Image and Response in Early Europe
Did people in the Iron Age see their bronze figurines and sculpted stones differently from the way we see them today? How can we approach the problem of determining how they saw things? How different was their experience viewing these objects in the course of their use, from ours as we look at them in museum cases or through photographs in books?
Recent research in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology forms the theoretical basis for a new approach to understanding the visual basis of communication in early Europe. The focus is on societies from the Early Iron Age to the early medieval period in temperate Europe, at the time that traditions of writing were gradually being adopted in this part of the world. Following review of the most relevant results of new experiments and observations in those sciences, Peter S. Wells examines the visual aspects of the archaeological evidence to investigate the role that visuality - the visual quality of things - played in the expression of the self, in interaction between members of social groups, in ritual activity, and in the creation and experience of cultural landscapes.
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List of illustrations
Vision visuality visual images
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animals Apahida Ardagh Chalice attention bear images belt buckle belt plate bird heads body brain bronze burial mounds cauldron century BC chamber Chapter cognitive map colour contexts created cultural decoration deposited developed display Donzdorf Donzdorf fibulae drinking horns early Europe Early Iron Age Early La Tene early medieval period edges elite example experience eyes feasting vessels fibulae figurines funerary ceremony Gallehus Gallehus horns garnet Glauberg Gundestrup cauldron High Crosses highly textured Hochdorf human faces Illerup imagery important incised individuals landscape Late Iron Age light look Megaw metres neck ring niello observer ornate painted past patterns personal ornaments photographs pottery representation responses ritual role Roman Iron Age Saint-Denis shape silver similar statues structures stylised surface Sutton Hoo Sutton Hoo buckle Tassilo Chalice temperate Europe textiles three-dimensional tion tumulus Uffington White Horse V.S. Ramachandran viewer Vimose vision visual perception visual world visually complex objects