Britain can claim to possess the richest and most diverse collection of physical remains left by pre-Christian religions in any part of Europe, including Celtic, Roman, Germanic and Scandinavian pantheons of goddesses and gods, with others from all over the Roman Empire, and five successive ages of outstanding prehistoric monuments. Ronald Hutton invites you to join him for an evening to be spent looking at these remains and posing the question of how far it is possible to recover the beliefs which inspired their creation. He will propose his own answer to this, and then considers the implications of it in two special case studies, of the most famous prehistoric monument in the world, Stonehenge, and the most carefully studied ancient human body to be found in Britain, the so-called Lindow Man. It will end by asking what the best relationship between professional archaeologists and historians specialising in the subject, and everybody else interested in it, might be in the new century.
Professor Ronald Hutton is a Professor of History at the University of Bristol. He is a leading authority on history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs.