From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Harry Aubrey Woodruff Burl (born September 24,
1926) is a
British archaeologist most well known for his
studies into megalithic
monuments and the nature of prehistoric rituals associated with them. Prior to
retirement he was Principal Lecturer in Archaeology, Hull College, East
Riding of Yorkshire.
His most widely held academic works are The Stone Circles of
the British Isles and Prehistoric Avebury , each of
which is held in over 1300 libraries worldwide. He has
received a volume edited in his honour. He has
been called by The New York Times, "the leading authority
on British stone circles " 
Burl's work, while considering the astronomical roles of many
megalithic monuments, is cautious of embracing the more tenuous
claims of archaeoastronomy. In
'Prehistoric Avebury' Burl proposes that Circles and Henge
monuments, far from being astronomical observatories for a class of
'astronomer priests' were more likely used for ritualistic
practices, connected with death and fertility rites, and ancestor
worship, similar to practices observed in other agriculutral
cultures (in particular the rituals of Native North American Tribes
such as the Aloquins and the Pawnee). Rituals would have been
performed at key times of the year, such as the Spring and Summer
Equinox, to ensure a successful harvest from the land.
His approach led him to question what he sees as the
over-romanticised view that Stonehenge was built from bluestones hauled by hand
from the Preseli
Hills in south west Wales to
Plain. Rather, the stones were left close to the site by
earlier glaciers and then
exploited by the monument's builders  Others
have argued that the bluestones have been traced to only the
Preselli Hills through their chemical signature and that they could
not have come from elsewhere. Additionally, it was claimed that
there was no known glacier with a course linking the hills with Salisbury Plain
or a glacier from anywhere that reached far enough south. On the
other hand, recent research by earth scientists shows that glacier
ice reached the Scilly Isles on at least one occasion and that ice
which crossed Pembrokeshire did cross the coasts of Somerset and
- Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of the British Isles.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976. ISBN 978030001972.
- Burl, Aubrey. Prehistoric Avebury. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1979. ISBN 9780300023688.
- Burl, Aubrey, and Edward Piper. Rings of Stone: The
Prehistoric Stone Circles of Britain and Ireland. New Haven:
Ticknor & Fields, 1980, ISBN 9780899190006.
- Burl, Aubrey. The Stonehenge People / Aubrey Burl.
London: J.M. Dent, 1987, ISBN 9780460044851.
- Burl, Aubrey. From Carnac to Callanish: The Prehistoric
Stone Rows and Avenues of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1993, ISBN 9780300055757.
- Burl, Aubrey. Great Stone Circles: Fables, Fictions,
Facts. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, ISBN
- Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and
Brittany. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000, ISBN
- Burl, Aubrey. A Brief History of Stonehenge. London:
Robinson, 2007. ISBN 9781845295912
- Burl, Aubrey. Danse Macabre: Franc̦ois Villon, Poetry,
& Murder in Medieval France. Stroud, Gloucestershire:
Sutton Pub, 2000.
- Burl, Aubrey. God's Heretics: The Albigensian Crusade. Stroud:
Sutton, 2002. ISBN 9780750925723
- Translated into Polish as Burl, Aubrey, and Dorota Strukowska.
Heretycy: krucjata przeciw Albigensom. Wrocław: Wydawn.
Dolnośląskie, 2003. ISBN 9788373840751
- Burl, Aubrey, and Humphrey Clucas. Catullus: A Poet in the
Rome of Julius Caesar. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004
- Burl, Aubrey, and Aubrey Burl. Black Barty: Bartholomew
Roberts and His Pirate Crew 1718-1723. Stroud: Sutton,
- Burl, Aubrey. Courts of Love, Castles of Hate: Troubadours and
Trobairitz in Southern France 1071-1321. Stroud: Sutton, 2008. ISBN
"(Harry) Aubrey (Woodruff) Burl". Contemporary Authors
Online. Gale, 2005. Retrieved on November 25, 2009.
Works by or about Aubrey
Burl in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
Alex M. Gibson, and D. D. A. Simpson. Prehistoric Ritual and
Religion: Essays in Honour of Aubrey Burl. Thrupp, Stroud,
Gloucestershire: Sutton, 1998. ISBN 9780750915984
"MagicStones: Prehistoric Avebury" by Paul Johnspon The New
York Times Book Review, Page BR3, October 21, 1979 link
Burl, Aubrey. Great Stone Circles: Fables, Fictions, Facts
Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of the British Isles.
Burl, Aubrey. 2001. "Stonehenge: how did the stones get there? -
Aubrey Burl Explains How the Myth of the Stones Transported from
South Wales to Salisbury Plain Arose, and Why It Is Wrong".
History Today. 51: 19.
Review by Gerald S. Hawkins (1977), The Journal of the Society
of Architectural Historians 36 (3): 206–207,
doi:10.2307/989076. Review by Sharon
Gibbs (1979), Isis 70: 461, doi:10.1086/352310.
Review by R.J.C. Atkinson (1979), Nature
282: 175–176, doi:10.1038/282175a0. Review by
Sarunas Milisauskas (1980), American Anthropologist
82 (4): 882–883, doi:10.1525/aa.1980.82.4.02a00340.
Review by Rory Fonseca (1981), The Journal of the Society of
Architectural Historians 40 (4): 326–327, doi:10.2307/989650. Review by
Elsebet Sander-Jørgensen Rowlett (1980), Technology and
Culture 21 (4) 644–646, doi:10.2307/3104091.
Review by R.J.C. Atkinson (1980), Nature
Review by Andrew Fleming (1991), American Journal of
Archaeology 95 (3): 543–544, doi:10.2307/505497. Review by A.
Whittle (1988), Journal for the History of Astronomy.
Supplement: Archaeoastronomy 12: S85. Review
by R. Castleden (1987), Nature 329:
Review by Graham Ritchie (1994), Nature
367: 329, doi:10.1038/367329a0.
Review by Michael Hoskin (2001), Journal of History of
Astronomy, Archaeoastronomy Supplement 32: