Sunday 22 September 2013

Stonehenge Unhinged - A Review

Stonehenge Unhinged The Wheel of the Sun by Michael and Dan Johnston

The Author's Description:

Over the years, many authors have claimed to have “solved” Stonehenge only to have their pet theories fall apart. This book provides a new perspective which really does offer some incredible insights into the minds and intentions of the Stonehenge builders based solely on treating Stonehenge as an intricate puzzle, subject to analysis and partial solution.
The book, entitled Stonehenge Unhinged The Wheel of the Sun, is written for a general audience and consists of a brief overview of Stonehenge, the developments in human thought that led to its construction, a discussion of its components and the history of speculation as to its meaning. This is followed by chapters revealing just how Stonehenge was probably used, at least in a practical, non-ritualistic way, to mark the seasons, track the motions of the moon and even predict lunar eclipses. Throughout, it refrains from interjecting modern thinking into the analysis and tries to let the archeology and the reasonable motivations of its builders drive the interpretation. The result is a striking, straightforward and believable explanation of how numbers were at the base of their insight and were used successfully, if not serendipitously, to achieve an understanding of their cosmos that still echoes today. In fact, we present compelling evidence that amongst the inheritors of the Stonehenge knowledge were such luminaries as Pythagoras and that celebrations such as Halloween and May Day are a direct outgrowth from Stonehenge. 65 illustrations.
To be honest I was a little worried when I was asked to review this book as I'm firmly on the practical and scientific side of Stonehenge explanations and I hear daily far too many way out theories that need no extra publicity.
So I was really pleased to find this book is a very practical one. The overview of Stonehenge is great and covers everything a general reader needs. It is written in a very easy style to read and the illustrations are numerous and helpful.
Of course they have a theory about Stonehenge to share. I really admire the way they build up the theory from the data clearly signposting their deductions and separating out speculation from them. As a connoisseur of traditional measurements I really enjoyed their numerical excursion trying to pick up neolithic echos in the proper way to measure the world.

I can really recommend that you read the book. It is worth for the general Stonehenge description alone, but their theories of how it may have been used as a calender and predictor are worth considering and should be studied by any student of the stones.

 (It is worth pointing out that there is no connection to the "Heaven's Hinge" theory of Stonehenge)

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this book so have to find time to go back and re-read it in detail: I didn't really understand the statistics argument the first time round, so have to really get to grips with it.

    I thought there were a lot of parallels in the book with some of the ideas you've put forward Tim.