Prehistoric Avebury

Fay Godwin (Cover illustrations) New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Hardcover. The format is approximately 8.875 inches by 10.5 inches. vii, [3], 275, [3] pages. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Minor wear to the dust jacket. The DJ is price-clipped. Harry Aubrey Woodruff Burl FSA HonFSA Scot (24 September 1926 – 8 April 2020) was a British archaeologist known for his studies into megalithic monuments and the nature of prehistoric rituals associated with them. He was Principal Lecturer in Archaeology, Hull College, East Riding of Yorkshire. Burl received a volume edited in his honor. He was called by The New York Times, "the leading authority on British stone circles". Burl's work, while considering the astronomical roles of many megalithic monuments, was cautious of embracing the more tenuous claims of archaeoastronomy. In Prehistoric Avebury Burl proposed that Circles and Henge monuments, far from being astronomical observatories for a class of "astronomer priests" were more likely used for ritualistic practices, connected with death and fertility rites, and ancestor worship. Rituals would have been performed at key times of the year, such as the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice, to ensure a successful harvest from the land. His approach led him to question what he saw as the over-romanticized view that Stonehenge was built from bluestones hauled from the Preseli Hills to Salisbury Plain. In his view, the stones had been left close to the site by earlier glaciers and then exploited by the monument's builders. Research by earth scientists shows that glacier ice, at least once, passed through Pembrokeshire did cross the coasts of Somerset and Devon. This magnificent book is a fascinating account of the prehistoric stone circles at Avebury, which not only date from an earlier era but are also larger than the more famous sarsen stone circle of Stonehenge. Written by a leading archaeologist, the book considers every aspect of Avebury's history and construction and discusses the probable purpose of these massive structures, in the process creating a vivid and moving picture of their creators-a primitive people whose lives were brief, savage, and fearful. Condition: Very good / Very good.

Keywords: Avebury, Stone Circles, Excavation, Megalithic Monuments, Prehistoric Rituals, Archaeology, John Aubrey, Beaker Pottery, Chambered Tombs, Earthworks, Ring Stone, Sanctuary, William Stukeley, Stonehenge, West Kennet, Fertility, Sexual Symbolism

ISBN: 0300023685

[Book #88023]

Price: $55.00

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