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The Cove Stones of Avebury

In 2003, the discovery of a previously unsuspected giant standing stone at Avebury has made historians scratching their heads again. For sheer size the latest find rivals anything at nearby Stonehenge, and in fact its 100-ton weight makes it one of the largest known megaliths in England. The surprise discovery came to light during an attempt to straighten two stones known as the cove on the ancient circle (said to be 4,500 years old).

It has long been accepted that the standing stones of Avebury represent male and female characteristics with the two surviving cove stones being perfect examples of the types chosen. The pair were thought to be in danger of falling. At the north side there once was a third stone which completed the cove and faced the existing slender "male" stone. One of the stones which stands at 14 feet above the ground, it was realized, goes down at least seven feet below ground and maybe as much as 10 feet. This one fell in 1713 and was destroyed.

The “Cove” at Avebury (Photo by Ralph Ellis)

Constructed about 3000 BC the coves have been found to be the earliest of the components that form the henge. As well as that within the north circle there is another in the Beckhampton Avenue and evidence that another may have existed in the West Kennet Avenue. Researchers believe that they were representations of the forecourts and stone chambers that were a part of the long barrows and tombs of earlier years thus they would have had funerary rituals associated with them. They appear to be the foundations on which the rest of the henge was built. That of the northern circle must have been fundamental to the function of the whole monument.

As for questions over how the presumed primitive builders managed to quarry and move stones weighing more than a modern diesel locomotive, using log rollers, ropes and pulleys, the scholars remain as clueless as ever.

Atlantis Rising Magazine Vol.40: "Enormous Proportions Detected For Mysterious Standing Stones";

Pic Source:
Atlantis Rising Magazine Vol.40 page 11

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