Stonehenge Complete

Stonehenge Complete

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  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.67g
  • 22 Jun 1983
  • Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • London
  • 200ill.(18col.).55M.
  • 0500050430
  • 9780500050439

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Review text

A meticulous, abundantly illustrated chronology of the Stonehenge legend that goes far to explain the peculiar fascination the ruins hold for people of the British Isles. Under review is not just the Druid revival and new astronomical interest, but a much older and continuous history of links with giants, with Merlin and Arthurian legend, with the folklore of healing, battle, sacrifice, and miracle. At times Stonehenge has been considered temple, throne, tomb, theater, or trophy; it has been attributed to Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Beaker Folk, Mycenaeans, and of course Druids. "Stonehenge in the 1980s," concludes the archaeologist author, "comes in a great many more than fifty-seven varieties." Like Troy, Stonehenge is now considered to be a succession of buildings and artifacts dating back as far as 3100 B.C. The "true" Stonehenge was probably completed around 2000 B.C. with the huge sarsen stones and lintels in horseshoe configuration and an outer circle of smaller stones. It is known that the sarsens were dragged from Avebury (probably by sledge), and the bluestones from Wales, to be set up in a flat chalkland. "These alien materials were moreover used perversely in a wooden method of construction literally translated into stone. The whole venture is wrongheaded and shows a deep obstinacy of attitude which might be said to be the strongest of all British national traits." These wry remarks, along with fresh thoughts on prehistoric methods of analysis, enhance the book's surpassing scholarship. Essential for serious enthusiasts. (Kirkus Reviews)

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