Britain B C

Britain B C

by Francis Pryor

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Overview

An authoritative and radical rethinking of the history of Ancient Britain and Ancient Ireland, based on remarkable new archaeological finds.British history is traditionally regarded as having started with the Roman Conquest. But this is to ignore half a million years of prehistory that still exert a profound influence. Here Francis Pryor examines the great ceremonial landscapes of Ancient Britain and Ireland – Stonehenge, Seahenge, Avebury and the Bend of the Boyne – as well as the discarded artefacts of day-to-day life, to create an astonishing portrait of our ancestors.This major re-revaluation of pre-Roman Britain, made possible in part by aerial photography and coastal erosion, reveals a much more sophisticated life in Ancient Britain and Ireland than has previously been supposed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780007126934
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Publication date: 10/30/2006
Edition description: New
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 659,999
Product dimensions: 5.08(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.06(d)

About the Author

Dr Francis Pryor, author of the acclaimed ‘Seahenge’, ‘Britain BC’, ‘Britain AD’ and ‘Britain in the Middle Ages: An Archaeological History’, has spent thirty years studying the prehistory of the Fens. He has excavated sites as diverse as Bronze Age farms and religious sites, field systems and entire Iron Age villages, as well as barrows, ‘henges’ and a large ceremonial centre dating to 3800 BC. He is President of the Council for British Archaeology, and frequently appears on Channel 4’s popular archaeology programme ‘Time Team’. In 2003 he wrote and presented a two-part television series on ‘Britain BC’, and in 2004 made a three-part series on ‘Britain AD’.

