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Prehistoric Avebury, Second Edition Paperback – June 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this beautifully illustrated book, Aubrey Burl combines both archaeological and historical evidence to present an absorbing account of the mysterious stone monuments at Avebury and the life of the primitive people who erected them nearly 5000 years ago." Publishers Weekly "This beautifully illustrated book discusses Avebury today, where one can still wander among these fascinating stones, and relates the destruction of and excavations at this prehistoric site." Science News

From the Back Cover

"In this beautifully illustrated book, Aubrey Burl combines both archaeological and historical evidence to present an absorbing account of the mysterious stone monuments at Avebury and the life of the primitive people who erected them nearly 5000 years ago."—Publishers Weekly "This beautifully illustrated book discusses Avebury today, where one can still wander among these fascinating stones, and relates the destruction of and excavations at this prehistoric site."—Science News
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 2 edition (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300090870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300090871
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,787,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
17%
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See all 6 customer reviews
It is the book that all of the other books refer to.
T. Johnson
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a real interest in prehistoric Avebury and want's to learn as much as they can, both archaeologically & historically.
JW
While the information he presents is almost overwhelming in its complexity, Burl's writing style keeps the account lively.
Stephen A. Haines

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on March 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
A priceless treasure of information about the Neolithic world, this work will long endure. The physical evidence described here is enhanced with carefully derived suppositions about why stone circles, avenues, burial sites, ditches and banks were built. Burl has a keen analytical mind. He weaves inferences about Neolithic lifestyles with the information garnered from the available evidence. While the information he presents is almost overwhelming in its complexity, Burl's writing style keeps the account lively. You aren't submerged in arcane mysteries nor scholarly pedantry. His adroit presentation keeps your attention captured as he leads you through the likely history of Avebury, Stonehenge and other Neolithic communities.
"Communities" is a word you will have in mind throughout this narrative. Burl reminds us that Avebury's structures were built by normal people. They lived in the region, farmed, dug ditches, herded cattle and pigs, erected stones, traded with neighbours, and died. Life, he asserts frequently, was tenuous and brief. From this he derives their culture put much time and energy in dealing with the dead. Ancestor worship? Probably. Fertility rituals? Almost certainly. All this activity, however, was chiefly pragmatic. Neolithic society tried to propitiate spirits it could comprehend.
Burl scorns the modern mystical interpretations of Avebury and other sites. He lightly dismisses the astronomical alignments as overblown. The henges and stone circles may have marked some solar and lunar moon-rises and -sets, but only in a general way. These people had practical needs, he says. Precision alignments of stones or posts would be excessive effort. Much work went into just building these structures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Johnson on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the one book one must read before visiting Avebury.
It is the book that all of the other books refer to.
Full of helpful tips on visiting and a complete history of
the site.
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By Sean Knowes on September 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book thinking there were more photos and that it was a larger size. I should look at the specs next time! Still, it was chock full of information about the stones and the people who built them. It is amazing that from seemingly so little left behind, that archeologists can discern so much! This is really more of a textbook than a sit back and read book.
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