Conundrum 2 – Summer Solstice

(Book Extract………………………………..The Great Stonehenge Hoax)

Stone me – are the druids looking the wrong way!

The Problem

When we think about Stonehenge, our mind relates to the mass gatherings of people that meet at the stones to celebrate the Summer and Winter Solstice, as if the monument was built for this single purpose.  But the structure was not made for this purpose, as shown by The Avenue and The ‘Heel Stone’( where the sun appears from behind it on mid-summers day), for it is not in the centre of the Avenue (as some imagine) and consequently, it has been tilted at an angle to meet the sun at a later date.

The Solution

The Avenue follows a path to the river Avon, but the river reached the East of the site in Neolithic times, and therefore, in theory, the Avenue could have been built anywhere.

Why did they build it in that particular direction? 

The original entrance for Phase I of Stonehenge was in the North-West towards the midwinter moonset, perceived as the place of the dead and afterlife, where they built a mooring station to take the Bluestones from Craig-Rhos-Y-Felin.

But after 4,000 years, the monument changed its purpose.  Four thousand years is a colossal amount of time – the same period before now, we were in the Bronze Age, living in mud huts and dancing to druid music.  In the landscape, we see this change with the disuse of Long Barrows for the collection of excarnated bones in favour of Round Barrows and the cremation of bodies.

If so, perhaps they decided to use the ancient monument from ‘curing the sick’ to ‘celebrating life’ and rebirth through the Sun.  This may explain why the Avenue was oriented towards the summer sunrise and, this being the case, give us a clue to the date of Phase II (the Sarsen Stones uprights and lintels) were laid. 

We are familiar with the masses that welcome the midsummer sunrise over Stonehenge – people wait in expectation, and then (if you’re lucky) the Sun creeps over the Heel Stone to greet the midsummer’s day; everyone’s happy goes home drunk or stoned.  BUT, when you look at the Heel Stone, it is on the extreme right-hand side of the Avenue, bent over at a silly angle.  Our ancestors did not build it that way – the monument was nearly completely rebuilt at the end of the last century, and stones were moved and restored, which has happened throughout Stonehenge’s long history.

The most sensible solstice alignment is straight down the middle of the Avenue.  However, archaeologists have only partially investigated this apparent alignment, and, as a result, the question of the construction date of Phase II has never been fully resolved.

The Sun does not always rise and set in the same place throughout the year or history as you may expect.  The earth ‘wobbles’ on its axis in a process known as ‘procession’ – I will not go into detail here, but all you need to understand is that the Sun and moon rise and set in different positions on the horizon on solstice day over a 43,000 year period.

Heel Stone Sunrise Changes over time
Heel Stone Sunrise Changes over time

This means that the summer and winter Solstice moves in relation to the horizon a fraction every year.  This movement is TINY; it’s .0002 of a degree every year, but over a long time, say 10,000 years, it’s a full two degrees.  It may not sound much, but when you consider that the moon is half a degree in diameter, then two degrees is the same as four moons (or suns) in a row on the horizon.

We can also ‘reverse engineer’ this figure to give us a date for the construction of the Avenue.  The problem with the accuracy of this measurement is that the point of sunrise is somewhat subjective – as trees obscure the horizon at Stonehenge, so the tip of the first sunlight can never be fully seen.  What current observers accept is the position of the ‘Heel Stone’ which obscures the sunrise until a point that it appears to rise above the stones upper part (the peak point).

The Avenue plots the true Solstice sunrise direction
The Avenue plots the true Solstice sunrise direction
The Avenue showing the summer solstice sunrise at the time of construction

If we accept that this is the correct point for today’s Summer solstice sunrise and plot this point on Google Earth – we obtain a reading of 50.81 degrees.  If we now take a reading down the Avenue’s centre with the same software, we get a reading of 49.57 degrees.  This is a difference of 1.24 degrees since the Avenue was first constructed.  If the Sun moves 0.0002 degrees per annum each year, then we will have an approximate date (when the Sun is at the centre of the Avenue).  This gives us a construction date of 6200 years ago or 4180 BCE.

This is thousands of years earlier than the archaeologists have told the public, so it is not mentioned in their literature.  However, one antler bone was found under a Sarsen stone, which does not support the current dating.  Now this one can’t be explained away like the other anomalies found on the site, as a 12-ton stone was on top of it for thousands of years, guaranteeing that it could not have been placed there later or floated/moved there from another part of the site……………………………………………….

Antler bone found in Stone 27 filling dated 4191 BCE
Antler bone found in Stone 27 filling dated 4191 BCE

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