The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

The Polisher


(It seems that Baza's post pre-empts this, but for some reason I hadn't taken in the human implications of it.)

The deep grooves on the polissoir obviously took years of repetitive axe-polishing to produce, perhaps generations' worth. Think of all the people who came to this very stone over and over in their lives, as young people, then bringing their children, then their grandchildren - watching how the axes were polished. They must have been thinking about the passing of time, sharing stories about themselves and their ancestors, the land around them, and how the two fitted together. The polissoir would have been a fixed point of reference in a world where people wouldn't have lived in one place for more than a few seasons or years.

Used as a polissoir in the earlier Neolithic, and containing all this symbolic significance, the stone was eventually stood up on end as a monument in its own right in the later Neolithic. I suppose it then it lost its function as a polissoir, but became purely symbolic of links with the past and the ancestors. Other polisher stones have been incorporated into other monuments relating to the past and the ancestors, as at the West Kennet longbarrow.

(from reading 'Avebury- the biography of a landscape' by Pollard and Reynolds, 2002)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th July 2005ce
Edited 23rd March 2011ce

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