Tuesday 15 January 2013

Four ways to see the Stonehenge Triangle - Update "Five ways"

 1899 OS Map

Modern Aerial

Geophys from English Heritage

Lidar from English Heritage
Click any picture for a larger version.(You can then flick through them at speed)

The marked "Mound" on the OS Map at the bottom centre is a mystery to me, any ideas?


  1. Hi Tim,
    I had never seen the Geophys version before - thanks for posting it. (And here I thought the LiDAR Imaging was definitive!)
    I had found that switching between view-years in GE was helpful back before LiDAR and eventually settled on the 2005 view as you have.

    As amply illustrated, one must refer to many sources for the complete picture. The old walk- and byways are of interest, showing a great deal more past activity than one might assume from the others.
    You're right. The mound as shown in 1899 is a mystery and there's only an arguable hint of it on the geophys, but not the others.
    Perhaps it was a temporary pile from a local farmer?

    I have been working lately with regard to the Amesbury 1 tumulus, attempting to find a rationale for the oh-so-close-but-not-quite Winter Solstice Alignment. The geophys will come in handy.
    Essentially, I have the idea that it Was aligned way back when, but they were compelled to move the Heel Stone for the correction of old errors in Aubrey placement, throwing an accurate sun-line to the barrow into disarray.

    They also seem to have used the big henge's diameter as a placement measure, as the distance to the major barrows in this vicinity seem to be derivatives of it, either edge-to-edge for the older ones, then on-center for the newer.

    Nearby Amesbury 11 is of particular interest, as it appears to be located on 3 specific points of intersection. This significantly reduces the probability of coincidence and, if shown to be valid, assigns much greater importance to this long-overlooked Bell Barrow.
    Details upon request.


  2. Neil - Amesbury 1 is this one: http://pastscape.org/hob.aspx?hob_id=942722 which seems to me to be a long way off the Winter Solstice sunset alignment (which is close to being into Amesbury 15 in our present era, as seen from the axis).

    Interested in what you're working on, if you care to share?

    1. Oh, and this is also useful - interactive relighting of the LIDAR image (not quite high res enough for detailed work, but some very interesting features emerge as you play with it).


    2. Akhen3sir,
      I am mistaken about the name of the Barrow I've called 'Amesbury One'. Thanks for the correction.
      The Barrow to which I refer is directly Southwest of Great Henge and is located 2 henge-diameters away, rim-to-rim.
      I believe it to be offset from the WS Sunset by the same amount as would be created by moving the Heel Stone several corrective feet from Hole 97 to its present location.
      I have not yet checked this for precision.
      If proved to be accurate, it shows that there is an as-important spatial reference to the WS Sunset as there is to the SS Sunrise, namely the Heel Stone and its Ditch - though why it's so far beyond the 'Square' eludes me. Rightly, this now-embarrassing Barrow would have been abandoned after the alignment error in the NE was corrected.

      In brief, my current working thesis involves making some sense out of the curious proximity of Amesbury 11 to Stonehenge.
      This pretty little Bell Barrow is precisely 1 henge-diameter away (~330 feet), with the central crown being the same diameter as the Sarsen Circle (~100 feet).
      In addition, it's position in relation to the center of the Monument creates an angle which is identical to that of the East Run of the Avenue.

      The following is not yet fully understood:
      From the Equatorial Axis created by the Solstice alignment, East occurs at 51 degrees North. This, as all are aware, is the latitude on a globe of Stonehenge. East (Life) was the important Cardinal to them.
      Curiously, both the East Avenue run and Amesbury 11 Bell Barrow occur at 51 degrees East of North in relation to the Center of the Monument.
      But again, this may merely be a weird coincidence.
      The Barrow does not, as I had previously mused, align with WS Sunrise, but perhaps because Solar high & low positions are demonstrated by the Station Stones, it reflects some other Orbital Position of the Sun - though a potential Moon reference is not exempt at this point.

      As mentioned, I haven't yet had the opportunity to complete my 'analysis', but there's clearly something going on with this Barrow, other than it's just 'some guy's grave near Stonehenge'.
      If interested in more than this thumbnail, my e-mail is:
      Feanor65 AT yahoo DOT com

      Best Wishes,

  3. Ah - you're talking about the Oval Twin Disc Barrow (Amesbury 10).

    That's where to stand in 2500BC if you want to observe Summer Solstice sunrise through the 'window' created by the protrusion of the Great Trilithon's upper section above the line of the sarsen circle's lintel ring (it's one of the "doorways upon doorways" as written by Henry of Huntingdon in 1130).

    Take a look at this paper by Gordon Freeman for a reconstruction: http://www.ualberta.ca/~gfreeman/stone/summer.htm

    I'll have a closer read of the rest of your post this evening - looks interesting!

    1. I was aware of this feature as seen from the Heel Stone - indeed have written about it. I have also rendered a reconstruction. Now that you mention it, it makes sense that this curious architecture would be seen from the further Barrow.

      But because the Sun comes up for Solstice at such a sharp angle, it couldn't be viewed through the 'rectangle' from the rear location.
      Also, this little window featured the Moon peeking through as seen from the front, rather than the Sun at any time or generally significant location.


    2. The Sun rises at an angle of approx 30 degrees to the horizon at solstice, neglecting refraction effects which cause the line to bend into a curve at low altitudes (meaning the instantaneous rise angle is less than the theoretical value the closer to the horizon the Sun is).

      This is the view from Amesbury 10 showing the Sun rise line at the date the photo was taken, projected to summer solstice in our era and also projected back 4500 years.


      I trust GF's calculations on this - his work is the only time I've seen atmospheric refraction treated correctly in all the astro-alignment books and theories I've read.

      One day I'll be fortunate enough to be able to photograph sunrise at or near summer solstice from Amesbury 10 and do my own calculations to see if I get the same back-projected position.

  4. "From the Equatorial Axis created by the Solstice alignment, East occurs at 51 degrees North."

    I can't agree with this, sorry. Roughly, The first straight section of the Avenue from HeelStone to elbow (if we accept the Avenue is aligned on the SSSR as opposed to WSSS) is oriented at about 49 degrees.

    Taking the angle of the Avenue as your Equatorial Axis, then East would be 41, not 51, degrees further 'round' (if you see what I mean). 90 - 49 = 41.

    Unless I'm not following you?

  5. (As you describe it the number is actually 39 degrees.)

    Using the Solstice Axis of the Henge as a center line, bisect it 90 degrees from the center of the Circle - just as we would for the standard NSEW of a compass. This line becomes the 'Equator' and it occurs at 6 degrees below cardinal SW.
    Now go 'Up' 51 degrees (45+6) from the Equator and you'll hit Cardinal East balls on the money.
    At Stonehenge, angular derivatives of the Axis and those of the Cardinals except East are mutually exclusive. (It can be confusing if we try and mix them together!)

    My remarks concerning the Avenue refer to the East-run past the Elbow, not the NE straight run. This angle occurs at 51 degree clockwise from North. The angle from the center of the Stone Circle to Amesbury 11 is the same 51 degrees from North.

    Now as I mentioned, I have not yet determined if this 'anti-angle', or opposing 51-degree thing, is significant.
    Give me your e-mail or use mine, as offered in a previous post above, and I can illustrate these things with far better clarity.


    1. I'll drop you an email.

      I get confused when you say 'North' - I don't know whether you mean real, true, North or a different 'North' using the solstice axis as your (new) N-S line.

      Perhaps a diagram?

  6. Do I know your real name, sir/madam? You sound very familiar.

    Okay - I looked at the incredibly small & fuzzy image you provided and I have an issue. (lol)
    The rise-line he shows at the 4-K BP SSR occurs at the top-center of L-130 - not at the horizon between S-30 & S-1 where it belongs.
    Then he shows a 1994 SSR dotted line passing through (I assume he means behind) the South Trilithon and skitching across the Aperture Lintels. I suppose if that line continued down, it would strike the horizon appropriately, but the Precessional aberration between ~4-K years ago and now is only about a degree and a half to the East. So when we carry both lines to the horizon it shows a difference of ~5-degrees, and that is too far beyond an allowable plus/minus error to be accurate.

