Dragons' Teeth and Thunderstones: The Quest for the Meaning of Fossils

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

Abstract

For at least half a million years, people have been doing some very strange things with fossils. Long before a few seventeenth-century minds started to decipher their true, organic nature, fossils had been eaten, dropped in goblets of wine, buried with the dead, and adorned bodies. What triggered such curious behavior was the belief that some fossils could cure illness, protect against being poisoned, ease the passage into the afterlife, ward off evil spirits, and even kill those who were just plain annoying. But above all, to our early prehistoric ancestors, fossils were the very stuff of artistic inspiration. Drawing on archaeology, mythology, and folklore, Ken McNamara takes us on a journey through prehistory with these curious stones, and he explores humankind’s unending quest for the meaning of fossils.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherReaktion Books
Number of pages287
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)9781789142907
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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