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Stonehenge by John North


by John North

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129None146,477 (2.67)15
"John North brings a completely fresh interpretation to the most enigmatic aspects of this wonder of the prehistoric world. His discussion is tempered by meticulous analysis of ancient earthworks including long barrows, avenues, ditched enclosures, and chalk figures as well as timber and stone circles from an even earlier period than that of the builders of Stonehenge. North reveals the religious purpose enshrined in all these structures, but also irrefutably shows that they were directed at the heavens in a scientific way - in the earliest cases, to the risings and settings of the stars and, later, to those of the Sun and Moon. His extensive research has an array of implications that run contrary to received wisdom, including that Stonehenge was dedicated to observation not of the rising midsummer sun but of the setting midwinter sun. North shows us a world that had identified the heavens as the seat of supernatural power. In pursuing that faith by observing the stars and planets, these ancient Britons thought rationally and methodically about what they saw - exactly the kind of thinking that still drives astronomers' understanding of the cosmos." "North's radical argument concerning the primacy of astronomical observation takes us across Stone Age Britain and Northern Europe, visiting other famous sites such as the circles of Avebury, the hill carvings of the White Horse at Uffington and the Long Man of Wilmington in Sussex. This is not the work of an imagination obsessed with mystical speculation; North offers a showcase of groundbreaking work in the new field of archeoastronomy and profound insight into human enterprise at the dawn of civilization. Such a uniquely powerful book transforms our understanding of the intellectual achievements of prehistoric peoples and effectively illuminates the dark origins of astronomy and, indeed, science itself."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)



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