Synopses & Reviews
Britain's leading expert on stone circles brings new insights to this accessible exploration if the greatest stone circle of them all.
Every aspect of Stonehenge's changing cults and evolving architecture is reconsidered in Aubrey Burl's new analysis. Burl explains for the first time how the outlying Heel Stone long predates Stonehenge itself, serving as a trackway marker in the prehistoric Harroway. He uncovers new evidence that the Welsh bluestones were brought by glaciation, not man. Burl reveals how the design of Stonehenge was influenced by Breton styles and cults of the dead. Meticulous research sets the record straight on the matter of astronomical alignments. Although the existence of a sightline to the midsummer sunrise is well known, the alignment and the viewing position are critically different from popular belief. And the existence of an earlier alignment to the moon and later one to the midwinter sunset had been largely unrealized. Another puzzle remains. The Stonehenge circle sits at the heart of a six-mile wide neolithic graveyard, but before it was built there appears to have been a mysterious gap two miles across on that site. Burl offers an exciting new theory that earlier totem-pole style constructions served a ceremonial purpose for the living--to celebrate success in the hunt.
About the Author
Aubrey Burl is former principal lecturer in archaeology, Hull College of Higher Education, and has carried out extensive fieldwork in Britain,Ireland and Brittany. His many books on stone circles include Prehistoric Avebury and A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany.