The two lozenges found at the Bronze Age burial site Bush Barrow

Are There Hidden Depths to the Golden Lozenge of Stonehenge?

(Read the article on one page)

Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England is famous throughout the world and it remains today a place of extreme reverence. The monument is constructed from huge megalithic stones, some standing, some stacked upon one another and all many millennia old. The stones circle is world renown and it is an iconic image. A less well-known discovery from the iconic site is the spectacular and mysterious golden lozenge artifact which was found in the grave of what is supposed an ancient chieftain or high priest near the circle. Could his grave goods have some astronomical significance?

Ancient King

The find is not so recent, as it was made in 1808 by an early British archaeologist called William Cunnington. What Cunnington found was a rich hoard of artifacts that have been dubbed the crown jewels of the 'King of Stonehenge'. Could it make sense that there was a King connected to the ancient stones? Well, in fact, the find was made at a large Bronze Age burial mound just half a mile (800 meters) from Stonehenge, known today as Bush Barrow. But the burial is close enough to the circle and within the wider complex to believe there could be no coincidence in its positioning.

Gold lozenge, gold belt buckle, copper dagger. Bronze Age grave goods from Wilsford G5, Bush Barrow. Now in the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes.

Gold lozenge, gold belt buckle, copper dagger. Bronze Age grave goods from Wilsford G5, Bush Barrow. Now in the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes. ( Public Domain )

At the time, Cunnington wrote to his superior archaeologist, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We found the skeleton of a stout and tall man. On approaching the breast of the skeleton, we found immediately on the breast bone a fine plate of gold. This article in the form of a lozenge was fixed to a thin piece of wood, over the edges of which the gold was wrapped."  There was a large golden belt-hook lying by his waist, which was decorated with delicate impressed linear lines, as well as another smaller diamond shaped lozenge.

The Intrigue

The find is significant in several aspects. First, to find such old burial remains in place and not looted is extraordinary. The burial is around the 4000-year-old mark and Bronze age gold doesn’t come around so often.

Secondly, the decoration (if indeed that is what it is) found on the golden lozenge is rare if not unique in this period. It consists of impressed lines in a pattern that indicates knowledge of geometry that would be considered advanced and even ahead of the times. The precision design has been assessed by some as being produced by repeating hexagons within a series of three concentric circles, utilizing a repeated 60 degree angle.

Gold lozenge. One of the grave goods from Wilsford G5, Bush Barrow.

Gold lozenge. One of the grave goods from Wilsford G5, Bush Barrow. ( Public Domain )

Other analysts have detailed a possible astronomical dimension to the pattern of angles. If these analyses are correct a sophisticated knowledge of mathematics and geometry is displayed. This, combined with the skills to use such knowledge in a practical way, is somewhat unexpected for the time. David Dawson, director of Wiltshire Museum, describes the craftsmanship as "the work of the gods".

A third importance of the finding of this piece, taking the possible implications of its remarkable design and manufacture into account, is whether this indicates some purposeful function for the piece. Is it just an objet d’art or does it have some practical application?

The golden lozenge was found within the Stonehenge Environs. Photo source: April Holloway

A Useful Piece?

Even though the purpose of the golden lozenge remains unresolved there are the inevitable theories. Some are convinced it was an astronomical instrument which, due to the vicinity it was found, would logically be connected with the great stone circle. It is possible that this small object is a plan of a larger phenomenon and somehow relates to Stonehenge or the wider universe. The astronomer Gerald Hawkins devised a theory that Stonehenge itself was used as a huge astronomical structure that could accurately measure solar and lunar movements, as well as eclipses. Another researcher, Dr Derek Cunningham, proposes that the geometrical structure of the lines is a form of astronomical writing . This theory suggests that because the earliest astronomers did not have an alphabetical system to work with, they simply did the next best thing and that was to write down their astronomical values as angles. The pattern on the lozenge is then related to the astronomical writing and to some extent tested.

Comments

Hi April…

Just thought you’d like to know the latest data now seems to suggest the linear text on the Stonehenge Lozenge is the Babel text mentioned in Genesis.

Best

Dr. Derek Cunningham
Author: The Map that Talked

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Myths & Legends

Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)
For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

Human Origins

Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)
For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

Ancient Technology

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Places

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article