Film of John Michell at Lundy Island

This is a film by me of John Michell before his death. It was made on Lundy Island at which time he was working on some of his last published ideas about the British Isles from the perspective of sacred geometry and metrology, both fields in which John made outstanding contributions including The View Over Atlantis, Dimensions of Paradise and Ancient Metrology. It is published here to enable those who did not to experience the unique presence of John Michell, itself conducive to understanding his work.

originally published Monday, 28 May 2012 at 10:58
It was read 478 times

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Gavrinis 1: Its dimensions and geometrical framework

This article first appeared in my Matrix of Creation website in 2012 which was attacked, though an image had been made. Some of this material appeared in my Lords of Time book.

Gavrinis and Tables des Marchands are very similar monuments, both in the orientation of their passageways and their identical latitudeGavrinis is about 3900 metres east of Tables des Marchands but, unlike the latter, has a Breton name based upon the root GVR (gower). Both passageways directly express the difference between the winter solstice sunrise and the lunar maximum moonrise to the South, by designing the passages to allow these luminaries to enter at the exact day of the winter solstice or the most southerly moonrise over many lunar orbits, during the moon’s maximum standstill. Thus both the monuments allow the maximum moon along their passageway whilst the winter solstice sunrise can only glance into their end chambers.

From Howard Crowhurst’s work on multiple squares, we know that this difference in angle is that between a 3-4-5 triangle and the diagonal of a square which is achieved directly by the diagonal of a seven square rectangle.

Figure 1 The essence of difference between the winter solstice sunrise (as diagonal of 4 by 3 rectangle) and southerly maximum moonrise (as diagonal of a single square), on the horizon, is captured in the diagonal of a seven squares rectangle.
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82: A Natural Accurate Pi related to Megalithic Yard

Author at Le Manio Quadrilateral (c. 4000 BC) in 2010. To left, the end of the southern-kerb’s day-inch count, which created the first megalithic yard of 261/8 (32.625) day-inches.

In my paper on lunar simulators, based upon the surviving part of a circular structure at Le Manio (Carnac, Brittany), a very simple but poor approximation to PI could be assumed, of 82/26 (3.154) since there seem to have been 82 stones in the circle and the diameter was 26 of the inter-stone distance of 17 inches. The number 82 is significant to simulation of the moon’s orbit since that orbit is very nearly 27 and one third days long (actually 27.32166 days). In three orbits therefore, there are almost exactly 82 days and in day-inch counting that is 82 day-inches. Also of interest is the fact that in three orbits, the exact figure would be 81.965 day-inches which approaches the megalithic rod of 2.5 MY as 6.8 feet.

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The Roof Axe as Circumpolar Device

This article explores the use of axe motifs within a form of carved schematic art unique to the megalithic monuments near Carnac, southern Brittany, France. First published in February 2014.

A diagram found on the underside of the capstone of a chambered dolmen called Kercado (see figure 1) appears to hold metrological and astronomical meanings. Classified as a type of AXE, local axe motifs are said to have three distinct forms (a) triangular blades, (b) hafted axes and (c) the Mane Ruthual type [Twohig, 1981[1]]. 

Figure 1 Well preserved sculpted-stone axe-head motif in Kercado dolmen

Types b and c are often found in the singular on the undersides to roof slabs and in the case of form (b), the hafted axe, I have attributed its display below the roof slab of Table des Marchands at Locmariaquer (inset right) as being used to represent the north pole between 5000 and 4000 BC, at a time when there was no star near to the pole itself. The abstract point of the north pole, the rotational axis of the earth, is shown as a loop attached to the base of the axe haft, whilst the axe head then represented a chosen circumpolar star, as this rotates counter-clockwise in the northern sky, at the fixed distance of the haft from the pole itself. Note how compatible this idea of an axe ploughing the northern skies is to our own circumpolar constellation, The Plough. Note also that the eastern horizon moves through the equatorial stars at the same angular rate as the marker star moves around the north pole.

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Astronomical Time within Clava Cairns

In North East Scotland, near Inverness, lies Balnuaran of Clava, a group of three cairns with a unique and distinctive style, called Clava cairns; of which evidence of 80 examples have been found in that region. They are round, having an inner and outer kerb of upright stones between which are an infill of stones. They may or may not have a passageway from the outer to the inner kerb, into the round chamber within. At Balnuaran, two have passages on a shared alignment to the midwinter solstice. In contrast, the central ring cairn has no passage and it is staggered west of that shared axis.

This off-axis ring cairn could have been located to be illuminated by the midsummer sunrise from the NE Cairn, complementing the midwinter sunset to the south of the two passageways of the other cairns. Yet the primary and obvious focus for the Balnuaran complex is the midwinter sunset down the aligned passages. In fact, the ring cairn is more credibly aligned to the lunar minimum standstill of the moon to the south – an alignment which dominates the complex since, in that direction the horizon is nearly flat whilst the topography of the site otherwise suffers from raised horizons.

Cairns at Balnuaran of Clava. plan by A. Thom and pictures by Ian B. Wright
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