Saturday, 25 August 2012

New Heritage of Astronomy Site Launched

Welcome to the new integrated web portal for the Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative, launched on August 24, 2012 during the sessions of the IAU’s Astronomy and World Heritage Working Group at the 28th IAU General Assembly in Beijing, China.

And of course it has lots, with more coming, about our favourite site.


The Stonehenge WHS contains more than 700 archaeological features, including more than 350 burial mounds, and a number of key monuments such as the Cursus (c. 3600–3400 BC); Woodhenge (c. 2300 BC), Durrington Walls henge (c. 2500 BC) and the Stonehenge Avenue (c. 2500–1700 BC). A new henge has recently been discovered at West Amesbury (c. 2400 BC) at the end of the Stonehenge Avenue.
A number of these monuments appear to have been deliberately aligned along the midwinter sunset-midsummer sunrise solstitial axis: Stonehenge stone circle, the ‘final approach’ of the Stonehenge Avenue, Coneybury henge, and Woodhenge. By contrast, a number of other monuments appear to have been aligned along the midsummer sunset-midwinter sunrise solstitial axis, including the timber circle known as Durrington Walls 68 and possibly the timber Northern Circle at Durrington Walls. There are also two further definite examples on significantly sloping ground, thus permitting us to identify their directionality: these are the recently discovered Durrington Walls Avenue, which is aligned on the midsummer sunset, and the Durrington Walls Southern Circle (another timber circle), which is aligned on the midwinter sunrise.

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