Ancient landscapes of the past become a canvas of expression for cosmological ideas, where monuments and sacred sites reinforced and created notions of self and cultural ‘mythic identity’.

People superimposed their mythical understandings on the surrounding features of their environment, energizing their ritual landscapes, embedding their sense of belonging and purpose. Moreover, these ensoulled landscapes were often charged with profound psychological significance, underpinned by high level technical surveying abilities.

Trying to understand and illuminate these arcane connections may require us to adopt a different ontology, one that provides new tools in our search for meaning. One example of this is our relationship with the horizon, the great mediator between the landscape and the skyscape. It was the liminal line, the place where the sun disappeared to and rose from – the ‘otherworld’, and was hugely signficant, the abode of the gods above the ecliptic, with the underworld below. This widespread celestial phenomena is encoded in the geomantic alignment of structures the world over and evident in Suffolk between at least 6,500 B.C. to 625 A.D.

The physical artefacts of death, burial and worship combine with ‘skyscape archaeology’ encoding certain aspects of the heavens and celestial objects in material form, structured according to symbolic and cosmological principles, creating what has become known as ‘sacred geographies’.

Arcane Landscape is rewriting the past and connecting with the present, embracing a rigourous multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on the latest global research and historical enquiry. We explore how our findings may impact on our appreciation of the hidden ritual landscapes of Suffolk and beyond, informing our deeper connection with the ‘genius loci’ – the spirit of place.

  • Ancient landscapes might also have been structured according to symbolic or cosmological principles, forming what have become known as ‘sacred geographies’. Specific places, and indeed whole landscapes, are ‘contexts for human experience, constructed in movement, memory, encounter and association.

    Clive Ruggles

  • The natural world had the capacity to achieve divine status, the numen or unseen, where the realm of this ‘otherworldly’ power was inhabited by beings to whom offerings could be made in order to secure their goodwill at these special places and especially at sacred moments in time.

    C.J Godfrey

  • The bond between a person and his or her country is not merely geographical or fortuitous, but living and spiritual and scared… the symbol of, and gateway to, the great unseen world of heroes, ancestors, and life-giving powers which avail for man, woman and nature.

    A.P. Elkin