Walking directly south out of the Henge of Avebury, you will see a mysterious mound some 40 meters in height rise out of the rolling landscape.

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Aerial shot of Silbury Hill

This mound is no other than Silbury Hill, a structure that was the tallest of its kind in Prehistoric Europe. It covers an area of over 2 hectares and has a 9 metre ditch surrounding it, which occasionally fills with water in the winter months, creating a mote around the mound. The water can create unusual shapes, which have to be appreciated from the air.

Silbury conceals under its smooth earthen surface, six huge steps running around the hill from top to bottom. The first foundations for Silbury were constructed in 2750BC at the almost exact time the Egyptian Pharaoh Zoser built his Step Pyramid. Was there a connection between the two monuments? Indeed Silbury, is regarded as an amazing achievement for an ancient society. The amount of workers to create such a task was more than the construction of Avebury Henge, and even Stonehenge some thirty miles south. It was thought to have been created by many generations of the local population, but its purpose is still a great mystery to modern archeologists.

Many excavations have been carried out on the monument but none of them have told us why this huge earthen mound was built, only when. In the eleventh century a small Saxon fort was occupied on the top, which was fortified with timber palisades, but the interior of the mound was once thought to include a burial chamber of perhaps an ancient chieftain. Unfortunately no such chamber was discovered, which means we can only speculate on its ultimate purpose.

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A typical English summer sunset over the mound.

A footpath can be found across from the main Car Park leading into the village, which will take you directly up to the mound towards the A4 road leading to the Town of Marlborough. Here you can capture some great images of the hill, as you walk along the stream.

Will the hill uncover its mysteries in the new millennium with regard to the Crop Circle Phenomenon? Its has been established that the famous Mary Line (earth energy line) runs through the hill from Avebury Henge. For nearly five thousands years Silbury has dominated the skyline around the Avebury landscape, and is dramatic backdrop to what is already a mysterious landscape.

Stuart Dike

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Mark Fussell & Stuart Dike

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