There have been many attempts to explain the purpose of Stonehenge. Using archaelogical detail and a knowledge of the heavens as they were many millennia ago, North establishes the function of the stones themselves and what we can know of the religion that caused them to be erected.
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There have been many books that have sought to explain the purpose of the great stone monument on Salisbury Plain, known for at least eight centuries as Stonehenge. Many of them have relied on selective scientific evidence, or have been impossibly mystical. All of them have relied on speculation of some kind, or have put forward theories that have been easily refuted.
John North's new book, whose importance in its field it would be difficult to underestimate, has finally solved the riddle of Stonehenge. By an incisive combination of meticulous attention to archaeological surveys, and knowledge of the heavens as they were many millennia ago, North establishes here the function of the stones themselves and what we can know of the religion that caused them to be erected. He draws his evidence from, and his argument encompasses, many of the other prehistoric remains of Britain and the northern continent of Europe – the long barrows that are dotted over southern England, the circles of Avebury, the hill carvings of the White Horse at Uffington and the Long Man of Wilmington in Sussex. North shows how all these pieces fit together in an extraordinary way.
'Stonehenge' is not, unlike so many of its predecessors with similar aims, the work of an over-fertile imagination, but the result of more than fifteen years study by one of England's most distinguished historians of science. It will transform our understanding of prehistoric peoples, the prehistory of England and the English landscape more than any comparable book in recent years.
John North moved in 1977 from Oxford to the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, where he is Professor of the History of Philosophy and the Exact Sciences. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, the Academia Leopoldina, and a Fellow of the British Academy. His books include 'The Measure of the Universe' (1965, 1990), 'Richard of Wallingford' (3 vols., 1976), 'Chaucer's Universe' (1988, 1990) and 'The Fontana History of Astronomy and Cosmology' (1994).
"A wonderfully scholarly work, carried out with great care and attention, and a fascinating read."
"This is not a New Age ramble but an immensely readable yet erudite history of one of the most mysterious and haunting creations of humankind… The conclusions North reaches (are) every bit as exciting as the headline-grabbing claims of some less reasoned accounts… In this beautifully crafted and meticulously researched book, historian John North has produced the clearest and most detailed account of Stonehenge for a generation."
MICHAEL WHITE, 'Mail on Sunday'
"If anyone's judgement can be trusted on this topic, it is North's. It is fortunate the millennium will be marked by this important book. No review could begin to do justice to North's complex reconstruction of the evidence and the wealth of archaeological, astronomical and mathematical structures which underpin it. This is a major contribution to understanding the origins of mathematical astronomy."
ANN GENEVA, ' Financial Times'
"North is brilliant, notably in his reconstructions of pillar and lintel rings at Stonehenge and Woodhenge… The mass and quality of his new evidence point inevitably to the conclusion he reaches that the builders of Stonehenge and their Stone Age ancestors were adepts at astronomy and ritual magic."
JOHN MICHELL, 'Spectator'
"I wonder how many books have been written about Stonehenge? It must be many thousands, most of them obsessed with one particular point – usually somewhat eccentric. We have long waited for a proper treatment: that is to say a book which is entirely factual and yet very readable. Professor North has provided a masterful survey of the whole subject which, in my view, will supersede all earlier works. It must surely become the standard, both for scholars and general readers."
John North moved in 1977 from Oxford to the University of Groningen, where he is Professor of the History of Philosophy and the Exact Sciences. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy, the Royal Danish Academy and is a Fellow of the British Academy.
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Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0002557738
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002557738
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0002557738 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0000551