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How Ancient Europeans Saw the World: Vision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times

Peter S. Wells
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
9780691143385 (hbk. : alk. paper), 0691143382 (hbk. : alk. paper)
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 the author 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, this text reconstructs how the peoples of pre-Roman Europe saw the world and their place in it.
  • Of monsters and flowers
  • Seeing and shaping objects
  • The visual worlds of early Europe
  • Frame, focus, visualization
  • Pottery : the visual ecology of the everyday
  • Attraction and enchantment : fibulae
  • Status and violence : swords and scabbards
  • Arranging spaces : objects in graves
  • Performances : objects and bodies in motion
  • New media in the late Iron Age : coins and writing
  • Changing patterns in objects and in perception
  • Contacts, commerce, and the dynamics of new visual patterns
  • The visuality of objects, past and present.
xviii, 285 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. [249]-280) and index.
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