dunnettreader + material_culture   5

Peter S. Wells - How Ancient Europeans Saw the World: Vision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times. (eBook, Paperback 2015 and Hardcover 2012) - Princeton University Press
The peoples 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 peoples 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 peoples who fashioned them.

Peter S. Wells is professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota. His many books include Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered and The Barbarians Speak: How the Conquered Peoples Shaped Roman Europe (Princeton).

This is a most important book. Wells argues that after 200 BC Eurasia moved generally toward the mass production and consumption of artifacts and that this changed people's relationships with the world, in turn altering the nature of experience. How Ancient Europeans Saw the World is thought-provoking and provocative."--Chris Gosden, author of Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction -- Chapter 1 downloaded to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  Bronze_Age  prehistoric  ancient_Rome  barbarians  material_culture  mass-produced_articles  archaeology  art_history  visual_culture  cultural_change  burial_practices  decorative_arts 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics - Edited by Andrew Hamilton - E-Book - University of California Press
.. aims to make sense of the rise of phylogenetic systematics—its methods, its objects of study, and its theoretical foundations—with contributions from historians, philosophers, and biologists. (...) an intellectual agenda for the study of systematics and taxonomy in a way that connects classification with larger historical themes in the biological sciences, including morphology, experimental and observational approaches, evolution, biogeography, debates over form and function, character transformation, development, and biodiversity. It aims to provide frameworks for answering the question: how did systematics become phylogenetic? -- the 1st Chapter excerpt is a fabulous history of "waves" of new species identification of primarily mammals tied to intellectual, social, economic, cultural and geopolitical history -- his case study is the shift to N American museums organizing large numbers of surveys collecting many samples that gave data on varieties within same species, varying ecologies, etc in the "inner frontiers" in the late19thC and early 20thC -- possible due to "the logic of capital" (railroads penetrating regions to foreclose competition, land speculators), curators leaving the city to obtain materials for the fashion in diaoramas, patronage newly attracted, white collar middle class embracing self-improvement via nature study on holiday, new conservationist attitudes toward Nature etc.
books  kindle-available  biology  taxonomies  species  natural_history  evolutionary_biology  phylogenetics  history_of_science  18thC  19thC  20thC  public_sphere  science-public  cultural_history  cultural_change  material_culture  frontier  leisure  exploration  colonialism  imperialism  museums  collections  virtuosos  scientific_culture  nature  nature-mastery  conservation  self-development 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Alan Jacobs - the three big stories of modernity | TextPatterns July 2015
So far there have been three widely influential stories about the rise of modernity: the Emancipatory, the Protestant, and the Neo-Thomist. (..) all these narrators of modernity see our own age as one in which the consequences of 500-year-old debates conducted by philosophers and theologians are still being played out. I think all of these narratives are wrong. They are wrong because they are the product of scholars in universities who overrate the historical importance and influence of other scholars in universities, and because they neglect ideas that connect more directly with the material world. All of these grands recits should be set aside, and they should not immediately be replaced with others, but with more particular, less sweeping, and more technologically-oriented stories. The technologies that Marshall McLuhan called "the extensions of Man" are infinitely more important for Man's story, for good and for ill, than the debates of the schoolmen and interpreters of the Bible. Instead of grand narratives of the emergence of The Modern we need something far more plural: technological histories of modernity.
Instapaper  cultural_history  cultural_capital  modernity  technology  Tech/Culture  social_theory  intellectual_history  intellectual_history-distorted  religious_history  Thomism-21stC  Reformation  Renaissance  Enlightenment  Enlightenment_Project  Enlightenment-ongoing  modernity-emergence  material_culture  economic_history  Great_Divergence  Industrial_Revolution  colonialism  Military_Revolution  Scientific_Revolution  consumer_revolution  technology-history  historiography  medicine  public_health  public_sphere  public_goods  media  print_culture  history_of_science  history_of_book  history-and-social_sciences  narrative  narrative-contested  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader

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