Night Photography by David Baldwin



Insights which might, directly or indirectly, help understand Avebury And The Culture That Created It

(Quotations Appear In Random Order)

"As you drive or cycle into Avebury, you cannot fail to be aware of other monuments in the landscape: the huge mound of Silbury Hill beside the A4, the more ancient West Kennet Long Barrow on the brow opposite, or the rows of standing stones of the West Kennet Avenue.   Yet nothing quite connects. There are fragments of lost worlds muddled with the present, all asking the same question: What am I doing here, what do I mean?"   Mike Pitts ~ "Hengeworld", Arrow Books 2001

"In a world rabid with spirits as early prehistoric Britain was, people's world-picture was very different from ours."   "Death and regeneration are the themes of Avebury."   Aubrey Burl ~ "Prehistoric Avebury", 2nd Ed, Yale University Press 

"The question of mortatilty was of profound concern but the deep perception of the periodicity of nature based on the cycles of the moon and the female body led to the creation of a strong belief in the immediate regeneration at the crisis of death.   There was no simple death, only death and regeneration.

his culture took keen delight in the natural wonders of this world.   Its people ... built magnificent tomb-shrines and temples, comfortable houses in moderately sized villages, and created superb pottery and sculptures ... Their culture was a culture of art. "   Marija Gimbutas ~ "The Language Of The Goddess", Thames and Hudson 1989

"Of the undamaged megaliths inside Avebury Henge which bear recognisable heads (which means the majority of them), left-facing heads number fifty against nine right facing ones ... They are likely to be heads which the Neolithic worshippers knew too, and that is the ultimate criterion."

"The concept is unique and awesome.   It is an inconspicuous artform lost thousands of years ago when the race of artists disappeared from the face of the earth, along with the worshippers who understood and adored Avebury and Stonehenge.   Some calamity, we know not what, intervened and the aged, ancestral fertility system collapsed. The megaliths were never used, never understood again."  Terence Meaden ~ "The Secrets Of The Avebury Stones", Souvenir Press 1999

"Silbury was designed to bring elemental forces together within the persona of the Great Goddess, to the benefit of the community.   So rock and earth were joined by wind-rippled water, glazed by the sun's fire and by moon and starlight, all merged within her recumbent body. This union accords with Gimbutas view of the pan-Eurasian Neolithic deity as "the Goddess-Creatrix in her many aspects.""  Michael Dames ~ "Silbury - Resolving The Enigma", The History Press 2010

"The Avebury monumental landscape, in its totality, was a dynamic memory space."  Lynne Kelly ~ "The Memory Code", Atlantic Books 2017

"Figure 48b. Avebury Cosmology 2.  Over the course of a winter night 3300-2500 BCE, the Northern and Southern Cross, the pointers to the Poles, both in the Milky Way, corresponded along the main alignment of the henge.   Alpha and beta Centauri rose with Crux over Waden Hill as Cygnus made its 'Underworld passage' below the northern bank of the henge.   These horizontal movements would have emphasized not only the axial symmetry of the North and South Celestial Poles, the axis mundi, but also the mirroring by the monument of the circle of the Milky Way.   As Cygnus made its deepest descent at midnight, Ursa Major, the Great Bear, approached the top of the North Pole.

Figure 48c. Avebury Cosmology 3.   Each night around 3000 BCE, as Cygnus reappeared in the northeast and Crux began to set toward the south, the Milky Way rose in the east to lie horizontally over the entire bank of the henge .... the symbolism of the monument as centre of earth and the heavens was completed by the horizontal ring of the galaxy"  Nicholas R Mann ~ "Avebury Cosmos", O-Books 2010

According to the Heritage Daily website (16/4/19) recent DNA research shows that immigrant farmers introduced agriculture into Britain and largely replaced the indigenous hunter-gatherers population around 6000 years ago.   The incoming farmers displayed Aegean ancestry, coming to Britain via the Mediterranean corridor.   According to Professor David Reich "By studying ancient DNA, we see that 90% of Britainís population was replaced about 4,500 years ago by large-scale population movement from the continent, and this new study shows a more dramatic 99% replacement a millennium-and-a-half earlier"

The BBC news website further explains (16/4/19) how researchers compared DNA extracted from Neolithic human remains found across Britain with that of people alive at the same time in Europe. The Neolithic inhabitants were descended from populations originating in Anatolia (modern Turkey) that moved to Iberia before heading north. They reached Britain in about 4,000BC.   The BBC credited this information to research published in Nature Ecology & Evolution - Published 15/4/19.

"It remains a magical place as so many who have been there will agree. A visit to Avebury is a very personal event. It still seems to retain, somehow, the spirits of all those who laboured in its creation or whatever it was that led them to create it. If you have never been there a visit will not be an empty experience. You will come away with a head full of questions and probably a realisation that somewhere over the years modern society has lost something important."   "Avebury - A Present From The Past" ~ Quotation captured from website April 2019

"Prehistoric stone circles and henges are largely a phenomenon of the British Isles"   Marija Gimbutas ~ "The Language Of The Goddess" p313, Thames and Hudson 1989

"The Goddess gradually retreated into the depths of forests or onto mountain tops, where she remains to this day in beliefs and fairy stories.   Human alienation from the vital roots of earthly life ensued, the results of which are clear in our contemporary society.   But the cycles never stop turning, and now we find the Goddess reemerging from the forests and mountains, bringing us hope for the future, returning us to our most ancient human roots."   Marija Gimbutas ~ "The Language Of The Goddess" p321, Thames and Hudson 1989

"What, then,  can be the reason for so much of tribal art looking utterly remote?   Once more we should return to ourselves and the experiments we can all perform. Let us take a piece of paper and scrawl on it any doodle of a face. Just a circle for the head, a stroke for the nose, another for the mouth. Then look at the eyeless doodle. Does it look unbearably sad?  The poor creature cannot see.  We feel we must 'give it eyes'- and what a relief it is when we make the two dots and at last it can look at it us!  To us all this is a joke, but to the native it is not.   A wooden pole to which he has given a simple face looks to him totally transformed.  He takes the impression it makes as a token of its magic power. There is no need to make it any more lifelike provided it has eyes to see."   E H Gombrich ~ "The Story Of Art", p46, Phaidon, 16th Edition