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The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. März 2011


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"Adrienne Mayor has ... done some digging deep into the past and found literary and artistic clues--and not a few huge fossils--that seem to explain the inspiration for many of the giants, monsters, and other strange creatures in the mythology of antiquity."--John Noble Wilford, The New York Times "[Mayor] has done an admirable job ... [she] easily persuades us that these early writers indeed recorded a palaeontological bonanza centuries before the first dinosaur remains were recognised by modern science."--Richard Fortey, London Review of Books "Refreshing... Mayor presents her case with an engaging zeal... By the end of the book, you will find yourself filled with enthusiasm for following Mayor's lead in breaking down interdisciplinary boundaries and thus enriching your understanding of the human experience."--Kate A. Robson Brown, Natural History "A historical and scientific detective story of first rank... Her results are as striking as they are entertaining... The book will engage specialists with its serious purpose and extensive documentation and will please all readers with its profusion of maps, photographs, and drawings."--Mott T. Greene, Science "The First Fossil Hunters brings together mythology, art geology and paleontology in a convincing matter... In times long past, others had the same fascination we do today with the sight, feel and sense of something once living and now extinct."--Tim Tokaryk, American Scientist "Merging the fields of paleontology, archaeology and classical literature, Mayor's research has uncovered striking correlations between modern fossil finds and many of the myths and folklore that sprang up in early Western civilization."--Bryn Nelson, Newsday "Mayor [combines] the skills of the literary scholar with those of a dinosaur hunter ... [A]lthough readers will learn a good deal here about the remains of mammoths and protoceratops, they will learn much more about human imagination, that fertile source of science, of legend and of fraud."--Booklist "A surprising account of material overlooked or misunderstood by both historians of science and interpreters of Greek myth ... [T]his is clear, readable, and convincing."--Kirkus Reviews "Mayor presents her case with an engaging zeal, describing her sleuthing efforts at length ... By the end of the book, you will find yourself filled with enthusiasm for following Mayor's lead in breaking down interdisciplinary boundaries and thus enriching your understanding of the human experience."--Kate A. Robson Brown, Natural History "The First Fossil Hunters brings together mythology, art, geology, and paleontology in a convincing manner... Mayor's chronicles do more that entertain; as she contends, they also show that people of Greek and Roman times had a broad understanding of fossils as organic remains of extinct organisms ..."--Tim Tokary, American Scientist "Mayor tells a fascinating story of ancient encounters with fossils, setting modern palaeontology beside ancient art and literature ..."--Helen King, Times Literary Supplement "In many ways, this book resembles a detective story. When the author gets on the track of something, she follows it wherever it leads... The First Fossil Hunters will be a revelation to anyone interested in ancient history. For me, it is one of the best books of recent years."--Walter Friedrich, Times Higher Education Supplement "While the book is aimed at academics and presumes knowledge of contemporary debates on the power of the presidency, it is not too abstruse for the current-events minded reader... And if you're a journalist or author researching the office of the presidency, it's essential."--Lauren Mandell, NationalJournal.com "After reading Mayor's The First Fossil Hunters one thing is certain. You'll never look at classical mythology--or at the history of paleontology--the same way again."--Steve Voynick, Rock and Gem "In her introduction Adrienne Mayor takes palaeontologists and historians of palaeontology to task. At best there has been accidental ignorance and at worst wilful avoidance and misrepresentation of how much the Greeks and Romans knew about fossils ... Mayor proceeds to make her case with detailed 'chapter and verse' from the ancients. It is indeed impressive and generally very convincing"--Douglas Palmer, Geological Magazine "This book is a pleasure to read... The insight into human behavior is enough to attract anthropologists and laypeople to read this fascinating account of paleontology in ancient times."--Deborah Ruscillo, American Journal of Archaeology "Adrienne Mayor's thought-provoking book will mark a watershed in the approach to griffins and giants... For both its innovative method and its results, this well-balanced and vividly written book belongs on the bookshelf of every historian of natural sciences."--Liliane Bodson, Isis "Marshaling the array of evidence available from scholarly and popular works, and contributing her own research, Mayor shows that far from ignoring fossils, many Native American groups took great notice of them and developed elaborate myths to explain their origin... Though Mayor is careful not to homogenize native myths, she does note that virtually all of them exhibit a sense of "deep time," as geologists call it: an awareness that the world has existed for far longer than humans have walked it."--Eric A. Powell, Archaeology "Classical Corner fans will love the extensive 'Ancient Testimonia' appendix, with quotations on obvious fossil finds from numerous Greek and Roman sources--some so undeservedly obscure that these are their first English translations."--Matt Salusbury, Fortean Times "Every classical historian, philologist, or philosopher should know this enlightening work; every library that does not have the 2000-2001 edition should acquire its reissue. An attractive price and excellent presentation ought to make it a good seller to individuals as well."--Victor Castellani, European Legacy

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Adrienne Mayor is the author of "Fossil Legends of the First Americans"; "Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs"; and "The Poison King", which was a finalist for a National Book Award in 2009. She is a research scholar in classics and history of science at Stanford University.

