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BRITARCH  November 2014

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Subject:

Re: Stonehenge the Calendar

From:

Michael <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 6 Nov 2014 10:07:33 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (80 lines)

Tony, that's excellent work.

So it remains a mystery how or even if, the peoples of Britain 
calibrated any solar calendar to the sun.

My big concern, is that I could not conceive of taking a measurement one 
year and trying to repeat it perhaps 1 perhaps a decade later (because 
of cloud), without putting some massive marker at both ends of the 
alignment, and not on just one day, but on several days.

If I were using Stonehenge to calibrate the date, you'd know about it 
because somewhere there would be huge marks and scratches from each 
year's observation looking very much like Ogham.

And it would be a "sacred space", because I wouldn't let anyone else 
touch the markers I certainly wouldn't have cattle roaming around who 
might knock them over.

So, I'm starting to wonder whether we should just accept the alternative 
hypothesis:

- That Stonehenge had no functional purpose, that almost all supposed 
alignments are purely coincidental, and that they had no care to know 
the specific day of solar events such as the solstice.

So, we now have a society, where people tended to gather for some 
purpose not really knowing the exact day of Solstice and over a few days 
where some would turn up early and others late because no one really 
knew the day, that they would "do something" not related to any specific 
day, but just a hippyish - "no idea of the real" day, we'll probably 
meet a few people who might turn up today, might turn up in a week, kind 
of event.

Mike

On 05/11/2014 17:39, Tony Marsh wrote:
> Well, I *have* repeated the calculations and I wish to now report some little scepticism for the idea.
>
> I have reviewed the main EH articles since 1995 and acquired a copy of Anthony Johnson's book "Solving Stonehenge" in which there are good repros of surveys of the site, both John Wood's 1740 and EH (1995), and a Lidar plot that puts numbers to the slight slope on which the Sarsen Ring is (ie. was) placed.
>
> 1. Re-assessed effective height of the inside upper edge of lintel on Sarsen 12 is 4.9m (the reported average height) plus 0.1 to 0.2m (due to slope) minus 0.42m (the apparent earlier earth level as shown by a horizontal stained line on both T54 and T53). This comes to 4.63m.
>
> 2. Re-assessed distance from the ring to the "facet" on T54 is 19.066' from John Wood and 19.12' from EH and A Johnson, therefore I take 19.09' which is 5.81m.
>
> The equinoctial shadow should be at a distance equal to the aforementioned 4.63m times tan(51.18 deg of latitude) which is 5.75m (cf. 5.81m). So the equinoctial shadow would be within 2.4 inches of the stone base (ie. marginally below the present horizontal stain line) and I think that result is about as convincing as the previous one.
>
> However, bear in mind that the facet on T54 does not face due south accurately (in sundial terms 10 to 15 mins after midday) and it appears to be one of a pair of matching facets that adorn the outer and less well worked surfaces of the T54 stone. I am more inclined to think of this shadow position as just an accident which might have been noted as useful. There is a reasonable argument for believing that the trilithons were positioned relative to the sarsens by a construction of arcs (Johnson).
>
> I am also convinced that, before the main ring and trilithons were erected, the Keepers had already devised solstice observations with reasonable accuracy and had probably spent considerable effort to refine a solstice-calendar using some lunar observations (as suggested by the numerous small post holes within the ditch and bank circle and the choice of 56 for the number of Aubrey holes).
>
> I take a breath here and see what others think.
> Tony
>    ----- Original Message -----
>    From: Tony Marsh
>    To: [log in to unmask]
>    Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 3:32 PM
>    Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Stonehenge the Calendar
>
>
>    Here is my tuppenny-worth. Please visit http://www.blisworth.org.uk/stonehenge_equinox.htm to find a diagram that I have prepared based on David Gregg's appendix 14 (see previous reference, page 356). I take no credit for this idea at all. He has pointed out the equinoctial shadow opportunity using the most southerly part of the Sarsen ring with its shadow running in a straight line across the very base of one of the Trilithon stones. The result is close enough and the method is easily feasible but someone with a large scale map of the site perhaps should repeat this hasty effort sometime.
>
>    Tony
>      ----- Original Message -----
>      From: Michael
>      To: [log in to unmask]
>      Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 3:15 PM
>      Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Stonehenge the Calendar
>
>
>      Great - we are starting to talk about measuring the date at a point
>      other than the Solstice.
>
>    Note amplification of the topic by Michael Haseler at
>    http://mons-graupius.co.uk/index.php/archaeology/83-stonehenge-lintel-ring
>


-- 
http://mons-graupius.co.uk

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