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How Ancient Europeans Saw the WorldVision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times$
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Peter S. Wells

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143385

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143385.001.0001

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Of Monsters and Flowers

Of Monsters and Flowers

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Of Monsters and Flowers
Source:
How Ancient Europeans Saw the World
Author(s):

Peter S. Wells

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691143385.003.0001

This chapter first discusses the new style of imagery and ornament that emerged during the fifth century BC. The new style has been the source of endless controversy since the latter half of the nineteenth century. Strange creatures, part human, part beast, were crafted onto gold and bronze jewelry and cast onto the handles and lids of bronze vessels. Metalsmiths created lush new forms of decoration—incised and relief ornament based on floral motifs such as leaves and petals, with spirals, S-curves, and whirligigs decorating objects ranging from pottery to sword scabbards. This style was a radical departure from the forms of representation and decoration that preceded it. The chapter then sets out the book's purpose, namely to study a two-thousand-year period in Europe, from 2000 BC to the Roman conquests during the last century BC and the first century AD, known by the terms “Bronze Age” and “Iron Age.”

Keywords:   prehistoric community, imagery, ornament, Bronze Age, Iron Age, visual world, visualization

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