This posting thus gives advance notice of our forthcoming publication, titled:
The Avebury Stones as Archaeology, Art & Astronomy:
Star Megaliths of the Avebury Henge & Circles
by Andis Kaulins
Title ID: 6429513 ISBN-13: 978-1535338028
The book is unfinished and can not be ordered yet. It will present our recent "decipherment" of the Avebury Stones of Avebury Henge and Circle.
The provisional cover is below, featuring Avebury Stone #10:
Aubrey Burl in the 1st edition of Prehistoric Avebury features the above Avebury Stone #10 in the foreground on the book cover, but it is pictured in a group of stones and is turned somewhat sideways.
We picked this stone for our cover before ever viewing Burl's 1st edition because we discovered that it is the most important stone at Avebury, as we shall soon demonstrate. Since Burl was an experienced megalithic researcher, his initial instincts must have told him that Stone #10 was important. The 2nd edition of Burl's book features a less important stone in the foreground with a side view of Avebury Stone #10 in the background. Newer may not be better.
Good photographs are essential for analyzing ancient megalithic sites. Some years ago on a visit to the United Kingdom, the present author took a series of close-up photographs of the Avebury Henge megaliths ("big stones"), photographing, as possible, many Avebury Henge stones from the front, the back and the sides. That posting series resulted in a unique, comprehensive collection of photos of the individual stones that thus far has no equal.
Such photographs were necessary for our decipherment of this prehistoric megalithic site. No such published collection of photos was then available because -- regrettably -- the archaeological mainstream community is lax in their visual documentation of prehistoric megalithic sites. Avebury Henge is no exception, so that we had to "make our own", as it were.
Who otherwise photographs the individual stones for the stones own sake?
Most of the thus far available photographs of Avebury Henge tend to be "artsy-craftsy" in their focus, whereas a comprehensive photo overview of the individual stones themselves is lacking, even in sources published by the professionals.
Indeed, the online English Heritage Avebury website has a picture gallery of only ten photographs total, most being "group" shots.
By contrast, we for example present as many as four different photographs of just a single stone (front, back, left and right sides).
Trying to portray Avebury in ten photographs is "minimalist", to say the least, and it reflects the disappointing state of the art of most academic Avebury research and presentation.
One happy exception here is Secrets of the Avebury Stones: Britain's Greatest Megalithic Temple by George Terence Meaden, which has some excellent photographs of individual stones, but generally only one stone side only. Meaden correctly sees carved faces on some of the stones.
As we shall demonstrate, there are are many more carved figures on the stones. Many of these, however, can properly be identified only by tracing the most prominent lines on photographs of the stones and then analyzing the stones via zoom and other functions via graphic image photo software tools.
Another important book on Avebury is Nicholas R. Mann's Avebury Cosmos: The Neolithic World of Avebury henge, Silbury Hill, West Kennet long barrow, the Sanctuary & the Longstones Cove. Mann does not analyze individual stones as such, but rather stone groups. His analysis adds a new approach to what he regards as a now established archaeoastronomical fact that the builders of Avebury were sky-watchers and that Avebury Henge was astronomical in nature, with Crux, the Southern Cross, playing a leading role at a time when sky observers at Avebury could see the entire Milky Way.
We will suggest, inter alia, that the stars of Crux are in fact marked by an almond shape on the very first Avebury Stone that we will analyze, Avebury Stone #10 of the Avebury Henge. As written at the Wikipedia:
"Alpha Crucis [also known as Acrux] ... is the brightest star in the constellation Crux, the Southern Cross, and, at a combined visual magnitude 0.77, is the 13th brightest star in the night sky. Acrux is the southernmost first-magnitude star...." [emphasis added]We might add to that the important observation that the star Alpha Crucis is located directly on the Galactic Equator at the thinnest part of the Milky Way. The stones show that the ancients knew the position of the Galactic Equator.
Richard Hinckley Allen writes in Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning about Crux (see also Star Names and Their Meanings, edition G.E. Stechert):
"Crux lies in the Milky Way, -- here a brilliant but narrow stream three or four degrees wide ... the general effect being that of a badly made kite rather than of a cross."Mann in Avebury Cosmos (p. 105) cites to the description of Crux by Amerigo Vespucci, the explorer after whom America is named, who viewed the Southern Cross after sailing far enough South to see its stars -- which had been "lost" to visibility in Europe for thousands of years because of axial precession:
"[Vespucci] did not identify it as a cross; rather he described its pattern as a 'mandorla,' that is, as almond or vesica shaped. It is plausible that the early British sky-watchers also saw it in this manner...."That may in fact be the case on Avebury Stone #10.
The Wikipedia writes further about Alpha Crucis (also known as "Acrux"):
"Since Acrux is ... the southernmost first-magnitude star, it is [currently, in our era] only visible south of latitude 27°N.... Because of Earth's axial precession, however, the star was visible to ancient Hindu astronomers in India who named it “Tri-shanku”. It was also visible to the ancient Romans and Greeks...."Richard Hinckley Allen in Star Names writes about the visibility of Crux:
[Crux] was last seen on the horizon of Jerusalem ... about the time that Christ was crucified. But 3000 years previously all its stars were 7° above the horizon of the [peoples] along the shores of the Baltic Sea, in latitude 52°30'.The latitude of Avebury is slightly below that, between 51° and 52° North.
In our forthcoming book, we shall publish not only our original comprehensive photographs of the stones but also our interpretation of the significance of these monumental megaliths - most estimated at 40+ to 100+ tons in size.
Our photographs and illustrations are being published for non-commercial "fair use" in research and education. We hope that our work and our photographs, illustrations, and interpretations will help to put to rest once and for all the erroneous mainstream archaeological view that the Avebury Stones were not much "worked" by human hand and that they allegedly do not have carved figures or other man-made markings on them, manifested as lines, holes and cupmarks (cupules). In fact, some of the "markings" are quite creative, and Avebury Stone #10 will provide ample evidence of that.
The next postings in this series of postings will be:
- The Great Avebury Challenge - Avebury Stone #10 - Front Side Photograph by Andis Kaulins
- The Great Avebury Challenge - Avebury Stone #10 - Left Side Photograph by Andis Kaulins
- The Great Avebury Challenge - Avebury Stone #10 - Right Side Photograph by Andis Kaulins
- The Great Avebury Challenge - Avebury Stone #10 - Back Side Photograph by Andis Kaulins
For those not so interested, after presenting the four photographs of Avebury Stone #10, we will present our various drawings and illustrations together with accompanying text to reveal our own decipherments of Avebury Stone #10 as Archaeology, Art & Astronomy. The choice is yours.