Sunday, 26 June 2011

New news - old news

I was given a report concerning the mound in the grounds of Marlborough College. Recent coring took place led by English Heritage archaeologist Dr Tim Leary who pronounced: "This is an astonishing discovery: the Marlborough Mound has been one of the biggest mysteries in the Wessex landscape". Although used as a base for a Norman castle (a ready made motte) and then part of a garden for the great house, it has now been confrimed that it is roughly the same age as Silbury Hill (c.2,400 BC), 6 miles away.

However. I quote Henry Colt-Hoare, son of the famous archaeologist of the 19th century Sir Richard Colt-Hoare, who noted of the Marlborough hill that it was "a huge pile of earth and inferior only to Silbury Hill. Each are situated on the River Kennet... and I have no doubt but that in ancient times each had some corresponding connection with the other". Also I quote H.C. Brentnall from the Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, Vol. 48, p.141, who had found a "pocket of red deer antlers... from 2-3 feet within the mound... prolonged contact with the chalk of the mound had thoroughly impregnated them and rendered them very brittle" and thus came to the conclusion that it was prehistoric.

Not such "an astonishing discovery" then.  

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