The Cove  (October 2016)      


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"This is the Cove and was once made up of three stones set with the open side facing north-east.  This is the direction that the sun rises on the longest day of the year.   An outlying stone is thought to have been aligned so its long shadow would penetrate the Cove observing the moment of solstice.   This symbolic event indicates that fertility rituals were practised here"   Esther Smith, pp 20-21

"Was there once a natural drift of unusually large sarsen stones in the centre of Avebury? Cove Stone II, largest of the pair of Cove stones and weighing an estimated 100 tons, may not have been moved very far, simply because of its vast size. Cove Stone II is made of pink-grey sand with orange patches. Protruding from the fine sand grains are occasional larger pieces of rounded rose quartz"   Steve Marshall, p 106


Leftward looking face of Cove Stone II


This face could be seen as being recursive, click here for details


Stone 201 And Cove Stone II Show The Same Sacred Face In Profile



Stone 201 appears to be based on a similar design to Cove stone II. To help show this I set out comparison images of these stones above. The overall outline of the stones shares similar brows, noses and mouths. In particular, both the position and appearance of the mouths are far too similar to be random. These monoliths could therefore well represent the same or at least a closely related deity/god/folklore figure - perhaps a canine companion of the Great Goddess? They are good examples of raw sarsen rocks that have been subtly and labouriously sculpted, they are not merely found objects.

If I were to speculate further, there is an interesting directionality to this pair. Cove Stone II is the westerly of the two stones, 201 is to the east of it. Cove Stone II seems to be pointing left with its nose, or north, 201s' nose points rightwards, or south. Therefore these stones could be seen as circling each other around a common center performing a stone dance, their clockwise movements echoing the daily movement of the sun from east to west. If I am right this clockwise stone dance is entirely appropriate to the purpose and circular nature of the henge generally, and furthermore echoes the implied movement of the stone hares in the south-east quadrant (see here), their implied movement also being clockwise.

Image copyright David Baldwin Night Photography