Thanks to a new book, Megalith, which analyzes the geometry of Neolithic monuments, it is now believed that the people who built Stonehenge used Pythagoras’ theorem, therefore being 2000 years ahead of the Greek philosopher. Apparently, the ancient stones were built by astronomers who took into consideration the solar, lunar and eclipse cycles. It seems that they were also creating huge stone calendars, with the help of complex geometry.
A British Pythagorean triangle?
According to Robin Heath, who is a megalithic expert, Stonehenge might even be one part of a Pythagorean triangle, along with Lundy Island and a site in Wales, from which the Preseli bluestones were cut. We all know by now that Pythagoras’ theorem has been used for millennia by builders. The theorem states that the square of the hypotenuse equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
Megalith was published yesterday, just in time for the summer solstice that takes place today. The book shows us a rectangle of four Sarsen stones that forms a perfect Pythagorean 5:12:13 triangle when split diagonally in half. This rectangle can be found in one of the earliest incarnations of Stonehenge (2750 BC). What’s also quite fascinating is the fact that the eight lines that diverge from the triangles and the rectangle perfectly align to significant dates in the Neolithic calendar (spring and autumn equinoxes and summer and winter solstices).
Not only mathematicians but also astronomers
John Matineau, contributor and editor, also stated that the people who were making plans for creating Stonehenge definitely studied hard to understand how solar and lunar cycles work and used their knowledge in building the ancient stones. It seems that in the past, Stonehenge was also surrounded by 56 stones or wooden posts that were used to indicate the position of the Sun and the Moon, to illustrate the lunar phases and to predict eclipses.
We might have to change the way most people think of the Neolithic builders and give them more appreciation, as they were certainly using astronomy and cosmology in a very sophisticated way. Which is to say that they were clearly more than “rough cavemen”, as most often it is believed.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca