Friday, May 27, 2011

The Oldest Memorials

Talking about the battle memorials our Regency Folks would have known.

The oldest ones . . .

SilburyHill wiki We don't know what sort of memorials were raised to fallen soldiers in Britain in the very earliest days.  I like to think Silbury Hill might be one of them.  Silbury Hill is a huge mound of earth -- chalk and clay -- built on the Salisbury plain near Stonehenge four thousand years ago.  I've always wondered if it was homage and memory of some prehistoric leader.

Alemno 2 back detail wiki
Monuments we can date with some certainty go back to the 800s.
Here to the right is the back of a Pictish Stone at Aberlemno Churchyard in Angus, Scotland.  We see men wearing helmets, carrying spears, shields and swords battle on foot and on horseback.   Sueno's_Stone 1861 drawing from wiki

Another stone, on the left here, is the Suenos Stone, in Forres, Scotland.  It was one of a pair of obelisks described on maps as late as 1789 as "two curiously carved pillars". This to the left is a drawing made in 1861 of the surviving stone.  Below is a close view of the side.  We see the sinuous vine patterns similar to those found in the Book of Kells.
 wiki detailSuenoStoneBook-of-kells-d2 crop
Panels on the back, so much worn the detail is all but gone,  show battle scenes of horsemen and foot soldiers and, possibly, men playing long straight musical pipes.
What battles do the stone tell of?  Who fought?  Viking, Pict, Gael, or  Northumbrians?  We can't be sure. But the Suenos Stone and the Aberlemno stones were carved with all the art of their time and raised in the honor of those long ago warriors.

Read the rest at Word Wenches  here

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