- Series: Wooden Books
- Hardcover: 64 pages
- Publisher: Walker Books; First edition (April 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802713858
- ISBN-13: 978-0802713858
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 12.8 x 164.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,502,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Stonehenge (Wooden Books) Hardcover – April 1, 2002
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About the Author
Author and illustrator Robin Heath is a mathematician and engineer.
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Top customer reviews
I tend to lean to the mavericks' side, and this is a great book for that, and established, or conventional archaeology has had its' scandals, and almost seems to suppress as much evidence as it uncovers. ( see "Gods, Graves and Scholars" Zahi Hawass, and almost any volume on ancient North America, to name just a few ) Stonehenge remains a little mysterious, even today, and this volume touches on its possible construction methods, on the monuments possible uses, as well as touching on some of the why's,many of which were just recently discovered, due in large part to the mavericks. Just because something cannot be proven without a shadow of a doubt, does not make it untrue !! ( to further illustrate see the 2nd review for "The Pattern of the Past" by G. Underwood, review by Marco Buendia)
Like all the volumes in this exceptional series, there is a load of info, wonderful interesting illustrations, all orchestrated into a keepsake worthy package, and worthy to inspire the next generation of mavericks.
Heath isn't a pundit pursuing puzzles; instead, he offers a brief analysis of current knowledge about this 5,000-year-old site. His comments are to the point, obviously meant to introduce teen readers the great science and abiding mystery of Stonehenge. For youth, it is a fair introduction that also offers enough to whet the appetite those who will become interested in further study about one of the enduring mysteries of history.
Unfortunately, his apparent contempt for competent anthropologists weakens the value of his book. Heath doesn't seem to understand the origins of urban culture date to at least Catal Huyuk and Jericho some 7,000 years ago, and probably long before that. The great stones of Stonehenge, which began as a "wood" -henge similar to hundreds of other "woodhenges" throughout England, are rather recent compared to other great ancient works.
The great puzzle of Stonehenge is not its existence, but why it was built of stone when hundreds of others were built of wood. Of course, the reason may be as simple as understanding why the Vatican has artwork by Michaelangelo and my local church has sketches by Joe Sixpack. Sadly, Heath overlooks this fundamental aspect as do most interpreters of the site.
The value of this book is its brevity, its "factoid" format consistently offers interesting snippets of information. The weakness is mixing an unsupported point-of-view with that brevity, it raises the question of whether unsubstantiated speculation is better than open-ended imprecision. It's a minor quibble, certainly not a reason to pass up this book.
Fifty years ago, teachers thought ideas such as "continental drift" were total fantasy. Now, they're accepted orthodoxy. Likewise, current speculation about the use and meaning of Stonehenge may be orthodox in 50 years (or 500 years) -- if that happens, it may be the result of some young student inspired by a book such as this.
It's a buy. If it whets your appetite, many other books can provide a fascinating range of greater depth and diversity. If not, you'll still learn a lot about the sophistication of the English long before they learned to write -- but apparently could calculate complex astronomical details.