The Mythologized Legacy of the North American Mounds | Ancient Origins Members Site


The Mythologized Legacy of the North American Mounds

Print
    
Silbury Hill on the left, is the largest prehistoric mound in Europe.

The Mythologized Legacy of the North American Mounds

Ancient landscapes the world over were once encrusted with earthen mounds, variously called cairns, tumulus, barrows, burial mounds and kurgans. In England, Silbury Hill near Avebury in the English county of Wiltshire, is a prehistoric artificial chalk mound covering about 5 acres (2 hectares) with a base diameter of 548 feet (167 meters). At 131 feet (40 meters) high, it was constructed in several stages between 2400 to 2300 BC and is the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe.

Entrance to Maes Howe in Scotland (Public Domain)

Entrance to Maes Howe in Scotland (Public Domain)

In Scotland, the first crude earthen burial mounds, called cairns, appeared about 5000 BC and by 2800 BC Neolithic super-structures like Maes Howe Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave on Mainland Orkney, Scotland, marked the apex of megalithic construction. As central components in the religious, ceremonial and burial functions of social elites, in Orkney, every year on the winter solstice the last light of the setting sun illuminates the inner chamber at Maes Howe; testimony to the astro-building skills of the ancient engineers.


Become a member to read more OR login here

Ancient Origins Quotations