Silbury Hill

What is the secret of Silbury Hill?

 

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 Britain about 8-10,000 years ago, these islands were repopulated by probably two waves of peoples - one from what is now Spain and Portugal, the other from the north and east, from what is now Denmark and Norway.
 

And it is from these peoples, who built Silbury and Stonehenge, that most British people today are descended. But as to why our ancestors built these huge monuments, we can only guess. Stonehenge was certainly some sort of astronomical instrument - and the various standing stones not only of Wiltshire but further west in Cornwall and to the far south in Brittany, France, may similarly have served some sort of astronomical purpose. But Silbury? 

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)

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