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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 14-07-2011 15:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's another US 'Stonehenge':

Just what is Manhattanhenge?
By Virginia Brown, BBC News Magazine

New Yorkers have witnessed an urban solar phenomenon, with the Sun setting in alignment with the city's skyscrapers and giving an effect fans say is reminiscent of Wiltshire's Stonehenge. Welcome to Manhattanhenge.

Twice every year amateur photographers gather in carefully-selected spots to set up tripods and wait to capture the ultimate sunset.
On Wednesday night at 2025 local time (0125 BST), the east-west lying streets of the city's famous grid system neatly framed the setting sun, creating golden glows New Yorkers rarely see.
During the phenomenon, the Sun appears to be nestled perfectly between the skyscraper corridors, illuminating the north and south sides of the streets.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the term Manhattanhenge in 1996, inspired by its likeness to Stonehenge, where the sun aligns with concentric circles of vertical stones on each of the solstices.
"As a kid, I visited Stonehenge in the Salisbury Plain of England and did research on other stone monuments across the British Isles. It was deep within me," says deGrasse Tyson.
"So I was, in a way, imprinted by the emotional power that terrestrial alignments with the Sun can have on a culture or civilization."

After coining the term, deGrasse Tyson later published dates and times in Natural History magazine.

Similar "henge" phenomena also occur in other cities with large numbers of skyscrapers and long straight streets - such as Chicago, Montreal and Toronto.

As far as sunset goes - which is the fans' true Manhattanhenge - the event happens twice in May and July, and for two nights each. There's also the winter version, but that's sunrise.

New York-based photographer Emon Hassan has celebrated Manhattanhenge in his work.
"You'll see photographers on both sides, lined up, just waiting. In one area, I could go in the middle of the street and get the shot. Photographers risk their lives to get the perfect shot.
"It's cut-throat. You only have a 15 to 20 minute window. It happens pretty quick after you consider dodging traffic.
"I don't even know how to articulate that feeling. It's almost like seeing an eclipse."

Getty photographer Mario Tama shot the event earlier this year. He says the event provides residents with a moment of clarity and beauty in a chaotic world.
"Basically, people in Manhattan are trapped in an island of tall buildings and sometimes can't even see the sky really.
"It's a brilliant moment when Manhattanites can connect with the rest of the world and with the earth. If you get out of the subway at 34th Street, you'll see two or three hundred people with tripods jumping in the street. Usually when this happens, there has been a shooting or something, so this is really a beautiful thing," says Tama.

The event has become a social phenomenon in New York City.
"Amateur and professional photographers can meet up, they tag each other's work on Twitter and meet other people - people with other interests," says Hassan.
"Manhattan is one of the most fascinating places and this is such a unique event."

Its distinctiveness lies in the positioning of the city's layout.
Manhattan's Commissioner's Plan of 1811 established its grid system, which is rotated 29 degrees from true east-west. If Manhattan's streets were perfectly laid out on an east-west grid, Manhattanhenge would occur facing both east and west on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.
It also has the advantage over other skyscraper cities because of a relatively clear view to the horizon down some of its streets.

For photographers and people taking an early evening stroll, it is just a beautiful effect of light.
But for astronomers, it's something more - a chance to engage laymen and enthusiasts with the studies of the cosmos.

DeGrasse Tyson uses the event to make people more interested in astronomy.
"I'll take any excuse I can get to get people to look up and notice our cosmic environment," deGrasse Tyson recently told PBS television.
The best vantage point to view the event, which he describes as "the greatest of the cosmos together with the greatest of our urban icons", is on Park Avenue and 34th Street, looking west, he says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14150550

Strangely, for all the books I've read, set in NY, I've never heard this mentioned before. I would have remembered because this sort of thing is a passion of mine too.

At my previous flat I had a Chapelhenge: my living room window looked onto the side of a methodist chapel with five windows either side. By chance these windows provided three sightlines to the setting sun, at different times of the year!
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disgruntledgothOffline
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PostPosted: 14-07-2011 19:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple weeks ago, I was on top of Glastinbury Tor, and it was that clear I could see all they way across to Stonehenge
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 14-07-2011 20:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

disgruntledgoth wrote:
A couple weeks ago, I was on top of Glastinbury Tor, and it was that clear I could see all they way across to Stonehenge

I make that something over 40 miles! Good vis!

