The Ancient Mind: Elements of Cognitive Archaeology / Edition 1by Colin Renfrew
Pub. Date: 10/28/2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
One of the most troubling problems in archaeology is to determine the manner and content of prehistoric thought. A fundamental challenge is to develop the theory, methodology and tools to understand human cognition. Cognitive archaeology as a subject is still in its infancy, and archaeologists are adopting a variety of approachesliterary, linguistic, and… See more details below
One of the most troubling problems in archaeology is to determine the manner and content of prehistoric thought. A fundamental challenge is to develop the theory, methodology and tools to understand human cognition. Cognitive archaeology as a subject is still in its infancy, and archaeologists are adopting a variety of approachesliterary, linguistic, and scientific. The contributors to The Ancient Mind develop a new direction in prehistoric cognitive research that is rooted in the scientific tradition and in an empirical methodology. Together, they begin to develop a science of cognitive archaeology.
Table of Contents
Foreword; Part I. Introduction: 1. Towards a cognitive archaeology; Part II. The Interdisciplinary Underpinning: 2. Interpretations and testability in theories about prehistoric thinking; 3. Archaeology and cognitive science; 4. From mental modularity to generalized intelligence: a cognitive interpretation of the Middle/Upper Paleolithic transition; 5. Are images animated? The psychology of images in Ancient Greece; Part III. Approaches to Cult Practice and Transcendental Belief Systems: 6. The archaeology of religion; 7. Ancient Zapotec ritual and religion: an application of the direct historical approach; 8. The meaning of death; 9. Prehistoric cognition and the science of archaeology; Part IV. Prehistoric Conceptions of Space and Time: 10. Symbols and signposts: understanding the prehistoric petroglyphs of the British Isles; 11. Knowledge representation and archaeology: a cognitive example using GIS; 12 Dials: a study in the physical representation of cognitive systems; Part V. The Material Basis of Cognitive Inference: Technology: 13. Cognitive aspects of 'technique'; 14. Mindful technology: unleashing the Chaîne Opératoire for an archaeology of mind; 15. Prehistoric technology: a cognitive science?; Part VI. The Material Basis of Cognitive Inference: Writing Systems; 16. Variation and change in symbol systems: case studies in Elamite Cuneiform; 17. Figure and text in Mesopotamia: match and mismatch; Part VII. Conclusion: 18. Cognitive archaeology reconsidered.
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