Avebury, Wiltshire, England

 

West Kennet Avenue, leading to the complex of stone circles, built ca. 3000 BCE. There were about 650 huge stones in use in the original complete monument.  The Avenue alone comprised 200 megaliths.  Avebury Complex includes a large stone circle with two smaller circles within; and a large ditch and bank structure surrounding the whole.  The area enclosed is 28.5 acres (115,000 square meters).

The left of these two large stones contains a form called the "devil's chair".  The name probably came from more recent Christian times, when stone circles erected by the earlier peoples were seen as evil.  According to antiquarian William Stukeley (early eighteenth century), the entire complex, including the two Avenues, forms a giant serpent.  Click here to see his diagram, 2/3 of the way down the page.  (This will take you off-site, use your back arrow to return.)  It is fasincating in its' similarity to the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, in the U.S.

Megaliths of one of the two inner circles.

Some perceive the stones as having personality or gender.  The diamond shaped stone above is felt to be or symbolize female, while the upright stone below is seen to be male.  Possibly these stones indicated where lines of men and women should form for processing toward the stone circles.

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