Back to the garden : nature and the Mediterranean world from by James H. S. McGregor

By James H. S. McGregor

The backyard was once the cultural beginning of the early Mediterranean peoples; they stated their reliance on and kinship with the land, they usually understood nature in the course of the lens in their diversely cultivated panorama. Their photograph of the backyard underwrote the biblical e-book of Genesis and the region’s 3 religions. For millennia, there has been no sharp divide among humankind and the land that used to be domestic. to make certain, the weather should be harsh, their origins mysterious, yet there has been a frequent consensus that presumed a principally harmonious operating dating with Nature. conventional agriculture within the old Mediterranean mimicked the main characteristics of clearly happening ecosystems. It was once different, complicated, self-regulating, and resilient.
This dating successfully got here to an result in the overdue eighteenth century, whilst “nature” was once progressively equated with the untamed panorama without human intervention. within the early a part of the century, the human international, the rural realm, and the province of uncultivated nature have been one non-stop box with out inner barriers. via century’s finish, despite the fact that, key writers had created a pointy divide inside of this continuum and separated the rural international from the realm of nature. This abrupt and dramatic switch of sensibility upended ecological knowing and had huge, immense consequences—consequences with which we're nonetheless struggling.
In Back to the Garden, James H. S. McGregor argues that the environmental problem the realm faces at the present time is as a result of the Western society’s abandonment of the “First Nature” principle—of the harmonious interrelationship of human groups and the flora and fauna. This crucial paintings bargains a brand new knowing of environmental responsibility whereas offering that improving the unique imaginative and prescient of ourselves, no longer as antagonists of nature yet as cultivators of a organic global to which we innately belong, is feasible via confirmed options of the prior. a lot has been misplaced, the panorama has been degraded, and conventional wisdom has died away. yet there's nonetheless a lot that may be recovered, studied, and reimagined.

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Additional resources for Back to the garden : nature and the Mediterranean world from prehistory to the present

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Houses could be bigger or smaller, but all were designed in the same way. From the roof hatch a ladder angled down to rest against the southern interior wall, where the hearth and the oven were placed. There were platforms of different sizes—probably for sleeping and resting—set into the floor against the north wall. In many houses, bodies have been discovered, buried beneath the floors. Males were buried under the easternmost platform and females under a platform to its west. The westernmost platform in a house could cover the remains of either men or women.

No palace complex was discovered, and no quarter of the city appears to have been devoted to people of a superior social rank. 11 Like the cave painters of the Paleolithic, the men and women who lived in Çatalhöyük used wall art to represent the world as they understood it. Scattered among the houses were buildings identified by the excavators as shrines. Structured like houses, the shrines were distinguished by their decoration. 12 The main room of the shrine seems designed to support multiple and complex cult activities.

The armless torso ends in a bull’s head shaded in black and drawn in profile. The bull’s bright white eye seems to stare straight toward the viewer. Beyond this composite figure is a cave lion walking away but looking back. The apparently human trunk and legs with a bull’s head attached is unique not only as a representation of the human figure but also as an assemblage of body parts that do not cohere in nature. The singularity of this minotaur-like creature has led investigators to call it a shaman.

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