The Inigma At Silbury
By James Donahue
Salbury Hill is a 130-foot
high artificial earthen mound with a flat top, its base circumference measuring 1,640 feet, located south of Avebury,
This mound is so massive
it is composed of over 12 million cubic feet of chalk and earth that covers over five acres. Its origins are unknown, although
excavations have shown that it was built in three stages, beginning an estimated 4,000 years ago, if not earlier.
As it is with mysterious
fortifications of that kind, there exist local legends. The stories are that the mound is the burial place of a forgotten
king named Sil or Zel, of a knight in golden armor, and also of a solid gold horse and rider. It also is said that the devil
created it after he was thwarted in an attempt to bury the town of Avebury.
Various digs have been
made. The top of the hill was opened in 1723 and it is said some bones were found there with an ancient horse bridle. Digs
in 1776, 1849, and again in 1967 filed to provide any clues as to the significance of the mound. Unfortunately, none of the
excavations appear to have been made in a scientific manner, by archaeologists. Two deep tunnels were cut into the very heart
of the mount, an obvious effort to find any treasure believed to be buried there. All that was found were arrowheads and some
antlers believed to have once been used as tools.
The clumsy digging, unfortunately,
disturbed the mound of chalk, causing a hole to open at the apex of the hill. The tunnelers disturbed the chalk and caused
voids and air holes, which now threaten the mound. Thus local authorities ordered the tunnels closed and sealed to preserve
this endangered prehistoric monument.
Historian Michael Dames
suggests that the hill was an effigy of the ancient Mother Goddess and can be associated with ancient fertility rituals. He
notes that a spring where water bubbles from the ground five hundred yards south of the hill is the source of the Kennet River. That
river was once known as the Cunnit, a name connected with fertility.
That the shadow of the
hill falls on a leveled plain to the north, toward Avebury, suggests that the hill may have served as a solar observatory.
The meridian line from the hill runs through Avebury church, which itself rests on a ley line that runs to Stonehenge
and two other area churches.
Salbury Hill also is
found to be the center for alignments of straight prehistoric tracks, once resurfaced by the Romans, and of standing stones.
The ancient Roman road between Marlborough and Bath
runs directly toward Salbury Hill before turning to avoid it. So was the hill constructed by the mysterious Druids on a lay
line for some forgotten spiritual reason?
When we look at images
of this mound, we are struck by the similarities with mounds found throughout North America
when white settlers moved across the land in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Some of these mounds, like
the Great Serpent Mount in Ohio, and the great mounds at the ancient City of Cahokia, Illinois, are nearly as large. Yet the
Midwestern United States, from Michigan south all along the Mississippi River, was found peppered with not only earthen mounds
of smaller size, but also other earthen works, including garden beds and curved formations that suggested they were forts.
As in the UK, the builders of the mounds found in North America remain
a mystery. Few mounds were found with bones, that suggested they were built as burial sites. All of them may once have had
the same pyramid shape as the great stone fortifications found in other parts of the world, including Egypt, South America,
China, and even Europe and Florida. Some believe a pyramid may exist on Mars.
All of these structures
required a lot of human effort to build. That means they were considered very important to the existing cultures that once
occupied this planet. But what would this reason be? Was it religious? Were they a link to the stars? Did they connect us
to an alien race that came from time to time to visit? The answer to this great
puzzle continue too baffle us. Perhaps we will never find the answer.