In the British Isles and in Northern France, Malta and the US East coast are mysterious constructions of antiquity – the majestic stone ruins, whose origin is lost in the depths of time. Massive stone tombs and huge standing stones set circles or in rows, these wonders of the prehistoric world was created in the period between 4500 and 1500 BCE Megaliths (from gr. large stones) are striking in their dimensions, indicate the achievements of ancient peoples in the field of engineering construction and the organization of labor.
But for over a hundred years, there have been disputes about whether they are religious buildings or the priests-astronomers, of the highest caste of the ancient society, who built the Observatory and use the incredibly precise mathematical calculations?
If the latter hypothesis is confirmed, it will overturn many conventional ideas about primitive societies and will force a new look at the past of mankind.
Some scientists believe that the level of knowledge of the ancients was much higher than assumed. For example, Dr. Euan Mackay from Hinteranschlag Museum in Glasgow in 1981 suggested that Genji, or large circles, standing stones fenced, is a system of prehistoric astronomical observatories and universities: Hanji were the places where he lived and worked in the academic community, which consisted of wise men and priests-astronomers. The results of their activities are preserved only in the form of standing stones and stone circles.
From megalithic astronomy involves a lot of guesswork, which is not yet confirmed, and need careful assessment.
Perhaps, it all started with Norman Locair, Director of the solar physics Observatory in London and founder of a leading scientific journal Half. In 1890 he visited Greece and Egypt and became interested in the geographical orientation of the local temples. Knowing that the Christian Church has traditionally focused on the East, Locair wondered whether there was a similar tradition in the Ancient world.
Even the most superficial study convinced him that the Egyptian temples were relying on the sun and stars.
Moreover, due to the apparent motion of the sky relative to the Earth in connection with the precession of the earth’s axis these orientations can be used for Dating the construction of the megaliths. The results of Egyptian research, Locair, published in the book the Dawn of astronomy (1894), was not supported by Egyptologists.
However, when Locair drew attention to the prehistoric monuments of Britain, it was even more clear evidence. The next few years he devoted to the systematic search for possible correspondences between the heavenly bodies and rows of standing stones, lines, entrance corridors megalithic tombs and stone circles centers.
And after a series of high-precision measurements came to the conclusion that many of these megaliths were used for funerary or ritual purposes, and for calendar observations.
According to Lokiru, constructions in the Stonehenge was constructed to include visual lines (the sunrise, the sunset and the rise of some stars in the turning days of the year) in the consolidated calendar, used by the Celts, who divided the year into 8 parts.
According to Locara, in all the places where he conducted research, used the same calendar. This led him to the conclusion about the existence of the caste of the druids were astronomers, which have played a leading role in all spheres of life of the prehistoric society – not only in religion but also in Economics, medicine and society.
Locair found support in the scientific community, but archaeologists in General reacted to his theory, hostile or, at best, indifferent.
His ideas were unacceptable to them, because I do not fit into traditional ideas about the barbaric period of prehistoric development.
Only after the invention of computer has the opportunity to make a huge amount of calculations required to assess all potential astronomical correspondences, created a circle, consisting, for example, of the 12 stones.
In 1963, an astronomer from Boston University Dr. Gerald Hawkins published in the journal Natur the theory that the possibility of random occurrence of astronomical correspondences identified them using a computer was less of 0.0000001, and this led him to conclude that Stonehenge is undoubtedly the ancient Observatory.
The approval of Hawkins few people are encouraged. But there was more serious work on archaeological astronomy Tom Alexander, Professor of engineering at Oxford University, is the result of a 20-year study of about 500 stone circles, rows and individual stones.
According to Tom, the megalithic structures were designed using standard measures of length is approximately 83 cm, which he called the megalithic yard.
But how is such a degree of accuracy could be maintained throughout the country? If you think of the Etalon in the form of a pole with a length of 83 cm, which is consistently making copies of, the measurement error must inevitably increase.
Tom was aware of this and assumed that somewhere there existed a Central point, which produced a standard for groundwater measurements.
Tom drew attention to the fact that while some circles were circular, others gravitated to more complex forms, including ovals. A few laps it was even formed by connecting a number of wide arcs.
Tom believed that the builders of the megaliths were originally made great strides in theoretical geometry, including the Pythagorean, or rectangular, triangles, almost 2,000 years before the ancient Greek mathematicians.
