The recent passing of Dr Euan MacKie, together with the earlier passing (in April) of Dr Aubrey Burl, and that of professor Keith Critchlow, brings to an end those stalwarts who were part of the surge of interest, during the 1960s and 70s, in archaeoastronomy, earth mysteries and a general quest to connect to our ancestors, to better understand the ancient world so as to include the new data that was pouring in from the work of those three professors, Gerald Hawkins, Alexander Thom, Fred Hoyle and those such as John Michell, whose lot it was to become part of, if not found, an alternative way of exploring our ancient and prehistoric past, often tabbed ‘the lunatic fringe’ within archaeological circles.
Designer and collator Thomas Melrose has done what has been needed for many years – produced a superb graphical map of Avebury where all the stones are listed, all the recent archaeological evidence derived from LIDAR and aerial photography is included and, where applicable, shown on the plan. For the tourist or visitor it now becomes the must-have source material to have tucked away in a rucksack or large pocket during a walk around the Avebury Henge site.
But this new presentational format goes far further than this necessary accessory. Its accuracy is without doubt the best yet available to researchers, be they academic archaeologists or enthusiastic amateurs.