Annus Tumulus – Tomb of the Year…

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‘Well almost…quite loosely speaking.’

‘Very loosely speaking.’

‘And no, it’s not a new quiz show. And nor are there any prizes. A tumulus is an artificial mound.’

‘And a natural mound is what?’

‘One that isn’t man made.’

‘Has it anything to do with tummies?’

‘Possibly… Not.’

‘Oh!’

‘Six tombs in one week isn’t half bad though. We’ll  be getting a reputation for morbidity.’

‘And on the seventh day…’

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‘On that day once, somebody quite famous said that if the ruins of Ancient Greece weren’t ruined no one would pay them much heed…’

‘The notion of being ‘quite famous’ tickles me. Like bragging about having once seen the Pope in order to ‘prove’ your spirituality.’

‘ …I sometimes feel exactly the same about our tombs.’

‘A lot depends on whether or not they’ve been opened…’

‘Ah, but the Gates of Pluto must never be unlocked, Little Grub.’

‘Why ever not?’

‘Because within those subterranean halls, dwell a people of dreams.’

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‘…East Kennet long barrow being a case in point.’

‘And it also depends upon whether the field in which they are situated happens to be navigable or not.’

‘I’d go and lie on East Kennet long barrow if we could get up to it.’

‘Well, maybe we can…’

‘East Kennet long barrow in the sun is a pleasing prospect.’

‘Mounds, artificial or otherwise, though especially tumuli, make pretty good viewing platforms too.’

‘Platforms for viewing what?’

‘Platforms for viewing the stars.’

‘The idea of East Kennet long barrow under the moon I like, possibly, even more than the prospect of sunshine…’

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‘Those three ‘Monstrous Mamas’ though, don’t look much like they belong to the rest of the monument.’

‘They were put there quite a bit earlier and were originally covered by earth.’

‘In fact, the recumbent looks vaguely Arbor Low-ish.’

‘More than vaguely, it could have been transported there from Arbor Low.’

‘Or it could have made its own way…’

‘Oh, don’t start that again.’

‘They still don’t know how the Blue Stones got from the mountains of Cymru to the lowlands of Stonehenge.’

‘They are, though, fairly certain that they didn’t get there under their own steam.’

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‘No, no, no… movement by steam came much, much later.’

‘…It’s the Cap-Stone presumably, or at least, part of it. How about volition, if you’re not happy with steam?’

‘Volition, I like. They have will these stones?’

‘One can probably wish on them to good effect… Propulsion?’

‘One can almost certainly wish upon them, to good or ill effect more than likely and something undoubtedly propelled them but what?’

‘…It is so frustrating not to know.’

‘It is frustrating.’

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‘The recumbent resembles a land mass…

An island of rock in a sea of grass.’

‘The Calf of Man?’

‘Part of a larger map we now no longer possess.’

‘Would it have bridged or spanned the gap in the uprights?’

‘Possibly, or does it represent an internal organ…’

‘Like an exhumed liver from a body we no longer recognise.’

‘A field of hearts.

The lungs of the earth.’

‘No, the lungs of the earth are trees…

…are forests.’

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‘Did the fall split it?’

‘Did the fall split the stones at Arbor Low…?’

‘Did the stones at Arbor Low ever fall?’

‘…Running Elk didn’t seem to think so.’

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‘So what does it say to us now?’

‘What, as it is?’

‘Yeah, just as it is, in all its decrepit, pock-marked, mysterious magnificence.’

‘Denuded of its earth covering, it speaks very forcibly of the vertical and of the horizontal.

Both are separated allowing for ingress and egress.

The one, in and out, the other, up and down.’

‘So, put them together and what have you got?’

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‘A three dimensional portal…’

‘But a portal to where…?’

‘…To wherever you like.’

‘If you please, I would quite like to move from Salisbury plain to Preseli…’

‘Oh, bravo Little Grub, bravo!’

*

5 thoughts on “Annus Tumulus – Tomb of the Year…

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