Sunday, 1 March 2015

BREAKING NEWS - New Stone Avenue Discovered at Avebury

First 'Stone Avenue' found for nearly three hundred years



Animation of the New Stone Avenue

A remarkable new Stone Avenue has been located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Avebury in Wiltshire.  Previously, two other Stone Avenues called the ‘West Kennet’ and the ‘Beckhampton’ are known to archaeologists as they have some of the massive Sarsen stones that line these Avenues still present, but this newly discovered pathway was never thought to exist.

Waden Hill - showing the Stone Ave
Waden Hill as viewed from the South Entrance of Avebury


The last archaeologist to discover a 'Stone Avenue' was the 18th Century antiquarian William Stukeley in 1743, when he found just a single stone to what he called 'Beckhampton Avenue' and speculated that it was the tail part of Avebury's 'giant snake' winding across the landscape with its head at The Sanctuary and also incorporating the monument itself.

But it took until 2000 for excavations by the University of Southampton to revealed he was correct as they found parallel rows of holes that held stones. 120m of Beckhampton Avenue was uncovered indicating that the avenue consisted of a double row of stones placed at 15 m intervals in a similar pattern to those at West Kennet Avenue.

Waden Hill - stone patch
Close-up view of one of the patches

I have named the new trackway ‘Silbury Avenue’ as it is simply the pathway directly to Silbury Hill over Waden Hill from Avebury.

Silbury Avenue
How Silbury Avenue might have looked

The discovery was made by digital photographic pictures that shows a series of green ‘patches’ that measures over 470 metres in length towards the apex of Waden Hill.  Consequently, we can therefore estimate that if it ran down the far side of the hill towards Silbury Hill it would have been approximately 1500 metres in total length.

From these measurements and by counting the discolorations of this new Avenue, we can estimate that ‘Silbury Avenue’ had at least 19 pairs of stones to the apex with an average of 25m between each pair.  We can also estimate the width of this avenue at about 15m to 20m.  In comparison, the West Kennet Avenue (calculated from Google Earth) has a pairing at a distance of about 22 – 24 metres, and a width of the Avenue is about 15m to 17m – so a very close match.

Waden Hill - stone hole markers
Waden Hill patches with markers to denote the Stone Holes


So why was this Avenue abandoned - and what was happened to the stones that once lined it?

Excavations and restoration work carried out by Keiller and Piggot in 1936 on the West Kennet Avenue showed that this part of the Avenue was built in series of ten straight sections and not the smooth serpentine shape as suggested by the eighteenth-century antiquarian Stukeley.

Where stones were missing, they placed concrete markers above the excavated stones’ holes where they had formally stood, so providing a record of the northern section of the Avenue.  Paradoxically, Keiller's plan survey of this section of the West Kennet Avenue shows it heading away from the southern entrance of the henge, while ‘other’ pairs seem to repair the 'error' by an awkward zig-zag route to connect with the southern entrance.

Silbury Avenue trackway
The new Avenue makes sense of the 'Zig-Zag' configuration of Keller's plan

Recent archaeological commentary on the Avenue has suggested two interpretations for this convoluted approach route. Burl claimed that this was a mistake, of the prehistoric builders in starting the Avenue at both ends but failing to anticipate an accurate direction for each section to join up (Burl 2002).  But Gillings & Pollard argued that Keiller's excavation plan is a mistake, and re-excavation will establish a more direct route for this section of the Avenue (Gillings and Pollard 2004, p. 78).

Yet quite rightly (Sims 2009) suggested that if it were a mistake, then it cannot explain why elsewhere in the Avebury monument complex are displayed highly accurate pre-planned features.
The reality is that Burl, Gillings and Pollard are all wrong, as the discovery of my new avenue shows why such a strange ‘zig-zag’ shape was formed – as the original stones were aligned with the ‘Silbury Avenue’ from an earlier date than the West Kennet Avenue. This Avenue led directly to Silbury Hill but was then abandoned for a path leading SE around the base of the hill to The Sanctuary at a later date.

Moreover, an earlier antiquarian of the seventeenth-century, John Aubrey, recorded how the other end of the Avenue connected to the western entrance of the Sanctuary with the exact same dog-leg design. Showing the two ends of West Kennet Avenue were additions.

The change of direction on the Southern section of West Kennet Avenue shows that this Avenue was used at a very late date in Avebury’s history and after the Sanctuary’s construction.
This would explain why the Sanctuary was altered so many times in its past.  The likelihood is that The Sanctuary was the termination point of the ‘Ridgeway’ over an adjacent hill.

Serpentine Shape - as described by Stukeley


Silbury Avenue doesn’t go in the shortest line to Silbury Hill, but to the highest point, where we find a series of nine Barrows directly to the east side of the new Avenue.

Waden Hill - Barrows
Note - the Barrows on Waden Hill (top left) do not interfere with the Stone Avenue.

Archaeologists have dated these features as Bronze Age, although no excavations have ever been attempted as the barrows (or other features on top of the hill) were destroyed even before Stukeley visited the site in the 18th Century.

The only major findings made in this area was in “An oval shaped pit”, three feet deep, and discovered by workmen in 1913, while digging a trench for water pipes on Waden Hill.  The pit, situated 105m NE of the pond on the hill, contained Windmill Hill herds, sarsen muller, two flint scrapers, charcoal and burnt flints, together with broken bones of sheep, pig and ox, some of them burnt.”

Silbury Hill
The barrows on the left of Silbury Avenue indicate that these features were built after the Avenue was constructed and not because of them, as the path passes the barrows to one side without termination.  Although the new Avenue would have led towards Silbury Hill, it did not terminate at the monument. As it was inaccessible due to it being surrounded by deep water, which can still be seen today during the winter seasons.

Silbury Hill - still surrounded by water in winter times even today

The topology shows that Silbury Hill would have been built as part of the River Kennet, on a natural peninsula.  This high groundwater table which causes this flooding is due to springs that have recently been located. (Whitehead, P. and M. Edmunds. 2012. Palaeohydrology of the Kennet, Swallowhead Springs and the Sitting of Silbury Hill, English Heritage, Research Report Series 12-2012.

My radical ‘Post Glacial Flooding’ hypothesis (now clearly supported by Whitehead) is that Britain was flooded directly after the latest ice age and consequently, these ancient sites were built on the shorelines of these ‘wetlands’. The springs identified by Whitehead are a consequence of Ice age groundwater, which would naturally disappear over time, as the levels fall.

After the ‘great melt’ of the last ice age this area would have been almost completely flooded at the start of the ‘Mesolithic Period’ – about 10 000 BCE.  The only part of Avebury above this ‘initial water level’ would have been Windmill Hill – which is NW of the current Avebury site.  This site shows evidence of occupation as it is what archaeologists call a ‘Causewayed Enclosure’ as they (incorrectly) imagine the moats that were built to accommodate ships and boats were, in fact, dry ditches in an attempt to contain cattle.


Windmill Hill
This use of these sites for this purpose is clearly nonsense, as the time and effort required to dig a ditch rather than build a fence is immeasurable. Although, I have no doubt that after their original use, many thousands of years later, they did serve the purpose of farmers who could not afford nor had the time to build fences.

Windmill Hill
Windmill Hill


I have renamed these monuments ‘Concentric Circle sites’ as they are clearly a product of the same civilisation and have this very distinctive feature, which the Greek philosopher and writer Plato wrote about in his dialogues about a civilisation that lived in the 10th millennium BCE.

Avebury - after the flood
Avebury at the start of the Mesolithic Period - directly after the ice age waters had melted

Once the waters of the Mesolithic subsided, a couple of thousand years later, Windmill Hill would have not been accessible by boat and therefore another site closer to the new water’s edge would have been required – this is the Avebury we know today.  The ditches were built to accommodate (like Windmill Hill) the ships and boats of this trading civilisation.

Unfortunately for our ancestors, the groundwater levels continued to recede, as they have done consistently since the end of the last ice age.  Consequently, the waters failed to reach the moats of Avebury, and they faced the same option as they had two thousand years earlier to either – to abandon or replace?

Avebury - at its construction
Avebury when it was created - with a direct river connection

Again they decided to replace, but this time keep the original site as it had assets, which were not only historic but almost impossible to transport – the gigantic megalithic stones which  purpose we will discuss a little later.
Silbury Hill - at constuction
Silbury Hill at the time of its construction with the Silbury Stone Avenue

Our ancestors therefore moved to a natural harbour slightly down river from Avebury at a place we call Silbury Hill.  The River Kennet would have been much smaller in the Neolithic Period (4500 BCE to 2500 BCE) but still three to four times larger than today.  Mariners could found prehistoric harbours relatively easily without maps by following the ‘Long Barrow’ markers that acted like giant direction finders and are found all over on the hillsides of Britain.

West Kennet Ave
Avebury when water levels fell again and goods were transported from The Sanctuary

I understand some readers will find this ‘Long Barrow’ idea somewhat ‘far-fetched’, but not surprisingly this type of navigational aid is commonplace and was used less than a hundred years ago at the birth of the aeronautical industry.

In 1924, the federal government of the United States of America funded enormous 70 foot concrete arrows to be built every 10 miles or so along an established airmail route, to help the pilots trace their way across America in bad weather conditions and particularly at night, which was a more efficient time to fly.  Painted in bright yellow, they were each built alongside a 50 foot tall tower with a rotating gas-powered light.  And each station had a little rest house for the folks that maintained the generators and the lights. These airway beacons are said to have been visible from a distance to 10 miles high.

Gigantic Direction indicator for aeroplanes

Navigation points for 'ships of the sky'
Navigation points for 'ships of the sky'

So not only did they build seventy foot bright yellow arrows they also illuminated them at night and during bad weather.  Strangely, this is no difference to what our ancestors did in the past with the introduction of the boat.  Long barrows are over 300 foot long, built with a higher back end and a smaller front end (in height) so it will look like a gigantic pointer from a distance as it was made of bright white chalk, and the harbours had fire beacons, and this is the secret of Silbury Hill - it is a fire beacon.


Silbury Hill - fire beacon/lighthouse




The above information and illustrations are just an extract from my new book published TODAY:

Avebury's Lost Stone Avenue by Robert John Langdon, published by ABC Publishing Group 2015. ISBN number: 978-1-907979-10-1

Which can be obtained in both Paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.

The other chapters contained in the book include:


The Flood Evidence - scientific evidence of Avebury's past rivers and flood plans.

Ancient Kennet River Course -
Ancient Kennet River Course - © British Geological Society

The First Lighthouse - Looking at how Silbury Hill was built and comparing it to other prehistoric 'fire beacons'

Another 'Fire Beacon' / Lighthouse?
Another 'Fire Beacon' / Lighthouse?

The Harbour - We follow the trackway down Waden Hill to find something truly remarkable.  Another lost ancient mound which was used to load the ships of Silbury Harbour.

Waden Mound


********************************  STOP PRESS - NEW PHOTO's ************************************

A recent visit 20/03/15 we found new evidence to support the New Stone Avenue Theory - large Sarsen Stones at the bottom of Waden Mount that indicated they have fallen from the plateau top.

Waden Mount
Waden Mound as seen from Silbury Hill - flat plateau built into the bank of the River Kennet
Waden Mound Sarsen Stones
One of at least six (2 tonne?) Sarsen stones at the bottom of the Mound
*********************************************************************************

The Sanctuary - When the waters finally receded from Silbury Harbour The Sanctuary was adapted to take ships for Avebury.  We will show you the 'next generation' of these harbour lighthouse, which are seen in other sites like 'Woodhenge'.

Wooden Lighthouses
Wooden Lighthouses

The Stone Money - Finally, we answer the most frequent question about Avebury 'what was the function of those gigantic stones?'


© ABC Publishing Group 2015 - All rights reserved

28 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to read that someone else has realized the purpose of Avebury Ring and Silbury Hill. Have been calling Avebury Ring, Avebury Mall for several years.

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  2. Where is the actual archaeological evidence for all this? So far it is only your theory, in 2007 there was a restoration which included archaeologists, you have no actual evidence. Before you ask .....yes I know the area very well

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    Replies
    1. You need to clarify what you mean by 'this'?

      Are you talking about the stone avenue (as in the photographic evidence' or the 'Post Glacial Flooding' evidence now supported for Avebury by Whitehead and the EH publication of 2012?

      In 2007 they may have been a 'restoration' but of what?

      Clarify your points and will endeavour to answer them.

      RJL

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  3. hi guys
    interesting article here
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-popular-theory-languages.html

    more evidence showing that, aswell as the einkorn discovery, source/europe, and now language source/eastern russia. The experts are failing to properley pin down the source. due to it being now under to north sea and seem to be scratching around the edges.
    evidence is coming thick and fast now almost by the day,
    be interesting to find out how long they can keep there blindness up, and if it was on purpose.
    scary thought.

    Aten

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  4. Thanks for the link Aten!

    Archaeologists and Historians are now 'taking stock' as the new evidence doesn't support the old theories any more - hence the lack of comments, which in the past were forthcoming as they were happy they were right.

    Perhaps we are witnessing another 'renaissance period' in our understanding of the past?

    RJL

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  5. This is fascinating and I love learning about prehistory of England.

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  6. The fact that Lidar scans indicate that the patches were nothing more than remains of places occupied by wet hay bales doesn't count then I take it?

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    Replies
    1. Lidar scans reveal changes in ground height. This will therefore show old walls that are under the ground still leaving a slight bulge or where something has been robbed out leaving a dip. The accuracy of these scans is dependent on the 'resolution' of the scan and hence the cost. The only scan of Waden Hill is of low resolution (3m?) so it will show 'Waden Mount' and there is a faint 'linear' feature that could be a another path, but it would not reveal the patches shown on the digital photographs.

      As for wet hay marks?

      1.Usually the ground under hay will be dry as its covered.

      2. Hay Bales are not stacked two by two from the bottom of hills to the top.

      3. Modern bales are round so they would roll down the hill.

      4. No hey was grown it that field last year - I think the farmer got pissed off with lunatics making crop circles?

      If you was trying to discredit this photographic evidence you should try fertiliser spillage rather than Hay which is clearly laughable!!

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  7. I will ask one question. As the dating of Avebury is c. 3000 for the first stone settings, mid-third millennium for the avenues and the beginning of Silbury Hill, and as Windmill Hill and West Kennet long barrow can be pushed back no earlier than the fourth millennium, most dates favouring 36-3700 BCE, how can you square those dates with ice age melt c 10,000 BCE?

    best wishes

    Nicholas

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    Replies
    1. Nicholas

      The problem you have is not the dates of Avebury but your perception of the last ice age melting.

      You will find that the ice age finished (did not get colder!) at about 17,000 BCE at that point the sea levels were at an all time low (hence confirmation of this date) at this point the ice started 'slowly' to melt and the date you mentioned 10,000 BCE the ice 'on top of the high regions' mostly dissipated.

      Your assumption is that all the water melted into the sea and the land was as we see today - that is incorrect! For the water sat on the land in the form of 'Groundwater' - and this groundwater exists under the land today, we can now date water from wells and some samples are found to be over 20,000 years old, showing how slowly the water runs from land to the sea (see Jelgersma (1979) to see a detailed graphic of this slow sea water rise), this is the reason Doggerland (the north sea) sank in 4200BCE and not 10,000BCE!!

      The work from 'Whitehead et all 2012' for English Heritage and 'Sewell et al 2000' for MOL proves that the rivers of the past was much larger than today (the Thames was ten times larger), that is because this ground water was still sitting on the land in the Mesolithic and early Neolithic period.

      Consequently, when we map this area in the Mesolithic and Neolithic (my 25 000:1 prehistoric map series available on Amazon) we find these monuments are built around the shorelines of this environment!!

      RJL

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    2. The groundwater would have drained away in the chalk too quickly to support your claim. Furthermore, the 'new stone avenue' is far more likely to be a result of the modern route to the summit of Waden Hill. This area has been examined for crop marks at times most conducive for their creation without result.

      Delete
    3. "The groundwater would have drained away in the chalk too quickly to support your claim" - do you have proof of this claim? Are you suggesting Whitehead et al 2012 was wrong if so in what area was their claim incorrect??

      Crop marks are as the words suggest - crops (usually wheat or barley) that have been flattened by 'idiots' with planks of wood (youtube has several videos) they do not disturb the ground by digging up the crops. This disturbance is below the surface such as pits - so crop marks can easily be discounted.

      RJL

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    4. Furthermore, if the groundwaters drained away quickly 12,000 years ago the groundwater levels (as we drink and use groundwater for industry over the last 200 years) would be very low - yet this area floods very easily during the winter - look at this video and find the harbour has returned...

      https://youtu.be/L9xkcoHukII

      And this is when the kennet is so low it dries up in the summer - remember in the past rivers were bigger than today as proven by Sidwell et al (2000) - gut feelings are nice but you need scientific evidence to support your ideas!

