By John R. Hinnells
Historical civilisations workout an extreme fascination for individuals across the world. This guide offers a brilliant, scholarly, and eminently readable account of old cultures worldwide, from China to India, the center East, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. It examines the improvement of non secular trust from the time of the Palaeolithic cave work to the Aztecs and Incas. masking the total of society not only the elite, the instruction manual outlines the background of the several societies in order that their faith and tradition will be understood in context. each one bankruptcy comprises dialogue of the vast box of appropriate reports alerting the reader to wider debates on every one topic. a global staff of students express their very own deep enthusiasm for his or her topic and supply a different learn of either well known and 'official' faith within the historic global.
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Extra info for A Handbook of Ancient Religions
He exposed the superficiality of comparing photographs of modern shamans with the images of ‘sorcerers’ in Les Trois Fr`eres or Gabillou (Fig. 5), or of finding a simplistic parallel between the bird on a pole in Lascaux and the American Pacific Northwest practice of putting the effigy of a bird on top of a shaman’s tomb. He was, of course, correct. Since those early attempts, others have tackled the problem more thoroughly. ´ Mircea Eliade, for instance, thought that it was no coincidence that many similarities existed between shamanism in the Altai and in the Americas, as ‘a certain form of shamanism was probably brought to the two American continents ´ with the first waves of immigrants’ (Eliade 1951:267).
For pigment, they used iron oxides for the reds and charcoal or manganese dioxide for the blacks. They made images with their fingers on soft surfaces inside the caves, or finer ones with flint tools on the harder surfaces of walls and ceilings. To explore the deeper caves, they used wooden torches and, later on, grease lamps with a wick. Upper Palaeolithic artists depicted mostly animals and geometric ‘signs’. From among the available animals around them, the image-makers chose to represent the big herbivores which they hunted, especially horses, bison and aurochs, ibex and all varieties of deer.
Footprints of an eight- to ten-year old boy from a much earlier period were recently found in Chauvet. A number of remains are from what researchers have, rashly, taken to be purely ‘practical’ activities They include the remains of fires, hearths, torches, and bones left over after meals, as well as ‘lost’ tools. Other remains clearly cannot be explained as the result of ‘practical’ activities. Deposits of objects, such as bear teeth or teeth of other animals, shells, flints or antlers, in small cavities in the walls almost certainly testify to ritual practices.
A Handbook of Ancient Religions by John R. Hinnells