Thursday, July 3, 2008

A mystery to mull on.

Before the gods that made the gods

Had seen their sunrise pass,

The White Horse of the White Horse Vale

Was cut out of the grass.

the ballad of the white horse ~ g.k chesterton.
The oldest of the chalk figures cut into the English downs, dating back to perhaps the bronze age & very fragile. Even stone does not last forever. A tribute to the goddess Epona or merely an unmistakable symbol marking some long forgotten tribal boundary? God has left us mysteries to mull over & I do adore a good mystery. This is one of the best.


Persuaded said...

now i have never heard of this before... tell me what is your take on the "mystery?" i love a good mystery too... only i usually need someone else to do the solving;)

MamaOlive said...

Hey, at least you didn't post the naked man chalk figure! ;-)

Is the thing viewable from the ground, or only hot air balloons? (Assuming we ever get down that way)

Ganeida said...

Diane, there are over 160 chalk figures in England alone ~ many of them horses~ so I tend to lean towards some sort of pagan associations, especially as there seems little doubt that the Cerne Abbas figure represents a pagan god. I did consider posting him, MamaO, because he fascinates me, but thought he wasn't really very family friendly.:D Poor man, he lost his navel & acquired a quite underserved reputation in another area. lol.

The figures can be viewed from the ground. One of the sites I was on to get pics gives the best place to view from but everything else aside I think they are artistically beautiful & it amazes me that the perspective is so good when they had to work a large object from close up.

molytail said...

Also unusual is the fact that the horse faces to the right while all other horses and other animal hill figures face left, with three exceptions, the very first Westbury horse, the Osmington horse and the more modern Bulford Kiwi

found that ^^^ tidbit of information when I went googling.... :-)

It's pretty cool, thanks for posting about it - it's now on my "learned something new" list since I'd never heard of it!

Ganeida said...

Well, Moly, ancient sites are rather my *thing* so I did know about most of the other horsies facing the other way. Pity my poor kids & the things they have been forced to learn over the years. lol.

eliza said...

This bronze age stuff is fascinating.
I enjoy watching time team on tuesday
nights. Archealogists digging sites up to find who knows . What about the bronze age tombs at poulnabrone in Ireland.I wonder who they were. I read about it in The People's Friend
a scottish magazine.

Ganeida said...

eliza, there are just so many of these tombs all over the British isles ~ BTW poulnabrone means hole of sorrows, thought for speculation, don't you think? At least these seem to have died from natural causes. The bog men spook me out, especially our man at Lindow moss, who may have been a druid as well as a sacrifice. Ugh!

Persuaded said...

they certainly are beautiful... you know i have never heard of these before, and i'm a bit bewildered as to how i could have gone through my entire life ignorant of something like this.

thanks for educating me:)

Ganeida said...

Diane, stay posted. You'll like Skara Brae when I get round to discussing this & you should see this Neanderthal kitchen! It's a true wonder. Yes, I knw some weird stuff but it's prett too, practically falling into the sea...