Mad Max Tour and Avebury Stone Circle

The Mad Max tour is a bus touring company that we used to get from place to place today. The company was called Mad Max due to the owner of the company Madeline or Mady for short who owns the company. When she gave bus tours, she would bring her dog Max with her and thus the company became known as Mad Max. During this tour, the class visited ancient places such as Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle. The Avebury Stone Circle is located in the town of Avebury in England. This stone circle is connected to Stonehenge by an ancient road or route that is about 17 miles long between the two sites. The surrounding area is has a high concentration of chalk which has not helped the scientific dating because chalk does not preserve pollen which is used to easily tell what plants lived in the area at that time. The scientists thus turned to snail shells as they are incredibly diverse and many varieties exist according to their environment. Through this process scientists have learned that in the Avebury area a giant oak forest once stood. The site at Avebury is by far the largest in size for that period in England with the next closest being a quarter of the size. The henge seen at Avebury that can be seen today started construction in roughly 3000BC and was added to periodically until 2400BC. It is expected that prior to the placing of the stones in Avebury and other henge sites that there were once wooden poles set which served the same unknown purpose as the stones. The purpose of these stones are unknown although one can surmise that they had a religious purpose and that it had to do with the sun, moon, and stars. At the site, there is a rock that has a natural outcropping which is called the devil’s seat as bad luck has been said to befall people who sat in the “seat”. Long after other people came to the area such as the Romans who left the stones intact. It was not until the late medieval period that people saw a problem with the stones. England at this point had converted to Christianity and they saw the stones as a symbol of the devil hence one stone being called the devil’s seat. They began pulling the stones down, but this was stopped by the death of a barber-surgeon who was crushed by a stone as it fell. The locals may have believed that these stone could feel or were somehow alive and thus to pull them down they needed someone with medical training. Avebury remained generally unknown throughout time expect to the locals in recorded history. It was not until the 1695 that there was any significant mention of Avebury in any recorded and widely publicized works. It was included in the Britannia which is equivalent to the modern-day encyclopedia. The site came to be as it is today through the efforts of Alexander Keiller who bought the land and righted the fallen stones and mapped out the places where stones once lay.  


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