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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Favourite Places - Silbury Hill, Wiltshire UK

Silbury Hill - one of the most mysterious and striking monument in Britain - was a prehistoric 'cathedral', built layer by layer over 100 years, a new study suggests. The 4,000 year old earth mound, which towers over the Wiltshire countryside, was the tallest man-made structure in Europe until the Middle Ages. But despite its size, and repeated attempts to tunnel into the heart of the mound, archaeologists have long been puzzled about how and why it was created.

In a book published by English Heritage suggests that the 120 ft high hill was not built to a grand blueprint, but was assembled by at least three generations of Bronze Age Britons between 2400 and 2300 BC. A study of soil, rocks, gravel and tools inside the hill show that it went through 15 distinct stages of development.

Dr Jim Leary, English Heritage archaeologist, said the creators were building the mound as part of a 'continuous story telling ritual' - and that the final shape of the mound may have been unimportant. He argues that the familiar outline of stepped sides and the flat top visible today is largely the result of Anglo-Saxons and later alterations.

- It is thought to have been built between 2400 BC and 2300 BC
- The mound contains chalk, stones, wood, gravel and picks - and their patterns have been considered significant by architects
- Silbury Hill roughly compares in height and size to the Egyptian pyramids (Daily Mail)