Ancient Stones

Ancient Stones : The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily

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A richly illustrated guide to the dolmen culture of Prehistoric Sicily. Scattered around the world in woods and on mountains dolmens have posed a mystery for hundreds of years. The interpretations of these mysteries have been extremely imaginative over the centuries. But in Sicily it has only been in recent years that the presence of numerous megaliths has been revealed. This manual provides a comprehensive guide to the dolmens of Sicily and the artefacts as well as historical and cultural associations of these prehistoric sites. With 26 black and white illustrations
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Product details

  • Paperback | 62 pages
  • 191 x 235 x 3mm | 125g
  • Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0956510620
  • 9780956510624
  • 727,719

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Our customer reviews

Whoever decides to read this work on prehistoric dolmens in south-east Sicily probably has some notions regarding prehistory, especially the Bronze Age, though may not know the characteristics of the author�??�?�¢�¢?�¬�¢?�¢s specific investigations in detail. In fact the research deals with monuments that are little known in Sicily but better accredited to other areas of Europe and the Mediterranean. Salvatore Piccolo set himself to explain the dolmen phenomena in Europe in the prehistoric Megalithic context, reaching a finely detailed description of the ancient stones to be found in the south-east of the island of Sicily. It presents a lot of new material, much of it the work of the author himself. Piccolo presents an updated map of their distribution in Sicily: a little number are found in western island, but the major concentrations are in eastern, and the author argues that there was at least many migration of northern people into Sicily. This volume highlights one thing, a greater understanding on the human travel in the course of the centuries. The attractively produced book is a very welcome addition to the literature on bronze Age in Sicily. The greatest among its many strengths is the author's demonstration how some monuments, not considered till all of time, can be investigated through close examination of specific archaeological evidence and how such an investigation can help us understand what life was like for people who lived in the past. The human remains and ceramic fragments, found by the author in one of these sites, are the most significant features: they show tombal characteristics of these small monuments and their dating to the end of the 3rd and the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C. We need more like this! Anthony B. (Archaeologist)show more
by Anthony
The Prehistory of Sicily, especially during the Neolithic Age, is an important contribution to the study of the development of social stratification of Europe. The study of the past gives us opportunities to analyse these processes, and to see other ways of being, rather than a fixed human condition. Ancient Stones, make an important point in time contribution to research into, giving us the awareness of the great journeys that men faced at all times. Mike more
by Mike
Anyone visiting Sicily ought to do a day trip to see the prehistoric burial sites: Monte Bubbonia (near Gela), Avola, Cava dei Servi and Cava Lazzaro (in the Syracuse area). The one's easiest to get to is that of Avola, some twenty kilometres south of Syracuse on the eastern coast of the island. The building is surrounded by thick and wild vegetation seems, at first sight, to be made of one enormous “chalk slab” of varying thickness. On the surface of the slab, ten small rectangular hollows are to be seen. Travelling from Gela to Piazza Armerina, rises a high hill called Mount Bubbonia. The monument is in a position that notably overhangs an area of flat land that is surrounded by hills. Made of colossal splinters of rock, with no significant modifications, the dolmen is rectangular in shape. The original architectural idea was without doubt a small chamber tomb, also to be found in Sardinia and in Apulia. Lastly, Cava dei Servi and Cava Lazzaro dolmens, placed in Syracusan territory. Both monuments are semi-oval in shape and formed by rectangular slabs fixed into the ground. Sicily, because of her geographic impressiveness right in the middle of the Mediterranean, attracted every type of cultural experience, passing on the effects to those areas that were influence, both to the north and the south. For this reason, it is an island full of mystery. Excellent book, to read! more
by Jonathan
In Sicily, the author and scholar Salvatore Piccolo has recognized some dolmens opening up to discussion about the migration of the ancient populations in the old continent. Expecially, he focused on disappearance of Tarxien civilization (Malta), around 2.500 BC. The author's own case studies prove that the new bronze age immigrants, which introduced smaller megalithic structures shaped "dolmens", arrived from Sicily, because of the similarity of Maltese dolmens to some small constructions found in the largest island of the Mediterranean sea. He concludes with a fascinating theory open to new discoveries. The style of the book is concise, lively and it appeals to a broad audience of students, scholars, and enthusiasts. more
by Ernest Brown
What is behind the disappearance of one of the most advanced civilizations of prehistoric Europe? The megalithic temples in Malta. The book develops a fascinating theory, besides constituting essential reading for professionals and students of Sicilian prehistory. It will also be of great interest to all who wish to learn more about this fascinating island... once at the centre of the more
by Melissa
The aim of this book is to provide an authoritative guide designed to be accessible both to any interested reader. It is a little essay of 62 pages, well written and comprehensive to the prehistoric archaeology of Sicily. The book is divided into three parts: The first chapter deals with the origin of these huge stone monuments that, according to the Australian archaeologist V. Gordon Childe, were erected by mythical megalithic missionaries, members of some early Aegean tribes, of the eastern Mediterranean. The principal characteristics of the dolmens (menhir, cromlech) of Britain and England are then described, going on to ponder Mediterranean dolmens (Spain, Balearic Island, Sardinia, Apulia). The chapter ends with the discovery of dolmens in Sicily. The second chapter is about Sicilian dolmens: Monte Bubbonia, Cava dei Servi, Cava Lazzaro, Avola; every dolmen is different from another, but they all exist in a European typology. In Cava dei Servi the author found anthropological remains that confirm the burial purpose of the artefact, while the few earthenware fragments legitimise dating them back to the early Bronze Age. The third chapter ends with some conclusions, and new hypothesis, that would clarify the disappearance of a big Maltese civilization that had lived between 4000 B.C. and 2200 BC: the Tarxien Culture. From a didactical point of view, the book is very well structured and the reader is optimally served. Ancient stones is a book that should be reading for all sicilian archaeology lovers, and that should be one of the travel guide to Sicily. more
by Rasty
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