Thursday, 3 July 2008

New book: Creating prehistory

Creating Prehistory: Druids, Ley Hunters and Archaeologists in Pre-War Britain
John Wiley and Sons Ltd, May 2008, Pages: 336

Creating Prehistory deals even-handedly and sympathetically with the creation of several different sorts of prehistory during the volatile period between the two World Wars.

- Investigates the origins of professional archaeology in Britain during the inter-war period

- Brings to life many fascinating and controversial personalities and their creeds, including the archaeologists O. G. S. Crawford, Mortimer Wheeler and Gordon Childe; Grafton Elliot Smith and W. H. R. Rivers (of ‘Regeneration’ fame); Alfred Watkins and The Old Straight Track; and the thunderous George Watson Macgregor Reid, who brought the Druids back to Stonehenge

- Examines the production of archaeological knowledge as a social process, and the relationship between personalities, institutions, ideology, and power

- Addresses the ongoing debates of the significance of sites such as Stonehenge, Avebury, and Maiden Castle

Adam Stout is a Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Wales, Lampeter. His pioneering study of urban cowkeeping in 1978 marked him out as a historian of the unusual. Other works include The Thorn and the Waters: Miraculous Glastonbury in the Eighteenth Century (2007); What’s Real and What Is Not: Reflections upon Archaeology and Earth Mysteries in Britain (2006); Pimlico: Deep Well of Glee (1997); The Old Gloucester: Study of a Cattle Breed (1980); and a series of acclaimed artistic collaborations including Where Two Rivers Meet: The Story of Kennet Mouth (1994).
Looks like an interesting book. We have a copy of What’s Real and What Is Not: Reflections upon Archaeology and Earth Mysteries in Britain, which makes for interesting reading.

Thanks to Alun for the tip-off.

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