The Buried Soul: How Humans Invented Death

Timothy Taylor

From the author THE PREHISTORY OF SEX, a coruscating, insightful history of the human soul

Cannibals, burials, vampires, human sacrifice, bog people – throughout history our ancestors have responded to death in numerous ways. The past has left us numerous relics of these encounters between the dead and those they leave behind: accounts of sacrifices in early histories, rituals that have stood the test of time, bodies discovered in caves and bogs, remains revealed by archaeological digs.

Through these insights into the past, Tim Taylor pieces together evidence of how our ancestors created their universe and asks how we have dealt with the idea of the end and slowly come to create not only a sense of the afterlife but also the soul.

Tim Taylor’s investigation in the invention of the human soul, from the earliest remains of burial to funeral rituals in ninth century Steppes and the mummification of Lenin in Moscow, is a breathtaking combination of research, insight and scholarship that has profound resonance today.

Combining history, archaeology, philosophy, cutting edge science and autobiography, THE BURIED SOUL is a radical and unique adventure into the sepulchral world. Constantly illuminating and insightful, it is not only a fascinating investigation into popular science but also a thought provoking and discursive examination of ourselves.

Reviews of The Buried Soul: How Humans Invented Death

    • “I never would have thought that archaeology would be so interesting, so relevant to how we think today … and so disturbing. In “The Buried Soul”, Timothy Taylor tells a provocative and often grisly tale. This is a fascinating book, grippingly written, of considerable scope and ambition.”Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University
    • No archaeoogist who reads this book will ever be able to contemplate human remains with the same innocence as before, nor can any reader regard fellow humans with as much optimism. Taylor calls into question the adequacy of both the ecological rationalism and the cultural relativism that for decades have been the interpretational mainstays of archaeology…Taylor makes a major contribution to building a more comprehensive understanding of human beings.Bruce Trigger, Professor of Anthropology, McGill University