April 27, 2008

The beautiful white horses of England The Uffington hill figure More on hill figures Wiltshire White Horses More from the air

Ballad of the White Horse Read it here

  • I love these things. mr medusa has the white horse tattooed on his arm (mostly due to being a huge XTC fan...) great post!
  • Lovely post, GramMa! Some aerial photos of hill figures here including the rude and excitable Giant of Cerne Abbas
  • Thanks for the cherry on top, islander! Those are great photos, and I've never seen the Folkestone one or the Osmington horse and rider.
  • The Uffington horse really is something special. How old is the Long Man of Wilmington, I found myself wondering, but seems there's no definitive answer. I've seen things on the Nazca lines etc, but do other European cultures go in for chalk figures too?
  • Evidence to suggest such hill figures also existed in Europe would be shared cultural heritage of the Britons and Gauls, imho. I'm not aware of any surviving examples in France or elsewhere, but given the similarity in megalithic and iron age building in France & Britain, seems likely the hill figure carving would be there too - if such chalk figures are indeed ancient and not a fad from the middle ages. The hill drawings have to be maintained, otherwise they are lost, so perhaps there are some examples lying around in Europe waiting for geophys to discover.
  • I once had sex with a girl on the grassy tip of the Cerne Abbas Giant's knob.
  • Yep that makes sense Hank, as you see those cultural links with tribes that had branches both sides of the Channel. I presume that kind of chalk downland isn't some uniquely British geography? Maybe that's the main factor.
  • Sex on a giant knob also makes sense, of course.
  • Yeah I hadn't thought of that, actually, you're right. But some of these drawings are made by taking chalk blocks from elsewhere and placing them in cut trenches. So there is still that approach. But anyway, yeah.
  • *<3s The White Horse* As Pratchett wrote in A Hat Full of Sky, "Taint what a horse looks like, it's what a horse be." (quotation in French blog) Minor aside: I love the French word for "horse", cheval. Certainly brings out the noble grace of the creature!
  • I didn't even know he had a door.
  • I've seen things on the Nazca lines etc Speaking of which: Pigs and squatters threaten Peru's Nazca lines
  • Sad. I feel for the people, but the government needs to mark the figures clearly and then move the squatters to where they won't be defacing these amazing artifacts.
  • Found this really interesting. After a little poking around, I found this sat shot without the redonkulous white line around it. In this shot, the moose is upside down. Apparently it was created with the head downhill, and the feet uphill. I'm wondering if the misshapen nose is a function of the position in which the artists were standing looking down on it. At nearly 2 kilometers long, it's the largest geoglyph yet found. Fortunately, it's located in Zyuratkul National Park, so should be safe from destruction.