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


Stone Circle


On This Deity. The re-discovery of Avebury

"Today, we must celebrate John Aubrey's dramatic rediscovery of Avebury – the world's largest prehistoric stone circle – whilst out hunting with fellow royalists during the English Civil War, exactly three hundred and sixty-two years ago. For Aubrey's heroic retrieval of this vast but (by then) long forgotten Stone Age temple confronted the then-accepted notion that only the coming of the Romans had forced a degree of culture upon the barbaric Ancient British, and also confounded the then-popular 17th-century belief – propounded by the highly influential Scandinavian antiquaries Olaus Magnus and Ole Worm – that all such megalithic culture had its archaic origins in Europe's far north. Indeed, so rich were the cultural implications of John Aubrey's re-discovery that – come the fall of Oliver Cromwell's 11-year-long Commonwealth and the subsequent Restoration of the Monarchy – even the returned King Charles II would himself insist on taking one of Aubrey's celebrated tours of the Avebury area. But how could the world's largest stone circle have suffered such a total cultural extinction in the first place? "

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Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
8th January 2011ce

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