MEN OF THE OLD STONE AGE by

MEN OF THE OLD STONE AGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the second edition of a volume of lecture notes by H. Breuil, revised and updated (after 20 years) by Lantier. The classroom hangs heavy in the earlier chapters, which eschew speculation and seem more like exercises in terminology and labeling. This is not odd: Breuil was no armchair popularizer of paleontology but a field researcher (he mentions himself in the third person). As he displays, the popular view of Stone Age cultures based mainly on the use of stone artifacts is weirdly inaccurate. Rather than with ""brows villainous low,"" early man probably first expressed himself with a Bone Age and a Wood Age, the sophisticated utensils of which have disintegrated. The chapter on the ""bone industry"" and numberless ways of tooling bones is remarkably uplifting and reminiscent of Picasso on pottering. Flints left a more. durable but deceptive record. Discussed also are hunting, fishing, shelter, clothing, geology, cave art, magic, myth, religion and funeral customs. Behind all these pots and fossils we sense man's incredible imagination--and two wonderful thumbs.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press