Megalith stone row
This analysis of Danish stone rows is based on material publicised by Rud Kjems on Internet as example. Usually they are called megaliths = big stones. In fact we have many arrangements of smaller stones too and a great variety of shapes and formations.
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Little Denmark is known for many dolmens and passage graves besides the numerous mounds from Bronze Age. The megalith rows are hidden in forests and plantations. Since I am part-Dane it is natural that the Danish archaeology is woven into my essays. In this essay we shall look at monuments like these and other European monuments too of course. My method is to let representative real monuments tell about the ages:
Rødland Hede a row of unknown length near some mounds.
Vester Thorup Plantage from the biggest of three mounds runs a row 60 metres with 19 stones orientation 143 degrees.
Ertebølle from Myrhøj mound runs a 200 metres long row.
Hvilsom in the forest are remains of a stone row.
Hjortdal from a group of six mounds ran a stone row.
Foulum are signs of a 43 metres long row of wooden poles in a place with a ritual establishment.
Tolne there are 6 stones in row that can be remains of a long barrow.
Ølstrup there is a short bit with meter high stones.
Refsnes Rold Skovt two stone rows with each 49 stones 89,5 metres long and a stone circle in connection. The direction is 139 degrees and that suggests orientation after winter solstice.
Buderupholm Rold Skov is a most interesting site over a low mound 12 meters diameter 0,8 metres high run a row 70 metres with 27 stones to south-east . North of the row is a little stone circle with 9 stones and a stone in the middle. West of the row is a bigger stone circle with 27 stones. And there is also one more stone circle with 7 stones. The number 27 occur three times and 9 and 7 are also from the moon mathematics so we can expect the moon rituals in connection with these arrangements.
Trinderup Krat North-Jutland there is a 200 x 14 metres stone embankment E - W with high stones at the edges. In the lower part there are squared holes in direction ENE. Maybe it marks the synchronising of the moon path.
These are all from Jutland where the conditions for "saving stone rows" have been good. We can add two more from the islands:
Fiskebæk Skov on Falster there are four stone rows in pair and double space between the pairs. They are 50 - 80 metres long and in the neighbourhood there are remains of three long barrows.Then we maybe get help to date them to 4th millennium BC. It is just a reminder that Southern Scandinavia was a corner with very developed stone culture in 4th millennium.
To that we can add the stone row from Knudshoved South-Zealand and there is a cromlech = half circle in one end. (the word cromlech = bent stone (row)that need not be a perfect circle) Even at Tåsinge Langeland we find a cromlech. We should not forget theAvebury copy at Zealand of which we do not know much.
These formations with cromlech maybe should be seen as an axe or double axe and the edge is symbolising the crescent moon and "go into Underworld". That kind of symbolism we can understand when we realise how important the ritual was. The "double crescent/ axe" comes from south were the new and wane moon are seen as upper and lower crescent that "lies" in south.
In a way it is wrong to make categories before we know the context. We should look around and in some cases the row stands alone and it carries the idea. In other cases we should include other types such as cromlech, dolmen, passage grave, standing stone, tumuli/ mound and maybe even wooden poles.
In this essay I comment the rows a little and compare with other evidence about stone rows. Soon we discover that we must include ancient astronomy in the description. It is not much help with a stone row or simple astrolabe with sight stone and heel stone if we have no reference in the sky. Speed of heavenly object could only be measured by comparing with the background. We know that the Indian early method was the naksatras = mansions of the moon in the night sky. They could always tell in which of 27 or 28 naksatras it dwelled, but what about the asterisms?
Who painted the first ideas into the sky? I cannot see any model society in the sky? Still their ideas of ritual order had another incarnation in the sky and should be called folk memory and it is part of our heritage. Without the folk memory and the myths our stony heritage is worth nothing.
The Egyptians called it MAAT and normally I call it World Order since it should be applicable on all other cultures as well. The pattern of the Animal Round tells that it must have been made in a land with a river. Then it must be at the crowded big rivers in south. We see concepts such as the original hill; the circulation of water and that humankind ritually resurrect by stepping to underworld.
All these mythical manifestations we see in all the cultures practically at the same time in entire Old World including Europe. We find several archetypes/ idols from Carnac, Spain, the Alp and Troy we can plot as samples that at least at these places they practised the same order. In Scandinavian rock-carvings and find we find signs of the Inanna myth from Sumer. People were not isolated and travelling was a matter of days on keel. In summer they could easily sail from Scandinavia to the Levant and back. In Northern Norway we find early Egyptian ships sailing on the rocks
We can not answer the question who painted the Animal Round and maybe it is not important either. But we should be careful with words. The rituals and the custom with common memory in sky was created by humankind and not by some gods on earth or in the sky. The virtual and real world should be kept apart. Otherwise many conclusions would lead in wrong direction.
You do not run around with more big stones than necessary without some reason, but maybe they needed rows for some other reason. Initially only two or three stones are needed for an observation place for watching stars and deciding time once you know the pattern of the starry sky. The main thing is that when using the Animal Round as the "big watch" you need a stable observation direction. The stars are there all the time but at the observation point only for a short time and they seems to move over time and can then be used as time reference.
We should keep apart the real meaning of doing the observation if we want to know the purpose. We have many examples that tell about the stars been seen as deities living their parallel life in the sky. That is like expanding our brains with our ideas and plans to be up there. Still it was a way to share it with other people around the world. In illiterate times only the collective can store the memory and the untouchable memory in the sky stay as long as some people remember the key.
Look at Orion and other giants in the night sky. The negative spin off effect of having these giants as idols was that some believed in them as beings ... and I saw on TV that some people still today believe in giants. Some thinks they have build the big stony monuments. I do not think a giant 270 centimetre tall would have done much help and he could have been compensated with two of the normal size. Then I compare with the elephant of same height and how much that creature can do. I also wonder why they have not found any bones after giants compared with all the bones from dinosaurs they have found
The Sumerians marked many of the deities with a star and so did Egypt. In Mesopotamian texts from 3rd millennium they tell about the gods in sky and we find the same in Ugarit Syria and in Hebrew text a thousand years later. In Job 38:7 it says, "while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" That means early angels were stars like the flying Inanna with her sister Ereshkigal with morning star as incarnation and the rosette as symbol. Often the texts are confusing since they mix the sisters or Inanna/ Ishtar stands for both. They did not categorise in planets and stars in the beginning.
The stars were also called "sons of God" as in Ugaritic. There was a great assembly of the gods or a heavenly court as in Psalm 82 and Job 1:6-12. In Job 1:6 the Hebrew has "sons of God" while the LXX has "angels. Deuteronomy 32:8 says, "When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel" (NIV). The Dead Sea Scrolls and the LXX have "sons of God" rather than "sons of Israel." Psalm 29:1 literally refers to "sons of the gods."
At the same time we should mention Judges 5:4,20-21 says, "the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water …" and that symbolism is maybe at least 20000 years old and no Hebrew invention. Once the myth about heavenly waters and gods in the sky was created people got real evidence of the gods making rain. The storm people could do without but some people would see it as punishment or omen.
From the Middle East texts we also learn that the nobility took omen from the stars. It is what I call using the stars as bandying wall. We behave in that way and need a reference to our thinking. But the crucial decisions are made out of contemporary real memory, experience and needs. The decisions would not be rational otherwise. It is only that they explain it as if the deities exist. No one checks it afterward or maybe the deities are blamed if it went wrong. It is convenient to have scapegoats.
The texts are always from the nobility and from crowded cultures that could afford nobility and priesthood. In most of the world people followed their guiding stars and thumb rules. They followed tradition and we have several samples how a ritual or use went on for thousand and more years. The myths were the memory and the plan for the life. Ritual society is canonical and the idols are indirect recipient in language ... I remember Grandma living her year after the texts in the Bible. I think her generation was the last to do that.
Then we can analyse the logic possibilities. The number of stones could be the significant issue. If we put some algebraic value to the stones they can symbolise as many values as there are stones. The stone row has length in space and time and it could be a counter. Marker stones make events or sections. It could also be lead for a suite = organised people following the time and maybe celebrating some events with procession. … see alsosuites in rock-carvings
The moon is first choice as heavenly object and it needs a background if we should tell where it is every day. That they solved by using two nodes symbolised as dogs/ hounds between which the moon alter in 14 days since it alters rising point by 12,5 degrees every night. In India they call the nodes Rahu and Ketu and nowadays we call them Dragon Head and Dragon Tail.
