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


Circle henge


Avebury somehow seems diminished these days. I suppose the world heritage status and higher public profile which have put it on the tourist map have had some positive effects but it's difficult somehow not to think that like at Stonehenge, they have simultaneously taken something away.

Anyway, we were struck again last weekend by the fact that in a way what is really important here is the Henge. It is apparent that at its original full height it would have created an artificial and perfect horizon - in other words, it would have engendered an idealised world view from within its circumference. As well as facilitating astronomical observances this would have created a psychological sense of 'interiorness' - a major step on the human journey from the purely instinctual through the communal to the individual and then to the personal. We felt this time more than at any other that Avebury's function is in the promotion of the 'artificial' -in the sense of artifice or artefact - an aesthetic appreciation of the world as embodying conciousness and human potential rather than merely survival and the randomness of action.
tuesday Posted by tuesday
27th February 2008ce

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