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Equinox versus Equalday/night

Those who spend much time studying Stonehenge hear a lot about solstice alignments built into the ancient megalithic structure (particularly summer solstice alignments), but very little about equinoctial alignments.

In his amazing work Hidden Stonehenge, Professor Gordon R. Freeman explains that there are in fact subtle equinoctial alignments built into Stonehenge, in addition to subtle lunar alignments and beautiful (and more widely-recognized) solstice alignments as well.

More precisely, Professor Freeman found that Stonehenge contains alignments to the rising and setting of the sun on "Equalday/night" (slightly different from the equinox).  Professor Freeman discovered the distinction by careful observation of the Sun Temple Ring Ómahkiyáahkóhtóohp in Alberta, CanadaHis observations found that the sacred circle site there contains clear alignments for days near the days we call the equinoxes, but slightly before that date in March and slightly after it in September. 

In page 65 of his book, Professor Freeman explains:
[. . .] the time of an Equinox is selected "theoretically" as the time when the centre of the Sun is directly above the Equator, and the "theoretical" Sun rise is when the centre of the Sun is physically horizontal from the observer.  "Theory" treats the Sun as if it were a tiny dot, instead of its actual broad disk.  The radius of the Sun is one-quarter of a degree, and the near-horizontal light of the first flash from the Sun's tip is bent downward more than one-half of a degree as it penetrates the Earth's atmosphere, so the first flash of sunlight appears when the centre of the Sun is more than three-quarters of a degree below the horizon.  So the observed rise time is a few minutes before the "theoretical" sun rise.
Similarly, the last flash occurs a few minutes after the "theoretical" Sun set.  At the latitude of Ómahkiyáahkóhtóohp, five minutes are added to each end of the day and taken from each end of the night.  The so-called Equinox days are 12.2 hours long and the nights are 11.8 hours.  So the 12.0-hour-day/12.0-hour-night, or the Equalday/night, occurs to to three days, an average of 2.8 days, before the Equinox as the days lengthen in March, and two to three days after the Equinox as the days shorten in September.
Professor Freeman goes into a great deal more detail about this important concept in his book, which is an absolutely essential reference and full of gorgeous photography and clear and detailed explanation.  

Regarding the alignments at Stonehenge which encode Equalday/night, Professor Freeman deserves credit for being the first in modern history to rediscover these. He notes on page 116, "Strange as it may seem, during a century of speculation about a possible calendar in Stonehenge, nothing was published about an attempt to observe an Equinox Sun rise or set there."  

Professor Freeman explains that the observation lines for the winter solstice sunset and the summer solstice sunrise were well known, and aligned to some of the most massive stonework in the complex, but that the summer solstice sunset and the winter solstice sunrise both used a subtle alignment through the notches carved in Sarsen 58 of the "West Trilithon" (the trilithon composed of Sarsen 58 and Sarsen 57, and topped by the mighty lintel stone 158.  This trilithon can be seen in the image at top, on the right-hand side of the picture -- the notches in Sarsen 58 are clearly visible and form little "windows" with the edge of Sarsen 57 in the photo.

Below is a photograph showing Sarsen 58 and some of the other nearby stones, with their numbers indicated for ease of reference.

Amazingly, Professor Freeman found that the dramatic "windows" on Sarsen 58 also figured in the alignments for the Equalday/night sunrise and sunset, which makes the design and construction of this ancient site all the more mind-boggling in its sophistication.

A sample chapter from his book which is available online explains the Equalday/night sunrise and sunset alignments in detail, with beautiful photographs showing the "sight windows" created by the ancient builders to frame the sunrise and sunset on these important days (the resolution of the online version is not great, but the photographs in the book itself are wonderful and well worth the price of the book all by themselves).  

The discussion of Stonehenge's Equalday/night alignment begins on page 116 in that online chapter (same pagination as the book itself).  The photograph marked "Figure 4-45" on page 126 of that file (and the actual book) is perhaps the most dramatic, clearly showing the window formed by the lower notch on Sarsen 58 framing the setting sun of Equalday/night (taken on September 24, 2002).  That photograph shows that Sarsen 3 (on the other side of the circle from the image above) forms the left edge that creates the window with the notches in Sarsen 58.  

