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Prehistoric Ritual and Religion: Essays in Honour of Aubrey Burl
by Aubrey Burl, Alex Gibson (Editor), Derek Simpson (Editor)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0750915986, Paperback)Ritual monuments are among the most remarkable and enduring aspects of prehistory. They are a tangible reminder of life in the distant past. In modern times, they form the focus of constant study and reinterpretation because they provide a key for modern understanding of prehistoric people. In this text, the authors apply modern research to selected prehistoric sites in order to suggest ways of approaching one of the most evocative subjects in archaeology. The book concentrates first on monumental remains such as stone circles, passage graves, timber circles, palisaded sites and henge monuments. These structures indicate the richness and emotive power of prehistoric architecture, and they are among the most conspicuous signs of early human society to survive in substantial numbers in the present landscape. The authors go on to examine the ceremonial aspects of prehistoric manufacture and trade in order to account for the ritual value of artefacts. In particular, they consider the magical significance of stone axes, jet artefacts, ceramics and wooden idols which had more than a simple utilitarian purpose for our ancestors. They also assess prehistoric astronomy, the Celtic ritual calendar and the orientation of stone age monuments in relation to lunar or solar observations. The book takes a broad view of the subject as a whole, and covers sites and monuments in Ireland, Scotland, England, Brittany and elsewhere in North-West Europe.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:30 -0400)
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