2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Seeking the neolithic,
This review is from: The Stonehenge People: An Exploration of Life in Neolithic Britain 4700-2000 BC (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this! It is what I had been looking for – a book to explain the mysterious stone monuments spotted around Britain and Ireland. Intensely readable, Castledon boldly attempts to reconstruct the culture of a people whose way of life died out 4,000 years ago, and whose remains have been discarded, destroyed and re-interpreted by the many cultures which have followed; but what is left after all this time? What is there to reconstruct?
Castleden says: “The way to the truth is to try to forget Stonehenge in the first instance, to study the archaeology of other sites, and to try to piece the whole culture together like a jigsaw, starting with the corners and edges and working gradually in towards the centre; the most interesting parts of the puzzle-picture come last… Parts 1&2 of the book dealing with the material culture and Parts 3&4 going in to the more difficult areas of social and political structure and religion.”
Diagrams and photos throughout the text illustrate his points well, and using as much evidence as is available he attempts to complete the puzzle, for example, using evidence from near-contemporary Scandinavia to look at clothing. The final chapters on society and religion are very thought-provoking. The people remain intriguingly elusive and always will, but Castelden’s exploration captures the very essence of their culture and at times they felt very much alive.
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