|Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow, Wiltshire, England
Silbury Hill has been experienced by some as "the womb of the earth". Author/artist Monica Sjoo describes the sacred experience of entering the Goddess' womb here, recreated in many religious structures around the world, and sometimes evoked by the "Sheela-na-gig" image incorporated into early Catholic Churches.
Built around 2750 BCE, Silbury Hill consists of alternating layers of chalk and earth, all of which was originally covered with a coating of white chalk. As Monica Sjoo commented, "it must have been amazing in the moonlight".
The mound is perfectly circular; some say that a spiral path once led from the base to the top, to facilitate processions to the top. Silbury Hill is the largest prehistoric man made structure in Europe. No neolithic bones or burial remains have been found here.
West Kennet Long Barrow
West Kennet Long Barrow is nearby to Silbury Hill. Author Michael Dames writes that it was used for seasonal rituals, along with several nearby monuments, including Avebury and Silbury Hill. The ritual complex related the seasons to cycles of death and rebirth, both of people and of the land and crops. Clearly the Barrow could have been built as a place of ritual rebirth; the feeling of the place is deeply womb-like. Recent grafitti of an Egyptian eye adorns this diagram of the Long Barrow.
The Long Barrow was built starting ca. 3600 BCE; it has two pairs of opposed chamber rooms, and a final chamber at the end of the passageway. The chambers were, for a time, used for burials; it was apparently used for rituals for quite a time after burial usage stopped.
Deatil of the beautiful green and multi-colored stones used in construction.