A British professor of archaeology is making new claims about the purpose of the Stonehenge monument in Southern England.
Professor Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University believes the monument was constructed as a solar calendar, with the ring of large stones corresponding to a year of 365.25 days.
Darvill published his claim in a study published in the Antiquity academic journal.
Stonehenge may have served as a calendar to keep track of the yearly movements of the sun, suggesting a prehistoric link to sun worship in the eastern Mediterranean, according to new research.
New research from Antiquity in the press https://t.co/ZmJaEaRj0J
— ntiquity Journal (@AntiquityJ) March 2, 2022
Darvill isn’t the first person to suggest that Stonehenge is a calendar.
“The clear solstitial alignment of Stonehenge has prompted people to suggest that the site included some kind of calendar since the antiquarian William Stukeley,” said Darvill, according to Bournemouth University.
“Now, discoveries brought the issue into sharper focus and indicate the site was a calendar based on a tropical solar year of 365.25 days.”
Darvill claims that the stones of the monument amount to a calendar of a full month.
“The proposed calendar works in a very straightforward way. Each of the 30 stones in the sarsen circle represents a day within a month, itself divided into three weeks each of 10 days.”
The archaeologist has suggested that smaller stones were placed inside the ring of bigger stones to indicate specific days, months or years.
A calendar of 365.25 days corresponds almost exactly with the modern-day Gregorian calendar, which itself contains just above 365 days in a full year.
Stonehenge has captured the imagination of millions for many generations.
It’s believed that the monument was constructed between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, in the era of prehistory known as the late Neolithic period.
The use of Stonehenge as a calendar may suggest that prehistoric residents of Britain were influenced by other world cultures, some of whom constructed solar calendars similar in nature to the monument.
Its use as a solar calendar may demonstrate connections between peoples of prehistoric Britain and Mediterranean cultures that practiced sun worship during this time, according to some theories.
Some archaeologists have testified to the existence of underground “shafts” in the vicinity of Stonehenge.
The expertly constructed structures speak to a level of sophistication among the people of the time. “Finding a solar calendar represented in the architecture of Stonehenge opens up a whole new way of seeing the monument as a place for the living,” Darvill said. “A place where the timing of ceremonies and festivals [were] connected to the very fabric of the universe.”
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