How ancient Europeans saw the world : vision, patterns, and the shaping of the mind in prehistoric times

Peter S. Wells

The people who inhabited Europe during the two millennia before the Roman conquests had established urban centers, large-scale production of goods such as pottery and iron tools, a money economy, and elaborate rituals and ceremonies. Yet as Peter Wells argues here, the visual world of these late prehistoric communities was profoundly different from those of ancient Rome's literate civilization and today's industrialized societies. Drawing on startling new research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Wells reconstructs how the people of pre-Roman Europe saw the world and their place in it. He sheds new light on how they communicated their thoughts, feelings, and visual perceptions through the everyday tools they shaped, the pottery and metal ornaments they decorated, and the arrangements of objects they made in their ritual places - and how these forms and patterns in turn shaped their experience. "How Ancient Europeans Saw the World" offers a completely new approach to the study of Bronze Age and Iron Age Europe, and represents a major challenge to existing views about prehistoric cultures. The book demonstrates why we cannot interpret the structures that Europe's pre-Roman inhabitants built in the landscape, the ways they arranged their settlements and burial sites, or the complex patterning of their art on the basis of what these things look like to us. Rather, we must view these objects and visual patterns as they were meant to be seen by the ancient people who fashioned them.

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  • List of Illustrations vii Preface xi Acknowledgments xvii Part I: Theory and Method Chapter 1: Of Monsters and Flowers 1 Chapter 2: Seeing and Shaping Objects 18 Chapter 3: The Visual Worlds of Early Europe 34 Chapter 4: Frame, Focus, Visualization 52 Part II: Material: Objects and Arrangements Chapter 5: Pottery: The Visual Ecology of the Everyday 72 Chapter 6: Attraction and Enchantment: Fibulae 99 Chapter 7: Status and Violence: Swords and Scabbards 112 Chapter 8: Arranging Spaces: Objects in Graves 131 Chapter 9: Performances: Objects and Bodies in Motion 155 Chapter 10: New Media in the Late Iron Age: Coins and Writing 176 Part III: Interpreting the Patterns Chapter 11: Changing Patterns in Objects and in Perception 188 Chapter 12: Contacts, Commerce, and the Dynamics of New Visual Patterns 200 Conclusion Chapter 13: The Visuality of Objects, Past and Present 222 Bibliographic Essay 231 References Cited 249 Index 281

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書名 How ancient Europeans saw the world : vision, patterns, and the shaping of the mind in prehistoric times
著作者等 Wells, Peter S.
出版元 Princeton University Press
刊行年月 c2012
ページ数 xviii, 285 p.
大きさ 24 cm
ISBN 9780691143385
NCID BB10714274
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言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国