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Shamans of the Lost World A Cognitive Approach to the Prehistoric Religion of the Ohio Hopewell by William F. Romain

Shamans of the Lost World A Cognitive Approach to the Prehistoric Religion of the Ohio Hopewell

Part of the Issues in Eastern Woodlands Archaeology Series


Shamans of the Lost World A Cognitive Approach to the Prehistoric Religion of the Ohio Hopewell by William F. Romain

Shamans of the Lost World bridges the gap between recent work in the cognitive sciences and some of humankind's oldest religious expressions. In this detailed look at the prehistoric shamanism of the Ohio Hopewell, Romain uses cognitive science, archaeology, and ethnology to propose that the shamanic worldview results from psychological mechanisms that have a basis in our cognitive evolutionary development. The discussions in this volume of the most current theories concerning how early peoples came to believe in spirits and gods, as well as how those theories help account for what we find in the archaeological record of the Hopewell, are of interest to archaeologists and cognitive scientists alike.


Essential for programs in anthropology, archaeology, and cognitive, religious, and Native American studies.Highly recommended. CHOICE, July 2010 William Romain attempts to do the magic of mind-reading a people long gone. How did the Hopewell understand their world, or make meaning from their existence? By laying out the physical, ethnographic, and historical evidence, and mixing this brew with ingredients from the cognitive sciences, Romain concocts a potion that evokes a compelling vision of the shamanic Hopewell's lives and thoughts. Efficiently written, Shamans of the Lost World offers a model of how to do scientifically informed cognitive archaeology. -- Justin L. Barrett, Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford Overall, this is a valuable contribution to the study of religion in general and of the structure and origins of Hopewellian religion in particular. In addition to the thoroughness of basic principles and archaeological data, the book is well written and well illustrated. This book is essential for anyone interested in these important topics. Northwest Ohio History

About the Author

William F. Romain is a research associate at Ohio State University and author of Mysteries of the Hopewell: Astronomers, Geometers, and Magicians of the Eastern Woodland.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th November 2011


William F. Romain

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AltaMira Press,U.S.


270 pages


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