The photograph above is looking towards 58 from almost due west of the center of Stonehenge, with a view towards the northeast, and so the beam of light from the setting sun can be imagined coming in from the left side of the above picture and piercing through the notch in Sarsen 58 on its way towards an observer on the other side of the stones, on the other side of the circle. 

In order to visualize this phenomenon more clearly, the numbered diagram below is provided.  It is from Wikimedia commons here, and comes from a 2008 book by Anthony Johnson called Solving Stonehenge, which Professor Freeman praises highly and at one point declares, "I just want everyone to know that Johnson's work is more important than even he imagined" (317).  

In the online sample chapter linked above, Professor Freeman explains that the sight-line for the Equalday/night sunrise ran along the northern edge of Sarsen 20 (no longer present), which was on the circle just below Sarsen 21 (still standing and visible in the left side of both the photographs above and in the map diagram) and just to the east and a bit north of the fallen lintel stone marked 120 on the map above (you can see 120 lying embedded in the earth in the photos).  From the north edge of 20, the Equalday/night sight-line ran across the circle to the southern edge of a Sarsen on the far side of the circle, Sarsen 2 (still standing and holding up a lintel designated 102, which is also supported by circle Sarsen 1).

The Equalday/night sunset line ran in the opposite direction (of course), and an observer on the eastern side of the Sarsen circle looking west would use the northern edge of Sarsen 3 as the "near sight" and the notched southern edge of Sarsen 58 as the "far sight" to frame the setting sun.  The image on page 126, referenced earlier, shows this important sunset taking place between the edges of Sarsens 3 and 58.

Even after so many thousands of years, the precision of these alignments is breathtaking.  The fact that they are executed using such enormous stones makes the achievement even more so, and the fact that these same stones incorporate solstice and Equalday/night alignments, as well as the more complex lunar rise and set patterns, is almost incomprehensible.

But that's by no means all.  Professor Freeman also discovered that Stonehenge, like  Ómahkiyáahkóhtóohp in Canada, incorporates mechanisms to track a four-year "leap year" pattern (created by the fact that the earth itself does not turn an equal number of times during its circuit from one March or September Equalday/night to the next March or September  Equalday/night each year).  Because the earth turns an additional one-quarter of a rotation (almost -- for more detail see here) during its annual circuit each year, this has the effect of "adding a day" every four years.

Professor Freeman found that the very precise window created by Sarsen 58  sees the setting sun cross from left to right (heading from the south to the north, as one looks to the west) during March (a few days after the spring equinox) and sees the setting sun cross again from right to left (heading from the north back towards the south on its way to the December solstice) in September.  The alignments are constructed such that the sun rises can be seen looking east through Sarsens 2 and 3 (as described above) against even further mounds on the horizon which indicate the first two years of this four-year cycle, and such that sun sets are seen in the Sarsen 58 window during the last two years of this four-year cycle!

This kind of precision beggars belief.  Even more intriguing is the fact that Professor Freeman was alert to such a mechanism at Stonehenge because he had already found a similar "four-year" or "leap-year" mechanism encoded in the alignments at the sacred circle in Canada! 

As he explains in his book, Equalday/night varies greatly by latitude on the globe.  Ómahkiyáahkóhtóohp in Canada is in 51 north latitude, as is Stonehenge over in England!

One final observation is in order, and it is an insightful one which only Professor Freeman could make (because he is the first in modern history to discover these Equalday/night alignments at Stonehenge).  He points out (page 180) that the designers of these incredible sites had to have their alignments already planned out before they began to place stones on the ground.  That means that the widths of the stones at Stonehenge (such as Sarsen 58 and Sarsens 2 and 3 and 20 discussed above), as well as the widths of the trilithons and all the other stones were dictated by these very precise alignments that the architects wanted to establish!  

In other words, the builders of Stonehenge didn't just haul up a bunch of huge stones to the site and see what kinds of alignments they could make with them -- it is not in any way a haphazard arrangement.  They knew what they were doing before they did it, which means they knew what sized stones they would need before they obtained and transported them.  The sophistication of this site, executed in such a ponderous medium, speaks to the genius of the ancients.

As equinox approaches (and the ecliptic plane passes back below the celestial equator during the day for those in the northern hemisphere, as discussed in detail here and here), take some time to consider the vital distinction between equinox and Equalday/night, and then to appreciate the ancient people on either side of the Atlantic who constructed incredible monuments that still encode the subtle aspects of this important concept.

Professor Gordon Freeman and Canada's Stonehenge

Above is an eye-opening presentation by Professor Gordon Freeman of Saskatchewan, an Oxford- and University of Saskatchewan- and McGill-trained scholar and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta.

Professor Freeman's deep background in chemistry enables him to perceive patterns that others don't notice, which is very interesting in light of the fact that Dr. Reinoud de Jonge (one of the authors of the previously mentioned examination of stone sites in the "New World" and the Old entitled How the SunGod reached America c. 2500 BC) is a Dutch physical chemist and teaches chemistry and physics. 

In the video below beginning at about the 1:30 mark Professor Freeman explains how his childhood and the enthusiasm of his father influenced his interest in the stone relics he found in Canada, and how his professional training in chemistry helped him to see "patterns of stones all over the place" (4:08).

He says:
My life career -- what they paid me to do for thirty-seven years -- was complex systems in chemistry and physics, and pattern recognition is the strongest analytical tool, and so I'm automatically hooked into recognizing patterns when I see them, and patterns in biology, and patterns in geology, and patterns in lightning strokes: if you see similar patterns you can take them back nearly always to similar mechanisms.  They don't involve the same entities, but the general mechanisms are the same.
In the slide show at the top, he explains some of his remarkable pattern-recognition, and what it led him to discover about a remote sacred circle near an old abandoned city known as Majorville in Alberta (and hence sometimes called the Majorville Sacred Circle, and other times the Sun Temple in Alberta).

His slideshow illustrates the evidence he has found pointing to the conclusion that this Sun Temple is at least 5000 years old.

The beautiful photographs clearly show that this Sacred Circle incorporates "V-shaped notches" on the horizon.  Readers of this blog may remember a post from earlier this year entitled "Aligned stones, V-shaped notches, and massive but subtle sculptures found in India, New Zealand, and Peru" which presented clear evidence of remarkably similar stone monumental technique in locations as widely dispersed as India, New Zealand, and Peru.  According to the evidence presented by Professor Freeman, we should add Canada to this list.

Further, Professor Freeman in his book Canada's Stonehenge: Astounding Archaeological Discoveries in Canada, England and Wales explores undeniable similarities of patterns between the Sun Temple in Alberta and ancient stone circles in the British Isles*.  Such connections are extremely damaging to the conventional isolationist paradigm which currently grips academia but should not come as too great a shock to those familiar with the incredible mass of evidence which refutes that outmoded view.

The entire world should be grateful to Professor Freeman and his wife Phyl for their diligent work in perceiving and communicating this extremely important find, which has such powerful implications for human history.  Their work is truly advancing the cause of the truth.

His book deserves wide examination and careful consideration.

*  An extended second edition of Professor Freeman's book has recently been published under the title Hidden Stonehenge.  

Ancient knowledge of accurate latitudes and ocean landmarks prior to 3500 BC

I recently received a book as a birthday gift, and what a wonderful book it is!  Entitled How the SunGod reached America c. 2500 BC, it presents detailed evidence compiled by authors Dr. Reinoud M. de Jonge and Jay Stuart Wakefield that numerous ancient megalithic sites around the world encode detailed sailing charts for crossing the world's oceans and finding specific landmarks and navigation aids at specific and accurate latitudes.

The book is illustrated with numerous diagrams, drawings and maps, as well as selections of ancient Egyptian papyri and panels showing that the ancient Egyptians were active participants in voyages to the "Western Lands."  

The authors argue that the most ancient sites including Newgrange and other megalithic mounds contain clear coded references to discoveries of islands to the west, the Azores being among the most important of these, and that the lands to the west held great religious significance in the worship of the SunGod to these ancient peoples.  

Significantly, they find that the nine major islands of the Azores, in three major groups, are depicted in ancient sites dating to 3500 or 3600 BC, such as Gavrinis, including coded references to the latitudes of the Azores (they describe references to 38 North, the latitude of the Central Azores and the number most associated with the Azores, as well as references to numerous other important nautical reference points, including Dunmore Head in Ireland at 52 North and the Cape Verde Islands at 16 North).

Below is an image of two of the engraved stones from Gavrinis, showing the labels that de Jonge and Wakefield give to the inscriptions.


One of the most interesting sections of the book concerns the site at Mystery Hill, New Hampshire (also known as "America's Stonehenge"), which I have visited and written about in previous posts such as this one and this one.  

The authors present convincing arguments that Mystery Hill functioned as a "religio/travel center for crossing the ocean to Europe in the bronze Age," saying: "We think this was a teaching center about oceanic geography and sailing routes, a place to get accurate predictions for the safe timing of oceanic voyages, and a place to make the sacrifices that would ensure safe passages" (10-1).

Above (top of this post) is a diagram from Mystery Hill showing the many extended stone walls, which seem to wind about with no purpose (certainly their layout defies the theory that these stone walls were produced by early colonial settlers clearing the land).  Authors de Jonge and Wakefield provide convincing arguments that these walls depict the coastlines of the world's oceans, most detailed in the region of the North Atlantic [most of the stone structures in the "Main Site" area, not shown in this larger view], but also depicting the Equator as well as a route for a "southern passage" across the Atlantic in the region of the Equator, as well as coastal features in the Caribbean, Central America, and even the eastern edge of Asia and a route marker aimed towards Australia.

Among the evidence that the authors present are indications that the site encodes the latitude of Cape Sao Roque, the northeast point of Brazil, at latitude 5 South, the latitude of the north coast of Honduras at 16 North, and even the latitude of Cape Race in Newfoundland, at 47 North!

The authors present similar evidence that Stonehenge encodes latitudes and landmarks for oceanic crossings as well.  This is astonishing, but it is in line with the arguments that Martin Doutré has outlined in support of the conclusion that nearby Avebury Henge also functioned as a large "open-air university" for the training of mathemetician-seafarers to cross the bluewater oceans.

The extensive mathematical patterns that de Jonge and Wakefield find at sites around the world which indicate knowledge of accurate latitudes as early as 3000 BC and even earlier, however, is perhaps the most astonishing aspect of their argument.  It is difficult to deny that people who could determine accurate latitudes understood that the earth is a sphere, and what is more, that they understood its size to a high degree of precision.  

If ancient mankind knew the size and shape of our spherical earth to such a degree of sophistication prior to the construction of Stonehenge, then this knowledge completely stands our conventional view of human history on its head.

There is extensive other evidence from around the world, however, that ancient civilizations did have this knowledge (see this previous post, for example).  

How did they know so much, so many thousands of years ago?

Conventional textbooks will of course continue to depict the builders of Stonehenge as primitive and superstitious innocents wearing rough skins, and to argue that at the early dates of the many megalithic sites described above, mankind was just beginning to emerge from a hunter-gatherer mode (which had prevailed for hundreds of thousands of years, during which discovery of the size and shape of the spherical earth would have been difficult to imagine).  Dr. de Jonge and Mr. Wakefield have shown that this conventional view cannot be correct.

How the SunGod reached America c. 2500 BC thus becomes an incredibly important piece of analysis, contributing critical evidence that should be examined carefully by everyone interested in uncovering a truer picture of the most ancient past of mankind.


Giant effigy mounds in South America discovered by Professor Robert Benfer

Professor Robert Benfer is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He says, "My research programs should be winding down, but a series of unexpected discoveries has them expanding."  As this recent article explains, Professor Benfer -- who has been involved in archaeological work involving Central and South American civilizations since the early 1970s -- had long observed that ancient archaeological earthworks in Peru resembled animal shapes, but until recently dismissed the idea, saying:
 I had always noted that a very large structure, just north of Lima, resembled a bird. But since there were supposedly no giant animal effigy mounds in South America, I thought it couldn't be.
Now, with the help of the greater availability of satellite imagery, he has confirmed that in fact Peru is home to ancient "effigy mounds" in the shape of birds and other animals -- an extremely important discovery.

This article by Professor Benfer from the September 2011 edition of Antiquity describes these mounds in more detail, complete with imagery from Google Earth Pro.  He explains that these mounds may date from the period 2200 BC to 1750 BC.  The article also points out that, "While geoglyphs are common in Peruvian coastal valleys, they differ from effigy mounds in that they lack three-dimensional structure; both types of monuments are however similar in that they are best viewed from overhead."  

The article also explains that effigy mounds are most commonly associated with the north-central United States.  Many readers are no doubt familiar with the famous Serpent Mound of Ohio (pictured above in a map from the 1800s), perhaps the most well-known effigy mound in the US.  Interestingly enough, the Serpent Mound has been shown to have strong celestial alignments -- including alignments to solstice rising and setting azimuths, as well as to significant lunar rising and setting points -- and the Peruvian effigy mounds discovered by Professor Benfer appear to incorporate similarly significant alignments in their design as well.

In fact, at the end of the article, Professor Benfer notes the possibility that these Peruvian mounds may "represent animals that mirror those in the Andean Zodiac, in the same manner as North American effigy mounds may be seen as representing animals of their respective constellations."  Some evidence that the effigy mounds of the US represent constellations (the Serpent Mound corresponding to the constellation Draco) are linked below.

That these effigy mounds in North and South America appear to incorporate astronomical alignments, and that they might also represent constellations, does not mean that the cultures that constructed them were connected, and Professor Benfer's article does not suggest that they are (the thoughts below about possible connections between widely geographically dispersed monuments are not meant to imply that Professor Benfer believes any such theories). 

While these newer Peruvian discoveries have not been extensively studied yet, there is some amazing analysis of the moundworks of Ohio which suggests that those North American mounds may be in some way connected to other ancient sites around the world, including the Giza pyramids!  The potential similarities between the South American mounds and the North American mounds must of course be explored further, and they may be coincidental similarities that arose in isolation -- but that is certainly not the only possibility, and (just as in a crime scene) all possibilities should be explored and none should be rejected out-of-hand if there appears to be evidence in its favor.

The idea that the North American mounds might intentionally mirror aspects of Old World sites (or derive from a common influence without intentionally mirroring one another) is a startling assertion, but there is in fact extensive evidence found throughout the Americas (and across the Pacific all the way to New Zealand) which suggests an ancient connection with a culture or cultures influenced by the same influence behind the pyramids of Egypt, some of which has been discussed in this blog and in the Mathisen Corollary book itself, as well as in the work of many other authors.  The insistence by the defenders of the conventional narrative of mankind's ancient past that there was no significant ancient contact across the oceans is very strange, given the extent of the archaeological evidence which suggests otherwise -- for one recent discussion of some of this evidence see this post, and for a long list of others (with links) see this older post.

The extensive and extremely sophisticated alignments of the earthworks of the American Midwest are discussed in great detail in some of the articles of Martin Doutré which he makes available on his website, Ancient Celtic New Zealand (click on "Articles" for a list of those, many of which deal with sites outside of North America).

For a discussion of the dimensions and alignment of the earthworks in the area of Newark, Ohio (including the "Octogon" pictured above, which is next to a circle and which together with the circle may represent a spider), see this article by Mr. Doutré.  In that article, he notes that the dimensions of the circle and the octagon have very close correspondence with the dimensions of the Great Pyramid.  We have previously discussed a possible connection in the dimensions of Stonehenge to the dimensions of the Great Pyramid, also based upon the work of Mr. Doutré.

This article, by Ross Hamilton and Patricia Mason also discusses the Octagon and other ancient sites in Ohio, and notes that "The angle of true north off the central axis is very close, if not the same as, the slope of the Great Pyramid, i.e. between 51.5 and 52 degrees" (meaning the angle to true north from the central axis of the Octagon earthwork with its accompanying circle, which you can see in the image above in the upper-left portion of the map: the axis is easy to see because the mound-builders included an actual "neck" connecting the circular head of the spider with the octagonal body or abdomen of the spider).  Note that Mr. Doutré linked to that article and others by Ross Hamilton and Patricia Mason in some of his articles, but that the site he linked to which used to display their articles now contains a fairly generic site about the mounds with little controversial information included, although this page of that site does link to an "archived" section containing the articles of Mr. Hamilton and Ms. Mason.

That material from Ross Hamilton and Patricia Mason also includes a discussion of evidence that the Serpent Mound corresponds to an ancient understanding of the circumpolar constellation Draco.

Mr. Doutré has also written detailed articles examining the alignments and dimensions of other extensive earthworks in the American Midwest, including the incredible Cahokia Mounds of Illinois.  If you take the time to read through all the pages of that article, you will be stunned that you have never heard of this amazing archaeological treasure, and dismayed at the damage that has been done to it over the years (parts of the site have been turned into tract housing, parts have been paved over into a large parking lot, and parts of it were turned into a modern gravel quarry), although some belated attempts to undo these horrible blunders appear to be in progress.  

It is very difficult to argue with the massive evidence that Mr. Doutré presents which demonstrates that the designers of this extensive mound complex possessed a precise understanding of the precessional constant (beyond what either Hipparchus or Ptolemy understood), as well as an understanding of the sophisticated mathematical concept of phi, and -- most astonishing -- a clear understanding of the size of the spherical earth, and navigational concepts required for successfully crossing the bluewater oceans.  Did ancient Native Americans somehow know all of these things, as well as knowing of Stonehenge and Giza?  If so, how?  If not, who else might have had a hand in the design of these little-understood moundworks in North America?

It will be very important to examine the effigy mounds that Professor Benfer has discovered in Peru, to see if important dimensional codes akin to those described by Mr. Doutré in the mounds of Illinois and the Octagon of Ohio might be present there as well.  The other similarities to the earthworks of North America -- such as alignments with important astronomical events, and connection with constellations -- suggest that this analysis may prove to be worthwhile.  The astonishing similarities discussed in this previous post (about aligned stones, V-shaped notches on the horizon, and subtly-sculpted rock faces found in Peru and elsewhere around the globe) also suggest that this new discovery by Professor Benfer may point to connections around the globe.

Professor Benfer is to be congratulated for this exciting new contribution to our collective anthropological understanding -- in addition to all the other work he has contributed to anthropological knowledge throughout his career.  His use of the new wealth of information provided by modern technology -- in this case Google Earth -- has opened an intriguing new perspective on areas he has long examined from "ground level."  Let us hope that we can all learn from his ability to see things from different angles, and from his demonstrated success in following these new perspectives to such fruitful conclusions!  

I for one look forward to his upcoming analysis of this important new development in human history.

Stonehenge acoustics, and beyond

Yesterday, the BBC News reported on the work of researchers into the acoustic properties apparently designed into the layout of Stonehenge. 

The article, entitled "Neolithic acoustics of Stonehenge revealed by academics," describes a theory put forward by scientist Dr. Steven Waller in February of this year (it actually fits into the extensive and important acoustical work he has been doing for years at sites around the world, and ties into material on Stonehenge that he published at the end of 2011), which the BBC article describes as "suggesting the design of Stonehenge could have been inspired by music."

