My Pagan Ancestor Zuri

04/06/19 | By Sarah-Beth Watkins
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Meet Zuri, our sophisticated pagan ancestor as she lives her life in Christchurch in 2200 BC. It is the Neolithic period and the first civilisation in Britain along the mystical River Avon, an area called 'Avonlands'. Her rituals and mythology embrace nature to a degree that we no longer understand. Her tribe is contrasted with the wealthy pensioners, the oldest population in the UK, who now live where her hut once stood. Most have abandoned the dirty air of London for the picturesque Dorset coast.

This is a social history of two tribes living in the mysterious region of Stonehenge, with today’s pensioner tribe living to twice Zuri's age, growing overweight and unfit, and when not idly writing books, overwhelming the NHS.

Since his retirement in 2012, Ken West has written two books on natural burial, and spent the past four years researching and writing My Pagan Ancestor Zuri, using his horticultural and environmental skills as well as his understanding of death and its associated ritual. Inspired by a Bronze Age grave in Christchurch, he, and his alter ego Zuri, show why Avonlands is a true paradise, now and in the past, when Stonehenge was the wonder of the age.

Ken featured on BBC Countryfile when it reviewed natural burial, and has been interviewed for various radio programmes and newspapers. He is a life member of the National Trust, Shropshire Horticultural Society and Friends of the Lake District and a member of British Humanists (BHA). He is active on LinkedIn and Facebook. Conscious that retirement is the biggest killer of old people, he runs, cycles, kayaks and does circuits each week, remaining convinced that old age begins at 80.

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