Science

Stonehenge and other standing stones really are computers

Stonehenge and other standing ...
Scientists have statistically proven that some of the oldest standing stones in Britain were deliberately constructed to align with solar and lunar movements
Scientists have statistically proven that some of the oldest standing stones in Britain were deliberately constructed to align with solar and lunar movements
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The Standing Stones of Stenness were built over 5,000 years ago
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The Standing Stones of Stenness were built over 5,000 years ago
Scientists have statistically proven that some of the oldest standing stones in Britain were deliberately constructed to align with solar and lunar movements
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Scientists have statistically proven that some of the oldest standing stones in Britain were deliberately constructed to align with solar and lunar movements

Across Western Europe are collections of standing stones dating back thousands of years that scientists have long suspected were huge astronomical computers, but that's largely been a matter of conjecture. Now a team of scientists from the University of Adelaide has statistically proven that some of the oldest standing stones in Britain were deliberately constructed to align with solar and lunar movements.

Built over 5,000 years ago during the Late Neolithic and early Bronze Ages, the standing stones of Europe range from small, isolated circles in the Scottish Isles measuring only nine meters (30 ft) across to huge complexes 450 m (1,500 ft) wide set in huge ceremonial parks.

The most famous of these is Stonehenge in Wiltshire, which was begun before the pyramids of Egypt and took over 2,000 years and 1.5 million mandays to build using giant megaliths floated on barges and dragged overland from Wales. Why it was built has long been a matter of speculation that has included the idea that it was a temple built by the Druids for human sacrifices, a war memorial erected by King Arthur, or a monument to the ancient British queen Boudica.

One clue to why Stonehenge and the many other stone circles were constructed is the fact they exhibit alignments with the Sun and the Moon and various astronomical events, such as sunrise on the summer solstice, sunset on the winter solstice, the movements of the Moon during the 18.6 year Metonic cycle, and solar and lunar eclipses

This has been noticed since the 18th century and sparked the field of modern archaeoastronomy after scientists applied computers to standing stones in the 1960s. This gave rise to the idea that the stones are themselves primitive computers as well as ancient observatories.

The problem is that though modern computers had no trouble showing that standing stones could have astronomical alignments, they couldn't prove that such alignments weren't just coincidental. For example, Salisbury Cathedral, which is less than 20 mi (32 km) from Stonehenge, is loaded with all sorts of astronomical alignments, but those are all because it's built to face east. They are purely accidental.

"Nobody before this has ever statistically determined that a single stone circle was constructed with astronomical phenomena in mind – it was all supposition," says project leader and University of Adelaide Visiting Research Fellow, Dr Gail Higginbottom.

The Standing Stones of Stenness were built over 5,000 years ago
The Standing Stones of Stenness were built over 5,000 years ago

To fill this gap, the Adelaide team studied the Callanish stones on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland and the Stenness stones on the Isle of Orkney, which were both 500 years older than the oldest stones of Stonehenge. Using statistical analysis of two-dimensional and three-dimensional alignments, the Adelaide team found that the stones showed a concentration of solar and lunar alignments, and that simpler stone circles built in Scotland 2,000 years later showed the same alignments.

In addition, the analysis revealed that these alignments not only included the stones, but the surrounding landscape and horizon as well. This showed that the ancient Britons connected the Earth to the sky in designing their stone circles, and that they continued this practice for two millennia. Also, the pattern of alignments was reversed in half the sites.

"These chosen surroundings would have influenced the way the Sun and Moon were seen, particularly in the timing of their rising and setting at special times, like when the Moon appears at its most northerly position on the horizon, which only happens every 18.6 years," says Higginbottom. "For example, at 50 percent of the sites, the northern horizon is relatively higher and closer than the southern and the summer solstice Sun rises out of the highest peak in the north. At the other 50 percent of sites, the southern horizon is higher and closer than the northern, with the winter solstice Sun rising out of these highest horizons.

"These people chose to erect these great stones very precisely within the landscape and in relation to the astronomy they knew. They invested a tremendous amount of effort and work to do so. It tells us about their strong connection with their environment, and how important it must have been to them, for their culture and for their culture's survival."

The team's research was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports.

Source: University of Adelaide

7 comments
Christopher Nigel Phillips
It is fascinating to ruminate on the astronomical properties of ancient sites. The Standard Model assumes that nothing much has changed in the solar system for thousands of years. If that is so then people made a lot of effort to confirm minor details about our annual cycles.
What is far more likely, following the work of Plasma Physics pioneers like Dr Anthony Peratt, is that a major event happened to Earth - changing the calendar completely. One of the most common ancient petroglyphs around the globe is the 56 point circle. It is seen in every culture, usually associated with squatter-man symbols and 4 point 'quincunx'. This happens to be the original number of Aubrey Stones (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_holes) which formed Stonehenge's outer circle.
The 56 point circle is actually reproduced in plasma discharge experiments performed at Los Alamos laboratories in Arizona. It is only one of several formations produced by plasma. The chalice shape which is often portrayed as a squatter-man occurs in many nebulae in space, if viewed side on.
It is clear that ancient man saw a major astral event in the Southern sky which morphed through various forms including the 56 point circle. These shapes were etched into solid rock and are preserved in most countries. The stone circles and subsequent configurations were probably constructed to remember the cataclysmic events witnessed by humans and to aid in calculating the entirely new solar and lunar cycles which followed. For a special treat watch Dr Peratt in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u96PE6Rdr5s
Lbrewer42
When logic is applied, I don;t see why these "revelations" are held in such high esteem.
These people, of course, were much more in touch with the natural world around them b/c there was no (or even thought/desire/notion of) "escaping" it. We presently live in our closed little cubicles we have created for our own comfort. We have so many man-made distractions in our artificial surroundings that most people cannot tell an oak tree from a maple tree. We are almost totally devoid of any connection with the natural world around us. Then we think its amazing the people old were the same way with the only thing they had to occupy their lives... nature.
Of COURSE they knew the intricacies of the stars. of COURSE they knew the intricacies of the topography etc. So when they gave into man's desire to build and create, they certainly were not going to choose anything else as a theme/object except those things which were the greatest mysteries, allowed them to have their very existence y providing for them, and allowed them to keep track of passing time (important to them for planning survival of colder seasons). What else was there this awe inspiring in their lives? Hint... nothing.
City people we are. City people we think like. City people tend to be amazed at what non-city people see as obvious. You mean milk comes from that thing on the cow?
CharlieSeattle
Primitive computers? I think not!
Ancient observatories? Yes
Username
Aligning stones with astrological bodies hardly makes them a computer.
Growling_M.A.D+Dirty
Not a computer, but an algorithm and check sum?
What logical operations can humans do compared to what they can think of?
I can compare two observations and see the differences and similarities I notice, but cannot compare that which I do not notice. It takes several more if not thousands of new observations for an individual to notice more patterns. If the person only lived 20-30 years, the observations and symbols of those observations had to be kept for future generations so that they could take the old symbols of ancient events and add it to the current observations thereby creating a thread of observations across generational boundaries and individual minds. Something certainly happened which disrupted the tradition of the knowledge, because we do not know why they were built. Perhaps it was a sect of druids that were delegated the duty of preserving the old observations. Perhaps they were slaughtered by invading forces thereby disrupting the threads to the old. Newer generations knew the stones had some meaning, but could not figure out why. What were the dots connecting the circles?
Add to that a changing environment where the moon slowly drifts away from earth slowly reducing the rotation of Earth and thereby obfuscating what was once observed and set in stone. Had an oral tradition been kept, newer generations would have been able compare data. If they had shared the same language and meanings of that language.
Perhaps they knew those stones had the best properties for the job withstanding the weather.
Perhaps they had nothing better to do with the knowledge they had. They had muscles, transportation competence, logistical networks and some sort of command network. And of course a priority to build it. Once it was started, it was just a matter of finishing the job. A long term project kept the generations together, as younger had to be taught by elder. Once the project was finished the tradition of knowledge was not needed anymore and could have died off or perhaps transformed into what we today call bits of 0 and 1. On and off or, beginning of cycle and fulfillment of cycle 0-100%, cycles within cycles, cycles compared to other cycles, checksum of cycles. Whatever things the minds of those could imagine and have time to observe and compare to.
PTOLEMY
I never cease to be amazed how ignorant "modern scientists" are. There was no ASTRONOMY hundreds, thousands of years ago! But these scientists consider themselves superior - when all they are doing is plodding along for years trying to understand something the wrong way, refusing to acknowledge that ASTROLOGY existed for thousands of years. They're too dumb to figure out the simple fact that ancient civilizations didn't have tv or radio to entertain themselves, especially at night. So of course they observed the skies and, over time, detected patterns of what they could see and they passed this knowledge down - eventually through many generations. What the current "scientists" don't get is that ancient peoples all over the world were smart enough to apply what they saw in the skies to what happens here on the earth. They were able to determine how it affected them ("as above, so below"), e.g. the best time to plant crops or do surgery and everything else in their lives. In that way, we have a LONG way to go to catch up to them!
RichardNygaard
I believe they are not even man made but occurred naturally over time. They are millions or maybe billions of times less complex than DNA or say an eyeball. If the "Big Bang" created the entire universe over time and without any plan or direction by an Intelligence then these simple stones could have easily formed the same way the universe did.
Think about it. There probably isn't a sane person on earth older than 12 that would think that Stonehenge (Mount Rushmore) happened by chance+time . But yet people readily believe we (humans) are just a product of evolution over time all of wich started from an explosion of some unknown origin creating some lifeless matter. Somehow the lifeless matter became living by chance and every living thing can trace its origin to lifeless matter. Some of it developed into a cactus plant or an animal with the most complicated language, DNA, instructing itself to develop into an ant or maybe a human.
If you can not see the absurdity of this I think you are not being honest with yourself. Try and keep the personal attacks out. So many resort to this sort of thing when faced with facts they disagree with.
So without getting into too many topics that will be impossible to respond to here. I would love for someone to explain just one thing; How can an explosion evolve into humans but not into some stones in a pattern, or the faces of future presidents eroded into rocks on a mountains. Billions of planets in the Universe there is surely a mountain in the shape of everyone's faces, along with mountains in the shape of the alphabets of all languages. If not in this universe than surely in the different "multiverses", that so many scientists think exist, that include every possible thing that could ever happen.