A book that unwraps that most hidden British heritage, of the earthworks which preceeded the megaliths. Largely dated to 3600-2800, the cursus was named after a roman racetrack by Stukeley, the first documentor of the few above ground cursus structures, preserved perhaps by proximity with Stonehenge and Avebury barrows, henges and stone circles. The style is academic and minimalists requiring one to study what is being said and work out consequential meanings in a type that now boasts 100 possible sites most only recovered through aerial photography. In terms of this website, these structures would come under the category Landforms, within the INTERPRETATION menu.
This book is about a discovery, one that exposes an aspect of our prehistory that has since been lost to us. Almost nothing can be found of it within our history books, largely because our specialists in such matters have told us that it never happened, or that it could never have happened. Yet we will demonstrate that this activity not only happened, it once formed a crucially important technology within a culture we today still think of as being barbarians or even savages.
The discovery to be described here is directly connected with the construction, between around 3100 BC and 1800 BC of what has become adopted as Britain’s national temple, Stonehenge. Like that monument, this discovery raises our perception concerning the capabilities of our Neolithic ancestors. Unlike that monument, there is more evidence left on the ground to expand on those capabilities, the narrative offering an entry into a new dimension of what some might choose to call ‘Stone-Age technology’.
Here, it is preferred to call it megalithic science, and its study provides a breathtaking perspective on a technology the world has forgotten, or chosen to forget, revealed in the hills of coastal West Wales, also, and not coincidentally, the location of the Preseli bluestones.
The megalithic epoch5000-2500 BC expressed of a numeracy different to ours.
The geocentric astronomical periods were counted and found numerically meaningful using the tools of a pre-arithmetic numeracy [metrology + geometry]. From this much of our symbolism concerning "the gods" and our system of measures came to be based.
From the point of view of evidence, this astronomical work appears to have started in Carnac, Brittany, by 5000-4700 BC. It is largely monument based but some art has survived, the finest in Gavrinis, a south of Brittany chambered tomb. We note some of the many books on the megalith builders and people who wrote them or books on number sciences in general.
One major observation is of the continuity between the megalithic period (the terminal stone age) and later civilisations which can be traced through number sciences, then expressed through monuments, art/iconography and written records, especially myths written down from the oral traditions.
site content copyright Richard Heath except where noted