Inside the Neolithic Mind: Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods

Inside the Neolithic Mind: Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods

by David Lewis-Williams, David Pearce


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Now in compact paperback, a compelling examination of how brain structure and cultural context interacted in the Neolithic period, 10,000 years ago, to produce unique patterns in belief systems. 

What do the headless figures found in the famous paintings at Catalhoyuk in Turkey have in common with the interlinked spirals carved on the monumental tombs at Newgrange and Knowth in Ireland? How can the concepts of “birth,” “death,” and “wild” cast light on the changes in relationships between people and animals? In the new compact paperback version of Inside the Neolithic Mind, David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce examine the intricate web of belief, myth, and society in the Neolithic period, arguably the most significant turning point in human history, when agriculture became a way of life and the fractious society that we know today was born.

The authors focus on two contrasting times and places: the beginnings in the Near East, and Western Europe. They argue that neurological patterns hardwired into the brain help explain the nature of the art, religion, and society that Neolithic people produced. In proposing provocative new theories about religious motivation in ancient times, they create a fascinating neurological bridge to the mysterious thought-lives of the past and reveal the essence of a momentous period in human history. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780500294413
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication date: 10/23/2018
Edition description: Compact
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 868,129
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Lewis-Williams is Professor Emeritus and Senior Mentor at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is the author of The Mind in the Cave, Conceiving God, and Deciphering Ancient Minds.

David Pearce is Associate Professor and
Director at the Rock Art Research Institute.

Table of Contents

Preface 6

1 The Revolutionary Neolithic 13

2 The Consciousness Contract 37

3 Seeing and Building a Cosmos 60

4 Close Encounters with a Built Cosmos 88

5 Domesticating Wild Nature 123

6 Treasure the Dream Whatever the Terror 149

7 The Mound in the Dark Grove 169

8 Brú na Bóinne 198

9 Religion de Profundis 250

10 East is East and West is West 281

Notes 291

Bibliography and Guide to Further Reading 300

Acknowledgments 314

Sources of Illustrations 314

Index 315

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