Monday, 23 December 2013

The Solstitial Arrow at Stonehenge

English Heritage has installed a large Brass arrow on the old A344 to point out the Solstitial alignment of Stonehenge.

Here it is freshly installed and a photo from Simon Banton to show it works with the mid-winter sunset.

41 comments:

  1. But a visible midwinter sunset only works for the MWSS today because the Altar Stone was knocked flat by the fall of the great lintel on top of it.
    My Facebook site Stonehenge Answers explains.
    I constructed a full size replica of the Altar Stone a few years ago and set it in place inside Stonehenge. Its presence blocks the setting sun completely. And even if the Altar Stone is overlooked---as the advisors of English Heritage appear to have decided---then putting back the fallen Stone 55 leaves only a narrow gap between 55 and 56. The sun would then only be seen for the last 3 or 4 minutes of the day. However, as I said, the Altar Stone blocks that too. Who has been advising on this project?
    Yes, I accept that winter solstice processions from along the Avenue towards and into Stonehenge probably took place, but it was NOT to watch the sun setting. Can you tell the EH people to check out Stonehenge Answers.

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    1. Interesting Idea!

      Sadly, if you're upright altar stone is "knocked flat by the fall of the great lintel" as you suggest, the bulk of the stone would lie one side of the alignment you have suggest it was placed to illustrate and would probably be at an horizontal angle to the hole it had just been knocked out of?

      The Altar Stone is at right angles to your alignment, flat to the ground and evenly spaced!

      Unless there was human intervention to move and bury or you're reinvented the laws of physics - it doesn't seem plausible.

      RJL

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  2. With all due respect, Dr Meaden ...
    I am all over the 'Heelstone-Shadow-is-a-Phallus' concept. I actually arrived at that independently. But my observations tell me that the Altar Stone has always lain flat. It is square to the transverse axis and an impact by S-55 would have occurred after L-156 came flying down, so then as -156 lays across S-80, S-55 couldn't have knocked it over. It took an extra instant for -55 to crack against BS-66 & -67 before its ultimate collapse, and this left plenty of time for the flung Lintel to come crashing.

    If we go by how long the SSSR takes to occult the Heelstone it follows that the Winter Sunset would also be of short duration, and this is exemplified by the narrow space between S-55 & -56.

    I follow your work with great interest, and watched the series with the cardboard boxes. Great stuff.
    I am also a big fan of the 'Face' on S-54 (though I don't think it's a Face.) I believe we have discussed this together at one point or another.

    Best wishes and Merry Christmas,
    Neil

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  3. (1) As I recall (without trawling through the publications), Richard Atkinson who dug around and beneath the sunken Altar Stone specifically looked for and found that one end had bevelled edges which he said was due to that end being improved to fit a stone hole.
    (2) Stone 55 and the lintel 156 fell as a pair initially jointed, at the same hitting bluestones while affecting 56 and making 56 incline greatly. It would have been a slightly slow-motion event, leading to the vertical Altar Stone receiving pressures such that it slipped out of, and ended up lying over, its own stone hole.
    (3) Ros Cleal and colleagues (writing the 1995 tome) accepted that a vertical Altar Stone fits the facts.
    (4) In other stone circles the centre stone is usually (?always) a standing stone--not a flat one.
    (5) The Altar Stone does not lie square to the axis; it is angled.
    (6) Even if the Altar Stone had always been flat----lying on a level surface instead of sunken----its 1-metre thickness would have prevented any solstice sunset being seen.

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  4. Dr. Meaden,

    1. Atkinson did indeed examine the underside of the Altar Stone - but he never found its Hole.

    2. Clearly S-55 & L-156 started falling together, and you're the only other one but me (that I know of) who has said that the Lintel yanked on -56, beginning its long-term near-collapse. But -55's fall was interrupted by the Bluestones beneath, and even if for only a moment, would have allowed -156 to crash across the Altar Stone first. Also, it obviously rolled after it landed. (That is, the present upside was the outside of the Lintel, and the Mortise nearest -55 today was for the Tenon of -56. There's a couple of scenarios which would account for its present position.)
    The Altar Stone shows no sign of being whacked twice by the two beefy Stones - one knocking it over; the other slamming against it.

    3. I'm not the man to argue with Ms Cleal - but I respectfully disagree with her finding. It's been shown that there's 2 old same-sized post-holes forward, and at either end of the Altar Stone. This infers that the Stone was perhaps laid where it is in deference to these posts - which were eventually removed. I refer to Peter Dunn's work in this area.

    4. Yet another reason Stonehenge is unique. Also, no matter which theory is preferred, the Altar Stone is not in the center of the Complex.

    5. The negligible angle the Altar Stone sits at could be accounted for by the initial strike, the long-term load, or just people scratching around it for a thousand years.

    6. Not if someone or more than one were standing upon it during the event - at either Solstice. Also we must take into consideration a suggestion by the Laser Scan Report of last year, which contends that, as the GT was finished all the way around, a more favorable location for observances might have been between it and S-15 & -16. And while this idea might be used to bolster the 'Upright' theory, it is now well-known that they spent a good deal of thought and time in making sure the Monument looked its best from out beyond the Heelstone. This suggests that they would want the sunbeams to pass through the entire Edifice.

    God knows I've been shown to be wrong in the past - and I'm astonished that RJ Langdon and I are on the same page with this - but it will take the finding of a central Stone-Hole to convince me.

    Best Wishes to you sir, and a Very Merry Christmas,
    ND Wiseman

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  5. Happy Christmas to one and all. I would only note that the angle of the Altar Stone (and the two post holes) is the same angle as the Great Trilithon and aligns it along its length to the midwinter sunrise (summer sunset). Coincidence?

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  6. ... I think not ...

    Best Wishes to you, your Family, and your 1986 Chocolate Wine.

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  7. Happy Christmas to all.
    Going back to the EH arrow, doesn’t the axis actually run a couple of metres to the North of the Heel stone just clipping the South side of stone hole 97. Unless the Heel stone is quite a lot bigger than its hole the arrow in the photos is in the wrong place. On all the plans I have either in Cleal or from Wessex Archaeology that is where the axis is, unless there have been some recent recalculations EH have made a(nother) mistake.
    There was a post last year I think discussing plans of this area where stone hole 97 did not appear to be in the right place possibly the confusion was not cleared up?
    On the Altar stone debate, the explanation for the fall and subsequent position of an upright Altar stone in Cleal did not seem convincing when working on these ideas in 2004. As has already been described by Neil and Robert the Altar stone would have fallen in a different direction if hit while standing in a central position by the lintel, it appeared a reasonable and simple explanation that the Altar stone had been lying flat and between the 2 earlier post holes 3364 and 3362 and hit by the lintel causing the break and bouncing one section to the NW, the overlap of that section on post hole 3364 is about the same as the gap in the 2 sections of the Altar stone.
    There are a series of features, the recumbent Altar Stone, the 2 posts 3364 and 3362, stone hole WA 3639 (possibly the early site of the standing Altar stone) and its 2 flanking stone holes and the line of posts at A all on parallel alignments SSE - NNW and which all lie centrally across an axis which is parallel to and a metre or so N of the early axis of the ditch and bank, this axis also centres to the NE on the North bank of the Avenue a much later feature but perhaps overlaying something earlier as has been suggested by Mike Pitts, I recall his idea was a mortuary chamber in the area of the NE Entrance including the posts at A and stones in the Avenue.
    Tim’s SSE mid winter sunrise alignment from the Great Trilithon would be the culmination of these alignments remembering and monumentalising them as the bluestone and sarsen circles and Trilithons do enclosing the earlier timber and stone settings in the centre of the monument.
    No coincidence and so much easier to see on a plan!

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  8. Hi Peter,
    As you know from our recent chats, the Solstice Alignment and its corollaries are among my areas. The new Arrow is pretty close to accurate, as placed. Unfortunately, it never actually hits S-97. I think (but am not completely sure) that -97's position marked a Lunar Event - though which one has yet to be determined.

    At some point upon returning from 'Abandonment', the emphasis at the Site switched from Lunar to Solar, and this is when they moved -97 to its present location. We see the Aubrey's duty as Reliquaries fall off around this time and if they were Lunar in layout (a theme that's being reviewed in several circles) it may be that this is why.

    Though I'm still not convinced that the Great Trilithon was racked to accommodate the WSSR, there is no denying that this alignment is shown between SS-93 and Hole H - per Tim's thinking. But it certainly does pass through S-56 no matter what any may believe.

    I do believe that the Altar Stone was recumbent for many of the reasons you detail above, in addition to the pass-thru sight-lines.

    Best,
    Neil

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  9. EH has aligned the Brass arrow to the current solistrial alignments as seen from Tim's photographs.

    It is NOT on the central alignment of the Avenue, which should 'beg-the-question' - surely if you was to built a road/avenue for the sunrise on solstice day, why not build it in the right place. Recent archaeological nonsense suggest that it was a natural feature which has as much credibility as fairies at the bottom of the garden.

    The reality is that the Brass Arrow should be placed a couple of metres north to be in the centre of the Avenue and then archaeologists should calculate the exact date of this prehistoric alignment (which has been done and rejected) to resolve one of the biggest questions asked about Stonehenge - when was the Avenue built.

    If the curiosity is too great - it's on my blog!

    RJL

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  10. "The reality is that the Brass Arrow should be placed a couple of metres north to be in the centre of the Avenue ..."
    RJL

    Somehow I had a feeling that the tenuous, yet peaceful, co-existence would soon be shattered by something such as this off-the-wall remark.
    Bob - you're really not putting the best light on your 'research' when you say things like this.

    The Avenue was among the last features to be built at Stonehenge and there's a host of evidence to support this. What this means is that they had a pretty solid handle on where the Sun came up at Solstice.
    The Avenue is centered on the Axis - the Heelstone is offset to the East. This is Stonehenge-101.

    The actual Sunrise does occur to the North of the Stone (the center of the Avenue), but the Heelstone was placed where it is so the eastward arcing Sun would occult the top and cast its shadow into the Stone Circle.
    See also Dr Meaden's work in this area of study.

    Neil

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  11. You don't date monuments according to possible astronomical alignments .
    The most obvious reason is that we have no way of knowing the accuracy of the alignment . When it was attempted in the past ,there were some less than useful dates , Lockyer , an astronomy prof , came up with 1680 bc , Petrie 730 AD for Stonehenge .
    Archaeoastronomers might also be better suited to do the calc rather than archaeologists .

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  12. Datable items have been obtained from the Avenue Ditch & Bank. Additionally, the East Avenue Embankment is careful to avoid the Heelstone Ditch, showing that it's later. (Just as the Heelstone Henge impinges upon the hole for far older S-97.)

    So we have the Heelstone, its much newer ring-henge, and then the comparatively recent Avenue.

    All point directly to the builders knowing where the Alignment was long before the Avenue was built.
    None of it has to do with Astronomy. It has to do with where the Sun rises & sets, and this hasn't changed but marginally since Humans have been curious about the sky - regardless of Precession, Magnetic / True North, a wobble in the Ecliptic, or mass-hypnosis by our Alien Overlords

    All those things appear to change the location of the background stars seen from a ground-looking viewpoint.
    None affect where the Sun rises relative to local geography.

    Neil

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  13. Sorry Neil you need to read up on astronomy and how the sunrise and setting change over the years.

    "The actual Sunrise does occur to the North of the Stone (the center of the Avenue)" you're out about a degree on that statement. This is not the forum for this debate, but you can checkout our technically detailed 'debate' (with the self proclaimed archaeologist Geo) on this subject at:

    http://robertjohnlangdon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/astroarchaeology-dating-of-stonehenge.html

    Only the druids were interested in the Heel stone in relation to the solstice - that's why it was pushed over at an angle a couple of thousand years ago and now justifies Dr Meaden's work. If the stone was important for the solar sunrise it would have been buried at the right depth in the first place!

    As for archaeologists getting involved in mathematics, outside their simplistic comfort zone, I have to agree with Geo. Proof of the puddling is in the ludicrous 'Bayliss' system current employed to date sites (known to basic math students as an average) which has no relevance to why the dates have such large distribution curves, just a naive model that academics can pretend to understand.

    RJL

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  14. Where did say/proclaim I was an astroarchaeologist ?

    You are confusing Bayliss (Alex ) an archaeologist involved in dating and Bayesian statistics a method used by her .

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  15. The bayesian system was never invented to date archaeological sites but EH's Bayliss uses the system 'incorrectly' to do so! - hence in my view this is the flawed 'bayliss system' now employed by EH that is questionable and not the mathematical model by Thomas Bayes.

    RJL

    RJL

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  16. Bayes’ theorem , like many other , was never invented /discovered to be applicable to many applications which it has subsequently proved useful . The theorem had been used for modelling in archaeology long before it was used by Alex Bayliss to describe it as being her “system “ makes no sense , she is simply someone who uses it . The Pythagorean theorem is used today in countless applications that Pythagoras would never have dreamt of would you say that it was never invented for these applications or name the “system “ after who ever happens to use it ?

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  17. Hi Neil,
    There is much in what you say re Lunar/Solar transitions and with more analysis the timber and stone arrangements in the NE entrance and general area of the avenue may be more firmly connected to Lunar events and observations suggested for many years and/or be part of a structure suggested by Mike Pitts.
    I am though interested to know where your Solstice/Axis alignment info comes from?

    Trying to clarify matters on the Solstice Arrow
    I presumed that EH placed this arrow to show the accurate midsummer sun rising, midwinter sun setting at a point in the monuments construction i.e. that of the sarsen circle, trilithons etc and this would correspond to the axis of the monument as shown on most plans for that period and in various publications.
    Perhaps the marker is just to show the sun rises at mid summer and sets at mid winter in these general areas?

    Just concentrating on the midsummer alignment to the NE as this is where this arrow is placed, I am going on the calculations and plans in publications and the plans which are the originals of those in Cleal etc Stonehenge in its Landscape obtained from Wessex Archaeology, if there is more up to date information of course I would be interested to see it.

    Cleal page 170 fig 79 shows the position of the Axis of Phase 3 clearly showing the stones in the avenue as described in my previous post and runs along the exact centre of the avenue.
    The plan in Mike Parker Pearson’s Stonehenge page 47 midsummer sun rise shows the same alignment for around 2500 BC, on page 48 it gives archaeoastronomer Clive Ruggles description “In the 3rd millennium BC on the midsummer solstice the sun rose in the NE on the line of the avenue, just West of the Heel stone”. A foot note describes why this is slightly different today.
    The same alignment is in Julian Richards Stonehenge the Story So Far.
    This alignment is exactly that described in John North’s Stonehenge Neolithic Man and The Cosmos Appendix 3 for 2500 BC of 40.63, the calculations for 4000BC to 1000 BC differ by less than a degree. I think North was a Mathematician.
    I haven’t trawled through all publications but this all seems consistent, the only plan which is slightly different is in Johnson’s Solving Stonehenge page 8 the line running equidistant between stone 97 and the Heel Stone. I can’t find any reference to this being from new calculations and may be just getting the line slightly out, which on a small plan makes a significant difference.
    This seems fairly conclusive as to where the axis and midsummer sun rise is for stage 3 of the monument as in Cleal and the new SPR phase 2, about 2 metres to the NW of the line the arrow is on clipping the south edge of stone hole 97, if any accuracy is intended by EH it is in the wrong place. Perhaps it does not matter though.

    Glad we are all clearer on Bayes’ Theorem and who uses it and I agree that it is dangerous ground to try and date monuments by possible astronomical alignments.
    Happy New Year.

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  18. While you learned gentlemen quibble about solar or lunar alignments, personally I think you miss the point - after EH finally get their act together by closing and removing the hideous tarmac of the A344 in an effort to "restore" Stonehenge to how it used to be many years past, we now have a brass arrow to replace it!!!

    Do we really need a huge brass arrow to indicate the direction of the MSSR? Clearly this is the significant alignment at Stonehenge according to EH or we would have a brass arrow on the other side of the monument to mark MWSS.

    Better still, why not install brass arrows all around the site to let visitors know all your theorised alignments - yes, we could even put a round brass plaque in the middle of the stone circle telling us how many miles away for example Avebury is and in what direction, and so on, similar to what we find on the top of many hills these days.

    Talk about fiddling while Rome burns......

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  19. Hi Peter, Happy New Year!
    I hope you're not confusing what I've said with posts by others on this (or other) threads ...
    I do not argue that the Solstitial Line is incorrect - indeed it's right on the money, and I agree with all the references you mention.

    In point of fact, the Arrow is in a precisely accurate location, and this is cleverly illustrated by the above photo taken by Simon Banton at the 2013 Winter Solstice Sunset event.

    My somewhat off-topic remarks concerning the Moon suggest that some kind of switch from it to a Solar emphasis occurred sometime between the Original Build and the Stone Setting.

    The provenance of these ideas are from my own observations, using reference material that is widely available from many sources. (Yours included!)

    Best Wishes,
    Neil

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  20. Hello Doc,
    I see your point on the fiddling but it is hard not to and I too wonder if a brass arrow is needed to indicate the alignment, the amount of interpretation on sites is a delicate balance to get right, but if you put one there it should be in the right place.
    It has not been all EH’s fault that it has taken so long to make changes, there have been a number of plans with many objections and Government has turned down funding on cost grounds.
    The MSSR is obviously significant in the design and symbolism of Stonehenge but I am sure that EH believe that the MWSS is as if not more significant in what was viewed from approx the point in Simons Photo and then further into the centre. I don’t know if there is a corresponding arrow on the SW side?
    Making connections between the features from all of the phases of the monument, possible alignments and other features in the landscape is an important part of understanding what it is all about and there are plenty of articles and publications to discuss them so probably not on a plaques around the site.
    I promise to stop fiddling about....in a moment.
    Hello Neil,
    I am getting slightly confused.
    The arrow is in the wrong place if the plans I mentioned showing the MSSR and axis are correct, in Simon’s photo in the mud to the right about 2m is stone hole 97 the MSSR line and axis just clip the south edge of this.
    Best Wishes

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  21. Fwiw , my view of the/ classic alignment SSR alignment is , from the centre of the between bluestones 31 and 49 , Sarsens 1 and 30 , Slaughter stone and site of stone in stone hole E , Heel stone and the site of stone 97 which leads to the point where the summer solstice rises on the horizon .

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  22. Sorry , I'll rephrase above with key words monument and sun inserted where missing .

    Fwiw , my view of the/ classic alignment SSR alignment is , from the centre of the monument between bluestones 31 and 49 , Sarsens 1 and 30 , Slaughter stone and site of stone in stone hole E , Heel stone and the site of stone 97 which leads to the point where the summer solstice sun rises on the horizon .

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  23. Hi Peter & Geo,
    I think the intended Alignment is as shown (and proved) by Simon's photo.

    I disagree with Peter when he says the Sun kissed S-97, and with Geo re: Stone-E.

    The alignment nearly brushes against the Heelstone and travels as exactly as possible down the center of the Avenue.

    I believe it's offset because in the rising eastward arc, the Sun is occulted by the conical top of the Heelstone and casts its shadow into the Ring, as per Terry Meaden's idea.

    In my opinion, S-97 is an older position of the Heelstone. Notice the Hole-Profiles of both. Though -97's Hole is more shallow, we can see that its flat side faces West. In the nearly identical Heelstone profile we see this edge facing Northeast. When it was pulled, they simply rotated it 90-degrees clockwise.
    The Heelstone is set deeper into the chalk because the pointy end needed to be a precise height to create the appropriate shadow.

    Stone-E plays no role except to frame the Sunrise/set between itself and the Slaughter Stone.

    To reiterate: My thesis proposes that an older, mysterious alignment occurred from the center of S-97, past the East side of Stones -B & -C, across four posts in the Entrance, bisecting AH-56 and passing out of the Henge across AH-28. Reverse this for WSSS.

    The Heel Stone was moved after the change of emphasis from Moon to Sun.

    Best wishes,
    Neil

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  24. This is all very well but the photo would look just as impressive without the arrow and from 2m to the right.
    I did not draw the relevant plans or calculate the alignment shown in them see Cleal, Ruggles, North etc.
    Definatelly no more fiddling.

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  25. Neil , I don't understand how you disagree with me regarding Stone E . I suggested "between ...."Slaughter stone and site of stone in stone hole E " and your comment regarding E was "Stone-E plays no role except to frame the Sunrise/set between itself and the Slaughter Stone." . What's different ?
    Personally I sympathise with those who see much of the discussion as being "angels on pin " like . That's why I prefaced my earlier comment with fwiw . As long as the sun is not blocked by some monolith then half a metre here or there isn't going to matter . We don't know if there were any observer(s) to confirm that the sun still rose in much the same place as the previous year but if there were , only one could occupy the centre spot , the rest would have to be craning behind her , or at an awkward angle , the width of an observer away from the ideal to even see the ideal event .At other solstice aligned monuments like closed passage tombs it is unlikely there were any "observers " at solstice ,they may have let the light in at Newgrange by removing the blocks of the light box but they are unliley to have had an annual removing of the blocking stone at the entrance , it was the the alignment that mattered , not viewing it .

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    1. Sadly I think you're wrong about Newgrange Geo (just for a change!). I was there this year for the winter solstice a couple of weeks back and the local archaeologist/guide informed me that the 'light box' had originally two 'quartz' blocks with a slit that were removed during the first excavation.

      If that is correct the observed visual effect is the most important!!

      RJL

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  26. Rjl , no , as usual you have got the wrong end of the stick . Re-read what I said about Newgrange .i.e. "they may have let the light in at Newgrange by removing the blocks of the light box " that does not mean that there was anyone behind the the blocking stone to the engtrance the blocks get removed from the front .

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  27. Ok Sherlock, if that's the case why use quartz blocks??

    RJL

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  28. Sorry, Geo - I read it wrong. Thought you'd said Stone-E would have been in the way.
    My mistake.
    In no configuration was -E ever in the way, yes.

    NDW

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  29. Re-read and realised yet another mistake . BTW if there is anything that I have said that was wrong , as you suggested earlier , then quote it as I do yours ..Considering the consistency of your errors the usual reading is to accept the polar oppsite of your comments .

    It is not uncommon to find access to various types of monuments ,often described as tombs , that have had their entrances blocked . The access is usually a small hole ,often circular and sometimes blocked . The reason for the holes has been suggested as allowing light in , spirits out , or access for deposition .It may help to read the excavation report for Newgrange or literature in general on the subject .

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  30. Newgrange was not originally built as a tomb - you have a light box, quartz crystals, strange circular spiral art, stone chamber bowls in the recesses, a vaulted ceiling and a solar alignment - yet even with all these obvious clues you have no idea what it is, have you Sherlock?

    RJL

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  31. You have already embarrassed yourself yet again . Remember what your initial post here was about "If that is correct the observed visual effect is the most important!! " quietly forgotten about . Again ,re-read , slowly , and note
    "often described as tombs , " .
    "Strange circular spiral art " lol . What is strange about the spirals , they are typical for the type of monument at the Bru and elsewhere ,does that mean that the geometric art is not "strange " or did that pass you by ?
    If you really must play at games taking the names of characters from Dan Brown and Doyle then . Mistaken yet again , Mrs Hudson .

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  32. I was just trying to help you Sherlock! Clearly, all those books and reports you've read have been a futile exercise as you can't put it all together to find a logical deductive answer without reverting to the academic nonsense of talking about spirits, ceremonies and alignments. You're more of a Michael Caine's Sherlock really?

    RJL

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  33. The errors fly off the page even when attempting to avoid facing up to them. Worse , you have already had this pointed this out to you . Sherlock wasn't deductive .
    By all means continue with the factual errors but it is unfair on others here to have to put up with primary school efforts at humour and no content . Off and make some sandwiches Hudson .

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  34. RJL,
    If you argue with Geo Cur, Peter Dunn or Terry Meaden on these matters, you need to bring your A-Game.
    I'm just a humble, no-name Supposition Guy who'll admit he's wrong when new evidence is revealed. They - Geo in particular - are straight-up Evidence Guys. Any of their - and my - suppositions are rigorously based on articles in the chain of Fact.

    Bringing sarcasm, desperate wit and a plainly ludicrous pseudonym to an actual discussion of Stonehenge Particulars reveals both poor research and efforts to sell the false premise of a book that's already been published.

    If you wish to present a 'What-If' scenario, please state that at the outset, rather than throwing it down as the final say. You want to joke around, great. Everybody likes a congenial laugh.

    But we've talked about this ... your fantasy-land premise is not fact-based, and you'll go nowhere with your contentions if you attempt to cast sophomoric aspersion on any these pretty heavy-hitters.

    I wish you well,
    Neil

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    1. Neil

      "Heavy-hitters" - What complete nonsense!

      "Bringing sarcasm, desperate wit and a plainly ludicrous pseudonym to an actual discussion"

      Have I missed something or does Mr Cur (the true evidence guy) have parents who saw him as a bit of a joke so lets call him 'Geo'.

      Consequently, if you find my style 'jovial' in context, it is because I find your 'rigorously based' arguments lacking on intellectual credibility, which makes me laugh as I also do when 'Jehovah witnesses' come calling to my shop telling me I'm wrong and god is going to judge me one day - because they read it in a book written by apostles who are beyond question!!

      Do you too believe in an invisible friend Neil to go with you ceremonial beliefs?

      RJL

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    2. Just noticed this , I hope my mother doesn't , otherwise , the report of an extraction of headgear from cleaner /sandwich maker's a*** would be in the Lancet .
      We realise that there is little to be said to support your "ideas " but do you still believe that saying "complete nonsense " with no other content is a contribution ?

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  35. Sophomoric aspersion lovely woody words.

    Another note on the arrow,(if it is there it should be in the correct place etc), there should also be consistency in the information. I noticed a photo of one of the new centre displays, one of a series of models of the stages of the monument it shows the alignment on the line about 2m NW of the Heel Stone.

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  36. I'll just mention here that the arrow is double-ended, so there's no need for another one on the SW side of the circle. I'll also mention that it's dead straight, which is unfortunate because SSSR and WSSS are not 180° apart due to differing horizon heights in each direction.

    By the by, in 2500BC SSSR (and SSSS) were 62' further north than they are today, WSSS (and WSSR) were 62' further south. This is due to the change in the obliquity of the ecliptic and the 62' was calculated using the IAU's 2000 epoch equation for the rate of change of e.

    The accepted azimuths for the axis have altered since the 1901 survey which found it to be 49° 35' 51". Lockyer and Penrose's calculation was 49° 34' 18" and Atkinson's best estimate was 49° 54' 40".

    It's all moot anyway, because the trees on Larkhill ridge now elevate the NE horizon by 0.4° and displace SSSR so far to the east that first gleam now appears to the right of the top of the Heelstone.

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