Silbury Hill is a man-made chalk mound near Avebury in the English county of Wiltshire. It is part of the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is similar in size to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids of the Giza Necropolis. Its purpose however, is still highly debated. There are several other Neolithic monuments in the area, including Stonehenge.
Composed mainly of chalk and clay excavated from the surrounding area, the mound stands 40 metres (130 ft) high and covers about 5 acres (2 ha). It is a display of immense technical skill and prolonged control over labour and resources. Archaeologists calculate that Silbury Hill was built about 4750 years ago and that it took 18 million man-hours, or 500 men working 15 years (Atkinson 1974:128) to deposit and shape 248,000 cubic metres (324,000 cu yd) of earth and fill on top of a natural hill.
According to legend, this is the last resting place of a King Sil, represented in a lifesize gold statue and sitting on a golden horse. A local legend noted in 1913 states that the Devil was carrying a bag of soil to drop on the citizens of Marlborough, but he was stopped by the priests of nearby Avebury. In 1861 it was reported that hundreds of people from Kennett, Avebury, Overton and the neighbouring villages thronged Silbury Hill every Palm Sunday.
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