Megaliths not only develop a deep understanding of the geometry they have consistent compliance with solar and lunar phenomena. Tom took seriously the version of octal Lokara solar calendar, but, in his opinion, the calendar was more complicated: hexadecimal division.
He made far-reaching assumption that the megaliths along the Atlantic seaboard from Shetland to Brittany (Northern France) were installed for precise observations of the movements of the moon for centuries, with the purpose of predicting eclipses.
Archaeologist Euan Mackay had tried to locate the headquarters of the priests-astronomers. He asked for possible analogies to the Mayans, the following interpretation of Maya cities as ritual centres inhabited only by the elite of priests-astronomers.
In search of something similar in the prehistoric era Mackay studied Hindi the late Neolithic (2800-2200 BC). Although Stonehenge is the most famous of them, there are other, larger, for example, Durrington-walls (2 miles from Stonehenge).
In the 60’s during the archaeological excavations in several hanja in southern England was discovered the wooden circles, who considered the remains of the temple buildings, and a large number of pottery with a flat bottom, known as grooved ware.
Mackay these mega-hanji took for the desired astronomical centres training – wooden circles were the remains of dwellings and corrugated ware was seen as a special identity of social elites.
In areas of the country, where mega-hangi was missing, he suggested, for the ancient scientists was built entire villages with stone houses.
In support of its analogy with Central America Mackay asked the question: could stone circles be architecturally more rough, but in the ritual against the same complex equivalents of the Mayan temples?
The main part of the Volume theories and McKay are astronomical and archaeological arguments. Was there really a network of megalithic solar and lunar observatories, staffed by priests-astronomers? With confidence we can say, that prehistoric Europeans were interested in the movement of the Sun and the moon, although the hypothesis of the scientific community of priests-astronomers have not yet confirmed.
As, in this case, is archaeological theory in Mackay? She’s definitely not benefited from the breakthrough in the study of the Mayan language, when it became clear that although astronomy played an important role in their culture, the caste of scholars and priests did not occupy a dominant position.
Mayan society was predominantly secular, it was concentrated in the cities and in this respect it was quite unlike the communal way of life in prehistoric Britain.
Regarding mega-hinjew most archaeologists are of the opinion that the wooden circles were not luxurious dwellings, and wooden counterparts megaliths built for certain rituals.
It was discovered many settlements where lived the creators of corrugated ware, but nothing indicates that they belong to the priestly class. Even a favorite place of the Mackay – stone village of Skara-Brae on Orkney, now only one of several, known to archaeologists.
Whether to keep the idea of prehistoric astronomy in Europe, if we abandon such extremes, as the theory of Volume and Mackay? Of course, will continue.
Astronomical compliance observed in many ancient burials in Europe presumably, the cycle of the Sun and moon were considered related to the human life cycle from birth to death – and perhaps a revival, if ancient Europeans believed in reincarnation.
The most famous is the town of Newgrange in the Boyne valley (Ireland) – the massive stone tomb with an inner peace, built around 3500 BC, a Long corridor leads from the Central room to the doorway on the slope of the mound, at the foot of which is mounted a large boulder, covered in carved spirals.
Over this entrance is an unusual design element named garret slit. This narrow hole is opened only after long excavations carried out by Michael and Claire Kelly of Cork University.
It was Packed with large pieces of quartz, are then carefully removed. When restored, the entrance corridor, I noticed that in the winter solstice the rays penetrate a gap in the attic, illuminate the corridor, and then enter in the burial chamber, located in the center of the mound.
A kind of lunar observatories could be of the group of stone circles in Scotland, United by one unusual feature: one of the stones in the circle was specifically put to one side and standing stones on either side of him formed the lower half of the window.
These recumbent stones are always on the South side of the circle they are usually placed where offers a good overview in all directions to the horizon.
In this orientation, the Moon regularly passes over the recumbent stone, and every 18.5 years, when the full astronomical cycle of its motion, it falls down and is inscribed in the frame of a stone window.
Again, this has nothing to precise astronomical measurements or the prediction of eclipses, but here there is a clear relationship of celestial bodies for funeral ceremonies, because in circles are often found cremated human bones and pieces of petty-white quartz, traditionally symbolizing the ghostly moonlight.
It becomes clear that the ancient inhabitants of Europe closely watched the sky more than 5000 years ago, but their astronomy had its secret sense, not comprehensible by modern researchers.