Pagan burial site? Too boring. UFO landing pad? Too bonkers. So what IS the secret of Silbury Hill?
We are about to enter some rather iffy tunnels dug into Silbury Hill, in Wiltshire, a 4,400-year-old man-made pyramid constructed entirely from chalk. The hill is actually a truncated grass covered pyramid about 120ft high and more than 600ft across, weighing an estimated half a million tonnes.
Silbury, just south of Avebury, took more than 100 years to build and work began, according to the radiometric dating that has been carried out on bits of vegetation and other material recovered from its innards, about 4,400 years ago.
Modern genetic analysis reveals that after the ice-age glaciers receded from
And it is from these peoples, who built Silbury and
SO what's Silbury all about then?
It's a barometer. The whole mound is some sort of primitive device to measure slight changes in air pressure, which in turn affect the ground water levels in the compacted chalk.
That and the fact that the River Kennet rises just 200 yards away suggests, say the Druids, that the mound could have also been part of a water-goddess cult.
Over the centuries, various lunatics have riddled the ancient chalk construction with tunnels, mostly in an attempt to find treasure. The latest was in 1968 and was at, quite extraordinarily, the behest of the BBC. They hacked into this unique national treasure with impunity to make a series of gimmicky history programmer.
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)