New Perspectives on Prehistoric Art

New Perspectives on Prehistoric Art

New Perspectives on Prehistoric Art

New Perspectives on Prehistoric Art

Excerpt

This volume has grown out of a series of lectures delivered at the University of Bristol in 2001. The annual Bristol Arts Lectures were instituted in 1911 and are directed at the general public as well as members of the university. Many of the lectures given on past occasions have been published, either individually or as a group. When in 1998 I suggested the topic of prehistoric art to the committee chairman, Michael Liversidge, he invited me to draw up a list of possible speakers. As luck would have it, more people agreed to participate than I could possibly accommodate in the program. For this reason I pursued from the very beginning the idea of a printed publication, which was kindly accepted by Elisabetta Linton, commissioning editor of Praeger, a publishing company that previously issued the posthumous edition of Hugo Obermaier's book Art in the Ice Age (1953) and T. G. Powell's Prehistoric Art (1966).

Needless to say, one volume cannot possibly attempt to cover the wide variety of approaches and methods of analysis employed in the interpretation of prehistoric art. Several academic disciplines have attempted to throw light on the early artistic expressions of humankind and have yielded, as the bibliography shows, a multitude of studies of great diversity.

The massive expansion of research into prehistoric art over the past 25 years has given rise to some useful compendia and condensed treatments of the topic in a variety of languages. However, I still have not come across a comprehensive bibliography that I could recommend to my students as an introductory guide for their independent studies. I have therefore sought to complement the chapters in this volume with a fairly wide-

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