If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge

If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge

by Marc Aronson


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What are the secrets of the ancient stone circle? Were the carefully placed stones a burial site, an ancient calendar, a place of Druid worship...or even a site of sacrifice? World-renowned archaeologist Mike Parker-Pearson has spent the last seven years on a quest to answer these and many other questions. In If Stones Could Speak, award-winning author Marc Aronson joins the research crew and records their efforts to crack Stonehenge’s secrets. National Geographic helped sponsor the Riverside archeological team’s mission, and now young readers can journey behind the scenes to experience this groundbreaking story first-hand, through the eyes of the experts.

Mike and his team have revolutionized our understanding of Stonehenge by exploring the surrounding landscape for clues about the stones — an idea first suggested by a visitor from Madagascar. The results have been breathtaking: The team recently unearthed the largest Neolithic village ever found in England. Marc Aronson had total access to the site, the team, and their work over two seasons of digging and brings the inspirational story of the discoveries taking place at this World Historical Site to young readers. The informative and drama-driven text includes tales of dead bodies, cremations, feasting, and ancient rituals, as well as insights into the science of uncovering the ancien t past.

The expert text, stunning photography, and explanatory maps and illustrations will all help young readers see this ancient monument in totally new ways, and inspire future generations of archaeological explorers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426305993
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication date: 03/09/2010
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 339,032
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Marc Aronson is an award-winning author and editor. He lives in Maplewood, NJ.

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If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The theories about Stonehenge have changed over time, and Aronson tells the story of Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist who came up with a new theory about what the site was used for in Neolithic times. His work with the Riverside Project has changed the dates when Stonehenge was built, and led to discoveries of a larger site. Pearson's theory is that Stonehenge is one end of a ceremonial complex -- the stone parts being for honoring the dead, and another wooden structure that would be used by the living. Part of the story is Stonehenge itself, and part is how Mike Parker Pearson got interested in archaeology, and used information from halfway around the world to come up with his ideas about Stonehenge. This is a well-told story of how archaeology leads us to a better understanding of what the world was like in the past, and how people lived. Grade 6 and up, especially appropriate for 6th graders, as archaeology is part of the social studies curriculum.
kharding on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I chose this book in part because of my fascination with archeology and also because I enjoyed Witch Hunt by Marc AronsonI have heard of Stonehenge many times, but did not know that there had been recent discoveries about this site. This book explains that it was an archeologist from Madagascar who was able to refocus the study of Stonehenge by providing a different perspective. Previously, experts had believed that Stonehenge served as a religious temple. However, archeologist Ramilisonina, drew from his own cultures use of stones, to come to the conclusion that Stonehenge was likely a place for ancestor worship. English archeologist Mike Parker Pearson (the main character of this book) took Ramilisonia¿s suggestion and was able to uncover a new understanding on the purpose of this historic site. The Stonehenge mystery has been reinterpreted through new eyes. This book illustrates how history is not a closed field of study, but something we must continually reexamine to find out more. I would use this book in a world history course to give context to studies of ancient societies. In order to look at history, and especially ancient history, we must be aware of the person telling the story, the tools we use to piece the facts together, and understand the gaps that exist.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I recently read a fantastic book of fiction, The Death-Defying Pepper Roux. In it, the young Pepper Roux deposits himself into the lives of an unlikely mix of people,easily masquerading as a grizzled sea captain, a reporter, a drunken husband, a store clerk. How does he do it? Well, he theorizes, "People see what they expect to see. Don't they?"And this, is the theme of If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge. For decades - even centuries, people have assumed that 4,500-year-old, mysterious circle of stones on England's Salisbury Plain was an ancient temple - perhaps belonging to the Druids. Why did they think this? Because that is what they were told, and that is what they expected to see.Fast forward to 1998, when lesser-known archaeologists, Mike Parker Pearson and Ramilsonia, suggested to the world that Stonehenge was not a place of the living, but rather a monument to the dead. Then later, in 2005, when Mike Parker Pearson's team uncovered Woodhenge, the circle of the living, a nearby wooden counterpart to Stonehenge, it was as if (to paraphrase the book) scholars living 4,000 years from now were studying a basketball hoop. Every famous professor and teacher is certain that the hoop and post are part of a complex religious ritual. Scores of books and studies have been written on the subject, when suddenly, a newcomer says, "Hey, did you notice that there is another hoop at the other end of the court? I think ancient people played games here."This is the story told in If Stones Could Speak; it is more than the story of Stonehenge, how it was built and used (although that is covered in detail as well). It is rather a lesson that one should always look at a problem from all sides and be willing to accept new ideas and discard old ones. This 64-page book contains nine chapters that tell the story of Stonehenge, of scientific discoveries (both new and old), and of Mike Parker Pearson's Stonehenge Riverside Project. As expected in a National Geographic publication, the photos are excellent and numerous with detailed captions. Easy explanations are included for the processes of carbon dating and strontium analysis. Rounding out the story are maps, a brief encyclopedia of Stonehenge, a chronology of Stonehenge digs, a timeline, and suggestions for further reading.This is a perfect choice for grades 5-8, particularly for research paper use. Also perfect for anyone interested in knowing more about Stonehenge, and the related Woodhenge, Southern Circle, Avenue, and Durrington Walls. All are connected in this fascinating new look at a very old topic.
jeannie.tucker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4Q, 3PThis book was extremely well-written, and presented a view on the origins of Stonehenge with which I was entirely unfamiliar. I've been to Stonehenge, but it was in 2005, and I don't think that these new ideas had yet been widely publicized. A fascinating story, but I think that it might be difficult to highlight its appeal to young readers. It reads too much like a textbook at times.