Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, Vol 2, No 2 (2016)

Shadows, Stones and Solstices

Olwyn Pritchard

Abstract


This paper records the results of a survey of stone pairs in southwest Wales. The aim of the research was to determine whether the positioning of the megaliths could reflect an intention on the part of the builders to mark particular points in the solar year. The author hypothesises that some of the sites were constructed in such a way as to facilitate the creation of a particular shadow phenomenon within the confines of the monument itself, designed to be viewed at one or both solstices. During the course of the study, it became apparent that the locations of some monuments also facilitated observations of solstice sunrises or sunsets coinciding with topographical features (such as hills or outcrops) on the local horizon, in addition to the shadow phenomena. There was also some, although less, indication of an interest in the equinoxes.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsa.29787

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