Book ID: 94618
Fungi in the ancient world: how Mushrooms, Mildews, Molds, and Yeast Shaped the Early Civilizations of Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East. 2008. 13 b/w illustr. 152 p. gr8vo. Paper bd.
A comprehensive review on the impact of fungi in helping to shape ancient civilizations. Mushrooms, mildews, molds, and yeast had a surprisingly profound impact on: diet, custom, politics, religion; human, animal, plant health; art, folklore, and the beginnings of science. This insightful book is a gateway tocurrent methodologies for investigation of the co-evolution of plants, fungi, and humans from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages. This well documented book presents reproductions and descriptions of fungal motifs in ancient art, myth, and folklore that enable direct examination of evidence by any reader, professional or lay. Interdisciplinary in scope, this detailed and illustrated book includes a historical perspective on co-evolution of fungi with early agriculture that provides documented summaries of contemporary research in this area, from archaeology to molecular-genetics. It also delivers a historical perspective on the impact of fungi on human and animal health in early times, with examples of current methods used to assess historical impacts of mycotoxins, allergens, and pathogens. Translations and summaries from relevant ancient Greek, Roman, Sumerian and other texts are included, demonstrating how ancients themselves observed and recorded significant impacts of fungi.