The stone row is logically the first generation monuments since it symbolises and brings people together in an organised suite. At first the open row is endless but could be used as alignment of course. As soon as marker are installed we get period and length of the row. We have only to know what each stone / unit symbolises. The long stone rows representing space-time as such since it takes time to construct them. The idea must be following time since we also see the cursus/ avenue that is made for procession. We can hardly date them but approximately they began to make rows in 5th millennium.
The circle with stones is a little more abstract but it is endless as time or it represents a definite number. Naturally it could be straightened up to a row with same meanings. As soon as the circle is closed we can define something in it or outside it. It could be seen as an assembly and the local people knew what the individual stones represented. If it was the year round the year shift must be marked when we are back at the beginning again.
In fact the time of rock-carvings they normally picture only the season with figures and also with time-boats. Then they mark the beginning with a cupmark king size mostly. But they use also the Egyptian style with a little empty boat at stem. That began in third millennium.
If they made several rows they were parting in periods or groups. We never know if they used wooden pillars and sticks in addition to the stones, but we know that since they used big stones they were important. We should not forget that they also used significant landmarks in the landscape as "sight stone". They could also mark the stones in a way we do not recognise. In Britain there are many rows in which we can guess that some stones were selected as individual symbols. Some stones are clearly finished to a special shape telling about some special meaning with the stone as for instance sight stone.
With two exceptions the Danish rows are single rows used for alignment with a heavenly object and maybe only once a year. The data are few but it seems that they cover a long period Only Buderupholm gives us a lot of symbolism and it could be old, but also late influence from India.
In Portugal they date the oldest to stone temple Antas do Zombuijeiro to maybe 5000 BC. The size inside is 5 to 6 meters across with slabs that are more than 5 metres. Portugal has several areas with exceptional dolmens that look very much like a "giant table" for gods. But in general they tell that they began gathering stones in rows and as dolmens before 4200 BC.
The date is important since the New Age = Animal Round = Ritual Age began and the round was created then. The precession can tell us when the important stars for solstices and equinoxes were chosen together with the asterisms. Before they created it they surely "measured the hood". How did the select the stars for every asterism? Did they then paint them on the ground as model?
It would be hard to keep about 50 asterisms and an unknown number of stars in mind without stable references and some kind of memory system. In India the naksatras = 27 / 28 mansions of the moons seems to be their first Time Order. To even the year with sun year they used the naksatra at asterism Vega that corresponds with the Hound. It is our Sagittarius.
Evidence from third millennium shows that they knew all about the night sky. According to the astronomy the start of the Animal Round was when the equinoxes were in the Toe of Gemini and the Tab of Scorpio and the solstices in Raven and Pegasus. There are many signs showing that mankind used asterisms and Watergate thousands of years earlier. But for agriculture they needed some precise "big watch" with events connected to the stars.
The ecliptic from Cancer to Scorpio with the Water-snake can only have been invented in a land with a river. The Water-snake could symbolise Sarasvati/ Indus, Nile or the Mesopotamian rivers. It is only natural that the ritual of agriculture developed in the fertile river-land. All over the world the settlements are near the waters. On the other hand on the heavenly hood there is also an ocean and Original Hill = sample earth that copied the real world. At that time people knew the essentials of the world and many made journeys far away.
The word dolmen could be understood as "table" for deities. Referring to songs about Inanna we know that she sat at the table in "the face of the Lion", which is the asterism Leo. She was celebrating the new beer of the year after a good harvest. Since she is the New Moon we can also write, "when the new moon was in Leo". That was summer solstice and end of season when the new begins with inundation. The biggest and most table-like we find in Portugal.
… mankind was "legs of deities" and they could be thrown under the table as bones.. The Nordic name is "daus" and could mean "opening to the Otherworld" and some folk memory tells that it was the womb of Mother Earth … se more under Dolmen, but mentioned here since they seem to be of the same age as the stone rows.
The Scandinavian scientist has not believed in our civilised forefathers and that they developed culture in pace with the big cultures in south. They do not want to see the evidence especially in rock-carvings but also the stony monuments tell the story. Heaviest element is the double axe and the passage grave that tells about year ritual of the Inanna type in 4th millennium. Not in all places but enough for us to say that we were at level. Next picture shows the civilised Akkad, but precisely the same ritual year was in use thousand years earlier and then even in Scandinavia.