Nearly an E - W alignment, so from the Tor you might see sunrise over Stonehenge a few days after the Spring Equinox - or sunset over the Tor from Stonehenge a few days before. Cool
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 15-07-2011 07:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
disgruntledgoth wrote:
A couple weeks ago, I was on top of Glastinbury Tor, and it was that clear I could see all they way across to Stonehenge

I make that something over 40 miles! Good vis!

Haven't done so myself, but a mate did that the other way round - saw the Tor from Stonehenge, with binoculars.

Never saw the Manhattanhenge sun thing either, but did see the Moon right between the Twin Towers. Quite poignant, now I think about it.
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disgruntledgothOffline
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PostPosted: 17-07-2011 22:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
disgruntledgoth wrote:
A couple weeks ago, I was on top of Glastinbury Tor, and it was that clear I could see all they way across to Stonehenge

I make that something over 40 miles! Good vis!

Nearly an E - W alignment, so from the Tor you might see sunrise over Stonehenge a few days after the Spring Equinox - or sunset over the Tor from Stonehenge a few days before. Cool



If I'm honest I wouldn't have noticed it if it wasn't pointed out to me Laughing
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PostPosted: 18-07-2011 22:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been on the Tor many times but unluckily never had that clear a view. However, from Burrington Common on the Mendip I've seen fantastic views across Bristol deep into Wales and also over to Exmoor.
Back home in West Yorkshire, for a few years my very minor 'obsession' while out hill walking around Wharfedale and Calderdale was -' can I see York Minister?' I grew bored of that when I realised, on clear days, the answer was 'yes, easily'. So now its 'can I see the Humber Bridge?' Turns out, with small binoculars, the piers and suspension can be seen from Little Gate above Addingham - 59 Miles. Next attempt - Holme Moss!
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PostPosted: 24-07-2011 22:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

special_farces wrote:
I've been on the Tor many times but unluckily never had that clear a view. However, from Burrington Common on the Mendip I've seen fantastic views across Bristol deep into Wales and also over to Exmoor...

Oddly enough a friend and I went walking in Burrington just last week on about the only clear day - she'd never been before and remarked on the vista Smile. The views are stunning - when I was a deal younger a few of us would drive up there at night, purely to watch the spectacular flares from the steelworks on the South Welsh coast, massive plumes of flame. Bristol by night is much prettier from a distance...also there's very little light pollution there, so the night sky is pretty special, and summer sunsets over the coast beautiful.

Next time I get up there I'll try to remember binoculars, and to see if I can see the Tor (not far, so depends if the Mendips get in the way) and Stonehenge.

Back on thread (sort of)!
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PostPosted: 01-09-2011 12:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomb found at Stonehenge quarry site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14733535
By Louise Ord
Assistant producer, Digging for Britain

The prehistoric stone circle of Stonehenge has mystified architects and historians for generations
The tomb for the original builders of Stonehenge could have been unearthed by an excavation at a site in Wales.

The Carn Menyn site in the Preseli Hills is where the bluestones used to construct the first stone phase of the henge were quarried in 2300BC.

Organic material from the site will be radiocarbon dated, but it is thought any remains have already been removed.

Archaeologists believe this could prove a conclusive link between the site and Stonehenge.

The remains of a ceremonial monument were found with a bank that appears to have a pair of standing stones embedded in it.

The bluestones at the earliest phase of Stonehenge - also set in pairs - give a direct architectural link from the iconic site to this newly discovered henge-like monument in Wales.


The central site had already been disturbed so archaeologists chose to excavate around the edges
The tomb, which is a passage cairn - a style typical of Neolithic burial monument - was placed over this henge.

The link between the Welsh site and Stonehenge was first suggested by the geologist Herbert Thomas in 1923.

This was confirmed in 2008 when permission was granted to excavate inside the stone circle for the first time in about 50 years.

The bluestones were transported from the hills over 150 miles (240km) to the plain in Wiltshire to create Stonehenge, the best known of all Britain's prehistoric monuments.

