Seahenge: a quest for life and death in Bronze Age Britain

Seahenge a quest for life and death in Bronze Age Britain A lively and authoritative investigation into the lives of our ancestors based on the revolution in the field of Bronze Age archaeology which has been taking place in Norfolk and the Fenlands over th

  • Title: Seahenge: a quest for life and death in Bronze Age Britain
  • Author: Francis Pryor
  • ISBN: 9780007101924
  • Page: 191
  • Format: Paperback
  • A lively and authoritative investigation into the lives of our ancestors, based on the revolution in the field of Bronze Age archaeology which has been taking place in Norfolk and the Fenlands over the last twenty years, and in which the author has played a central role.One of the most haunting and enigmatic archaeological discoveries of recent times was the uncovering inA lively and authoritative investigation into the lives of our ancestors, based on the revolution in the field of Bronze Age archaeology which has been taking place in Norfolk and the Fenlands over the last twenty years, and in which the author has played a central role.One of the most haunting and enigmatic archaeological discoveries of recent times was the uncovering in 1998 at low tide of the so called Seahenge off the north coast of Norfolk This circle of wooden planks set vertically in the sand, with a large inverted tree trunk in the middle, likened to a ghostly hand reaching up from the underworld , has now been dated back to around 2020 BC The timbers are currently and controversially in the author s safekeeping at Flag Fen.Francis Pryor and his wife an expert in ancient wood working and analysis have been at the centre of Bronze Age fieldwork for nearly 30 years, piecing together the way of life of Bronze Age people, their settlement of the landscape, their religion and rituals The famous wetland sites of the East Anglian Fens have preserved ten times the information of their dryland counterparts like Stonehenge and Avebury, in the form of pollen, leaves, wood, hair, skin and fibre found pickled in mud and peat.Seahenge demonstrates how much Western civilisation owes to the prehistoric societies that existed in Europe in the last four millennia BC.

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    1 thought on “Seahenge: a quest for life and death in Bronze Age Britain”

    1. Archaeology is not some exact science, with answers to give to every question if we only look hard enough. It's partly our own fault: we're overpopulating the Earth, and in the meantime we're destroying great swathes of the archaeological record. We only have fragments of the past, some larger than others -- Seahenge being one of the latter, far ahead of potsherds but perhaps more mysterious -- and while archaeology has some light to shed, I find it best to accept up front that no one can offer [...]

    2. What an interesting view of archeological discovery and enterprise in the bronze age. One thing that I really took home with this book was the differences in time period of the neolithic throughout the old world in different locations. As soon as I determined the time period in Britain I found myself asking if this was the same time period throughout Mesopotamia and other areas of the world and made a sound correlation between Britain and other locations at this time period in terms of developme [...]

    3. Loved reading this little tome. It was like having a conversation with Francis Pryor about things I care about quite passionately . His open and honest approach to archaeology and prehistory means that he can consider out-of-the-box ideas, which means that he can pose some interesting and very thought=poking analysis that makes much more sense to me than the traditional historical analysis that I learned in school! I remember the first time I went to a prehistory site, with my history teacher in [...]

    4. Really interesting in parts, but I found the title and description on the back somewhat deceptive--there's a brief prologue about Seahenge, and then Pryor goes back in time to give background on his work in the surrounding area and doesn't get back to talking about Seahenge itself until the last 100 or so pages. There's some good stuff throughout the other 200 pages--descriptions of the excavation process in the fens, how Pryor thinks the henges in this area were used, what everyday life might h [...]

    5. Now I'm going to read a different archaeologist on Stonehenge. My quest to understand a society without written language continues.

    6. Not an easy read because of lots of details that need grounding in more accessible charts and maps. Still, a fascinating read on British paleoarchaeology, including te famous henges

    7. Pryor is a highly entertaining writer, equally adept at telling pub-tales of his discoveries and creating a deep context for them within contemporary archaeology and within an image of Neolithic Britain. The only small downside to Pryor's breezy style is his willingness to digress into tangential opinions, some a bit distasteful. But overall this firsthand account of one of the most interesting recent discoveries in British archaeology is absolutely fascinating, both for its process and for its [...]

    8. I thought I'd just cherry pick a chapter of this because it was about a neolithic archeology dig and I am doing research for my novel. But as I got to reading, the author was imparting so much information that one bread crumb lead to the next and I just couldn't put it down. I actually gave up on flagging pages and just got out my notebook and started taking notes. There is a wealth of information here, including the inner workings of a career in archeology and what you might expect on a dig, bu [...]

    9. This book was my introduction to prehistory and I actually couldn't put it down (not until my eyelids shut of their own accord about three in the morning, anyway). It was easy to understand but gave a satisfying and fascinating wealth of detail. And it was so exciting when I interpreted the clues the same as Pryor did! I am now hooked on prehistory and especially henges. So thank you Francis Pryor!

    10. This book was really incredible. Pryor is a great writer, he manages to tell a fascinating story with enough explanation of archaeology so that you fully understand why certain conclusions are reached, but he is never over-technical, and he also does not talk down to the reader. Reading this book is not at all like listening to a stuffy lecture, he's more like those rare teachers who can hold an audience enthralled, who teach from experience and by storytelling instead of from the textbook.

    11. Very interesting themes and a moving ending. My copy is the 2002 version and i would like to read the later version to see if it includes Blick Mead and whether his musings about the Avenue at Stonhenge are updated

    12. For a non-fiction book by an archeologist, this book was amazingly readable. I do admit that towards the end my attention was easily diverted, but stay with it I did. For anyone who thinks Stonehenge is a unique place, it is so amazing to read about so many more Neolithic sites in Great Britain.

    13. A fascinating and very accessible account of Bronze Age ritual sites, and how boggy areas and wetlands fit into the landscape of prehistoric Great Britain.

    14. A bit dry for the general population, but would recommend for those with an interest in the neolithic and British pre-history, or those with some background in archaeology.

    15. This was one of the most enjoyable books I've had to read. The mix of archaeological thinking and lovely anecdotes about life in the trenches was a wonderful journey.

    16. The first book I read by Pryor, back when I first started doing more research on henges.Also an excellent read.

    17. This book rekindled my interest in archaeology. It's about the thrill of discovery and also a great introduction to archaeology.

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