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Avebury

42 43 South of Avebury, over Waden Hill, Silbury Hill rises from its boggy bed. It is the largest neolithic manmade mound in all of Europe and is situated nestled into a bend in the River Kennet, exactly north of the Swallowhead Spring. The silky grass exterior hides nothing less than a stepped pyramid built of seven concentric drums. Inside are many layers of chalk, mossy soil and gravel. Hazel twigs found at Silburys core during excavations suggest it is five thousand years old. Like the henge around Avebury it is thought to have once been without its grass covering, simply shining white chalk. In the last century a Yorkshireman, Moses B. Cotsworth, suggested that, like the Egyptian Pyramids, Silbury Hill could have been used as an accurate calendar. A 95 foot pole on the top of the hill would have cast a midday shadow which would have touched the edge of the platform, the base of the hill and a stone set in the field to the north of Silbury at midsummer, equinox and midwinter respectively. Silbury Hill has a little known sister. Known as Merlins Mount, the huge treecovered mound stands in the grounds of Marlborough College with a spiral path up it. South of Silbury Hill is the key sacred site of Swallowhead Spring, which flows from a small chalky tunnel. sIlbury hIll the eighth wonder of the world
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