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Stonehenge Treasures

The mysterious golden lozenge of Stonehenge


Almost everyone has heard of Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England made up of huge megalithic stones arranged in a circular shape. But not many people know about the spectacular and mysterious golden lozenge which was found in the grave of a chieftain within the Stonehenge complex.  

In 1808, William Cunnington, one of Britain's earliest professional archaeologists, discovered what have become known as the crown jewels of the 'King of Stonehenge'. They were found within a large Bronze Age burial mound just ½ mile from Stonehenge, known today as Bush Barrow.

In a letter to archaeologist Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Cunnington wrote: "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.

What makes this artifact so important and unique is its decoration made of impressed lines, which reveals an incredibly advanced knowledge of mathematics and geometry.  Detailed analysis of the design has shown both the shape and the decorative panels to have been created by repeating hexagons within a series of three concentric circles.  The precision and accuracy displayed by the work demonstrates both a sophisticated tool kit and a sound knowledge of geometric form.  David Dawson, director of Wiltshire Museum, describes the craftsmanship as "the work of the gods".

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

The purpose of the golden lozenge remains a mystery, although some believe it was an astronomical instrument.  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. In this way, a 27.32 sidereal month would be drawn as a line at 27.32 degrees.

"The Bush Barrow Lozenge is clearly consistent with the pattern being an archaic form of writing, with the lines representing, through the use of angles, the astronomical values central to the measurement of time and the prediction of eclipses," said Dr Cunningham. 

The 19th century discovery of the Bush Barrow Lozenge highlights the fact that there are still many unanswered questions regarding this awe-inspiring and perplexing site of Stonehenge. 

By April Holloway



luvartifacts1's picture

Excellent summary and photos.

Lewis Hales


JT is heading in the right direction regarding measures but it is more complex than is initially apparent. John Michell, following on from a number of other researchers made the first realistic assessment of the prevailing 'system' of measures that can be demonstrated were used at Stonehenge and in fact across most of the ancient world.This was in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I have been involved in a similar study since the late 1980s. This indeed is a very old tried and tested metrological methodology that has stood the test of time emerging before Egypt and its pyramids in India and even then having been developed in a now drowned area of Sundaland [South Malaysia].

I have written extensively on this subject in the book Measurements of the Gods with numerous references to evidence that can be checked by the individual.

This work of over 500 pages can be read online or freely downloaded at:-

There are cross references here as well to Biblical evidence seen in Deluge:From Genesis to Atlantis. Again this is on the same web page and also is over 500 pages in length. Indeed there is an abundance of evidence for the arguments put forward.

As a shorter introduction and with the specific target subject of Stonehenge there is a popular paper which is titled Stonehenge Measures which is found on the same web page as Measurements of the Gods. In this not only are the dimensions of this ancient site verified by the most accurate surveys yet available, but also a refutation of the application of the 'megalithic yard' of Alexander Thom. This argument is based not upon opinion but Thom's own work on other circles.

The dimensions of Stonehenge and system of measure employed are well described in the texts with cross references and reinforcing evidence from far and wide.

Regarding the lozenge, This is one of those puzzles where the experts will continue to argue. The shape is not uncommon in the ancient world and may well have astronomical significance. The problem here is that is size precludes the necessary accuracy required for astronomy. It does seem a strong probability that this is a scaled down model of something very much larger and a symbol of position, possibly denoting the wearer as an astronomer which would have much greater import then than now. Again, regarding the dimensions of this I have seen a number of conflicting reports and hence without a definitive set of measures it is impossible to assess whether there is any revealed symbolism via the measures known to have been in use. It remains a fine piece of work which we have yet to completely understand and unfortunately no amount of speculation without further evidence will resolve the questions.Harry Sivertsen

A few commenters above have the right idea, but are not quite correct. The ancients did use a 360 degree circle. At least as far back as the Sumerians, people were often using what is called a base 60 mathematical system. Today we use a base 10 system. Computer binary is a base 2 system, computer network subnetting is a base 16 system. Part of the reason people get so upset with metric/imperial measurements today are that we mostly use a base 10 system for math, but then we use a base 10 system (metric) and a base 60 system (imperial) to measure. 12 inches for a foot, that kind of's not nonsensical, it's just a different base system. Often times, you can get larger accuracy when measuring on a larger scale. So the people above who mentioned *math based on 6, or 12*, you have the right idea...but it's that those numbers are being used because they are fractions of the number 60, which is the fraction they were using to relate ratios (the way we use the powers of ten to make things like percent by saying ratio of 100* This is worth researching to understand, although I hadn't ever seen this breastplate before.

some mystery indeed !!! stonehenge being built in 1954 with photo proofs leaked :



aprilholloway's picture


April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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