Monday, 24 June 2013

In May.

Belas Knap...
This May
Made me feel sad.
A kind of what's the point feeling.

Belas Knap was the first long barrow I visited, probably thirty-five years ago.

Where did you go when you first got to drive a car anywhere!

And it amazed me
I beleived in it.

The 'Lunar' forcourt...
Aligned north- so no moon
Or sun.

Symbolically lunar?
Not lunar

The bull's horns, forcourt
Recalling the closing off of Fussells Lodge
The slit cow
Over the entrance
Legs and feet dangling

Çatal Hüyük;

So close to the word

Bull of Heaven
Always dies.

Twenty-seven years ago
Here with my first child
In her first pair of new shoes
To totter up the hill
To sit by this house of the dead
One great big F*** Off
Territorial marker.

Consequence of the farming revolution.

But this May
With compass and camera
By motorbike
With husband...

The best was the group of teenagers sat in one of the side chambers, as if waiting for the bus.

And the patch of golden grass I found
Where he put up the 'tarp
Brewed coffee

And we ate crisps and olives.
Oatcakes and tiny tomatoes

Belas Knaps...
Go to the south end (the place of the skull)
And look up.
Towards the invisible circle of stones.
Almost a Silbury shape.

I don't really want to get into 'primal mound' mythology
and this was a long time before Silbury...

Belas Knap, is, after all..
A reconstruction.

1863 - 1865 Mr. Lauriston Winterbotham & Mr. Joseph C. Chamberlayne / Cham-Berlayne  Esq. (Land Owner) The first formal excavation of the barrow first took place between 1863 - 1864 and was carried out by Mr. L. Winterbotham. The work was continued in 1865 by  Joseph Chamberlayne who owned the land on which the barrow was located.   They initially discovered the remains of four skeletons including two skulls.  The remains of five children and one adult male skull were later found behind the false entrance a further 26 skeletons were discovered in the additional chambers. Animal bones were also discovered as was a small amount of pottery. Overall the exploration was conducted in the style of the time which was far less careful and detailed than would be the standard expected by modern archaeologists - this equates to a bunch of 'navvy' workmen with pickaxes and a grand plan to find buried treasure.  During the excavation it was also claimed that a circle of stones had been discovered within the mound along with a significant amount of ashes. It was this excavation that discovered the horns of the mound which, at some time in the past, had been filled in to conceal the false entrance. Continue...

The side chambers may well be at an angle
Not just no: 2.

I'm not sure about the east one.
But that is the angle of the entrance wall...

If the angle of the chamber is the more correct one.
Then it is a NE alignment.
And alignments usually are NE...

There is a fascinating possibility:
Albert Potter of Winchcombe discovered a large horizontal stone supported by several uprights under which was a single skeleton that had been placed in a seated position with its elbows resting on its knees

Back to the idea of preserved bodies...