DIVBritain's pagan past, with its mysterious monuments, atmospheric sites, enigmatic artifacts, bloodthirsty legends, and cryptic inscriptions, is both enthralling and perplexing to a resident of the twenty-first century. In this ambitious and thoroughly up-to-date book, Ronald Hutton reveals the long development, rapid suppression, and enduring cultural significance of paganism, from the Paleolithic Era to the coming of Christianity. He draws on an array of recently discovered evidence and shows how new findings have radically transformed understandings of belief and ritual in Britain before the arrival of organized religion.
Setting forth a chronological narrative, Hutton along the way makes side visits to explore specific locations of ancient pagan activity. He includes the well-known sacred sites—Stonehenge, Avebury, Seahenge, Maiden Castle, Anglesey—as well as more obscure locations across the mainland and coastal islands. In tireless pursuit of the elusive “why” of pagan behavior, Hutton astonishes with the breadth of his understanding of Britain’s deep past and inspires with the originality of his insights./div
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ancient Anglo-Saxon animal apparently Barry Cunliffe belief bodies British Archaeology Bronze Age burial Cambridge carved causewayed enclosures cave Celtic Celts cemeteries ceremonial chalk Christian church context cremation cult culture deities deposits ditches divine Dorset Druids early earth earth mysteries East enclosures England English Heritage especially Europe European evidence excavated figurines Francis Pryor goddess grave henge Hill hill forts History human bones images interpretation Ireland Irish Iron Age landscape late later London long barrows Magic medieval megaliths Mesolithic Middle Ages millennium modern monuments mounds Museum native nature Neolithic northern ofBritain ofthe Orkney Oxbow pagan Palaeolithic period pits places possible Prehistoric Britain Redrawn religion religious remains Richard Bradley rites ritual Roman Britain Romano-British Ronald Hutton Routledge sacred scholars Scotland seems shamanism shrines Society spirits stone circle Stonehenge Stroud structures suggested surviving symbols temple Tempus tion tomb-shrines tradition twentieth century Viking Wales Wessex worship