This talk is concerned with the ways in which professional British archaeologists have written about the cosmological aspects of Neolithic ceremonial monuments over the past hundred years. Their interpretations have altered very significantly during the past five decades, and the alterations concerned may provide some very interesting insights into changes in modern British culture. The talk is intended to discuss those insights, and in the process to ask the question of whether some of the most important areas of human experience have become neglected as the result of these changes in academic thinking.
Ronald Hutton is Professor of History and Associate Dean of Arts in the University of Bristol, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Learned Society of Wales, and the British Academy. He represents both history and archaeology on the Board of Trustees which runs English Heritage, and chair of the Blue Plaques Panel which awards commemorative plaques to historic buildings. He has published fifteen books on aspects of political, social, cultural and religious history, including a monograph on the English Civil War, a narrative history of the Stuart Restoration, a biography of Charles II, two surveys of what is thought about the pagan religions of ancient Britain, two large-scale studies of the history of the ritual year in Britain, an analysis of Siberian shamanism, the first history of modern paganism in Britain, and two surveys of the treatment of Druids in British culture over the centuries. He was formerly a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and has been at Bristol since 1981.
Filmed at the Megalithomania Conference in Glastonbury in May 2017. http://www.megalithomania.co.uk/2017-Lecture-Downloads.html
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