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Sacrilege, a huge inflatable Stonehenge replica, will briefly appear in London parks this summer.

A section of Sacrilege, the life-sized inflatable model of Stonehenge conceived by Jeremy Deller Photo: Jeremy Deller

A section of Sacrilege, the life-sized inflatable model of Stonehenge conceived by Jeremy Deller Photo: Jeremy Deller

As part of the London 2012 Festival celebrations, Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller has created Sacrilege, a life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge which has popped up unexpectedly in locations throughout the country. With the Olympics beginning shortly, the massive bouncy castle is now set to begin its brief tenure in London.

 First seen in Glasgow, the work is a co-commission between the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and the Mayor of London, and has been supported by Creative Scotland and the Arts Council England.

Deller has described the work as “a way to get reacquainted with ancient Britain with your shoes off” and access to the bouncy castle will be free and open to people of all ages. Mayor of London Boris Johnson expounded on the broad range of people it is likely to appeal to, saying: “’You don’t have to be a specialist in ancient British history or an acolyte of the summer solstice ritual to be aware of the unending fascination that Stonehenge continues to inspire around the world. Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege is a wonderfully witty, quite literal leap into that history and a fantastic example of the irreverence that are hallmarks of our great British humour and our incomparable artists. I have no doubt it will be a great hit with Londoners as well as visitors to the capital.’

Although exact opening hours of the portable Stonehenge are unconfirmed a list of London opening dates and locations have been released and are listed below. Dates are subject to change so it is advisable to confirm before departure for the venue. For updated information on times and local weather conditions members of the public are asked to follow sacrilege on Twitter @Sacrilege2012.

Sacrilege tour dates (subject to change)

Sat July 21 – Sunday July 22
Central Park, Greenwich, London

Wednesday, July 25
King Edward VII Park, Brent, London

Saturday, July 28
Paddington Recreation Ground, Westminster, London

Sunday, July 29
Cheam Park, Sutton, London

Tuesday, July 31
Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, London

Wednesday, August 1
Hampstead Heath, Camden, London

Thursday, August 2
Clapham Common, Lambeth, London

Saturday, August 4
Burgess Park, Southwark, London

Sunday, August 5
Barra Hall Park, Hillingdon, London

Tuesday, August 7
East Ham Central Park, Newham, London

Thursday, August 9
Crystal Palace, Bromley, London

Friday, August 10
Alexandra Palace, Haringey, London

Saturday, August 11
Christchurch Green, Redbridge, London

Sunday, August 12
The Waterworks Nature Reserve, Lee Valley Park, Enfield, London

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9405605/Jeremy-Dellers-Stonehenge-bouncy-castle-comes-to-London.html

The Stonehenge Tour Company – http://www.StonehengeTours.com

Work to improve Stonehenge’s environment will get under way next week – following decades of wrangling with many millions spent on various fruitless schemes and consultations.

StonehengeRepresenting English Heritage, the operator of the UNESCO World Heritage Site,  Renée Fok commented that things are finally starting to get done around Stonhenge now that the upgrade will begin next week. The mysterious Wiltshire monument is among the world’s most famous tourist sites and receives over a million visitors every year – half of which travel from overseas.

While the stones continue to amaze, Stonehenge’s environment and facilities have been the subject of withering criticism on numerous occasions, with the likes of Simon Jenkins, the National Trust’s chairman, calling the site a “disgrace”. One of the main problems is that Stonehenge is surrounded by roads such as the A303, which is constantly busy with traffic, and the A344.

