The great stone monuments, or megaliths, of Western Europe have for centuries excited the popular imagination. Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in megalithic studies, involving a shift in emphasis anway from traditional concerns with typology, chronology and megalithic "orgins" toward attempts to understand the social significance of megalithic monuments, and the cultural dimensions of monumnet contruction and ritual. Statements in Stone is the first detailed account of the megalithic tracitions of Western Europe. In any consideration of European megaliths, Britanny must be seen as a core area, standing out from most other regions by virtue of the density of monuments and the diversity of monuments. The book sets the various megalithic traditions into a social context, and relates monumental traditions to changing structures of social organisation. These megaliths cover a period of over 2000 years, from the earliest neolithic to the beginning of the Bronze Age.
Mark Patton shows how recent excavations have contributed much important information to our understanding of megaliths, such as the discover of early complexes beneath passage graves and evidence for multi-phase contruction of megalithic cairns and tombs. Statements in Stone is based on the most recent - and controversial - theoretical perspectives in archaeology. It will be of great interest to students of archaeology and anthropology.