Megalith, standing stone, cultural stone, Ansur, Danish stone rows, stone circle, the Vi, earthwork
The first case is naturally the standing stone that must have been placed by mankind for some purpose. You don't run around with big stones and if nature move them they usually remain in a position where the gravity point is near the ground as possible
Standing stone, Ansur, Geb, megalith, bautastone, tombstone, boundary marker, Tree of Life, World Tree, Sumerian creation myth, Ras, place name, Manitou Stone, trinity, tri-head, earthwork, avenue, cursus
Part 1Introduction | Standing stone | Ansur | Stone row |Stony circle | long stone rows | Carnac | Gavrinis | The Vi | Cultural stones | Earthwork | essays | sitemap | home | Part 2 dolmen- stony ships …4th millennium ideas, Dolmen and longbarrow, Passage grave, Ground grooves, Slab cist/ wedge tomb, Big stony ship, Small stony ships, Mound, Part 3 doomring - thing … Doom ring, Stones in Exodus, Altarstone, Footstool, Thingstone Part 4 Olympos of Nordal |
Links to:Inanna myth | Survey ritual astronomy |Suites in rock-carvings |
In Australia the Pilbara girls looked at their "boys" with some distance 17000 years ago.
In Swedish we call it farmers' sense and maybe it is because that until World War II nearly everyone was a farmer. In English it means common sense except among the cavalry that have horse-sense. Recently they made some scientific research and found that the horse-sense depends on that farmers have a lot of problems to solve and have to talk with the horse, i.e. training gives skill.
Mostly I have searched for normal sense and logic in the past ... words like magic, mystery, pagan, heathen and cult are nearly forbidden in my vocabulary. I want to treat my ancestors like my grandma and that is why I do not want to expose imaginations of our time into the world of our ancestors. Their world was different and I know it takes a year or two to learn a new culture … our kids use 9 years at school and still some have not learnt their mother tongue. I keep that in mind when I go into another world and culture.
I think we find normal logic everywhere and that is the only way to success if we really want to understand. I know many farmers in Scandinavia and they are all pragmatic and they always play safe. In my youth many had the system "to do as father and grandpa did". I think it is just the boring normal way and so thinks especially the young.
The picture above alludes on the eternal man that very often wants to be the biggest or wants to have the biggest. Surely they showed off visitors with the megaliths. The big stones tell that "We have resources" and that gave reputation. The spin off effect is that they are almost eternal and thanks to that we have some of them left to analyse and write about.
My site does not place among "megalith sites" and I have no such intention either. I am analysing what it means when you set up a stone then and even nowadays. We can discover that much of our behaviour and symbolic acts have very deep roots. I am searching for the ideas of society and point at some monuments and you can find much more on the Internet. I have some links in these articles too.
There is nothing magic if our ancestors arranged a stable sight point to decide for instance spring equinox since they knew that a certain star would appear with the sunrise exactly in east. On Ireland they build the New Grange just for catching the sun at midwinter so they could start their year. In Egypt some text says "The hood rises" and that means the sun is at lowest point and turns to the other direction with its orbit. Making sensation and magic of the past just expose the lack of real knowledge. It makes the path to knowledge longer and make the fool of our ancestors. They do not deserve that.
I grow up in the countryside and we learnt much about nature and also to see what time it is in the day or year. We followed the moon and sun and as boy scouts we learnt more of the kind. The training gave that I always feel where North is and I need not look for the moss. My feeling for time is nearly exact and I need no watch. In nature many of the beings follow their own daily routines and living together with them keep you in time. On the farm cows gathers when it is milking time and they tell you if something is wrong. In my aquarium the plants know to make rest half an hour before the light goes by automatics.
Such skills were natural to our ancestors and at least some elderly men new much more about following the moon. On calendar sticks from early medieval times we see that some farmers followed the moon. There is nothing magic it is only that you should follow the moon cycle and have your watching points. In private every stable viewpoint could do.
You need not practice any spiritual ritual to do such things. The fact is that we can not prove did our ancestors some strange things or not. But I think we can be sure that they had feast and funny plays in the seasons. As soon as mankind gets track of time it is time to celebrate. Why not have fun at the same time as there is some forecast of working season then it is easier to do hard work? End of season is also a good reason when work is done and usually with some harvest and time for eating much.
In pace with urbanisation the average research often measures our forefathers' ideas with our own frames. But as I see it there is no reason to believe that they were thinking about universe or high spirits when their problem was to organise food on table. Much of our theories are just out of our own imagination. For me it is easier since I belong to the last generation with my feet deep in the soil. I have seen much of the old natural life.
In all my work I have tried to stay on earth and not say more than the practical evidence gives. In the following I shall discuss the stony monuments mostly from what I see around me on Dal. It is the old method "dig where you stand", however I try to make this a general rhapsody and take examples from other places.
This survey about megaliths is of course very much about Scandinavian stone monuments. However naturally Europe has much in common and the custom of making stony monuments is spread all over the world. In well-populated places they are all gone and the stones have been used to churches, railroads and later foundations in houses and so on. Already the slab-cist people in Denmark 2000 BC began to use older stone monuments.
I think the archaeologists have paid too little attention to other monuments than Carnac, Stonehenge, Callandish and such spectacular big monuments. In Woody Scandinavia we are fortunate to have spared some of the small and less spectacular monuments.
Our stony monuments are nearly of the global kind. However my analysis are about Scandinavia, but I show the same use in the Levant. Usually they use the word megalith, but it is seldom valid for all Scandinavian arrangements. Maybe there have been the same kinds of ritual places made by smaller stone in many more places in Europe. We should be aware of the earthworks that could be a part of the megalith monument or is a ritual site showing the same ideas as the stones. And we have also some woodwork too.
When we explain ancient ideas we should look at the culture as a whole and avoid being megalith nerds. Another thing is that together with the rock-carvings we can give a rough picture of the culture in the entire Europe from 5000 BC onward. We simply need the huge area to get enough examples from which we can make our conclusions.
On Dal we have even folk memory and descriptions of earlier monuments, however they are disappearing very fast. In my neighbouring parish they count 166 reminds in the forties and now are 42 left. It is much the same all over Sweden. The forest and the machines take much of it. We are in a hurry to see what we can learn. We must integrate all kinds of reminds to get the full picture of the ideas behind … a collection of pictures do not say anything about the purpose.
In my writing I am mainly interested in the ideas and the rational use of the stones as eternal symbols. Still we set up stony monuments celebrating events or persons. My investigations are as always preliminary and I try to make an overlook now and then and add new facts. It is not only the physical remains but also that we have many place-names telling about the customs connected to some of the monuments…. see for instanceAnglo Saxon place names
Normally it is good to keep track of chronology. In some cases it is better to analyse the type in the whole context. The disposition of this book tries to keep a timeline as seen in the links above. However many of the monuments are not yet dated and it would be costly to investigate big fields with stones and earthwork. Still we have some guidelines from occasional excavations. Another thing is that many monuments were in use for very long time and that could be more than thousand years. Other places have stonework from a long period since these were more or less sacred and the center of the settlement for long time.
The bigger stone give associations to a certain kind of imagination. This stands at Filitosa southern Corsica and could be a reference for those with none-earthy moral.
Further associations lead us to Egyptian myth and world order. Geb was earth and there are pictures of a lying Geb with erection and her mate Nut is the heaven in a bow over him. Still we cannot deduce that all standing stones are of that kind. We have to leave for many more uses such as sight stone, heel stone, memory stone, symbol stone and more. For instance at Corsica we find long stones with a face engraved on the top. Maybe it symbolises the local hero in other cases it may be a tomb stone. Normally they are speaking Greek and call these boulders and long stones megalith, but that is Greek to me
It is symptomatic of public Egyptian archaeology that most of it is about the Middle Kingdom and the pharaohs. If we want to know about normal life and how they got food on table we have very few books. When they tell about the Egyptians it is all mystery. Part of the mystery is the Greeks that gave much of the names in Greek and there is no standard for the names. To that comes that times and cultures mixes.
Too seldom we know the real meaning of words, idols and abstractions. They would tell us that hidden in the myths are instructions for agriculture and other things. The Sumerians wrote songs about the pickaxe, which build cities since it was an invention. Citizens were only "bones" for the gods and that word is synonym for tool. They also wrote about "old days" when they used the stick for digging ... in South Africa there are 20000 years old carvings showing the Mother Invention uses a stick with weight. Still, the Sumerians also sang to sheep, cows, goats and the Bull. It is that practical level we should search for. Surely they did not use magic in agriculture and gods never do practical work.
Greek and Roman history is also about the upper class and their problems. Compare the pantheon with Falcon Crest, Dynasty, Dallas and so on. The peasants probably sang about stealing cows, while the half gods in upper class teach us to think in families and clans. In the upper class the main problem is always power and relations. We cannot use that attitude to early Stone Age Europeans living in small villages. They were interested in myths for agriculture since it gave food with less work if they were skilled. However all labour could use a clear World Order and explanation how the natural cycle goes on.
At the scientific level we can search for categories, but also analyse the pure idea from shape, formation, position, location, aspects and more. In many places special stones have got a name that folk memory have carried for thousands of year in some cases. As long as there are continuously living people in a place it is possible to tell an original folk memory. However if the story is too much different from culture it will fade out and be just a name or folk humour make some explanation easy to remember.
In our rock-carvings we clearly see the great variety of cultural elements. Partly it is because of the long time span and we never know how much of it they really used. Even the stone formations show variety.
In the stony part of Scandinavia we have very many stones remaining in the position the inland ice left them. Others are placed in some formation or have got a name. These are cultural stones carrying known and unknown ideas. But in Denmark it is hard find any stone that are not placed by people in the past and few free stones are left in the lowland where the biggest "mountain" is 172 metres above sea level.
We still raise stones as memory on our graveyards. Memory is the first and main meaning of every special and cultural stone. Then it is up to us to find the meaning and there are a great variety of possibilities and we are discussing a time span of maybe 8000 years. We cannot prove that the lonely standing stone is set up as memory for an individual, since we do not see the individual before Bronze Age we can leave that case for now.
In Scandinavia we have the special word "bautastone" for tombstone. The word means, "knock in" and understood that the dead was knocked into eternity symbolised by the stone in quite the same way as we use tombstones with the name of the past person. Maybe the word origins from forth millennium BC when we see cupmarks on/ and in passage graves. The use continued on wedge tombs and stony mounds as sign of "knocking in". The symbol act also meant that the dead is finally gone.
We know that they thought of resurrection and the funeral ritual was much the same as the spring ritual when sowing and putting away the corn for a journey that lead to resurrection. Funeral and sowing are symbolised in the same way with cupmarks. In the Alps they have found that metallurgist practised the agricultural sowing ritual at funeral and still they were not cultivating.
During Bronze Age was a period with much of cremations but some still made a small slab-cist and or a mound. We know too little about the bautastone. Most of them have later been used when they build churches, houses, railroads and the reuse began already in Bronze Age. Another thing is that probably the individuals got value as late as during Bronze Age. In Ritual Age mankind was just "legs". If monuments were made it was for deities and that mean in our words that the foundation kept the memory of the idols that represented the World Order and the rituals in the local society..
When we make tombstones, busts, statues it is just the same old custom. Those with much money make of course most of it. Many patricier in Rome had their father as statue in normal size and grandfather as a bust at home.
Naturally such things made it easier to remember at least the nearest forefathers and it may sometimes lead to forefather cult. In our world we have lots of forefathers we remember when we need it Newton, Boyle, Einstein, La Grange. That is our forefather cult. The idea of these is quite the same as the bautastone.
From the beginning the value of a cultural stone was defined by local people whom decided the place and the stones to be sacred. The value today depends on how much local people and government out value in remains from our ancestors. Usually the value is less than new roads and buildings … se more under Cultural stones where the normal border stone at a field is called kudurru. Here is a sample about the stele between city states of Sumer:
Lagash and Umma were two Sumerian cities located 18 miles apart. Three documents were found on clay cylinders and date from about 2500 BC. Here the first of them that tells about use of a stele as boundary marker and also that making a mound was like a claim.
By the immutable word of Enlil, king of the lands, father of the gods, Ningirsu and Shara set a boundary to their lands. Mesilim, King of Kish, at the command of his deity Kadi, set up a stele [a boundary marker] in the plantation of that field between the states.
Ush, ruler of Umma, formed a plan to seize it. That stele he broke in pieces, into the plain of Lagash he advanced. Ningirsu, the hero of Enlil, by his just command, made war upon Umma. At the command of Enlil, his great net ensnared them. He erected their burial mound on the plain in that place.
The struggle went on for a couple of generation and destroying the canal and irrigation was one of the methods. In the end Entemena of Lagash killed the Big Man of Umma. Notice that Enlil, Ningirsu, Shara and Kadi are all deities. It was convenient to blame or make abstract role models to be responsible or be the higher powers in the name of which the worldly Lugal = Big Man ruled.
Sumerian creation myth starts with "Tree of Life" or the "World Tree"
Grandiloquent lord of heaven and earth, self-reliant, father Enki, engendered by a bull, begotten by a wild bull, cherished by Enlil the Great Mountain, beloved by holy An, lugal. Enki planted the meš tree in the Abzu, rising over all lands; great dragon who stands in Eridug, whose shadow covers heaven and earth, a grove of vines extending over the Land, Enki, lord of plenty of the Anuna gods, Nudimmud, mighty one of the E-kur, strong one of heaven and earth!
This is important since the Sumerian creation myth begins with these words. The Sumerians were very practical. So when they let the creator Enki plant a tree it means also the family tree near the farmhouse as symbolic Tree of Life. We find it also in Finish Kalevala with motivation "for the birds' nests". The birds are helpers since they eat the insects in the field. We have also the Nordic Yggdrasil as World Tree in the Edda myth.
Another myth tells about Inanna planting shadowing trees. Tree keep moisture and make a better climate for man, animal and plant … we see it here in my town where they hate trees. The air is so dry that those with heat - lung diseases have trouble in getting oxygen hot days.
We can not know to which extend they deliberately planted trees. But we see the symbol/ image of "Tree of Life" on steles/ remains and in many places so it has its place among "standing stones"... There was an ash in front of my home that was planted when the farm was found more than 300 years ago. Hurricane and lack of love took it a couple of years ago.
Young girl from Jericho 7th millennium BC … maybe a singer?
There are few idols before the real ancestor's face found at Jericho. Both the decorated skulls and some plastic faces could be related to an individual. We do not know for what purpose but for sure the owner would remember the original and maybe tell others so it became living memory. Interesting are the cowry eyes that tell about trade connection as far as to Indonesia where the shells are found. The cowry where used as money from Indonesia to West Africa and is still in use today.
This essay is more like a rhapsody of facts around the topic "ancestors face". There are many loose and fixed items and it is hard to make chronology. Surely many of them have been used like a signpost or emblem of the place and in time it become place name. Archaeology often makes to many categories and become nerds. Then megalith mean only big stone and there seem be no time to recognise the rock art at the stones or at the site. Neither can we concentrate only on the ritual place since the funeral for long time used same ritual as the sowing ritual. This all makes it difficult to get the whole picture at a certain place. Worst of all often they use a certain mystic/ magic frame since they do not think our ancestors were much like us.
In the Futhark ANSUR is the fourth rune naming A in Old Norse. The rune names were iconic and store some important features of the culture. I think it means "forefathers face" or the idol of the village. We have also the association to Underworld and the oldies dwell there of course. The origin is from Bronze Age or early Iron Age. We have some place names in the form idol name + INGE and it is easiest to read the last part "give in". The Celts have usually opposite syllable order than in Nordic language. Then it is understood that the village works and lives in the name of the idol.
We should note that at the early state people lived collectively and their heroes were taken from the ritual. Personal stones were invented when the personal property become use and that means in Scandinavia perhaps after 500 AD. The rune stone is as such marking personal property. We have one stone that tells about size of land and the price paid.
… this Hittitian symbol means "picture/ idol" and the IN-spiral is added to it so it have to do with making love … with Mother Earth perhaps. It is also easy to associate to the Egyptian IN-crown symbolising the beginning of agriculture season, while the other with the cone was the corn-crown or harvest time..
The Hittitians also used the term Ras, which I think was the head and maybe a statue not only for the village or town but also symbolising "in-going" and understood that behind was the priests and feudal nobility to get a share. Some cities in the Levant still have the pre-word RAS.
Tracing and photograph of an anthropomorphic stone in which eyes and nostrils have been emphasised. On the 'forehead' of the figure an image of an antelope has been engravedhttp://www.harkarkom.com/Gallery.php
The Italian archaeologist E. Anati has publicised his research in Sinai and Mt Karkom … seewww.harkarkom.com In the variety we see the combination signpost _ altar, sanctuary, signpost and altar see for instance pictures 23, 24, 36, 37, 57, 65, 68, 69, 135, 145, 162 and 163. Especially picture 119 is interesting since the sanctuary is a time circle and the starting point is perhaps the stone with a cupmark and a basin for water offer and opposite is a stone with a face. The face gives another dimension to the simple sanctuary.
Some of the stone in the circles are made different and mark beginning and end of the half years. Black meteorite stone is often used for the central stones. Maybe it is the same syndrome as the black "Aphrodite stone" at Paphos Cyprus. Here beauty is so heavenly that it could not be pictured … it is left for the imagination. In some places are rock-carvings and we can recognise Scorpio belonging to the ritual astronomy almost all the time 4000 - 1000 BC.
The more developed holy places have maybe 7 or 12 stones telling about the connection to the ritual astronomy … seedoom ring and Phoenician temple and altarstone
Face in stone found near Rothbury, Northumberland Credit Aron Mazel
In the Negew we could hardly separate sign post for the settlement hero and "Face of Underworld" that surely could give name to local places. It symbolises the Earth Mother during the season. Originally they were three midwives but only one was important except in child birth where the three were symbolising three moments. The earliest is the symbolism with Inanna, the New Moon with spread legs leaving her seed to her twin sister Ereshkigal in Underworld symbolised by a big cupmark between Inanna's legs.
Engelstrup, Zealand copies the Sumerian seal with Inanna leaving her seed/ water to her twin sister Ereshkigal, the womb. Simplified carvings of the lady with spread legs are found in many placs and a big cupmark send the same message
People today and in the past did often mix the name/ idol and reality and that gave the virtual idol real existence and made it hard to understand the underlying myth. Wisest is to translate the important words/ icons to plain English. Inanna is rain/ water and us fertility in transporting the elements needed for growth. Utu/ Shamash is the sun warmth that together with soil and rain makes next generation grow.
As soon as we/ they animate and make it role play the confusement is near since we need the double thinking to see the dynamic act of fertility and growth. Most difficult it was to see what happens in Underworld that was symbolised by the womb Ereshkigal or in the sky the asterism Watersnake Hydra. Maybe they saw her as Mother Earth and only the sophisticated temples made many moments in the role plays and that made it mystery for citizens without fields ... It is like today that some children believe milk and butter coming from some factory and do not know about the cow
Most common type of rock-carvings in the British Isles and they seem to be altars near ancient fields
In Scandinavian logic the big cupmark represent an inlet to Underworld and with a little imagination it also represent the "face of Underworld". It could also symbolise the time when they saw on the calendar. Circles are often used to picture turns, periods and time as month, quarter, half year and year.
Who knows what a goddess looks like? At the Braunston Church in Leicestershire there is an ugly statue of something like a hag. It is maybe the Earth Mother that also moved into the church with spread legs as Sheela-Na-Gig.
In all cultures they used to offer with water or fire in beginning of the season or a new period. In Nordic symbolism we se ANSUR or the face as beginning of the season. It is often difficult to separate it from the "Little stone" or rising of the stake when growing was going on. It is the djed pillar in Egypt and later "a pole with a bird" (Horus = Time/ space-time) seen also in Greece. It is surely also the Sumerian Twig we know on Dal from late times as The Rowan when the cows were left outside.
The Rossland stone-head from Norway
From these associations I get some explanation to the Rossland idol and I think it has been local symbol stone. As early mentioned we find on Corsica several long stones with a head at top. These are special standing stones since we have something we can analyse and understand.
I am sure that there are more of them in Europe and in mind have for instance the goddess from Braunston Leicestershire England. The eyes are big and we can associate to a Greek tradition of "boopis" meaning cow-eyes. At Corsica there are some stones with a head carved on top. We would put moral values when comparing a head-stelae and a phallus-stelae without thinking of the purpose or meaning as symbol for a certain event. We are not used to use animated abstractions for such things.
In France we can find a tall statue of a man with a neck-ring and a pig as attribute. The French name for pig is "viers" and there are a lot of place names ending in -viers. Thus the name Louviers could be read Lou's pigs. In Nordic symbolism the "pre-doer" Frej had the boar as attribute and the ritual was maybe celebrated under an oak since the boars lived much on the acorn.
In Denmark is some place names like Svinninge. The Danish have the term "ornum" that could be read "the boars (homestead)". In early Viking Age there is much swine symbolism. They show for instance swine on the helmet and we have the word "swine phalanx". Lastly to mention is that York original was written Eoforwic = Swinebay. The category of stones with face or idol is much like signposts telling who are living at the place and which idol they favours.
Talking with ancestors maybe
This picture is from the site of Novosibirsk Regional Studies Museum "The last Siberian shamans"http://megalith.ru/indexeng.shtml
To tell that these people are primitive is easy understood that we are on higher level. At the same time we show disdain against our far ancestors since our ancestors practised the same kinds of practical ritual. We also show that we do not want to understand the rural way of life in those days. Still their kind of culture will last long after Western civilisation has consumed nature …so do not speak compare our intelligence with their since we will loose.
If we really want to understand we have to compare the scene with a normal graveyard of today. Still I see old ladies on our graveyard however I do not bother to know what they speak silently with the tombstone. We often need some physical item as a symbol and object in our thinking. The inner monologue brings back the memories we need. In old days they used maybe a skull or a standing stone. Whether it was shaped or not is important.
In our days we have statues and pictures. I read that some priests in Italy forbid the people to worship any pagan object but want them to believe in all the ritual objects in the church. If we stick to human rights and normal objectivity we should give our ancestors the right to worship whatever they wish. There is no border between using objects for religious purpose or using them for more practical things like time keeping.
In this case we see a standing stone they have maybe shaped to be a head. Surely at many places they just rose a stone and let it do for the same purpose. In Bishops Sagu from Iceland they tell about the first bishop showing disrespect for the old customs. The alderman of thing or "yearman" showed a certain stone at the old thing place. He called it "yearman" or "timeman" and tried to explain what it meant.
The Christian and Latin-speaking bishop showed no understanding. Maybe he just meant to show his power and the legend tells he made a cross over the stone and it cracked in two halves. Naturally the bishop wanted to be the new head of the community … maybe he used some trick, who knows? In my neighbourhood there are wholes in some of the stones at an old holly places and some stones have cracked.
There is nothing magic in the concept " year stone" and the old cultures in south used some kind of ritual stones too. Yeah, in fact in our churches and other places of ritual we use still ritual object at certain times of the year. To put on the label "pagan or heathen" is far too easy. Only when we want to understand and see similarity we come near our ancestors.
We have a lot of ritual stones left and in some cases we have also the ancient ritual name such as Edsten, Stenlille, Maidstone, Freysten, Hovsten, osv. Some of them may be an Ansur = forefather stone. We all pay respect to our forefathers when we use the experience they left us as for instance in technology they have plenty of laws in name of some ingenious man/woman in the past. Other stones maybe were the Yearman and centre of year in year rituals.
In Wisconsin there are maybe some Manitou Stones left. The Jesuits did their best to destroy them and as always in the Bible they could find the right lead. Deuteronomy 12: 2&3 order that "Ye shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations ... served their gods, upon the high mountains ... and hills ... overthrow their altars and destroy the graven images (i.e. sacred stones) of their gods ..."
During the 8th century AD, this tradition was again in evidence as a Papal decree brought to Ireland by the Catholic missionaries who were to "sanctify the pagan hilltops" and also urged to build churches wherever they found 'standing stones'. Nine centuries later, this mindset would be zealously transported to the New World by the Jesuit Order. In Europe we have only a few clear standing stone or signpost of a village left. Maybe the church destroyed them where they could in the entire world …
From the European place names we can find some place names with origin in Celtic Bronze Age. They are out of the same tradition as in Scandinavia as for instance the ending -inge that is found in many places in Rheinland. Then it is up to our knowledge and imagination if we can understand them and use them in understanding their society and how it developed.
As idea we seetrinity and the Celtic rose early at Newgrange Ireland and other places. We have some of them also in Scandinavian rock-carvings. This bust from France gives us more of the idea.
It is easy to think that trinity is the three Christian Mights or as above three idols. But it is much more and should be seen as a philosophic term, which make us think about three parts in dynamic life. It is the object but also the interaction. Modern theoretic physic have reached that understanding nowadays however the world usually forget the third part since it costs money and is difficult to work with.
But we need not be so deep here. The tri-head seems to be the three idols of seasons and with corresponding asterisms in the sky. If we look closely at the head in front that wear the Celtic neck-ring as leader and should be beginning of year. Originally he was furnished with horns too. The horns became symbols of sun before 3000 BC when they in some place used Oxen as fix star and asterism at spring equinox. But in many places asterism Cetus or Kaitos was the wild Bull. Soon the bull became symbol of power too.
It is not only in France there are finds of "tri-heads". Near Esbjerg Jylland Denmark there are finds in Glejbjerg and Bramming. On one of the golden horns from Gallehus ca 40 miles south of Bramming there is a tri-head too.
Now a couple of pictures showing the continuity
Centre from 100 gr golden medal from Aasum and the bract from Maglemose … see the book aboutGolden Age
The head at left should be seen as a separate symbol for beginning of season or planned work while the horned Sun-horse is spring equinox. The swastika symbolise the four part sun year. The head at right is the exclusive war leader with neckring and the spear was symbol of Roman war god Mars and for Constantinople.
Here we see the step between abstract leader and the leadership with a person behind the symbol. In our time we have the old kings as statues and rider idols and we make bust and statues of noble men but seldom of kings nowadays. History is a process that follows the ruling circumstances and ideas.
Often the first writer set the frames so that our t used to the early opinion. Cesar set the frames about wild and beasty Celts. That opinion has not altered much in 2000 years in most circles. Invectives like "Barbarian and pagan" are used frequently. It is still not in the interest of Christianity to follow the Human Right and se our Celtic and German-Celtic ancestors as equal. In German and in Nordic they use the term "abgot/ avgud" about the former gods and idols and see less worthy than Christianity.
Neither the Romans nor the Christianity really understood the Celtic culture. They did not want to since they wanted to plant Roman martial culture as the mean of power in indoctrinating the Celtic - German world. Me favourite example is the ethnographer that asks the Celtic farmer which gods he invokes in agriculture. The honest man answered MacQuill, MacChecht and MacGrane that means the driving stick, plough and horse (sun) and he surely knew that the Roman would not understand. It is much like the church Latin that was used to tame the Germans until the reformation. Surely it sounded like magic formulas.
The Maglemose bract copies a coin of Emperor Leo before 474 AD. The miniature neckring Old Style" is added at his breast showing he still adore the inherited Celtic society however probably mostly for the nobility. He surely belonged to the Erils/ Heruli that were expelled from Zealand 500 AD. Maybe the "Roman Rule" was too much for ordinary people that wanted semi-democratic lead as it always have been.
Coins from Dorestad in 8th century have often the ANSUR/ man's head as one of three astronomic icons the ANSUR, Serpent and the Tri-triangle. Alternatively four heads for the sun year seasons in the same manner as the late Egyptian symbolism
Lastly we have to mention the symbolism of Christianity as seen in illuminated gospel books from Lindisfarne and The Book of Kells from Armagh. The winged Man / ANSUR for Mathew, winged Lion for Marcus, winged Calf for Lucas and the Eagle for John
Later times have shown difficulties in understanding odd figures like this, but it is in the old tradition we know not only from Sumer but also in the entire Old World.
See also IRISH GENIUShttp://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/pillarstones.htm
From British Archaeology Issue 69 March 2003 we can learn "At English Heritage, a project is now underway which aims to sort out all of this confusion. We plan to examine and reassess all known cursus' (and bank barrows) in England. There are over 150, most of them known only as cropmarks but with a few surviving as earthworks. So far we have looked at 50, and it has already become clear that some of our cherished views need to be rethought".http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba69/feat2.shtml
We naturally welcome the project since we have not much real knowledge about cursus, bank, avenue and whatever. They are hard to understand and costly to excavate since they include normally a huge space. The Dorset Cursus is six miles/ 9.75 kilometres long and there are several others that are one to two miles long/ about 2 - 4 kilometres. However many of them are less than 250 metres and still much work to catch the archaeology.
They have documented a third of them and got preliminary results that tells there seem to be a wide use and many shapes of these earthworks. The time that they have been used varies and in some cases the use seem to be more than 1000 years.
With few finds we can only speculate in the use that could vary from place to place and in the period from ca 5000 BC to Roman time. It would be natural that the avenue/ cursus has been for processions and for the ritual "Follow Hor/ Her" = Time. That could mean the Moon's monthly curse as well as seasonal Idols/ stars since we see that the time ritual was the common interest and the community must have worked out such huge arrangements.
Some of the cursus have an irregular course on one side or follows a river. According to the general myth about the Water-Snake and even Time-space River the "snake" side could symbolise that. They could also correlate it to the heavenly river Watergate/ Via Lacta/ Milky-way. The original beginning of year was where the Watergate crosses the ecliptic at Cancer-Hydra. The other crossings were the synchronising moon and sun ecliptics at spring equinox and Ramadan at Sagittarius, i.e. the hound Rahu.
The four cardinal points/ times of year are normally tied to solstices and equinoxes but we have also the inner cardinal points at Imbolc, Beltaine, Lugnasad and Samain. The Egyptian season with the moon as lead began around February first while for the northern season Beltaine would be better. The climate was milder around 3000 BC when they probably tied it to spring equinox as we see from the grooves correlated to the first full moon after equinox in Antares Scorpio. At Gotland and Flyhov Sweden there are 1000-years long series of grooves.
Too often they mystify such establishments and make them more holly than they ought to be. Naturally our ancestors had fun and games at the meetings and fairs. As suggested the cursus could have been used for games and competitions as for instance archery loved by young men. It was the age of the female water goddess aside and the girls surely loved to dress up to be the chosen stand-in for the Bride and her Maidens…. The Edda tells about Three Maidens that were the birth-giving idols.
The "Megalith-maniacs" usually see only stone arrangements but we should include the whole context that varies in time and space. We should expect much woodwork too besides the wooden henges we know of. There is the Sarup type with 30 sites in Denmark and a lot also in the rest of the cultural area. These consist of ditches and signs of palisades and other woodwork. They are too few to make generalisation of.
Then we have for instance the lake-dwelling at Alvastra Sweden. They think it was used only for seasonal ritual around 3000 BC. They were cultivators and a little sign of the ritual is that they found a small stone with a double-axe standing with the edges toward the soil and the heaven. In folk memory we have the expression "skaera = cut" also meaning sanctify and we see the symbol act in a lot of compositions on rock-carvings. Nowadays the farmers use pesticides to protect the sown seed form above and beneath. At the site they found 40 double-axes and it is the biggest find at this moment. It could be connected to the Inanna-ritual.
There are lake-dwellings in other places in Europé and surely they included ritual acts and ideas. There have been some in Poland and Balticum too where the idea seems to be defence and protection.
The early agriculture was guarded by ritual just to learn and keep in memory how things should be done. From Bronze Age we have the so-called "Celtic fields". Outside my little town we can see strings of stone and small ditches. They are surely remains after agriculture in the field that now is a meadow for the horses. Another typical sign is that there are cupmarks on some stones within the field. Such stones are found in the other type of "sowing" that is funeral in the society where they believed in resurrection…. See photo ofthe field and altar-stones
Under the header we should include the pits and other arrangements by the hunters. In the northern rock-carvings we see they made fences for the reindeer and in some cases they drew the animals over a cliff. In my neighbourhood there is a bank that I have not figured out the use.
Other arrangements of banks and ditches have surely been for defence. For instance the Olmer Dyke in South Jutland that crosses much of the peninsula and rivers are used for the rest. There are more of them in other places were we can expect borders between old folklands. We should have an open mind and search for the whole context. Many of the ideas in stones and ditches are nearly eternal since it is the way we have learnt to get order in society.