Akkadian season seal ca 2300 BC
Should be read from right to left with Shamash/ Utu/ Janus between seasons. Then follows Enki, the first to step on earth = Original hill and over him the Watergate and he has the Sun Eagle in hand. The flying Inanna, rain and lightning and she sends his mate Dumuzi to Underworld with seed and fertiliser. Next is the "twig" as symbol for sown field and the Archer/ Bearwatcher watch the fields. There was no place on the seal the rest of season Libra and Scorpio and we only see the Hound that symbolised en of half year in Sagittarius.
Agriculture implied a ritual "going beneath" and "rise up", but they needed also follow the time. A stone row would be a suitable instrument for that. From Egypt we know about a ritual "Follow Hor" or following the time in 4th millennium BC. We have to see behind simpler images to see the same as in Akkadian seal.
Since they marked a certain star or asterism as beginning they followed that star as long as they needed or the entire year. Every procession is a very short forecast of the "walk in space-time" during the season or what else they forecast. If they followed the Animal Round it would tell them what to do in the moons/ months. It is just like our medieval calendars.
They call it "The Bride's Suite" in Stenehed Bohuslen
The photo shows the high end but there are 9 stones left in an irregular row with gap between the rest of the stones. The highest end is 3,2 metres and the lowest 1,4 metres. Stones of this kind would be very suitable as doorsteps in the past and even now. On other places on Stenehed stones are missing so we cannot trust in forms here. From a stone-ship is only stem and stern left. So we can not tell the original shape of this row either. But there seems to be remains of some long barrow so the row could be from 4th millennium
Probably they followed a specific fix-star that could be the asterism Aurigae. The main fixstar Capella was used for this purpose until ca 1900 BC when it became circumpolar. Folk memory tells that "She disappeared for 70 days". That sentence could only be about an asterism and its origin must be in 5th millennium.
Once we have the concept "Bride's Suit" we can pretend that in some places they celebrated important events with processions, offer and a good piece of food. Libation was to the moon goddess and the fire to the sun perhaps and the steak to the participants and the bones to Mother Earth for resurrection. We can also speculate about if they followed every moon underground in the passage graves at least during the season. I think that the most important point is that we can deduce they were rational people with rational rituals that in time increased population and developed sustainable societies.
The alignment Le Menec at Carnac has 12 rows and nowadays ca 1100 stones. In the end of the alignment there is a stone circle/ cromlech with 70 stones. That could mean they followed the asterism Aurigae at the alignment. It is in the southwest end of the four major alignments and could have been the first they made.
In some places they followed a fix-star the entire year and in other they stepped from asterism to asterism. Others followed the moon and it was soon brought into correlation with the starry background. The dolmen seems to manifest the moon myth or better known in Sumer as the Inanna myth … see theVi/ Weoh.
Many of the dolmens were and are covered with a mound/ tumulus. The same counts for the various types of passage and gallery graves that came later. They symbolise "going beneath" and have been used for funeral as well as for seasonal ritual. In fact we have the visible monuments in Europe and the explaining texts in Sumer. Developing of this belongs to fifth and fourth millennium.
People always want to check out by themselves how the novelty works. That is perhaps why we see long stone rows even in Denmark. It seems that the scientific work and trials were made mainly at Carnac Bretagne in France. But there are other aspects too. New proselytes want to follow the original "first time act" as close as possible so that nothing should go wrong.
The monuments are just a memory to which the entire ritual is connected. It is also the pedagogic that all people should learn the new order and preferably it should be made easy to understand so that children learn it from the beginning.
Of course there is much of cosmos and spiritual aspects, but you do not need them to get the result ... it may be like glue in some minds asking too many questions. You do not need to know if the globe is round or apple shaped to grow corn. However some percentage and mostly intellectual people want to see more in things than those only believing in what they see. Words and reasoning about spiritual thing is usually a mean to ride on other people too. Invisible things are perfect for that purpose.
The soul is a very old invention and suits those seeing spirits everywhere since it is invisible and airy-fairy so that you should believe before it get existence. In rational analysis the spirits are always "the unknown" forces in nature and life. Nowadays we think we know the most so we do not need animated language. We know that the Neanderthals sometimes enclosed a bird-wing in the grave symbolising the soul. Maybe they thought it like the breath flying away giving a little of physical size to it. The custom is seen in graves of Cro-magnon too. I think that animating the soul as a bird is very clever.
Modern physics can formulate theories that imply elements of interaction between small quant-energies. I notice it every time when I at distance look at a woman and soon she discovers that even with her back at me. However practical physicists deny it since they have no instruments that can measure it … I hope they never will be able to measure love and affection? Man needs mystery now and then.
The normal method to catch chaos in practice and science is to split in small piece and/or use a net or a thread like that of Ariadne in the labyrinth. That was just what they did. By "painting" asterisms on the heavenly hood and making it time-dynamic by the Animal Round that moves a bit every night they got hold of chaos. Even today some people have difficulties in keeping track of what is the map and what is reality. Some means that they build on earth what they saw on the hood. However they had to paint the ideas on the hood before they could copy them on earth of course.
It is difficult for us to realise how great inventions these were. Firstly they learnt to keep memory and to store. Secondly they learnt to plan their year. They could foresee many things and prepare for them. Naturally they could also make people believe things, but it should stay in reality otherwise there would be bills to pay for misuse. In folk memory we see some signs of rainmaking. Some maybe really believed that they could steer future since they could plan it … it happens often in our days too. Our lawmakers make a law and believe that things will happen.
In these simple monument we have the primary kernel of all organisation. It is like standing at the beginning of a stone row symbolising 12 moons/ months. You plan that at the eight stone you shall harvest some calculated harvest. The Mights in space-time maybe show something else. It would not help a bit to pray to the Mights since they do as they wish and maybe they have higher Mights behind. However to have a plan is better than without is.
The stones were a step from the old forefather cult as some name it. In practise they memorised how their forefathers had done. Our main method is to repeat the "first-time-act" and keep it in memory somehow. When using collective memory they got more detailed knowledge in use and it was a concern for the entire society. It was a step from family groups and clans to co-operation over distance. We do not realise that we still practise forefather cult when needed. We refer to many inventors before us. As a technician you soon learn to keep in mind many names and then you know what they stands for … some difficult mathematics usually.
Their normal mathematics was the geometric integers and series 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 and so on. When deciding time they naturally counted whole (days) nights. That fact tells us that the night sky was counter. Since they used physical phenomenon these gave the specific numbers we see in many cases in rock-cravings.
The moon round is 27 or 28 nights, half of it 14 and half of that 7 and the moon is away for 3 nights. It seems that at least in Egypt they in the beginning divided the moon round in 3 x 9 nights. The moon year is 12 moons and 11 nights of the thirteenth moon, which gives a moon year of 354 nights, but with small corrections to be exact ca 365,25 days. The moon cycle is 18,61 years usually shown as 19 a whole number. The moon moves 12,5 degrees along the ecliptic and reach the same point in 243 moons. There is nothing magic in this, but you have to watch it and learn how it works as you can see it.
The sun year is 365 or 366 days and for the eyes it follows the ecliptic, which they divided in 12 equal parts. The ecliptic they must have plotted with reference stars along the sun orbit. In Egypt they began to count in 30 days months and got 360 days year and had to set in 5 or 6 days free. That is the generalisation since there were temples with other systems and the time we watch is several thousand years long.
The Egyptian seasons are 3 while European year uses 4 quarters and equinoxes and solstices were suitable as time markers. Soon they discovered that a better division was halfway between these so they got Imbolic, Beltaine, Lugnasad and Samain as four feasts and time markers.
In my writing I simplify to talk about moon year 354 + 11 nights and a month is 30 nights and a moon/ lunation 27 nights. The sun year is 360 + 5/ 6 days.
In our rock-carvings and in some stone formations we see the number 7 often and that is the 7 summer moons. We can compare that with the Roman "college of seven" each responsible for a month during season Fever counts 9 summer moons. The crossed circle or the stroked foot pair symbolises four seasons. Often there is a cupmark shoving the spring and two cupmarks or two strokes is "the other half" or the second half.
"High school" practical mathematics in astronomy it is when they use a grid to divide the squared model of the night sky. It is like a step pyramid with the base 14. To fence in the important asterisms on the round the numbers 11, 12, 13 and 14 are needed and the squares are then 44, 48, 52 and 56. We call them declinations and count in degrees.
We need to have these numbers and relations in mind when we look at stone formations and rock-carvings. They help us to get the first idea of the purpose of the formation.
