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The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art

Part of Cambridge Illustrated Histories

  • Date Published: January 1998
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print March 2011
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521454735

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About the Authors
  • Beautifully illustrated in color with many rare and unique photographs, prints, and drawings, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art presents the first balanced and truly worldwide survey of prehistoric art. The book also offers the first detailed account of how the world of scholarship became aware of the existence of prehistoric art, reproducing the very earliest drawings by explorers and surveyors from the 1600s onward to create a unique pictorial as well as discursive resource. With this powerful combination of illustration and analysis, Paul Bahn describes what prehistoric art is and the different ways in which it can shed light on the lives and preoccupations of our ancestors: sexual, humorous, social, economic, and religious. The result is a fascinating exploration: a book that Desmond Morris describes as "a model of scientific restraint and objectivity....this is ultimately an art book, and as such it is endlessly provocative and engaging." Paul Bahn is an archaeologist and the author of more than 400 publications. He has authored or coauthored eight books, including The Cambridge Illustrated History of Archaeology. Dr. Bahn is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

    • The first book to present an account of how prehistoric art was discovered by the world of scholarship, what it consists of, how it can shed light on the lives of our ancestors
    • Only truly world-wide survey of prehistoric art covering all prehistoric eras, not just Europe or the Ice Age
    • Superb photographs from inaccessible sites, and prints of very early reproductions of ancient art by travellers, explorers, and surveyors
    • Uniquely illustrated subject resource of art not only unknown to the public, but also to many archaeologists, let alone art historians
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "When I first visited the painted cave at Lascaux, not long after it had been discovered, I was stunned by what I saw. The skill of the prehistoric artists and the beauty of the images on the walls overwhelmed me. A companion, staring at them open-mouthed, blurted out that they must be fakes--they were clearly too good to have been produced by a Stone Age tribe. Of course, she was wrong. Much research has taken place during the half century since Lascaux was revealed to the world, and we now know that these remarkable paintings are perfectly genuine. My companion's disbelief was an impulsive reaction to the sheer quality of the portrayals. Therein lies their mystery and their greatest fascination." From the foreword by Desmond Morris

    "The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art presents the first balanced and truly worldwide survey of prehistoric art....a fascinating exploration of prehistoric art that is informative, engaging, and beautifully presented." Reviewer's Bookwatch

    "....an effective visual introduction with a technical bibliograohy to guide serious students." Booklist

    "Bahn...has written what must be considered the most comprehensive treatise on prehistoric art to date. The writing is lucid and descriptive, satisfying to the advanced anthropologist or artist while quite comprehensible to uninitiated readers. Highly recommended for all levels." Choice

    "Using his expertise and experience as an archaeologist, the author has put together a fascinating study of Prehistoric Art. This fascinating book is highly readable, attractively formatted and would be of great value in an art history class with a range broad enough to cover prehistory." Rita N. Doyle, Book Report

    "Bahn has authored a book that will be useful to nonspecialist professionals and students with interests in the fascinating subject of parietal art." Thomas F. Aleto, American Antiquity

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1998
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521454735
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 261 x 212 x 29 mm
    • weight: 1.42kg
    • contains: 164 colour illus. 1 map
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print March 2011
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. The 'discovery' of prehistoric art
    2. The nineteenth century: prehistoric art comes into its own
    3. Bodies and objets d'art - the art of the object
    4. Art on rocks and walls
    5. Putting things in order: dating techniques and criteria
    6. Matters of the body: objects of art
    7. Matters of the mind: reasons for art
    8. The future of prehistoric art
    Epilogue
    Glossary
    Further reading
    Map of sites
    Index.

  • Author

    Paul G. Bahn

    Foreword

    Desmond Morris

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