Additionally, the site’s car parks become overcrowded and the visitor centre is in need of a facelift. Under the new scheme, to cost £27 million, “a landscape transformed” has been promised by English Heritage. The project’s keystone is the grassing over of part of the A344 and its closure. Existing buildings and visitor car parks are to be removed with an innovative and new visitor centre built alongside shops, cafes, galleries, and an “education space”.
by Alfie FEATHERSTONE  – Renee Fok, Stonehenge, UNESCOSource Link:

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The mysterious structure of Stonehenge may have been built as a symbol of peace and unity, according to a new theory by British researchers.
During the monument’s construction around 3000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., Britain’s Neolithic people were becoming increasingly unified, said study leader Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield.Stonehenge
“There was a growing islandwide culture — the same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast,” Parker Pearson said in a statement, referring to the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland. “This was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries.”
By definition, Stonehenge would have required cooperation, Parker Pearson added.
“Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them. Just the work itself, requiring everything literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification,” he said. [ Photos: A Walk Through Stonehenge ]
The new theory, detailed in a new book by Parker Pearson, “Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery” (Simon & Schuster, 2012), is one of many hypotheses about the mysterious monument. Theories range from completely far-fetched ( space aliens or the wizard Merlin built it!) to far more evidence-based (the monument may have been an astronomical calendar, a burial site or both).

 

The culture of Stonehenge
Along with fellow researchers on the Stonehenge Riverside Project, Parker Pearson worked to put Stonehenge in context, studying not just the monument but also the culture that created it.

What they found was evidence of a civilization transitioning from regionalism to a more integrated culture. Nevertheless, Britain’s Stone Age people were isolated from the rest of Europe and didn’t interact with anyone across the English Channel, Parker Pearson said.
“Stonehenge appears to have been the last gasp of this Stone Age culture, which was isolated from Europe and from the new technologies of metal tools and the wheel,” Parker Pearson said.
Stonehenge’s site may have been chosen because it was already significant to Stone-Age Britons, the researchers suggest. The natural land undulations at the site seem to form a line between the place where the sun rises on the summer solstice and where it sets in midwinter, they found. Neolithic people may have seen this as more than a coincidence, Parker Pearson said.
“This might explain why there are eight monuments in the Stonehenge area with solstitial alignments, a number unmatched anywhere else,” he said. “Perhaps they saw this place as the center of the world.”

Theories and mystery
These days, Stonehenge is nothing if not the center of speculation and mystery. The monument has inspired its fair share of myths, including that the wizard Merlin transported the stones from Ireland and that UFOs use the circle as a landing site.
Archaeologists have built some theories on firmer ground. Stonehenge’s astronomical alignments suggest that it may have been a place for sun worship, or an ancient calendar. A nearby ancient settlement, Durrington Walls, shows evidence of more pork consumption during the midwinter, suggesting that perhaps ancient people made pilgrimages to Stonehenge for the winter solstice, Parker Pearson and his colleagues have found.
Stonehenge may have also been a burial ground, or a place of healing. Tombs and burials surround the site, and some skeletons found nearby hail from distant lands. For example, archaeologists reported in 2010 that they’d found the skeleton of a teenage boy wearing an amber necklace near Stonehenge. The boy died around 1550 B.C. An analysis of his teeth suggested he came from the Mediterranean. It’s possible that ill or wounded people traveled to Stonehenge in search of healing, some archaeologists believe.
Other researchers have focused on the sounds of Stonehenge. The place seems to have “lecture-hall” acoustics, according to research released in May. One archaeologist even suggests that the setup of the stones was inspired by an acoustical effect in which two sounds from different sources seem to cancel each other out.

By Stephanie Pappas. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47923931/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.T-Vv7Ree5gM

The Stonehenge Tour company – www.StonehengeTours.com 

The summer solstice as celebrated at Stonehenge is a night and dawn of peace, love and quality loon-spotting opportunities.
Neo-druids, pagans and general New Age types don their glad rags (and, in some cases, fake beards) to watch the sun rise on this long day of summer. All-night celebrations help revellers stay awake until dawn.

Stonehenge Summer SolsticeWhy: An important date for pagans, the summer solstice festival dates back thousands of years. It celebrates the longest day of the year, when the sun is at its maximum elevation. About 20,000 people flock to prehistoric Stonehenge to see it in as atmospherically as possible each year.

Do it because: It’s one of the few opportunities to get close to the stones, as English Heritage provides open access especially for the occasion. Be aware that only small amounts of booze are permitted per person and that camping is not allowed.

SOURCE: TNT MAGAZINE – http://www.tntmagazine.com/travel/top-guides/peace-love-and-paganism-celebrate-the-summer-solstice-at-stonehenge

Solstice Tour: http://www.stonehengetours.com/summer-solstice-tour.htm

The Stonehenge Tour Company – www.StonehengeTours.com

Children were walking on air today after Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller unveiled his life-size bouncy castle… of Stonehenge.

The 20ft-high inflatable, called Sacrilege, is modelled on the prehistoric monoliths and was opened to the public on Glasgow Green as part of the 18-day Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts Festival.

It was designed using detailed plans of the Salisbury monument and took two months to make thanks to the efforts of workers at Inflatable World Leisure, who Mr Deller said built the first ever bouncy castles in the UK.

King of the bouncy castle ... Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege at Glasgow Green is part of the Glasgow international festival of visual arts. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

King of the bouncy castle ... Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege at Glasgow Green is part of the Glasgow international festival of visual arts. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

 

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The 20ft-high inflatable, called Sacrilege, is modelled on the prehistoric monoliths and was opened to the public on Glasgow GreenThe 20ft-high inflatable, called Sacrilege, is modelled on the prehistoric monoliths and was opened to the public on Glasgow Green

Children were walking on air today after Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller unveiled his life-size bouncy castleChildren were walking on air today after Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller unveiled his life-size bouncy castle

His giant inflatable is one of the highlights of a festival programme featuring more than 130 artists at almost 50 venues across the city.

Mr Deller, who won the Turner Prize in 2004, said: ‘It has taken two months to put together so it is wonderful to finally see it up and being used by the public.

‘Stonehenge is a part of our history and it is such an iconic structure that I wanted to recreate it as accurately as I could.

‘We haven’t done it exactly but it is as close as we could get it. People should come down – it’s here for two weeks and it’s free.’

After appearing in Glasgow, the castle – the artist’s first major work in Scotland – will be taken on a tour of the UK.

Artist Jeremy Deller has a go on his installation in ScotlandArtist Jeremy Deller has a go on his installation in Scotland

The giant inflatable took two months to build and is one of the highlights of a festival programme featuring more than 130 artists at almost 50 venues across the cityThe giant inflatable took two months to build and is one of the highlights of a festival programme featuring more than 130 artists at almost 50 venues across the city

 

After appearing in Glasgow, the castle - the artist's first major work in Scotland - will be taken on a tour of the UKAfter appearing in Glasgow, the castle – the artist’s first major work in Scotland – will be taken on a tour of the UK

Other highlights at the Glasgow festival include solo shows by Glasgow-based 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wright, Adrian Wiszniewski and Karla Black.

Mr Deller added: ‘I couldn’t have done it without the help of Inflatable World Leisure who built the first bouncy castle in the UK, so they are good company to be in.’

The festival also includes the first UK show called Triumph, an installation of more than 2,500 discarded sporting trophies collected by Polish-born Aleksandra Mir, and an exhibition focused on Glasgow’s Socialist Sunday School movement that flourished in the early 20th century.

More than 90 per cent of the work on show during the 18-day festival is either new or previously unseen in the UK.

'Stonehenge is a part of our history and it is such an iconic structure that I wanted to recreate it as accurately as I could,' Mr Deller said‘Stonehenge is a part of our history and it is such an iconic structure that I wanted to recreate it as accurately as I could,’ Mr Deller said

There will also be a range of newly commissioned works drawing on other artistic disciplines such as dance, film and music.

Teacher Lynda Darrock, 31, visited the bouncy castle with children from Annette Street Primary School in Govan, Glasgow.

She said: ‘The children thought it was absolutely amazing. They were talking about it all day, I even had a go myself.

‘They keep asking if we are going back.

‘Jeremy spent lots of time talking to the children beforehand and afterwards asking if they enjoyed it. He was brilliant.

‘Some of the children have been to Stonhenge and they were blow away with how similar it is to the real thing. They had a great day.’

AND HERE’S THE REAL THING… THE MAGIC AND MYSTERY OF STONEHENGE

The Wiltshire monument was completed around 4,500 years ago and is believed to have taken around 35 years to complete.

The largest of the gigantic upright stones weighs about 40 tons – the equivalent of an articulated lorry.

A Time Team dig (for the Channel 4 show) in 2009 established that Stonehenge was built around the same time as Durrington Walls, another henge, or circular earthwork, two miles away.

The two adjacent henges were part of the same complex, with Durrington Walls the location for a massive Neolithic village that housed the workers who built Stonehenge.

The Time Team suggested that this site housed up to 4,000 people, which would have made it the largest Neolithic settlement in north-west Europe.

The Wiltshire monument was completed around 4,500 years ago and is believed to have taken around 35 years to completeThe Wiltshire monument was completed around 4,500 years ago and is believed to have taken around 35 years to complete

While the circle at Durrington Walls represented life and the land of the living, Stonehenge, encircled by burial mounds, represented the land of the dead, the team claimed.

The two were connected by the River Avon and the procession route from one to the other represented the transition from life to death.

It is thought that the stones used at Stonehenge were moved from Marlborough Downs, about 20 miles to the north.

Digs suggest that the area around the stone circle was used to bury the cremated remains of hundreds of people.

Other experts believe that it was a place for healing.

Meanwhile, a study earlier this week suggested Stonehenge could have been designed with acoustics in mind like a Greek or Roman theatre.

A team of researchers from the University of Salford spent four years studying the historic site’s acoustic properties in a bid to crack the mystery of why it was built.

While they could not confirm the exact purpose of the stones, the researchers did find the space reacted to acoustic activity in a way that would have been noticeable to the Neolithic man.

‘Stonehenge is very well known, but people are still trying to find out what it was built for and we thought that doing this research would bring an element of archaeology that so far hasn’t been looked at,’ lead researcher, Bruno Fazenda said.

He added the new area of acoustic science, named archaeoacoustics, could be helpful in the archaeological interpretation of important buildings and heritage sites, some of which may not exist in their original form, such as in the case of Stonehenge.

Because the site in Wiltshire is in a derelict state, researchers travelled to Maryhill in the U.S. where a full-sized concrete reconstruction of Stonehenge was built in 1929 as a memorial to the soldiers of WWI.

They were able to make proper acoustic measurements that allowed an investigation into striking acoustic effects such as echoes, resonances and whispering gallery effects.

The second phase consisted in the creation of a full 3D audio-rendition of the space using a system comprised of 64 audio channels and loudspeakers especially developed at the University of Salford based on Wave Field Synthesis.

This system enables an accurate and immersive recreation of what Stonehenge would have sounded like.

SOURCE – Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2132789/Stonehenge-bouncy-castle-comes-Glasgow.html#ixzz1sgMI1wJF

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Whatever went on there, it would have impressed the ancient Britons. Even if it was only whispering

Stonehenge

Bits missing. But when it was all in place, there’d have been booms, rumbles, echoes and reverberations. Photograph: Jason Hawkes/Getty

Salford‘s clever academics, who once took me shopping in a virtual supermarket – you sat in an armchair wearing a helmet and a glove – have now recreated the sound of Stonehenge.

We are nowhere nearer cracking the mystery of the monument as a result; but who would want to be? Apart from all the mountains of remaindered books of theories, a puzzle solved is never as gripping as a conundrum still under way.

But the four-year project by Dr Bruno Fazenda and colleagues atHuddersfield and Bristol universities, has established how the shouts, speeches, songs or sacrificial screams would have sounded, whatever material they may have contained. The method has been a painstaking piece of ‘archaeoacoustics’, a relatively new discipline which reveals the sound quality of buildings from the past.

Fazenda says:

Stonehenge MemorialStonehenge is very well known, but people are still trying to find out what it was built for and we thought that doing this research would add an element of archaeology that so far hasn’t been looked at. It’s a new area of acoustic science and it could be very helpful in the archaeological interpretation of important buildings and heritage sites, some of which may not exist in their original form, such as in the case of Stonehenge.

The number of missing bits at the famous stone circle by the A303 in Wiltshire was an obvious problem, and tests there by the team produced only a limited number of weak echoes and no noticeable reverberation. Ancient Britons would not have been terribly overawed by this, if the monument was built to impress. But luckily there is a full-sized replica in the United States.

Built out of concrete and erected at Maryhill, Washington state, as a memorial to US soldiers killed in the First World War, this revealed a wealth of special effects. Fazenda found:

It was possible to make proper acoustic measurements that allow an investigation into striking effects such as echoes, resonances and whispering gallery effects. The data gathered does not unequivocally reveal whether the site was designed with acoustics in mind, like Greek or Roman theatres. It nevertheless shows that the space reacted to acoustic activity in a way that would have been noticeable to the Neolithic man.

The next stage, in the tradition of my virtual supermarket foray, was to create an ‘audio 3D rendition’ of the recorded sounds, using 64 audio channels and bespoke loudspeakers from Salford university based on wave field synthesis. Fazenda says:

This system give us an accurate and immersive recreation of what Stonehenge would have sounded like. We can not only see ourselves surrounded by the stones using virtual reality, but we can also listen how the stone structure would have enveloped people in a sonic experience. It is as if we can travel back in time and experience the space in a more holistic way.

There’s more on the subject on a separate and excellent website called Sonic Wonders which has all manner of acoustic revelations. Here’s a clapping experiment on YouTube courtesy of them – background details are here.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2012/apr/19/stonehenge-acoustics-archaeology-salford-university-bruno-fazenda

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Residents of the Northern Hemisphere are downright giddy this time of year with the official arrival of spring. In honor of longer days, sunshine and the tantalizing prospect of summer on the horizon, Cheapflights.com has chosen its top 10 list of places around the world to see a magnificent sunrise.  Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Stonehenge, England

Equinox devotees will gather every year for the Vernal Equinox. A place of sun worship still, Stonehenge is a mysterious destination that holds deep spiritual value for many travelers. Some researchers suggest the formation was erected as early as 2200 BC, while others argue it was even earlier, in 3000 BC. No matter the date of creation, Stonehenge is a powerful landmark, and well worth the visit for a beautiful—and perhaps magical—sunrise.

Stonehenge Equinox Sunrise

Stonehenge Equinox Sunrise

 

2. Svalbard, Norway

The sun doesn’t set in Svalbard—at least not between mid-April and late August each year. It’s obvious, then, why the sun rising holds an almost magical appeal for visitors. Situated north of the Arctic Circle, the northernmost inhabited spot on the planet features the midnight sun, a phenomenon where the sun stays continuously in the sky for 24 hours a day. Glaciers and mountains clutter Svalbard’s horizon, painting a landscape that merely enhances the event.

3. Angkor Wat Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat any time of day is powerful, but arriving early enough to watch the sunrise offers visitors an even greater spectacle. The preserved temple attracts travelers to Cambodia from around the world, providing them architectural insight into Khmer and Hindu mythology and history. We advise that visitors dedicate more than a day to exploring the sacred grounds (and that one of those days begins before dawn).

4. Fiji

Smack dab on the 180-degree longitude line, Fiji is one of the first spots in the world to see the sun rise every day. The South Pacific destination, a favorite among lovers of turquoise seas and white-sand beaches (and who isn’t), offers unrivaled scenery and inspirational landscapes. Itinerary tip: Follow an intoxicating sunrise up with a morning exploration; the “soft coral capital of the world” offers some of the best scuba diving in the world.

5. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is on practically every adventure traveler’s to-do list. With the enormous undertaking comes a chance to see one of the most enchanting sunrises in the world. From Kili’s summit—19,341 feet above sea level—dedicated souls can reflect on their ascent, a massive accomplishment, while soaking up an unparalleled sight to see.

6. Haleakala National Park, Hawaii, USA

Boarding a bus in the wee hours of morning is a pain, particularly on vacation when the greatest indulgence is sleeping in. But the alarm-clock acknowledgement is worth it if the payoff is watching a sunrise from above the clouds, on the top of a volcano. Various van tours offer the trip through Haleakala National Park in Maui, picking visitors up at 3 a.m. and dropping them off to see the event from the summit. Should you want to (and we highly recommend it), you can bike the 28 miles down the mountain, back to sea level.

7. Tres Cruces, Peru

A six-hour bus ride from Cuzco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, Tres Cruces is undeniably worth the long trek. The Incas held the mountain spot, situated on the Amazon basin, sacred. Nowadays, it’s visitors looking to experience a mind-blowing sunrise who sanctify the destination. The view famously boasts celestial hues and Polaroid moments from above the clouds.

8. Tulum, Mexico

The coastal oasis of Tulum draws spiritual travelers and yoga-types year-round to soak up exquisite culture, history and scenery all in a single spot. The destination’s think-green mentality and efforts toward sustainability set the tone for a raw form of vacationing, where visitors are up with the sun (and often in bed shortly after the sun goes down). No need to set an alarm in Tulum, where sun worshipers gather at the shoreline daily to watch the sunrise.

9. Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

The most impressive sunrises in the continental United States occur every day across the Grand Canyon. Cool purples melt into shades bronze and orange against the awe-inspiring scenery, arguably America’s greatest natural wonder. There isn’t a best place to see the sunrise in the Grand Canyon, but Maricopa, Hopi, and Mather points, and along the South Rim are recommended highly by in-the-know travelers.

10. Mount Sinai, Egypt

First a history refresher: Jews, Christians and Muslims alike believe that Moses received the 10 Commandments at the biblical Mount Sinai, as mentioned in the Torah, Bible and Koran. Still an important religious destination, Mount Sinai today draws believers who scale the route by foot for religious purposes, and for the chance to see one of the most inspiring sunrises in the world.

Link: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/03/30/us-travel-picks-sunrise-idUKBRE82T13D20120330

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A DEVELOPER has been ordered by a judge to demolish a Stonehenge-like structure on Achill Island, Co Mayo.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern, in the High Court, ordered Joe McNamara

Builder Joe McNamara, 'The Anglo Avenger', was ordered to tear down his Achill-henge structure by the High Court. The High Court ruled that the building, which is described as an ornamental garden, is in breach of planning laws

Builder Joe McNamara, 'The Anglo Avenger', was ordered to tear down his Achill-henge structure by the High Court. The High Court ruled that the building, which is described as an ornamental garden, is in breach of planning laws

(41), with addresses at Achill Island, Co Mayo and Salthill, Co Galway, to restore the site to its original state if An Bord Pleanala finds that it is not an exempted development.

The orders had been sought by Mayo County Council, which says the structure is an unauthorised development. It consists of a ring with 30 large columns, with tapping stones placed on top.

Mr McNamara had applied to An Bord Pleanala to have the structure deemed an exempted development.

The judge agreed toput a stay on his order until An Bord Pleanala has made its decision.

Mr McNamara was dubbed the ‘Anglo Avenger’ when he hit the headlines last year after driving a cement lorry emblazoned with the words “Anglo” and “toxic bank” to the gates of Leinster House.

