Prehistoric Astronomy and Ritual

Prehistoric Astronomy and Ritual

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Stonehenge was not an observatory used by druidical astronomer-priests. It was, instead, a monument in which the moon and the sun and the dead were joined together. In this book the author explains how people in the British Isles, four thousand or more years ago, identified life and death with the cycle of midwinter and midsummer and with the risings and settings of the sun and moon. This is why so many megalithic monuments have astronomical sightlines built into them. This book describes how astronomical customs developed in the British Isles. Unlike other works about 'megalithic astronomy' technical explanations about azimuths and declinations are kept to their simplest. The emphasis here is upon people rather than pertrubations and eclipses.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 72 pages
  • 150 x 210 x 4mm | 176.9g
  • Shire Publications
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 45 col & 8 b/w illus
  • 0747806144
  • 9780747806141
  • 1,155,014

Table of contents

Introduction; Discovery and proof of Prehistoric astronomy and ritual; Sun, moon and Prehistoric people; Problems and some answers: Callanish and Ballochroy; The Primitive phase: Burial Places, 4000-3000 BC; The developed phase: stone circles, 3000-2000 BC; The local phase: standing stones, 2000-1250 BC; Balquhain: 'The Stone that puts the starts to flight'; The future; Sites to visit; Further reading
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About Aubrey Burl

Aubrey Burl is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and an Honoary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. His interest has always been in the early societies of prehistoric Britain, particularly in their ritual practices.
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