Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Head To Head
Log In
Register
The Modern Antiquarian Forum »
Avebury stones .
Log In to post a reply

13 messages
Topic View: Flat | Threaded
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Avebury stones .
Mar 10, 2017, 17:23
It appears that only in Avebury do we find the half serious suggestion of gendered stones related to their shape , all the other major monuments in the UK and elsewhere don't appear to have bothered to distinguish between genders . When there is a gender difference , as in stelae , the shape of the stones are similar .

The earliest mention of it seems to be Keiller and his fertility cult belief , possibly inspired by interest in witchcraft . Linda Murray mentions how “one Halloween night found him leading a small group of associates out into the garden of the manor at Avebury. He carried before him a phallic symbol, and bowing three times before the Statue of Pan, he chanted 'witchlike' incantations. him carrying a phallic symbol and bowing thee times before the statue of Pan “

Burl pointed out that sarsens occur naturally in two types Type A (Diamond ) . Type B (Pillar ) .Like the theory ,that seems an over simplification .The shapes of the sarsens in the henge are far more varied than that .
An obvious problem apart from the general shapes is the the tops , and how they vary from one type to the other i.e. both types A & B can have a pointed or flat tops .

Burl also said “along the rows of the avenue not only were Type A stones set opposite Type B stones but that the types alternated along each row so that whether one looked across the row or along it there was always a contrasting shape “ and also, still referring to the avenue , “Type A ,diamond , alternating with Type B ,pillar, on each side and standing opposite to each other from east to west “
Not only are we dealing with very limited numbers to form any judgement but the description does not match the reality .
There is a maximum of 14 opposed pairs from the supposed original of approx 100 pairs and of those, 6 pairs have stumps less than a metre high and therefore useless for an estimation of either type (A or B) , and if anything they would have to be considered as being similar .
That leaves 8 pairs from the approximate 100 pairs . Of those pair 15 is unclear , pair 26 has a diamond but it is not opposed to what would called a pillar in that it is wider than the diamond and in most circumstances would be considered “female “ the same applies to pair 37 .
Pairs 13 , 18 and 35 are certainly of the opposed types ,
The pair at 33 are both similar but as 33a was probably erected upside down by Keiller we can't say what the top section may have looked like but we can see the general shape and it is not a pillar . pair 32 are both pillars
So from the 8 pairs, 3 are debatable , 3 certain, and 2 certainly don't fit . As it only takes one to disprove the theory there is more than enough proof ,and considering that is based on approx 8% of the total the extrapolation says it all .
It gets even sillier when we look at the Longstones , Adam and Eve . In this case the the narrow pillar like stone is Eve and the much wider “female “ shaped stone is Adam , a hint of prehistoric cross dressing perhaps .
Thanks to Steve Marshall's “Exploring Averbury “ , which made the comparisons much easier .

The Modern Antiquarian Forum Index