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Prehistoric Art1

Nature volume 96, pages 624625 (03 February 1916) | Download Citation



IN an advancing science like anthropology, it is well to take stock periodically of the material which is so rapidly being accumulated. Mr. Parkyn in this book displays much industry in studying the literature of the subject; but his work must not be taken to be the last word on the subject, nor does it supply an adequate history of prehistoric art. His survey covers an enormous period, from the Palæolithic Age down to that of Late Keltic ornament, and the pressure on his space in dealing with such a mass of material necessarily forbids detailed investigation of evolution or æsthetics, while his imperfect sense of style and the desire to compress the facts make his book hard reading. At the same time, it is well documented and provided with a number of good illustrations, some of them in colour, and many old friends, which will render it useful to the student if he is prepared to treat it as a “source” book. It may be used with advantage as a supplement to the “Ancient Hunters,” by Prof. Sollas, who has described with notable success early man from the physical and ethnographical side.

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