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The Megaliths of Northern Europe

When: Thursday, February 18th 2010 at 10am (tea and coffee from 9:30)

Where: Centre for Anthropology, British Museum

The British Museum’s Centre for Anthropology, in collaboration with the Royal Anthropological Institute, will be continuing its series of encounters between authors and their reviewers with a seminar discussion between Dr Magdalena Midgley, author of The Megaliths of Northern Europe, and Prof Chris Scarre, who reviewed the work for JRAI.

The North European megaliths are among the most enduring structures built in prehistory; they are imbued with symbolic meanings which embody physical and conceptual ideas about the nature of the world inhabited by the first Northern farmers.

The Megaliths of Northern Europe brings to light new data on the construction of the megaliths and their role in the cultural landscape, and Magdalena Midgley offers a fascinating interpretation of the symbolism of megalithic tombs within the context of early farming communities. This wealth of new evidence suggests the Northern European megaliths were important foci in the wider north-west European context.

The construction of dolmens and passage graves, using huge glacial boulders, demanded both great communal effort and considerable skill. In addition to this technical expertise the master builders also made use of their esoteric knowledge of rituals. This was expressed in the use of exotic building materials and special architectural features, and in the placement of tombs within the natural and cultural landscapes, creating new metaphors and images.

This is a free event.

Please email Stefan Marianski for bookings and enquiries.