Book Announcement: Palaeoart of the Ice Age

Palaeoart of the Ice Age now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

9781443895170
Hardback, pp260, £61.99 / $104.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Palaeoart of the Ice Age by Robert G. Bednarik.

The many hundreds of books and thousands of academic papers on the topic of Pleistocene (Ice Age) art are limited in their approach because they deal only with the early art of southwestern Europe. This is the first book to offer a comprehensive synthesis of the known Pleistocene palaeoart of six continents, a phenomenon that is in fact more numerous and older in other continents. It contemplates the origins of art in a balanced manner, based on reality rather than fantasies about cultural primacy. Its key findings challenge most previous perceptions in this field and literally re-write the discipline. Despite the eclectic format and its high academic standards, the book addresses the non-specialist as well as the specialist reader. It presents a panorama of the rich history of palaeoart, stretching back more than twenty times as long in time as the cave art of France and Spain. This abundance of evidence is harnessed in presenting a new hypothesis of how early humans began to form and express constructs of reality and thus created the ideational world in which they existed. It explains how art-producing behaviour began and the origins of how humans relate to the world consciously. Continue reading

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Book Announcement: The Exploitation of Raw Materials in Prehistory: Sourcing, Processing and Distribution

The Exploitation of Raw Materials in Prehistory: Sourcing, Processing and Distribution now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

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Hardback, pp656, £80.99 / $138.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of The Exploitation of Raw Materials in Prehistory: Sourcing, Processing and Distribution, edited by Telmo Pereira, Xavier Terradas and Nuno Bicho.

This collection presents state-of-the-art approaches to the use of inorganic raw materials in the period known as prehistory. It focuses on stone-tools, adornments, colorants and pottery from Europe, America and Africa. The chapters intimately merge archaeology, anthropology, geology, geography, physics and chemistry to reconstruct past human behaviour, economy, technology, ecology, cognition, territory and social complexity. The book represents a framework of raw material investigation for those working in science, regardless of the time period, region of the world or materials they are studying. Continue reading

Book Announcement: Symbols and Models in the Mediterranean: Perceiving through Cultures

Symbols and Models in the Mediterranean: Perceiving through Cultures now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

9781443891448
Hardback, pp295, £61.99 / $104.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Symbols and Models in the Mediterranean: Perceiving through Cultures, edited by Aneilya Barnes and Mariarosaria Salerno.

This collection spans a vast chronology and territory, ranging from Old Kingdom Egypt to modern-day Slovenia and moving geographically from the centres to the peripheries of the Mediterranean and back again, including Antinoë, Calabria, Belgrade, and Paris. While this volume can be situated well within the context of Mediterranean studies, each essay serves as a micro-study that demonstrates one of the many ways in which Mediterranean communities have co-opted, appropriated, and adapted symbols from one another. As a result, this interdisciplinary volume adds something unique to each discipline represented within it (including history, anthropology, art history, literature, and philosophy, among others) while contributing to the greater discourse of Mediterranean studies. Furthermore, the essays collectively illustrate how symbols were distributed widely among Mediterranean communities and, consequently, further a dialogue about what “Mediterranean” might mean. Overall, the original content and its accessibility make the volume valuable to academics, graduate and undergraduate students, and general audiences alike. Continue reading

Book Announcement: Varian Studies Volume Three: A Varian Symposium

Varian Studies Volume Three: A Varian Symposium now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

9781443895767
Hardback, pp440, £67.99 / $114.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Varian Studies Volume Three: A Varian Symposium, edited by Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado.

Heliogabalus and Elagabalus are names given since late antiquity to the mythical or legendary avatar of Varius Avitus Bassianus. Varius was Roman emperor AD 218–222, ruling as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was simultaneously High Priest of the Syrian sun god Elagabal. Heliogabalus and Elagabalus, names derived from Elagabal, are often used as misnomers for Varius himself, but more properly designate his avatar, who is far better known than Varius. The Varian avatar, under these and other names, survives and thrives in historiography, as well as in more avowedly creative literature, music, dance, the visual arts, and popular culture. Continue reading

Book Announcement: The Land of Fertility II: The Southeast Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to the Muslim Conquest

The Land of Fertility II: The Southeast Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to the Muslim Conquest now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

9781443891257
Hardback, pp150, £63.99 / $108.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of The Land of Fertility II: The Southeast Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to the Muslim Conquest, edited by Łukasz Miszk and Maciej Wacławik.

The contributions in this volume are based on papers presented at the second international conference on “The Land of Fertility”, held at the Institute of Archaeology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, in June 2015. This event was part of a cycle of conferences concerning the area of the so-called “Fertile Crescent”, a region in the south-east Mediterranean where the modern world started its development at the very beginning of human civilisation. This volume presents a detailed analysis of the cities in this region, and their formation and development, as well as the urbanisation process, relations between urban centres, and urban ideology. The period covered here spans from the beginning of the Bronze Age through the ancient era to the Muslim Conquest. Continue reading

Book Announcement: Varian Studies Volume Two: Elagabal

Varian Studies Volume Two: Elagabal now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

9781443879651
Hardback, pp346, £64.99 / $105.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Varian Studies Volume Two: Elagabal by Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos.

Elagabal is the name of the Syrian sun god whose high priest Varius was, at the same time as Roman emperor, AD 218–222. Because of this connexion, Varius was misnamed Heliogabalus or Elagabalus long after his death. Second in the series Varian Studies, this book discusses Elagabal’s architectural and sculptural artefacts in Rome. These are represented by the Palatine site of the Varian Temple of Elagabal in Rome, and by relief sculpture on column capitals found in the Roman Forum, showing Elagabal with other deities, in a scene of sacrifice here reconstructed as Elagabal’s Idyll. The Varian Temple of Elagabal in Rome confirms on topographical grounds an hypothesis regarding the site of that temple on the Palatine, concurring with current archaeological opinion based on other grounds. It also shows that the site in question has definite astronomical implications. Elagabal’s Idyll gives a full account of scholarship concerning the three column capitals and the debate about their origin and function. It then goes on to analyse the iconography of one of them in order to explore the cosmology, theology and ritual of the cult of Elagabal. Continue reading