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The Stars and the Stones – Ancient Art and Astronomy in Ireland

The Stars and the Stones – Ancient Art and Astronomy in Ireland

Autore/i: Brennan Martin

Editore: Thames and Hudson Ltd

pp. 208, with 300 illustrations in one and two colors, London

This book brilliantly illuminates part of our prehistoric heritage that has for long been shrouded in darkness and mystery. Built over 5000 years ago, the megalithic monuments of Ireland with their spectacular art have baffled scientists for generations. Now, through patient and extensive fieldwork, Mr. Brennan sets that ancient tradition in the astronomical and ritual context for which it was intended. What the author and his colleagues discovered was that most if not all the major Irish mounds are oriented to the rising and setting positions of the sun at critical times of the year– solstice, cross-quarter day, equinox. Even more remarkably they found that the beams of light projected into the inner chambers at these times illuminate one after another the images carved on the stones, as if spelling out messages in an archaic code. Analysis of the carvings revealed an ancient preoccupation with solar and lunar symbolism, and true sundials and calendar stones are seen to exist here earlier than anywhere else in the world. In his text and own superb two-color drawings Martin Brennan fully documents these discoveries, as well as describing the researches of others and echoes from the distant past to be found in Gaelic literature. All the major Irish engraved compositions are illustrated, providing not only support for the author’s theories but also a wonderful treasury of Irish megalithic art.

Martin Brennan is a New York artist who spent three years of study on prehistoric art in Mexico and a similar period in Japan. Of Irish parentage, he was drawn to Ireland and the Boyne Valley, where he spent six years studying the neolithic stone chambers and their symbolic art before formulating the groundbreaking theories set forth in this book.

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