Dancing at the Dawn of Agriculture

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In this pathfinding book, Yosef Garfinkel analyzes depictions of dancing found on archaeological objects from the Near East, southeastern Europe, and Egypt to offer the first comprehensive look at the role of dance in these Neolithic (7000-4000 B.C.) societies. In the first part of the book, Garfinkel examines the structure of dance, its functional roles in the community (with comparisons to dance in modern pre-state societies), and its cognitive, or symbolic, aspects. This analysis leads him to assert that scenes of dancing depict real community rituals linked to the agricultural cycle and that dance was essential for maintaining these calendrical rituals and passing them on to succeeding generations. In the concluding section of the book, Garfinkel presents and discusses the extensive archaeological data - some 400 depictions of dance - on which his study is based.
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Editorial Reviews

Dancing at the Dawn of Agriculture offers fresh insights into live in the Cradle of Civilisation, and will hopefully serve as great sustenance for future thought on this intriguing issue.
— Sean Kingsley
Minerva - Sean Kingsley
Dancing at the Dawn of Agriculture offers fresh insights into live in the Cradle of Civilisation, and will hopefully serve as great sustenance for future thought on this intriguing issue.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292728455
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Yosef Garfinkel is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Pt. I The Dance Analysis 1
Ch. 1 Introduction 3
Ch. 2 Structural Analysis of the Dance 27
Ch. 3 Functional Analysis of the Dance 65
Ch. 4 Cognitive Analysis of the Dancing Scenes 85
Ch. 5 Conclusions 99
Pt. II The Data 103
Ch. 6 General Remarks Concerning the Data 105
Ch. 7 Neolithic Near East 111
Ch. 8 Halafian and Samarra Cultures 125
Ch. 9 Neolithic and Chalcolithic Iran 161
Ch. 10 Neolithic Southeast Europe 205
Ch. 11 Predynastic Egypt 233
Ch. 12 Later Examples from the Near East 269
Ch. 13 Appendix: The Figures with "Turned-Upwards Legs" 291
Bibliography 297
Index 319
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