Books : reviews

Rupert Soskin.
Standing with Stones.
Thames and Hudson. 2009

Across the length and breadth of Britain & Ireland lies an unsurpassed richness of archaeological heritage. From the southernmost tip of Cornwall to the far Scottish isles, a wonderful variety of ancient stone monuments present an enigmatic face to the world.

Standing with Stones is a voyage of discovery, taking the reader to over a hundred megalithic sites in a photographic journey from south to north. Some sites, like Stonehenge and Newgrange, are well researched and often visited, while many, such as Ferworthy and Bleasedale, are barely known at all. From stone circles and henges to long borrows and cairns, our distant ancestors adapted and shaped their monuments to all environments, leaving us the tantalizing signs of their long-forgotten lives.

As Rupert Soskin’s journey unfolds, not only do we have the opportunity to share his experiences of visiting these magical places, but we also join him in his quest for answers to puzzling questions. What were such sites really for? Why did ancient people expend so much time and energy on creating these mysterious structures? Even though we may never fully know the answers, this journey entices us to explore further. Within these pages tranquil forest glades and open moors give way to misty mountaintops and solitary islands, conveying a sense of ancient landscapes still meaningful in the present.