This is the home page of Megaliths.co.uk.
We have (re)discovered that megaliths and megalithic sites are boundary stones and landmarks sighted (and sited) by astronomy. Only seldom are they "astronomical observatories" or tombs, contrary to the prevailing opinion of mainstream scholars.
A strong precedent supporting our view is the 1902 publication by the American Anthropologist of an article by Alice C. Fletcher describing the hermetic astronomical system of the Pawnee in Nebraska, who geographically located their villages accoriding to the stars in the heavens. As above, so below.
Similarly, the hermetic principle is also well documented in Pharaonic Egypt. John Brock observes that land survey in ancient Egypt dates back to the earliest days of that ancient civilization and that ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs "even refer to setting boundary stelae 'like the sky' ". Obviously, this is evidence that the sky was used as a model for land survey. The heaven of stars served as the map model for land survey on earth. That is the hermetic principle.
Megaliths.co.uk is an extensive website with many photographs and interpretative drawings of megalithic sites around the world. For example, the drawing below is our interpretation of the astronomical significance of the megaliths at Wayland's Smithy in England as those are shown in our photograph at the upper top left of this page in our website logo. Compare the two.
The megaliths of Wayland's Smithy represent the stars of Andromeda and Pegasus
oriented toward Cepheus and Heaven's Center
To take another example, our photograph below shows that one of the megaliths at the Rollright Stones in England represents a female figure. In fact, this megalith fits systematically into that circle of stones as a representation of the stars of Virgo, with the head formed by the stars of Coma Berenices, a stellar constellation which was called "Ariadne's Hair" by Eratosthenes (see Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Dover, NY, 1963, p. 168, a book originally published as Star-Names and Their Meanings by G.E. Stechert, 1899):
Virgo at the Rollright Stones ("The Rollrights")
We call our presentation "the decipherment of the megaliths". The term "explanation" might be a better, if also less effective word. You can access our pages through the geographic links in the left column. You also have the option to buy our book on the megaliths at Stars Stones and Scholars: The Decipherment of the megaliths (see here for reviews). We also link to official sites and services in the left column and to megalithic websites in the right column. We hope also in the course of time to review websites and books relevant to megalithic studies (left column).
The text material below is intended as an introduction to materials on this website. We think that your understanding of our pages will be increased if you continue reading this page, but that is up to you. You can always come back to this page later through the "home" link above.
Megaliths and Megalithic Sites are a Source of Controversy
The world's megalithic sites are a source of controversial mystery to science. No mainstream discipline has ever engaged in a systematic study of the world's megalithic sites. Quite the contrary, pioneer scholars such as the late Gerald S. Hawkins, who wrote the groundbreaking Stonehenge Decoded, have often been ignored by the establishment. Hawkins himself related the tale of a British government official who simply rejected his findings without reading them by stating that "the ancient Britons couldn't have been as clever as all that". In fact, the megalith builders are still more or less an "unkown" quantity, an uncertainty which leads most archaeologists and most mainstream scholars to avoid megalithic study altogether.
But how can this worldwide heritage be ignored and ancient history be accurately written without accounting for megaliths and megalthic sites? Who erected them, and why?
Megaliths and Megalithic Sites as Boundaries and Landmarks
There is in fact compelling evidence that many megaliths served as ancient landmarks and boundary stones which were sighted (and sited) by astronomy. Indeed, the much maligned historical so-called Hermetic tradition clearly points to the origins of megalithic sites in land survey. For example, Gnosis.org writes about the Hermetic tradition as follows:
"The name Hermes appears to have originated in the word for "stone heap." Probably since prehistoric times there existed in Crete and in other Greek regions a custom of erecting a herma or hermaion consisting of an upright stone surrounded at its base by a heap of smaller stones. Such monuments were used to serve as boundaries or as landmarks for wayfarers."
This hermetic tradition contradicts the prevailing but unsupportable mainstream view that the original purpose of megalithic sites was to serve as tombs, for which there is little evidence. Rather, we know that the ancients often transported huge stones many miles to erect them at a particular location far removed from their origin. Obviously, these sites were not tombs.
If the original Neolithic megaliths and megalithic sites were boundaries and landmarks, how were the locations selected and surveyed?
One of the cardinal precepts of the Hermetic tradition is "As above, so below". In days before writing and the invention of printed maps, one could not simply go down to the local store and buy travel maps, and yet, people had to be able to get around on land and to navigate by sea. How did they do it? How did they know where they were?
We claim, and all available evidence points in this direction, that the ancients took a "fixed known map" - this was the map of the heaven of stars - and projected that map onto the Earth - as a model for land survey. Anyone having knowledge of the heavenly stars could thus find his way around on Earth by means of the megaliths, which served both as boundaries and landmarks, sighted (and sited) by astronomy.
