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How Ancient Europeans Saw the World:
Vision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times
Peter S. Wells

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Peter Wells adopts an entirely new approach to the later centuries of European prehistory. He opens our eyes to the way in which Bronze Age and Iron Age people viewed their world, drawing on current work in material culture studies to present us with a dynamic picture of the visual life of late prehistory. This book will revolutionize the way we think about the Iron Age."--Anthony Harding, University of Exeter

"We think it modern to be trapped in an impersonal world by the convenience of mass-produced commodities, yearning for the individual crafts and communities that graced an earlier, more human era. In his new book on the visual experiences and perceptions of pre-Roman societies in central and western Europe, Peter Wells teaches us that this dilemma is not uniquely modern; it has happened before. In fact before the Roman Empire expanded into northwestern Europe the people of regions far beyond the empire had surrendered an economy of individualizing crafts to mass production, preparing themselves materially for their eventual military conquest. How Ancient Europeans Saw the World is an intriguing book that attempts to revisualize swords and brooches, tombs and public spaces, borrowing cues from marketing research and art history to reconstruct how things appeared to the people who made and used them. It deserves a wide readership"--David W. Anthony, author of The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World

"This is a remarkable piece of scholarship. Wells takes the discussion of prehistoric Europe's complex material culture back to first principles, along the way shedding much of the interpretive baggage of several previous generations of scholars. He also provides an example of how an archaeological topic can be approached with clarity and logic. This book will arouse controversy and debate."--Peter Bogucki, author of The Origins of Human Society

"This is a most important book. Wells argues that after 200 BC Eurasia moved generally toward the mass production and consumption of artifacts and that this changed people's relationships with the world, in turn altering the nature of experience. How Ancient Europeans Saw the World is thought-provoking and provocative."--Chris Gosden, author of Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction

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File created: 4/24/2017

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