- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 1 edition (19 Oct. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500288275
- ISBN-13: 978-0500288276
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Inside the Neolithic Mind: Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods Paperback – 19 Oct 2009
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
'A remarkable amalgam which gives us as clear a picture as I've seen of how the people of the New Stone Age thought, of the myths that sustained them and of what they really believed'
--The Sunday Telegraph
About the Author
David Lewis-Williams is Professor Emeritus and Senior Mentor in the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg. Among his previous books are The Mind in the Cave, Believing and Seeing and, with Jean Clottes, The Shamans of Prehistory. David Pearce is a researcher in the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Using the recent finds of archaeology and the cognitive sciences, the authors postulate that Neolithic society developed the foundations of religion. Moreover, religion pre-dated the adoption of agriculture and husbandry. Archaeology has revealed sites in Asia Minor suggesting that hunter-gatherer groups built shrines, seasonally visited for ritual purposes. Communities grew around these shrines and agriculture was developed to support them. The shrines marked a departure from earlier practices of dealing with the spirit realm in caves, represented by such sites as Lascaux and Chauvet as described in Lewis-William's previous book, "The Mind In the Cave" . The above-ground shrines allowed greater community participation and a new social structure. One aspect of that change was the burial of heads beneath the floors of houses. Some of the corpses may indicate more than just ancestral burial, and represent sacrifices. Was spiritual power derived from those buried heads, the authors query?Read more ›
Inside the Neolithic Mind sets out on a bold premise: that similarities in religions can be explained by the physical wiring of the human mind. It presents a clear and well articulated explanation of the fundamental structure of religion and a compelling argument for the art of megalithic Europe being derived from altered states of consciousness.
However, Inside the Neolithic Mind ultimately fails to deliver on all its goals. The authors have tried to come up with a theory that can be applied to every society. The problem is its broad application is hampered by lack of evidence. If every unexplained archaeological discovery can be interpreted in the light of altered states of consciousness, how exactly are we supposed to know when we are interpreting it correctly? The authors are silent on this question. It relegates much of the book (particularly the parts dealing with the origins of farming in the near east) to a `nice story' rather than a `compelling argument.' But I'd still implore you to read this book. Every archaeologist, historian, anthropologist and anyone with religious beliefs of any kind, should be aware of what makes us tick.
Whilst it is well worth the read if you are an archeaologist or a neo-pagan or just interested - what I would say is, I wish the scope of the book had been larger to include more of the neolithic monuments. It makes some passing comments on Avebury complex and Stonehenge, but really could have been more encompassing, perhaps the authors will expand on this in a later work. I found the insights into Bryn Celli Ddu very interesting indeed concerning the stew. The authors also made interesting references to western art and philosophy - particularly in the beginning with the philosophy of Rosseau 'The Noble Savage', which I felt was a kind of tongue in cheek jibe at the seventeen century Druidic revival, which the book seems to comment on in rather a negative fashion, which it later descibes as a mixture 'mumbo-jumbo, socialism, politics etc'. That aside, whether you feel the jibes are justified or not - it is still and excellent read.
What I liked is that it gave a realistic view of religion and society in neolithic times that it wasnt 'A pastoral golden age' as some might paint it, but had competing groups of people and more importantly a religion based around altered states of consciousness. The reader could not but help feel sad that in modern times there is not such a thing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an interesting, if uneven, book that attempts to penetrate the thought processes of neolithic peoples in the Near East and Western Europe. Read morePublished on 4 Feb. 2014 by rob crawford
I don't pretend to be an interlectual, so maybe I shouldn't have expected to wade easilly through this book. Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2013 by Amazon Customer
Having read 'The Mind in the Cave' this was an obvious progression. Many themes revisited but also new material which all seem to make sense.Published on 7 July 2013 by bookworm
Considering the hype on the cover you'd think it was pretty groundbreaking, but the two Davids seem to be rather more immersed in their own agendas than in the matter at hand -... Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2010 by Rev. G. Drummond