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6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Brilliant piece of scholarly detective work, beautifully written. 11. Oktober 2011
Von Susan E. Wood - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Whether your passion is classical archaeology, paleontology, folklore, ancient literature, ancient history or the history of science, or if you just enjoy seeing a brilliant piece of interdisciplinary scholarship convincingly argued, this book is a MUST. Mayor has connected the dots between disciplines that do not communicate with each other nearly enough, to find the origins of mythical griffins, giants and monsters in the fossil records of Asia, Greece, and Egypt. Our early ancestors were far more observant and curious than we sometimes give them credit for being; they could see the same fossils that modern paleontologists have seen of Protoceratops Andrewsii in the Gobi desert. And they could create imaginative reconstructions of the living animals, just as we do in natural history museums today. Nomadic gold prospectors of central Asia intuited the connection between dinosaurs and birds long before modern paleontology did, and for all we know, Protoceratops may well have had feathers rather than scales. In Greece and Egypt, dinosaur fossils are unknown but finds of prehistoric mammal bones are fairly common -- in fact, one extinct mammal, the Samothere, bears the name of the Greek island where its bones were first identified. Ancient historians frequently mention remarkable discoveries of enormous bones, usually identified by the finders as the relics of giants or ancient heroes. These discoveries correspond closely with the locations of fossil deposits.

Mayor has done profound, exhaustive research in a variety of fields, and presents meticulously documented evidence for her theories, but the book reads as entertainingly as a good detective novel, and is just as accessible to the layman as to her fellow scholars. At the same time, Mayor never talks down to the reader or oversimplifies a complex subject. This is an exemplary work of interdisciplinary scholarship, written the way most scholars only wish we could write.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Outstanding 24. Februar 2012
Von Karl - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
If ever I read a book that was more meticulously researched than this one, I don't recall it. Adrienne Mayor does an incredible job of piecing together a paleontological puzzle long hidden in mythical obscurity. The First Fossil Hunters is an academic marvel that connects ambiguous dots to draw a picture of fossil discoveries that underwent anthropomorphic and monstrous conversions to accommodate mythical belief and hero worship.

Mayor speaks to the average reader without dumbing down the narrative, or leaving the reader in esoteric limbo. One never wonders what she's trying to say, and all speculation is clearly defined without being weighed down by insistent presumption. The book is a joy to read, logical and well reasoned throughout. However, those who prefer to be entertained by childish monster stories, or prefer to look for the reality in myths, or cling to the foolish idea that there are living dinosaurs may find Mayor's book tediously disagreeable.

Much of the book covers ancient interest in fossils with the overlying message shining a bright light on a complete misunderstanding by the early finders of what those fossils truly represented. Prehistoric dinosaur bones became griffins, and mammoths became giants and heroes. Other bones were deceitfully arranged to create tritons, nereirdes, and centaurs to dupe the willing believers. A few modern day hoaxes are mentioned for comparison, as well as to support Mayor's findings.

Mayor's book subliminally touches on common sense and gullibility as it speculates and expounds on the whos, whats, whys, and wherefores of paleomythology. One can compare much of what she presents in her findings to modern day attitudes and interpretations.

Though Mayer states that her findings and sources are far from exhaustive, the reader would swear that she left no stone unturned. I felt she covered the subject with impressive thoroughness. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading Mayor's companion book about early fossil hunters in the Americas.

In short, this book was fantastic.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Brilliant and Captivating 25. Oktober 2012
Von BookCity2012 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This was an awesome and very scholarly book written by a very competent author. It was fascinating to read about ancient greeks and romans discovering and worshiping ancient bones from extinct lifeforms. The book is very well put together and flows from chapter to chapter seemlessly. This is simply a must have for archaeologists and palentologists alike. But the airmchair folks shouldnt be discouraged because its very easy to comprehend as long as you have some background in the areas discussed. Overall its a must have and dont pass this one up!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Should be required reading. 7. Oktober 2013
Von Wayne Drake - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Dr. Mayor takes a refreshing look at an old topic, fossils. Her case for the ancients believing in Griffins is very well stated and researched. It is easy to see how ancient people came across fossils that gave belief to this animal, an animal that never existed.
I especially admire that she often says that ancient people were not stupid. They were not making up fanciful stories, but filling in holes in the evidence they saw. Since the fossils they came across were often in areas where gold existed, the belief arose that they guarded the gold.
It always amazes me that we greatly admire so much about the ancients, their engineering feats, their philosophy, the creation of civilization, and yet believe they were fools who believed all kind of children's stories.
A very intriguing book.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
I was looking for this. 18. April 2014
Von Jajadeh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I am currently writing, for my own amusement, a non-fiction "History of Geology" I needed an expert on BCE lore and this was perfect for the job. Well researched and well written. I recommend it to anyone. You do not need to be a scientist to enjoy Adrienne's writing.
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