Author: Miranda and Stephan Aldhouse-Green
Publisher: Thames and Hudson
Synopsis: An informative and readable exploration of shamanism and ritual behavior in ancient Europe.
Review: What can I say about this book? The name itself bothers me, now-a-days shamanism/shaman has turned into a buzz word for a lot of people, and in this book it is used to mean people all over Europe (from prehistory into history) who fulfill the role of seers, priests, and ritualists…Why couldn’t she say that instead of using the word “Shaman”?
Leaving that pet peeve behind here is another one, Miranda Green loves to make leaps of logic that make you go HUH?..but in this book she goes beyond that…WAY beyond that…You will see lots of “it is assumed, one can infer, this seems to suggest” and in almost every case I can give you an alternative explanation.
The writing style is different than her usual tone so I’m assuming it is her husband’s influence and surprisingly I liked that, it is one of its redeeming points. Another one is her survey of the archeological evidence. She catalogs quite a bit and mixes in some mythology and a dash of known history. I would have loved this book if she has stuck with that and not done her leaps of logic, or even kept it to the levels I am used to from her. Oh well, I’m going to file this one under “look at the survey and ignore all the assumptions made” category.