We have now demonstrated that it was perfectly possible for people 5000 years ago,
or perhaps even further back in pre history, to have reasonably accurately mapped
their world and known their positions relative to one another.
This does not of course prove that they actually did do it, or that they used this
method, but our experiment exposes as completely false the idea that they could not
have done this before the invention of accurate clocks in the 1800’s. Now we can
look again at the evidence found at ancient sites with open minds.
We may yet discover that our pre historic ancestors cooperated with one another in
probably the first truly great challenge of human exploration: to map our world.
Observations At Stonehenge:
Frank and Becky from the Amesbury Druids were accompanied by Andy Rhind-Tutt and
We located ourselves on the drove, a few hundred yards from Stonehenge. It was a
cold clear night but before the eclipse began we had concerns that we might not be
able to see the sky clearly due to the brightness of the full moon, but as soon as
the moon was in the shadow of the Earth we were treated to a magnificent display
We took turns at looking upwards following the plumb lines (we brought two) and all
experienced a sense of motion in the sky when looking up to a fixed point which had
a profoundly spiritual impact. We were literally observing the dance of the celestial
bodies around the sky of our rotating Mother Earth.
Star charts were placed in hand and we found that the circular northern hemisphere
chart was the easiest to use.
Excitement was building until at roughly 3:11am BST the moon turned red. Our cue
to take measurements.
Below. Photo of the Sept 2015 eclipse taken by Mike Whatmore
Pictured left: For our plumb lines we used two burned flint stones borrowed from
the Mesolithic dig site. These were provided for this purpose with the kind permission
of the Amesbury Heritage Trust (Thanks Andy) in order that the tools of the oldest
Salisbury plain ancestors might be in some way a part of our experiment. With us
Pictured above, Andy RT tries out the plumb line method. For himself
Pictured right, our first mark on paper to indicate where we believed we were looking
immediately up from Stonehenge
At the time we were making our observations at Stonehenge we had no idea for sure
if anyone else out there would be taking measurements or if those that might try
would have clear skies.
The Amauta community in Tiwanaku in Bolivia had offered to give it a go.
Our best hope of getting wider results was to come from the generosity of spirit
of one man, the author and researcher Graham Hancock who’s work challenging the conventional
view of the ancient world is world famous. Graham is author of ‘Fingerprint of the
Gods’. We approached him out of the blue only a few days earlier, and he generously
offered to post news of our experiment on his facebook site. With 250000 followers
world wide we hoped that some generous and up for a challenge folk would be willing
to take part. Read more about graham and his work here click.
Over the last two weeks results have started to arrive:
Our results clearly show that the method works, at least on land and where there
is not too much wind and light pollution.
The hardest part for some people was making sense of our chart, Eoin struggled with
To our delight, the Carnival Cruise ship Britannia, flagship of the P&O cruise line
were willing to give this a go from sea. They experienced choppy conditions and a
strong cross wind which yielded a result roughly 14 degrees off true. It is likely
that looking up a plumb line at sea is just not practical. Ancient mariners would
need to use their horizon constellations to gain a bearing where unobstructed horizon
is an advantage we rarely share on land.
The great spirit of exploration and adventure is clearly alive and well on Britannia,
and we can’t thank them enough for being good sports and supporting this experiment.
They have not asked us for any favour in return but we can’t help ourselves...
Fancy a cruise on one of the worlds finest ocean going cruise ships?
Frank asked us to thank everyone who has taken part.
We would like to dedicated this little experiment to the ancient ancestors of all
peoples worldwide, without whom there would be no us.
We would also like to remember the late Sir Patrick Moore who encouraged Frank to
trust in this idea and conduct an experiment to prove it. He was a wonderful man
who can never be replaced. He inspired so many.