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The Past as a Foreign Country

Bioarchaeological Perspectives on Pinker’s “Prehistoric Anarchy”

Linda Fibiger

Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature is not the first publication to have put bioarchaeological evidence for high levels of violence in prehistory into the spotlight. 1 Like Pinker, Lawrence Keeley’s War Before Civilization gave

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Lourdes Prados Torreira

performed certain tasks. For example, in prehistoric times we do not have data to tell us who made the cave paintings, or who made stone tools and the like. The discourses traditionally used for Prehistory have rarely paid any attention to women ( Díaz

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Pelasgic Encounters in the Greek-Albanian Borderland

Border Dynamics and Reversion to Ancient Past in Southern Albania

Gilles de Rapper

In the last ten years, many books and articles dedicated to Pelasgians have been published in Albania, mostly by amateur historians and linguists. These works question the official discourse on the Illyrian origin of Albanians inherited from the socialist era. They also question the relationship of Albanians with Greeks, both in ancient times and in the present. Considering the fact that a significant number of those authors originate from southern Albania and that their books are widely read and appreciated in this Albanian borderland, this article argues that the recent success of Pelasgic theories can be partially explained by the new uses of the border in the post-1991 context and by the state of relations between Albanians and Greeks as experienced at the local level. Imagining the Pelasgians as prestigious ancestors appears as an answer to feelings of inequality and marginality related to new practices of the border.

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Eskimo Art Prototypes in the Chinese Neolithic

A Comparison of Okvik/Old Bering Sea and Liangzhu Ritual Art

Feng Qu

One of the central decorative features of the Okvik/Old Bering Sea (OBS) Eskimo art is a theriomorphic design with an eyelike circle-dot motif. Seventy-five years ago, Henry B. Collins proposed the resemblance between OBS animal motifs and the Taotie (or t'ao t'ieh) faces on Chinese Shang and Zhou bronze wares. However, today his conclusion is based on outdated archaeological data. New evidence in recent decades indicates that the Chinese Bronze Age Taotie originated from mask-like imagery on jade objects of the Liangzhu Neolithic culture, third millennium BC in the Lower Yangtze River region. Comparative studies suggest more similarities in artistic designs between Okvik/OBS and Liangzhu jade than between Okvik/OBS culture and the Shang/Zhou Bronze Age cultures. The prototype theriomorphic design in Okvik/OBS Eskimo art, therefore, may originate from Liangzhu rather than from Shang and Zhou.

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Dmitry V. Arzyutov and Sergei A. Kan

Russia. This prehistory opens up an understanding of a nonlinear development of ethnography. It is noteworthy that the discursive field of Soviet ethnography also transcended internal borderlines and chronology. According to Valerian A. Kozmin, Professor

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Arlene M. Rosen

Burroughs, William James. 2005. Climate Change in Prehistory: The End of the Reign of Chaos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 336 pp., $30.00 (UK£19.99). ISBN 0-521-82409-5 (Hardback).

Ruddiman, W. F. 2005. Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 272 pp., $24.95 (UK£15.95). ISBN: 0-691-12164-8.

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Monica Janowski

The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why Did Foragers Become Farmers? By Graeme Barker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, 616 pp, $180. ISBN 0-190928109-2.

First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies. By Peter Bellwood. Malden (MA): Blackwell, 2005, £16.79. ISBN 0-631-20566-7.

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Jonathan Magonet

This article is based on a public lecture, given on the occasion of the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the International Jewish–Christian–Muslim Student Conference (JCM), and is a personal reflection on its prehistory and early development. Certain key experiences of the author and other rabbinic graduates of Leo Baeck College helped shape the principles and unique emphasis of this early attempt to address the changing religious geography of post-war Europe.

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Boris Maslov

Abstract

Pindaric odes written around the time of the French Revolution have a penchant for abstractions. Apostrophized Liberty, Fortune, Virtue, and Joy, which replaced the monarch as the ode's addressee, attest to the numinous prehistory of distinctively modern concepts that Reinhart Koselleck termed “collective singulars.” In particular, eighteenth-century Pindarics put forward representations of Liberty prevailing over an unenlightened past, which conform to the schema of victorious encounter established in Pindar's epinician odes. The article dwells closely on two ostensibly pro-revolutionary and highly influential texts in the Pindaric mold, Alexander Radishchev's Liberty and Friedrich Schiller's To Joy, which share a concept of freedom that diverges from both the republican and the liberal interpretations.

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Making 'Hope and History Rhyme'

Gender and History in Josephine Herbst's Trexler Trilogy

Angela Hubler

In representing the past, Herbst continues the realist tradition, utilising the form of the classical historical novel, which, as Georg Lukács describes it, represents the historical past as the ‘concrete prehistory of the present’.2 In ‘reconstruct[ing]’ herself, however, Herbst also deploys avant-garde formal techniques that interrupt the linear narrative chronology with what she called ‘interpretive inserts’.3 Thus, the form of Herbst’s trilogy reveals relationships between history and subjectivity, and the public and the private, that challenge the typical modernist repudiation of the significance of history and the privileging of the private over the public.