Stonehenge: Making Sense of a Prehistoric Mystery

Stonehenge: Making Sense of a Prehistoric Mystery


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Stonehenge is an iconic monument for people all around the world. Built around 5000 years ago, it stands for mystery and forgotten secrets waiting to be decoded. In this latest book in the Council for British Archaeology’s ‘Archaeology for All’ series, Professor Mike Parker Pearson presents an up-to-date interpretation of Stonehenge and its landscape. Drawing on his years of research and excavation, the author presents a highly readable account that is lavishly illustrated with images by the renowned photographer Adam Stanford and the reconstruction artist Peter Dunn.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781909990029
Publisher: Council for British Archeology
Publication date: 02/29/2016
Series: CBA Archaeology for All Series
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Mike Parker Pearson is Professor of British Later Prehistory at University College London. A distinguished prehistorian he has been involved with many major projects, including leading the recent Stonehenge Riverside Project. His many publications include Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery (2012) and From Machair to Mountains: archaeological survey and excavation in Uist (2012).

Colin Richards is Professor of World Prehistory in the Deaprtment of Archaeology at the University of Manchester where he mainly specialises in Neolithic archaeology, architecture and monumentality and ethnoarchaeology, with specific interests in Orkney and Easter Island.

Table of Contents

List of figures vii

Foreword xi

Chapter 1 Understanding the monument 1

Mesolithic beginnings 1

The arrival of farming - the Early Neolithic 5

The Middle Neolithic 11

The Late Neolithic: Stonehenge stage 1 15

The end of the Late Neolithic: Stonehenge stage 2 24

The Copper Age: Stonehenge stage 3 28

The Early Bronze Age: Stonehenge stage 4 34

The Middle Bronze Age: Stonehenge stage 5 36

Chapter 2 The Stonehenge landscape 39

A sacred place? 40

Farmers in the landscape 43

Stonehenge in the landscape 46

Stonehenge and Durrington Walls 51

After Stonehenge: barrows in the landscape 58

Stonehenge among fields 59

Chapter 3 Stonehenge and society 65

Society before Stonehenge 66

Stonehenge stage 1 - a circle for the dead 70

Stonehenge stage 2 - a meeting house for the ancestors 82

Stonehenge stages 3-4 - minor modifications to the monument 93

Chapter 4 Building Stonehenge 97

Europe's megaliths before Stonehenge 98

Special places and natural wonders 101

Building megalithic monuments 102

Stonehenge stage 1 - bringing stones from Wales 104

Stonehenge stage 2 - sarsen trilithons, circle and lintels 108

Measuring out the monument 114

Stonehenge complete? 117

Chapter 5 Stonehenge as an antiquity 121

Stonehenge stage 5 122

Stonehenge graffiti 123

Stonehenge as an ancient monument 125

Stonehenge in the 20th century 128

Peopling the landscape - past and present 132

Working in the Stonehenge landscape 133

6 Glossary 145

7 Acknowledgements 149

8 The authors and illustrators 151

9 Further reading 157

Bibliography 158

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