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The First Fossil Hunters

Author: Adrienne Mayor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400838444
Size: 56.42 MB
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Griffins, Cyclopes, Monsters, and Giants--these fabulous creatures of classical mythology continue to live in the modern imagination through the vivid accounts that have come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Romans. But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in The First Fossil Hunters. Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact--in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans. As Mayor shows, the Greeks and Romans were well aware that a different breed of creatures once inhabited their lands. They frequently encountered the fossilized bones of these primeval beings, and they developed sophisticated concepts to explain the fossil evidence, concepts that were expressed in mythological stories. The legend of the gold-guarding griffin, for example, sprang from tales first told by Scythian gold-miners, who, passing through the Gobi Desert at the foot of the Altai Mountains, encountered the skeletons of Protoceratops and other dinosaurs that littered the ground. Like their modern counterparts, the ancient fossil hunters collected and measured impressive petrified remains and displayed them in temples and museums; they attempted to reconstruct the appearance of these prehistoric creatures and to explain their extinction. Long thought to be fantasy, the remarkably detailed and perceptive Greek and Roman accounts of giant bone finds were actually based on solid paleontological facts. By reading these neglected narratives for the first time in the light of modern scientific discoveries, Adrienne Mayor illuminates a lost world of ancient paleontology.

Fantastic Creatures In Mythology And Folklore

Author: Juliette Wood
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441130608
Size: 11.95 MB
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Drawing on historical sources, myth and folklore, Fantastic Creatures in Mythology and Folklore explores the roles of fantastical beasts - particularly the unicorn, the mermaid, and the dragon - in a series of thematic chapters organised according to their legendary dwelling place, be this land, sea, or air. Through this original approach, Juliette Wood provides the first study of mythical beasts in history from the medieval period to the present day, providing new insights into the ways these creatures continue to define our constantly changing relationship to both real and imagined worlds. It places particular emphasis on the role of the internet, computer games, and the cyberspace community, and in doing so, demonstrates that the core medieval myth surrounding these creatures remains static within the ever-increasing arena of mass marketing and the internet. This is a vital resource for undergraduates studying fantastic creatures in history, literature and media studies.

The Oxford Handbook Of Animals In Classical Thought And Life

Author: Gordon Lindsay Campbell
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199589429
Size: 31.54 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life is the first comprehensive guide to animals in the ancient world, encompassing all aspects of the topic by featuring authoritative chapters on 33 topics by leading scholars in their fields. Both the realities and the more theoretical aspects of the treatment of animals in ancient times are covered in chapters which explore the domestication of animals, animal husbandry, animals as pets, Aesop'sFables, and animals in classical art and comedy, all of which closely examine the nature of human-animal interaction.

U S International Exhibitions During The Cold War

Author: Andrew James Wulf
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 144224643X
Size: 39.61 MB
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This book advances an understanding of cultural diplomacy that examines a single area of government and private sector partnership, and what became in the mid-twentieth century the most prominent manifestation of this alliance—the cultural exhibitions sent abroad to “tell America’s story” with the goal of “winning hearts and minds.”

Fossil Legends Of The First Americans

Author: Adrienne Mayor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400849314
Size: 16.30 MB
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The burnt-red badlands of Montana's Hell Creek are a vast graveyard of the Cretaceous dinosaurs that lived 68 million years ago. Those hills were, much later, also home to the Sioux, the Crows, and the Blackfeet, the first people to encounter the dinosaur fossils exposed by the elements. What did Native Americans make of these stone skeletons, and how did they explain the teeth and claws of gargantuan animals no one had seen alive? Did they speculate about their deaths? Did they collect fossils? Beginning in the East, with its Ice Age monsters, and ending in the West, where dinosaurs lived and died, this richly illustrated and elegantly written book examines the discoveries of enormous bones and uses of fossils for medicine, hunting magic, and spells. Well before Columbus, Native Americans observed the mysterious petrified remains of extinct creatures and sought to understand their transformation to stone. In perceptive creation stories, they visualized the remains of extinct mammoths, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and marine creatures as Monster Bears, Giant Lizards, Thunder Birds, and Water Monsters. Their insights, some so sophisticated that they anticipate modern scientific theories, were passed down in oral histories over many centuries. Drawing on historical sources, archaeology, traditional accounts, and extensive personal interviews, Adrienne Mayor takes us from Aztec and Inca fossil tales to the traditions of the Iroquois, Navajos, Apaches, Cheyennes, and Pawnees. Fossil Legends of the First Americans represents a major step forward in our understanding of how humans made sense of fossils before evolutionary theory developed.