978-0-500-28666-1 / 9780500286661

Megalithic Monuments of Britain and Ireland


Publisher:Thames & Hudson



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About the book:

An authoritative overview of the wide range of British and Irish Neolithic monuments.

From Stonehenge to Newgrange, some of the most varied megalithic monuments in Europe can be found in the British Isles. From the Neolithic Age and the arrival of pottery and farming some 6,000 years ago to the beginning of the Bronze Age, people used megaliths ("large stones"), earth, and wood to build grandiose monuments.

The number and sheer diversity of these structures is astonishing, from massive stone rows and circles to barrows, chambered tombs, and earthwork enclosures. Henges and cursus monuments, which often lacked stone elements, also belong to the same general category of monumental prehistoric architecture.

Graves, sanctuaries, places of cult and of memory: the megalithic phenomenon assumed numerous functions in these prehistoric societies. Transforming the landscape, such grand structures must have represented for Neolithic communities a particular way of responding to changing social and symbolic needs, from processing the dead to gathering for ceremonies to embellishing locations that were of sacred significance. 172 illustrations, 20 in color.

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