Lines: A Brief History

Front Cover
Routledge, Apr 14, 2016 - Social Science - 190 pages

What do walking, weaving, observing, storytelling, singing, drawing and writing have in common? The answer is that they all proceed along lines. In this extraordinary book Tim Ingold imagines a world in which everyone and everything consists of interwoven or interconnected lines and lays the foundations for a completely new discipline: the anthropological archaeology of the line.

Ingold’s argument leads us through the music of Ancient Greece and contemporary Japan, Siberian labyrinths and Roman roads, Chinese calligraphy and the printed alphabet, weaving a path between antiquity and the present. Drawing on a multitude of disciplines including archaeology, classical studies, art history, linguistics, psychology, musicology, philosophy and many others, and including more than seventy illustrations, this book takes us on an exhilarating intellectual journey that will change the way we look at the world and how we go about in it.

This Routledge Classics edition includes a new preface by the author.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drspkelly - LibraryThing

A simply wonderful, thought-provoking, cross-disciplinary study. Fantastic. Read full review


Language music and notation
Traces threads and surfaces
Up across and along
The genealogical line
Drawing writing and calligraphy
How the line became straight

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Tim Ingold is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Bibliographic information