2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2009
I've had this and Thom's earlier book (Megalithic Sites in Britain) from the same publisher, for very many years. They've lived next to each other on the same shelf in my home. The earlier book is still in excellent "as new" condition with white paper etc. Unfortunately my copy of Megalithic Lunar Observatories is suffering from quite distinct yellowing of the pages, and I'm beginning to wonder just how long before the pages crumble away to dust! I'd recommend any would be purchaser to enquire about this aspect before purchasing. It does seem as though a different quality of paper was used.
For anyone interested in studying stone circles, alignments etc. this book continues from Thom's earlier work, Megalithic Sites in Britain, and deals with many of the Scottish sites in more detail. An excellent, if at times quite difficult, read.
on 4 September 2013
If you have more than a passing interest in megalithic sites and their possible astronomical significance, then sooner or later you will end up with Professor Alexander Thom. To the best of my knowledge nobody has come close to treating megalithic sites with the seriousnes, the rigour and the precision of Thom.
As a scientist, mathematician, technician, astronomer, navigator, and observant person, Thom took an interest in the Megalithic sites, and noticed alignments. After acurately surveying rings, he observed regularity in their form, and devised simple methods for their construction, which showed deliberate geometry hidden from immediate view. By persuing the Geometry of sites and with a beleif that these people were as inteligent as us (or more so), within their own technologies, he has "reverse engineered" megalithic constructions of ancient times for us to understand their possible purpose and use.
This is no fluffy fairy story. If you expect to follow this work, then you better brush up on your geometry, astronomy, physics and statisics.
Hand a slide rule or astrolabe to a modern student and see how long it takes them to find a way to use it. Now suppose the slide rule is 5000 years old and made of stones, how can you set about deciphering it and proving its function. It might not have taken much mathematics to lay out such a device, but to prove it without the instruction book will take a lot of doing. Professor Thom has made one hell of a start !
My copy of this was hardbound and on very good quality paper, I think it will be around for a while after me ! Very expensive at the best part of £60 for a small book, but it must be considered a niche market ? This and "Megalithic sites in Britain" will, for many years to come, be the starting point for anyone who has a serious interest in Archeoastronomy. If you think it is too expensive then consider the amount of work that professor Thom put into this, and how many people will make use of it, and you will realise that you are investing in a large share of an invaluable quantity of research. You can read lots of comment and excerpts from his work, but if you want to understand it, you better read it as he wrote it.