Origins: how new archaeological thinking is changing the way we understand history

Origins - the book

Second session tonight of the new course for Stanford Continuing Studies – seeing how the ideas in my new book come across to a live audience. [Link]

Last week I set the scene with the accounts of origins that we accept as lying behind human history: revolutionary events precipitating the emergence of modern humans, agriculture, cities and civilization, and the modern world.

This week I began dismantling the orthodoxy of cultural evolution and our understanding of early humans by juxtaposing the sites of Klasies River mouth (southern Cape, 90k BP) and Dolni Vestonice (Moravia 29k BP), asking what happened between the two to overwhelmingly change experience of everyday life.

My answer hinges on a new kind of interaction between everyday experience and biology, one that involves a new kind of distributed consciousness and the beginnings of spiritual awareness.

I had forgotten the tremendous power of the figures from the mammoth hunter’s home …

Dolni Vestonice

I will post the progress of the class.

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