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Author and archaeologist Neil Oliver on Wisdom of the Ancients:
‘I wrote this book in search of answers to questions that I have been asking for a large part of my adult life about how and why to be alive. As someone who is fascinated by history and archaeology it had occurred to me that some of our ancestors must have asked the same questions. Our brains – our onboard computers – are still running on hunter software for the most part, so it made sense to me that some of their answers, things that satisfied them in their world, might satisfy us in ours.
Wisdom of the Ancients is not a conventional history book, not at all. If anything it’s an attempt to rediscover and celebrate the landscapes of the past. Our ancestors went to great lengths to try and understand what it means to be human and alive. I hope, in these troubled and troubling times, that some of the answers they found may be of help to us today.’
From ancient monuments to forgotten rituals, discover the wisdom of our ancestors…
THE PERFECT READ FOR TROUBLED TIMES
From the bestselling author of The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places comes this inspiring and beautifully written meditation on the wisdom inherited from our ancestors.
For all we have gained in the modern world, simple peace of mind is hard to find. In a time that is increasingly fraught with complexity and conflict, we are told that our wellbeing relies on remaining as present as possible. But what if the key to being present lies in the past?
In Wisdom of the Ancients, Neil Oliver takes us back in time, to grab hold of the ideas buried in forgotten cultures and early civilizations. From Laetoli footprints in Tanzania to Keralan rituals, stone circles and cave paintings, Oliver takes us on a global journey through antiquity. A master storyteller, drawing on immense knowledge of our ancient past, he distils this wisdom into twelve messages that have endured the test of time, and invites us to consider how these might apply to our lives today. The result is powerful and inspirational, moving and profound.
Reading Wisdom of the Ancients is like putting on the finest headphones ever made. Here, cutting out the background noise of a society fevered by consumption and sensation…is a book that really makes you think and offers up the excitement of discovering things that when you read them make you fizz like understanding a foreign language you never realised you knew. This book is the equivalent of diving into a cool sea on a baking hot day, you emerge smiley and refreshed. I wish I had written this. ― Tim Smit
Neil Oliver writes beautifully – bringing the past to life and letting us see ourselves in a new light. ― Alice Roberts
A fascinating fact-laden expedition through the ages. Oliver’s erudition shines off every page. ― Anna Pasternak
About the Author:
Neil Oliver was born in Renfrewshire in Scotland. He studied archaeology at the University of Glasgow and worked as an archaeologist before training as a journalist. In 2002 he made his television debut presenting BBC2’s Two Men in a Trench in which he and Tony Pollard visited historic British battlefields. Since that time he has been a regular on TV, presenting A History of Scotland, Vikings, and Coast. He was appointed President of the National Trust in Scotland in 2017. He travels all the time, but his home is in Stirling, with his wife, three children and an Irish wolfhound.