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Megalithic Sites at Megaliths.Net


Stars Stones
and Scholars:
The Decipherment
of the Megaliths

2003 softcover
2006 hardcover
2014 EBook

stars stones scholars

Ancient Signs
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Ancient Signs

My newest
print & ebook
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shows that our modern alphabet is based on alphabets derived from syllabic scripts (Sumer, Egypt, Iran, Anatolia, Crete, Cyprus).

Dear Reader,

This is the home index page of There is also a Site Map with clickable world map of megalithic locations and a book about the megaliths (see left). See also our LexiLine Newsletter/Group (568 members as of February 3, 2014) and our founded Archaeology Travel Photos group at Flickr (2189 members and 42572 photographs as of February 3, 2014). See also our founded Megalithic Sites of the World at Flickr (555 members and 4671 photographs as of February 3, 2014).

A Preliminary Notice about LAND SURVEY and the Author of Megaliths.Net,
who is also a Stanford Law School Graduate in the USA

The author of this website during college days worked on a land survey team for the Nebraska State Surveyor's Office in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. That "Nebraska connection" is deepened in the next paragraph, showing how land survey is connected to a study of the megaliths.

SYSTEMATIC PRESENTATION OF MEGALITHIC and PETROGLYPHIC SITES AS ASTRONOMY is a systematic graphic-supported analysis of megaliths and megalithic sites around the world which shows that ancient megalithic sites are land survey sites located by prehistoric astronomy. As observed by Alice Cunningham Fletcher (Alice C. Fletcher) in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist, there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska, geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens. FLETCHER, A. C. (1902), STAR CULT AMONG THE PAWNEE —A PRELIMINARY REPORT. American Anthropologist, 4: 730–736. doi: 10.1525/aa.1902.4.4.02a00050.

Alice Cunningham Fletcher
The photograph at the left is a photograph that includes Alice Cunningham Fletcher with Nez Perce Chief Joseph and is described at the Wikipedia as follows:

"Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Chief Joseph at the Nez Percé Lapwai Reservation in Idaho, where Fletcher arrived in 1889 to implement the Dawes Act. The man on one knee is James Stuart, Alice Fletcher's interpreter. According to Jane Gay in "With the Nez Perces" (University of Nebraska Press, 1981), Stuart customarily kneeled in this way when he felt anxious. Photograph by Jane Gay. (Courtesy Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives [MS4558]. Images from the National Anthropological Archives may not be reproduced without permission.)

The Smithsonian image is, however, in the public domain.

The Hermetic PAWNEE Star Lodge System

Pawnee Hermetic Sky Earth Stellar System Via Fletcher

The most ancient plan of Stonehenge looks like this:

StoneHenge GroundPlan Turned For Pawnee Similarity

The image above is my scan of an original survey map of Stonehenge as found glued to the inside margin of page 55 of William Long's book, Stonehenge and its Barrows, published in Devizes in 1876 from the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. xvi, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society. That book is still the best book ever published on Stonehenge, except for Gerald S. Hawkins, Stonehenge Decoded.

The Pawnee Star System was applied hermetically on Earth i.e. "As Above, so Below" and Fletcher's drawings show without any doubt that this same system was quite obviously used in the oldest constructions at famous locations such as Avebury, Knowth and Stonehenge, whose clear astronomical nature is still disputed by scholars lacking kno
wledge. Mainstream scholars alleging that those constructions are not clearly astronomical have not done their homework, as these Pawnee drawings -- undeniably astronomical -- prove.

I have below - speculatively - interpreted the Pawnee Star Lodge stellar system, which is based on a "four post hole" system, just as at Stonehenge. This interpretation is not as important as the recognition that the Pawnee system and the Stonehenge and other similar constructions represent the same ancient "astronomical technology", and they do so, evidence-based, on the undisputed Pawnee example.

Pawnee Star System Of Fletcher Interpreted By Kaulins

Pawnee Star System Of Fletcher Interpreted By Kaulins Starry Night Pro

We have studied whether the astronomy of the Pawnee was more widespread in ancient eras,
not only in the United States but around the world.... It was.

We have applied the "Pawnee" hermetic astronomical principle, "as above, so below" to megalithic sites around the world, for example, to the Malta Temples, and have achieved remarkable results.

We suggest that many megaliths and megalithic sites served as boundary stones and landmarks sighted (and sited) by astronomy.

