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Fossil Legends of the First Americans [Paperback]

Adrienne Mayor
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 21.95
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Product Description

Review

"Mayor the storyteller relishes the opportunity to provide fascinating insights, but she shines most in her ability to stitch together a rich and varied body of oral history grounded in natural history. . . . Mayor clearly thrives at the intersection of science and folklore."--Bryn Nelson, Newsday

"Marshaling the array of evidence available from scholarly and popular works, and contributing her own research, Mayor shows that far from ignoring fossils, many Native American groups took great notice of them and developed elaborate myths to explain their origin. . . . Though Mayor is careful not to homogenize native myths, she does note that virtually all of them exhibit a sense of "deep time," as geologists call it: an awareness that the world has existed for far longer than humans have walked it."--Eric A. Powell, Archaeology

"Fossil Legends of the First Americans presents an interesting, intriguing and informative text, written in a fun, accessible way that will appeal to a wide audience, without scaring off the scientific community. The manner in which fossils legends and Native American tales are dealt with, is as original. . . . Adrienne Mayor has based her book on a substantial amount of relevant, up-to-date and to-the-point research data, and as such commands the reader's indulgence."--C. van Kooten, PaleoArchaeology

"Through remarkably wide-ranging research, Mayor has recovered the fascinating story of how various tribes encountered and interpreted dinosaur bones and other remains of early life. . . . [She] illuminates the surprisingly relevant views of early peoples confronting evidence of prehistoric life. . . . This pioneering work replaces cultural estrangement with belated understanding."--Booklist

"Mayor clearly thrives at the intersection of science and folklore, a long-overlooked combination now being explored by a growing cadre of authors. As one of the genre's chief trailblazers, her larger themes resonate with a remarkable clarity. . . . [R]ichly illuminating."--Bryn Nelson, Philadelphia Inquirer

From the Inside Flap

"Engaging, enlightening, and most of all, educationally entertaining. We have precious few examples of Native American interpretation of prehistoric events as they have been passed down through the generations, and in this book Adrienne Mayor unveils several. In so doing, she opens up a new world."--Jack Horner, coauthor of Digging Dinosaurs, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University

"Adrienne Mayor has absolutely done it again. In Fossil Legends of the First Americans she has taken up exactly where she left off last time with The First Fossil Hunters. She has done a superb job of researching her topic and making it interesting. Just a wonderful job all around."--Peter Dodson, author of The Horned Dinosaurs

"Adrienne Mayor is a wonderfully independent-minded scholar and a fine writer who works the edge lines between disciplines, where others don't go. She's a brilliant researcher but never forgets about character and story. Give her a fossil or a legend, and she'll supply flesh, blood, narrative, cultural context, and a smile. In this book she also delivers an important sense of justice."--David Quammen, author of Monster of God and Song of the Dodo

"A brilliant and well-researched book that creates a new field of inquiry. Mayor opens a wide landscape in which native knowledge and use of fossils becomes an integral part of the academic and popular interest. Undoubtedly a landmark in American thought."--Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths, former executive director of the National Congress of American Indians

"This is a surprising, convincing, and most interesting book, which I read with pleasure. It is an intelligent book, one that continues to map out a new field of scholarship of which Mayor is the prime exponent. It is a novel book, because of its unique content and its unusual and yet valuable insight that all 'scientific' knowledge does not and need not follow the modern Western tradition."--Pat Shipman, author of The Wisdom of Bones and The Evolution of Racism

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"Engaging, enlightening, and most of all, educationally entertaining. We have precious few examples of Native American interpretation of prehistoric events as they have been passed down through the generations, and in this book Adrienne Mayor unveils several. In so doing, she opens up a new world."--Jack Horner, coauthor of Digging Dinosaurs, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University

"Adrienne Mayor has absolutely done it again. In Fossil Legends of the First Americans she has taken up exactly where she left off last time with The First Fossil Hunters. She has done a superb job of researching her topic and making it interesting. Just a wonderful job all around."--Peter Dodson, author of The Horned Dinosaurs

"Adrienne Mayor is a wonderfully independent-minded scholar and a fine writer who works the edge lines between disciplines, where others don't go. She's a brilliant researcher but never forgets about character and story. Give her a fossil or a legend, and she'll supply flesh, blood, narrative, cultural context, and a smile. In this book she also delivers an important sense of justice."--David Quammen, author of Monster of God and Song of the Dodo

"A brilliant and well-researched book that creates a new field of inquiry. Mayor opens a wide landscape in which native knowledge and use of fossils becomes an integral part of the academic and popular interest. Undoubtedly a landmark in American thought."--Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths, former executive director of the National Congress of American Indians

"This is a surprising, convincing, and most interesting book, which I read with pleasure. It is an intelligent book, one that continues to map out a new field of scholarship of which Mayor is the prime exponent. It is a novel book, because of its unique content and its unusual and yet valuable insight that all 'scientific' knowledge does not and need not follow the modern Western tradition."--Pat Shipman, author of The Wisdom of Bones and The Evolution of Racism

About the Author

Adrienne Mayor, an independent scholar of natural history folklore and the early history of science, is the author of "The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times" (Princeton) and "Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs" (Overlook).
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