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Hengeworld Hardcover – Import, 2000
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“Reads like a…whodunit.” – Manchester Evening News
“Mike Pitts is that rare thing, an archaeologist who not only makes the news…but who can also write it. This book is a gem — witty, charming, urbane, informative.” – Simon Denison, British Archaeology --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
The ancient sites at Stonehenge and Avebury lie at the heart of Britain’s imagined past, as fabled as they are mysterious. In Hengeworld, archaeologist Mike Pitts, who has led excavations at both sites, looks at the people who designed and built these structures—and why. Starting with the excavation that followed the collapse of a Stonehenge megalith on the last night of the 19th century, and ending with a dramatic discovery in Avebury at the close of the 20th, Hengeworld tells the story of a lost civilization that spanned five centuries, a civilization that now largely lies beneath the fields of southern England. A major, authoritative reappraisal of these great prehistoric sites and of their bygone civilizations. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
1. It is very informative, and gave me a clear picture of what Pitts was talking about. I could physically visualize the places and various monument in location, without having to go and hunt for sizes, dates and scale, as I had to with so many other books and articles. Many other archaeologists leave out critical details because they are so familiar with the jargon, they forget that readers may not be.
2. Pitts put Stonehenge into context, giving a much broader picture than just the massive sarsens and their companion bluestones. It is so much more than that.
3. I got a really clear idea of exactly how archaeologists work. This is critical in assessing just how much of what is 'known' is really known for sure, and how much is subject to later variation.
4. There were some great anecdotes. They weren't just a good read but added to the big picture.
5. The book gave a really good image of life at the time and the changes which were taking place over the lifespan of the henges.
6. By including Stonehenge in an overview of henge monuments, Pitts made it clear that any explanation of Stonehenge must fit a broader pattern.
7. And it was a great read because it is just so well written. I would have enjoyed it for the writing alone.
Having read a great deal since I first read Hengeworld and gained a lot more expertise in the field, I have returned to Hengeworld and am finding that a second reading enables me to really absorb the finer details. It's a rare book which can be read - and thoroughly enjoyed - for general interest and also for really detailed data. Pitts achieves this.