During fourth millennium much of the dolmens, long barrows and passage graves were build. Surely the standing stones were sight stones as well as ritual stones. In Egypt it developed to the obelisk and later Europé got the Irminsul. Some long stone row seems to be from that time too. Rows are difficult to date since every stone should be removed and there must be a lot of luck if there is something datable stuff under the stone. Often the other formations are easier to date.
In or on some passage graves from the time there are besides cupmarks the crossed circle carving or two of them. Some call it sun-cross, however I have never seen a cross on the sun when I have used dark glass for a short look. Since they occur in pair it would be hard to believe that they saw two suns.
The correct concept is "time cross" however the sun-cross is so rooted that it will live forever as confusing fact. The swastika is just the same symbol and sometimes they use a simple cross. The essence of their rituals were Time / space-time as the main issue and the processions aimed tot "Follow Time" … the Egyptian Horus means Time and Toth, the scribe was naturally the Moon. They followed it during the agriculture season. Once we put in the real concept or idea it is much easier to understand the myths.
The Sumerians followed maybe the night stars and became night-blind. Then I think of the figurines with blind eyes maybe made as stand-in for religious man. They were interested in the Sun as the warmth giving part in the trinity of New Moon = water and the Earth Lady, which together is fertility. Their interest was the four seasons defined by the equinoxes and the solstices.
They needed only two-season symbolism, while their neighbours Indus and Egypt used three-season symbolism. The sun is only the drawing tool on the sky that gave the orbit/ ecliptic. Our forefathers were more interested in the moon for time keeping by parting the ecliptic. Some used the stars/ asterisms along the ecliptic. The time cross divides the year in four seasons and often we see a little cupmark marking spring quarter. It shows "going beneath"
Kerlescan Carnac Bretagne is much bigger than Danish stone rows. They were surely used in the initial stage when they mapped the heavenly hood. We can ask why all these alignments? Maybe they measured different things. Maybe they ritualised the construction work so it became a tradition. More than 3000 big boulders are not gathered in short time and we should add the menhirs and many passage graves to the building period. Kerlescan is build with 555 stones in 13 rows in the 280 metres long alignment E - W. In west there is a cromlech with 39 stones.
At Le Menec the alignment is NE - SW oriented and there is an oval stone circle/ cromlech in both ends. There is 1099 stones in 11 rows or maybe 12 rows and the length is ca 1150 metres. The orientation speaks for the moon as observed object and the oval/oblong signs were generally used to symbolise the moon cycle.
We must mention the third alignment at the same time. It is nearby Ker Mario with 10 rows and 1029 stones. To the alignments belongs surely the Le Grand Menhir, the standing stone that was ca 23 metres long and weight 350 ton before the thunderstorm. It is at Loc Mariaquer and it was visible everywhere in the neighbourhood. There are more long standing stones in the area but they are much shorter or around 6 meters tall..
Near the south-west end of Le Menec is a dolmen and at nearby Kerloquet Pond is a tumulus and a three metres high standing stone. On the stone is engraved 5 snakes, which perhaps symbolise the Earth Mother or womb. During the excavations they found five polished axes with the eggs upward. That associates to the double-axe at Alvastra Sweden standing with the eggs up and down besides a little stone. The stone perhaps symbolised the grain that needs protection in both directions … nowadays the farmers use pesticides instead.
… This Egyptian symbol shows midwinter for instance at the calendar in the tomb of Seti I. The ecliptic is the bow and the lines are catching the sun at the lowest point. And we see it clearly in their astronomic symbolism as for instancethe tomb of Ramesses IV. I suggest that the early wooden pillars at Stonehenge have been used in that way, but for catching the moon. There are more of stony "low sun" stones in England ... that could be used also for the "low moon" after midsummer. In Egyptian texts they tell that "Hood rises" at midwinter. I read the same sentence at the Law Rock at Haugsbyn from ca 2200 BC.
In Egypt they tell that Toth = moon took over at Candlemas and that means synchronisation. In Scandinavia that happened at spring equinox for around thousand years from 3150 BC onward. There is also an Egyptian symbol shoving synchronisation and askew lines.
