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Helpful Votes: 21

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Prehistoric Art: The Symbolic Journey of Humankind
Prehistoric Art: The Symbolic Journey of Humankind
by Randall White
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from $38.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, May 15, 2011
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This books is fairly light reading, has many pictures :), and requires no pre-requisite knowledge.

Specially for anyone with an interest in older historic art in the pre-BCE timeframe, such a book on pre-historic art (in many regions going back 10's of thousands of years) appears essential. This book alludes to potentially multiple reasons for such "art", and the difficulty of interpreting such art in our present-day context in most societies. Our mismatched context lies not only in the deeper cultural issues and disconnect from nature we live in today, but also in far simpler causes such as viewing the art on a two dimensional page of the book under artificial light, when it was created and perhaps best viewed in its original three dimensional form in the flickering light of burning wood or coal. Perhaps also accompanied by story-telling, music, or other rituals.

The lessons seem relevant when attempting to understand and interpret not only European cave paintings and artifacts from that era, but also later artifacts/antiquities (not covered in this book) from the first "civilizations", which are considered to have arisen much later during the period 10,000 BCE to 4,000 BCE.

So --- even if you don't have a clue about cave paintings, but if you have an interest in antiquties from the period 10000 BCE - 1000 BCE, from regions such as the near-east, far-east, and Europe, I think this book, which its insights into earlier time periods and anthropology in general could increase your depth (of your understanding or lack thereof).

The Oxford Companion to Wine
The Oxford Companion to Wine
by Jancis Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
58 used & new from $1.73

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and Ambitious, May 31, 2005
This book is a superb no-nonsense overview of wine from around the world, and is certainly more of an encyclopedia than any of the other "wine encyclopedias" of which I am aware. Topics covered include the known science and chemistry of wine, global geographic distribution of varietals including details of wine growing regions that may not be as widely known to many readers, several thousand types of wine, and the history of wine growing regions. In my opinion this book is unparalleled as of yet. These comments are for the first edition of the book, however I suspect the second edition is even better.

Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series)
Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series)
by Joan Aruz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $71.25
31 used & new from $44.97

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, March 27, 2005
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This is a superbly illustrated and written book, with photographs of renown artifacts from museums around the world, and even more outstanding essays by relevant scholars. I suspect anyone interested in Ancient Art from the formative stages (3000-2000 BCE) of the world's first civilizations will enjoy reading this book.

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