Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Cherie’s Place » Avebury

Avebury is a fascinating site that connects to other prominent features in the ancient landscape. What remains of the Avebury Circles is largely reconstructed. In the 1930s Alexander Keiller having purchased the site of Avebury and part of West Kennet Avenue started to excavate the site and in time restore the site to some of its former glory. Where stones had been removed he placed concrete plinths to mark their former position. The outbreak of WWII put a stop to the excavations and restoration. Sadly the excavations have never been resumed.

via Cherie’s Place » Avebury.

Thanks to Cherie for a fascinating description and some beautiful photos.

Avebury

via Cherie’s Place » Avebury.

One of the reasons that I found it so interesting was that I first learnt about Avebury in a series of stories about moles — my review of the first book in the series follows below.  The moles had a religion connected with stones and silence, and so Avebury, with its standing stones, was a kind of holy place for them. The moles also had special ceremonies on longest night and shortest night, and so it seemed appropriate that last night (or is it tonight?) was the longest night here, and the shortest night at Avebury.

The series of mole books unfortunately seemed to deteriorate as it went on. I got the impression that the author wrote the first one because he enjoyed it, and the others because he was under pressure from his publishers to produce sequels. The second and third books weren’t too bad, though not up to the standard of the first, while the last three in the series were dreck.

But anywau, many thanks to Cherie for posting the information and the pictures at such an appropriate time.
Duncton Wood (Duncton Chronicles, #1)Duncton Wood by William Horwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On reading this for the first time, it seemed to have been inspired by the popularity of Watership Down by Richard Adams. What Adams did for rabbits, Horwood does for moles.

The system of mole tunnels under Duncton Wood is large, and moles in one part hardly know those from other parts of the system. There also some parts of the system that are almost forgotten, and there are also some customs that have been forgotten as well, so that the moles are using their centre, the silence of the Stone at the centre of the system. This enables a cruel tyrant, Mandrake, to take over the system.

Two young mioles, Bracken and Rebecca, the latter Mandrake’s daughter, meet, and eventually embark on a liberation struggle.

The moles are given a philosophy and a mythology that is very human, and yet it somehow does not seem to diminish their moleness.

View all my reviews

 

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “Cherie’s Place » Avebury

  1. Rangjan on said:

    The stones are aligned with the summer & winter solstices. Recent archaeological research suggests the most important solstices celebrations were in winter as this was the time of year people would gather in large groups.

  2. I am glad you found the post interesting. I read Duncton Wood many years ago, but I had long since forgotten the story line.

    With the relation to the alignments mention by Rangjan, there are many burial chambers in the area which are all aligned to the midwinter sunrise or sunset. Within the burial chambers the skeletons are buried in a foetal position. It is believed that this suggests rebirth from Mother earth. the symbolism being the shortest day and the ‘death’ of the sun leads to its resurrection with its daily increase of light.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: