How Stonehenge’s Solar Calendar Works

Gordon Freeman explains how the solar calendar operates as part of Stonehenge. Freeman has written Hidden Stonehenge and Canada’s Stonehenge which outline his archaeological discoveries.

Stonehenge. They’ve been studying Stonehenge for 300 years and in roughly that 300 years a few people have speculated that there is an alignment to the summer solstice sunrise along the axis of the Stonehenge circle. The calendar in Stonehenge goes in and out of favour amongst the experts over there.

Stonehenge. They’ve been studying Stonehenge for 300 years and in roughly that 300 years a few people have speculated that there is an alignment to the summer solstice sunrise along the axis of the Stonehenge circle. The calendar in Stonehenge goes in and out of favour amongst the experts over there.

Around 1900 the experts thought that there is a calendar, a very crude one but still it marked the winter solstice sunset and the summer solstice sunrise. By 1970 the expert archaeologists decided that all of those people didn’t know anything, they were wrong, there’s no calendar there. When we discovered the calendar in the sun temple in Alberta, after we more or less nailed it down here, I heard about the arguments that have been going on for about three hundred years. So I decided to take the techniques that we had evolved here to Stonehenge to have a proper look at it because all the experts had stood in the middle of the Stonehenge circle and looked through the wide gaps between the big stones to see if there could be an alignment there that meant anything.

Well, the lines here in Alberta are accurate to a twentieth of a degree. The experts in in England thought that the old folks 4,000 years ago the best they could do was about one or two degrees so this is wrong by a factor of 20-40.

Well, we went there in December 1995 and began our study. Since then we kept going there til 2010. So anyway to introduce Stonehenge this is an attempt to measure the summer solstice sunrise and we had bad luck as there were spots on the ground and we couldn’t see any sun.

Oh I didn’t say… people were standing in the middle of the circle looking out between these big vertical stones, big gaps. The actual observation place is a barrow 300 meters southwest of the circle, a long way away.

You have to look through a narrow hole in the Stonehenge structure. So some the stones have fallen down so it turns out the narrow hole has to be reconstructed.

Anyway, sunrise 17th of June, 1999. You’re not always lucky because there’s a lot of cloud in England. So anyway this is where the sun rose on the 17 June. To get the horizon is about this level. This is uphill. There were no trees 4000 years ago so you have to extrapolate this on top of the sun back to the horizon. Just to show that you can accurately get the slope, this is three subsequent times after that initial, so this is the slope that you have to extrapolate that point back. So you do that for the 17th of June, you get this, the white dash line, is the horizon before the trees grew. This heavy line is the 17th of June. You have to extrapolate that. The sun moves very regularly so you can, you know how much the rise point changes each day and the spinning axis of the earth processes and so over a thousand years the rise point at the solstices shifts a little bit. 4,000 years ago it shifted by .93 degrees. So to go from 1999 to 4000 years ago, this is four kilo years, thousand years, before the present – that means ago. And extrapolate that down, it comes to this – is the remaining great trilathon stone. The fallen one is right here on the ground. We draw it as if it were standing up and then put on the top – the lintel. This extrapolates down to this point in the gap of the great trilithon. On the ground here is here so that the Sun is rising in a heavy stone window 4 meters above the ground.

And that’s magical. They built this structure. It took genius. I only did that to illustrate that there is a calendar. That’s the one that has been argued over for 300 years and we solved it. It’s a very accurate one, it’s accurate to a tenth of a degree. It’s not quite as accurate as the one here because the stones are big and the gaps are a little bigger. So this is the summer solstice sunrise line that I showed there.

This is an aerial view taken from a postcard and so its high. It goes high past this great trilathon and it goes above the circle at this point, so that’s this sunrise line in summer solstice. And what I’m going to show in some detail is the equal day night sunset line and this equal day night sunrise line.

A kilometer away is this ridge with six what they call bowl barrows on. A lot of these barrows have burials in them but nobody knows whether there are three burials in these or not, but anyway it’s a ridge with six of them 27 28 29 30, over here three more. So the equal day night sunrise I will show you is into the peak of king barrow 28.

Well, first I want to show you the set sunset line. This is a Google Earth image of the circle and then for the sunset you stand on the bank east of the circle and you look through a very narrow gap which I will show you.

There is a notch on one of these trilathon stones that lets the light through. This is standing just outside the circle. This is one of the circle trilathons. There’s another one over here. And this is 25 meters across the circle. This is a trilithon. A trilithon just means three big stones, three stones, two standing vertically – here and then one on top. But there’s a notch that’s been carved out of the side of this one to let the sunlight shine through. With this sun is setting on equal day night. If you move to the east bank where the observer would have stood, this is the tiny slot where the sun has to appear to make the accurate measurement.

So the line is quite accurate but still only about a tenth of a degree. To show you actual results, move the camera inside the circle not too far from that carved chunk out of that rock to show you an equal day night leap year cycle. This is the 25th and 26th of September.

And so the start of the Equal day night was here and the end of it was here coming this way. This is north this is south. Move the camera back a little bit to narrow that gap. We see just a set on the 26th. In the last two years of the cycle – eight, nine, ten, eleven – this is divided by 4 and these are not, so this is the leap year. And so this is the last two years of the leap year cycle. It ends in September. If you do it in March, it’s going the other way. This is the start of the equal day night in March. So what it takes is the start in March and the end in September. As we move the camera still farther way to narrow the size of that big hole, it’s starting to look like what it would look like from the bank. This is the actual sun coming down here. You can’t see the sun but you can see that this is too light because it was during an actual sunset. But again this is the end of the equal day night in September on the 26th, the beginning of the Equal Day night the 17th of March.

The season focus at Stonehenge for the equal day night sunset starts in March ends in September. That’s the summer, the opposite of the winter focus in Alberta. By the way, their temple is 4400 years old. Ours is 5200 years – the calendar. So ours is actually 800 years older than theirs. That was the sunset line, this is the equal day night sunrise line. From the bank through a narrow gap across the Stonehenge structure to new king barrow 28.

This is standing inside the circle looking along that line just to show you the six of the six barrows on the new king barrow ridge. Look from the circle itself and we wind up focusing on that one.

This is an actual sunrise; the sun on the 25th of September in 2002 appeared here. That’s the sun there but you extrapolate along the slope to where the first flash was – it was here. And the sunrise first flash depends on the elevation of the horizon, so these distances were our flat horizon in Alberta the distances were exactly the same. This distance and when you’re going up slope the distances increase. So this is the beginning of the equal day night for the sunrise and the end of the equal day night the sunset. This is just above the peak of barrow 28. It shows you the same information with September and March. It marks the end of it in September at the beginning of the equal day night in March. So it’s the same as the set it starts in March ends in September. That focuses on the summer. How did they know over here they focused on the winter and over there they focused on the summer.

They just didn’t want.. It is like kids want to separate themselves from their parents to show that they’re individuals and so they disagree with a lot of stuff their parents say. The same thing with people who built these temples.

Anyway so if you’re standing outside the ring looking through a narrow slot, this is the end in September. The beginning of March. This is the peak of new king barrow 28. Now if you go a considerable distance away to see how narrow that gap looks, this is the gap and this is the horizon. It’s quite fine, about a tenth of a degree. Just to give you an idea of the whole Stonehenge calendar as viewed through cracks across the whole Stonehenge structure, this is the equal day night sunrise. This is the equal day night set. It’s the same gap over here but they straddle this stone. Some of these stones are fallen but the stones are accurately placed and so just by turning the diagram around you can estimate the positions of the stones when they all stood up. That’s what these black things are where they used to be. The summer sunrise that I showed you there, this is high up, four meters above the ground, or five. The winter solstice sun set is along the same gaps. This is the narrow gap between the great trilithon two rocks and this is the summer solstice sunset, the winter solstice sunrise and that goes to …they actually go through this chip, this big V that’s been carved out of this big rock.

But there is an altar stone. The books on Stonehenge say that the altar stone has been shifted. It should be perpendicular to this line, but it’s off. It’s only 80 degrees instead of 90 degrees. But it’s exactly in the direction of the winter sunrise and in the summer sunset. The altar stone was intentionally put at that angle to correspond to the solstice rise in the winter and set in the summer.