Home LATEST NEWS The Stonehenge site did indeed serve as a solar calendar

The Stonehenge site did indeed serve as a solar calendar

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In a study published in the journal AntiquityHave (New window)Have (in English), the British team shows, thanks to new discoveries made at the megalithic site and the analysis of other ancient calendar systems, how the calendar worked.

The discovery of a solar calendar represented in the architecture of Stonehenge opens up a whole new perspective on the monument as a place of life. A place where the timing of ceremonies and festivals was tied to the very fabric of the Universe and the celestial movements in the skies. »

A quote from Timothy Darvil

Stonehenge is a monument made up of a set of concentric circular structures, erected during the Bronze Age. It is located thirteen kilometers north of the town of Salisbury in Wiltshire, England.

Stonehenge’s solstitial alignment has been associated with a calendar since archaeological research by William Stukeley in the 18th century. This arrangement is particularly evident during the winter and summer solstices, when the sun’s rays are framed by the same stones each time.

physical representation of the year which helped people in Wiltshire of the day to keep track of days, weeks and months.

stones of the circle represented a day of a month, itself divided into three weeks of 10days each”,”text”:”The calendar worked very simply. Each of the 30 stones of the circle represented a day of a month, itself divided into three weeks of 10 days each”}}”>The calendar worked very simply. Each of the 30 stones in the circle represented a day of a month, itself divided into three weeks of 10 days eachexplains Professor Darvill, noting that distinct stones in the circle mark the start of each week.

Summary of how the numerology of the Stonehenge elements combine to create a perpetual solar calendar.Enlarge imageHave (New window)Have

Summary of how the numerology of the Stonehenge elements combine to create a perpetual solar calendar.

Photo: A V. Constant drawing

In addition, a five-day intercalary month and a leap day every four years were required to match the solar year. The intercalary month, probably dedicated to the deities of the site, is represented by the five trilithons in the center of the sitesays the professor. The four station stones outside the Sarsen Circle provide markers for ticking off until a leap day.

Thus, the winter and summer solstices were framed by the same pairs of stones each year. One of the triliths also framed the winter solstice, indicating it may be the new year. This solstitial alignment also helped calibrate the calendar since any errors in counting the days would be easily detectable, as the sun would be in the wrong place at the solstices.

Nowadays, a calendar with 10-day weeks and additional months is unusual.

Solar calendars would have appeared in the eastern Mediterranean basin and would have been adopted by several cultures during this Neolithic period.

This raises the possibility that the timeline followed by Stonehenge may have come from the influence of one of these other cultures.concludes Professor Darvill.

Stonehenge has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. It is one of the most important alignments of menhirs in the world.

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