The Stonehenge Enigma (Prehistoric Britain Book 1) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
- Publication date : January 13, 2014
- File size : 23990 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 272 pages
- Publisher : ABC Publishing Group; Second Edition (January 13, 2014)
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- ASIN : B00BL6SNU6
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,512,037 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It is a good read.
Second, there is very little actual scientific data used, and that which is used is first decimated and contorted to fit the author's hypothesis. It's pretty easy to make the science say what you want it to when you are willing to disregard a large portion of what actually happened. Not to mention that the 'Acknowledgements' (aka 'Sources') page at the end (which really is just that, one page) is 90% Wikipedia. I won't even begin to get into the flaws in his actual argument.
Ultimately, this book is approximately the quality I would expect from a conspiracy-theorist highschooler on his first draft.
However, after reading through Robert John Langdon's total thesis, I have to say I am more than intrigued by his bold suggestions. By the time I got to the end of the book, his theories started to sound more like logical common sense than the ravings of another fringe New Ager.
In short, Langdon argues that Stonehenge was originally constructed in the Neolithic around 8,500 B.C. instead of the widely accepted mainstream archaeology dating of about 2,400 B.C,, in the Bronze Age. But his more amazing assertion is that the monument was located on a peninsula, closely surrounded on three sides by water at a time when Britain was mostly covered by the seas left over from the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago.
This made it possible for the massive stones of Stonehenge to be easily floated or boated to the site, where mooring posts also made it relatively easy to leverage the gigantic sarsen and smaller blue stones into position. A Britain covered with water -- and populated by a water-faring culture well-adapted to living in such an environment -- also explains how easy it would have been to bring the blue stones to the Salisbury plains from Wales. By way of the water, the journey would have been just 82 miles, Langdon says, and the stones could have been just sailed into place.
About those blue stones -- Langdon proposes that they were the primary source of healing, and this was the original primary purpose of Stonehenge. He says the blue stones were believed to interact with water to produce a medicinal effect, and that the ancients soaked in pools infused with blue stone flakes to induce healing.
Langdon's scenario makes a lot of other odd things fall into place -- such as the strange bend in the "processional avenue" that leads from Stonehenge to the River Avon. If the ancients wanted to make a walkway between Stonehenge and the Avon, why not a direct route? Why does the Stonehenge Avenue go north-northwest for about 1 km, then swing abruptly and turn sharply west? The answer, Langdon says, is that the bend and the latter part of the path originally led to a shoreline, and was later altered when it needed to keep going to get to water -- the River Avon.
I won't go into the many other details and particulars of Langdon's full thesis, only to say that it's almost beautiful in its simplicity. Albert Einstein said, the "best theories are simple -- but not too simple." Langdon's theory is simple, but not too simple. It relies on a painstaking analysis of the hydrogeological data of the past 10,000 years -- and this is presented in the first part of the book which might make a lot of people yawn and give up before they reach the more juicy stuff later in the book.
So I give The Stonehenge Enigma five stars -- but I must add -- I would be well justified in knocking off at least two stars because of the truly reprehensible editing of this document, and portions of the book where the writing is clumsy, and seems to have been rushed. Typos, grammar snafus and glitches abound. It's an absolute shame that an author who put so much time and effort into his research should allow a version of his book released when it appears to be not just unedited, but not even proofread.
(Certainly Langdon means that Greek culture was at its height in 400 B.C. not 4,000 B.C.!)
That said, I'll say that Langdon's vision of an ancient British culture who were masters of the sea and thrived with complex technologies adapted to a warm, watery world (was it the real Atlantis, as Langdon asserts) is not a bad theory, not a bad theory at all.
Top reviews from other countries
The book purports to be a second edition; it is a shame he did not think to proof read it before releasing it as it has glaring errors that should have been corrected. Would I recommend it- if you want to read about a possible theory but are prepared to accept the evidence for it is, at this stage, flawed, then yes. Otherwise - save your money
Reading this book improved my understanding, & I recommend it.
Some further points:
- How the landscape evolved through post-glacial flooding merits further consideration. The porous chalk of southern England will have formed a sponge for meltwater, as Langdon suggests, but seesaw downtilt south of the receding-ice rebound probably played its part (see, for example, 'Prehistoric Investigations' by Christopher Seddon, chapter 39). Sea & land levels have fluctuated on many scales of time & location, so dating must utilise all available techniques, evidence & reasoning (we should not oscillate from 'finds' to 'landscape dating'!).
- Flooded Mesolithic findings at Bouldnor Cliff as well as Doggerland support the idea of capable society in NW Europe well before the Neolithic version of Stonehenge. Those people probably had boats & rafts for fishing & trading.
- This book contains many strong insights & much valuable perspective, so its author's enthusiasm may be allowed to outweigh irritations of style & over-reaching to conclusions.
First things first, I guess the author's name is a nom-de-plume and that he is a fan of The Da Vinci Code. Nothing wrong with that. Just something which struck me and made me smile!
Secondly I bought the full Kindle version and was disappointed to discover that most of the illustrations and colour plates are for some reason way too small to make out clearly. I'd guess at around one-inch wide on average. No amount of double-tapping to magnify will work. Well it does but in most cases it simply magnifies the pixels making the image big and blurry instead of larger and clearer. A great shame as this took away a lot of the enjoyment.
The use of the term "Proofs" is in my opinion, sometimes optimistic. Yes, some are good ideas with plenty of evidence to back them up but others are perhaps too weak to stand up to scrutiny and just saying them with conviction doesn't always make them so.
Criticism out of the way the author's enthusiasm is what carries this book along and his constant jibes at conventional academic thinking quite refreshing to read. He appears surprised they don't treat his ideas with more interest but I wouldn't be, academics, geologists, archaeologists etc., all fight hard to get funding to perform excavations and do carbon-dating and quite understandably their heckles rise when someone comes along and tries to prove them wrong.
The notion of a more flooded landscape as the Ice front receded at the end of the last Ice Age is perfectly reasonable. After all the water didn't just magically disappear it had to travel back to the sea via one route or another and this wasn't overnight. There would have been many years, decades, centuries of variously soaked or drying landscape. Doggerland is central to the author's conclusion and leads on to his next book. This area of the North Sea was dry land for a lot of the Ice Age and has indeed shown abundant signs of long-gone life. It was slowly and remorselessly swallowed-up as sea levels rose. Frustratingly it is too easy to put a lost civilisation in this submerged landscape because we are unlikely to be able to find direct evidence any time soon, unless by fluke. The Birmingham University project in the area seems to have gone quiet in recent years, perhaps it has come to an end. They were at the forefront I believe.
I have bought other books by the author because I enjoyed the ride, but a little copy-editing and bigger illustrations would be improvements!
Despite my reservations this hypothesis deserves a hearing even though I felt more evidence needs to be brought to the table in certain areas. For example I am sure that if there were shore-lines where the author suggests then there should be more geological support. Perhaps no one has properly looked? Another thing to consider for such a civilisation is that if they were of any size - and I'm guessing that's the idea if they are to feature in folk-memory for thousands of years - they would need substantial resources to feed them. I doubt they could live on fish alone. A more varied diet as a result of arable farming seems to be what most substantial civilisations are built on, doesn't it?
Perhaps all will be made clear in subsequent works. It does come as a breath of fresh air to listen to new ideas. The secret is to make your own mind up.