Right Profile Face, Swindon Diamond Stone, Avebury Henge - May 2022        

Explanatory Materials Appear Below This Image - Please Scroll Down To View

This isn't the only face like this at Avebury, it belongs to a distinct family of carvings, click here for details



I discovered this wonderful face (which marks the northern entrance to the henge) by a kind of prediction. My familiarity with the right profile face on Avenue Stone 26a taught me that the sculptors of Avebury sometimes placed small eyes in large flat areas of sarsen pounded by mauls. Therefore one of the key facial features I look for when searching among the monoliths are dressed flat areas. Here at the Diamond Stone I examined the untypically flat zone at the top right of the south side of the monolith, trying to work out if it was an eye panel (see diagram right). It was, and I duly found a really excellent eye complete with brow, then the nose, nostrils and finally, the mouth. I speculate that such a large, important and well defined face, pointing eastwards, might refer to the sun god????

There is a similar block face at the southern entrance to the henge too, visible here.



When I made this photograph my intention was entirely to record the wonderful gigantic carved face which is visible above. However, on close examination of the final image on my computer, I was struck by what appears to be an additional and much smaller carving hidden away in the shadows - see my basic animation to the right >>

This looks like the face of a beast staring directly out of the stone, a beast with strongly carved negative horns and shallowly rendered eyes. The effect is eerie and unexpected. Perhaps it is one of the faces discovered by Di Pattison and described by her in her book, I am sure she refers somewhere to a face with negative horns - I must chase the reference down when I have time!


Member of a whole family

The immense scale and skill involved in caring this enormous face suggests that it represents a particularly important Avebury spirit or character, a figure that is reproduced again and again, both in the main stone circle and in the Avenue - click on the image to the right for more information  >>


Image copyright David Baldwin Night Photography