Synopses & Reviews
Until recently, archaeology was concerned mainly with piecing together the material lives of our ancestors. In this groundbreaking book, master storyteller and respected archaeologist Brian Fagan explains how cutting-edge science can now take us beyond the artifactsinto the mystical realm of shamans and spirit mediums, ancestor worship, and ritual sacrifice. From the Niles black land to the Aztecs world of the Fifth Sun, from Stonehenge to Jericho, Fagan describes how Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Geographic Information Systems, Computer Automated Design-mapping and other sophisticated scientific methods are helping us to decode the religious and spiritual beliefs of our forebears. This new archaeology of the mind” blends a wealth of scientific disciplinesfrom botany, zoology, and geology to neuropsychology, palynology, and nuclear physics. With vivid imagery and a transporting voice, Fagan revolutionizes our understanding of the inner lives of ancient people.
This book is ideal for anyone wanting an exciting archaeological read which will not make any demands in the way of deciphering complex tables of scientific results, but which nevertheless gives a rich flavour of how modern techniques are used by archaeologists to study the religious and spiritual beliefs of ancient peoples, from the last Ice Age to the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the sixteenth century. From Stonehenge to South Africa, from Egypt to Eastern North America, Fagan recounts, in compelling style, how we have arrived at our contemporary understanding of these important archaeological sites.
A prominent archaeologist uses the latest scientific techniques to interpret the spiritual lives of ancient people.
About the Author
Brian Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he has written many internationally acclaimed popular books about archaeology, including The Little Ice Age, Floods, Famines, and Emperors, and The Long Summer. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.