THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my book called "The Bluestone Enigma" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Building the Great Stone Circles of the North

Colin Richards (Editor)
£39.95
ISBN: 9781909686120 | Published by: Windgather Press | Year of Publication: 2013 | Language: English 320p, H246 x W185 (mm) b/w and col. illus
Here is the publisher's info about the new book edited by Colin Richards.  Some very big words in those chapter headings, and a good deal of sanctity by the look of it, but if anybody feels like shelling out forty quid, I'm always happy to paste up a review.



Building the Great Stone Circles of the North

Details

Of all prehistoric monuments, few are more emotive than the great stone circles that were built throughout Britain and Ireland. From the tall, elegant, pointed monoliths of the Stones of Stenness to the grandeur of Stonehenge and the sarsen blocks at Avebury, circles of stone exert a magnetic fascination to those who venture into their sphere. In Britain today, more people visit these structures than any other form of prehistoric monument and visitors stand in awe at their scale and question how and why they were erected. Building the Great Stone Circles of the North looks at the enigmatic stone structures of Scotland and investigates the background of their construction and their cultural significance. Beginning with a consideration of how the stone structures of Western Scotland can be interpreted, the volume looks in detail at the context of the circles and cairns from Orkney and the Outer Hebrides – from quarrying the raw material to their symbolic role within the landscape – before widening out into a consideration of the societies who built and used them and the myth and folklore that is now embedded within these megaliths.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Building the great stone circles of the North 1. Interpreting Stone Circles (Colin Richards) 2. Monuments in the making: the stone circles of Western Scotland (Colin Richards & Joanna Wright)

Part 2 Stone circles in Orkney 3. Wrapping the hearth: constructing house societies and the tall Stones of Stenness, Orkney (Colin Richards) 4. Investigating the great Ring of Brodgar, Orkney (Jane Downes, Colin Richards, John Brown, A. J. Cresswell, R. Ellen, A.D. Davies, Allan Hall, Robert McCulloch, David C. W. Sanderson & Ian A. Simpson)
5. Monumental risk: megalithic quarrying at Staneyhill and Vestra Fiold, Mainland, Orkney (Colin Richards, John Brown, Siân Jones, Allan & Tom Muir)
6. Surface over substance: the Vestra Fiold horned cairn, Mainland, Setter cairn, Eday, and a reappraisal of late Neolithic funerary architecture (Colin Richards, Jane Downes, Ellen Hambleton, Rick Perterson, and Joshua Pollard) 

Part 3 Stone circles in the Outer Hebrides 7. The peristalith and the context of Calanais: transformational architecture in the Hebridean early Neolithic (Vicki Cummings & Colin Richards) 8. Erecting stone circles in a Hebridean landscape (Colin Richards, Adrian Challands & Kate Welham) 9. Expedient monumentality: Na Dromannan and the high stone circles of Calanais, Lewis (Colin Richards, George Demetri, Charles French, Robert Nunn, Rebecca Rennell, Mairi Robertson & Lee Wellerman) 10. The sanctity of crags: mythopraxis, transformation and the Calanais low circles (Colin Richards) 11. A time for stone circles, a time for new people (Colin Richards & Seren Griffiths) 12. Constructing through discourse: the folklore of stone circles and standing stones (Tom Muir & Colin Richards)

[Not sure if this post is readable on all platforms -- let me know if there is a problem, particularly re the pic of the book jacket.] 

8 comments:

Myris said...

6. Surface over substance: the Vestra Fiold horned cairn, Mainland, Setter cairn, Eday, and a reappraisal of late Neolithic funerary architecture (Colin Richards, Jane Downes, Rob Ixer, Ellen Hambleton, Rick Perterson, and Joshua Pollard)

Damned if you do damned if you don't.

M

TonyH said...

Part 2: 9
"EXPEDIENT MONUMENTALITY"
Wonder if this is a nod of agreement to SOME of what you have been promoting, Brian, namely, that rocks found conveniently nearby were often utilised?

2nd comment: Vicki Cummings is mentioned (e.g Part 2:7 "The peristalith and the context of Callanais...
Vicki assisted in a similarly expensive publication, co - authored, from memory, with Alistair Whittle. It's subject included prehistoric Pembrokeshire/ SW Wales. Oxbow Press I think.

3rd comment: CHARLES FRENCH is listed as one of the authors of EXPEDIENT MONUMENTALITY [See 1st Comment]. Charles [or Charly] is well - known on this Blog because of his notoriety [at least in Brian's eyes], in identifying the alleged periglacial stripes, along with snail expert Mike Lewis, running down the Stonehenge Avenue from the Heel Stone[MPP: "Stonehenge", Simon & Schuster, 2012, pp 242-3.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Nice to see that Rob is in there as one of the authors -- but where are the geomorphologists? Undervalued and ignored, as usual....... actually, it's their own fault for not getting more involved in what should be essentially cross-disciplinary studies.

BRIAN JOHN said...

A great mystery: Surface over substance: the Vestra Fiold horned cairn, Mainland, Setter cairn, Eday, and a reappraisal of late Neolithic funerary architecture (Colin Richards, Jane Downes, Ellen Hambleton, Rick Perterson, and Joshua Pollard)

What happened to Rob Ixer in the list of authors of this chapter? Airbrushed out, Rob?


BRIAN JOHN said...

Tony -- you mean Mike Allen?

Myris of Alexandria said...

No I think Rob Ixer was just forgotten in the blurb and list of chapters, he is there at the start of the chapter and in online references.
He only contributes about three lines on an unusual axe head found within the cairn.
Oversight rather than malice.Elsewhere it probably has been
Less accidental.
M.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Oh not with Colin but other former colleagues.
M

TonyH said...

Yes, I do mean Mike Allen, for some strange reason I keep wanting to call him Lewis, a bit like Inspector Morse's exasperated call for his assistant (But please do NOT mention Luis Suarez for at least 6 months to any England supporter).