The Significance of Monuments
Author: Richard Bradley
Table of Contents
List of Figures Preface Part One: From the House of the Dead 1. Structures of Sand: Settlements,
Monuments and the Nature of the Neolithic 2. Thinking the Neolithic: the Mesolithic World View and its
Transformation 3. The Death of the House: the Origins of Long Mounds and Neolithic Enclosures 4.
Another Time: Architecure, Ancestry and the Development of Chambered Tombs 5. Small Worlds:
Causewayed Enclosures and their Transformations Part Two: Describing a Circle 6. The Persistence of
Memory: Ritual, Time and the History of Ceremonial Monuments 7. The Public Interest: Ritual and
Ceremonial, from Passage Graves to Henges 8. Theatre in the Round: Henge Monuments, Stone Circles
and their Integration with the Landscape 9. Closed Circles: the Changing Character of Monuments, from
Enclosures to Cemeteries 10. An Agricultural Revolution: the Domestication of Ritual Life during later
The Neolithic period, when agriculture began and many monuments - including Stonehenge - were
constructed, is an era fraught with paradoxes and ambiguities. Starting in the Mesolithic and carrying his
analysis through to the Late Bronze Age, Richard Bradley sheds light on this complex period and the
changing consciousness of these prehistoric peoples.
The Significance of Monuments studies the importance of monuments tracing their history from their first
creation over six thousand years later. Part One discusses how monuments first developed and their role
in developing a new sense of time and space among the inhabitants of prehistoric Europe. Other features
of the prehistoric landscape - such as mounds and enclosures - across Continental Europe are also
examined. Part Two studies how such monuments were modified and reinterpreted to suit the changing
needs of society through a series of detailed case studies.
The Significance of Monuments is an indispensable text for all students of European prehistory. It is also
an enlightening read for professional archaeologists and all those interested in this fascinating period.
'Like a stone on calm water, it by necessity leaves out some areas but makes a profound impact on
others and in so doing is no less gratifying. It should be essential reading to anyone interested in
'As someone who can work theory into practice, Bradley has the rare ability to produce successful
interpretative archaeologies in a clear, readable and compelling style. It is a publication that deserves a
wide audience, and not just within the closed circle of British prehistorians.'
'Bradley has identified some aspects of cosmological significance at a broad European level. The
Significance of Monuments is stimulating, interesting, and enjoyable; I would highly recommend it for