£13.46
  • RRP: £14.95
  • You Save: £1.49 (10%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Mind in the Cave: Con... has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art Paperback – 5 Apr 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£12.00
Paperback
"Please retry"
£13.46
£8.40 £10.49
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£13.46 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art
  • +
  • The Prehistory Of The Mind: A Search for the Origins of Art, Religion and Science
  • +
  • The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body
Total price: £39.44
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; Reprint edition (5 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500284652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500284650
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Combines a lifetime of archaeological research with the most recent insights into the workings of the human brain and the nature of consciousness."

Review

`You will refer back to these precious books again and again'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Feb. 2003
Format: Hardcover
The author posits a fascinating explanation for the origin of art and the creation of images by early mankind: the evolution of the human mind. He theorizes that the people of the Upper Paleolithic harnessed altered states of consciousness to fashion their society and used imagery as a means of establishing and defining social relationships. Cro-Magnon man had a more advanced neurological system and order of consciousness than the Neanderthals, and experienced shamanic trances and vivid mental imagery. It was important for them to paint these images on cave walls that served as a membrane between the everyday world and the realm of the spirit.

Hallucinations were instrumental in personal advancement and the development of society. He refers to the pioneering psychologist William James who already in 1902 pointed out the different states of consciousness and to Colin Martindale who identified the following different states: Waking, realistic fantasy, autistic fantasy, reverie, hypnagogic and dreaming. The sense of absolute unitary being (transcendence/ecstasy) is generated by a spillover between neural circuits in the brain caused by factors like meditation, rhythmic stimulus, fasting etc. The essential elements of the religious experience are thus wired into the brain.

Two case studies are used in support of this theory: South African San rock art and North American rock art. Chapter 8 is especially fascinating since it offers possible solutions to certain puzzles of cave art, like the mixture of representational and geometric imagery.
Read more ›
Comment 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Any book challenging Established Truths deserves a place in your library. This exquisite example closely and vividly investigates the world of Western European rock art. Not an "art critic's" analysis, Lewis-Williams explains the roots of this enigmatic form of human expression. In so doing, he offers new insights into the idea of "spiritual realms" and the formulation of religions. With research delving in areas ignored or forgotten, the author demonstrates why our views of our Paleolithic forebears needs revision. Of foremost importance is the need to shed the notion of "primitive" as a quality attributed to our ancestors. The cave artists were "modern" humans in every sense of the term.
Lewis-Williams opens his study with a review of the first overturning of how we view humanity's track. Cave art had been found as early as the 17th Century, but the discoverers had no idea of the stretch of time those pictures had crossed. Not until the great insight of Charles Darwin, relying on Lyell's vast idea of an ancient earth, did it become possible to view cave art as remnants of prehistoric human life. The technology that could accurately date these pictures pushed the date of their creation back thousands of years. New finds set human artistic expression to more than 75 thousand years ago.
Lewis-Williams contends that these artefacts are the result of a sharp change in human intellect. About 75 thousand years ago, in various places at different times, the human consciousness experienced an elaboration. The immediate environment no longer was the limit of experience. Humans added what is known as "higher order" consciousness to the "primary consciousness" that allowed us, along with most other animals, to survive.
Read more ›
Comment 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't understand why a book ostensibly about cave art and anthropology was getting such rave reviews in the general reading sections of the book press. Throughout 2002, newspapers and literary magazines across the world were giving five stars and must read reviews to Lewis Williams' study of the prehistoric mind.
That was before I read it. To call The Mind in the Cave a book about anthropology is a bit like calling Gibbons' Decline and Fall a book about the Romans. This is one of those rare books one comes across that one knows will forever remain amongst the nine or ten best books one will ever read.
The Mind in the Cave is a work of genius that convincingly binds the threads and fragments linking prehistoric rock art across the continents. Lewis Williams' expertise on South African and Botswanan rock paintings and the shamans who created them allows him insights into the Magdalenian creators of the rock art in southwest Europe unreachable by previous commentators. His theories are being discussed with great excitement by the curators at prehistoric cave sites such as Lascaux. Anyone with the remotest interest in anthropology, history, art or religion should read this book.
Comment 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is a cautious, well-balanced book, with some lovely pictures, that argues convincingly that paleolithic cave art resulted from altered states of consciousness and shamanistic practices.

Having accepted that premise, I didn't find much more. The author is careful not to commit himself or even to speculate very much. Why these particular animals? Why so few and far less realistic human figures? How did the artists reach such a remarkble level of ease and proficiency - are the cruder designs from an earlier period? Why did paople stop producing the art - was it the coming of agriculture?

Admittedly, these questions and many others are difficult to answer, but a bit more of an effort would have been appreciated.

And what about the mind outside the cave? What was the landscape like at that time - a barren polar plateau or lush deciduous trees - a harsh or easy life?

Hundreds of questions spring to mind, but this book is very narrowly focused.
Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback