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 Inside Silbury Hill

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Ian
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PostSubject: Inside Silbury Hill   Thu 25 Oct 2007, 6:19 am

Theyare doing some work on Silbury Hill and have opened it up to let the press have a look inside.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/7059882.stm
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LeeWat

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PostSubject: Re: Inside Silbury Hill   Thu 25 Oct 2007, 1:27 pm

I've always liked Silbury Hill and the surrounding countryside/megalithic sites. My personal theory about why it was originaly built is quite simple. Seeing as its quite close to Avebury henge, could it have started life as a place to put the earth and chalk that was excavated during the henge building ? Avebury henge is rather large and makes Stonehenge look like something you would build in a sandpit. If you go to it now a lot of the ditch has filled up and im sure it would have been twice as deep.

However I'm not sure on the strata of the mound, but if it is in layers like earth, chalk, earth and so on it would sort of support my theory (i think). Then years later it may have been used for more ritualistic purposes as it is at the end of the avenue and seperates the avenue from West Kennet Long Barrow.

Reading the article it mentions medieval post holes and a military connection, watch tower maybe ?. what's everyones thoughts ?

Thinking about Sibury Hill reminds me of something that happened to Ian, Danny, Craig and myself there many years ago. We had stopped off on the way home from the 2nd Great Glasonbury Adventure to have a look, and decided it would be a good idea to have a bite before continuing on. So there i am setting up the camp stove and some bloke wanders over an asks if we are performing a ritual, i said yes, we are going to break bread before this mighty structure and pulled a can of beans out of my bag. He wasnt too impressed Smile
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Inside Silbury Hill   Thu 25 Oct 2007, 3:37 pm

I love the area, thogh it should be avoided during festivals/national holidays!
Lee, there could be more true than you think in what you say since Silbury Hill is basically built with chalk rubble and gravel: chalk blocks have been used to strenghten the structure and earth to cover it up. What always astounded me is how few items of archeological interest have been found inside the mound: only broken pieces of antler picks date to the time Silbury Hill was built, all the rest (shards of pottery, arrowheads etc) is from a much later date.
As for the original purpose... no idea! It's surely no Celtic monument (though they may have used it at a much later date) and probably not even a burial mound. Maybe it has to something to do with the so called "Avebury Zodiac", maybe not. It is curious to note that the Roman road from Bath to Marlborough heads straight towards Avebury before making a detour to avoid it: maybe the Romans built their road over a previous one which followed a Ley Line. Assuming the whole Ley Line affair is significant.
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PostSubject: Re: Inside Silbury Hill   Fri 26 Oct 2007, 6:30 am

The area is certainly worth a visit and has obviously become very important to many pagans. I would certainly advise anyone to go visit and pop into the Red Lion in Avebury for a pint. Silbury Hill is as far I can fathom is an archaeological mystery, they know how it was built but not why. As with many such sites, legends arise to try and explain how they got there, such as in this case it was attributed to the devil dropping a pile of soil he was carrying.
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DJP

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PostSubject: Re: Inside Silbury Hill   Sat 27 Oct 2007, 2:28 pm

Must agree, Silbury hill is one of the most fascinating prehistoric monuments in Britain. There is general agreement that the hill was built in 3 stages starting around 2700BC (So pretty much in the time frame of Avebury Henge), it is built of a lattice of chalk blocks filled with chalk rubble and silt, in a step construction. It's careful construction pretty much rules it out from being a spoil heap from the henge although it is probably constructed of material from the Henge ditch.

Its purpose has never really been explained, but some interesting theories have been put forward by Paul Devereux as it can be seen from many Neolithic sites that surround it. His book 'Secrets of Ancient and Sacred Places' has a large section about Avebury and Silbury Hill.

According to folklore the mound was the tomb of King Sil, who sat upright on a golden horse dressed in golden armour or within a golden coffin. Indeed for many years it was believed to be a Bronze Age burial until excavations in the 60's revealed it to be older (The 1960's excavation was televised and was one of the first reality archaeology programs). As Ian mentioned The hill is also said to have been dropped by the Devil, who was carrying earth to bury Avebury.

Its difficult to come up with theories about the purpose of the hill because we do not know the beliefs and motives of the people who built it. We can only guess based on physical evidence.
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