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Britain BC 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Dan_Putman More than 1 year ago
Francis Pryor's Britain BC is one of the most readable and certainly one of the most enjoyable archaeology books I have ever read. Pryor brings Britain's prehistory to life, no small task given that he is dealing with nonliterate peoples, vast amounts of time and, given the nature of the field, data that tends to be scattered at many sites. He has been criticized for both his "at-ease" writing style and at the same time for being too technical in parts. I find that he walks the line between archaeological scholar and archaeological popularizer extemely well. He is a fluid writer who must at times dig more deeply into the data to make a point. One needs to be aware of his goal in this book. In the several archaeology courses I had in my college days, I became aware of what a solid archaeology text is like. It is the combination of the latest data and methodology organized in a way so that a student can bring the work to bear in future courses or careers. Such books are often "dry" but that is not a criticism if the goal is to lay a firm groundwork for future field work or coursework in archaeology. But Pryor's goal is not that. It is, as he puts it in the Preface, to get across to the reader his fascination with the "story" of early humans in Britain. His readership is not primarily intended to be future archaeologists, though they would also learn a great deal here. His goal is to get the general educated reader to experience the excitement and, frankly, the fun of the dig, the joy of discovery and the amazement at our ancestors' accomplishments. Understandably, Pryor views the Romans as destructive of an indigenous people, though he points out that the early prehistory of Britain continued to live on. As a result, I found the very last part of the book on the late Iron Age written with somewhat less "elan" than the earlier periods - even with perhaps a touch of the tragic. But that is what happens when a people that one has come to love is invaded by the likes of the Roman Legions. Britain BC is as fine a work on British prehistory for the general public as there is on the market. As Pryor hopes, it brings the ancient Britons out of the twilight zone of history. I highly recommend it.
Lauradelenn More than 1 year ago
An accessible and entertaining history of Britain prior to the Roman occupation.  Highly recommended!
Sile on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It has actually taken me two years to read this book. I started it in July 2008, and I remember finding it hard to comprehend. It seemed all over the place and I had difficulties with the way Pryor went into long, confusing descriptions of various archaeological dig sites. I felt extremely stupid as I just could not visualise that which he attempted to illustrate with words in detail. I became frustrated and, instead, found other books to distract.This year I have made a concerted effort to finish those books I struggled with in the past. I picked up Britain BC again, but instead of returning to the beginning, I continued from where I had left off in order to distance myself from the earlier frustrations. It worked! I was able to read this book somewhat more comfortably and actually absorb most of the information.The detailed and wordy descriptions of various artefacts and archaeological digs sites still left me reeling, but pictures and illustrations are provided (more frequently in the second half of the book) which help to clearly demonstrate what Pryor is tries to describe in words. In some cases, I still skipped the details in favour of understanding how the site/artefact furthered the understanding of a particular time, people, community or way of working.Britain BC did provide me with insight in the world of archaeology; its progress over the years; and an idea of how archaeologists work today both in terms of learning about our past and in preserving it for the future. I marvelled at the amount of speculation involved in seeking to put finds into context, giving the impression that the purpose of a site or artefact can never be certain where archaeologists are involved. This was quite a lesson for me. I found it disconcerting that as Pryor dismantled the ideas of others, he sought to replace them with his own imaginings, a few of which I thought less credible than those he had just rejected. Still, what do I know?It has actually taken me two years to read this book. I started it in July 2008, and I remember finding it hard to comprehend. It seemed all over the place and I had difficulties with the way Pryor went into long, confusing descriptions of various archaeological dig sites. I felt extremely stupid as I just could not visualise that which he attempted to illustrate with words in detail. I became frustrated and, instead, found other books to distract.This year I have made a concerted effort to finish those books I struggled with in the past. I picked up Britain BC again, but instead of returning to the beginning, I continued from where I had left off in order to distance myself from the earlier frustrations. It worked! I was able to read this book somewhat more comfortably and actually absorb most of the information.The detailed and wordy descriptions of various artefacts and archaeological digs sites still left me reeling, but pictures and illustrations are provided (more frequently in the second half of the book) which help to clearly demonstrate what Pryor is tries to describe in words. In some cases, I still skipped the details in favour of understanding how the site/artefact furthered the understanding of a particular time, people, community or way of working.Britain BC did provide me with insight in the world of archaeology; its progress over the years; and an idea of how archaeologists work today both in terms of learning about our past and in preserving it for the future. I marvelled at the amount of speculation involved in seeking to put finds into context, giving the impression that the purpose of a site or artefact can never be certain where archaeologists are involved. This was quite a lesson for me. I found it disconcerting that as Pryor dismantled the ideas of others, he sought to replace them with his own imaginings, a few of which I thought less credible than those he had just rejected. Still, what do I know?I was taken by t
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well researched and very readable account of the archaeology of pre-Roman Britain. I found the early chapters especially interesting, e.g. the Boxgrove site showing the earliest evidence of human habitation in Britain 500,000 years ago, and the remarkable inventiveness of early hunter-gatherers. It did get a bit dry and technical at times in discussing the details of Neolithic and later monuments. The author also sometimes gets a little carried away in describing his or others' theories which seem to me perhaps a bit simplistic, e.g. the wood=life and stone=death theory of late Neolithic/early Bronze age monuments, verging on interpreting facts to fit the theory; the design of Iron age roundhouses mirroring the rising and setting sun also sounded too rigid to me. The author is quite convincing in dismissing the idea of a mass invasion of Neolithic farmers and prefers the theory that it was the idea of farming that swept across Europe to Britain. He cites as evidence DNA from Palaeolithic bones in Cheddar Gorge natching DNA from some modern inhabitants of the same area; on the other hand, there is also DNA evidence from the descendants of "Jasmine, the younger daughter of Eve" from Syria making up a sizeable slice of the British farming population in Neolithic and later society. All in all, a wonderful read that could get almost anyone interested in archaeology and pre-history.
jaygheiser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good read, enjoyed it. Looking forward to visiting some of the sites he recommends.
MMaelo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pryor's passion comes through in his writing and is quite infectious! He has the courage and tenacity to question what has been stated and written by well known historians of prehistory with pretty much solid evidence to back up his theories.A must read for those that want to have an understanding of Britain's prehistoric heritage.
woollymammoth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love prehistory, and this book is what started it. I think that thinking about other societies and how they were organised makes the problems of our own seem different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This isnt gonna work out...Onyx if u wanna rebuild...u can but is just...i cant rp....i dont wana get in trouble...
Winchuck More than 1 year ago
Now, I really got into this book and could hardly put it down. The author speaks to the common of us all so we can enjoy the exploration of finding what those old Europeans were into before they wrote most of it down without wading through academic jargon. Thanks to Francis Pryor for making history so dern interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
General of the british royal knights (B.R.K.). Come and be a knight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hiss
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey there angel. Your perfect for me. Your really nice and im trying my best to stay away from your bad side. I dont want to go there...lol.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont like u no one dose ur a s.lut and a wh.ore ab.tcand a c.unt. owww i hate tht word but its so true.h
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think ur pretty cool! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this like the new thing or something?