Included here are also petroglyphs (ancient rock drawing sites) which we think are often astronomically oriented (e.g. Kilmartin, Scotland or Tanum, Sweden -- see below -- or Peterborough, Canada).

The same is true of the locations and subjects of prehistoric art in cave paintings. As an example, the Lascaux Cave in France is located at 45 degrees North and its paintings are clearly subject to astronomical interpretation.

Archaeologists seem to have little interest in or knowledge about ancient land survey systems or ancient astronomy, so that archaeology per se is not the right academic discipline to be presumed in charge of analyzing the function of ancient megalithic sites, petroglyphs, or cave paintings. Systematic analysis of the ancient sites of mankind's heritage demands an understanding of the subject under examination. An academic trained and skilled in digging up pots has no rightful claim to expertise in understanding astronomical survey sites of antiquity.

An Illustrated Photograph of Stonehenge
by Andis Kaulins (photo 2005 by Andis Kaulins)

stonehenge view from the heel stone

Our 2005 photograph of Stonehenge above (here reduced in size - see larger photograph here) was taken from the Heel Stone along the main axis of Stonehenge, known as the Avenue, looking from the northeast to the southwest on Salisbury Plain. We combine that photo with our illustration of the exact corresponding viewing position at Stonehenge (looking from bottom to top). We developed the above visually explanatory image because books and other online websites on Stonehenge do not provide satisfactory explanation of what one is looking at. Numerous megalithic sites are long on hype and short on science, and this includes also websites of mainstream archaeologists. Hype does not displace probative evidence.


Megalithic sites such as Stonehenge, which according to our research is undeniably an astronomical lunisolar calculator, also are presented in our pages, but we go beyond previous research.


Barrows, viz. tumuli or tumps (in America, "mounds") that are nearest to Stonehenge served as astronomical markers, principally marking stars in a system of astronomical measure and attendant land survey that extended far beyond Stonehenge.

The system of barrows seems to have its origin at least as far back as 3000 B.C.  According to our analysis, the long barrow at Winterbourne Stoke Crossroads marks the crossing point of the ecliptic, ecliptic meridian and celestial meridian at the point of the Vernal Equinox ca. 3117 B.C. That conclusion supports e.g. Professor Julian Thomas of Manchester who assigns an ancient date beyond 3000 B.C. to some of these earthworks.

OVERVIEW MAP of Stonehenge and the nearest Earthworks
high resolution image as a .png file

Stonehenge Earthworks Deciphered High Resolution Image
Stonehenge Earthworks Deciphered (high resolution image)


Of interest in this matter
in terms of formal archaeological examination
of the Winterbourne Stoke Barrows
is the English Heritage report
by S. Newsome, M. Bowden, A. Komar, and S. Bax
in Report Number 107 of the year 2010 titled
Stonehenge World Heritage Site Landscape Project: Winterbourne Stoke Crossroads, Report Number: 107/2010, Series: Research Department Reports
Pages: 56, English Heritage.


Take a look at Google Earth and the barrows (also called tumuli viz. tumps, i.e. "earth mounds") that surround Stonehenge.

The image below shows tumuli to the left of Stonehenge that can be viewed at Google Earth, as these tumps are found just above and to the right of the roundabout (intersection) on the road to Winterbourne Stoke.

A clipped Google Earth map of the area around Stonehenge is reproduced at the top of the image above. Compare that map with the star image directly below it based on Starry Night Pro ( star positions, and compare both maps with the bottom photo found at Vladislav Yastrebov of the Pleiades and nearby stars at (c) Vladislav Yastrebov (posted here as "fair use").

If the tumps, tumuli and barrows of Ancient Britain marked stars in the heavens, as we argue they did, then these tumuli clearly mark the Pleiades. We made this discovery independently and posted it already in February of the year 2002 to the Files of our the LexiLine group at Yahoo! Groups and refer to those Files in a March, 2002 LexiLine posting. The correspondence of these tumps to the brightest stars of the Pleiades cluster is so clear that other keen observers of the stars also claim to have seen that correspondence. Wayne Herschel in his book, The Hidden Records, which was published in January 2003, also claims to have seen the clear correspondence independently sometime in 2002. We say, bravo! Who actually made this discovery first is not that important. It would be good if we could get the hardheads in archaeological circles to take off their blinders and see what is absolutely evident, and, if these tumps represent stars, then probably many such tumps in the United Kingdom represent stars as well, with all of the consequences of that recognition for historical research. We do not share any mystical or extraterrestrial interpretations, however, and claim that these megalithic sites are all man-made, for the purpose of land survey by astronomy in the hermetic tradition -- "as above, so below."

But that is not all, as the other groups of tumuli directly surrounding Stonehenge then represent, as they must, the stars of Aries and the stars of Cetus, i.e. nearby stars to the Pleiades, as we show in the following postings.


Cetus at Stonehenge: If Tumps, Tumuli and Barrows in Ancient Britain Represented Stars, the Tumuli Below Stonehenge are the Stars of Cetus

Take a look at Google Earth and the tumps (also called tumuli viz. barrows) that surround Stonehenge, including the cursus and "cursus barrows" (labeled as "curcus barrows" by some Panoramia gallery users at Google Earth).

The bottom half of the image below shows tumuli to the South of Stonehenge that can be viewed at Google Earth.

A clipped Google Earth map of the area below Stonehenge is reproduced at the bottom of the image above. Compare that map with the star image directly above it by Robert Mura, CC-BY-SA 3.0, from Software Perseus, via Wikimedia Commons
Compare now the following star map which has the same relative size as the star map above, and that is why we use it, but is here imposed upon it, showing names of stars and the modern view of Cetus. We see that the ancients used many of the same stars, but at that time had a different resulting conception of what Cetus represented.

The image directly above from is copyrighted at the website of Sternfreunde Münster, Verein für Astronomie, which has a terrific astronomy website at We post it here as fair use. Do not be put off by the fact that it is in German language, as astronomy is by and large international in scope, so that the images of constellations can be understood by anyone, as above.

In any case, as previously stated, if the tumps, tumuli and barrows of Ancient Britain marked stars in the heavens, then these tumuli clearly mark the stars of Cetus and I have added red lines to show the stars corresponding to the appropriate tumuli.

There is a line of tumuli below these and those are also stars of Cetus and further down the line stars of Eridanus and Fornax, as identified on our main decipherment image some postings previous to this one. There are several obvious "lines" of stars extending down from Cetus and Eridanus but we superimposed images of the stars from Starry Night Pro on variously sized maps of Google Earth and they showed that the line we identify is the line intended by the ancients.


The Knowlton Rings are barrows viz. tumuli located in East Dorset, England, United Kingdom, southwest of Stonehenge at a location which would correspond astronomically to the stars of Taurus, given our previous postings, and thus it is not surprising that the Knowlton Rings in fact mark the Vernal Equinox ca. 3000 B.C. via the stars of Taurus and at least one of the Hyades. For orientation, the stars of the Pleiades are also marked to the northeast.

Google Earth is of little use here, but we found an image online by Steve Burrow of Bournemouth which shows a full archaeological survey map of the Knowlton Rings. Since that image is copyrighted, we redrew the entire map to a larger size (it may not be exactly to scale as a result) and added our astronomical explanations.

Two images were required to be able to show the full correspondence of the barrows and tumuli on Earth with the stars in the heavens.

The Pleiades are so clear as be without any possible astronomical dispute. Indeed, even the famed seven-star symbol of the Pleiades is apparently used. However, the Pleiades doe not represent this megalithic site, but have only been added here for completion of the location by the ancients.

Knowlton itself is defined by the stars of Taurus near Aldebaran and the Hyades. In Taurus, stars important to marking the Vernal Equinox point on the ecliptic are given priority so that the major star Aldebaran is only marked to the right of the larger rings without any greater significance, as it is not on the ecliptic. The same holds true for the Hyades. However, numerous stars can be identified with little difficulty, as shown in the following images.

Image 1 of 2 of the Decipherment of the Knowlton Rings

 Image 2 of 2 of the Decipherment of the Knowlton Rings

Obviously, the interpretation of one megalithic site alone does not prove the hypothesis that ancient barrows and tumuli, viz. tumps, marked stars in the sky as part of archaic astronomical practice and also as hermetic land survey -- as above, so below -- but when one can start to incorporate several megalithic sites, as we have done in past postings, into a cohesive interlocked system, then the likelihood that the hypothesis is correct has been magnified algebraically.


We try to examine ALL available evidence in our research. Even linguistic evidence is useful. For example, the name Stonehenge itself, as noted by William H. Long in his 19th century book, Stonehenge and its Barrows - which is still the best book available on the history of Stonehenge (now available at Amazon) - may be a term of Germanic origin as haengende Steine or Steinhang meaning "suspended stones". Locally, Stonehenge was allegedly called nawt by the Welsh, meaning "sanctuary", but we think that nawt originally meant node (Welsh noad) viz. "knot"- of the Sun and the Moon, so that Stonehenge was by name "an eclipse calculator". The Irish megalithic site of Knowth may be similarly named as the "knot" viz. "ankh" of heaven at heaven's center.


The location of megalithic sites is of great importance, which few researchers have understood. Gerald S. Hawkins in Stonehenge Decoded (p. 154) is a happy exception as he writes as follows about the unique location of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain:

Newham and Charriere of France ... commented on the very noteworthy circumstance that the latitude of Stonehenge is practically optimum for sun-moon rectangular alignment.... [I]n the northern hemisphere there is only one latitude for which, at their extreme declinations, the sun and the moon azimuths are separated by 900. Stonehenge is within a few miles of that latitude."

This confirms that Stonehenge may have been named anciently as the node of solar and lunar rectangular alignments, especially for eclipse prediction.

A strong precedent supporting our hermetic astronomical view of the ancient megalithic world is the 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist of an article by Alice C. Fletcher describing the hermetic astronomical system of the Pawnee in Nebraska, who geographically located their villages according to the stars in the heavens.

This practice reflects something which the ancients called hermetics, retained in modern times in the phrase: "as above, so below". Our research indicates that the ancients meant that phrase literally, as they used the heaven of stars above as the model for their earthly map on the ground below. We shall suggest that the same basic system as used by the Pawnee was not only used at Stonehenge and throughout Ancient England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, but was also used globally by ancient man in prehistoric days, for example, at megalithic sites such as the Malta Temples, each of which, as we have discovered, represents a star group.

The use of the hermetic principle is documented in Pharaonic Egypt as well. John Brock observes that land survey in ancient Egypt dates back to the earliest days of that ancient civilization and that ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs "
even refer to setting boundary stelae 'like the sky' ". Obviously, this is evidence that the sky was used as a model for land survey. The heaven of stars served as the map model for land survey on earth. That is the hermetic principle.

Megaliths of Kilmartin, Scotland Are a Sky Map of the Heavens

The Kilmartin, Scotland megalithic monuments are a sky map of the heavens at least 4500 years old.

The monuments of Kilmartin cover a 6-mile radius of terrain and employ the hermetic principle, "as above, so below" in creating a mirror-image of the stars on the surface of the Earth. Kilmartin was a mammoth ancient "star" project.

As written at the home page of the Kilmartin House Museum:

"There are more than 800 ancient monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin, Argyll, many of them are are prehistoric. This extraordinary concentration and diversity of monuments distinguishes the Kilmartin Glen as an area of outstanding archaeological importance. It is one of Scotland’s richest prehistoric landscapes."
The beauty of my decipherment is that once one knows the solution to the monument puzzle, that solution is open to anyone who has or obtains a minimal understanding of astronomy and the stars of the heavens.

The key to the decipherment was the initial  identification of the stars of Cygnus, Draco and Leo. The rest followed. If the decipherment were correct, the other stars had to fit. They do, and ANY reader can check the solution. That solution is not perfect, and surely much will be done down the road to improve it, but its general correctness is without doubt

Of course, the ancients may not have made the same groupings of stars into constellations or asterisms as we do today, and it is unlikely they used exactly all the same stars, but the bright stars in the sky lend themselves to stellar organization and sky-mapping such as we find in our modern Zodiac.

The three images presented below are:
  1. Kilmartin Monuments Deciphered as Astronomy by Andis Kaulins, 2000 to 2012, as based on an Ordnance Survey map that maps monument positions at Kilmartin. Kilmartin (page x), An Inventory of the Monuments Extracted from Argyll, Volume 6, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), 1999.
  2. Sky map excerpts clipped from Starry Night Pro, the best software program out there for this kind of work,, showing how the stars actually looked ca. 2500 B.C.
  3. A combined image which combines 1 and 2 above, for comparison.
Image 1: Kilmartin Monuments Deciphered

Image 2: Starry Night Pro Clip,
Stars of the Sky for Top and Bottom of Kilmartin Decipherment

Image 3: Kilmartin Monuments Deciphered plus 2 Starry Night Pro Astronomy Software Image Clips to Show the Stars Depicted

Please be advised that the work above continues the basic research on ancient monuments, signs and symbols published by Andis Kaulins in:
The author has also deciphered a similar map of the heavens on Earth in the case of the prehistoric rock drawings viz. petroglyphs of Tanum, Sweden.
The Rock Drawings (Petroglyphs) of Tanum, Sweden are a Sky Map of the Heavens

TANUM PETROGLYPHS, SWEDEN (our decipherment)


Tanum deciphered as astronomy

The rock drawing locations at Tanum, Sweden represent a sky map of the stars

Decipherment or Explanation?

