Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998

From: Simon Cassidy <scassidy@EARTHLINK.NET>

Subject: Re: Stonehenge speculation (lunations and lintels)

To: CALNDR-L@ECUMAIL7.ECU.EDUKevin Tobin wrote about STONEHENGE:

> Is it just too simplistic to suppose that the 29.5 total sarcens might,

> among other functions, have served as a direct count of the number of days

> of the actual lunar cycle? The complexity of Stonehenge remains a constant

> source of revelation for each generation but on some level things are just

> what they appear to be. I would be interested in knowing the publications

> in which Sir Fred Hoyle writes of his observations.Simon responds:

No it is not too simplistic! This interpretation is supported by the repetition of this theme in the later phases of the monument. The central sarsen structure has been called Phase IIIA (2400-2000 BC). Subsequent phases (2000-1000 BC)) comprised :

1) the addition of the bluestone horseshoe (19 upright stones) and "altar" (1 stone, possibly upright or recumbent) to the inside of the 10 sarsen uprights comprising the horseshoe of trilithons (thus creating a total of 29 or 30 upright stones in the central horseshoes, suggesting another lunar phase-month, counted in days);

2) the addition of the bluestone circle (best estimate 59 upright stones) between the sarsen circle and the horseshoe(s) (again suggesting 2 lunar phase-months);

3) the addition of the 59 Y&Z holes as a double spiral of pits, winding around the sarsen circle (again suggesting a count of days in 2 lunar phase-months);

(see R.J.C.Atkinson's book "Stonehenge" and phase/dates with the latest radiocarbon results at web-site, www.eng-h.gov.uk/stoneh/start.htm ).

Thus we see, that at some point in the 2nd. millennium BC, the total number of ground-positions (rooted stones and pits) in the central area of the monument had been finalized at close to 177 (or 178 counting the bluestone "altar"). This is a count of the number of days in six lunar phase-months (the actual average length of six consecutive lunar phase-months is 177.2 days).

Moreover this "final" monument was divided into subsets of stones and holes which each totalled a count close to the number of days in either 1 or 2 lunar phase-months (except for the subset of lintel stones which are not "ground-positions" since they hang from other stones).

All this reinforces the notion that the original central sarsen structure (of phase IIIA) could have been intended to count the number of days in a lunar phase-month by modelling one such month with the twenty-nine and a half sarsen stones which appear (on present evidence) to have existed in the original sarsen circle (of phase IIIA).

My point about the number of lintel stones is that we cannot determine the original planned number without knowing whether the "half-stone" (sarsen circle stone #11) ever supported lintels. Since the circle of lintels could never have been a complete circle without a full-height stone #11 and since there is an apparent concern with the length of the lunar phase-month in all later phases of the monument, I suggest that stone #11 was delberately half-height and went along with a total of 33 lintel stones (twenty-eight circle lintels and five trilithon lintels). This allows the original architect of the central sarsen structure (of phase IIIA) to have intended to represent that an extra day is required after counting 33 lunar months of twenty-nine and a half days each. Such knowledge of the average length of a lunar month (29.530303 days in modern terminology) was attributed to "pre-Babylonian observers" by Geminus (an astronomer of the 1st. century) who expressed it as 29 days, plus 1/2 a day, plus 1/33 of a day.

Afficionadoes of solar calendars will also note that 33 stonehenge lintels gives a total of 73 sarsen stones in the central structure which is one fifth of the number of days in a usual solar year (common calendar year of 365 days). The division of the 33 lintels into subsets of 28 (circle lintels) and 5 (trilithon lintels) also suggests the method of interpolating leap days (366th. days) used in the Persian and Dee calendars, whereby a leap-day is added every fourth year for 28 years and then the next leap day is added after 5 years (see http://www.hermetic.ch/cassidy/33yr-cal.htm).

Hoyle speculated on the prediction of eclipses by use of Stonehenge numbers in his book "On Stonehenge".

Simon Cassidy |