Two papers published in recent academic media reveal a transformation in the attitude of archaeologists towards the concept of astronomical alignments at Stonehenge and other Neolithic monuments. It may be worthwhile to look back at why it has taken them so long to reach this consensus. Part of the problem lies in the theological divide that persisted for half a century between field archaeologists and archaeoastronomers; but also, the dogma about ‘Iron Age Celts’ which held that there could be no connection between the Druid astronomy described in classical sources and the earlier ‘pre-Celts’. Now that DNA science has removed this artificial barrier we may see that Neolithic people were far more competent astronomers than was previously supposed.
In a review of the “Pathways to the Cosmos” conference held at Dublin Castle in September 2018 Liz Henty makes some perhaps surprising comments. She notes that this is the first such conference where archaeologists and archaeoastronomers have combined to broadly agree that some Neolithic monuments in Britain and Ireland were astronomically aligned. She comments:
...it has healed the long divide created when archaeoastronomers and archaeologists went their separate ways in the 1970s over arguments about Alexander Thom’s megalithic science (see for example Thom 1967), each dismissive of the other.
Also, in 2022, another article/paper by the archaeologist Timothy Darvill in the journal Antiquity was widely reported by the popular press. Writing on the history of interpretation of astronomical alignments at Stonehenge he exposes some of the prejudicial attitudes that have held back progress for so long... continued...
Open and download via the Academia website
or open and download the full pdf here ->
Tags: Stonehenge, Stonehenge alignments, stone circles, Neolithic alignments, archeoastronomy, Darvill, Henty, Aubrey Holes, Gidley, Hawkins, Hoyle, Saturn, Cronus
Dunbavin, Paul (2022) Stonehenge Blindness, in Prehistory Papers Volume II, pp 17-33, Third Millennium Publishing, Beverley
Copyright: Paul Dunbavin & Third Millennium Publishing, June 2022, V 1.2