Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Book Review: America's Stonehenge Deciphered

by JimP
I received my copy of Mary Gage's new book America's Stonehenge Deciphered last week. I had eagerly anticipated its arrival and I must say it did not disappoint. I felt compelled to write this review for the blog.

Mary seamlessly combines historical, archaeological, and other physical records with Native American oral traditions to piece together a 3,000 year ceremonial history of the Mystery Hill complex in North Salem, NH. It not only becomes evident that Mary has pain-stakingly inspected all the structures at the complex known as America's Stonehenge, but that she also has extensive knowledge of all the reports from archaeologists and researchers who have studied the site over the last several decades. She puts it all together into a cohesive timeline that not only makes logical sense, but brings the general public new insights into the spirituality of New England's First Nations.

The value of Mary's book goes far beyond Mystery Hill. It also helps us to better understand ancient lithic sites all over New England. From her meticulous documentation of each structure and feature, we gain knowledge of similar structures that likely served similar purposes at sites all over the Eastern Woodlands. We learn new ways of viewing stonework and rock piles. We find features that we might have otherwise overlooked.

The hundreds of terrific photos by Mary's son James and all the expertly-drawn illustrations do a wonderful job of placing you right there at each feature as Mary describes their uses. It becomes easy to imagine the Native People practicing their rituals and continuing their traditions over scores of centuries on the beautiful sacred hilltop site. It transports you back in time and allows you to envision the ceremonies in a way you likely never have before.

Although those people lucky enough to have visited Mystery Hill often and who have intimate knowledge of its many features will gain the most value from Mary's book, it is so jam-packed with information that there is literally something in it for everyone. This book should sit on the shelf right next to your copy of Manitou by Mavor and Dix. I feel it is both that important and that ground-breaking.

America's Stonehenge Deciphered is a bargain at just $16 plus shipping. It's available through Amazon.com and Powwow River Books.

[Click Here] to order your copy today!

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Powwow River Books or with America's Stonehenge Deciphered in any way. I posted this review because I honestly received that much value from Mary's book -- and I think everyone should own a copy. This is very much an unsolicited endorsement.

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