Prehistoric astronomy and ritual

by Aubrey Burl

Paper Book, 1983



Call number

GN805 .B867 1983


Aylesbury, Bucks, UK. : Shire Publications, 1983.


Stonehenge was not an observatory used by druidical astronomer-priests, but instead an almighty monument in which the moon, the sun, and the dead were joined together. In this compelling book, archaeological expert Aubrey Burl explains how, more than four thousand years ago, people in the British Isles identified life and death with the cycle of midwinter and midsummer, and with the rising and setting of the sun and moon. It is for this reason that so many megalithic monuments have astronomical sightlines bult into them. This book explores the development of astronomical customes in the British Isles, and, unlike other works about 'megalithic astronomy', keeps the techical explanations of azimuths and declinations to their simpliest, its emphasis being upon people rather than perturbations and eclipses.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member JalenV
Prehistoric Astronomy and Ritual is full of information about the uses to which stone circles were put. Even if you don't care about the science, if you just like looking at photos of prehistoric tombs, stone circles or their remains, or old illustrations of such matters, this book is full of them.
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Almost every page has a photo or two, most of them in color. The areas covered are Brittany, Cornwall, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, not to mention nearby islands. Really, I had no idea there were so many such prehistoric structures in Great Britain, Ireland, and Brittany.
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Physical description

56 p.; 21 cm


0852636210 / 9780852636213



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