Stone Age City At Avebury, Defined By Its Sacred Landscape And Sarsen Sculptures
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On my images of Avebury " .... the best photos I have ever seen of these stunning stones. What I love is the way David Baldwinís photographs show how different each stone is from the next and how perfect they would be to provide a set of distinct locations to encode information" ~ Dr Lynne Kelly
"It is the people that are missing, lost in the chasm of time" ~ Aubrey Burl
"... the work of a very great and learned people" ~ William Stukely (1743)
"This extraordinary art-form was invented over 4,000 years ago and afterwards lost; it was a secret device for producing images which the initiated could worship, artistic works of which strangers would be unaware ...
calamity, we know not what, intervened and the aged, ancestral
fertility system collapsed.
The megaliths were never used, never
understood again" ~ Professor Terence Meaden
"Itís about time that the importance of Meadenís insights is fully recognized, because they do not only put the stone circles into a plausible perspective, but they help to change our ideas about the intelligence of our ancestors" ~ Wim Bonis
"It doesn't much matter which specific stones are identified as simulacra and which as sculptures. The key point is that by creating some artificial faces the neolithic builders effectively primed visitors to subconciously expect more and more characters in the apparently organically shaped sarsens, multiplying the power of the monuments many times over" ~ Taken from my "Photographer's Statement"
"The stones still remember, but they donít speak to everyone" ~ Tanya Brody
"There are none so blind as those who will not see" ~ John Heywood (1546)
Welcome to my Avebury Gallery. If you look at some archaeological texts on the British Neolithic you would be forgiven for thinking that there are no sculptures at Avebury. This is sad because, with a little close attention, it is clear that Avebury contains the most beautiful carvings and statues, giving us unique insights into the minds of those who lived in our landscape in the distant past. I invite you to look at my photographs here, then if you wish to learn more about the monoliths and their art please read Meaden's Secrets Of The Avebury Stones, and make up your own mind.
My intention in making my images and notes here is both to develop my own subjective vision of Avebury, and to encourage visitors to Wiltshire to look a little harder at those apparently artless chunks of stone themselves. During this project I have surprised myself by making, I believe, one or two small but real archaeological discoveries amongst the stones, a process aided by photographing at night [for details click here].
Looking at my images you can clearly see sculptures of supernatural figures, also women, men, the dead and beasts, but I have been particularly struck by the number of carved stone faces throughout the site that look up direct into the sky, and there are more of these than had been previously appreciated - demonstrating that such zenith-seekers may well be a key Avebury motif [for details click here] . Notably also I have discovered for myself that a good proportion of extant stones in the West Kennet Avenue include faces that look upwards at an angle, broadly towards the sourthern sky where the meridian crosses the celestial equator. As the first to identify that these stones in fact share this basic design I call this family of faces "equator-seekers" [for details click here and please see point 08]. Another highly prevalent class of Avebury figures are the several stone hares on display, presumably representing fertility and the creative force in nature. Its highly speculative on my part, but it is even possible that the hare was the badge of the tribe that built Avebury, perhaps they called themselves "The Hare People" in whatever language they spoke [for details click here].
I dedicate my photographs here to the inspirational work of Keiller and Meaden, scholars who have, in their different ways, brought Avebury back to life.
Key: Avebury Henge = Light Purple, West Kennet Avenue = Green, Beckhampton Avenue = Yellow,
West Kennet Long Barrow = Blue, Silbury Hill = Pink