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The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times by Adrienne Mayor at Abbey's Bookshop,

The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times

Adrienne Mayor

9780691150130

Princeton University Pres


History; Ancient history: to c 500 CE; Classical Greek & Roman archaeology; Folklore, myths & legends; History of science

Paperback

400 pages

$33.00  $29.70

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Griffins, Cyclopes, Monsters, and Giants - these fabulous creatures of classical mythology continue to live in the modern imagination through the vivid accounts that have come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Romans. But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in The First Fossil Hunters . Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact - in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans. As Mayor shows, the Greeks and Romans were well aware that a different breed of creatures once inhabited their lands. They frequently encountered the fossilized bones of these primeval beings, and they developed sophisticated concepts to explain the fossil evidence, concepts that were expressed in mythological stories. The legend of the gold-guarding griffin, for example, sprang from tales first told by Scythian gold-miners, who, passing through the Gobi Desert at the foot of the Altai Mountains, encountered the skeletons of Protoceratops and other dinosaurs that littered the ground. Like their modern counterparts, the ancient fossil hunters collected and measured impressive petrified remains and displayed them in temples and museums; they attempted to reconstruct the appearance of these prehistoric creatures and to explain their extinction. Long thought to be fantasy, the remarkably detailed and perceptive Greek and Roman accounts of giant bone finds were actually based on solid paleontological facts. By reading these neglected narratives for the first time in the light of modern scientific discoveries, Adrienne Mayor illuminates a lost world of ancient paleontology.

By:   Adrienne Mayor
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   571g
ISBN:  

9780691150130


ISBN 10:   0691150133
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   April 2011
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Awaiting stock   Availability explained
Our supplier is currently out of stock. You can order it and we will ship it to you upon arrival.

Adrienne Mayor is the author of Fossil Legends of the First Americans ; Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs ; and The Poison King , which was a finalist for a National Book Award in 2009. She is a research scholar in classics and history of science at Stanford University.


The First Fossil Hunters brings together mythology, art, geology, and paleontology in a convincing manner. . . . Mayor's chronicles do more that entertain; as she contends, they also show that people of Greek and Roman times had a broad understanding of fossils as organic remains of extinct organisms . . . -- Tim Tokary, American Scientist

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