This paper proposes that an unfamiliar type of circumpolar astronomy was practiced by the time Le Menec was built, around 4000 BCE. This observatory enabled the rotation of the earth and ecliptic location of eastern and western horizons to be known in real time, by observing stellar motion by night and solar motion by day. This method avoided stellar extinction angles by measuring the circular motion of a circumpolar marker star as a range in azimuth, which could then be equated with the diameter of a suitably calibrated observatory circle. The advent of day-inch counting and simple geometrical calculators, already found at Le Manio’s Quadrilateral, enabled the articulation of large time periods within Carnac’s megalithic monuments, the Western Alignments being revealed to be a study of moonrises during half of the moon’s nodal period. Le Menec’s Type 1 egg is found to be a time-factored model of the moon’s orbit relative to the earth’s rotation. This interpretation of Le Menec finds that key stones have survived and that the gaps seen in the cromlech’s walls were an essential part of its symbolic language, guiding contemporary visitors as to how its purpose was to be interpreted within the pre-literate megalithic culture.
Two key lengths are found at Le Manio and Le Menec: The first, of 4 eclipse years is a day-inch count of the Octon eclipse cycle; the second is a four solar year count that, with the first, forms a triangle, marked clearly by stones at Le Menec. The principles worked out at Le Manio appear fully developed in Le Menec’s western cromlech, including the use of an 8 eclipse year day-inch count, consequently forming a diameter of 3400 megalithic inches which equals in number the days in half a nodal period. The scaling of the Western Alignments is found to be 17 days per metre, a scaling naturally produced by the diagonal of a triple square geometrical construction. A single sloping length on the top of the central stone initiating row 9, indicates a single lunar orbit at 17 days per metre, a length of 1.607 metres. This control of time counting within geometrical structures reveals that almost all of Le Menec’s western cromlech and alignments express a necessary form, so as to represent a megalithic study of (a) circumpolar time as having 365 time units, (b) the moon’s orbit as having 82 times 122 of those units and (c) the variations of successive moonrises over most of a lunar nodal period of 18.6 solar years.
Read 1458 times when last published on MatrixOfCreation.co.uk, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:22
At megalithic sites, the only alignment of note on the northern horizon has usually been the direction of the north pole or “true” North on the site plan. “Megalithic” cultures worldwide, both the later manifestations in the Americas or the old world cultures of Northwest Europe or Egypt, built structures oriented in a very accurate way to North. The builders of the Great Pyramid for example or of the geo-glyphs of the Amazon rainforest, seemed to have had an unexpectedly good method for determining North, no easy task when a pole star is never exactly north and, in many epochs, there is no star near to the pole.
The egg-shaped stone circles of the megalithic, in Brittany by c. 4000 BC and in Britain by 2500 BC, seem to express two different astronomical time lengths, beside each other as (a) a circumference and then (b) a longer, egg-shaped extension of that circle. It was Alexander Thom who analysed stone circles in the 20th century as a hobby, surveying most of the surviving stone circles in Britain and finding geometrical patterns within irregular circles. He speculated the egg-shaped and flattened circles were manipulating pi so as to equal three (not 3.1416) between an initial radius and subsequent perimeter, so making them commensurate in integer units. For example, the irregular circle would have perimeter 12 and a radius of 4 (a flattened circle).
However, when the forming circle and perimeter are compared, these can compare the two lengths of a right-triangle while adding a recurring nature: where the end is a new beginning. Each cycle is a new beginning because the whole geocentric sky is rotational and the planetary system orbital. The counting of time periods was more than symbolic since the two astronomical time periods became, by artifice, related to one another as two integer perimeters that is, commensurate to one another, as is seen at St Pierre (fig.3).
In this article M.Guillaume introduces some of the AAK’s work on understanding the Gavrinis chambered cairn. It appeared in the first volume of Etudes et Travaux, May 1977, pages 45-51.
It has been translated from French as best I can, in three parts with links between. It was first re-published on the web between 2010-2012 to honour the fact I was given copies of the magazine when visiting Carnac in 2004.
Whilst my interest was site interpretation using numbers, the notion of a vision quest within Gavrinis as an experienced structure is appealing.
What especially strikes one on entering Gavrinis is the extreme homogeneity of the whole work.