SACRED STONES: THE STANDING STONES OF WEST WALES: THEIR HISTORY AND TRADI- TIONS. By Terry John. Gomer Press, Llandyssul, 1994. Pp. 64, 30 illus. (1 map, 9 colour, 10 b. & w. photographs, 10 line drawings). A popular book on Dyfed standing stones should be doubly welcome, first, because serious attempts to popularize regional field archaeology with up-to-date information are few and far between; and secondly, because Dyfed enjoys an important place in the history of site investigation. When, some twenty years ago, Don Benson became found- ing director of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, several important stones were tackled in his thoughtful strategy of thematic fieldwork and excavation. Benson's team's work is summarized by George Williams in Standing Stones in Southwest Wales (British Archae- ology Report 188, Oxford, 1988), a monograph sadly missing from Mr. John's bibliography. The Dyfed Archaeological Trust merits not even passing reference. These omissions are unfortunate portents. Its neat footnoting lends the book a quality of deceptive authority; referencing is selective and unsystematic; minimal citation is offered to some papers published in Archaeologia Cambrensis, whilst Benson et al.'s masterly interdisciplinary review of the Devil's Quoit at Stackpole Court. Pembrokeshire (in the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 56 [1990], pp. 179-246) is absent. Although J. M. Lewis's paper on Pembrokeshire standing stones is mentioned, A. J. Bird's reassessment of the menhir in Cardiganshire (Ceredigion, 11 [1972], pp. 40-45) is not, and there is no sign of the systematic consideration given these and cognate Welsh monuments by Dr. Eckart Roese in his papers discussing the topographical locations of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in Wales, particularly the first one on menhirs (B.B.C.S., 28 [1980], pp. 645-55). Interestingly, in spite of centuries of traditional belief in the use of maenhirion for religion or ritual in antiquity, recent standing stone investigations provide ambivalent evidence about their age and functions. Whereas some are demonstrably Bronze Age and others may be relict parts of megalithic tombs (as is acknowledged of Llech-yr-Ast [p. 55]), many are clearly not prehistoric. Questions of their place in defining historic boundaries, marking routeways and even the possibility that some may commemorate battle sites are raised (p. 33), but these are fundamental, requiring greater exposition than they are afforded in Sacred Stones. That difficulties in interpreting maenhirion are nevertheless common is shown by the finds taken from beneath the remaining stone lifted at Plas Gogerddan in 1985. Although not mentioned in this book (p. 56), the excavation report by Ken Murphy (in the Archaeological Journal, 149 [1992], pp. 1-38) describes fragments of a Georgian wine bottle and a contemporary coin from close to its base, appearing to confirm its intended use as a racecourse starter post. Whilst one of the 'large megaliths embedded in the wall at Ysbyty Cynfyn' is illustrated (p. 42), an article in Archaeologia Cambren- sis, 128 (1979), pp. 138-46, arguing the probability that it was erected post-1800 on the basis of estate maps, tourists' accounts and Church records, is not discussed (p. 56). Attention might usefully have been drawn to monument investigations based upon early