Shamanism and the Ancient Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Archaeology

Front Cover
AltaMira Press, 2002 - Social Science - 195 pages
Pearson brings a cogent, well-argued case for the understanding of much prehistoric art as shamanistic practice. Using the theoretical premises of cognitive archaeology and a careful examination of rock art worldwide, Pearson is able to dismiss other theories of why ancient peoples produced art_totemism, art-for-art's sake, structuralism, hunting magic. Then examining both ethnographic and neuropsychological evidence, he makes a strong case for the use of shamanistic ritual and hallucinogenic substances as the genesis of much prehistoric art. Bolstered with examples from contemporary cultures and archaeological sites around the world, Pearson's thesis should be of interest not only to archaeologists, but art historians, psychologists, cultural anthropologist, and the general public.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

CHAPTER
8
The Roots of Cognitive Archaeology
19
The Evolution of Rock Art Research
41
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

James L. Pearson has a Ph.D. in archaeology from University of California, Santa Barbara. He became an archaeologist after a long career as a business executive and is now working toward bringing archaeology to the general public.

Bibliographic information