Download Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from by James H. S. McGregor PDF

By James H. S. McGregor

The backyard was once the cultural beginning of the early Mediterranean peoples; they stated their reliance on and kinship to the land, and so they understood nature throughout the lens in their diversely cultivated panorama. Their picture of the backyard underwrote the biblical publication of Genesis and the region’s 3 significant religions.

In this crucial melding of cultural and ecological histories, James H. S. McGregor means that the environmental predicament the realm faces this present day is as a result of Western society’s abandonment of the “First Nature” principle--of the harmonious interrelationship of human groups and the flora and fauna. the writer demonstrates how this courting, which persevered for millennia, successfully got here to an result in the overdue eighteenth century, while “nature” got here to be equated with untamed panorama with out human intervention. McGregor’s crucial paintings deals a brand new knowing of environmental responsibility whereas providing that convalescing the unique imaginative and prescient of ourselves, now not as antagonists of nature yet as cultivators of a organic global to which we innately belong, is feasible via confirmed innovations of the previous.

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Extra resources for Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present

Sample text

Many of the caves that they occupied over thousands of years passed into the hands of the anatomically modern humans who followed. From their choice of shelters, their tools, and from the evidence of their hunting and scavenging, it is possible to draw a picture of the Neanderthal in the landscape. In the typical museum installation, we see hairy creatures none too clean, draped with skins and looking slightly unfocused. In a tableau at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History they are grouped in a cave looking at The Paleolithic Landscape 17 the burial of one of their fellows in the floor beneath them.

A cave bear’s skull set on a rock and two bear femurs thrust into the mud remain where they were put millennia ago. Probably the most evocative feature of the cave is the many footprints preserved on its floors. The path traced by an adolescent who 20 Forging First Nature visited the site can be followed across the hardened clay. To make sure that he or she could find the way back out of the cave, the child made soot marks with a torch on the ceiling. The carbon in these smudges has been dated to twenty-six thousand years ago.

This sequence of actions, which could be taken for granted in modern humans, requires imagination, planning, organization of behavior, and spatial memory that many archaeologists are hesitant to ascribe to hominids like the Neanderthal. Trade might also account for the long-distance transport of high-quality stone, but trade also seems unlikely among a group that is generally believed to have been incapable of language or intricate social organization and interaction. Whatever their social and intellectual abilities might have been, in their choice of home sites the Neanderthals showed a high level of insight and intelligence.

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