The Ruggles Block

24 Aug 2020

At https://cultureandcosmos.org/pdfs/16/MacKie_INSAPVII_Stonehenge.pdf ... Euan MacKie, a founder member of SIS, on Stonehenge. He usually confines himself to the archaeology of Scotland but on this occasion he is writing on behalf of the deceased Alexnder Thom, a fellow Scot, and his ideas on alignments - and what better monument to argue around. Clive Ruggles, mainstream establishment favourite, concluded that the evidence of accurate alignments at Stonehenge is minimal. In doing so he virtually brought an end to the study of archaeo-astronomy in relation to archaeological sites in this country, to an end. As a result, as far as the wider world is concerned, the UK is virtually absent from this field of global study. Not contributing. He was at pains to point out there was no sophisticated astronomical practises, or any evidence of a calendrical purpose within the stones. That may very well be true, as far as Gerald Hawkins Stonehenge Decoded is concerned, but what if things were going on in the sky that concerned people of the time, even if it only involved earth tremors. Neither was there any evidence of a sophisticated geometry involved in the design, we may also conclude (but not specifically mentioned by Ruggles). It was an unsaid conclusion as Thom was really the target the establishment wished to curtail. MacKie's article seeks to contradict Ruggles, in a scholarly fashion. For another take see Robin Heath, 'Alexander Thom - Cracking the Stone Age Code'.

MacKie uses Atkinson's on site surveys of 1978 and Hawkins photogrammetic survey to argue that important lunar and solar alignments were built into the rectangular formation of the Station Stones. This is not a new idea of course as it is maintained by some that this is the main axis of the site. Further, MacKie accepts the Thom hypothesis that there was a Neolithic unit of length. Mainstream are convinced it was laid out by paces - but were they long legs or short legs. He has also written about the Cologny Calendar (Celtic). He says, astronomy, the calendar, and geometry, are closely interwoven into Stonehenge. Not what mainstream wanted to hear. He notes that a recent comprehensive review and analysis of all the archaeological work ever done at Stonehenge, prepared for English Heritage, says not a single word about the site's possible geometrical properties and astronomical capabilities (apart from the solar axis to midsummer and midwinter). One may wonder if Alexander Thom had ever existed. He has been expunged. Archaeologists have learnt to ignore him as it might queer their career opportunities. MacKie knew Thom personally and is still sympathetic towards his ideas. This appears to be one last attempt to keep Thom's theories alive. Good read.