- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
This item may be
Check for Availability
This title in other editions
Stonehenge: A New Understanding: Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument
Synopses & Reviews
Stonehenge stands as an enduring link to our prehistoric ancestors, yet the secrets it has guarded for thousands of years have long eluded us. Until now, the millions of enthusiasts who flock to the iconic site have made do with mere speculation--about Stonehenge's celestial significance, human sacrifice, and even aliens and druids. One would think that the numerous research expeditions at Stonehenge had left no stone unturned. Yet, before the Stonehenge Riverside Project--a hugely ambitious, seven-year dig by today's top archaeologists--all previous digs combined had only investigated a fraction of the monument, and many records from those earlier expeditions are either inaccurate or incomplete.
"A University College London archeology professor and leader of the groundbreaking Stonehenge Riverside Project expounds on recent research into the famed site in this revelatory study. The ambitious project represents the most current thinking on the construction of Stonehenge, its relation to surrounding Neolithic sites, and its possible purpose. As Pearson (If Stones Could Speak) writes in the introduction, 'in archaeology, context is everything.' As such, he and his team took as their working hypothesis the idea that Stonehenge could only be understood in the context of other proximal sites, particularly Durrington Walls. The spark for the idea came from a Malagasy colleague, Ramilisonina, who suggested that, as in Madagascar, perhaps the timber circles of Durrington were indicative of a monument to the living, and the stones of Stonehenge to the dead. In his recounting of seven seasons of archaeological digs at Stonehenge, Durrington, and other sites in the area, Pearson addresses everything from the bureaucracy of archaeological permissions to whether the druids, either prehistoric or modern, are relevant to an understanding of Stonehenge. This detailed work may challenge casual readers, but it will prove immensely rewarding to any student of the subject. 16-page color insert, b&w photos throughout. Agent: Bill Hamilton, A.M. Heath & Co. (U.K.). (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Despite its being one of prehistory's most alluring landmarks, before the Stonehenge Riverside Project led by noted archeologist Mike Parker Pearson, only half of Stonehenge itself--and far less of its surroundings--had ever been investigated, and many records from previous digs are inaccurate or incomplete.
With fresh evidence based on seven years of unprecedented access to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, this excavation replaces centuries of speculation about even the most fundamental mysteries of Stonehenge with hard proof. Stonehenge changes the way we think about the site, correcting previously erroneous dating, filling gaps in our knowledge about its builders and how they lived, clarifying the monument's significance both celestially and as a burial ground, and contextualizing Stonehenge--which sits at the center of one of the densest prehistoric settlements in history--within the broader landscape of the Neolithic Age.
About the Author
Mike Parker Pearson is professor of archaeology at Sheffield University and an internationally renowned expert in the archaeology of death. The author of fourteen books and over 100 academic papers, he led the Stonehenge Riverside Project from 2003 to 2009. He has appeared in the National Geographic Channel documentary Stonehenge Decoded and in the NOVA episode “Secrets of Stonehenge.”
What Our Readers Are Saying
History and Social Science » Archaeology » British Isles