Atlantis Online
August 12, 2020, 04:28:58 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat?
Research suggests our ancestors traveled the oceans 70,000 years ago
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Work begins to uncover secrets of Silbury Hill

Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: Work begins to uncover secrets of Silbury Hill  (Read 89 times)
Superhero Member
Posts: 2112

« on: May 16, 2007, 07:18:49 am »

Work begins to uncover secrets of Silbury Hill
By Richard Savill
Last Updated: 2:26am BST 12/05/2007

Work began yesterday to save an ancient landmark in Wiltshire from collapsing.

Silbury Hill, which at 130 feet high is the largest prehistoric man-made construction in Europe, continues to mystify archaeologists.

English Heritage is to spend 600,000 this summer trying to preserve the mound.

Specialist engineers will enter the mound through a tunnel which was dug in 1968 by a team led by the archaeologist, Prof Richard Atkinson. That tunnel was the last of three made over two centuries by archaeologists.

The original purpose and use of the hill, which is south of the village of Avebury, is still a mystery. Theories suggest it was either a burial mound, a solar observatory or a representation of a Neolithic goddess.

"It is very unlikely we will ever know why it was built," said Robert Bewley, English Heritage regional director for the South West.

"But this project may give us a better idea of when it was built and how it was built. That could provide us with further clues as to why it was built."

On Thursday archaeologists found the small end of an antler outside the tunnel. "This shows they could only use the antlers of deer and pickaxes," Mr Bewley said. "Their tools were very simple so it was a phenomenal achievement to build a mound like that.

"We know from Prof Atkinson's investigation there were at least two phases of construction. We hope to clarify how long it took to build the mound, which may have been a generation or more."

Engineers yesterday prised open the door of the 1968 tunnel. They will repack every inch of the 40-year-old tunnel as they withdraw to make sure it is stable. A number of craters on the hill will also be refilled.

Earlier this year, archaeologists found traces of a Roman settlement at the landmark. They believe the site may have been a place of pilgrimage 2,000 years ago.

Mr Bewley said: "The hill has been a stunning part of the Wiltshire landscape for 4,400 years and we hope the work we do this summer will stabilise its structure and keep it safe for many years to come."
Report Spam   Logged

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy