The Mind in the Cave

Consciousness and the Origins of Art


An intellectual adventure story, built around the quest to understand the nature of human consciousness and the dawning of art


ISBN: 9780500284650 Category:

David Lewis-Williams


What does the breathtakingly beautiful art depicted on the walls of caves such as Lascaux, Chauvet and Altamira, tell us about the nature of the ancestral mind? How did these images spring, seemingly from nowhere into the human story?

The Mind in the Cave puts forward the most plausible explanation yet proposed for the origins of image-making and art. This is a masterful piece of detective work, casting light on the darkest mysteries of our earliest ancestors and on the nature of our own consciousness and experience.

Additional information

Weight 539 g
Dimensions 15.8 x 23.5 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 May 2004
Number of pages 320
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 15.8 x 23.5 cm
Weight 539 g


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David Lewis-Williams is Professor Emeritus and Senior Mentor in the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg. Among his books are The Mind in the Cave, Inside the Neolithic Mind (with David Pearce) and The Shamans of Prehistory (with Jean Clottes).