Glastonbury is a small town about 125 miles west of London. Because of its association with King Arthur, Glastonbury has been a pilgrimage for believers for centuries. Celtic legend says that Glastonbury Tor, the hill overlooking the town, is actually hollow and that it contains within it the entrance to the Underworld - Avalon. Geological surveys and scientific studies had never found evidence to support the legend, however the Ancient tablet written by Myrddin (Merlin) suggested that Glastonbury was the likely location of an Ancient buried treasure, and SG-1 used Prometheus's Asgard sensors to identify an energy distortion that would have fooled deep-ground sonar. Mapping the area around the distortion, they located a large main cavern, a network of tunnels, and some smaller caves nearly a half mile underground with no visible access from the surface. The caves had been designed and hidden by Ancient technology, and because Prometheus's Asgard transport beam could not penetrate the energy shield disguising the caves, SG-1 used Prometheus's ring transporter to lock onto a matching set of rings underground and transport inside the cavern.
Once inside the cave, SG-1 discovered a platform bearing a sword in a stone, and a holographic image of Merlin who greeted them, "Welcome, ye Knights of the Round Table, men of honor, followers of the path of righteousness. Only those with wealth of knowledge and truth of spirit shall be given access to the underworld, the storehouse of riches of Ambrosius Aurelianus. Prove ye worthy, and all shall be revealed." To prove themselves worthy, SG-1 had to pass two tests.
In one sealed chamber, Daniel and Vala found two small pots labeled in Ancient writing. The label on the silver one read, "The treasure is in this pot," and on the gold one, "The universe is infinite." Opening the silver pot caused the ceiling of the chamber to begin to lower. Daniel solved the riddle using an ancient proverb that states, "There is only one truth - the universe is infinite." If the proverb is considered to be true, then the statement that the treasure is in the silver pot must be false, so the treasure must be in the gold pot. By replacing both lids and opening the gold pot, they found a gold coin inside, and the doorway opened as the ceiling began to retract.
THE TREASURE IS IN THIS POT
THE UNIVERSE IS INFINITE
In another sealed chamber, Mitchell and Teal'c discovered eight stone tiles inscribed with symbols that were meant to be arranged in order. When the tiles were removed, the ceiling again began to descend. The Ancient writing below the tiles said, "Reflect on the eightfold path to enlightenment." The inscription was based on the teachings of Buddhism, but Mitchell also recognized that the symbols on the tiles were the numbers 1 through 8 with their mirror images, or reflections, and he was able to rearrange the tiles, which raised the ceiling and opened the doorway.
REFLECT ON THE EIGHTFOLD PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Having proven their wealth of knowledge, Mitchell withdrew the sword from the stone and was faced with a final test. A holographic knight appeared and engaged him in a battle of broadswords. The knight responded only to Mitchell, as the one who had drawn the sword, and although his blows did not draw blood, they did cause great pain. Through sheer will and determination, Mitchell defeated the knight and the hologram vanished, however, because Vala had stolen the gold coin from the pot, they had failed to prove truth of spirit and the cavern threatened to collapse. When Mitchell replaced the coin in the pot and the sword in the stone, suddenly a vast treasure miraculously appeared. Merlin's treasure filled the chamber with gold, jewels, and extraordinary riches. In addition, the treasure also contained several Ancient texts and pieces of Ancient technology, including an Ancient communication terminal and Merlin's phase-shift device, also known as Arthur's Mantle.
Cross Reference: Ancients, Ancient Communication Terminal, Ancient Language, Avalon, Black Knight, Holographic Projection, Merlin, Merlin's Phase-Shift Device, Merlin's Tablet, Merlin's Treasure, Prometheus, Sword in the Stone
Episode Reference: Avalon