In fact, however, the theory of Dr. Waller is much more amazing than that (the author of the BBC article seems to have missed it, as that is as much description of Dr. Waller's work as it gives, with no later elaboration). Based on my understanding of Dr. Waller's written paper describing his November 2011 presentation to the Acoustical Society of America, as well as the remarkable slides he has posted from his presentation on the subject from February of this year, Dr. Waller's theory might be better described as arguing that Stonehenge is actually a physical representation of acoustical wave-patterns! Specifically, it mirrors a two-point sound-wave interference pattern. 

This is an amazing assertion, and Dr. Waller's research, as well as the research of two academics also mentioned in the article, appears to support such a hypothesis. The other two researchers who have now spent several years studying Stonehenge and acoustics are professors Rubert Till of Huddersfield University and Bruno Fazenda of the University of Salford (both in England). Here is a link to an article from 2009 describing some of their findings, and here are links three segments (part one, part two, and part three) from a television show discussing their work (along with over-dramatic narration and actors dressed in furs and skins reinforcing the idea -- stated in the narration -- that Stonehenge was built by primitive stone-age people just learning the first rudimentary skills of farming and beginning to gather in villages).

The work of all three researchers suggests that the site's acoustics may well relate to the use of drumming and even to altered states of consciousness (such as rhythmically induced trances), and to changes in brain-wave activity. Dr. Waller's other work in particular demonstrates the unmistakable connection between shamanic activity and acoustically unusual sites (natural echoing chambers, canyons, and caves, many of which are decorated with significant rock art). Dr. Waller's website Rock Art Acoustics discusses the art and acoustics at many such sites in the American Southwest and West, as well as at the Caves of Lascoux and other sites in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Australia and the Pacific.

The fact that so many of these sites seem to incorporate both celestial imagery or alignments (Stonehenge contains strong alignments, and the Caves of Lascaux contain celestial imagery, for example) and that Dr. Waller and the other researchers believe their acoustics may be connected with altered brain-wave activity, states of consciousness, or shamanic activity, is extremely significant. 

In her book Approaching Chaos, Lucy Wyatt (whose work is discussed in this previous post) presents evidence that sophisticated incorporation of acoustic principles in ancient structures enabled the use of sonic and ultrasonic vibration that may have played a role in the very purposeful rituals that took place at those sacred sites. The heart of these rituals was a shamanic journey undertaken by a leader in search of beneficial knowledge for rest of the civilization. She points to evidence offered by many researchers suggesting that the Great Pyramid may have incorporated such sophisticated acoustic principles, and notes that other ancient structures around the world, including those on Malta, may have as well (158, 161-165). See this previous post for a discussion of some strong evidence that the ancient temples on Malta incorporate deliberate acoustical manipulation in their design.

Lucy also points out the power of acoustic vibrations to create physical patterns (such as in a thin layer of sand upon a metal disc), something that John Anthony West also discusses in his examination of the evidence of extremely sophisticated knowledge in ancient Egypt and the parallels between these patterns and ancient Egyptian and Pythagorean designs (see for instance the discussion in this previous post and this previous post, as well as of course his indispensable book Serpent in the Sky). Dr. Waller in the slide show linked above makes the insightful observation that, if ancient monuments such as Stonehenge are physical incorporations of acoustical wave-patterns, this could explain the numerous traditions found around the world insisting that ancient megalithic sites were erected by mystical figures using sound (often a flute)!

This appears to be an incredibly important line of investigation. The power and importance of music and chanting has been explored in many previous posts on this blog (see here, here, and here to begin), and the possible connections between acoustics and shamanic activity at these sites suggested by the work of Steven Waller, Rupert Till, Bruno Fazenda, and Lucy Wyatt sheds tremendous new light on the power of sound, and they are to be congratulated for it (and encouraged to continue!). 

The high level of sophistication required for the depiction in massive stone of wave-interference patterns, as well as the achievement of finely-tuned acoustical effects in these megalithic sites, and even the simultaneous incorporation of precise solar and astronomical alignments in the very same structures, also provides compelling evidence that the knowledge that originally informed these monuments was probably not the product of neolithic early farmers as described in the conventional academic narrative and depicted in most popular drawings and shows.

New discoveries at Stonehenge

Recently, researchers have announced that they have discovered the evidence of two large ancient pits within the perimeter of the Cursus directly north of Stonehenge. The pits were discovered using non-invasive technologies such as ground-penetrating radar and measure about 16 feet across (they have apparently been filled in for centuries or even millennia and cannot really be noticed with the naked eye).

Here is an article describing the location of the newly-discovered pits from MSNBC's "Cosmic Log." Here's another one from Discovery News describing the pits as well.

Both articles mention the fact that, for an observer at the Heel Stone (an important and distinctive stone located in the Avenue at Stonehenge), the pits would mark the sunrise and sunset points on the summer solstice. This third article on the pits, from the Huffington Post, contains a statement from the researchers that Stonehenge itself is "precisely due south" of the mid-point of a precession route they theorize took place on the Cursus.

These facts provide further confirmation that the overall site was precisely aligned to facilitate celestial observation. All articles also mention speculation that the Cursus (a long feature of two parallel mounds stretching for 1.5 miles east to west and joined in a narrow ring, named because early scholars mistakenly believed such mounds were the remains of ancient Roman running tracks) was used for processions of celebrants on the summer solstice day, although not much evidence is provided to support that hypothesis.

Based on previous dating of material found below the Cursus and below some of the embankments at Stonehenge itself, scholars believe the Cursus predates the construction of Stonehenge proper by at least five centuries.

All of the analysis accompanying the newly-announced discovery of these pits is interesting, but more interesting to me are the following points which the new discovery appears to support:
  • First and most obvious, the fact that these ancient pits can be calculated to align with the summer solstice sunrise and sunset to an observer at the Heel Stone raises the following question: have the British Isles somehow been immune to continental drift over the past fifty-odd centuries, or is the entire theory of plate tectonics incorrect? Readers of this blog will know that there is substantial evidence worldwide that the conventional theory of tectonics is incorrect (see here and here for starters).
  • While conventional history argues that Stonehenge and other contemporary structures were built by neolithic or mesolithic peoples who were primarily hunters and gatherers, the size of the stones, the scope of the construction, and the sophistication of the astronomical and mathematical concepts preserved at these sites makes such assertions ridiculous. Some researchers claim to have found evidence that the very faint magnetic fields of the stones at Avebury are aligned in a deliberate fashion (they can't measure the fields on the Stonehenge stones, because these stones have now been secured with steel rods to keep them from falling over or being deliberately tipped). Martin Doutré's 1999 book, Ancient Celtic New Zealand presents compelling evidence that the circles of Stonehenge are related in size by a factor of phi -- a sophisticated mathematical concept. It is unlikely that mesolithic hunter-gatherers had the time or inclination to master such concepts as phi and the detection of faint magnetic polarities within stones, nor are such features likely to be coincidental -- they are clearly deliberate.
  • As Mr. Doutré has also argued (backed up by extensive evidence and thorough analysis on his part), Stonehenge appears to contain a direct scale model in two dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza, with the apex designated by one of the post-holes in the Avenue adjacent to the Heel Stone itself (see here). If this analysis is correct, then there is a strong possibility that the Great Pyramid actually predates Stonehenge, meaning that it was not really built during the reign of Khufu as conventional historians insist. Even more significant, perhaps, is the fact that the Great Pyramid appears to represent a scale model of the northern hemisphere, designed and built by people who knew the earth was a globe (its base perimeter is proportionally related to the circumference of the earth at the equator by a factor of 1:43,200 -- a suspiciously important precessional number and not likely to be a coincidence). If Stonehenge relates to the Great Pyramid, and the Great Pyramid relates to the spherical earth, then the builders of Stonehenge are very unlikely to have been primitive mesolithic hunter-gatherers.
The detection of these new pits adds further confirmation that the designers of Stonehenge were dedicated astronomers, and probably had a very sophisticated understanding of the globe and its motions.