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Dating through seriation is based on

In Lincolnshire there is Hairy Jack; Lancashire has Skriker, Trash, Shag, the Barguest, and Bogey Beast; Yorkshire provides us with Skriker also, plus Padfoot; Somerset is the home of the Gurt Dog or Great Dog; Devon the Yeth or Yell Hound; Cumbria provides the Capelthwaite; Suffolk the Galleytrot, with the Mauthe Doog in Scotland and the Isle of Man; other names also include variously the Churchyard Beast, Kirk Grim, Shug Monkey, Hateful Thing, Swooning Shadow, Gyltrash, Oude Rode Ogen, Dip and Tibicena. Moreover, the stones at Avebury (as elsewhere during the Neolithic) were gender classified and so “…were assigned solar-calendrical duties, the objective being fertility.” (Meaden, 1999).

The persistent, widespread and variable Black Dog stories (Brown, 1958), shows that “…the phenomena of phantom dogs is a complex mix of folklore, sightings, and local superstitions, which has its roots far into the past.” (Parkinson, 2011). The hand prints from the Gargas Caves in the Pyrenees, 27,000 years ago. It is known that within one or two centuries of the 3rd millennium’s beginning (not later than 2800 BC) that the development began (Meaden, 1999), and that during the next 500 years the gigantic component circles, banks, and causeways and avenues resulted in the “…splendid constellation of ordered standing stones…with Europe’s highest artificial mound and the world’s biggest ditch-and-banked stone circle.” (Meaden, 1999).

Even though the majority of phantom dogs have no known cause or history there have been claimed to be three separate species of this ‘ghost’ (Brown, 1958) which are (1) a shape-shifting demoan hound; (20 a large shaggy black coloured dog and; (3) a dog that appears only at certain times in specific locales (Parkinson, 2011). Hand stencils support the theory that, not only were women actively involved in cave art, but that they were in their role of shamans leaders in ritualistic, fertility and magical practices, many of which were also linked to for other members of the community. All of these monuments are around the same date and constitute part of a single architectural complex (Bray, 1970). Kennet Avenue Four gaps in the bank (three marked by huge stones) show the original entrances with the south gap leading to the stones of Kennet Avenue (Burt, 1979). Constructed around the same time as Avebury (circa 2600 BC), Silbury Hill is a huge conical chalk mound surrounded by a deep quarry ditch, constructed in an effort that surpasses even Avebury (Bahn, 2001).

In the Highlands though there is the belief in the or green ‘fairy dogs’. Many of the hand prints were smaller than female hands as established by analysis of digital ratios. It is most likely, considering the role of women in primordial society as shamans, that ancient art was mostly the work of women (Webb, 2013). Within the bank the village of Avebury, see Figure 5, dates from the Anglo-Saxon period which developed out of the henge’s own continuum of seasonal use and ritual history. Within Avebury there are 98 stones in the outer ring and 27 and 29 in each inner ring, see Figure 6, with an obelisk and minimum 13 stones associated with the south circle.

The main feature of the Black Dog legends is that, apart from being essentially nocturnal, is in its having roots in both persons and locations (Brown, 1978). Hand prints on cave walls were analysed by Dean Snow who showed that there was a gender difference between relative lengths of fingers. Even though another theory claims the hand prints may be those of adolescent boys some 75% of cave art hands are female. There are 3 or 4 cove stones with another 12 associated with the north circle and Ring Stone.

In Semitic and Moslem lands, however, the dog is viewed as unclean meaning that the dog “…had once been of sacred significance very remotely in time.” (Brown, 1958). The Avebury complex has been described as the scene of a cyclical drama that took a year to perform with “…each edifice offering in turn a special setting for the celebration of a particular event in the farming year, matched to the corresponding event in the human life cycle.” (Dames, 1977).

Supernatural Guardians The most common superstition concerning Black Dogs is that they are an ominous portent. In the Avebury area around 2600 BC the Neolithic inhabitants of the locale have left pottery evidence for ceremonies of fertility and ritual use of human bones (Burl, 1979).

In Wales the apparition is known as the ‘Dog of Darkness’ or. Excavation plan of the Sanctuary after Maud Cunnington. The sanctuary had a complicated history with several stages of reconstruction (Bray, 1970).

Black Dogs are sometimes known by a familial patronymic such as the fictional Hound of the Baskervilles or the Dog of the Haynes, or similarly to the the family seat attachment of the Irish banshee. However, it does appear to be intimately connected to the Avebuty complex and probably played a significant role, even as a temple, in rituals and festivals. West Kennet Long Barrow One of 27 in the Avebury landscape it is a simple structure with insertion of a megalithic tomb chamber at the southern end, see Figure 12.

Regional variation of the creature shows that half are “…associated with movement from one locality to another: roads, lanes, footpaths, ancient trackways, bridges, crossroads, gateways, doorways, corridors and staircases.” (Brown, 1978). In ritual terms the mound has been described as the image of a pregnant Mother Goddess in harvest (Dames, 1976).

Black Dogs occur “…frequently in England and Ireland in places known to be Scandinavian settlements.” (Rudkin, 1938). This concept envisages the ritual role of the mound as a giant umbilicus or enormous single mammary gland. The Sanctuary The structure was possibly a timber circle (an open enclosure) started around 3000 to 2700 BC and completed circa 2000 BC during the Beaker period and the transition to the Bronze Age, see Figure 11.

Image of the Hellhound Introduction Legends and tales about phantom Black Dogs occur aplenty in the British Isles and elsewhere (Parkinson, 2011). A recent study by Dean Stone of Pennsylvania State University produced results that “…indicated prehistoric female artists also helped create the famous ‘spotted horses’ cave mural and various others.” (daily Mail, 2009). Essay contribution to University of Oxford Undergraduate Certificate in Archaeology (2004). Introduction Avebury and its environs form an extensive Neolithic ritual complex in Wiltshire a few miles west of Marlborough. Moreover, recent surveys show more earth and wooden structural remains at West Kennet Farm from the end of the Neolithic (circa 2300-2200 BC). Avebury and its Environs 2.a Avebury Henge The Avebury monument is 6 miles west of Marlborough, 8 miles north-east of Devizes, and 9 miles south-south-west of Swindon. The monument is surrounded by a deep ditch and outer bank (set with standing sarsen stones along its inner edge) enclosing some 28-29 acres. A series of paired sarsens, the Kennet Avenue, leads to the smaller circle known as the sanctuary.