Henge of the World
As the full rose-tinted moon ascended sedately into the night sky it bathed the Avebury henge in a pale luminous glow, and the great monolithic stones threw translucent shadows out across the grass. The crisp night air was wet with dew and mist, and the atmosphere was equally laden with expectation. Suddenly a ghostly figure stepped silently from behind one of the massive stones in the central ring, his head betraying the frightening outline of a wolf. The assembled masses on the great banks of the henge gave a muffled collective intake of breath.
A drum began a rhythmic beat, and the Shaman stepped softly from stone to stone in a circular dance, his feet stirring the few wisps of mist that clung to the long grass. The crowd too joined the chant, which grew in confidence and pace, faster and faster and then, quite abruptly - he stopped. An eerie silence descended on the land once more, and not a breath of wind stirred the night air. The Shaman pulled the heart of a bull out of a bag around his waist, it was fresh, dripping blood and gushing great clouds of steam into the night air. The Shaman slowly raised the heart up aloft, the blood dripping onto his mask and gave out a long and mournful cry to the heavens - Aaaarrrrrooowwwwww!
The type of portrayal above may be quite familiar to those of us who have been exposed to the prevailing propaganda given for the Neolithic societies of North Western Europe. But why are we so comfortable with this imagery for the ancient societies who lived near Avebury and Stonehenge? Is it because these imagined shamanic rituals are so alien to our modern culture that we can partition this era off, and consign it to an uncivilised past that has nothing to do with our modern lives? I suspect that this is part of the attraction, and yet the established imagery for Neolithic life is completely wrong. And I can prove it.
But if our basic understanding of Neolithic life is wrong, then what are we to replace it with? How much did ancient man know of our world? How complex was his educational system? These are the questions that we shall try to answer in this short article, and the answers that will emerge from this process will be quite astounding and yet very difficult to dismiss. The starting point in this process is the great henges themselves. Like the great pyramids of Egypt, there have been many and varied ideas proposed as to the function of these amazing megalithic structures. Why did ancient man devote so much time and energy to their construction? And if they were so important, as they evidently were, then what was their true function? To simply brush off these questions by alluding to the imagined shamanic rituals that have just been described is not a real answer. In fact, it is a statement of ignorance. Ancient man knew why these monuments were built, so why don’t we?
The answer is that we are probably not using the right mind-set. We are trying to interpret these structures in our terms; to resolve their function within our established framework of society, history and religion. And the greatest fallacy in this methodology is the bald assumption that we know more than the ancients, who surely must have lived in a barbarous and uneducated era. But perhaps we are wrong. Perhaps our established understanding of history is based upon misinterpretations. Perhaps our view of our educational and technological superiority is unjustified. What if there was, long ago, a highly literate civilisation that was conversant with much of modern science and astronomy; the very same society that designed and organised the construction of these magnificent monuments in both Wessex and Egypt. This may be a heretical proposal, but let us run with this for a while and see where it takes us. The question then becomes: what would a technical civilisation want to design into a grand megalithic monument?
Fig 1. A plan-view of Avebury, showing all the major features. Note the two
smaller circles inside the larger Avebury circle.
Let us look at a few of the main features of Avebury, and see if we can deduce their real function and meaning. In the upper hemisphere of this henge there is a small circle, and in its center there is a group of three large standing stones. Except for the Obelisk in the southern circle, these were the biggest stones on the Avebury site, and so one suspects that they were important in some manner. These three stones were also unlike any others on the site: they were flat, rectangular and placed in the ground in a rectangular fashion, rather than resembling a diamond. They measure some 5 x 4 meters each and were placed in a formation resembling the walls of an enclosure, and so they became known as the Cove.
Many have identified these stones as being an example of a dolmen, which normally consists of three upright stones and a huge capstone on the top. But this is not a normal dolmen: the layout of the lower stones is atypical and there is no evidence of there ever having been a capstone. Actually, this enclosure has another function entirely. It consists of three stones that form a horseshoe-like arrangement that points with its open end out towards the north-east, a horseshoe shape that is enclosed within a circle of stones.
Does this description not sound familiar? Is the 'Cove' not a smaller copy of the central formation on the Stonehenge site? At Stonehenge we have the Trilithons, the pairs of standing stones that form a horseshoe shape in the center of the sarsen circle; the pairs of standing stones that were the largest on the site, the horseshoe arrangement that points out towards the north east. Is this not exactly what we see here in the northern circle at Avebury, a smaller model of Stonehenge?
Fig 2. The Avebury horseshoe formation - The Stonehenge horseshoe formation
The similarity in design between the Avebury horseshoe and the Stonehenge horseshoe formation seemed reasonably clear, and these two megalithic monuments do lie quite close to each other on the plains of Marlborough. But had this correspondence really been planned? If it had, then Avebury contained a smaller model of Stonehenge, or perhaps even a diagram or map of Stonehenge. And therefore the design of Avebury involved cartography - it was something to do with maps.
This in itself is a rather revolutionary concept for a Neolithic site, so in order to pursue this concept further it is at this point that we must try to purge our minds of any previous ideas we may have had about these sites, from whatever end of the spectrum they may come. Try to start with a blank sheet and work up from there. These ancient builders were men and women exactly like us. Their education may have been a little different, but for the educated elite it was probably no less demanding. Think of them as having the same ideas, and perhaps the same knowledge of the world, as ourselves. Many may disagree with such a bold assertion, but that is the very reason why the Avebury henge has not been seen for what it is for so long. It needs an open mind to see the real Avebury.
One of the diamond shaped sarsen stones at Avebury.