In short, stone rows in direction E - W are surely aligned with the equinoxes, whether they looked at the morning sun or the other direction is just the same. Around 3150 BC the stars were Capella and Antares in Scorpio. On the Egyptian "club-head of Scorpio" from ca 3000 BC above the agriculture scene there is the Scorpio and a rosette symbol of Inanna = New Moon. At that time there were probably Sumerian settlers in the Nile Delta
At latitude 51 degrees we have these rings and setting of sun and moon.
Alignments in direction NV - SE are usually the midwinter sun position. The direction NE - SW is the extremes of the moon cycle and it shows that they knew all about the cycle. That means also that they have studied it for a long period to be sure.
These are the normal orientations. But we can find more as for instance in Portugal they think that the dolmens are aligned after the heliacal rising of the Pleiades. For understanding it is enough to mention the normal orientation
In Denmark there is a big hidden number of stony formations that might have been 1000 to 6000 years ago. Already 4000 years ago they used stones from dolmens and passage graves when they build the new fashion we name wedge tomb/ slab-cists. The cause is that in many places there have not been enough stones for their ritual places of course. On some of the stones there are cupmarks too.
Many stones have been used in churches, on railroad banks and for normal house building. Some stones with cupmarks and rock-carvings are found in church walls. The result is that they have two types of spared monuments. Nature is slowly hiding those hidden in forests and plantations. The other type is those made of big stones in a landscape with many stones from the beginning so there has not been any need.
Probably some of the stones are too far away from churches and farms. Still many passage graves are left. Some places in Jutland are special since sandstorms have covered the original landscape. They have found that some "oak-bushes" has a long trunk deep in the sand.
Another hidden number is the wooden remains of pillars, shrines and houses. Usually professional digging is needed to decide such things and there has not been much money for that in Denmark. However in some places they have seen such remains enough to tell us.
Science needs always proof and the methods is usually making categories and define them such as rows, circles, mounds, enclosures and more. In this case it is not that easy since the ritual places often contends several shapes. We do not have enough facts to make a good chronology and define their use. Still we have to define the parts and the ideas and we need to seed what belongs to the various space-time contexts.
Another thing is the sophistic memento "that the world exist only when we talk about it or know about it". All countries within UN have declared that history belong to the people. But what if all knowledge is hidden in stores and underground cellars and nothing is written or published about ancient times? I do not think the intention of Human Rights was that a certain groups should own the history!
My analysis cannot be better than the material, which is only short descriptions of the places. On the other hand the list counts around 300 establishments so it is possible to see the variety and get the ideas implied. Some questions cannot get an answer since archaeology cannot get the whole picture. Excavations are done where roads and cities grows and not as a statistical sampling in the entire country. Often conclusions must be made from a little number of finds and that is always a weak solution.
Words like cult, offer, shaman I seldom use since I see no evidence of it and it would lead to a wrong attitude with little respect for our ancestors. Of course I know the tale about goddess Inanna being angry when some threw a bone to her. But I think the priest who wrote about it wanted a fillet instead. Deities do not eat much and the rest is for the staff. As always those at the pen and having the word decide the rules. Only the priests have the right ears to hear the tale of gods. AS always culture is about a fraction of the people so generalisations are not in place … I am going behind the words of course.
In our use the word "cult" means usually cult for the sake of it and it is then usually in the spiritual world that only a few can see. I am looking for the ideas that gave food on table and order in society and they usually have a physical appearance. Sophisticated cult needs many people and cities with temples and a big staff including the supporting farmland around. We have not that kind of remains in Europe during Stone Age.
People of every time have a lot of taboos and tricks to learn about future and trials to avoid hard work. I cannot see that it is something special for only our ancestors. They tell that the English believe rather in astrology than in politicians and that seems quite normal. Why should we use a special language concerning our ancestors? If we want to be friends with anybody we have to look for the common denominator always.
Shamans we could connect with small groups living near nature and not with agriculture and what we call ritual civilisation. Since I sometimes feel my shaman roots I only say that mankind of today is destroying Mother Earth and reducing species in such a pace that I question the intelligence of civilised man. Only the fool believes civilised He is god for nature.
In the past decades there has been a lot of polemics about archaeoastronomy. I think the astronomers have shown the scientific rule/ fact that if we can repeat an experiment it is much like true proof that at least some of the sites could be used in practical astronomy. Another thing is that we should surely see it as "ritual astronomy" and then the rituals are woven into the sites. We should see the whole context of alignments, dolmen/ passage grave and menhir since they lived in space-time an included everything.
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