- Publisher: Amberley Publishing
- Format: Hardback | 160 pages
- Dimensions: 158mm x 232mm x 20mm | 422g
- Publication date: 19 August 2012
- Publication City/Country: Chalford
- ISBN 10: 1445605635
- ISBN 13: 9781445605630
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 71 colour illustrations
- Sales rank: 568,100
A comprehensive illustrated history of the prehistoric megalithic structure at Stonehenge and those who built it. Stonehenge is the best known but least understood prehistoric monument in the British Isles. Other stone circles are impressive and atmospheric, but none approach the sophistication of Stonehenge. The stones visible today represent the final phase of a monument that was begun about 5,000 years ago, and altered several times during the next fifteen centuries, before it was finally abandoned. The site may have been a sacred place for at least 10,000 years, reaching back to about 8,000 BC, when people of the Mesolithic era began to set up pine totem poles, the holes for which were found in excavations close to the circle. Patricia Southern's new history considers the conflicting theories around how it was built with such precision and why. Did the stones arrive at Stonehenge by humans, or were they transported there by glaciers long before the first monument was built? Was it a religious centre for unknown rites and ceremonies? Did it function as an observatory for the sun and the moon, a sort of stone calendar to mark the seasons and the appropriate festivals? One thing it never was, a Druid temple. It was built, used, and abandoned long before the ancient Druids came on the scene, but their modern counterparts have claimed it, so in that sense it is still a temple, just as it can be for any other visitors to this important World Heritage Site. Highly illustrated with nearly 100 colour photographs and drawings.
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Patricia Southern is an authority of the early history of England and Europe and the author of twelve history books and historical biographies. These include: ROMAN BRITAIN: A NEW HISTORY ('Many people already know the history, it is in the detail and the structure in which it is presented that is so entertaining. Anyone with even a basic interest in the past may have a hard time putting this book down.' MINERVA); ANCIENT ROME: THE RISE & FALL OF AN EMPIRE 753BC-AD476 ('Clear and witty' OXBOW BOOK NEWS, 'A lucid book' CHOICE); CLEOPATRA ('In the absence of Cleopatra's memoirs, Southern's commendably balanced biography will do very well' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. 'Scholarly and readable... looks carefully behind the rhetoric of a hostile ancient press' DR PETER JONES); JULIUS CAESAR ('Her style is delightfully approachable: lean and lucid, witty and pacy' ANTIQUITY); DOMITIAN: TRAGIC TYRANT ('A lively and wittily written book - the story of a strange life, enjoyably told' CLASSICAL JOURNAL); THE ROMAN EMPIRE FROM SEVERUS TO CONSTANTINE ('Writing with her usual surpassing skill for a broader readership, Patricia Southern distills and immense body of scholarship in history, military archaeology and numismatics' ANTIQUITY). She lives in Northumberland.
Table of contents
1 Introduction 2 Before Stonehenge: The Mesolithic to the Early Neolithic, c. 8000 BC to c. 3000 BC 3 The First Stonehenge, c. 3100 BC to c. 2550 BC 4 The Neolithic Builders of Stonehenge, c. 3100 BC to c. 2400 BC 5 The First Stones of Stonehenge, c. 2550 BC to c. 2450 BC 6 Stonehenge As We Know It, c. 2450 BC to c. 1800 BC 7 The Stonehenge People: Late Neolithic to the End of the Bronze Age, c. 2500 BC to c. 700 BC 8 Ever After, c. 700 BC to Modern Times Glossary Further Reading List of Illustrations