Creativity In Human Evolution And Prehistory

Creativity In Human Evolution And Prehistory

by Steven Mithen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415160960

ISBN-13: 9780415160964

Pub. Date: 09/10/1998

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

We live in a world'surrounded by remarkable cultural achievements of human kind. Almost every day we hear of new innovations in technology, in medicine and in the arts which remind us that humans are capable of remarkable creativity. But what is human creativity? The modern world provides a tiny fraction of cultural diversity and the evidence for human creativity,

…  See more details below

Overview

We live in a world'surrounded by remarkable cultural achievements of human kind. Almost every day we hear of new innovations in technology, in medicine and in the arts which remind us that humans are capable of remarkable creativity. But what is human creativity? The modern world provides a tiny fraction of cultural diversity and the evidence for human creativity, far more can be seen by looking back into prehistory. The book examines how our understanding of human creativity can be extended by exploring this phenomenon during human evolution and prehistory.
The book offers unique perspectives on the nature of human creativity from archaeologists who are concerned with long term patterns of cultural change and have access to quite different types of human behaviour than that which exists today. It asks whether humans are the only creative species, or whether our extinct relatives such as Homo habilis and the Neanderthals also displayed creative thinking. It explores what we can learn about the nature of human creativity from cultural developments during prehistory, such as changes in the manner in which the dead were buried, monuments constructed, and the natural world exploited. In doing so, new light is thrown on these cultural developments and the behaviour of our prehistoric ancestors.
By examining the nature of creativity during human evolution and prehistory these archaeologists, supported by contributions from psychology, computer science and social anthropology, show that human creativity is a far more diverse and complex phenomena than simply flashes of genius by isolated individuals. Indeed they show that unless perspectives from prehistory are taken into account, our understanding of human creativity will be limited and incomplete.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415160964
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
09/10/1998
Series:
Theoretical Archaeology Group Series
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of contributors
1Introduction1
Pt. IPerspectives on creativity17
2Introduction to Part I19
3What is creativity?22
4Creative thought: a long-term perspective61
5Creative thought in traditional Aboriginal society78
Pt. IIThe evolution of human creativity91
6Introduction to Part II93
7The early evolution of creative thinking: evidence from monkeys and apes110
8Homo: the creative genus?125
9Middle Palaeolithic 'creativity': reflections on an oxymoron?143
10A creative explosion? Theory of mind, language and the disembodied mind of the Upper Palaeolithic165
Pt. IIICreativity in later prehistoric Europe193
11Introduction to Part III195
12Creativity's coffin: innovation in the burial record of Mesolithic Europe203
13Architecture, imagination and the Neolithic world227
14The conditions of creativity for prehistoric Maltese art241
15All the King's horses: assessing cognitive maps in later prehistoric Europe260
Index285

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >