A NEW LANDSCAPE TEMPLE AT AVEBURY

An earlier shortened version of this article can be found on The Henge Shop website

StoneAgeSurveys

presents

For the Spring Brexinox, 2019

A Newly Revealed Temple at Avebury

The Avebury henge site was very nearly lost to us. We owe its existence to Alexander Keiller, the ‘Marmalade Millionaire’ who, during the 1930s, poured his family inheritance into restoring the site. Before Keiller, there were only eight original stones left standing at Avebury.

Avebury henge in the snow. The Henge Shop is at the centre, the Church just to its left.

During the early eighteenth century, the inhabitants of Avebury village became engaged in the wholesale toppling of Avebury’s huge stones and their subsequent reduction to building stone. If that great antiquarian and chronicler William Stukely had not publicly intervened, all of Avebury’s stones would have been removed and the site totally destroyed. A single generation would have demolished Avebury.

During Avebury’s darkest days, Stukely wrote,

‘And this stupendous fabric, which for some thousands of years, had brav’d the continual assaults of weather, and by the nature of it, when left to itself, like the pyramids of Egypt, would have lasted as long as the globe, hath fallen a sacrifice to the wretched ignorance and avarice of a little village unluckily plac’d within it.’  Continue reading “A NEW LANDSCAPE TEMPLE AT AVEBURY”

The Henge Shop launch their new E-magazine!

A copy of the first edition front cover is now available [see graphic below and try the link over the next day or two].  Within the covers of this first (and FREE) edition, due on-line on The spring equinox, (March 21st), I was commissioned by its editor, Naz Ahsun, to write an illustrated article on my latest research findings.  For those who are interested and/or attended my talk and mini-tour at the henge shop and within Avebury during the summer solstice of 2018,  you may now find the details I promised then.. which is… The identification and description of a previously unrecognised integrated temple monumental structure based on research undertaken during the past several years. 


Unless one takes account of the astronomy, geometry and measurements of a complex megalithic site like Avebury, one will never understand the integrated nature of these magnificent sites nor how they ‘talk’ to their neighbouring sites. There will shortly be more to follow on this website concerning this new material about Avebury.

A Sideways Glance at the recent ‘Breakthrough at Stonehenge’ news story.

For almost a century an often heated debate has rumbled on, following Dr H H Thomas’ discovery suggesting that many of the bluestones found at Stonehenge had originated in the Preseli Hills of West Wales. Various geologists and even some archaeologists (e.g. Burl) have suggested that these stones were not fetched to Stonehenge at ‘vast expense of toil’, but instead were transported by glacial action. They would tell you that the jury is still out on the matter of how the bluestones arrived at Stonehenge.

Some years ago, the quarry at Craig Rhos y Felin became the focus of work led by professor Mike Parker Pearson. The claim was made that some stones from this quarry petrologically matched a number of stones at Stonehenge. This work was duly written up in Antiquity, Volume 89 Issue 348 – contributors listed were Mike Parker Pearson, Richard Bevins, Rob Ixer, Joshua Pollard, Colin Richards, Kate Welham, Ben Chan, Kevan Edinborough, Derek Hamilton, Richard Macphail, Duncan Schlee, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Ellen Simmons and Martin Smith. Continue reading “A Sideways Glance at the recent ‘Breakthrough at Stonehenge’ news story.”

Stonehenge – Woodhenge (Part Three)

THE PRESELI CONNECTION

PART THREE of the STONEHENGE – WOODHENGE tryptych

INTRODUCTION

Part One and Two of this tryptych revealed an unexpected geometrical relationship between the location of Stonehenge and that of its sister henge monument, Woodhenge. Part Three now expands this new evidence. By comparing data from the megalithic landscape around Stonehenge/ Woodhenge with that from the megalithic landscape in and around the Preseli Hills of West Wales a new type of connection emerges, one that links the ‘bluestone’ culture of the Preseli Hills of West Wales with that of the Wessex culture, specifically the Stonehenge landscape shown above (but perhaps even Avebury and elsewhere). Continue reading “Stonehenge – Woodhenge (Part Three)”

The English Lake District Stone Circles

A New Perspective

by Robin Heath

THE HISTORY OF THE STORY

The large number of stone circles found in the English Lake District of Northern Britain are among the oldest known, Aubrey Burl suggesting that the construction of Castle Rigg, its most visited ring as being ‘around 3200 BC’ [Burl 1995]. Many of these circles are in fact non-circular and most of the survivors are very large – over 100 feet in diameter. Their design geometry includes many of the ‘flattened circle’ geometries first discovered by Alexander Thom, [Thom, 1967], and which he named Type A and Type B flattened circles.

The Type A’s perimeter shape is based on hexagonal geometry, whereas the Type B is based on the division of a diameter line by three, which can be understood as based on a vesica piscis construction. These two types of flattened circle are fundamentally different.  However, examples have been found where a definite geometrical change has made to the standard design. One example of this is the Type D flattened circle, whose geometry will be explained later.

This article focusses on the locations of the major Lake District circles and their relationship to other megalithic sites in Britain. It demonstrates that knowledge of Astronomy, Geometry and Metrology were all subjects that fell well within the capabilities of the circle builders.

Continue reading “The English Lake District Stone Circles”

Stonehenge & Woodhenge – PART TWO

PART TWO – A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

In Part One a single action began a process of investigation – I made a measurement of two physical realities. The first was the length of a line connecting Stonehenge centre to Woodhenge, centre, and the second was the angle of orientation that this line makes with respect to an east-west line, termed a co-azimuth angle. This second part of the article shows where that single action can lead a researcher into understanding presently unsuspected purposes within the designs of, in this case, Stonehenge and Woodhenge.

Continue reading “Stonehenge & Woodhenge – PART TWO”

Stonehenge & Woodhenge – A Lost Legacy – PART ONE

  • PART ONE  –   A LOST LEGACY

Soon after the distinguished Welsh archaeologist Maude Cunningham and her husband finished work excavating the site we now know as Woodhenge, in 1929, the locations of each of the site’s many revealed postholes were marked with grey concrete bollards. The best that can be said of this action was that it ensured their original exact positions were recorded for posterity (see Alexander Thom’s photograph below, from 1958, courtesy of Eoghann MacColl).

Visually, Woodhenge is neither a pretty nor an impressive site, unlike its nearest neighbour, Stonehenge, some 1.9 miles to the southwest. VIsitors to Woodhenge tend not to linger around this site, and soon slope off to nearby Durrington Walls, to the north, or Stonehenge, to the southwest. This article claims to lift the present Cinderella status afforded to this Neolithic class II henge and timber circle monument, by identifying a previously unrecognised significance in its geodetic placement with respect to Stonehenge.

Continue reading “Stonehenge & Woodhenge – A Lost Legacy – PART ONE”

Interesting Factoids about Avebury + free PDF download.


Ten Interesting Factoids about Avebury

1. Avebury is the largest known stone circle anywhere, with a surrounding ditch and bank a mile in circumference

2. The centre of Avebury is placed 4/7ths of the distance between equator and pole, at latitude 360/7*

3. A very detailed and accurate seven station closed traverse survey was undertaken by Professor Alexander Thom in 1978.

4. Thom reported that the perimeter of the outer stone ring was 1302.5 Megalithic yards (MY) of 2.722 feet, which is 3545.4 feet or 520 Megalithic rods ( 1 MR = 2.5 MY).

5. The geometry of the ring is based on a circle 200MY in radius (544 feet/ 1.66m) with centre at point D, exactly 60 MY from C (see diagram above).

6. A 3-4-5 pythagorean triangle ABC of side lengths 30-40-50 MR (75, 100 and 125 MY) defined much of the geometry. From the corners of this triangle (the stones/markers have long gone) three of the various arcs that make up the outer ring were struck. Their radii and arc lengths are as follows:
From A, B and C, each radius 260 MY, define arc FG, from A, arc HG, from B, and arc ML, from C.
In addition, there were two longer arcs struck from outside of the ring, of length 750 MY, from points W and Z (not shown on diagram). The remaining part of the perimeter is based on the forming circle perimeter, whose diameter is 200 MY..

7. The two inner circles are each 125 MY in radius and are therefore as big as any other true circle known in Britain, and the same size as the massive Ring of Brogar in the Orkneys.

8. Avebury, unlike nearly all other stone rings, has CORNERS, which demarcate the arc lengths. Thom
showed that all the arc lengths are integral in Megalithic rods, and total 1302.5 MY (521 MR)

9. Avebury is a MESS. The ring was heavily vandalised in history, has a village built within and
without it, and a major road system has quartered it (see piccy below). Most of the stones were fallen
or missing in 1930. Only nine still stood. Despite this, Alexander Keiller and other archaeologists were able to locate the majority of the remaining stone holes in the chalk and restore much of the original monument, The geometry of the original ring has since been discovered by AlexanderThom.

10. When built, the outer stone ring contained either 98 or 99 stones, some weighing over 50 tons.

AVEBURY TOUR (compressed) 2017 PDF file of full report.

Equinoctial Stone row alignment (photo)

The Russia stones are three large (8ft) bluestone uprights, stonking great stones that were once part of a stone row marking to the Equinoctial (west – 270*)) sunset, part of a section of the Dinas Cross to Pontfaen road in the Preselis, near Russia (’tis true!), where the road markedly changes direction and traces the path of the alignment for about 470ft (170m). Two of remaining three upright stones are those stand in front of the sun’s disc in the distance. All other stones, some massive, now lie recumbent, buried in the bank, just as one can find at the minor standstill moonset ‘detector’ (301.4*) at Parc y Meirw (Field of the Dead) stone row on the Llanychaer road, about a mile away. Prehistoric precision astronomy at its best in Preseli, with photographs of the event…read on!

Continue reading “Equinoctial Stone row alignment (photo)”

Original 2009 theodolite survey (‘Preseli Vesica’) [PDF download – free of charge]

Surveying at Llech y Drybedd in June 2009.

Here is a tarted up version of the first geodetic survey around Pentre Ifan and Carningli, in spring 2009. This first saw the light of cyberspace on the skyandlandscape (SL) website. The survey was undertaken with a Wild T16 theodolite, pegs, GPS device and tapes, and it revealed a complex isometric (equal lengths) megalithic structure across the eastern flank of Carningli mountain. The corner ‘points’ of two back-to back equilateral triangles were each marked with significant and large well known prehistoric monuments.

Read on! The PDF is free to go for students, megalithomaniacs, and even archaeologists (for non-commercial use only and the source must be credited). The whole story of this survey is told in a fully illustrated colour book Bluestone Magic – a Guide to the Megalithic Monuments of West Wales, available from this website (see books section for details as to how this book can be rapidly be found landing on your doormat).

SLPVwebsite