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The Mystery of the White Horse of Uffington

 whitehorsechallenge

whitehorsechallenge

(Ancient Origins)

The prehistoric White Horse of Uffington is one of the oldest hill figures in Britain, and is believed to have inspired the creation of all the other white horse hill figures in the region.  Mystery abounds the creation of the White Horse – who made it, when and why?  Some historians believe the figure represents a horse goddess connected with the local Belgae tribe, others believe it is Celtic goddess Epona, protector of horses, while an alternative theory suggests it is not a horse at all but the mythical dragon slain by Saint George. Wiltshire, the region in which the hill figure is found, is the county for white horses. There are or were at least twenty-four of these hill figures in Britain, with no less than thirteen being in Wiltshire. However, the White Horse of Uffington is the only one with known prehistoric origin.  Initially believed to date back to the Iron Age due to similar images found depicted on coins from that period, more recent dating by the Oxford Archaeological Unit placed the hill figure in the Bronze Age, some 3000 years ago. The Uffington White Horse is high on an escarpment of the Berkshire Downs below Whitehorse Hill, a mile and a half south of the village of Uffington. Measuring some 374 feet in length, the stylised image was created by digging trenches into the earth some ten feet wide, exposing the white chalk bedrock below. Keep reading at Ancient Origins

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