Culture and Cognition in Reconstructing the Past: Essays in History, Culture and Archaeology
Author Rao, K P & M N Rajesh (eds)
Year 2022
Binding Hardback
Pages xxxii+244p, col. & b/w illus., bib, 29 cm.
ISBN10, ISBN13 9383221356, 9789383221356
List Price: US $94.95
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About the Book:
The present volume has a range of papers drawn from both the conventional and cutting edge areas on aspects pertaining to archaeology, culture and cognition. Breaking away from the idea that material goods are just remnants of the past, many papers in this volume try to understand the life-world of these goods and how they played a part in the cognitive development of the people. Burial mounds and other excavation sites focus on a range of materials like ornaments, tools, structures, etc. which are invested with multiple meanings that go beyond just the practical usage. Further, some of these practices like hunting, pottery, burial practices are specific to a region and culture and at the same time have been practised by almost all the pre-literate societies and this opens the doors for interrogation at both the immediate as well as larger context and to answer the questions of history in a global context.

Art has become central and comes in many forms ranging from the arrangement of rocks, creation of shelters, buildings and design of tools and textiles. When we enter into this domain of artistic representation, the different motifs, their ritual and cultural significance is important and such practices extend to long distance trade as far as Egypt. Ethnography and ethno-archaeological approaches have been employed and some of the papers discuss the peopling of regions, perception of after life and meanings of social and cultural patterns. Technology is reflective of the cognitive achievements of the communities, and has always played key role in the progress. Articles on metallurgy, glass & pyrotechniques supplement the volume in this respect.