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"A stimulating, authoritative, and highly readable examination of the origins of human thought."--Choice "Most interesting to those scholars interested in seeking materialist foundations or ecological explanations for religious practices."--American Antiquity "This excellent study reconstructs the ancient religions of Southwestern Europe from 35,000 to 10,000 years before the present. Building on the available archaeological evidence, Dickson shows what we know--and don't know--about this era's peoples and their religious practices. Both scholars and general readers will appreciate the book's clear review of the literature on paleolithic material culture, on the formal analysis of prehistoric cave and mobiliary art, and on what can be inferred about the period from studies of modern hunting-and-gathering peoples. . . . Well-written and highly recommended."--Religious Studies Review "A well-written and intellectually rigorous introduction. If you are curious about prehistory, you will enjoy it."--Wilson Library Bulletin "A well-written and concise account of what has recently been achieved by the investigations of spiritual life of the Earth's most ancient human communities."--Archiv Orientalni (Czechoslovakia)