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Prehistoric chalk figure not so prehistoric

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posted on Oct, 6 2003 @ 11:50 AM

Prehistoric Long Man is '16th century new boy'
By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent
(Filed: 02/10/2003)

The origins of England's tallest chalk hill figure, the Long Man of Wilmington, have puzzled historians and archaeologists for generations.

Carved into a steep slope on the South Downs in Sussex, the imposing figure has been claimed as an Anglo Saxon warrior, a Roman folly and an Iron Age fertility symbol.

But according to a team of researchers, the Long Man may be a relatively recent addition to the landscape. Tests carried out this summer have produced compelling evidence that it dates from the mid-16th century.

Makes sense, really. If you read the rest of the article, you find there was no mention of it before the 1600's and that it's remarkably un-equipped for a "fertility symbol."

posted on Oct, 6 2003 @ 03:17 PM
I've also heard the theory that it was put there to attract Extra-terrastrials.

posted on Oct, 6 2003 @ 03:21 PM
Actually, being a fertility symbol, I thought it was supposed to attract Extra-Testicles..............................

Sorry, couldn't resist

posted on Oct, 6 2003 @ 03:34 PM

Prof Bell believes that the chalk debris may have been come from the freshly cut Long Man.

I know this sounds bad, but, I am wondering if this is just bad editing, or is this a freudian slip to suggest it really is a fertility symbol??????

posted on Oct, 7 2003 @ 08:00 AM
Actually, it's bad ethnography to suggest that it was a fertility symbol.

It didn't look like other fertility symbols, and they left off the sexual organs. In most of the other cultures I know about, fertility symbols include sex organs (even if somewhat abstract designs.) In fact, the sex organs play a prominent feature in most of them.

posted on Oct, 7 2003 @ 12:33 PM
The article does not anywhere mention the method of dating used?

Since I am no expert I will not dispute the finding but there is a suggestion that the decision was based on taking sedimentary samples and then ascribing an age to them. How accurate is this?

posted on Oct, 8 2003 @ 01:00 AM
yeah it doesnt have any hard evidence

posted on Oct, 8 2003 @ 08:42 AM
No, there's no "hard evidence" in the article, but that's because when they start talking research methodology to reporters, the reporters' eyes glaze over and they start babbling incoherently.

The gruop that did it is here:

Done under a university grant and by university personnel, so they didn't wander out and chant mantras at the grass and get a "feel" for the date. I suspect from the hints given that it's done by excavating layers of debris. They found the old Roman artifacts under the chalk (indicating it was later than the Romans) and probably found other things as well (like more modern buttons or well-dateable artifacts. Then the chalk layer, then more recent material.

However, the organization's contact info is on the website and you can ask them directly, I'm sure.


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