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Great Crowns of Stone: The Recumbent Stone Circles of Scotland [Hardcover]

Adam Welfare
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2011
Recumbent stone circles are among the most spectacular ancient structures you could ever hope to see. Silhouetted against a skyline, they dominate the landscape for miles around, presenting a range of architectural devices that draw the visitor to confront a massive horizontal stone placed between two tall pillars on a southern arc. These recumbent stones - altar stones in popular folklore - are blocked doorways to another world, a world sprung from the imaginations and beliefs of peoples who lived some 4,000 years ago. The densest concentration of stone circles in the British Isles is found in north east Scotland. Although far from Stonehenge, these monuments have much in common with that famous structure and other great rings of the ancient world. While some of Scotland s circles have suffered grievously - plundered of their stones and ploughed up in the 18th and 19th centuries - many still survive largely intact, preserving their enigmatic legacy. Illustrated by unique plans and photographs, Great Crowns of Stone is the product of more than ten years of research, drawing on studies stretching back to the early 16th century. A landmark book, it presents the most radical and complete account of these evocative ancient monuments ever published.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) (1 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902419553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902419558
  • Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 21.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Thorough, scholarly, beautifully illustrated . . . Sheds fascinating new light on Scotland's most enigmatic stone circles. --Current Archaeology

Detailed but never dry, this is a magnificently glossy tome for the coffee table but also for the back seat of the car as you seek out Scotland's ancient stone circles for yourself. --Scotland in Trust

A masterpiece of careful analysis . . . far better than anything that has been written on the subject before. It gives rise to ideas that may have an application far beyond the study area, and even beyond Scotland altogether. --Richard Bradley, The Prehistoric Society

About the Author

Adam Welfare is an archeological investigator for the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) specialising in the study of stone circles.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent companion to the Gazetteer 8 Dec 2011
By Golux
This book is surely set to be the standard reference on RSC's. A comprehensive coverage of the whole field ('scuse the pun) underpinned by the the exhaustive records of RCAHMS and the canmore database. Be sure to go to the RCAHMS website to download the 306-page companion work "Great Crowns of Stone.pdf", an A-Z gazetteer of all the RSC's mentioned in the book, giving the historical and archaeological records for each along with many photographs and plans (go to [...]
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait 23 Aug 2011
This book surpasses my expectations, and challenges ones preconceived notions about the recumbent stone circles of NE Scotland. Having visited some of them myself, I find the writer has not distracted from the mystery of them. Interestingly, he quotes Julian Cope and Burl, who have done much in the way of discovery and preservation. Beautiful photographs of many of the RSC's are a pleasure to behold. The graphs and antique renderings of many of the sites add to the engaging quality of the text.
After reading this glorious book, one will make haste to venture out to NE Scotland to visit one or all of the RSC's. Kudos to Adam Welfare!
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