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Here is an exciting, innovative study of ancient European religious practice and practitioners.The Aldhouse-Greens’ entertaining and informative book represents a search, a voyage of discovery in which evidence is sought that there were individuals living in Europe from the Stone Age to the early post-Roman period who believed they were able to liaise with the spirit-world through the medium of trance and who perceived themselves to be part-human and part-animal. The authors support their argument with diverse and rich evidence, including the 30,000-year-old lion-human ivory figurines found in south-western Germany, which may represent monsters seen by shamans in altered states of consciousness; the newly discovered and spectacular Nebra sky-disc, which depicts the sun, moon and the Pleiades, indicating that Bronze Age shamans were using highly sophisticated objects to explore the heavens; and the ‘Doctor’s Grave’ from southeast England, which suggests that a Late Iron Age chieftain, who may have been a shaman, was sent to the Otherworld equipped with hallucinogens, medical kit and divining tools.
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Stephen Aldhouse-Green was an archaeologist. Among his publications are Pontnewydd Cave, Paviland Cave and the `Red Lady' and, co-written with his wife Miranda Aldhouse-Green, The Quest for the Shaman.
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