High on our Hill, overlooking the Sussex coastal plain, the ancient people of the New Stone Age built a sacred site – a sacred enclosure or ’causewayed camp’ for their
High on our Hill, overlooking the Sussex coastal plain, the ancient people of the New Stone Age built a sacred site – a sacred enclosure or ’causewayed camp’ for their dead. The area is still a sacred site of the dead today, with Woodvale Cemetery close-by. Those ‘Neolithic’ northern Europeans were making their OWN farming culture, clearing the forest, planting crops and herding animals, whilst, far away, the peoples of what are now Irag and Syria were developing cities, engineering massive irrigation, inventing the wheel, writing, and an alphabet, and the first state bureaucracies.
Today, if we scuff down through the thin soil on our Hill we can still find the sub-fossil shells of the snails that were displaced by the clearing of the Hill’s woods. As importantly, we can still find the living descendants of the tiny Moss Snails that benefitted from the creation of this new pastoral and arable landscape. They are truly Whitehawk’s aboriginals !!
They are not alone, for with them is a company of little bees and wasps, spiders, beetles, dainty butterflies and moths, tiny flowers, grasses, mosses and toadstools that have also survived the passing of five long millennia.When we stand on Whitehawk Hill and watch the summer sun set far to the west, and see the bats flitting through the purple dusk, we are blessed to know that we share that spot with a host of tiny plants and small creatures who have survived through aeons of time.
Let’s use this evening together to remind ourselves of this ancient heritage.