We call our presentation "the decipherment of the megaliths". The term "explanation" might be a better, if also less effective word. You can access our pages through the geographic links in the left column or at the bottom of this text or at the top of this page. If you prefer the printed word, you also have the option to buy our book on the megaliths at Stars Stones and Scholars: The Decipherment of the Megaliths (see Science Book Review for review).

The text material below is intended as an introduction to materials on this website. We think that your understanding of our pages will be increased if you continue reading this page, but that is up to you. You can always come back to this page later through the "home" link above.

Megaliths and Megalithic Sites are a Source of Controversy

The world's megalithic sites are a source of controversial mystery to science. No mainstream discipline has ever engaged in a systematic study of the world's megalithic sites. Quite the contrary, pioneer scholars such as the late Gerald S. Hawkins, who wrote the groundbreaking Stonehenge Decoded, have often been ignored by the establishment. Hawkins himself related the tale of a British government official who simply rejected his findings without reading them by stating that "the ancient Britons couldn't have been as clever as all that". In fact, the megalith builders are still more or less an "unknown" quantity, an uncertainty which leads most archaeologists and most mainstream scholars to avoid megalithic study altogether.

But how can this worldwide heritage be ignored and ancient history be accurately written without accounting for megaliths and megalithic sites? Who erected them, and why? Mainstream science does not know. We claim to have a part of the answer.

Megaliths and Megalithic Sites as Boundaries and Landmarks

There is in fact compelling evidence that many megaliths served as ancient landmarks and boundary stones which were sighted (and sited) by astronomy. Indeed, the much maligned historical so-called Hermetic tradition clearly points to the origins of megalithic sites in land survey. For example, writes about the Hermetic tradition as follows:

"The name Hermes appears to have originated in the word for "stone heap." Probably since prehistoric times there existed in Crete and in other Greek regions a custom of erecting a herma or hermaion consisting of an upright stone surrounded at its base by a heap of smaller stones. Such monuments were used to serve as boundaries or as landmarks for wayfarers."

This hermetic tradition contradicts the prevailing but unsupportable mainstream view that the original purpose of megalithic sites was to serve as tombs, for which there is little probative evidence. Rather, we know that the ancients often transported huge stones many miles to erect them at a particular location far removed from their origin. Obviously, these sites were not tombs, as it would have been far simpler to transport the deceased to the area of rock quarries, rather than vice versa. Obviously, the sites chosen for megaliths had a special significance.

If the original Neolithic megaliths and megalithic sites were boundaries and landmarks, how were the locations selected and surveyed?

One of the cardinal precepts of the Hermetic tradition is "As above, so below". In days before writing and the invention of printed maps, one could not simply go down to the local store and buy travel maps, and yet, people had to be able to get around on land and to navigate by sea. How did they do it? How did they know where they were?

We claim, and all available evidence points in this direction, that the ancients took a "fixed known map" - this was the map of the heaven of stars - and projected that map onto the Earth - as a model for land survey. Anyone having knowledge of the heavenly stars could thus find his way around on Earth by means of the megaliths, which served both as boundaries and landmarks, sighted (and sited) by astronomy.

The Hermetic System of the Pawnee in Nebraska (Alice C. Fletcher)

As already noted above, the 1902 American Anthropologist published an article by Alice C. Fletcher titled Star Cult Among the Pawnee-A Preliminary Report, American Anthropologist, October-December, 1902 Vol.4(4):730-736 and describing the hermetic astronomical system of the Pawnee in Nebraska, whose villages and their respective geographical locations were represented by stars in the heavens. As part of the Anthropology Journal Archive Project, Ralph Bachli of Boston University  (Parker Shipton) wrote about that article as follows (we have added emphasis in bold face type):

Alice Fletcher documents the astrological symbols of an American Indian culture....  She notes the historical diffusion of beliefs and rituals throughout American trade and pilgrimage routes.  Fletcher focuses on the Pawnee perception of the stars and its effects on village planning and indigenous mythology.

Up until the late nineteenth century the Pawnee inhabited the Platte River in what is now the Midwestern state of Nebraska.... Fletcher investigates the Skidi Pawnee clan who portray astrological themes in village construction. Skidi comprise five functioning villages, each containing ritual icons for the worship of certain constellations.  Each village took on characteristics of certain star systems, and ceremonies were initiated to celebrate the astronomical rhythm of favorite constellations. The geographic location of five Skidi villages in relation to one another corresponded respectively to the constellations to which they were symbolically attached.... Fletcher explains how the earth lodge abodes that the Pawnee build are based on constellation patterns.... The Pawnee transform observation of stellar patterns into village planning, hut construction, and religion. These tribes had an intensive ritual life that took place at shrines dedicated to the night sky over the flatlands.

The Megaliths are a Hermetic System of Land Survey by the Stars

That in a nutshell, corresponds pretty well to the megalithic system we have discovered. As we show e.g. in our book on the megaliths, each temple of Malta has a form which corresponds to a different stellar constellation, and all of the temples of Malta fit into a cohesive astronomical geodetic system. This, we allege, was an ancient survey system globally applied.

For example, Gaelic tradition states that heavenly locations had earthly counterparts, although this knowledge is now submerged in Gaelic myth and is no longer directly accessible. The only way left for us to reconstruct such ancient hermetic systems is to examine the megalithic sites themselves and to research if these sites are systematically located by the stars. thus presents text materials, photographs and drawings relating to megaliths and megalithic sites - broadly defined to include what are mainly Neolithic (Stone Age) standing stones, menhirs, dolmens, cairns, quoits, tumuli, barrows, earthworks, dykes, henges, circles, etc. Prehistoric cave paintings and rock drawings (rock art) are also included in the analysis as precursors of megalithic art. According to our research, the original forms of this type of art are almost ALL astronomical in nature. The countries and regions of the world that we examine are:

Scotland, England and Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg), Spain and Portugal (Iberia), Italy together with Corsica, Sardinia and Malta, the Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland), Western Europe for countries not specifically listed above (such as Austria and Switzerland), Russia, Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan, Caucasus, North America (United States, Canada), Mesoamerica (Central America), South America, Oceania (including Polynesia, Micronesia, and New Zealand) and Australia, Ancient Greece (including Mediterranean islands such as Crete and Rhodes), Anatolia (Turkey), the Ancient Near East (Mesopotamia, Fertile Crescent, the Holy Land, Israel, Arabia, Persia, Assyria, Sumer, Akkad, lands of the Hittites), Africa and Egypt including Pharaonic Civilization, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia (including Thailand), India and Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon.


This is a summary of our findings.

Megaliths ("giant standing stones", menhirs) and related constructions such as cairns and dolmens (chambers of stone), tumuli and barrows (ancient earthworks) and henges and circles were built by ancient man for purposes of Astronomy and Geodetics.

Stated simply, stars were used to measure the Earth and vice versa. This human achievement dates to the Neolithic Period (Stone Age), long before such technology was thought possible by modern scholars. Indeed, the observational astronomical tradition upon which the megaliths are based is likely to be many thousands of years older than the megaliths themselves.

As discovered by Andis Kaulins, Neolithic megalithic sites are astronomy in a cohesive broadly based geodetic survey system. Megalithic sites marked geographic land borders as triangulated by astronomy, e.g. in Scotland, England and Wales, and Ireland, much as the kudurri (border stones) of Mesopotamia. In modern times, triangulation cornerstones have been put underground. In ancient days, these stones were erected on the surface - and there most of them have remained to this day. We can relate to this quite well by experience, having worked as a student out in the field for a summer for the Nebraska State Surveyor's Office.


All Neolithic sites in Scotland listed in the Ordnance Survey map of Ancient Britain (ISBN 0-319-29028-X) form a planisphere (sky map) of the northern and southern heavens with a center at BALNUARAN of CLAVA, where BAL surely means POLE, while NUARAN surely was an ancient name for the "River of Light" (Heaven) as in Hebrew NEHAR DI NUR and Arabic NAHR. See Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names, Dover (ISBN 0-486-21079-0). See my review of that book. The decipherment began at Clava.


