We are putting finishing touches on our book about the Avebury Henge Stones and present here an excerpt from the section titled: Avebury Henge Stone #10 As the First Deciphered Megalith, which contains new materials regarding the cosmological viz. religious significance of Avebury in its era.
Avebury Stone #10 was the first Avebury Henge megalith that we deciphered, and we knew then that we were on to something extraordinary in terms of human history. We initially pre-announced the forthcoming book at the Ancient World Blog at http://ancientworldblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/introducing-avebury-stones-of-avebury.html. We now present some new aspects here.
Our decipherment of Avebury Henge Stone #10 provides us with key insights into the astronomically-oriented "pre-Christian" cosmological viz. religious belief system of the peoples of Ancient Britain, viz. the peoples in Ancient Britain who created the Avebury Henge Stones & Circles and the related megalithic sites, including Stonehenge, the latter site which also shows later vestiges of the same original belief system found at Avebury.
As we can surmise from our decipherment of Avebury Henge in particular and Avebury Stone #10 specifically (and of course, also from decipherments of the other Avebury stones as well), the origin of the ancient cosmological viz. religious belief system of Ancient Britain was astronomical in foundation.
The "gods" of Ancient Britain were "in "heaven, which we allege are still found today in names such as "Ave" and "Avon" ["Heaven"]. "Avebury" was indeed surely in part an "Ave-Bury", a "heaven's-oriented burial ground".
As we know from our Stonehenge decipherment, whose publication is also being prepared at this same time, the ancients placed the origins of their souls in the heavens, indeed, at the galactic center of their Milky Way galaxy.
The "realm of the living" at Avebury was represented by the Avebury Henge earthwork, which represented the Milky Way, with its megaliths as the stars of the Milky Way and the stars within the elliptical enclosure of the Milky Way.
The stars beyond the Milky Way represented the ocean of the underworld. The far depths of stars at Puppis (Apophis) were viewed as the deep "realm of the deceased", similar to the ancient Egyptian mythological demon Apep (Apophis), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apep, representing the giant serpent of the deep that was regarded to consume the mortal remains of the dead.
Apophis (Apep) at the stars of Puppis is represented in the ancient Avebury landscape by The Sanctuary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sanctuary, a giant serpent-shaped construction. It was the place where the mortal remains of the deceased were arguably placed for all eternity. Indeed, many bones have been found there. As written about The Sanctuary at the Wikipedia:
"The site was largely destroyed in 1723 although not before William Stukeley was able to visit and draw it. Stukeley considered the stones at The Sanctuary to represent the head of a giant pagan serpent marked out by the Kennet and Beckhampton Avenues."
At Avebury, the avenue known as Kennet Avenue or West Kennet Avenue -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennet_Avenue -- leads from the realm of the living – Avebury Henge – to the proverbial giant serpent that figuratively consumed the deceased at The Sanctuary. This was surely the path taken by ancient funeral processions in that era from Avebury Henge to The Sanctuary. Stones as human figures to the side of Kennet Avenue are arguably memorials. The word "kennen" in German means "to know someone", which suggests that these figures of Kennet Avenue were "people once known". Perhaps these were the royal couples.
Click the pic to obtain a larger image of the photograph of the
Henge-Outward Face of Avebury Megalith #10 -- see "the break" ?
Henge-Outward Face of Avebury Megalith #10 -- see "the break" ?
Avebury Stone #10 shows that the realm of the living and realm of the deceased were also set apart by the basic lines formed by important astronomical parameters, which in turn then also defined how the ancients viewed the stars in their imagined asterisms.
Decipherment of the Henge-Outward Faceof Avebury Megalith #10
The "center" of the realm of the living was represented by the circumpolar stars at midheaven, around which all the stars seemed to revolve. On Avebury Stone #10, Boötes is represented as the creative phallic force of heaven. Ursa Major marks the heads of humanity as the living beings depicted in stone, with their heads above the Galactic Meridian, showing the eternal life of the soul. Leo marked their human progeny. Ursa Major was arguably seen as the "cup of life" of the living.
Hydra was drawn as a surface-based serpent that marked the Celestial Equator. That Celestial Equator is not fixed, but varies due to axial precession. In ca. 3000 B.C., Hydra marked the Celestial Equator almost exactly from head to tail.
The horizontal stone "break" viz. overlapping stone "projection" on Avebury Stone #10 is found in the middle of the front (henge-outward) face of the stone and thus clearly marks Hydra, which is drawn on Avebury Stone #10 with its head pointing to the left, rather than to the right, as is modernly done. It was this strange break in the stone that led us to decipher Avebury Stone #10 before the other stones because we were intrigued to discover why the ancients would do that, which we did not know at that time.
Below Hydra are two large figures and several smaller ones. To the left, a large leg and foot marking the "base" of the galaxy, the known universe, as it were, with the heel of the foot set firmly on the Galactic Equator at Crux, the Southern Cross, at the thinnest part of the Milky Way ellipse. The other large figure to the right is the head of a whale, Physeter macrocephalus, today known as "the sperm whale", marking the watery realm of the underworld.
Alpha 1 Crucis ("ACrux") is the brightest star in Crux and the 13th brightest star in the heavens. It is the "bottom" star of the Southern Cross and sits virtually on the Galactic Equator, which -- as shown by our analysis -- the ancients regarded as one of their fundamental astronomical bases. ACrux was still completely visible at Avebury ca. 2800 B.C. but soon thereafter started to drop into invisibility because of axial precession.
Click the pic to obtain a larger image
An ancient Milky-Way-oriented astronomical system as found at Avebury has some astronomical comparables in northern Europe. We provide three examples of our deciphered ancient star maps from Karelia, Russia in the next three postings:
- The Hermitage Planisphere : A Very Ancient Sky Map from Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia
- The Sky Map of Staraya Zalavruga, Karelia, Russia (An Early Astronomical Decipherment)
- The Sky Map Dolmen in the "Seida" Complexes of Mount Vottovaara, Paanajarvi National Park, Kuzova Islands, White Sea, Karelia, Russia : The Figures on the Dolmen Show Star Similarities to Avebury Stone #10