Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire, UK
The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 110 m long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. 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. Numerous other prominent prehistoric sites are located nearby, notably Wayland's Smithy long barrow. The Uffington is by far the oldest of the white horse figures in Britain, and is of an entirely different design from the others
© DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Stone Age carving, Magdalenian culture
Stone Age carving, Magdalenian culture. This object, carved from reindeer antler, shows a bison turning its head, possibly to lick an insect bite. This carving was found in the Abri de la Madeleine cave, near Tursac in the Dordogne region of France. It dates from the time of the Magdalenian culture, known for their carved bone, antler and ivory artefacts. The Magdalenian people, a culture of early modern humans, lived in western Europe from 15, 000 to 7000 years ago, during the Upper Paleolithic period
© JAVIER TRUEBA/MSF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
RS-273 Apadana Palace, Persepolis, Iran
Apadana Palace, Persepolis, Iran.
Began by Darius the Great and completed by his son Xerxes I 30 years later in 480 BC, the palace was used by The King of Kings for official audiences. It had a grand hall in the shape of a square, each side 60 m long with seventy-two columns, thirteen of which still stand on the enormous platform. Each column is 19 m high with a square Taurus and plinth. The tops of the columns are sculpted in animal forms such as two headed bulls, lions and eagles.
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© Robyn Stewart/ardea.com