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Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland [Hardcover]

Carleton Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2007
Some time 6,000 years ago, the members of a now long-forgotten tribe dragged and lifted carefully chosen stones into place and built Ireland's first Temple of Stone. Over the next 2,000 years, hundreds more megalithic tombs were built across the country and then, around 2000 BC, the building stopped and the knowledge of what these remarkable stone structures meant to their builders was lost. After 4,000 years of silence, however, the stones are no longer mute. Every year, archaeologists discover more about these enigmatic monuments and instead of a single, simple answer to the question of what the megalithic tombs meant to those who built them, there is a multitude of answers, each one more intriguing that the next. As the Office of Public Works celebrates 40 years of the winter solstice at Newgrange and we enter Samhain, the Celtic New Year, Carleton Jones brings together the interpretations surrounding our megalithic tombs in a fully-illustrated popular format, shedding light on our ancestors belief systems and rituals and their deliberate manipulations of the world around them, often with drug-induced hallucinations. All key sites in Ireland are discussed with 100 Sites Worth Visiting listed in a final chapter with photos, maps and detailed directions.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: The Collins Press; illustrated edition edition (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905172052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905172054
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 22.8 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Written with the layman in mind without forgetting that the serious-minded also need their diagrams fully notated --Sunday Tribune

Written in a clear and lucid style but is also filled with interesting details concerning a broad range of topics and ideas. --Irish Arts Review

Accessible text is enriched by superb photos. --British Archaeology

About the Author

Dr Carleton Jones lectures in archaeology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Author of The Burren and the Aran Islands - Exploring the Archaeology, his work is widely published.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Michael
Excellent reference book on the significant Megalithic sites of Ireland. Carleton Jones has distilled the knowledge of all the relevant previous publications and combined it with his own research and photographs to create a must have book for anyone interesting in the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. It is three books in one, anyone of which could have been issued in its own right. 1) Background to the Megalith Builders 2) In Depth studies of the many Megalithic Sites 3) A field guide including maps. The bibliography lists about 140 books, a testament to the depth of research. Dr. Carleton Jones lectures in archaeology at the National University of Ireland in Galway, so knows his stuff, however the book is easy to read and attractively laid out with many excellent photographs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A First Class Book 29 April 2009
One of the best archaeological books I have ever read!! The site descriptions and explanations are excellent and are accompanied by lots of colour photos and diagrams. I visited many of these sites last year and very much enjoyed reading this book subsequently. It is both a great reference book and a lovely souvenir. Very readable and suitable for both the general reader and the enthusiast.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Archeology for the General Reader 27 May 2008
By S. Magliocco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This lavishly-illustrated book details the history, distribution, form and content of Irish megalithic monuments, most of which contain some human remains, and are therefore classed as tombs. But as archeologist author Carleton Jones makes clear, these were much more than tombs. By studying them, we can learn a great deal about the people who built them: their social structure, worldview, and something of their beliefs and rituals as well. Don't expect gauzy twaddle about ancient goddesses and magic here. Jones is a serious archeologist; his work is theoretically informed by the processual and post-processual schools (groups of scholars who look at archeological remains for what they can tell us about the social origins of cultural change, and groups of scholars who use archeological data to hypothesize about ancient beliefs, rituals and human experiences). It is very clear when the author is laying out facts, and when he is hypothesizing or offering interpretations. What I liked is that he is also honest about what we DON'T know about the peoples who built these monuments. Still, it's fascinating to speculate about these ancient humans whose beliefs and practices were so different from our own -- and who, as humans, shared many of our own concerns and experiences, from creating and maintaining group identities to memorializing their dead. Gorgeous color photographs, black-and-white diagrams, tables and road maps enhance this book. The author provides detailed directions for locating each monument, including driving maps and indications of whether you will need Wellies (rubber boots) to visit the site. If you plan to travel to Ireland, photocopy the section in the back with the maps and locations of the monuments so you can make sure to visit some (the book itself is rather heavy and impractical to pack in luggage).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's More to Ireland Than Newgrange... 23 Jun 2008
By George Spelvin - Published on Amazon.com
An excellent descriptive survey of megalithic monuments and neolithic tombs of Ireland. Whether amateur or professional, or you simply possess a curiosity regarding ancient Irish culture, this book will be highly informative and enjoyable. There is wonderful detail about ancient sites in all counties, as well as a handy "finders guide" included in the book to help locate tombs and sites that are off the beaten path. Though the neolithic 'celebrity' sites are included, the many details on the lesser-known passage graves and wedge tombs sets this book apart. Beautifully written, both professionals and everyday enthusiasts will gain much from it. Excellent photos, diagrams, and I appreciated that the author focused on the significance and role that the surrounding landscape may have played in how the sites for these monuments may have been chosen. If you have an interest in this time period and want to be inspired further, I highly recommend Temples of Stone. Now, If Amazon would just correct the typo in the subtitle...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish Megalith Book of High Quality 2 Jan 2009
By C. Volland - Published on Amazon.com
Temples of Stone is a book of very high production quality. It is filled will great photographs and illustrations. It also includes a remarkably thorough list of tomb sites with directions to facilitate visits and a series of color maps covering the entire country.

The book includes some detail that only an archaeologist could love. However the author goes beyond the academic to provide interesting interpretations of structural design, neolithic art and the setting within the landscape.

It's a great reference book for those who have a strong interest in the megaliths of Western Europe.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Temples of Stone 25 Dec 2011
By Ms Jan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am so happy to have purchased this book. I've been fascinated by these megaliths for years. This book illustrates these stones of wonder in a visual & verbal tones anyone would enjoy. The photographs are beautiful and well done with calculations of size & location with various fragments of tools & pottery found in the areas. The maps in back show where these monuments rise giving the reader to evaluate the relationship to other stones across the county. This is a must to get!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Detailed-for-Travelers 18 April 2012
By carneye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This gorgeous tome is meant for lavishing the senses on history, while giving the traveler EXACT specifications on where and how (geographic conditions) to approach the megaliths. It's brilliant, but not portable. [Delivery ontime and safe.]
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