest historical importance. In these papers Lewis-Williams bridges the longest-lived divide in our western intellectual tradition, the opposition between science, religion and art, showing how science is necessary to understand art and religion, and how any apprehension of human social life likewise must foreground the importance of religion and art.
The Midden
Individuals with an interest in the extensive rock art found on the Northwest Coast should consider A Cosmos in Stone indispensable.
— Amanda Adams
Booknews
This volume compiles the most important published papers of Lewis-Williams (director, Rock Art Research Institute at the U. of Witwatersrand) charting his quest to understand the painted rock art made by the San (or Bushmen) in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, and to interpret the Paleolithic cave art of France and Spain. He describes how technical methods of interpreting rock paintings developed in the 1970s, and explains how a growing understanding of San mythology, cosmology, and ethnography helped to decode the complex paintings. He also traces the development of neuropsychological models for understanding the relationship between belief systems and rock art, thus bridging the gap between science on the one hand, and religion and art on the other. Appropriate for students of rock art, archaeology, ethnography, comparative religion, and art history. Contains b&w illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780759101951
Publisher:
AltaMira Press
Publication date:
02/15/2002
Series:
Archaeology of Religion Series
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.04(d)

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

David S. Whitley
This volume is a compilation of David Lewis-Williams’ seminal papers. Though his data are primarily the rock art of the San (bushmen) of southern Africa and the cave art of the European Paleolithic, this book equally is about archaeological method and especially theory. Even more, it represents an intellectual achievement of the greatest historical importance. In these papers Lewis-Williams bridges the longest-lived divide in our western intellectual tradition, the opposition between science, religion and art, showing how science is necessary to understand art and religion, and how any apprehension of human social life likewise must foreground the importance of religion and art.

Meet the Author

J. David Lewis-Williams is Director of the Rock Art Research Institute at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and is known internationally for his studies of South African rock art.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >