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On Stonehenge Paperback – March 1, 1978


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 157 pages
  • Publisher: W H Freeman & Co (Sd) (March 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716703637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716703631
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,663,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gordon C. Duus on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book reads like a well-written Ph.D. thesis on the notion that ancient Britons built Stonehenge for the purpose of tracking the orbits of the Sun and Moon to facilitate the prediction of solar and lunar eclipses. His extensive proofs are a fairly convincing argument on that point. He doesn't get too much into how Stonehenge was built(clearly a spectacular acheivement for the Stone Age) or why orbits and eclipses would have been important to an ancient people. This is a scientific treatment which glosses over the anthropological and mystical meanings of the monument.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Francis A. Andrew on May 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Almost everyone knows Stonehenge, but so very few people know what it is. If you were to ask the average man on the Clapham Omnibus the question, "what is Stonehenge?" he would probably answer something in the way of its being an ancient monument of stones serving purely ritualistic purposes connected to the religious rites of the Neolithic society which constructed it.
In his book "On Stonehenge," Sir Fred Hoyle gives a completely different interpretation of the structure and shows by meticulous observation and careful calculation, that Stonehenge was nothing less than an astronomical observatory designed essentially to predict eclipses of the sun.
Generally it is hard for most people to accept that Stone Age man could have possessed such complex astronomical knowledge. In keeping an open mind as to the interpretation of Stonehenge, Hoyle counsels that we must shed all prejudices in this regard and proceed on a basis which accords solely with the evidence. Whilst work on the structure commenced around 2,500BC, mankind, says Hoyle, had most likely been observing the motions of the heavens for 10,000 years and so would have been quite aware of the celestial structure and the movements of its parts.
One of the most interesting insights of this work of Hoyle's is how the discipline of astronomy connects with that of pre-history. As Hoyle points out in his book, pre-historians obtain their data from below ground level by means of archaeological digs, and thus tend to slant pre-historical knowledge around the funerary aspects of ancient societies. However, the mathematical and astronomical abilities of those who lived in the pre-historical era can be elicited by the engagement of present day science in studies in the pre-historical arena.
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