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S. Crane "Kiwi Guy" (New Zealand)
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Prehistoric Monuments of the Lake District
Prehistoric Monuments of the Lake District
by Tom Clare
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good guide to 100 sites in the Lake District, 10 April 2009
Although there are a few books on the prehistory of the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales national parks, there is little on the Lake District. This book covers both the neolithic and bronze age monuments: burial mounds, standing stones, cists, ring ditches and causewayed enclosures. He describes the sites and has photos and plans and drawings. The book also discusses the sites more generally regarding what the structures were actually built for. Tom Clare is a professional archaeologist. The book is in typical Tempus Publisher style with plenty of colour photos and figures. It suits the general reader as well as academics. The book is probably the best on Lake District archaeology since Waterhouse's "Stone Circles of Cumbria", now long out of print.


Monuments and Material Culture
Monuments and Material Culture
by Rosamund Cleal
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Papers in honour of an Avebury archaeologist Isobel Smith, 1 Mar. 2009
The 17 papers consider monumentality and material culture in the Neolithic and early Bronze age of the British Isles, but also the later life of monuments. They include specific case studies and more wide-ranging considerations of causewayed enclosures, henges, stone and timber circles, William Cunningham & long barrows, and neolithic pottery, in Wiltshire and much further afield. It concludes with a bibliography of Isobel Smith's work. The publisher produces all sorts of books on Wiltshire, but this is not a general book on Avebury or Wiltshire archeology. For general books on the archaeology of Avebury see books of that title by Burl and Pollard.


The "Time Team" Guide to the Archaeological Sites of Britain and Ireland
The "Time Team" Guide to the Archaeological Sites of Britain and Ireland
by Tim Taylor
Edition: Hardcover

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine directory of 275 interesting archaeological sites, 5 Nov. 2006
The Synopsis is a fair description: "Region by region the Time Team select the most interesting and important sites..."
But what are these sites. How many do they describe in detail. Allow me to explain:
In the book, Britain and Ireland is divided into 15 regions; 10 for England, Wales is one, Scotland in 2, and Ireland in 2. Then 2-4 sites are described in detail for each region, a total of 51 for the book, with two and occasionally four pages for each entry. Then in each region another 15 or so sites are very briefly described, with brief directions on how to drive to each, a total of 225 for the book. The contents page unfortunately does not list the 51 detailed sites so..
The Regions and the sites described in detail are:
South west- Maiden castle, Chysauster, Bath spa town, Glastonbury abbey
South- Avebury, Stonehenge, Portchester Roman fort,
London- Roman London, Globe theatre, Merton Abbey mills
South East- Boxgrove paleolithic site, Lullington Roman villa, Fishbourne Roman British palace
Heart of England- Wroxeter lost Roman city, Kenilworth castle ruins, Ironbridge gorge, Birmingham canals
East-Grimes graves, Flag Fen, Sutton Hoo, West Stow Anglo-saxon village
East Midlands- Creswell crags prehistoric art, Arbor Low stone circle, Lincoln city
North west England- Ribchester Roman fort, Cuerdale Viking hord, Liverpool docks & ralway
Yorkshire- York, Rievaulx abbey, Wharram Percy deserted medieval 1400's village,
North England- Hadrians wall, Vindolanda roman fort,Lindisfarne, Furness Abbey,
Wales- Castell Beullys iron age hillfort, Llangorse royal fortress in lake, Conwy castle, Blaenavan industrial revolution iron works
South Scotland- Crannog centre, Whithorn early Christian centre 400AD,
Scottish Highlands- Skara Brae, Maes Howe neolithic burial site, Iona early Christian settlement,
North Ireland- Navan prechristain religious sanctuary 100BC- 400AD, Nendrum early Christian centre 700AD
Republic of Ireland- Newgrange, Tara, Clonmacnoise medieval monastic site 500AD, Dublin, Turoe Stone Clonfert, Trim, Portumna

There are colour photos on every page, and 17 reconstruction drawings by TV show illustrator Victor Ambrus. There are no site plans for each site, pity. There is a map for each Region at a scale of about 1:1,000,000 showing roads, rivers and towns. It would have been nice if these maps were at a greater scale. You will need a 1;250,000 scale road atlas to find most sites. There is no "Further Reading" list for any site (not even Stonehenge) or the book as a whole, another omission. But there is a web site listed for each of the 51 major sites, often English Heritage or the National Trust.

