An up-to-date book on Stonehenge by Mr Atkinson is indeed a great acquisition; it is a book for the intelligent reader as well as for the archaeologist, and is by far the best book on the subject that has so far been written.
The author explains how a potsherd or stone, when carelessly thrown away, will gradually sink owing to the action of earth worms, through the earthy top-soil till it reaches an impermeable layer, so that where, as here, the soil is shallow a layer is formed containing objects of all periods. Such a statement made in the 1920’s was laughed at. Further, he goes on to say (p. 168) : ‘The one thing about Stonehenge upon which everyone is agreed is that it is primarily a “temple,” a structure in which it was possible for man to establish contact and communication with extra-mundane forces or beings’. No one in the nineteen-twenties could have made such a statement and survived. Abercromby said it in his book (Bronze Age Pottery, 1912), and his chapter on Stonehenge is still well worth reading, but it is never quoted or referred to. It was Abercromby, not the present reviewer, who first pointed out the importance of the south-westem end of the axis. The only obvious error noticed (p. 195) is the statement that Colonel Hawley was Director of the Society of Antiquaries. However, this slight error is amply made up for by the forty photographs, all but six of which reveal some feature never before published and probably not even photographed; one of them (plate II : Stonehenge from the north) has an artistic quality that no other photograph I can recall has ever had. The effect of light and shade is most beautiful.