Posted by: digirak | May 27, 2007

Stonehenge

stonehenge.jpeg

Many of you I am sure have seen the neolithic construction at stone henge in England, it mostly looks like a a stone temple and is still thought of by many as a beacon for the aliens and we still have theories which suggest that they were actually erected by aliens as a signpost on earth, so this is very interesting food for thought for any newbie astronomer, excited by the thought of having alien  signposts, but I just came across some information which is not all that romantic but nevertheless should excite all of us who are looking at how our ancestors mapped the sky.

To start  of I would like to a give a general background of the state of affairs around the time when Stonehenge was set up, It was the advent of the dark ages and man was basically moving from being a nomadic forager to being a settled agriculturist and as now beginning to grow crops of his choice and contrary to normal thought this kind of a life made it very complicated for early paleolithic man to accept co-existence with his neighbors as the boundaries of mine and yours became very pronounced and man started becoming a very territorial creature(The brunt of which we are currently bearing ;) ) and so his obsession with what he owned increased and with it to control the same, woman became now a property of man which he alone could hold unbridled rights to.

Nomadic man used to hunt at night along with the creatures of the night and forage as he moved through the day, the sun and the moon thus played equally important roles in his life and the sun represented the roaring masculinity and the moon its subtler counterpart of femininity and the bright lantern that it was in those times waxed and waned in conjunction with the woman’s menstrual cycle and the new moon was the time when the man went to bed with the woman, so their life was regulated based on the solar and lunar cycle, with the advent of agriculture as the principal occupation his dependence on the lunar cycle took a back seat and so did the significance of the woman.

The thinkers of then realized that this would endanger the very fabric society on which they had balanced their lives,so they contrived-to reinforce the equality of the sexes and this could be done only with the coordination of the sun and the moon, its here that the sophisticated knowledge of astronomy is portrayed very evidently, the moon follows a 12-year cycle in regards to its position in relation to the horizon and it returns to the same position every 12 years, this was accurately mapped and the structure was set up.

The structure is such that  the entire set up is visible from a stone known as the heel stone placed at a fixed distance away from the entry arch of the structure and from the heel stone is also visible another arch subtended from the same and is exactly perpendicular from this, it was this architecture that the nomads used to convince their people every 12 years of the equality of sexes, every 12 years the moon used to be exactly at the same position for a  month and after the vernal equinox the sun at a the point of setting would coincide with the rise of the moon, as the sun sank below the horizon it fell exactly in the gap created by the arch and would fit to size, the moon would also fit in the upper arch  at the time of rise and thus this conjunction would be used to convince the people that the moon and the sun are of equal significance,as in this  case it appeared that the moon was in control of the setting of the sun.

Its amazing to note the advanced degree of astronomical computation these men possessed to be able to so accurately determine the position of the sun and the moon to be able  to construct a monument in their favor, kudos to the astronomers of yore


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