Simbol dan ukiran misterius di Gua Royston buatan manusia

Simbol dan ukiran misterius di Gua Royston buatan manusia 1
Royston cave carvings and mysterious symbols. © Public Domain

Gua Royston adalah gua buatan di Hertfordshire, Inggris, yang berisi ukiran aneh. Tidak diketahui siapa yang menciptakan gua atau untuk apa gua itu digunakan, tetapi ada banyak spekulasi.

Simbol dan ukiran misterius di Gua Royston buatan manusia 2
Detail Gua Royston, Royston, Hertfordshire. © Kredit Gambar: Wikimedia Commons

Beberapa percaya bahwa itu digunakan oleh Ksatria Templar, sementara yang lain percaya itu mungkin gudang Augustinian. Teori lain menyatakan bahwa itu adalah tambang batu Neolitik. Tak satu pun dari teori ini telah dibuktikan, dan asal usul Gua Royston tetap menjadi misteri.

Penemuan Gua Royston

Simbol dan ukiran misterius di Gua Royston buatan manusia 3
Plat I dari buku Joseph Beldam The Origins and Use of the Royston Cave, 1884 menunjukkan beberapa dari banyak ukiran. © Kredit Gambar: Wikimedia Commons

Royston Cave was discovered in August 1742 by a worker in the small town of Royston while digging holes to build footing for a new bench at a market. He found a millstone during he was digging, and when he dug around to remove it, he found the shaft leading down into a man-made cave, half-filled with dirt and rock.

At the time of discovery, efforts were made to remove the dirt and rock filling the artificial cave, which was subsequently discarded. Some even believed that treasure would be found within Royston Cave. However, the removal of the dirt did not reveal any treasure. They did however discover very strange sculptures and carvings within the cave. It is worth noting that had the soil not been discarded, today’s technology could have allowed for a soil analysis.

Located below the crossroads of Ermine Street and Icknield Way, the cave itself is an artificial chamber carved into chalk bedrock, measuring approximately 7.7 meters high (25 ft 6 in) and 5.2 meters (17 ft) in diameter. At the base, the cave is a raised octagonal step, which many believe was used for kneeling or prayer.

Along the lower part of the wall, there are unusual carvings. Experts believe that these relief carvings were originally colored, although due to the passage of time only very small traces of color remain visible.

Gambar relief yang diukir sebagian besar religius, menggambarkan St. Catherine, Keluarga Kudus, Penyaliban, St. Lawrence memegang lapangan hijau tempat dia menjadi martir, dan sosok yang memegang pedang yang bisa jadi St. George, atau St. Michael . Lubang-lubang yang terletak di bawah ukiran tampaknya telah menampung lilin atau lampu yang akan menyalakan ukiran dan patung.

Several of the figures and symbols have yet to be identified, but according to Royston Town Council, a study of the designs in the cave suggest that the carvings were likely made in the mid 14th century.

Teori yang terkait dengan Gua Royston

Simbol dan ukiran misterius di Gua Royston buatan manusia 4
Ukiran relief St. Christopher di Gua Royston. © Kredit Gambar: Picturetalk321/flickr

One of the main conclusions as to the origin of Royston Cave, especially for those who like teori konspirasi, is that it was used by the medieval religious order known as the Ksatria Templar, prior to their dissolution by Pope Clement V in 1312.

Bad Archaeology criticizes the way websites across the web have repeated this association between the Royston Cave and the Knights Templar, despite the weakness of the evidence in favor of the hypothesis and the arguments in favor of a later date.

Some also believe that the cave had been split into two levels using a wooden floor. Figures near a damaged section of the cave depict two knights riding a single horse, which may be the remains of a Templar symbol. Architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner has written that: “Tanggal ukirannya sulit ditebak. Mereka telah disebut Anglo-Saxon, tetapi lebih mungkin dari berbagai tanggal antara C14 dan C17 (karya orang-orang yang tidak terampil).”

Another theory is that Royston Cave was used as an Augustinian storehouse. As their name implies, the Augustinians were an Order created by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, in Africa. Founded in 1061 AD, they first came into England during the reign of Henry I.

Sejak abad ke-12, Royston di Hertfordshire adalah pusat kehidupan monastik dan biara Augustinian terus berlanjut tanpa henti selama hampir 400 tahun. Dikatakan bahwa biarawan Augustinian setempat menggunakan Gua Royston sebagai tempat penyimpanan yang sejuk untuk produk mereka dan sebagai kapel.

More significantly, some speculate it may have been used as a Neolithic flint mine as early as 3,000 BC, where flint would have been gathered for making axes and other tools. However, the chalk in this area only provides small flint nodules, generally unsuitable for ax making, so this may cast some doubt on this theory.

Mengungkap misteri Gua Royston

Simbol dan ukiran misterius di Gua Royston buatan manusia 5
Penggambaran penyaliban di Gua Royston. © Kredit Gambar: Picturetalk321/flickr

To this date, there remains much mystery as to who created Royston cave and for what purpose. It is always possible that whichever community originally created the cave may have abandoned it at some point, allowing it to be used by another community.

The mystery surrounding the cave and the sculptures within make the Royston Cave an interesting destination for visitors who would like to speculate as to the origins of this ancient wonder.

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