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Was the White Horse at Uffington a dog?

13 October 2010

No, not so barmy – a vet has suggested it resembles a greyhound or a wolfhound rather than a stylised horse (see www.guardian.co.uk/sciences/2010/oct/12/white-horse-uffington-dog/ … the argument is based on the long tail and small head, which certainly could be a dog rather than a horse. In addition, it is known that Britain and Ireland were famous for their hunting dogs and they were traded far and wide. However, archaeologists in general would support the idea of a stylised horse as a similar outline has been found on Celtic coinage plus we have the fact that the Uffington figure is on White Horse Hill and overlooks the Vale of the White Horse. Now, if the outline cut into the chalk turf was meant to be realistic and then a hound might be more likely than a horse – but what does the figure really represent? If it represents a comet, shall we say, and then the figure of a horse might have seemed pertinent – but then again, Cuchulainn was a hound.

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