Heaven on Earth
The time has come to disclose some of the dramatic evidence that is included in the book Thoth, Architect of the Universe. The answer to one of the central enigmas of British history, is very simply that Avebury is a representation of our planet Earth. And quite a good one at that!
Fig 4. The Avebury Earth - The Real Earth
Such a suggestion may sound preposterous. We are talking about Neolithic man here, so how could Neolithic man have known the form and inclination of our Earth? This is where established dogma and propaganda clouds our judgment. We must keep the sheet of paper blank until we have something to put on it, otherwise this novel and revolutionary reasoning cannot be taken to its ultimate conclusion. Instead, let us take a look at the evidence in favour of this suggestion, for there is plenty there to be found:
a. Notice how the east–west road cuts across the Avebury ring, this can be considered as being the equator of the Avebury Earth.
b. Notice how the circle of Avebury leans to the left a little, at an angle of about 23° from true north. It is unlikely that this is the result of imperfect surveying. As a line joining the centers of the two small inner circles mimics this leaning angle quite precisely, it has to have been designed this way. However, if one is prepared to take on board the controversial theory, one cannot help noticing that the Earth’s current angle of obliquity, the angle at which it also ‘leans’, is some 23.4°.
c. Note that the henge circle is not quite circular. It has traditionally been assumed that this was because the ancients could not survey a circle properly; and yet there are many examples of perfectly circular henges in Britain, including the Stonehenge site and the smaller circles at Avebury. However, we now have an entirely plausible reason for why Avebury was not designed to be circular, it is because the Earth itself is not circular. The Earth as it spins bulges out the equatorial latitudes, and that is exactly what we find at Avebury; the east–west dimension of the henge is greater than the north–south dimension, just as it is on the real Earth.
d. We have already identified the Cove in the northern small circle at Avebury as being a small representation or map of Stonehenge, but why was it put there? The answer is now clear - it is because Stonehenge is in the northern hemisphere, both on the real Earth and on our Avebury Earth. What we appear to have here is a megalithic picture of our Earth, floating in space, a picture with Stonehenge clearly marked for all to see.
Fig 5. Stonehenge at Avebury - The real Stonehenge
This is what one might call a really ground-breaking theory, one that turns upside-down all previous ideas and explanations, not only about Avebury but also about the history of mankind. These are our familiar Stone Age hunter-gatherers, people who have only just come out of the woods to do a little farming and settle in primitive stick and mud huts. It was always difficult to imagine these primitive people having the technology and organization required to drag the massive sarsen stones into these highly elaborate and technical stone circles, like Stonehenge. Yet here we have them not only doing all this, but also drawing highly accurate pictures of our Earth as seen from space.
Such revelations can be uncomfortable on the mind, so think about this for a while and let the concept settle and normalise itself. However, despite this being a truly amazing hypothesis, it would remain just that if it were not for some nice little confirmations that can verify this theory and set us thinking even more.
The proof that Avebury truly is a representation of the Earth floating in space is to be found in the southern circle at Avebury; the small circle with a small crescent formation inside it, as shown in fig 1. The book Thoth, Architect of the Universe, goes on to demonstrate that this small crescent shape of stones is marked upon the Earth as a small crescent shape of islands in the south Atlantic. And so we have two terrestrial markers on the Avebury site - the Stonehenge Cove in the northern hemisphere, and the crescent shaped Islands in the southern hemisphere. Furthermore, the latitude of Stonehenge and the latitude of this crescent of islands is also accurately marked upon the Avebury henge, for it is precisely denoted by the number of stones that were used to circle these formations.
The crescent shaped islands in the southern hemisphere. For more details on these islands, please see the book.
Hold on a minute. So now we are saying that Stone Age man could not only understand and depict the outline of the Earth, but could also measure lines of latitude on the Earth? Surely that is impossible. What kind of instrumentation would they have used for this?
While the nature of the measuring instrument used to create Avebury is open to debate, the fact that the ancients could measure lines of latitude can be proven; and we can easily demonstrate this right here and now. In the book it was demonstrated that the prime-number seven (7) was sacred, because of its intimate relationship to the fractional approximation of Pi (22:7), and that the numbers 7 and 22 were used many times in these sacred sites. However, if the complete 360° circle of our globe is divided by seven, the answer is 51.42857143. Or if we translate that very accurate number into degrees, minutes and seconds we derive 51° 25ʹ 43ʺ. The degree position here is accurate to 30 m, while the decimal equivalent is accurate to the nearest meter. However:
Latitude 51° 25ʹ 43ʺ lies at the very center of the Avebury Henge.
This amazing feature can now be verified with the remarkable Google Maps system. Firstly, make sure the satellite function is selected, so surface features are displayed. Place the latitude we have just calculated into the Google Map search box (N 51.42857143) and then place alongside it the appropriate longitude (W 1.8541980). Note where the red marker is placed - right in the center of the Avebury Henge. The likelihood of this occurring by chance is about a million to one. Personally, I believe that this precise latitude was deliberately chosen by the ancient architects, in order to demonstrate to us that the 360° latitude measurement system well understood in this early era and therefore the spherical form of the Earth must have also been understood. And yet if Stone Age man knew the form of the Earth, they could quite easily highlight and preserve that knowledge by fashioning a henge in the shape of the Earth. However, this revolutionary new evidence does create a very different perspective on the capabilities of ancient man, and the levels of knowledge and technology that they possessed.
Avebury lies on an exact 1/7th of the circumference of the Earth. The red marker on this image, is the Google marker for 51° 25ʹ 43ʺ north.
By Ralph Ellis