These quibbles aside, the book is a fine directory of the more interesting archaeological sites open to the public in Britain and Ireland

The book finishes with a list of the Time Team's personal "Top Ten" sites: Grimes graves, Avebury, Newgrange, Maes Howe, Flag fen, Maiden Castle, bath, Sutton Hoo, Conwey castle and Ironbridge Gorge.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2010 10:45 AM GMT


Song of the Stone
Song of the Stone
by Barry Brailsford
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the deep and mysterious side of Maori culture, 1 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Song of the Stone (Hardcover)
"Song of the Stone is the true story of five remarkable journeys. This pakeha historian and archaeologist was invited into the realms of ancient and sacred knowledge long thought lost. The book describes his facinating odyssey into the world of the wisdom keepers of Aotearoa-New Zealand and North American Indian peoples. It takes us on the great journey to open once again the trail of stone across the NZ Southern Alps. Only then could the sacred lore be shared in Barry's book "Song of the Waitaha" 1994.

We travel to the Red Earth of North America and on a great journey to the twelve Indian Nations, to the ancient standing stones of Europe, to Stonehenge, Iona, New Grange, and to those who honoured stone long before the building of the pyramids. The last journey was the one within himself. The hardest of all."

Barry says his love of the land, and the mystery of the past, is his birthright. Born in Mawhera, the ancient anchorage of the great navigator and stone worker, Poutini, and nurtured by the wild coastlines and forested mountains of Westland , New Zealand he knew a childhood where the spirit soared. For 20 years he lectured in history and archaeology at Christchurch Teachers College. In 1990 he was honoured with an MBE for his contribution to Maori scholarship and education. Then his path changed direction!

This book is a journey into the deep and mysterious side of Maori culture. It ranks with the "Celestine Prophecy", but Barrys book is not fiction. Seekers of an uplifting experience, or an understanding of the spiritual side of an indigenous peoples outside North America will really enjoy this fine book. I have attended lectures and workshops by Barry over many years. He is a sincere and inspiring guy. Thanks Barry. If you want more try his "In search of the Southern Serpent" 2006 with dowser Hamish Miller. It is another journey through this land.


Stones and Marks
Stones and Marks
by Peter Elliston
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £70.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative b&w photos of petroglyphs and ancient ruins, 30 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Stones and Marks (Hardcover)
There are 76 very high quality B&W photographs in this book. It was printed with high quality inks, paper, and printing press. The book is a limited hardback edition of 2000 copies.

The cover is a photo of a standing stone at the Ring of Brodgar in Scotland. However photos of petroglyphs and pictographs make up about a third of those in the book. The number of photos in various countries are; Jordan 34, Australia 10, Ireland 7, Scotland 2 (including very photogenic cover shot), Iceland 2, USA and Canada (British Columbia, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Utah, California, Arizona, and New Nexico- medicine wheels etc)17, other Middle East (Egypt, Iran and Syria)4.

While some photos are of "attractive" ruins like Petra in Jordan, others are of neolithic ruins which look like piles of rocks. Despite Ellistons scholarly writing, there is no Further Reading section at the end of the book if you wish to read more about the places in the photographs.

If you are more keen on the standing stone types of sites shown on the book cover photo, then maybe try the B&W photo book "Megaliths: the Ancient Stone monuments of England and Wales" by D Corio.


The Cotswold Way (Walkabout)
The Cotswold Way (Walkabout)
by Mark Richards
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.95

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull hand-drawn "Wainwright -Like" guide, 15 July 2006
The above book description is a fair comment. This is a classic "English walk" from Chipping Campden via Broadway, Winchcombe, Painswick, Stroud along 104 miles of winding ridge top trail to Bath. There are 26 hand-drawn 1:25,000 scale maps that show clearly every style, gate and fence along the route. They are accompanied by fine "Wainwright style" drawing of views and buildings along the way. And even one of his wife "Helen emerging from the Beacon Lane thicket" on Map 22. His description of the route is very detailed, but its nice just to follow the maps and refer to the text if you seem a bit lost.

If you want colour maps (at the same scale) and colour photographs I suggest you try "The Cotswold Way" OS Recreational Path Guide by Anthony Burton. Or be like me and buy both!

