Older Than Dragons


dragon 2

Sarah writes:

“My latest tattoo is a black-line representation of the Uffington White Horse in England. It’s a huge earthwork carved into the countryside about three thousand years ago. I’m not really sure what compelled me to get it, since I’m a grad student in English and not archaeology or anthropology. But it’s such a beautiful, simple design, and it represents a real feat of Bronze Age ingenuity.”

Carl: There was a time when the Uffington Horse was thought to be a dragon–in particular, the dragon slain by St. George. But in fact, it is older than dragons. The Uffington Horse is three thousand years old, we now know, because that is the last time that light struck the buried soil around the figure. Some kinds of soil and sand contain radioactive elements that break down at regular intervals. The energy they release damages the crystal structure of the soil particles, creating traps in which electrons get stuck. Sunlight striking the soil has enough energy to jostle the electrons free, and they release a tiny burst of energy. Once this soil gets buried, however, the electrons become trapped again, and the longer it is buried, the more electrons are trapped. Scientists dug up buried soil around the Uffington Horse and shined a light on it. Electrons incarcerated for three thousand years escaped, and in a flash, the horse had an age.

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0 thoughts on “Older Than Dragons

  1. I agree: such a beautiful, simple design – and of such historical (i.e. prehistorical) significance. A reminder that “native Europeans” have their own particular roots, and ancestors, too.

    Carl, thanks for your explanation of the dating method, which I found very interesting.

    Am I right in assuming that it located on the side of a hill where it would have been visible by those who made it?

  2. “Am I right in assuming that it located on the side of a hill where it would have been visible by those who made it?”

    Hmm, almost. The Uffington White Horse is on the crest of a very steep hill, you can’t see the entire horse from any one particular viewpoint. Unless you are in the air. Which makes it, in my view even more amazing.

    The tail goes down one side of the hill, the body is pretty much on the top and the legs are on a facing slope.

    I have a tattoo of the horse on my forearm btw!

  3. There is’nt much on this world that is older than the mythology of Dragons…depictions of dragons have been found in neolithic sites in China..where Dragons have very different connotations than the warlike aggressive Dragons invented by Christian propaganda…Dragons have been connected in many ancient cultures in connection withe the energy or life force which flows through this world..so in direct conflict with the Idea of a Anthropomorphic ‘GOD’in mans image..

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