Two of the leading experts on Stonehenge, Prof Geoff Wainwright and Prof Timothy Darvill, have been leading the project at Carn Menyn.

They are now excavating at the site of a robbed-out Neolithic tomb, built right next to the original quarry.

They knew that the tomb had been disturbed previously, so rather than excavate inside, they placed their small trench along its outer edge.

Continue reading the main story
Find out more


Dr Alice Roberts will be presenting Digging For Britain on BBC Two at 21:00 on Fridays from 9 September

More on the series
Digging for Britain discoveries
Roman town find 'furthest west'
Skeletons reveal Viking massacre
Dead baby 'brothel' mystery deepens
Prof Darvill said: "It's a little piece of keyhole surgery into an important monument, but it has actually lived up to our expectations perfectly."

The area has many springs, which may have been associated with ritual healing in prehistoric times - and their existence may be the reason why these particular stones were quarried for another monument so far away.

Prof Wainwright said: "The important thing is that we have a ceremonial monument here that is earlier than the passage grave.

"We have obviously got a very important person who may have been responsible for the impetus for these stones to be transported.

"It can be compared directly with the first Stonehenge, so for the first time we have a direct link between Carn Menyn - where the bluestones came from - and Stonehenge, in the form of this ceremonial monument."

A new series of BBC Two's Digging for Britain begins at 21:00 on Friday, 9 September.
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PostPosted: 01-09-2011 19:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's Merlin's tomb!
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PostPosted: 01-09-2011 19:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dead baby 'brothel' mystery deepens


I am so never putting that into google image search Shocked
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 27-11-2011 10:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secret history of Stonehenge revealed
Ancient site may have been place of worship 500 years before the first stone was erected
David Keys Saturday 26 November 2011

Extraordinary new discoveries are shedding new light on why Britain’s most famous ancient site, Stonehenge, was built – and when.

Current research is now suggesting that Stonehenge may already have been an important sacred site at least 500 years before the first Stone circle was erected – and that the sanctity of its location may have determined the layout of key aspects of the surrounding sacred landscape.

What’s more, the new investigation – being carried out by archaeologists from the universities’ of Birmingham, Bradford and Vienna – massively increases the evidence linking Stonehenge to pre-historic solar religious beliefs. It increases the likelihood that the site was originally and primarily associated with sun worship

The investigations have also enabled archaeologists to putatively reconstruct the detailed route of a possible religious procession or other ritual event which they suspect may have taken place annually to the north of Stonehenge.

That putative pre-historic religious ‘procession’ (or, more specifically, the evidence suggesting its route) has implications for understanding Stonehenge’s prehistoric religious function – and suggests that the significance of the site Stonehenge now occupies emerged earlier than has previously been appreciated.

The crucial new archaeological evidence was discovered during on-going survey work around Stonehenge in which archaeologists have been ‘x-raying’ the ground, using ground-penetrating radar and other geophysical investigative techniques. As the archaeological team from Birmingham and Vienna were using these high-tech systems to map the interior of a major prehistoric enclosure (the so-called ‘Cursus’) near Stonehenge, they discovered two great pits, one towards the enclosure’s eastern end, the other nearer its western end.

When they modelled the relationship between these newly-discovered Cursus pits and Stonehenge on their computer system, they realised that, viewed from the so-called ‘Heel Stone’ at Stonehenge, the pits were aligned with sunrise and sunset on the longest day of the year – the summer solstice (midsummer’s day). The chances of those two alignments being purely coincidental are extremely low.

The archaeologists then began to speculate as to what sort of ritual or ceremonial activity might have been carried out at and between the two pits. In many areas of the world, ancient religious and other ceremonies sometimes involved ceremonially processing round the perimeters of monuments. The archaeologists therefore thought it possible that the prehistoric celebrants at the Cursus might have perambulated between the two pits by processing around the perimeter of the Cursus.

Initially this was pure speculation – but then it was realized that there was, potentially a way of trying to test the idea. On midsummer’s day there are in fact three key alignments – not just sunrise and sunset, but also midday (the highest point the sun reaches in its annual cycle). For at noon the key alignment should be due south.

One way to test the ‘procession’ theory (or at least its route) was for the archaeologists to demonstrate that the midway point on that route had indeed a special relationship with Stonehenge (just as the two pits – the start and end point of the route – had). The ‘eureka moment’ came when the computer calculations revealed that the midway point (the noon point) on the route aligned directly with the centre of Stonehenge, which was precisely due south.

This realization that the sun hovering over the site of Stonehenge at its highest point in the year appears to have been of great importance to prehistoric people, is itself of potential significance. For it suggests that the site’s association with the veneration of the sun was perhaps even greater than previously realized.

But the discovery of the Cursus pits, the discovery of the solar alignments and of the putative ‘processional’ route, reveals something else as well – something that could potentially turn the accepted chronology of the Stonehenge landscape on its head.
For decades, modern archaeology has held that Stonehenge was a relative latecomer to the area – and that the other large monument in that landscape – the Cursus – pre-dated it by up to 500 years.

However, the implication of the new evidence is that, in a sense, the story may have been the other way round, i.e. that the site of Stonehenge was sacred before the Cursus was built, says Birmingham archaeologist, Dr. Henry Chapman, who has been modelling the alignments on the computerized reconstructions of the Stonehenge landscape

The argument for this is simple, yet persuasive. Because the ‘due south’ noon alignment of the ‘procession’ route’s mid-point could not occur if the Cursus itself had different dimensions, the design of that monument has to have been conceived specifically to attain that mid-point alignment with the centre of Stonehenge.

What’s more, if that is so, the Stonehenge Heel Stone location had to have been of ritual significance before the Cursus pits were dug (because their alignments are as perceived specifically from the Heel Stone).

Those two facts, when taken together, therefore imply that the site, later occupied by the stones of Stonehenge, was already sacred before construction work began on the Cursus. Unless the midday alignment is a pure coincidence (which is unlikely), it would imply that the Stonehenge site’s sacred status is at least 500 years older than previously thought – a fact which raises an intriguing possibility.

For 45 years ago, archaeologists found an 8000 BC Mesolithic (‘Middle’ Stone Age) ritual site in what is now Stonehenge’s car park. The five thousand year gap between that Mesolithic sacred site and Stonehenge itself meant that most archaeologists thought that ‘sacred’ continuity between the two was inherently unlikely. But, with the new discoveries, the time gap has potentially narrowed. Indeed, it’s not known for how long the site of Stonehenge was sacred prior to the construction of the Cursus. So, very long term traditions of geographical sanctity in relation to Britain’s and the world’s best known ancient monument, may now need to be considered.

The University of Birmingham Stonehenge area survey - the largest of its type ever carried out anywhere in the world – will take a further two years to complete, says Professor Vince Gaffney, the director the project.
Virtually every square meter in a five square mile area surrounding the world most famous pre-historic monument will be examined geophysically to a depth of up to two metres, he says.
It’s anticipated that dozens, potentially hundreds of previously unknown sites will be discovered as a result of the operation.

The ongoing discoveries in Stonehenge’s sacred prehistoric landscape – being made by Birmingham’s archaeologists and colleagues from the University of Vienna’s Ludwig Boltzmann Institute – are expected to transform scholars’ understanding of the famous monument’s origins, history and meaning.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/history/secret-history-of-stonehenge-revealed-6268237.html
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 16-02-2012 22:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

A new, archaeo-acoustic, theory of Stonehenge.
Quote:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/16/stonehenge-based-magical-auditory-illusion

Stonehenge was based on a 'magical' auditory illusion, says scientist

The layout of Stonehenge matches the spacing of loud and quiet sounds created by acoustic interference, new theory claims

guardian.co.uk, Ian Sample, Vancouver. 16 February 2012

The Neolithic builders of Stonehenge were inspired by "auditory illusions" when they drew up blueprints for the ancient monument, a researcher claims.

The radical proposal follows a series of experiments by US scientist Steven Waller, who claims the positions of the standing stones match patterns in sound waves created by a pair of musical instruments.

Waller, an independent researcher in California, said the layout of the stones corresponded to the regular spacing of loud and quiet sounds created by acoustic interference when two instruments played the same note continuously.

In Neolithic times, the nature of sound waves – and their ability to reinforce and cancel each other out – would have been mysterious enough to verge on the magical, Waller said. Quiet patches created by acoustic interference could have led to the "auditory illusion" that invisible objects stood between a listener and the instruments being played, he added.

To investigate whether instruments could create such auditory illusions, Waller rigged two flutes to an air pump so they played the same note continuously. When he walked around them in a circle, the volume rose, fell and rose again as the sound waves interfered with each other. "What I found unexpected was how I experienced those regions of quiet. It felt like I was being sheltered from the sound. As if something was protecting me. It gave me a feeling of peace and quiet," he said.

Auditory interference pattern created when two instruments play the same note continuously Link to this audio

To follow up, Waller recruited volunteers, blindfolded them, and led them in a circle around the instruments. He then asked participants to sketch out the shape of any obstructions they thought lay between them and the flutes. Some drew circles of pillars, and one volunteer added lintels, a striking feature of the Stonehenge monument.

"If these people in the past were dancing in a circle around two pipers and were experiencing the loud and soft and loud and soft regions that happen when an interference pattern is set up, they would have felt there were these massive objects arranged in a ring. It would have been this completely baffling experience, and anything that was mysterious like that in the past was considered to be magic and supernatural.

"I think that was what motivated them to build the actual structure that matched this virtual impression. It was like a vision that they received from the other world. The design of Stonehenge matches this interference pattern auditory illusion," said Waller, who described his research at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.

"It's not a complete structure now but there is a portion of the ring that still has the big megaliths arranged in the circle. If you have a sound source in the middle of Stonehenge, and you walk around the outside of the big stones, what you experience is alternating loud and soft, loud and soft, loud and soft as you alternately pass by the gaps and the stone, the gaps and the stone," he added.

"So the stones of Stonehenge cast acoustic shadows that mimic an interference pattern."

Waller argues that his findings are not mere coincidence and says local legend offers some support for his thesis. Some megaliths are known as pipers' stones, while stories tell of walls of air forming an invisible tower, and two magical pipers that enticed maidens to dance in a circle before they turned to stone.

Stonehenge was built in several stages, with the lintelled stone circle constructed around 2,500 BC. The site was originally a burial ground, but may also have been a place for healing.

In 2009, Rupert Till, a music expert at Huddersfield University, used a full-scale replica of Stonehenge and computer analyses to show that repetitive drum beats and chanting would have resonated loudly between the standing stones.

Timothy Darvill, professor of archaeology at Bournemouth University, said that while sound played an important role in events at Stonehenge, the monument was probably not designed with acoustics in mind.

"The main structure is a replica in stone of what was normally built in wood," he said. "They used the same techniques. The positioning of the main components is all about the construction of a framework, a building if you like, as the setting for ritual adventures that included the use of the bluestones brought over from Wales."
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 16-02-2012 22:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.pandemoniumcarnival.com/images/smilies/suspicious.gif
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 16-02-2012 22:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:
A new, archaeo-acoustic, theory of Stonehenge.
Quote:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/16/stonehenge-based-magical-auditory-illusion

Stonehenge was based on a 'magical' auditory illusion, says scientist

...

"If these people in the past were dancing in a circle around two pipers and were experiencing the loud and soft and loud and soft regions that happen when an interference pattern is set up, they would have felt there were these massive objects arranged in a ring. It would have been this completely baffling experience, and anything that was mysterious like that in the past was considered to be magic and supernatural.

...

Waller argues that his findings are not mere coincidence and says local legend offers some support for his thesis. Some megaliths are known as pipers' stones, while stories tell of walls of air forming an invisible tower, and two magical pipers that enticed maidens to dance in a circle before they turned to stone.

Interesting...

In Cornwall, near Lamorna, there are standing stones called the Pipers, and nearby is a stone circle called the Merry Maidens.

But, given that every kind of enthusiast finds support for his theories in Stonehenge, or other Stone Age structures, we should perhaps remember the caution given about the 'canals' on Mars - yes, they are evidence of intelligence, but at which end of the telescope? Wink
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 16-02-2012 23:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Views of the two Cornish Pipers (as seen from a bus, at various times, travelling West to East).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/rynner/pipers03.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/rynner/pipers02.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/rynner/pipers04.jpg

No way you could progress aound the stones nowadays, with those hedges in the way.
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