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Download The Star-Crossed Stone: The Secret Life, Myths, and History of a Fascinating Fossil epub

by Kenneth J. McNamara




Throughout the four hundred thousand years that humanity has been collecting fossils, sea urchin fossils, or echinoids, have continually been among the most prized, from the Paleolithic era, when they decorated flint axes, to today, when paleobiologists study them for clues to the earth’s history. In The Star-Crossed Stone, Kenneth J. McNamara, an expert on fossil echinoids, takes readers on an incredible fossil hunt, with stops in history, paleontology, folklore, mythology, art, religion, and much more. Beginning with prehistoric times, when urchin fossils were used as jewelry, McNamara reveals how the fossil crept into the religious and cultural lives of societies around the world—the roots of the familiar five-pointed star, for example, can be traced to the pattern found on urchins. But McNamara’s vision is even broader than that: using our knowledge of early habits of fossil collecting, he explores the evolution of the human mind itself, drawing striking conclusions about humanity’s earliest appreciation of beauty and the first stirrings of artistic expression. Along the way, the fossil becomes a nexus through which we meet brilliant eccentrics and visionary archaeologists and develop new insights into topics as seemingly disparate as hieroglyphics, Beowulf, and even church organs.An idiosyncratic celebration of science, nature, and human ingenuity, The Star-Crossed Stone is as charming and unforgettable as the fossil at its heart.

Download The Star-Crossed Stone: The Secret Life, Myths, and History of a Fascinating Fossil epub
ISBN: 0226514692
ISBN13: 978-0226514697
Category: Science
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Author: Kenneth J. McNamara
Language: English
Publisher: University of Chicago Press; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (November 15, 2010)
Pages: 280 pages
ePUB size: 1933 kb
FB2 size: 1706 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 147
Other Formats: rtf docx lrf lit

Fordregelv
Fascinating book...at first I thought it would focus on the fossil echinoid, but it draws in archaeology, history of religions and more to make a compelling read. The visual image for star, a five pointed shape, isn't really what a "real" star looks like, and the argument for the origins lying with echinoderms is interesting. Also uncanny how many fossils were buried with young women and children, more than a little eerie thinking about what it all meant to people then. I would highly recommend!
Fhois
How wonderful that Mr. McNamara wrote such a well researched book on this rare topic. We are very appreciative!