Jama Royston je umetna jama v Hertfordshiru v Angliji, ki vsebuje čudne rezbarije. Ni znano, kdo je ustvaril jamo ali za kaj je bila uporabljena, vendar je bilo veliko špekulacij.
Nekateri menijo, da so ga uporabljali vitezi templjarji, drugi pa menijo, da je morda avguštinsko skladišče. Druga teorija pravi, da je šlo za neolitski rudnik kremena. Nobena od teh teorij ni bila potrjena in izvor jame Royston ostaja skrivnost.
Odkritje jame Royston
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.
Izrezljane reliefne podobe so večinoma verske, ki prikazujejo Sveto Katarino, Sveto Družino, Križanje, Sv. Lovrenca, ki drži rešetko, na kateri je bil mučen, in figuro, ki drži meč, ki bi lahko bil Sveti Jurij ali Sveti Mihael. . Zdi se, da so luknje pod rezbarijami vsebovale sveče ali svetilke, ki bi prižgale rezbarije in skulpture.
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.
One of the main conclusions as to the origin of Royston Cave, especially for those who like teorije zarote, is that it was used by the medieval religious order known as the Vitezi templarji, 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: »Datum rezbarij je težko uganiti. Imenovali so jih anglosaški, bolj verjetno pa so različnih datumov med C14 in C17 (delo nekvalificiranih moških).«
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 Henrik I.
Od 12. stoletja je bil Royston v Hertfordshiru središče samostanskega življenja in avguštinski priorat je tam brez prekinitve obstajal skoraj 400 let. Rečeno je bilo, da so lokalni avguštinski menihi uporabljali jamo Royston kot hladen prostor za shranjevanje svojih izdelkov in kot kapelo.
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.
Razkrivanje skrivnosti jame Royston
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.