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Megalithic Sites
home - The Megaliths of the World as Astronomy & Land Survey System - home


Megalithic Site Name: Stonehenge
Nation/Country/State: United Kingdom, England
District/Region/Parish/County: Salisbury, Amesbury
Local Location: Salisbury Plain
GPS: 51°10'44" N, 1°49'35" W
Grid: SU 1224 4218
Monument No.: SU 14 SW 4
Unique Identifier: 219434
Directions: On the A344 off the A303, 2 miles W of Amesbury & 9 miles N of Salisbury
Site Access: English Heritage & National Trust Members admitted free. Adults £5.90. Children £3.00. Concession £4.40. Family (2 adults + 3 children) £14.80. Closed Dec. 24-26 & Jan. 1. Opens daily 9:30 a.m. (9:00 June 1 - Aug. 31). Closes 4:00 p.m. (Oct. 16 - March 15), 6:00 p.m. (March 16 - May 31, Sep. 1 - Oct. 15), 7:00 p.m. (June 1 - Aug. 31).
Administration: English Heritage, The National Trust
Protection Status: World Heritage Site

Relevant Publications
(ancient cultures & astronomy)

| Cult of Horus | Nebra Sky Disk |
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| Oesterholz | Externsteine |
| Stars Stones and Scholars |
| All Publications |

STONEHENGE DECIPHERED: | Barrows | Groundplan | Sarsens | Trilithons | The Book |


Photographs and illustrations of Stonehenge often do not provide precise geographic orientation for the normal viewing reader, who in his mind's eye may then tend to see Stonehenge more as a simple stone circle rather than as a group of differentiable megaliths intentionally positioned by ancient man to serve a specific function. The first graphic consists of a modern photo by us (2005) plus an illustrated ground plan of Stonehenge as it appears today (both by Andis Kaulins).


Stonehenge Photographed from the Heel Stone


The middle graphic is a scan by Andis Kaulins of a fold-out Stonehenge survey map from the year 1810. One scan was made of each map half and both then pasted together on a PC using graphics software to create one image. That original survey map is found glued to the inside margin of page 55 of William Long's book, Stonehenge and its Barrows, published in Devizes in 1876 from the original publication in Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. xvi, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society. The Stonehenge map in Long gives the same view from the bottom upwards as our photograph and illustrated ground plan above it. These two graphic images thus provide an excellent frontal view of Stonehenge combined with a matching "aerial" perspective of the larger megalithic site. Stonehenge is thereby viewed along its main axis, which is the Stonehenge Avenue, usually just called the Avenue. Gerald S. Hawkins in his book Stonehenge Decoded (p. 54) writes that the 30 sarsens were spaced uniformly as an outer circle with an average error of less than 4 inches, but "At the northeast, precisely--as might be expected--on the midsummer sunrise line, there was an entrance to this circle, made by spacing two stones (1 and 30) 12 inches farther apart than average". This gap is quite apparent in the photograph above.

In that photograph The large fallen stone a bit to the left at the top of the avenue is the Slaughter Stone, which is not as famous as the Heel Stone, not pictured here because yours truly, the photographer, like the rising sun, is standing at the location of that Heel Stone looking down the Avenue toward the awaiting Stonehenge sarsens and trilithons. The survey map has a main caption reading "Ground Plan of Stonehenge" and thereunder the words: "Transfered to Stone, from the Original Copper Plates, by the kind permission of J. Bruce Nichols Esqre".

Stonehenge Survey 1810


Our graphic below shows how Stonehenge must have looked when all stones were intact in their places ca. 1749 B.C. by our calculations. Note that Stonehenge was a lunisolar calculating machine. The 30 Sarsens marked the moon stations in the stars, and the applicable stars are shown by figures, marks and holes in the sarsens. 10 Constellations were represented by the Trilithons along the ecliptic, with the open end of the horseshoe excluding Hydra (Cancer) and Leo toward the Sommer Solstice point. 19 Bluestones makred the Metonic Cycle. 30 "Y" Holes marked "full" months of 30 days. 29 "Z" Holes marked "defective" months of 29 days. The "new moon" month is 29.53 days, so the ancients used some form of alternation between these two rings. 56 Aubrey Holes were used for eclipse prediction based on the ca. 18.6-year cycle of eclipses x 3. The Avenue pointed toward the Summer Solstice point at the Heelstone on a line running from the North Celestial Pole through (or slighltly past) the tip of Ursa Minor and through Ursa Major, marked by the Slaughter Stone.

Stonehenge Groundplan Original

Choice of the Stonehenge Site by Astronomy

Gerald S. Hawkins in Stonehenge Decoded, Doubleday, 1965, writes that "Newham and Charriere ... have both commented ... that the latitude of Stonehenge is practically optimum for sun-moon rectangular alignment.... [I]n the northern hemisphere there is only one latitude for which, at their extreme declinations, the sun and moon azimuths are separated by 90 degrees. Stonehenge is within a few miles of that latitude."

As Hawkins notes, the replica of Stonehenge at Maryhill, Klickitat County, Washington, USA, is at the wrong latitude 5 degrees too far south, and hence the luni-solar alignments do not work properly. That is what happens when well-meaning people do not properly understand the astronomy of the megaliths.

Astronomical Seriousness of Stonehenge

Stonehenge was thus not just erected by chance as some kind of a "religious" object as erroneously thought by mainstream scholars ignorant of ancient astronomy, but was located pursuant to strict astronomical considerations. That is why the ancients transported giant stones over hundreds of miles from the quarries to this location, rather than to build their astronomical clock in situ.

Purpose of Stonehenge in Historical Writings

Diodorus Sicilus (1st century BC) writes in Book II, Loeb Library translation, concerning the  "Hyperboreans" and
their royal kings and priests, the "Boreades" (Brits), as follows:

"And there is also on the island both a magnificent sacred precinct of Apollo [the SUN] and a notable temple which is adorned with many votive offerings and is SPHERICAL in shape....

They say also that the moon, as viewed from this island, appears to be but a little distance from the earth and to have upon it prominences, like those of the earth, which are visible to the eye.

The account is also given that the god visits the island every nineteen years, the period in which the return of the stars to the same place in the heavens is accomplished; and for this reason the nineteen-year period is called by the Greeks the 'year of Meton'.

At the time of this appearance of the god he both plays on the cithara and dances continuously the night through from the vernal equinox until the rising of the Pleiades....

The purpose of Stonehenge is thus quite clear from ancient writings as well as from modern computer studies of alignments, ala Hawkins.
It was an astronomical instrument erected in the Stone Age era at a specific location designed for its purpose by earth and sky.

STONEHENGE DECIPHERED: | Barrows | Groundplan | Sarsens | Trilithons | The Book |

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The owner and webmaster of Megaliths.net is Andis Kaulins
B.A. University of Nebraska; J.D. Stanford University Law School
Former Lecturer in Anglo-American Law, FFA, Trier Law School
Author at Langenscheidt Fachverlag, Germany
Alumnus Associate of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, NYC
This website presents information only. No other relationship is established to the user.
This page was last updated on March 31, 2008.

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