The Hermetic System of the Pawnee in Nebraska (Alice C. Fletcher)
As already noted above, the 1902 American Anthropologist (cached here and here) published an article by Alice C. Fletcher titled Star Cult Among the Pawnee-A Preliminary Report, American Anthropologist, October-December, 1902 Vol.4(4):730-736 and describing the hermetic astronomical system of the Pawnee in Nebraska, whose villages and their respective geographical locations were represented by stars in the heavens. As part of the Anthropology Journal Archive Project, Ralph Bachli of Boston University (Parker Shipton) wrote about that article as follows (we have added emphasis in bold face type):
"Alice Fletcher documents the astrological symbols of an American Indian culture.... She notes the historical diffusion of beliefs and rituals throughout American trade and pilgrimage routes. Fletcher focuses on the Pawnee perception of the stars and its effects on village planning and indigenous mythology.
Up until the late nineteenth century the Pawnee inhabited the Platte River in what is now the Midwestern state of Nebraska .... Fletcher investigates the Skidi Pawnee clan who portray astrological themes in village construction. Skidi comprise five functioning villages, each containing ritual icons for the worship of certain constellations. Each village took on characteristics of certain star systems, and ceremonies were initiated to celebrate the astronomical rhythm of favorite constellations. The geographic location of five Skidi villages in relation to one another corresponded respectively to the constellations to which they were symbolically attached.... Fletcher explains how the earth lodge abodes that the Pawnee build are based on constellation patterns.... The Pawnee transform observation of stellar patterns into village planning, hut construction, and religion. These tribes had an intensive ritual life that took place at shrines dedicated to the night sky over the flatlands."
The Megaliths are a Hermetic System of Land Survey by the Stars
That in a nutshell, corresponds pretty well to the megalithic system we have discovered. As we show e.g. in our book on the megaliths, each temple of Malta has a form which corresponds to a different stellar constellation, and all of the temples of Malta fit into a cohesive astronomical geodetic system. This, we allege, was an ancient survey system globally applied.
For example, Gaelic tradition states that heavenly locations had earthly counterparts, although this knowledge is now submerged in Gaelic myth and is no longer directly accessible. The only way left for us to reconstruct such ancient hermetic systems is to examine the megalithic sites themselves and to research if these sites are systematically located by the stars.
Megaliths.co.uk thus presents text materials, photographs and drawings relating to megaliths and megalithic sites - broadly defined to include what are mainly Neolithic (Stone Age) standing stones, menhirs, dolmens, cairns, quoits, tumuli, and barrows. Prehistoric cave paintings and rock drawings (rock art) are also included in the analysis as precursors of megalithic art. According to our research, the original forms of this type of art are almost ALL astronomical in nature. The countries and regions of the world that we examine are:
Scotland, England and Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg), Spain and Portugal (Iberia), Italy together with Corsica, Sardinia and Malta, the Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland), Western Europe for countries not specifically listed above (such as Austria and Switzerland), Russia, Eastern Europe, North America (United States, Canada), Mesoamerica (Central America), South America, Oceania (including Polynesia, Micronesia, and New Zealand) and Australia, Ancient Greece (including Mediterranean islands such as Crete and Rhodes), Anatolia (Turkey), the Ancient Near East (Mesopotamia, Fertile Crescent, the Holy Land, Israel, Arabia, Persia, Assyria, Sumer, Akkad, lands of the Hittites), Africa and Egypt including Pharaonic Civilization, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia (including Thailand), India and Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon.
MEGALITHIC SITES ARE ASTRONOMY AND GEODETICS
This is a summary of our findings.
Megaliths ("giant standing stones", menhirs) and related constructions such as cairns and dolmens (chambers of stone) and tumuli and barrows (ancient earthworks) were built by ancient man for purposes of Astronomy and Geodetics.
Stated simply, stars were used to measure the Earth and vice versa. This human achievement dates to the Neolithic Period (Stone Age), long before such technology was thought possible by modern scholars.
As discovered by Andis Kaulins, Neolithic megalithic sites are astronomy in a cohesive broadly based geodetic survey system. Megalithic sites marked geographic land borders as triangulated by astronomy, e.g. in Scotland, England and Wales, and Ireland, much as the kudurri (border stones) of Mesopotamia. In modern times, triangulation cornerstones have been put underground. In ancient days, these stones were erected on the surface - and there most of them have remained to this day.
