Swindon Diamond Stone, Avebury Henge - June 2024

Explanatory Materials Appear Below This Image - Please Scroll Down To View


The Many Faces Of  The Swindon Stone - North Elevation

1 The beautiful diamond shape allowed the sculptors to place vital thematic elements around the circumference of the monolith. This "block" faced deity (outlined magenta on my diagram), looks massively rightwards up into the western sky. This god or mythological character was created using a highly angular style, and probably depicts a male. This is in fact one of several such gargantuan stylised carvings bashed onto some of the largest and most important Avebury monoliths (see generally, here). The largest are associated with the stones guarding the north and south entrances to the Henge, although smaller versions exist in the Avenue.
2 This side of the monolith unusually hosts another very large stylised, probably male face, this time staring up to the left into the eastern sky. The style here is a little less pronounced, but has a distinctive "button" nose similar to that chiselled onto Stone 01, at the southern entrance to the Henge, visible here.
3 This pointed, left looking face can be interpreted as forming part of an Avebury "dual symbol" carving, which as such is paired with the magenta face described in point 1 above. Dual symbols can be found all over the site, and I discuss them generally here.

The entire surface of the elevation is marked by distinctive hollows in the stone, which I asume are largely natural. The builders of Avebury may have selected this stone partly because of its enormous size, and partly for these hollows which unnervingly echo the eye sockets of skulls. Additionally elements shown on the diagram in green could be interpreted as comprising the eyes and nose of a gargantuan face, peering out of the stone, greeting neolithic visitors approaching the Henge from the north. The overall effect here is reminiscent of a "green man".

I have often seen this face driving past the monolith, it is very prominent to the naked eye, but can be elusive to the camera, particulalry if the sun is out and the light comes in from a tangent causing heavy shadowing. I am pleased to have captured it now.

Image copyright David Baldwin Night Photography