Scenes from Deep Time: Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0226731049
ISBN-10: 0226731049
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Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The cover has visible markings and wear. There is light highlighting or handwriting through out the book. Fast Shipping - From Birchwoods Books
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The idea of "deep time" developed with the advance of geological knowledge in the Victorian age. Rudwick has studied paleontological illustrations from that period to trace changes in how scientists visualized the prehistoric world and attempted to illustrate the span of time. He finds that the dominant themes were the conception of fossils as remnants of the biblical flood, pressure from the scientific community to refrain from flights of fancy, and the lack of complete data as a basis for reconstructions. At the same time, popular illustrations showed fantastic prehistoric monsters that captured the public imagination. Rudwick's scholarly text is heavily illustrated with pictures and quotations from source material. Although some of the pictures are lively, the topic is esoteric and requires the reader to be familiar with the history of geological science. For academic libraries.
- Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, Col.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

How did the earth look in prehistoric times? Our images of the remote past, museum displays of dinosaurs and book illustrations of exotic plants and animals, are based on fragmentary evidence, yet these depictions are realistic enough to suggest that we can know exactly what the earth looked like millions of years ago. Today depictions of the earliest stages of the earth - deep time - are so common that we take them for granted, but less than 200 years ago no such pictures existed. In Scenes from Deep Time, Martin J. S. Rudwick traces the earliest attempts to reconstruct the past no one has ever seen. With over 100 stunning lithographs and engravings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many reproduced here for the first time since their original publication and accompanied by portions of the original explanatory texts, Rudwick argues that scientists and artists made earth history visually compelling as evidence from nature supplanted the biblical view of the distant past. Until 1820, the only pictorial reconstructions of earth history were illustrations of the biblical creation story. During the following decades, geologists and biologists gathered and interpreted fossil evidence that suggested the earth was millions of years old. Fossil finds inspired a new collaboration between scientists and artists, and as they became more confident in their visions of the past, they produced increasingly realistic portrayals of deep time. By 1870, the prehistoric past was depicted in the same style as the scenes we see today, and these representations continue to reflect and often shape scientific as well as public views. Because we can never completely know what life was like in deeptime, these images fascinate scientists and laypeople alike.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of Chicago Press; 1st edition (December 15, 1992)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 294 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0226731049
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0226731049
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.93 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.5 x 0.9 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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