Stonehenge & Timing Typhon

Tiede, Vance

In the half century since astronomer Gerald S. Hawkins proposed that Stonehenge was a "Neolithic computer" designed to forecast "a danger period when eclipses are possible" (Hawkins 1964, 1258), his interpretation has yet to be accepted by most anthropologists (Atkinson 1966; Daniel 1967; Ruggles 1981; Aveni 1996; Magli 2012), presumably because predicting eclipses implies "... that the builders of Stonehenge...were possessed of a degree of intellectual sophistication that seems inconsistent with the usual picture of the population of S. England in the 2nd millennium B.C." (Hoyle 1966, 262).

In an attempt to bridge the inter-disciplinary divide between astrophysicists and archaeologists, this paper interprets various "numerical artifacts" of Stonehenge's architecture as a Neolithic clock to time lunar eclipses as described by Eudoxus of Cnidus (c.370 BC) involving the 56-sided polygon of Typhon and the shadow of the earth obscuring the moon. For example, we note that the architects of Stonehenge had knowledge of both Typhon's and Meton's Cycles evidenced by the 56 holes in the Aubrey circle (TPQ 3000 BC) and the 19 stones in the Bluestone Horseshoe (TPQ 1930 BC). They could time eclipse danger periods by approximating the precession of the lunar nodes (18.59992 years) as 56 years/3 = 18.66667 years. All total and partial midwinter lunar eclipses observable at Stonehenge 2000-1500 BC have been identified with the NASA Five Millennium Catalogs of Lunar and Solar Eclipses and recreated in Starry Night Pro Plus-6 digital planetarium software. We demonstrate the efficacy of the 56-Year Cycle of Typhon to time eclipses by observing the midwinter full moonrise over the Heel Stone in a period of 19+18+19 years (= 56 years), e.g., up to five midwinter total lunar eclipses: -1991 Dec 22; -1972 Dec 22; -1954 Jan 3; -1935 Jan 13; -1917 Jan 24.

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