The Archaeology of Measurement: Comprehending Heaven, Earth and Time in Ancient Societies

The Archaeology of Measurement: Comprehending Heaven, Earth and Time in Ancient Societies

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Overview

The Archaeology of Measurement: Comprehending Heaven, Earth and Time in Ancient Societies by Iain Morley, Colin Renfrew

The construction of formal measurement systems underlies the development of science and technology, economy, and new ways of understanding and explaining the world. Human societies have developed such systems in different ways in different places and at different times, and recent archaeological investigations highlight the importance of these activities for fundamental aspects of human life. The construction of measurement systems constituted new means for recognising and engaging with the material world, and their implications, and the motivations behind them, also extend beyond the material world. Developments such as the precise reckoning of the passage of time highlighted patterns and causal relationships in nature. Measurement systems have provided the structure for addressing key concerns of cosmological belief systems, as well as the means for articulating relationships between the human form, human action, and the world - and new understandings of relationships between events in the terrestrial world and beyond. The Archaeology of Measurement explores the archaeological evidence for the development of measuring activities in numerous ancient societies, as well as the implications of these discoveries for an understanding of their worlds and beliefs. Featuring contributions from a cast of internationally renowned scholars, it analyzes the relationships between measurement, economy, architecture, symbolism, time, cosmology, ritual, and religion among prehistoric and early historic societies throughout the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521119900
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 04/26/2010
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Iain Morley is a Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and Research Fellow of Darwin College at Cambridge University. A scholar of Palaeolithic archaeology and the evolution of human cognition, he is also co-editor, with Colin Renfrew, of Becoming Human: Innovation in Prehistoric Material and Spiritual Culture and Image and Imagination: A Global Prehistory of Figurative Representation.

Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) is Emeritus Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge University, where he is a Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. He is author of many influential books on archaeology and prehistory, including, with Paul Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, which is one of the standard textbooks on the subject.

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