MEGALITHIC SITES IN SCOTLAND
All Neolithic sites in Scotland listed in the Ordnance Survey map of Ancient Britain (ISBN 0-319-29028-X) form a planisphere (sky map) of the northern and southern heavens with a center at BALNUARAN of CLAVA, where BAL surely means POLE, while NUARAN surely was an ancient name for the "River of Light" (Heaven) as in Hebrew NEHAR DI NUR and Arabic NAHR. See Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names, Dover (ISBN 0-486-21079-0). The decipherment began at Clava.
MEGALITHIC SITES IN ANCIENT BRITAIN : ENGLAND and WALES
All Neolithic sites in England marked on the Ordnance Survey map of Ancient Britain, including megaliths, quoits, tumuli and barrows form a map projection of the stars of the northern and southern heavens, with the center of the system at the Herefordshire Beacon and Midsummer Hill. Sites later than the Neolithic period show that the ancients adjusted for precession. The site called The Hurlers in Cornwall is a location at which precession was calculated in Ancient Britain.
MEGALITHIC SITES IN ANCIENT IRELAND
Megaliths and megalithic sites in Ireland were selected and organized by region. The counties of modern Ireland and Northern Ireland - to the degree they approximate ancient regional boundaries - correspond to the stellar constellations of the heavens.
MEGALITHIC STANDING STONES ARE CARVED WITH FIGURES
Standing stones, menhirs, tumuli, barrows, cairns, quoits, dolmens, and selected swallets and caves mark the stars of the heavens in Ancient Britain. Many megaliths are carved with reliefs of interlocking figures which identify the stars to which stones are oriented (this Neolithic artistic style compares to modern works of M.C. Escher). Although our decipherment formally "began" at Balnuaran of Clava in Scotland through the cupmarked stones at that site, the megaliths at Wayland's Smithy e.g. were among the first stones solved, based on the carved (sculpted) shape of the stones themselves as well as through carvings on the stones and holes in the stones marking stars. This paved the way for the rest of the megaliths and for carvings found on ceremonial objects placed in swallets or hewn on the walls of caves.
Tumuli and barrows are arranged in groups to mark certain star clusters, e.g. the Knowlton Rings show Taurus and the Hyades. Winterbourne Stoke shows the stars of the Pleiades. In some cases, the apparently man-worked shape of cave rooms also identifies the stellar constellations or geodetic locations. Various earthworks even plan and record the astronomical and geodetic work, e.g. west of Torquay (Torbay) and east of Lewes, England.
MEGALITHS HAVE CUPMARKS OR INDENTATIONS REPRESENTING STARS
Many standing stones have cupmarks or less formal indentations or holes on them marking the stars or stellar constellations which they represent. Additional markings on some stones identify parameters such as ecliptic, celestial equator, circle of precession, center of heaven (north ecliptic pole, south ecliptic pole), north pole star, south pole star, cord of the fish, Milky Way and solstice and equinox points.
Weathering has made it harder to identify holes and figures - but erosive processes also work on the contours of reliefs, holes and cupmarks, so that these do not disappear entirely. Using modern graphics software and the numerous tools available for microscopic analysis of photographs, most of these sculpted figures, indentations and markings on megaliths, cairns, stones and dolmens can be reconstructed, e.g. by redrawing only the heaviest visible lines or marks on the stones, or adjusting the brightness, color and contrast of pictures. This detective work allows the stars intended by the ancients to be identified in many cases.
MEGALITHS AND SITES ARE INTENTIONALLY SHAPED
Many cairns or quoits are in the shape of the star groups they represent. The shape of many stones shows the appropriate part of the heavens explicitly. Ancient earthworks also served astronomical purposes. Tumuli and barrows mark specific stars or nebulae. A cursus at a site may, e.g., mark the Milky Way. Earthwork mounds may form the shape of a celestial object, e.g. the Large Magellanic Cloud. The ancients - as shown on Megaliths.co.uk - knew the southern skies and left us evidence carved in stone that they traveled as far as e.g. Africa, where we still find megaliths in the Central African Republic, megaliths now easily explained by geodetic survey and astronomy.
MEGALITHIC SITES MARK REGIONAL BORDERS
Megalithic boundaries mark both small and large geographic areas. For example, Counties in Scotland still retain elements of the approximate size, shape, and location of their comparable stellar constellations, located on earth by megaliths. Perthshire in Scotland e.g. retains the name PERSeus in PERTH. Megalithic sites in Perthshire such as Fowlis Wester represent stars in Perseus. The relative size and shape of Perthshire corresponds to the comparable constellation. Other counties are similar.
MEGALITHIC SITES MARK NATIONAL BORDERS
Megalithic sites also involve geodetic survey by astronomy of regions on a larger scale, showing e.g. that the ancient border between Scotland and England was at Eridanus (Hadrian), represented by the River Tyne (Eri-Danus, with Danus = Tyne, the watershed between Scotland and England) and ending at New Castle ("new earthwork"). The ancients made separate measurements for England (Wales included), Scotland and Ireland, each with its own center of heaven for survey. The Channel Islands are also represented.
