New research says the Cerne Giant predates Shakespeare and possibly the Battle of Hastings.
Who created him? When? And why?
Did the Romans make him 2,000 years ago? He does resemble the virile lion-slayer Hercules. Or is he an older, more obscure Bronze Age Celtic deity? Or maybe he was a later creation, designed to mock the 17th-century Lord Protector of England, the admired/loathed Oliver Cromwell, as the Victorians speculated.
Now, a respected team of archaeologists — examining bits of ancient snail shell and the radiation emitted from single grains of sand — think they’ve definitively nailed down his age. It’s a big surprise, if you’re into this kind of thing, which the English are. [ . . . ]
Continue at THE WASHINGTON POST: Scientists unravel a mystery about a naked giant carved into an English hill