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READ PDF º 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 the last twenty years, and in which the author has played a central roleOne of the most haunting and enigmatic archaeological discoveries of recent times was the uncovering inat 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 aroundBC The timbers are currently and controversially in the author s safekeeping at Flag FenFrancis Pryor and his wife an expert in ancient wood working and analysis have been at the centre of Bronze Age fieldwork for nearlyyears, 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 peatSeahenge demonstrates how much Western civilisation owes to the prehistoric societies that existed in Europe in the last four millennia BC Fascinating archaeology, discoveries and theories, but the writing does meander quite a bit 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 perhapsmysterious and while archaeology has some light to shed, I find it best to accept up front that no one can offer 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 perhapsmysterious and while archaeology has some light to shed, I find it best to accept up front that no one can offer a complete answer, and that if anyone claims to be certain, they re speaking beyond the evidence in almost every case Francis Pryor s book handles this pretty well, in my books, though I have no doubt there s people out there who wish he d stop equivocating Much of this book involves setting this in context, linking modern and ancient lives and landscapes, and then using what evidence that offers to spin theories theories that could be upset by the next find out of the ground, in some obscure peaty corner or air tight chamber stumbled upon by chance.Bearing all that in mind, I found this book fascinating I have no personal expertise to say yay or nay to any of this my own research interests lie in a later period, with the dawning of literature, which is in conversation with archaeologythan you d think so I took Pryor s wordsor less at face value Some of his ideas seemed too sketchy, too much based on a gut reaction, but even so his description of the excavations, his impressions of them, the way they came together to synthesise an understanding of the anicent landscape it s all fascinating, and I would happily read.If you re looking to learn specifically and solely about the place we ve dubbed Seahenge which was not actually built on the beach, and wasn t in such close proximity to the sea then only a couple of chapters of this book are of direct interest But why you would want to look at something like this in isolation when it s clearly part of a larger story and can only be understood in those terms, I don t know.One thing you may feel is that Francis Pryor has too much to say about himself and his team, particularly his wife I enjoyed it, given that his thought processes were influenced by everything around him A bare bones description of the sites and the endless work of extraction and preservation would seem terribly boring to me 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 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 development and lifestyle I think the author makes both the archeological aspect and the old world aspect interesting and of course the focus of the Seahenge discovery keeps things well formed and enjoyable I especially enjoyed the final description of the dig towards the end of the book Expect to learn a lot of interesting things about the people of this time period Did you know that you women wore mini skirts and bore mid drifts though the older women were muchdemure And we thought we were being so original You also get an insight into the homes and tools of the time period as well as the means of travel and some ideas of rituals as best known at this point 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 muchsense 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 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 muchsense 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 grammar school I am not sure where we went, but I lived in Grantham at the time and this was a day long field trip which included a visit to the Roman villa near Leicester The villa was amazing, but it was that ancient hill fort that caught my imagination Ever since, I have read and visited various prehistory locations throughout Great Britain, Stonehenge, Avebury, and most recently, Old Winchester Hill As I learned , I discovered how far away that field trip was in terms of what we have come to understand about how our ancestors lived, moved and worships in ancient Briton.I came to this book via the Ruth Galloway mystery series The first one I read referenced Mr Pryor s Seahenge for further reading I was hooked This is an unfolding story from a misty past Old finds reframed with new information Thinking about found objects within context and what we know about human nature and habits After all, a 21st person is probably not so much different than our prehistory ancestors Our toys are different Our need for ritual and meaning is the same When you factor all these disciplines in with what we have learned from ariel photography, it puts flesh on the bones from long ago A fascinating read