A Cosmos in Stone

Interpreting Religion and Society Through Rock Art

By (author) David J. Lewis-Williams

Publication date:

16 April 2002

Length of book:

336 pages


AltaMira Press

ISBN-13: 9780759101951

J. David Lewis-Williams is world renowned for his work on the rock art of Southern Africa. In this volume, Lewis-Williams describes the key steps in his evolving journey to understand these images painted on stone. He describes the development of technical methods of interpreting rock paintings of the 1970s, shows how a growing understanding of San mythology, cosmology, and ethnography helped decode the complex paintings, and traces the development of neuropsychological models for understanding the relationship between belief systems and rock art. The author then applies his theories to the famous rock paintings of prehistoric Western Europe in an attempt to develop a comprehensive theory of rock art. For students of rock art, archaeology, ethnography, comparative religion, and art history, Lewis-Williams' book will be a provocative read and an important reference.
The ideas of David Lewis-Williams, director of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of Witwatersrand, have had a profound impact on rock art studies in southern Africa, and more recently, on the interpretation of Upper Paleolithic art...The book brings together the development of Lewis-Williams's thoughts about rock art, published between 1972-1997...A Cosmos in Stone is a valuable source for students of rock art...