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Silbury Hill photo

Silbury Hill in England is a mysterious hill north of Stonehenge and forming a right triangle with Stonehenge and Glastonbury. This is shown on the map below. Excavations have shown that it is neither a mass burial mound nor constructed for a single burial. It is 122 feet high built mostly of chalk from the surrounding countryside, dated around 2,400BC and located at 51o45' N, 1o 51' 24" West. There is no obvious reason for its construction and other Internet references mostly say its purpose is unknown. The proposal made here is that it was built for signalling by fire, particularly to and from Glastonbury Tor which is 522 feet high dated to about 3,000BC (located 51o 8' 36" North, 2o 41' 57" West). The "horizon circles" for Silbury and Glastonbury are shown on the map below, and it is noteworthy that those circles only just overlap as though just the right amount of work was expended to achieve a line-of-sight view between their summits. There is then a generous overlap of the Glastonbury and Yes Tor horizon circles, the latter extending towards St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall. In view of the slight overlap of the Silbury and Glastonbury circles, it should be noted that they are true horizon circles on the ground, allowing for the map projection, and not just superimposed geometric circles. It is known that in ancient times festivals were celebrated by lighting fires, and the Celts celebrated four such festivals each year: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Also fires were used for signalling, propagating from one peak to another (e.g. see Wikipedia article on beacons). Silbury Hill fits well into that scheme, serving both Avebury which is only about a mile and a half from it, and Stonehenge. One can but marvel at the industry and perseverence of ancient people in achieving their aims without modern technology.

Nick Thomas, 12th November 2012.

Silbury Hill Map


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