What are these structures? Theres a curious human scale to them. Almost everyone is secretly disappointed with stonehenge, coming up to it, it doesn’t tower like a monument is supposed to. These tunnel tombs, here for maybe four thousand years, are like a magic trick. At once entirely human scaled - you duck to enter like a wendy house something almost impossibly old. Theres a feeling of connection almost intimacy - not walking through the grand halls of the dead but sheltering as I did from the rain at Las Verdes in Guernsey.

 

We look at them from the wrong end of the telescope - from the atom bomb back not from the red bead forward. They aren’t, except by some instinct to pile stones ever higher, some practice effort for a ziggurat, but the ossification of something from before - a tent or wooden longhouse. The kind of structure our highly mobile mesolithic foremothers strode across the still walkable ridge of Lyonesse with. Some instinct to defy death or rising water, to make a place to return to, to own or tend and mark out, made them do something new in the world - make an immortal thing. Maybe as the land shrunk and waters rose and the generous walkable plains were cut through with marsh and water a similar urge struck us, to divide up into our own islands, to pile high away from the tide. To be immortal.

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