The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines (Oxford Handbooks) (Hardcover)
Figurines dating from prehistory have been found across the world but have never before been considered globally. The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines is the first book to offer a comparative survey of this kind, bringing together approaches from across the landscape of contemporary research into a definitive resource in the field. The volume is comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible, with dedicated and fully illustrated chapters covering figurines from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia and the Pacific laid out by geographical location and written by the foremost scholars in figurine studies; wherever prehistoric figurines are found they have been expertly described and examined in relation to their subject matter, form, function, context, chronology, meaning, and interpretation. Specific themes that are discussed by contributors include, for example, theories of figurine interpretation, meaning in processes and contexts of figurine production, use, destruction and disposal, and the cognitive and social implications of representation. Chronologically, the coverage ranges from the Middle Palaeolithic through to areas and periods where an absence of historical sources renders figurines "prehistoric" even though they might have been produced in the mid-2nd millennium AD, as in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The result is a synthesis of invaluable insights into past thinking on the human body, gender, identity, and how the figurines might have been used, either practically, ritually, or even playfully.
Edited by Timothy Insoll, Al-Qasimi Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology, University of Exeter Timothy Insoll is Al-Qasimi Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. Educated at the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge, he was a Research Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge from 1995 until 1998, when he was appointed Lecturer at the University of Manchester. After becoming a Reader in 2004 and being awarded a personal chair in 2005 he moved to the University of Exeter in 2016. He is the author or editor of 16 books, three special journal issues, and numerous articles and reviews on a wide range of research topics across the discipline of archaeology, and has completed fieldwork in Mali, Ghana, western India, Bahrain, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Uganda.