Scholars have long found massive evidence for Stonehenge for prehistoric timekeeping – a type of Neolithic calendar. Exactly how such calendars work, however, remains unclear. And how it works is still a mystery. In a new paper, Professor Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University argues that Stonehenge’s arithmetic of sarsenic elements implements a perpetual calendar based on a tropical calendar year of 365.25 days.
The complex of sarsen structures at Stonehenge is unique in Northwestern Europe.
The design and construction of Stonehenge is distinct and unlike any other stone monument of the mid-3rd millennium BC.
With its location on a chalk lowland in southern England, Stonehenge has long been thought to be able to incorporate some sort of ancient calendar, despite its specific purpose and precise manner in which it worked. has not yet been clearly discovered.
In the early 20th century, scholars proposed that the monument represented a ‘Calendar Month‘ based on ‘clock stars.’
They then explored and analyzed its interpretation as a “Neolithic calculator”, aligned with the eight extreme positions of the Sun and Moon, for the purpose of calculating time. and predicted eclipses in ancient times.
On the other hand, some scientists favor a 16-month calendar, using the poles, equinoxes, May/Lammas, and Martinmas/Candlemas as turning points in the cycle.
However, these and many other interpretations are both inadequate and appropriate, as they often use noncontemporary elements of the monument, referencing astronomical alignments that are not subject to scrutiny. closely or perpetuate the discredited idea of the ‘Celtic Calendar’.
Looking for answers about Stonehenge.
Professor Darvill, a researcher in the Department of Archeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth University, said: “The apparent partial alignment of Stonehenge has led people to suggest that the site includes some sort of calendar. since antiquity William Stukeley,” said Professor Darvill, a researcher in the Department of Archeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth University.
“Now, discoveries have brought the matter into focus and show that the site is a calendar based on a tropical calendar year of 365.25 days.”
Importantly, recent research has shown that Stonehenge’s sarsens were added during the same period of construction around 2500 BC.
They originated in the same region and then remained in the same system. This shows that they worked as a single unit.
Therefore, Professor Darvill analyzed these stones, checked their numbers and compared them with other known calendars from this period.
He identified solar calendars in their layout, suggesting that they served as a physical representation of the year that helped the ancient inhabitants of Wiltshire keep track of days, weeks and months.
What does the experts say?
“The proposed calendar works in a very simple way,” says Professor Darvill.
“Each of the 30 stones in the sarsen circle represents a day within a month, which itself is divided into three weeks of 10 days each. Different stones in the circle mark the start of each week. ”
“Also, an interannual month of five days and a leap day every four years is needed to match the solar year.”
“The inter-year month, perhaps dedicated to the gods of the site, is represented by the five trilithons in the center of the site. The Four Stones outside of the Sarsen Circle provide markers to thrive until a leap day. ”
Thus, the winter and summer peaks will be framed by the same pairs of rocks every year.
One of the trilithons also shapes the winter solstice, suggesting it could be the new year.
This positional alignment also helps to correct the calendar – any errors in day counting will be easily detectable as the Sun will be in the wrong place on the units.
Such a calendar, with 10 days of the week and extra months, seems unusual today. However, calendars like these were adopted by many cultures during this period.
Professor Darvill said: “Such a calendar was developed in the eastern Mediterranean in the centuries after 3000 BC and was used in Egypt as the Civil Calendar around 2700 and was adopted by the Egyptians. widely used in the early Old Kingdom around 2600 BC.
This raises the possibility that the calendar followed by Stonehenge may have originated from the influence of one of these other cultures.
Nearby found hints of such cultural connections – the nearby Amesbury archer, buried nearby around the same time, was born in the Alps and moved to England as a teenager.
Prof Darvill said: “Finding the solar calendar embodied in Stonehenge’s architecture opens up a whole new way of seeing monuments as inhabited.
“A place where the timing of rituals and festivals is connected with the very structure of the Universe and the movements of heavenly bodies.”