    Unfortunately, in the provided shot, I cannot detect S-16 as shown in the daylight tour-advert directly below this chat-box. Seeing it would give us an accurate idea of where the lintel-height is and show with clarity where the 'window rectangle' would be. But because the GT is much closer to the outer Circle there than from the front, the 'rectangle' would appear substantially larger, and most likely be more of a Square.
    In addition, inherent fore-shortening by his telephoto lens exaggerates the distance, but if the photo were truly taken from the confusingly identified (lol) SW Barrow, then the view from there is extremely cool - no doubt about it.


    1. The resolution of the image is outside my control I'm afraid - it's not mine. This one's a bit better:


      Here's my rough-and-ready reproduction of the view, the original photo was taken by me from the same barrow a few years ago and I photoshopped in the rest of the Great Trilithon and estimated the Larkhill horizon based on the tree height.

      The 'doorway' projecting above the lintel ring would have been more of a tall slot than a square box and it would have flared out a bit at the upper end, assuming the top of 55 was shaped similarly to 56.


      But, as I say, I need to get a photo from this location at or near summer solstice so I can project the sunrise-curve in our era back to 2500BC.

  7. Unless I'm not following you?

    The polar axis exists at an angle of 39 degrees from Stonehenge relative to the vertical. To draw this angle, you must look side-ways at the earth either from the east or from the west.

    In an east-looking representation of the Universe, 'Up' is east when viewed on the ground: The polar axis is rotated by 39 degrees north from East (the location of the Avenue). The position of the sun is about a line 24 degrees either side of the equatorial axis (51 degrees South from East).

    The Station stones are correctly located at 24 degrees either side of the equatorial axis using this world-view.

    A much more expansive explanation of the layout of Stonehenge can be downloaded as a pdf here:

    Extracts from the paperback version of Stonehenge: Solving the Neolithic Universe

    1. Had a look through the PDF - will need to study it more to appreciate what you're saying but one question does occur to me.

      "In a location which looks over sea, directly east and west, the whole experiment can be done on one day. At equinox, the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west:"

      ... which dates are you defining for the equinoxes in this experiment?

    2. Hi

      Yes, that's a simplification: Not many people spot that at first reading. The date at which the sun rises in the east and sets (almost) directly west is slightly different from what we define as equinox.

      From the trials that I have done for these experiments (described in the second chapter), there's quite a lot of leeway: You don't really need set/rise to be in exactly the same (opposite) direction.

    3. Good answer - I therefore don't need to ask about how you treat refraction :-)

    4. That's right: But how did you know it would be a concern?

      The ideas for the Bourne Hill experiment were based on how to find out what the world is if you have no astronomical knowledge. I was worried that refraction could give a false result but it turns out that the curvature effect between the horizon and the viewer is really marginal (effects beyond the horizon are more significant due to upper atmosphere bending).

      Not really related to Stonehenge, but interesting: The idea of doing these secondary experiments was just to show that you could find out the knowledge indicated by Stonehenge (in Part 1 of the book) without having either special equipment or any astronomical knowledge: It was very strange to turn up at my pre-selected topographic destinations and to find all those neolithic monuments ready set up for exactly the purpose needed.

      What is a bit cool about this is that you can also predict where some types of coastline monuments will have been, then type that location into Pastscape: Ploughed-out monument of the right type almost always turn up exactly where needed.

    5. The advantage of the pair of shadow-sticks approach to determining east-west (essentially what you're doing) is that refraction is automatically factored out of the equation.

      It's only when you start thinking that the 12 hours of day and night occur on Mar21/Sep22 and that sunrise/sunset are therefore due E-W on those days that you fall into the trap.

      Of course, you've got to have an equal and - importantly - near-zero altitude horizon in each direction east and west as seen from your observation point.

      Otherwise (if the horizon has too great an altitude) the dates you determine for the equilux will be shifted towards the summer solstice (in the N hemisphere).

    6. Agreed. Equilux is a nice word for it. But you can do away with the need to run that particular experiment at equilux if you have a level platform.

      There's very few locations that you can get to a pure sea horizon high ground. Interestingly, at the ideal topographical spot in the other very good general locations along the South Coast, an almost identical arrangement to Bourne Hill exists.

      (put original reply in wrong place so deleted it)

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