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General Forum >> Stonehenge, UK, Calendar
||Stonehenge, UK, Calendar
from Melbourne, Australia
| Posted 21-01-2008 at 06:07  |
STONEHENGE TIME TRUTHS
Stonehenge Time Truths reveals all about Stonehenge, the famous ancient monument in southern England, visited by a million visitors every year. This account of its real purpose offers a way to witness the wisdom of the wise two hundred generations ago.
One hundred and sixty stone columns tallied a Sun calendar, 365 days a year. Sixteen months had four five-day weeks with two, three or four added days each month. In the twenty-first century AD, we still mark eight annual events in the ancient Sun calendar: two solstice, two equinox, the quarterly festivals Llew, Samain, Imbolc and Beltane.
Fifty-nine markers tallied a Moon calendar of 354 days a year. There were six months of 30 days, six months of 29 days, six five-day weeks per lunar month. Fifty-six Aubrey Holes enabled lunar eclipses to be forecast every 18.03 years.
Suggested names for both calendars five days each week are Sunday, Moonday, Wodensday, Thorsday and Freyrday.
Stonehenge Sun Calendar
Stonehenge these days is a collection of massive sandstone columns, some upright and others fallen, situated in the middle of Salisbury Plain. No trees break the broad landscape. The grassy plain seems endless. Vapour trails, left behind by high-flying jet planes in a blue sky, relate to the present.
The consensus of belief, the impetus that led to the erection of Stonehenge’s stones must have been an overwhelming conviction similar to the religious faith held by many societies today. Only that kind of community inspiration can lead to a successful conclusion of the great temple construction project. The celebrated cathedrals of Europe, the mosques of Arab countries, the Buddha statues of the east, exemplify how mankind created temples in recognition of community religious convictions.
What were the religious beliefs of the ancient Britons? We have no direct evidence, yet maybe there is a hint of the past. There is an answer to the riddle of Stonehenge’s purpose, it lies in the numbers and arrangement of one hundred and sixty stone columns.
Before vandals felled many columns and robbers stole broken pieces, eighty bluestones were sourced from south-west Wales. Eighty sandstone columns came from nearby Marlborough Downs, thirty were arranged in a ring of columns, each joined to the next by a horizontal lintel. These tallied sixteen months a year. Sixty-one smaller bluestones formed a concentric circle inside the sandstone ring, the added days each four week month.
The central area was occupied by tall sandstone columns, five pairs close together and topped by lintels, set in a U shape. Nineteen bluestone columns were positioned within these tall trilithon arches, also in a U arrangement, open towards dawn on the longest day of the year. Five remaining sandstone monoliths occupied carefully chosen positions along the line of dawn first light on midsummer’s day about 2300 BC.
Assembling hints here and there from north-west European and Celtic myths and legends, it seems the months of Stonehenge Sun calendar were firstly Summer, then Two, Llew, Four, Autumn, Six, Samain, Eight, Winter, Ten, Imbolc, Twelve, Spring, Fourteen, Beltane and Sixteen. The week-days were probably named Sun, Moon, Wodensday, Thorsday and Freyrday. Echoes of the ancient Norse gods are still with us today.
Stonehenge Moon Calendar
Look upward on a dark night, the bright full Moon contrasts strongly with a speckled night sky filled with twinkling stars. Look down at your feet on a grassy sward, dark and soft underfoot. A short distance away, a circle of exposed white chalk reflects the moonlight, a strong contrast with its surroundings. Both up and down, one’s glances offer a momentary memory with similarities.
Moon calendar features at Stonehenge had those impressions. Outside and beyond the thirty sandstone columns, two rings of fifty-nine pits were excavated. First the grass and top-soil was removed, then a deep pit made in the soft chalk, later back-filled with chalky white lumps. Thirty pits made the outer ring, twenty-nine in the inner ring, now named Y and Z Holes in the literature. You would know a Moon month cycle is almost exactly 29½ days or nights, so two months amount to fifty-nine nights, matching the numbers of Y and Z Holes.
Six counts around the combined Y and Z Holes amounts to 354 nights, a lunar year of twelve months. Months had six weeks of five days, Sun, Moon, Wodensday, Thorsday and Freyrday, except that every other month had only four days in the final week. The six-week divisions each month match imaginary lines drawn from the centre of Stonehenge out through and between the trilithons, a harmonious design feature linking the two stellar calendars.
My book ‘Irish Symbols of 3500 BC’, explains the decipherment and interpretation of petroglyphs at ancient Irish sites. Knowth kerb-stone K53 shows six rings – six weeks a month and a serpentine line having thirty changes of direction – thirty days, a Moon month. Loughcrew cairn F, stone C1, illustrated sixty smaller hoops and two larger hoops, sixty-two Moon months illustrated at one place. Five years of Moon calendar months, plus two extra months to make up the lag almost equal five Sun calendar years. Both these ancient Irish monuments are dated about the middle of the fourth millennium BC.
The same Moon calendar design features found at Stonehenge 2300 BC, occur on Irish petroglyphs carved in stone about 3500 BC, and also the cast bronze Coligny Plaque found in France and dated about two thousand years ago. The Plaque shows a five-year cycle of twelve Moon months plus two intercalary months, a total of sixty-two Moon months equalling five Sun calendar years. Between Knowth and Loughcrew, to Stonehenge and the more recent Coligny Plaque calendar, these records indicate a twelve-month Moon calendar of 354 days a year has endured in north-west Europe for three and a half millennia BC. The advent of the Roman Empire and a Julian calendar, later a Gregorian calendar, eclipsed the ancient Moon calendar.
Author was a chartered engineer in the Australian oil and gas industry for thirty years, made field trips to Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, India and China. Stimulated by his research into archaeological matters, he endeavoured to re-create in his mind how early mankind tackled problems and the answers he obtained. The ancient myths and folklore of the northwest European peoples have been found complementary to prehistoric evidences, the pieces fitting together like a jigsaw.
© 2008, about 1100 words.
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