THE WORLD OF ANCIENT MAN by I. W. Cornwall

THE WORLD OF ANCIENT MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It is an uphill struggle to glean any information from this English work without reading it virtually one word at a time. Most sentences are long, intricate as is the wont of British syntax, and occasionally verbose. Neither does it help that many referents are obliquely keyed by symbols to illustrative matter some pages distant. The maps and charts (prepared by the author) give an impression of clarity if one merely riffles the pages, but are not always, on closer study, easy to follow, and the purpose of M. M. Howard's undoubtedly accurate drawings might better have been served by photographs in several cases. It is not easy, either, to trust fully the scientific thinking of an author who is capable of a construction as follows: ""If we still do not fully understand the underlying causes of /such-and-such/, there must be some connection between /it/."" Perhaps the book's most interesting feature for Americans will be the concluding chapter's relevance to the ""two cultures"" dilemma of Leavis and Snow: Cornwall, rightly pointing out that the study of early environments has a necessary relationship to the study of early cultures, laments that archaeologists' training is ""rooted...in the humanities"" and that ""education (in Britain at least) denies to the committed humanist much serious participation in scientific work..."" An enigmatic jacket illustration is a suitable foretaste of the whole cumbersome work.

Pub Date: July 21st, 1964
Publisher: ohn Day