Link: Irish Independent: http://www.independent.ie

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Throughout history, time has been determined by using the reflection of the sun, the phases of the moon, and other calendars such as Stonehenge. Stonehenge, built over 4000 years ago in England, where used to tell ancient civilizations the time of the day and year. Ancient peoples used lunar eclipses, sun rays, the position of the sun, and other seasonal or celestial events to determine the time. People used these stones to tell the time of the day.

 

In 46 BC Julius Caesar decided that the calendar year should have 365 days, but every fourth year there should be an extra day, whichstonehenge_align would be a leap year. He adapted this basis because if the year was divisible by four then it was to be a leap year.

 

In 1582 Clauvius proposed the Gregorian Calendar to Pope Gregory with an average year of 365.2425 days and 97 leap years every 400 years. The year was not to be a leap year unless it were divisible by 100 and 400.

 

Today time can be easily determined by reading a clock, watch, or even easier by a digital clock.

Wikipedia tells that the winter solstice occurs when the axis of the earth is farthest from the Sun.  Because our calendar has most years of 365 days interrupted frequently by a year with an extra day, the date of the winter solstice varies between December 21 and 23.  (The actual formula for leap year is a little more complicated than every 4th year.  Years evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years unless they are divisible by 400.)  While it is true the winter solstice occurs on the shortest day of the year, it does not correspond to the date of the latest sunrise of the year.

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 Stonehenge is a fascinating edifice to attempt to decode, and new theories are constantly arising regarding its origins and function.

Take a Stonehenge tour and delve into its mysteries: you are likely to be confounded by this imperious landmark.

 A great number of legends connected to Stonehenge have ranged in their assertions from stating that its construction originated fromStonehenge tour Ireland to those even claiming it began in Africa. It has even been maintained that wizards and giants had something to do with the building of this enigmatic structure.

 Yet all the evidence flies in the face of such high-flown assertions. The stones were engraved approximately around 3,000 BC. The positioning of the stones, conversely, dates back to 2,200 BC. Therefore, it is obvious that the creation of Stonehenge was not an instant phenomenal accomplishment. This wholly destabilises claims that the stones were positioned by giants or wizards, as it is obvious that it took much time, indeed, thousands of years, to form Stonehenge.

 Fairly recently, scientists, using the most modern technology available to them, have managed to go further back in time than before to the history of Stonehenge. They have contended that they have, as a result of this, made significant new discoveries about the enigmatic landmark. They have argued that the monument was already a very ancient ritualistic hub when the stones were raised over 5,000 years ago.

 Indeed, it is believed that by the time the primary megaliths of Stonehenge were elevated, it had already become a place of ritual import to the local populace. One theory is that, before the megaliths were added, Stonehenge in fact functioned as a cremation cemetery; hundreds of bodies were buried there. That seems to suggest that the ceremonial rituals, rather chillingly, may have involved deaths in the form of sacrifices.

 Another theory is that Stonehenge also might have been a site for sun worship a great deal of time before the legendary stones were put up over 5,000 years ago.

 Back in the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon asserted of Stonehenge: ‘no one has been able to discover by what mechanism such vast masses of stone were elevated, nor for what purpose they were designed’.  The truly concrete facts behind the creation of Stonehenge are arguably as intangible, as difficult to assert as ever.

 Up to the modern age, the Stonehenge circle and earthworks are associated with—and employed by—many groups that claim there is a particular supernatural or divine significance to the landmark. Many do argue that some kind of unearthly authority is in attendance at Stonehenge, and this can be taken and channeled.

 Visit Stonehenge and become awed by the ineffable atmosphere that emanates from this grand landmark. Stonehenge is an exquisite monument, a momentous edifice that deserves your full scrutiny. Bask in the unique aura around this, some would say, otherworldly structure. Stonehenge tours offer an altogether different experience from any other tour.

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