Megalithic cultures marked Solstices, Sirius Rising

April 9, 2008 at 2:47 pm 1 comment







Many – if not the majority — of the henges and standing stones erected by the Megalithic Culture displayed astronomical alignments with solstices, equinoxes and the movements of the sun, moon and stars. Some, such as Newgrange or Maes Howe would be masterpieces today, even without the incredible intricacies of their alignments. Add in their sophisticated astronomical capabilities – Maes Howe is aligned to the setting winter solstice sun and to the winter setting full Venus, while Newgrange is aligned to the rising Winter Solstice sun and the winter rising full Venus – and you have artifacts of unparalleled sophistication for their time…

At around the same time – as much as two thousand years prior to the pyramids – a pre-dynastic Egyptian people began building their own megalithic structures on the Nabta plateau near the Sudanese border. These structures would seem to mark the position where the morning star, Sirius, would have risen at the [Summer] Solstice.

===============================The Newsvine website has several group pages, each one of which focuses on a given issue or subject. One you may wish to put on your ‘favorites list’ is the Astronomy group. They seed and clip stories every day from all over the web — National Geographic, Daily Galaxy, NASA, Science Daily, PhysOrg, and news services like BBC and online newspapers.

Recent entries: the deepest canyon on Mars, sky watching in April, is Mars covered in table salt?, a mini black hole, Saturn’s south pole ‘hurricane’, solar flares. Lots more.

The Nebra disk can be linked to the solar calendar reconstructed by Alexander Thom from his analysis of standing stone alignments in Britain.


MacKie has argued that several aspects of the disk support this view, following up the work of Prof. Wolfhard Schlosser.

The first is that the Mittelberg – the hill on which the disk is supposed to have been found – is so situated that when the sun sets at two distant mountain peaks in the north-west, both midsummer and May Day are accurately marked.

From Wiki at 


Entry filed under: Astronomy Notes on the Web.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Patricia Long  |  April 11, 2008 at 5:08 am

    The Ring of Brodgar, not far from Maeshowe, has a double stone – two stones erected back to back. My father believed this could line up with the winter solstice sunrise and the picture you can see at the bottom of this webpage shows that he was right.


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