Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans

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9780007126927: Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans

Based on new archaeological finds, this book introduces a novel rethinking of the whole of British history before the coming of the Romans. So many extraordinary archaeological discoveries (many of them involving the author) have been made since the early 1970s that our whole understanding of British prehistory needs to be updated. So far only the specialists have twigged on to these developments; now, Francis Pryor broadcasts them to a much wider, general audience. Aided by aerial photography, coastal erosion (which has helped expose such coastal sites as Seahenge) and new planning legislation which requires developers to excavate the land they build on, archaeologists have unearthed a far more sophisticated life among the Ancient Britons than has been previously supposed. Far from being the woaded barbarians of Roman propaganda, we Brits had our own religion, laws, crafts, arts, trade, farms, priesthood and royalty. And the Scots, English and Welsh were fundamentally one and the same people.

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About the Author:

Dr Francis Pryor has spent thirty years studying the prehistory of the Fens. He has excavated sites as diverse as Bronze Age farms, field systems and entire Iron Age villages. From 1980 he turned his attention to pre-Roman religion and has excavated barrows, 'henges', and a large ceremonial centre dating to 3800 bc. In 1982, while working in a drainage dyke at Flag Fen, on the outskirts of Peterborough, he discovered the waterlogged timbers of a Bronze Age religious site. In 1987, with his wife Maisie Taylor, he set up the Fenland Archaeological Trust, which opened Flag Fen to the public.

Review:

‘Written with pace and passion...immensely readable.’ Tom Holland, Daily Telegraph

‘It bounds along, wonderfully enlivened by Pryor’s earthy enthusiasm. If you want to be introduced painlessly to the fascinating debates surrounding our British past, then “Britain BC” is the book for you.’ Barry Cunliffe, New Scientist

‘Francis Pryor is a modern field archaeologist with a reputation second to none. He has written a book as successful and exciting as its ambition is huge...lucid and engaging.’ Alan Garner, The Times

‘There are enough curious facts, contentious theories and bizarre hypotheses here to hold the interest of anyone concerned with the unique and peculiar story of these islands.’ Independent on Sunday

‘Beautifully written, exciting and extremely good...an essential read.’ British Archaeology

Praise for Francis Pryor’s television series ‘Britain BC’:

‘Fascinating...the evangelical Pryor paints a vivid portrait of pre-Roman society that tackles received wisdom about what was going on here in the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Pryor leaps about the country at a cracking pace, his big personality making sure we never get bored by the scant and rarefied scraps that are his stock-in-trade.’ Observer

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