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The Avebury Cycle Paperback – June 1, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Apparently some people are uncomfortable with anything more than the hard cold facts. But intelligence requires we order these facts into some kind of working hypothesis. Dames book builds on the work of many, many other experts and synthesizes them into a believable and compelling order. Anyone looking for a more comprehensive view of what the society that created these amazing, durable Neolithic structures valued and believed will gain much from this work. You don't have to buy his hypothesis 100% to learn a great deal. Highly recommended.
The photograph of John Barleycorn celebrants on page 17 sets both the theme and the tone of this book. Why, asks Dames, is this bunch of rummies wearing those outlandish costumes, sloshed beyond reason, tunelessly singing some arcane melody? Dames uses this image as a launching site to examine ancient rituals and explain their origins. His focus is evidence derived from various burial sites and henge monuments. For him, all these are indications of the dominance of the Hag Goddess supposedly prevalent in many Neolithic cultures. Stone shape and placement, relative positions, accumulated debris and other evidence all points to a society dominated by rituals honouring the Earth Mother.
Dames doesn't just propose the Earth Goddess as the basis for Neolithic structures of widely varying design, he simply assumes it at the outset. From that start he's able to dovetail an overwhelming number of graves, skeletal postures, barrow shape, location and orientation into his thesis. Even the watercourses of the local streams have ritual significance. He puts each artefact or other element before you with such confidence and enthusiasm, it's hard to resist.Read more ›