Category: Avalon and King Arthur
In an effort to learn more about a puzzling grave, archaeologists in England are working on excavating a tomb associated with the legendary King Arthur.
This month, archaeologists from the University of Manchester and the English Heritage organisation started excavating the area surrounding Arthur's Stone, a chambered stone that dates back 5,000 years. Local lore claims that King Arthur, the legendary king of Britain, killed a giant at the site of the tomb in Herefordshire, England.
According to HeritageDaily, Ginny Slade of English Heritage said, "Arthur's Stone is one of the country's most important Stone Age monuments, and this dig affords a really unusual and exciting chance for members of the public to come and see archaeology in action."
A grave with a 25-ton capstone on top is surrounded by nine standing stones in the tomb. According to experts, there may have been a fictitious entrance to the tomb to keep outsiders out.
According to ancient myths, the imprint of the giant was left on one of the stones. An alternative explanation is that Arthur, known for his devotion to Christianity, knelt in prayer on one of the stones, leaving an imprint. Another story says that one of the stones at the Arthur Stone emerged from a pebble that Arthur threw from his shoe as he marched by during one of his expeditions.
Others say that the tomb inspired C.S. Lewis, whose Aslan character was killed on a stone table in the classic book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
King Arthur was known for fending off the invading Saxons and uniting chivalric knights around the mythic round table at Camelot. His story has been told in countless books, films, and TV shows. Arthur became king after he was the only one who was able to draw a sword that had been lodged in a stone.
Julian Thomas, head of the project, said that the contents were likely removed at some point, though it is unclear when.
“The act of constructing such a massive edifice would undoubtedly have been important, as it would have drawn people together to labour, enhancing social solidarity, and perhaps generating prestige for the person or persons directing the work,” Thomas told CNN.
Visitors will be able to view the archaeological work and get a closer look at the national monument connected to one of England’s most beloved stories.
“Our team of wonderful volunteers will be on hand to explain the latest findings as they happen – we’re asking people to book in advance to make sure everyone has a chance to enjoy this great opportunity,” Slade said, per the University of Manchester.
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