All Neolithic sites in England marked on the Ordnance Survey map of Ancient Britain, including megaliths, quoits, tumuli and barrows form a map projection of the stars of the northern and southern heavens, with the center of the system at the Herefordshire Beacon and Midsummer Hill. Sites later than the Neolithic period show that the ancients adjusted for precession. The site called The Hurlers in Cornwall is a location at which precession was calculated in Ancient Britain.


Megaliths and megalithic sites in Ireland were selected and organized by region. The counties of modern Ireland and Northern Ireland - to the degree they approximate ancient regional boundaries - correspond to the stellar constellations of the heavens.


Standing stones, menhirs, tumuli, barrows, cairns, quoits, dolmens, and selected swallets and caves mark the stars of the heavens in Ancient Britain. Many megaliths are carved with reliefs of interlocking figures (smaller figures drawn within larger figures) which identify the stars to which stones are oriented (this Neolithic artistic style compares to modern works of M.C. Escher). Although our decipherment formally "began" at Balnuaran of Clava in Scotland through the cupmarked stones at that site, the megaliths at Wayland's Smithy e.g. were among the first stones solved, based on the carved (sculpted) shape of the stones themselves as well as through carvings on the stones and holes in the stones marking stars. This paved the way for the rest of the megaliths and for carvings found on ceremonial objects placed in swallets or hewn on the walls of caves.

Tumuli and barrows are arranged in groups to mark certain star clusters, e.g. the Knowlton Rings show Taurus and the Hyades. Winterbourne Stoke shows the stars of the Pleiades. In some cases, the apparently man-worked shape of cave rooms also identifies the stellar constellations or geodetic locations. Various earthworks even plan and record the astronomical and geodetic work, e.g. west of Torquay (Torbay) and east of Lewes, England.


Many standing stones have cupmarks or less formal indentations or holes on them marking the stars or stellar constellations which they represent. Additional markings on some stones identify parameters such as ecliptic, celestial equator, circle of precession, center of heaven (north ecliptic pole, south ecliptic pole), north pole star, south pole star, cord of the fish, Milky Way and solstice and equinox points.

Weathering has of course made it harder to identify holes and figures - but erosive processes also work on the contours of reliefs, holes and cupmarks, so that these in many cases do not disappear entirely, since they weather too and in some cases maintain their general near-original shape. Using modern graphics software and the numerous tools available for microscopic analysis of photographs, most of these sculpted figures, indentations and markings on megaliths, cairns, stones and dolmens can be reconstructed, e.g. by redrawing only the heaviest visible lines or marks on the stones, or adjusting the brightness, color and contrast of pictures. This detective work allows the stars intended by the ancients to be identified in many cases.


Many cairns or quoits are in the shape of the star groups they represent. The shape of many stones shows the appropriate part of the heavens explicitly. Ancient earthworks also served astronomical purposes. Tumuli and barrows mark specific stars or nebulae. A cursus at a site may, e.g., mark the Milky Way. Earthwork mounds may form the shape of a celestial object, e.g. the Large Magellanic Cloud. The ancients - as shown on - knew the southern skies and left us evidence carved in stone that they traveled as far as e.g. Africa, where we still find megaliths in the Central African Republic, megaliths now easily explained by geodetic survey and astronomy. That some ancient seafarers knew the southern heavens is recorded in an ancient legend from Sri Lanka, as found In Richard Hinckley Allen's book, Star Names. Quoting from my Ancient World Blog:

"Richard Hinckley Allen in his book, Star Names, Dover Publications, N.Y. 1997, reports of ancient legends that the southern stars were initially created by ancient seafarers to approximate the shape of Northern constellations in similar positions. Allen writes (p. 436) as follows:

"Before the observations of the navigators of the 15th and 16th centuries the singular belief prevailed that the southern heavens contained a constellation near the pole similar to our Bear or Wain; indeed it is said to have been represented on an early map or globe. Manilus wrote:

'The lower Pole resemblance bears
To this Above, and shines with equal stars;
With Bears averse, round which the Draco twines;'

and Al Biruni repeated the Sanskrit legend that at one time in the history of the Creation an attempt was made by Visvamitra to form a southern heavenly home for the body of the dead king, the pious Somadatta; and this work was not abandoned till a southern pole and another Bear had been located in positions corresponding to the northern, this pole passing through the island Lunka, or Vadavamukha (Ceylon). The Anglo-Saxon Manual made distinct mention of this duplicate constellation 'which we can never see.'...

