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In the late nineteenth century, Harvard University archaeologist Frederic Ward Putnam excavated Serpent Mound and, based on his work, later archaeologists attributed the effigy to the Adena culture that flourished from 800 B.C. to A.D. 100.This theory on the site’s origin held true until a 1991 site excavation was able to radiocarbon date pieces of charcoal found within Serpent Mound. Through the radiocarbon dating, archeologists now believe that Serpent Mound is approximately 900 years old. By this date, the creators of Serpent Mound belonged to the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000-1500).
The star pattern of the constellation Draco fits with fair precision to the Serpent Mound, with the ancient Pole Star, Thuban (α Draconis), at its geographical center within the first of seven coils from the head. The fact that the body of Serpent Mound follows the pattern of Draco may support various theses. Putnam's 1865 refurbishment of the earthwork could have been correctly accomplished in that a comparison of Romain's or Fletcher and Cameron's maps from the 1980s show how the margins of the Serpent align with great accuracy to a large portion of Draco. Some researchers date the earthwork to around 5,000 years ago, based on the position of Draco, through the backward motion of precessionary circle of the ecliptic when Thuban was the Pole Star. Alignment of the effigy to the Pole Star at that position also shows how true north may have been found. This was not known until 1987 because lodestone and modern compasses give incorrect readings at the site.
In Skelmorlie is one of the most remarkable antiquities in Scotland a ‘Serpent Mound’, supposed to have been used by the ancient Britons in the worship of the Sun and the Serpent, and other religious rites. The head of the Serpent lies behind Brigend House and the ridge forming the body is now severed by the road running up the hill at Meigle. In the 1870’s Dr. Phené of Chelsea made some interesting excavations, discovering a paved platform some 80 feet long, and evidence of early cremations. The details were fully reported in the Glasgow Herald and the Scotsman at the time and there are specimens in the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow.
Recent examination of the pieces at Kelvingrove confirms that they are indeed burned human bones, something which was always disputed about Phene's original findings. Artefacts found at the Kempock Stone during similar excavations in the 19th Century are now also due to be tested alongside items found during the controversial excavations at Langbank, recently rediscovered at the National Museum Edinburgh. It is suggested that dating of the artefacts and remains will show them to be contemporary, and that the strange serpentlike drawings uncovered on stones at Langbank are linked to the "serpent mound" at Skelmorlie, via some sort of celtic river or serpent worship cult.
originally posted by: Danbones
a reply to: beansidhe
The reason I asked was in relation to the look alike (was it celtic?) bird headed god and the bird headed hairdos on some of the local traditional tribal headdresses, and the gills on the mudsnakes on both sides of the ocean, and the feathered serpents in south American lore...
(sorry, not on the net much at the moment, and I don't have time to collect the details, but many were mentioned on your standing stones thread)
originally posted by: DodgyDawg
I would have thought that the 6th century could be late for a significant earthwork like this to be created in.Scotland but who knows - It needs RCD really.
It's such a shame that these significant historical sites are neglected.
The star pattern of the constellation Draco fits with fair precision to the Serpent Mound, with the ancient Pole Star, Thuban (α Draconis), at its geographical center within the first of seven coils from the head.