If the suggested connection between Apollo, Stonehenge and celestial event
recording devices created in stone almost 5,000 years ago is thought to be
doubtful, consider the case of the 'lozenge.' Of course it has nothing to do with
a lozenge, it's just called that for convenience.
Three scholars joined forces to write a paper on this item. The 'lozenge' was
excavated in 1808 AD from a barrow about 1 km southwest of Stonehenge. It was
formerly regarded as an ornamental breast plate. It was found on the skeleton of
a tall man. The 'lozenge' was made of a sheet of gold bonded to a thin piece of
wood. It was covered with a series of lines. In a technical paper in 1988 AD the
scholars show that with a 16 month calendar, believed to have been used at the
time, the 'lozenge' was carefully constructed as an aide-memoire for a calendar
at Stonehenge. It could have been used to fix the dates at 16 of the epochs in the
16 month calendar. Here's just one illustration of the complexity of the argument:
The point here is that we are talking of sophisticated astronomical calculations,
and this has nothing to do with stone age farming or mining for flints to make
sickles or axe heads or arrows but may well relate to priests (personal attendants)
of Apollo and his astronomical interests and responsibilities as the Sun God.
Are there other ancient sites of similar purposeful construction? Of course there
are. In Scientific American December 2003 issue there is an article headed
Archaeo - Astronomy: Circles for Space: German "Stonehenge" marks oldest
observatory. The article tells us there is a 'vast shadowy circle in a flat wheatfield
near Goseck, Germany.' We're told it dates back 7000 years, was first spotted by
an ariplane, the circle is 75 metres wide. There were originally four concentric
circles with a mound and a ditch. Three sets of gates stood southeast, southwest,
and north. 'On the winter solstice someone at the centre of the circles could see
the sun rise and set through the southern gates. We're told there are 200 such
circles across Europe, of which 20 have so far been excavated. Pottery remains
- called sherds - suggest a date for building the site of about 4900 BC.
The roughly 100 degree span between the solstice gates corresponds with an
angle on a bronze disk unearthed on a hilltop 25 kilometres away, near the town
of Nebra. The disk is said to measure 32 centimetres in diameter, dates from 1600
BC and 'is the oldest representation of the cosmos yet found.' On it are shown a
circle, taken to be the full moon, a cluster of 7 stars, assumed to be the Pleiades,
'scattered stars and 3 arcs, all picked out in gold leaf from a background rendered
violet blue.' The two opposing arcs, along the rim, are 82.5 degrees long and mark
the sun's positions at sunrise and sunset on the winter solstice in central Germany
at the time. Likewise, the uppermost points mark sunrise and sunset on the
With the article a beautiful colour reproduction of the disc is shown. On it the
Pleiades group looks something like this:
That is a very different configuration from how the group looks in the sky today
which is like this:
You will have noticed that the Nebra find had seven stars, which is correct if it's
to be called the Pleiades, but the modern configuration is for only six stars. The
Pleiades was the name given to the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Their
names were Aleyone, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merpoe, Sterope, and Taygete.
The ancient Greeks believed that Merope married a mortal and was ashamed to
show herself among her sisters, as they all married Immortals.
This raises the interesting question: was the grouping shown on the disk accurate
in its day? Over thousands of years stars do move positions, some become
brighter, others fainter. As part of my radio documentary on CBC 'Where did
Odysseus go?' I went to the Toronto Planetarium where the director kindly
precessed it back to 1250 BC. At that time there was a different Pole Star from our
present one. As the Nebra disk apparently showed the sun solstices accurately
for its location, it may well be that the Pleiades are also shown correctly for its
time. Although it's been dated to 1600 BC it may be in fact much older, and closer
to the estimated age of the circle site.
There are wood and clay houses nearby with 'a variety of grains and evidence of
domesticated goats, sheep, pigs, and cows.' The article tells us 'given its
precision...The Nebra disk may have been... a calculational tool used with
observations at Goseck or a similar site to determine planting and harvest times.'
This is where I part company with such archaeologists. A people sophisticated
enough to create a 'German Stonehenge' and accurate representations of the
solstices would not have needed them to know when to plant and harvest crops.
So far in my life I have known 3 very successful farmers; two in England and one
in Canada. All 3 studied temperature, soil condition, weather, and had a 'sense'
or 'intuition' that 'now' - whenever now was - had come the hour to begin sowing
or harvesting. Therefore I think what happened in those far off times is what I have
discussed in updated and revised versions of my radio documentaries 'The Immortals'
and 'Eden: Fact or Fantasy.' Both are posted to this Website.
I show that Eden was a real place established by an Immortal
for his human subjects who were to 'work the soil' (the biblical phrase) and grow
crops, while tending domesticated animals, giving the Immortal the 'first fruits' and
'first born' as 'sacrifices' (cooked on altars = food: the pick of the crop and herd).
If that is correct, then the scenario at places like Goseck was a little different from
the archaeologist's surmise. It was the Immortals who domesticated the plants and
animals, and who created races of sufficiently pliant humans who had to be
trained and educated enough, from their former tradition of hunter-gatherers, to
become agriculturalists. It may very well be then, that the Immortals created those
solar sites and celestial marked disks for the early humans use, to be sure they
learned the seasons to plant and reap crops until by experience they knew when
to do it.