And, quoting from Francisco Lopes of 1552: [our comment: the spelling is original!]

'Abowt the poynt of the Southe or pole Antartike, they sawe a lyttle whyte cloude and foure stars lyke unto a crosse with three other joynynge thereunto, which resemble oure Septentrion, and are judged to bee the signes or tokens of the south exeltree of heaven.'

What is referred to here is not known, for although the figure represented is that of the Southern Cross this constellation always is upright when on the meridian, and, as the observation was made in latitude 14° or 15°, its base star was plainly visible."


Megalithic boundaries mark both small and large geographic areas. For example, Counties in Scotland still retain elements of the approximate size, shape, and location of their comparable stellar constellations, located on earth by megaliths. Perthshire in Scotland e.g. retains the name PERSeus in PERTH. Megalithic sites in Perthshire such as Fowlis Wester represent stars in Perseus. The relative size and shape of Perthshire corresponds to the comparable constellation. Other counties are similar, though of course changed somewhat over the millennia. The graphic below shows the author at Fowlis Wester in the year 2001. The lines and dots have been added to the photo (not to the megalith) by the author to show how the stars of Perseus are represented by cupmarks on the stone, which shows the side profile, back and shoulder of a woman who has turned her head toward the viewer. The triangle of three large points to the left below Perseus of course marks the stars of Taurus. The shoulder marks the stars of the Pleiades for the reason that e.g. Plecs means "shoulder" in Indo-European language, e.g. Latvian. This analysis is supported for Fowlis Wester by Manx Gaelic Yn Whing as the name for Perseus, where whing in Manx Gaelic means "span, arm".


Megalithic sites also involve geodetic survey by astronomy of regions on a larger scale, showing e.g. that the ancient border between Scotland and England was at Eridanus (Hadrian), represented by the River Tyne (Eri-Danus, with Danus = Tyne, the watershed between Scotland and England) and ending at New Castle ("new earthwork"). The ancients made separate measurements for England (Wales included), Scotland and Ireland, each with its own center of heaven for survey. The Channel Islands are also represented.

On the European continent, each region had their own geodetic survey. In Germany astronomical works of the Magdalenians (later called Franks or Franken), were passed down as the legendary Ring of the Nibelungen, living on the Neckar (Nahr). Tumuli (Hügelgräber), megaliths throughout Germany, and the Felsenmeer between Frankfurt and Heidelberg are clearly ancient astronomical geodetic markers. The Externsteine were a center of astronomical activity. The Gollenstein (Gollen Stone) at Blieskastel in Germany near Saarbrücken is the largest megalith in Middle Europe (7.6 meters high of which 6.6 meters are above the ground). As we have discovered, this megalith represents Hydra, the "longest" stellar constellation. Megaliths extend outward from the Gollen Stone and these megaliths surely marked the ancient border to France.

In France, the cave paintings, and the stones at Carnac and elsewhere are ALL astronomical geodetic monuments. Mediterranean islands also have megaliths, such as the stone Sa Perda Pinta from Boeli [pole] near Mamoiada which we find marked a center of heaven for Sardinia in ancient days (so our discovery).


Geographic locations of megaliths were intentionally oriented to the stars and to objects of the heavens in a given era. For Neolithic sites, the cardinal date seems to be either the Summer or Winter Solstice in 3117 BC (-3116 by astronomy) (as calculated by Starry Night Pro, ISBN 1-894395-01-8). Our initial view was that the Winter Solstice in 3117 BC was marked by a solar eclipse with Mars and Saturn at Spica in Virgo, and the rest of the visible planets at the Winter Solstice point. This unique phenomenon would have been well suited to start the first long-term human calendar - retained in e.g. Hindu and Maya calendration. However, due to the problems involved in calculating Delta T (the change in the rate of the spin of the earth over the millennia) as well as similar problems in determining the lunar acceleration parameter, solar eclipse data in ancient eras is subject to great dispute, and we are in the process of preparing a special page on ancient solar eclipses.


Regrettably, many megalithic sites have been destroyed by people who know no better and such ancient sites can no longer be reconstructed. We advocate that there is a pressing need to photograph (from all sides) and catalogue ALL megalithic stones and sites worldwide.

We hope also that our decipherment of the megaliths raises their value in the eyes of humanity and that they will all then be properly respected and maintained as the masterpieces of art and technology which they once were and still are.

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