Go and Explore.


Bronze and the Bronze Age
Bronze and the Bronze Age
by Martyn Barber
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effect of Bronze Making on Society, 23 April 2006
In most British bronze age books recently, there has been a shift away from metalwork and typologies analysis towards landscape studies and social & economic aspects of Bronze Age life. In this book Barber refocuses back on the metalwork. He discusses: mining and processing; smelting, casting and producing finished objects; the status of the miners and bronzesmiths; the different types of objects produced, and their use, function and deposition. He answers the question of why so many bronze objects ended up in soil, rivers , lakes and bogs. Most bronzes were deliberately placed in the ground or water, rather than being accidental losses. Interestingly, Britain was rather late on the uptake of bronze technology, compared to what is now Europe. In typical Tempus Publishing style, there are plenty of illustrations: 55 b&w and 11 colour plates. Martyn Barber is a guru on these bronze artefacts and has even lectured at workshops where enthusiasts re-create bronze age smelting and casting techniques.


Long Barrows of the Cotswolds & Surrounding Areas
Long Barrows of the Cotswolds & Surrounding Areas
by Tim Darvill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.98

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A social & landscape perspective of long barrows, 14 Jun. 2005
Tim Darvill is a fine and prolific author. This book "explores these sites in the light of new discoveries, modern techniques in dating and scientific analysis.Approaching the sites from a social and landscape perspective, Darvill examines the purpose and meaning of long barrows for the people who constructed and used them, as well as seeking their origins, discussing their design, method of construction, their relationship with other sites and their place in the landscape. In use for around 600 years, sites such as Belas Knap in Gloucestershire, The Whispering Knights and Waylands Smithy in Oxfordshire , West Kennet in Wiltshire and Maesyfelin in the Vale of Glamorgan, continued to have an impcct on the population living around them for centuries to come. A well written and well presented study which includes appendices containing a gazetter of sites, radiocarbon dates and details of sites to visit".There are 99 b&w figures.It is a book for the serious prehistory enthusiast, and the list of sites to visit makes it really usefull. For a brief first introduction one would be better to turn to Frances Lynch's little book "Megalithic Tombs and Long barrows in Britain in the Shire Archaeology series.


Great Horse Treks of the World
Great Horse Treks of the World
by Julie Miller
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great text but poor photos, 6 Jun. 2005
This is a companion volume, for those who prefer four legs to two, to New Holland Publishers two other fine pictorial style books "Top Treks of the World" and "The Worlds Great Advenuure Treks". Its printed on glossy paper with colour photos on every page. The treks cover North and South America, Africa, Iceland, Ireland, England, Europe (Spain & Italy), Australia and New Zealand. The text lives up to the Synopsis above with fascinating history and tradition, and should inspire and motivate.There is a good list of tour contacts and web sites listed at the back of the book.
But the photos, while in good light, are a let down and mostly all fairly close up of riders on the "beloved four legged friends" and very few wide shots of the "visual exploration of the magnificent remote destinations" and "awesome scenery" promised in the Synopsis. The New Zealand section (hey I,m biased) has only one decent shot of the fantastic North Canterbury scenery which, the book correctly points out, evokes the stuff we all saw in Lord of the Rings movies.The Tuscany(Italy) section has a few good shots of the hill town scenery we are all familiar with. The horses galloping on the beaches of Andalusia in Spain look great. Most countries fare rather poorly. You would need to buy a separate pictorial book of the region of your intended destination to get a good idea of the scenery you can expect for most destinations. This is a pity as the photos in other books in the series do their subject justice.


The Peak District: Landscapes Through Time (Landscapes of Britain)
The Peak District: Landscapes Through Time (Landscapes of Britain)
by John Barnatt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Peak District: Landscapes through Time, 21 May 2005
The "Landscapes Through time" book is a really good one covering the whole prehistory and History of the Peak District.The Amazon synopsis is a fair one.I dont need to say a lot more. There are plenty of walking opportunities in the park to visit some of the historic sites.I have done so. Read also the books by Ali Cooper, Paul Morgan and Mark Edmonds.There are not too many books that focus on the history of just The Peak District and this one is a goody.
Go read and then explore.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2012 1:56 PM GMT


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