Great Britain

A giant’s story: How new archaeological research may help reveal England’s long-lost past

T

he discovery that one of England’s best-known chalk hill figures - the Cerne Abbas giant – was probably created by the Anglo-Saxons in early medieval times has substantial implications for how historians interpret at least some of southern Britain’s other hillside images.

The hill figure phenomenon is, in the main, an exclusively English tradition. Over the millennia, at least 35 have been carved into English hillsides.

The oldest known example is the White Horse of Uffington – a probable communal or tribal political or religious emblem created around 1000 BC.

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