Hengehog – God of Archaeology

Hengehog began existence as a terrifying mythical beast that haunted stone circles and ate hapless druids. Since the beginnings of the archaeological movement in the 1820’s he began to be worshipped as a deity by that intrepid band of muddy knee’d history hunters.

Hengehog is usually worshipped out in the field. Before a rite, an advance team of priests will check the archives, take aerial photographs and divine mystical electromagnetic conductivity readings to select a suitably interesting field to gather in. As they arrive, each worshipper is allotted a “square” to worship in. You must never enter someone’s square without their consent. If you do, they may baulk. During the ritual they will kneel and bow low in their trench, and worship with brushes and tiny trowels. Unless no one else is watching. Then they stand back and worship with a back-hoe loader. (Whatever methods they employ, this is a ground-breaking faith). Most dream of uncovering some amazing religious artefact during the ritual, but most would just be happy to find the set of keys that they lost at last year’s ceremony. The rite may last several weeks, regardless of weather conditions, biting insects and curious sheep. Each evening, the worshippers will gather back at their camp and make a libation to Hengehog. Raising high a leather tankard full of their traditional brew called “Lidar”. (Remember, if it doesn’t come from the Lida region of Belarus, it’s just Geo Fizz). The last of the series of rites they will carry out returns the field to way it looked before. This final ceremony is called the “Fill Hard In”.

Despite their alfresco worship, the cult of Hengehog does have temples. These hallowed halls are where the sacred relics discovered during their rituals are studied, lovingly preserved and displayed. These artefacts are so jealously guarded, that their protection has become an obsession. This obsession has reached a level where the curator-priests are terrified of losing their marbles (or at least someone else’s marbles that they were just holding on to, to keep them safe, honest).

The priesthood wear the traditional dress of steel toe cap wellies, moleskin trousers and colourful hand knitted jumpers. The senior priests will also sport a distinctive hat, supposedly for making them easily identifiable by their flock whilst out in the field (actually an attempt to look a bit like Indiana Jones). Being a priest of Hengehog is a fairly cushy gig. It’s one of the few careers where it’s okay to be caught knapping on the job. They all hope to become High Priest someday, as this is a superposition.

You may be surprised to learn the cult of Hengehog is a test pit of vice and a trench of filth. Everyone seems to have their eye on someone else’s post hole. They are driven by their sarsensuality, to the point where they really will date anything. They become dolmental. Utterly unhenged. When two Henghogians dig each other’s features, they will become tumulescent with excitement and hurry to enjoy cairnal knowledge of one another. (The forensic archaeologist sub-sect are a little more discerning, they are constantly in search of MILFS. Mummies I’d Like Funding to Study.)

Hengehogians are pretty direct about courtship. The most common Hengehogian chat up lines are, “Have you got a megalith in your moleskins or are you just pleased to see me?” and “Are you an archaeozoologist? ’cause I’m a bit of an animal and I’ve got a bone in my pants that I’d like you to date.” If you ask a Hengehogian to send you a nude pic, they will helpfully include a 2 meter ranging pole in shot for scale. Hengehogians will often have open relationships as they like to date other peoples. Sadly, they are not very attractive to people outside of the faith, because they smell of ancient grease and their hands have a tendency to Rome. Hengehogians are also known for being quite sweary. To the point where they don’t so much use full stops as f- stops. The gritty nature of their culture may well be the effect of decades of excavating thousands of votive penises, or perhaps it’s the utter filth they read on the walls of Herculaneum as impressionable neophytes.

It is extremely entertaining to watch any follower of Hengehog eat moussaka, trifle or indeed any layered food. If you invite a Hengehogian to dinner, why not make them feel especially welcome by serving a lasagne with a few pottery shards and coins hidden in between the layers. (Note: they will bring their own eating tools in a leather roll and their own tankard.)

The faith of Hengehog has no holy book. They did once discover a sacred ancient tablet called the “Con-Text”, but tragically, the Con-Text has been lost.

I would like to thank Carrie-May Mealor, @flintdibble and @stevetoase for being a source of inspiration for Hengehog (in some cases unwittingly). Also to Kieron Philips for pointing out a that a typo would make a great deity. My apologies if you haven’t laughed at any of these jokes. That’s because they’re pre prehysterical.

Idol Scribblings Volume Two
Coming out 30th November 2020

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Idol Scribblings Volume One

A collection of 52 deities, ancient and modern, for all occations from Idol Scribblings. Produced in 2019-2020.

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