Review – Historic Landscapes and Mental Well-being

1 min read

Timothy Darvill, Kerry Barrass, Laura Drysdale, Vanessa Heaslip, and Yvette Staelens
Archaeopress, £40
ISBN 978-1789692693
Review Linda Thomson

As the title of this book suggests, historic landscapes have the potential to improve the lives of those experiencing mental ill-health, by exploring the therapeutic relationship between people and ancient places. Interaction with historic sites can have, and may have had for centuries, the capacity to support positive health outcomes, yet archaeology for mental well-being is still in its early stages.

Given that approximately one in four people across the UK will report mental-health issues, exploration of the unique health and well-being benefits that archaeological sites can offer is vital.

The volume begins by exploring the Human Henge project (see CA 329). Conducted around Stonehenge and Avebury, it was pivotal in stimulating many of the therapeutic heritage initiatives reported in the other chapters. Of particular delight are the accompanying illustrations, photographs, and sound files. Emphasising the natural fit between heritage and well-being, the book is a new way of looking at the connections between historic landscapes and ourselves.

This review appeared in CA 362. To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

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