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Bronze Age serpentine mound discovered


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#1    Owlscrying

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:16 AM

July 4
London - The stones were likely heated in a fire and quickly doused in cold water, cracking before being placed along the serpentine earthen mound. The result: a curving paved structure possibly used in a ritual by Britain's Bronze Age inhabitants.

The archaeologist who announced the discovery of the 60-metre-long "Rotherwas Ribbon" in western England said so-called "burnt stones" that cover the 4,000-year-old mound could shed more light on early civilization.

Mounds of burnt stones litter northern Europe and some experts believe they were once used in cooking. But their presence on the snakelike mound also suggests the stones were used in rituals, Herefordshire County archaeologist Keith Ray said Wednesday.

"It's the only structure we have from prehistory from Britain or in Europe, as far as we can tell, that is actually a deliberate construction that uses burnt stones," Ray said. "This is ... going to make us rethink whole chunks of what we thought we understood about the period."

The mound was unearthed in Herefordshire during the building of a highway earlier this year. The nearby presence of cremated human remains and burnt timbers reinforced the notion that the mound had a religious function.

The exact purpose of the burnt stones that cover the English mound has long left archaeologists scratching their heads. One hypothesis is that the stones were used to cook food. They would have been heated and then thrown into water to warm it, and as the stones cooled they cracked.

Bronze Age people had become increasingly concerned with ritualizing aspects of everyday life, as well as drawing connections between domestic and religious tasks.

The site's nearest parallel was the Serpent Mound in Ohio, an effigy of a giant, coiled snake generally thought to have been built by Native Americans sometime before the 13th century.
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#2    Piney

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:06 PM

I read this on 'Archeologica'. Interesting!
  It is going to be tough to figure out how FCR ( fire cracked rock) was used in a ceremony. A pre-Christian practice of dressing and treating rocks as the incarnation of fertility gods still exists in northern Scotland. Maybe they "sacrificed" these rocks at one point in time.


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#3    louie

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:23 PM

Serpent mound ohio is aligned, cant rember if ita planet or a solicaste. i wonder if this mound is aligned to any star or solicaste.

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