A New Understanding : Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age MonumentBook - 2013
Stonehenge stands as an enduring link to our prehistoric ancestors, yet the secrets it has guarded for thousands of years have long eluded us. Until now, the millions of enthusiasts who flock to the iconic site have made do with mere speculation—about Stonehenge’s celestial significance, human sacrifice, and even aliens and druids. One would think that the numerous research expeditions at Stonehenge had left no stone unturned. Yet, before the Stonehenge Riverside Project—a hugely ambitious, seven-year dig by today’s top archaeologists—all previous digs combined had only investigated a fraction of the monument, and many records from those earlier expeditions are either inaccurate or incomplete.
Stonehenge—A New Understanding rewrites the story. From 2003 to 2009, author Mike Parker Pearson led the Stonehenge Riverside Project, the most comprehensive excavation ever conducted around Stonehenge. The project unearthed a wealth of fresh evidence that had gone untouched since prehistory. Parker Pearson uses that evidence to present a paradigm-shifting theory of the true significance that Stonehenge held for its builders—and mines his field notes to give you a you-are-there view of the dirt, drama, and thrilling discoveries of this history-changing archaeological dig.
Baker & Taylor
An archaeologist who participated in a seven-year excavation at the historic monument describes recent findings that correct previously-held notions about the site, including the dating and significance of the structure as well as how the builders lived.
Pearson (archaeology, University College London), drawing on the results of a seven-year excavation and unprecedented access to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, brings factual proof to a subject rife with speculation. The book corrects previously erroneous dating, augments knowledge about the builders, clarifies the significance of Stonehenge as a celestial instrument and burial ground, and, above all, contextualizes the monument, dispelling the myth of the solitary monument on the Salisbury plain, and placing it within the broader Neolithic picture of one of the densest prehistoric settlement in Europe. He tells the story of their high-profile dig and summarizes how the Stonehenge Riverside Project has changed the way we think about Stonehenge. For example, Stonehenge is a product of Britain, not of a distant Mediterranean civilization, and it is a place of the dead. The project was able to refine the monument's chronology as well, and found that evidence uncovered suggests that sun and moon alignments mark times of gathering and celebration, rather than portraying Stonehenge as an abstract astronomical calendar. The book also points out that, interestingly, Stonehenge is not really a henge. There are 21 chapters in this updated and in-depth, very readable book. Supporting the text is a multitude of illustrations, including 16 pages of color photos and drawings, as well as black-and-white illustrations, along with notes and bibliography. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An archeologist who participated in a seven-year excavation at the historic monument describes recent findings that correct previously-held notions about the site, including the dating and significance of the structure as well as how the builders lived.