A provocative study on the evolutionary significance of art through explorations of the difference between Western and non-Western societies.
Reprint. Originally published in 1982 by Payot, Paris. Courbin emphatically argues that the primary task of archaeology is the establishment of facts--stratigraphies, time sequences, and identifications of tools, bones, potsherds--and that archaeology is a distinct discipline, separate from history and anthropology. A new theory of the evolutionary significance of art (meaning not only visual art, but music, poetic language, dance, and performance). Art is regarded from a biobehavioral or ethological viewpoint and is shown to be a biological necessity in human existence and a fundamental characteristic of the human species. Dissanayake claims that the arts evolved as a means of making socially important activities memorable and pleasurable, and thus have been essential to human survival. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)