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Ancient Signs

Ancient Signs

The Alphabet & the Origins of Writing

My new print & ebook
shows that modern alphabets are based on ancient alphabets rooted in syllabic scripts of the ancient world (Sumer, Egypt, Iran, Anatolia, Crete, Cyprus)

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Hydra - See the figure inside?

Stonehenge LexiLine? Logo Barrows
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Stonehenge Barrows
as a Sky Map
of the Heavens

Stonehenge and its Barrows
is a book by William Long (Esq., M.A., F.S.A)
published by Devizes in 1876 from the
Wiltshire Archaeological
and Natural History Magazine
, vol. xvi.

"Some persons are of the opinion that Hecataeus of Abdera, a contemporary of Alexander the Great, and of Ptolemy, made allusion to Stonehenge in his "History of the Hyperboreans." In this work he described them as inhabiting an island as large as Sicily, lying towards the north, over against the country of the Celts.... In this island was a round temple which was dedicated to Apollo...." There is no "consensus" of Antiquaries [about the significance of Stonehenge]. Every kind of theory has been proposed, and as regularly combated. And so it will be to the end of time. Each generation considers itself wiser than the preceding, and better able to explain those matters which to their fathers and grandfathers only appeared more difficult of explanation as they advanced in their enquiries. And thus it has come to pass that more books have been printed about the much-frequented Stonehenge than about all the other megalithic structures, collectively, which the world contains; and that the literature of this, the best known of them all, would fill the shelves of a small library."
- William Long, Stonehenge and its Barrows, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. xvi, 1876. -

Stonehenge Barrows
United Kingdom, England
Salisbury, Amesbury, Salisbury Plain
GPS: 51°10'44" N, 1°49'35" W
Grid: SU 1224 4218
Monument No.: SU 14 SW 4
Unique Identifier: 219434

A World Heritage Site on the A344 off the A303,
2 miles W of Amesbury & 9 miles N of Salisbury

Administered by English Heritage
and The National Trust

Stonehenge and its Barrows, W. Long, Front Cover
The Stonehenge Barrows
are clumped together in groups
which have definite shapes
and which surround the central Stonehenge site
to a maximum distance of about
2 to 2 1/2 miles from the center.

Stonehenge and its Environs (the Stonehenge Barrows)
scanned from the book by William Long

Stonehenge Barros from William Long

The image above is a scan composite (6 scans combined into one) by Andis Kaulins
of a large survey map of the Stonehenge Barrows found in the book,
Stonehenge and its Barrows, by William Long, 1876, Devizes,
from the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. xvi.
The map is titled "A Map of Stonehenge and its Environs"
with the circle of stones that we know as modern Stonehenge
located in the middle as a small double circle.
The barrows are marked as dark round dots on the map,
which extends about two miles left and right in each direction
and about one and a half miles each to top and bottom.
As the first entry in the list of illustrations to the book,
the map is listed as the page "To face Title,
and is identified as the "Map of Stonehenge and its Environs,
from Sir R. C. Hoare's "Ancient Wiltshire," vol. i."
Under the map is a caption label reading "Transfered to Stone,
from the Original Copper Plates,
by the kind permission of J. Bruce Nichols Esqre".
The map has "W. West & Comp." written in the right corner
within the map border and underneath that - outside the border -
has written "Js. Basire. (Sr. ?)".
James Basire was a famous British engraver of his day (1730-1802).

An astronomical interpretation
by Andis Kaulins
of the barrows
as a planisphere (sky map) of the heavens

Stonehenge Barrows as a Sky Map

The authoritative historical work for the Stonehenge Barrows is a book by William Long (Esq., M.A., F.S.A) titled Stonehenge and its Barrows, published by Devizes in 1876 from the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. xvi. That book has a survey map of the barrows which surround Stonehenge to a maximum distance of about 2 to 2 1/2 miles around the Stonehenge central stone circle.

These barrows are not scattered randomly throughout the countryside but are clumped together in definite groups, some of which look very much like known asterisms viz. constellations of the stellar heavens, i.e. bright stars that can be grouped together to form a recognizable shape, even though these groupings may not have been exactly the same in ancient days as they are today. At the Stonehenge Barrows, this unmistakeable similarity holds particularly true for the stars of Scorpio, which in prehistoric times marked the line of the Equinoxes.

Andis Kaulins thinks that the Stonehenge Barrows are the key proof for the astronomical orientation of Stonehenge and its environs. Kaulins thinks - quite apart from any other use to which the barrows may have been put by ancient megalithic man in the Neolithic Era (Stone Age)- that the Stonehenge Barrows mark stars of the sky in an organized formation called a planisphere, a hermetic practice evidenced for example among the archaic traditions of Native American Indian tribes and described, for example, in an article by Alice C. Fletcher in the 1902 issue of the American Anthropologist.

The Stonehenge Barrows
an Astronomical Interpretation of Stonehenge

The above graphic meshes with an astronomical interpretation made by Andis Kaulins of both the general and specific orientation of the Stonehenge sarsens and trilithons, as shown in the graphics below. The identified star groups for the Stonehenge Barrows are located at the same relative geographic positions on the ground and with respect to the sky as the positions of the sarsens and trilithons of the main Stonehenge circle. Simply put, the position of Scorpio on the main Stonehenge Circle matches the position of Scorpio in the barrows.

Furthermore, the astronomical explanation provides substantial clues as to the various purposes of the general earthworks of the area, which appear not only to have marked the line of the Equinoxes, but also to have mirrored the shape of the Milky Way, which would not be surprising, since ancient stargazers gave the Milky Way much more attention than we do today. This is probably in part because they had no electric lighting and their air was probably cleaner than ours is in the modern era.

Stonehenge Sarsens and Trilithons
Overview of the Star Representations

Stonehenge Sarsens Trilithons Stars

Stonehenge Ground Plan as Astronomy

Stonehenge Circle Stellar Orientation

Aubrey Illustration of Stonehenge and its Barrows

Aubrey Stonehenge Illustration
Facsimile of Aubrey's "Icknographie of Stoneheng"
scanned from the book by William Long

The graphic above is a scan composite of 2 scans combined into one by Andis Kaulins of an illustration assigned to page 32 in the list of illustrations of the book, see Stonehenge and its Barrows, by William Long, 1876, Devizes, from the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. xvi.

The map is actually an insert fold-out between pages 32 and 33 (both of which are filled with text) and is identified in the list of illustrations Stonehenge and its Barrows Text Scan as "Facsimile of Aubrey's "Icknographie of Stoneheng" from his "Monumenta Britannica"."

Go to our OCR scan of William Long's book
Stonehenge and its Barrows
a text scan which currently has only the beginning pages.

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