Tech & Science

New research suggests Stonehenge was not a calendar

The purpose of Stonehenge has long been a mystery, with some researchers suggesting it may have been an ancient solar calendar. But now, new analysis suggests that calendar theory is unfounded.

In a paper published last Thursday in the journal AntiquityArchaeologists Giulio Magri and Juan Antonio Belmonte, published last year, found that Stonehenge’s giant sandstone blocks, known as ‘Sarsen’, corresponded to a calendar that tracks a year lasting 365.25 days. He refuted an ancient treatise that suggested that

A 2022 paper claimed that sarsenites corresponded to 12 months, each dividing the 30-day period into three 10-day “weeks”. According to the paper, Stonehenge’s sarsen were added at the same stage of construction, sourced from the same area, and remained in the same position. This suggests that they were meant to function as a single unit.

However, Magli and Belmonte argue that the number 12 is nowhere to be discerned on the monument, and that these theories amount to “numerology,” a pseudoscientific interpretation of how numbers shape the world. says.

“The purpose of the present letter is to show that this idea is unsubstantiated, as it is based on a series of forced interpretations, numerology, and unsubstantiated analogies with other cultures. ‘, write Magli and Belmonte.

Stonehenge is aligned with the sun on both the winter and summer solstices, suggesting “the builders had a clear and symbolic interest in the solar cycle,” the authors write. there is

“But this is of course far from saying that the monument was used as a giant calendar device,” they added.

A 2022 paper suggests that Stonehenge’s Neolithic builders were inspired by the ancient Egyptian calendar, which is also the solar calendar. However, the Egyptian calendar eventually got out of sync with the seasons because his year had only his 365 days and there were no leap years.

Leap years only came to fruition with the adoption of the Julian calendar under the Roman Empire. According to a 2022 paper, Stonehenge’s builder not only learned about the Egyptian calendar, but improved it 2,600 years before the Romans. According to Magli and Belmonte, there is no archaeological evidence for this claim.

In addition to this, Magli and Belmonte say that archaeological evidence suggests that most Neolithic societies used a lunar calendar, with the exception of the Egyptians and Mayans. Accurate devices such as sundials were required to properly adjust the solar calendar to the seasons, but the author emphasizes that “Stonehenge is clearly not such a device!”

“We believe that matters such as ancient calendars, alignments, and cultural astronomy should be confined to specialists, experienced people with appropriate discipline training on the subject, and even if the same enthusiasts We believe it shouldn’t be left to enthusiasts, even if they are well-known and knowledgeable experts in their field,” they said.

Using files from former writer Christy Somos

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