Uffington White Horse

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Coordinates: 51°34′39″N 1°34′00″W / 51.5775°N 1.5666667°W / 51.5775; -1.5666667

The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 374 feet (110 m) long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. The figure is situated on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill in the English civil parish of Uffington (in the county of Oxfordshire, historically Berkshire), some five miles south of the town of Faringdon and a similar distance west of the town of Wantage. The hill forms a part of the scarp of the Berkshire Downs and overlooks the Vale of White Horse to the north. Best views of the figure are obtained from the air, or from directly across the Vale, particularly around the villages of Great Coxwell, Longcot and Fernham. The site is owned and managed by the National Trust.

Contents

History

The figure has been shown to date back some 3,000 years, to the Bronze Age, by means of optically stimulated luminescence dating carried out following archaeological investigations in 1994. These studies produced three dates ranging between 1400 and 600 BC. Iron Age coins that bear a representation comparable to the Uffington White Horse have been found, supporting the early dating of this artifact; counter suggestions that the figure was fashioned in the Anglo-Saxon period now seem untenable.[1] Numerous other prominent prehistoric sites are located nearby, notably Wayland's Smithy, a long barrow less than two kilometres to the west. The Uffington is by far the oldest of the white horse figures in Britain, and is of an entirely different design from the others.[2]

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