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Inside the Neolithic Mind

Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods

David Lewis-Williams, David Pearce


A brilliantly argued and elegantly written examination of the intricate web of belief, myth and society in the Neolithic period


This fascinating book continues the story begun in the bestselling and critically acclaimed book The Mind in the Cave. Drawing on the latest research and recent discoveries, the authors skilfully link material on human consciousness, imagery and belief systems to propose provocative new theories about the causes of an ancient revolution in cosmology, the origins of social complexity and even the drive behind the domestication of plants and animals. In doing so they create a fascinating neurological bridge to the mysterious thought-lives of the past and reveal the essence of a momentous period in human history.


'A literary and scientific tour de force'

'An engaging, well-written and erudite book, which makes many suggestive observations and provides stimulating reading'
British Archaeology

'Gives us as clear a picture as I’ve seen of how the people of the New Stone Age thought, of the myths that sustained them and of what they really believed'
Sunday Telegraph

'Bold, provocative, scintillating … a brilliant synthesis of archaeology and human neurology … food for thought on every page'
Brian Fagan

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.8 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Publication date: 13 September 2018

ISBN: 9780500294413

Contents List

Preface • 1. The Revolutionary Neolithic • 2. The Consciousness Contract • 3. Seeing and Building a Cosmos • 4. Close Encounters with a Built Cosmos • 5. Domesticating Wild Nature • 6. Treasure the Dream Whatever the Terror • 7. The Mound in the Dark Grove • 8. Brú na Bóinne • 9. Religion de Profundis • 10. East is East and West is West

About the Author

David Lewis-Williams is Professor Emeritus and Senior Mentor in the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg. Among his books are The Mind in the Cave, Inside the Neolithic Mind (with David Pearce) and The Shamans of Prehistory (with Jean Clottes).

David Pearce is a researcher in the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg

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