The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their by Ronald Hutton

By Ronald Hutton

This is often the 1st survey of non secular ideals within the British Isles from the Stone Age to the arriving of Christianity. Hutton attracts upon a wealth of latest facts to bare a few very important rethinking approximately Christianization and the decline of paganism.

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Their bodies had been exposed for at least two years before being brought to the hut and were stacked in piles containing an average of two individuals. But the scores of other earthen long barrows in southern England contained an average of six people each: as with the stone tombs, the monumental function was generally more important than the mortuary one. Indeed, this seems to have become more true with 34 The Time of the Tombs time, for at present the barrows with the most bodies appear to be the earliest.

Yet how it conceived of its place in the natural or divine order, we cannot know. From 12,000 BC the last Ice Age was waning, and by 8000 the European environment was changing beyond recognition. A dense forest grew over the prairies, ousting the great herds of animals. As the sea level rose, first Ireland and then Britain broke away from the continental land mass. The concentration of human beings in France and northern Spain dissolved, and the production of art there was reduced to the painting of pebbles.

Portal dolmens are also found in Britain and France, and simple passage graves are quite widespread along the European coast, while court cairns are a uniquely Irish feature. 6 The distribution of such monuments in Britain is divided roughly by a line drawn between Inverness and Bridport, Dorset. 1 Irish court cairns a Conjectural reconstruction of a court cairn; b plan of Annaghmare (Co. Armagh); c plan of Creevykeel (Co. Sligo); d plan of Cohaw (Co. Cavan). Source', redrawn after Waterman, Kilbride-Jones and Hencken are mostly stone tombs, and to the east of it the so-called earthen long barrows, with wooden chambers or pits.

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