The Memory Code


The Memory Code Editions


Australia and New Zealand. 2016, paperback and e-book. Publisher: Allen & Unwin.

Australia and New Zealand. 2016, audio. Publisher: Audible.

North America. February 2017, hardback. Publisher: Pegasus Books

UK and Europe. February 2017, hardback. Publisher: Atlantic Books.

The Memory Code in Chinese

Taiwan and Macau. 2018. Publisher: Good Publishing Co.

The Memory Code is Czech

Czechoslovakia. 2018. Publisher: Anag.

The Allen & Unwin description:

The traditional Aboriginal memory technique that unlocks the secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and ancient monuments the world over.

Lynne Kelly has discovered that a powerful memory technique used by the ancients can unlock the secrets of the Neolithic stone circles of Britain and Europe, the ancient Pueblo buildings in New Mexico and other prehistoric stone monuments across the world. We can still use the memory code today to train our own memories.

In the past, the elders had encyclopaedic memories. They could name all the animals and plants across the landscape, and the stars in the sky too. Yet most of us struggle to memorise more than a short poem.

Using traditional Aboriginal Australian songlines as the key, Lynne Kelly has identified the powerful memory technique used by indigenous people around the world. She has discovered that this ancient memory technique is the secret behind the great stone monuments like Stonehenge, which have for so long puzzled archaeologists.

The stone circles across Britain and northern Europe, the elaborate stone houses of New Mexico, the huge animal shapes at Nasca in Peru, and the statues of Easter Island all serve as the most effective memory system ever invented by humans. They allowed people in non-literate cultures to memorise the vast amounts of practical information they needed to survive.

In her fascinating book The Memory Code, Lynne Kelly shows us how we can use this ancient technique to train our memories today.

Praise for The Memory Code:

As we rediscover the extraordinary endurance of the oral memories of people who do not depend on writing, and as we begin to rediscover that many of those memories include knowledge of distant times, Lynne Kelly has explored how vast, non-written memory systems can work. She explores the notion that memories were or are encoded in spaces that can be marked by natural or build elements and applies that exploration to some of the remarkable physical monuments of the last ten thousand years. She takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the past and around the world and into the minds of people who would not need to publish a book like this. They already knew it. An engaging and exciting read.
Iain Davidson, Emeritus Professor, University of New England

Dr Kelly has developed an intriguing and highly original account of the purpose of Stonehenge, Avebury and other stone monuments. The depth and breath of her research, and experimental experience she has brought to study, command respect and invite serious attention.
Dr Rosamund Cleal, Museum Curator, Alexander Keillor Museum, Avebury, and co-author of Stonehenge in its Landscape

An astonishing journey into the memory of the world.
Associate Professor Grace Karskens are, University of NSW, Author of The Colony

In this insightful book, Kelly takes us on a tour of major archaeological sites and gives us fresh eyes to see how non-literate societies use the landscape, monuments, buildings, spatial arrangements, artefacts, and even sounds as ”memory spaces” to encode and transmit detailed information.
William Lipe, Professor Emeritus, Washington State University

Dr Lynne Kelly provides an elegant, rational and compelling thesis on memory as a pre-historic survival tool.
Dominic O’Brien, eight times World Memory Champion

Kelly’s The Memory Code is a fascinating and mesmerizing journey through ancient history, discussing ancient memory techniques and how many of the world’s most famous wonders are actually memory structures. I found it difficult to put down and completely revelating!
Nelson Dellis, four times US Memory Champion

Lynne Kelly takes us on a journey to famous archaeological sites around the world, from Stonehenge to Easter Island, to reveal her groundbreaking ideas about how ancient oral cultures encoded knowledge in stone monuments and sacred spaces.
Dr Duane W. Hamacher, Senior DECRA Fellow in Indigenous Astronomy, Monash Indigenous Centre

Lynne Kelly has struck upon a unique approach by which to evaluate the transmission of complex information in non-literate societies and cultures around the world. The Memory Code is a landmark treatise.
Larry Baker, archaeologist and Executive Director, Salmon Ruins, New Mexico

Lynne Kelly’s remarkable insight into how ancient peoples retain their vast repositories of knowledge by encoding information in the very world around them is matched by her infectious enthusiasm for the subject and a gift for storytelling.
Dr Tim Dean, Science and Technology Editor at The Conversation

This is a timeless masterpiece in ancient remedies; it is a must-read for anyone interested in information technologies, ancient or modern.
Associate Professor Sarena Chen, Department of Communication Studies, University of Northern Iowa



Chapter 1  –  Encyclopaedic memories of the elders

Chapter 2  –  Memory spaces, large and small

Chapter 3  –  Memory spaces in a modern world 

Chapter 4  –  A journey through time

Chapter 5  –  The ever-changing memory spaces at Stonehenge

Chapter 6  –  The megalithic complexes of Avebury and Orkney

Chapter  7  –  Newgrange and the passage cairns of Ireland    

Chapter  8  –  The tall stones and endless rows of Carnac

Chapter 9  –  The unparalleled architecture of Chaco Canyon

Chapter  10  Giant drawings on the desert floor at Nasca

Chapter  11  Memory spaces across the Americas

Chapter  12  Polynesian navigators create a unique world on Easter Island





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