Are there magical places? Which comes first, a place, or the folklore associated with it? One example of why such questions are problematic is the area around Silbury Hill, part of the complex of Neolithic sites around Avebury in Wiltshire in southwest England, a complex that includes Avebury Ring and West Kennet Long Barrow. The original purpose of Silbury Hill is still debated. Several other important Neolithic monuments in Wiltshire in the care of English Heritage, including the large henges at Marden and Stonehenge, may be culturally or functionally related to Avebury and Silbury. What is special—or magical—about this part of Wiltshire? Is it simply that it is flat? Or is it the case that decisions made in the past shape future action, in a process called path dependency? There is evidence that the area around Stonehenge had ritual significance even before farming came to Britain, and not long afterwards,...

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