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Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (General list, Trade Division); First Edition edition (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085720730X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857207302
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'From 2003 to 2009, the archaeologist Mike Pearson led the Stonehenge Riverside Project that studied Stonehenge… His book is a detailed account of that archaeological survey, expressed in a genial style that invigorates the story of the groundwork' --Iain Finlayson, The Times

'The book describes one of the outstanding archaeological projects of recent years. It is accessible, original, carefully researched and important. But, above all, it is exciting' --Richard Bradley, Reading University

About the Author

Mike Parker Pearson is a Professor of Archaeology at Sheffield University. He is an internationally renowned expert in the archaeology of death and also specialises in the later prehistory of Britain and Northern Europe and the archaeology of Madagascar and the western Indian Ocean. He has published 14 books and over 100 academic papers.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Morris on 26 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read other reviews of this book, I was unsure whether or not to buy it.

In this book, Professor Parker-Pearson uses an easy going style to describe the sequence of events which led to recent discoveries in the last few years. Focusing not just on the monument but its surrounds and other relevant locations, the book takes care to explain how and why recent investigations took place. New discoveries are recorded in some detail together with short descriptions of existing knowledge and a useful revision of the established time-scale for the monument's construction: The attention to describing new information leads to a slightly dis-jointed approach, which was probably unavoidable given the breadth of sources; but compensated for by the enthusiasm which runs through the book.

Overall, the book is different from other works on Stonehenge because of the concentration on providing the latest information, from a variety of investigation projects, in an easily digestible form.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr Richard W Moseley on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Firstly, I should state that I am no archaeologist, but I do hold a keen interest in Stonehenge and its people.
For me, this book is excellently written in a style that is authoritative, extremely informative, yet entertaining to read.
In fact, I polished it off in less than a week!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an interesting and very readable account of recent archaelogical discoveries at or near Stonehenge and the quarries in Wales and elsewhere connected with the stones. As such it doesn't pay much heed to any mystical connotations to the henge and instead concentrates on evidence gleaned from the new digs. The reason I would say get the book rather than the kindle edition is the large number of drawings, maps and plans don't reproduce well on the kindle and they are often integral to one's understanding of the material. I would also say that the author's unfussy style can't really extend the potential readership of this book beyond those interested in solid history and/or archaelogy so the lay reader may find some of this quite dull. The words solid and dependable apply to this book rather than exciting and exhilarating hence only 4 rather than 5 stars.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul E.Pickering on 13 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb book BUT I ordered it thinking that it was a new and updated version of his previously published book on Stonehenge only to find that it was only a different title and presentation of the cover to go to the USA market. Was a bit of a con!! Should have had this made clear in the adverts
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By henros on 12 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superb review of the latest findings from the Stonehenge region (with the emphasis on "region"), together with an interpretation of these findings, all expressed as a technical report but with every term explained for those unfamiliar with the language. Extremely readable, with interspersed anecdotes and personal experiences and, where appropriate, conflicting views of the evidence.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. R. O'Neill on 13 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every age gets the Stonehenge it wants/deserves/needs.

There are many varying theories that have and are proposed for "why Stonehenge was built" and we are all entitled to our views. No one wil have the complete answer but this comes very close to an integrated logical interpretation.

Parker-Pearson based upon an a ethnographic analogy suggesteed by Ramilisonina (with the Stonehenge Riverside Project (SRP) team) combine many lines of scientific investigation and interpretation to present a complex yet well argued explanation of when, why and how this iconic monument was built. Most importantly it explains what the monument was used for. Stonehenge is placed within its landscape - a palimpsest of ritual activity since the early Mesolithic. M P-P also follows scientific practice by predicting features prior to excavation - eg. the links to the R.Avon.

Archaeological texts can be very dry but this is NOT. It is as if you are sitting across a pub table listening to M P-P tell the story of his investigations with SRP over the last years. Time flies by as you read and I fell asleep several times in the early hours desparate to read the next chapter. He has managed to organise this book in a very readable manner combining accurate hard science with interpretaion and a great narrative style. If you ever get the chance to hear him lecture take it. M P-P acknowledges and welcomes that this interpretation is open to review but at present it provides the best approximation for understanding this location.

Other reviewers have provided details. (There is only one negative reviewer - but I would respectfully suggest that this is a 'rather biased' view of a competing concept). Not that I would deride this concept - I just cannot afford c.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An American edition, with naff cover and US spelling, but don't let that put you off. MPP, doyen of Stonehenge studies, unfolds in a very readable way the state of knowledge at the time of writing, and ruthlessly yet compassionately demolishes the bad science of earlier workers, always acknowledging the imperfections of the process of excavation and subsequent analysis, and how the wrong excavator can inadvertently get the wrong results. Archaeology synthesises many basic disciplines into a holist approach, and this book underlines that firmly. There are many flashes of humour too, such as the pub-barring of one of the hard-digging, hard-drinking 1967 Durrington Walls team. A very satisfying and authoritative addition to my archaeology shelf.
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