On the European continent, each region had their own geodetic survey. In Germany astronomical works of the Magdalenians (later called Franks or Franken), were passed down as the legendary Ring of the Nibelungen, living on the Neckar (Nahr). Tumuli (Hügelgräber), megaliths throughout Germany, and the Felsenmeer between Frankfurt and Heidelberg are clearly ancient astronomical geodetic markers. The Externsteine were a center of astronomical activity. The Gollenstein (Gollen Stone) at Blieskastel in Germany near Saarbrücken is the largest megalith in Middle Europe (7.6 meters high of which 6.6 meters are above the ground). As we have discovered, this megalith represents Hydra, the "longest" stellar constellation. Megaliths extend outward from the Gollen Stone and these megaliths surely marked the ancient border to France.
In France, the cave paintings, and the stones at Carnac and elsewhere are ALL astronomical geodetic monuments. Mediterranean islands also have megaliths, such as the stone Sa Perda Pinta from Boeli [pole] near Mamoiada which we find marked a center of heaven for Sardinia in ancient days. Sardinia is of particular interest since its ancient language is similar to Sumerian and Latvian. Obviously, the nuraghis of Sardinia mark stars of the heavens. Indeed, Neolithic megalithic sites around the world mark an ancient geodetic survey of Earth which we date to ca. 3117 BC.
MEGALITHIC SITES MARK THE START OF THE CALENDAR
Geographic locations of megaliths were intentionally oriented to the stars and to objects of the heavens in a given era. For Neolithic sites, the cardinal date seems to be December 25, 3117 BC (-3116 by astronomy) when eclipses involving the conjunction of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter occurred at the tip of the "boat" of Capricorn (as calculated by Starry Night Pro, ISBN 1-894395-01-8), with Mars and Saturn at Spica in Virgo, and the rest of the visible planets at the Winter Solstice point. This unique phenomenon was well suited to start the first long-term human calendar - retained in e.g. Hindu and Maya calendration. But we will discover that this calendric beginning was marked on Earth in earthworks near Lewes, England, and elsewhere on the British Isles.
WHO WAS THE BRAINS BEHIND THE MEGALITHIC SYSTEM? (highly speculative)
Some complex stones show a singular style, perhaps from one artist, who we call Merlin for lack of a better name, presumably residing at Kents Cavern (which has a room showing Siamese twins), and who we equate with the legendary physician Aesculapius of the fabled Argo of Jason. The Argonauts (argos = earth), as we shall show, were the first men to conduct a wide-reaching geodetic survey of Earth. "Merlin" as a name probably goes back to the root MER- meaning "measure, survey" in ancient Indo-European, e.g. Latvian. We will allege that Merlin was buried at Paviland as the first modern scientist ("sorcerer" or "shaman") and that his exploits are also recorded in Pharaonic Egypt as NAR-MER (measurer of earth and heaven - NAHR) and that his contemporary follower King Orry, who is buried on the Isle of Man, is probably the fabled King Arthur of legend, known in our analysis as Hor-Aha in Pharaonic Egypt, whose Twelve Knights of the "Round Table" were the Argonauts of old, and whose Round Table was the Zodiac of Stars.
The majority of standing stones, some laid flat as at Arbor Low, of course, show a creative art probably wielded by many individual sculptors. These artists depict the heavens using figures not standardized at this early period of history, and thus show much variety in design and astronomical artistic interpretation.
SAVING AND MAINTAINING THE MEGALITHIC SITES
Regrettably, many megalithic sites have been destroyed by people who know no better and such ancient sites can no longer be reconstructed. We advocate that there is a pressing need to photograph (from all sides) and catalogue ALL megalithic stones and sites worldwide.
We hope also that our decipherment of the megaliths raises their value in the eyes of humanity and that they will all then be properly respected and maintained as the masterpieces of art and technology which they once were and still are.
Thank you to all members of the former ACELIST and the current LEXILINE list, whose participation contributed to the ultimate deciphering solution presented here. Thank you also to authors of websites and books referenced on this site. Last but not least, thank you to all who contributed along the way to this remarkable result.
The owner and webmaster of Megaliths.co.uk is Andis Kaulins
B.A. University of Nebraska; J.D. Stanford University Law School
Former Lecturer in Anglo-American Law, FFA, Trier Law School
Author at Langenscheidt Fachverlag, Germany
Alumnus Associate of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, NYC
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This page was last updated on March 6, 2006.
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