      Delete
  8. Robert,
    I note that in your account above, and your video, you have used a very fine picture of Silbury surrounded by water. I am quite surprised that the copyright owner - James O. Davies, Head of Photography at English Heritage - allowed you to draw flames on his beautiful image. I presume that you did get permission?

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  9. Don't get involved in all that nonsense Steve!

    I leave it to my publishing house to obtain permissions - so no doubt they paid the fee?

    RJL

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  10. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2981292/Was-Silbury-Hill-Neolithic-LIGHTHOUSE-Ancient-mound-built-beacon-waterlogged-Wiltshire-expert-claims.html
    you made the paper, good work
    aten

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  11. there calling you a expert now and not a crackpot lol
    sign of a shift ? lets hope so.
    aten

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  12. I have said for years that Avebury is merely a image of our Earth, floating is space. The small circle in the upper half of the henge, is an image of Stonehenge, and it is on the correct latitude too. The small circle in the lower half of the henge is much more esoteric, but it is in the right position. So yes, the architects of Avebury knew the layout, inclination and latitudes of the Earth.

    http://www.world-mysteries.com/gw_rel1ste.gif

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    Replies
    1. Interesting idea!

      How could they see the earth from the planet surface?

      RJL

      Delete
  13. And anything Avebury can do, Stonehenge can do better. With the Stonehenge design the architects encoded the precessional wobble of the Earth in their design. Again, the angle of inclination and the form of this precessional wobble is perfect, so the Stonehenge architects knew the orbit of the Earth. See 'Thoth Architect of the Universe'.

    http://humanpast.net/images/thoth40.jpg

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    Replies
    1. Another interesting idea!

      But why would they make The Avenue thin with moats on each side? Surely if its to replicate procession The Avenue should have been triangular or at least thin at one end and much wider at the other??

      RJL

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  14. my father rip used to work for the ea water . he used to tell us that the water under our feet is thousands of years old ,he aslo said they are connected and can travel sideways .he used to bring water home in a big bucket ,he never said where it was from . it was the water he made tea with ,my dads tea was the best i tasted .

    good work robert im going to avebury with my daughter at the end of july looking forward to seeing avebury for the 1st time

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a wise old man - your father.. Enjoy Avebury and look out for those stone holes!!

      RJL

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  15. Hmm, I just bought your Kindle book. Disappointing. I was expecting to see lots of pictorial evidence of the parch marks for your new stone avenue, but could see none. Later you talk as if it has all been proved. May we see some evidence?

    Harold St. George Gray's multiple diggings in the ditches at Avebury proved that the ditch has never been flooded - no staining, tidemarks or silt. So your picture of the boat floating in the ditch is highly unlikely.

    The four entrances to Avebury are all original and the chalk has never been cut there, it is still virgin chalk. So you have four unconnected sections of ditch.

    Incidentally, the southern entrance today is misleading. The road originally went to the east of where it is now, facing the two large entrance stones. Where there is now a bank with trees was the entrance and the new entrance and road was cut to its left. The visible scar in the bank to the west is where they took the chalk to level the new road.

    There are around 20 known stones still buried in the Avebury circle. Most are in the east section.

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  16. Thank you for buying my book.

    As you will have noticed there is several pictures of the patches including one of close detail. As the site is on private land and inaccessible to the public further pictures were not achievable, although if you wish to visit the site in the autumn you will find the same patch marks, which you can investigate to your satisfaction. The proposed avenue leads to another unexplained anomaly which can be accessed and examined unlike the stones that have been removed.

    In the book and on my website are pictures that show during excavation the ditch flooded when it reached the ground water level and consequently it would be inaccurate to suggest that the ditch has been proven not to flood as 'tidemarks' are from sea water not freshwater, 'staining' through sand deposits known as 'head' cover the location and stilt only occurs on running rivers over many centuries, yet sand and silt was found at various locations in the in-fill.

    The entrances of Avebury you claim are original... that 'idea' is incorrect as their is no evidence to support your hypotheses.. if so please provide references to this fact.

    RJL

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  17. Dear Mr. Langdon,

    I happend to stumble across your hypothesis on Stonhenge and the surrounding sites whilst browsing youtube. It takes an open mind (and a lot of common sense) in order to put together all the little mosaic pieces of scientific evidence into a complete picture - without getting lost in the details. You have succeeded admirably. Let's hope, that official research will be able to accept your results in the near future!
    Wishing you all the best, Francis.

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