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the living well-head

[click on well-head]
height 20 cm       width 18 cm       depth 8 cm
water-smoothed carved soft stone, perhaps a limestone


This object was sold to me as "6th century Celtic", with no more precise provenance than that it hailed from "up north", north of London, England, that is. Allowing for the possibility that it is a later pastiche, it attracted me as arguably representing the image that a mid-first millenium native of the British Isles (neither "Celt" nor "Anglo-Saxon" is here acceptable) might have held of his composite deity.

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Pre-Christian (C5th-6th?) stone idol
Caldragh graveyard, Boa Island
Lower Lough Erne, Ireland
© Christopher Hill Photographic

One authority has suggested
this head could be related to the "fish-head", right, from
c 5000 BC; height 36 cm

Personally I think it has
more in common with the one on the left


Epipalaeolithic carved river boulder
Lepenski Vir, former Yugoslavia
from The Prehistory of Europe
Patricia Phillips, Allen Lane 1980

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