Avebury: The Venue Where to Renew the Kings

Avebury is a huge megalithic complex in the south of England. It comprises several stone circles, avenues, enclosures, mounds and long barrows, being its principal element a large henge (ca. 400 m in diameter), a type of megalithic construction consisting of a stone ring (the largest in Europe) surrounded by a ditch and a bank.

Its original purpose is unknown, although archaeologists believe that it was most likely used for some form of ritual or ceremonial usage. As a matter of fact, I am going to propose which could have been that ceremonial usage, and describe the ritual performed in it.

The first signs of activity at this megalithic complex can be traced back to the first half of the 4th millennium BC, but it was not until the end of this millennium that construction took on a larger scale, about the same time than in Carnac.

The complex has suffered severe damage, mostly from the 14th century AC onwards due to farming and religious zealotry, although reports from antiquarians and archaeological research have helped to reconstruct virtually its original aspect.

Inside the henge there are two extra stone rings; the north one containing three large stones (two extant) at its center known as The Cove, and the south one containing a single tall monolith called The Obelisk (non–extant) along with an alignment of smaller stones.

The henge had four opposing entrances, the south one connected with an avenue, the West Kennet Avenue, formed by paired standing stones that ended on top of a hill, at a wooden circle called The Sanctuary. A similar avenue, the Beckhampton Avenue, led out from the western entrance of the henge towards a structure called The Longstones.

A huge man-made mound, the largest in Europe (pre-modern times), known as Silbury Hill, is the other great element of the complex. It has a conical shape with an imposing height of 40 m ended in a platform that was reached by a spiraling ramp around the mound. Silbury Hill was erected near the source of the Kennet River.

Here we are proposing that Avebury was built as the venue where the Megalith Builders renewed their monarchy. The whole complex was designed as a schematic representation of the celestial scene visible during the heliacal rising of Orion’s brightest star, Rigel, some days after midsummer.

Avebury functioned, therefore, like a huge scenario where kings and princes enacted the drama they interpreted was being played in the sky.

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Avebury: The Venue Where to Renew the Kings

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