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Wisdom of the Ancients

Wisdom of the Ancients

Neil Oliver
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
I enjoyed this book, not sure if it due to the purpose intended by the author or not. The author takes us around the world to various historic and prehistoric sites, mainly the latter. During this journey he gives a brief description of them and their relevance to our understanding of human development.


As well as sites, he also credits discoverers and explorers who helped put these sites on the map. The journey does oscillate between continents and time periods, covering millions of years.

There are 12 chapters, each devoted to 3 locations, although there is some cross over and interlinking between them for the purposes of context. There is no requirement therefore to read them in order and they can be dipped into and out of quite easily if you wish to go back and re-read a section.

One thing that comes through this book is the author's devotion to his subject matter. It is not a dry list of descriptions of ancient sites but full of emotion and feelings. He would appear to have a special place in his heart for Orkney, which, having lived there I can fully understand.

If I had a complaint about the book, it's the lack of illustrations. Perhaps that would defeat the object of the book as it would concentrate upon the appearance rather than the thought and possible reason behind the various archaeological sites that are the subject of the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone with even an inkling of interest in history or archaeology, but also to those who would just like to reflect a little on how life was before modern times. A time when things were perhaps a little simpler in construct.

This book is currently available on Kindle for £7.99 or as a hardback for £11.62. As it has no pictures, there would be nothing lost by a kindle edition.

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