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Tip o' the Week # 55
Just the Facts Ma'am

Dear [firstname]

When is a fact not a fact?  When I began to study these mysteries seriously in the late sixties and seventies, I learned initially, that during the Neolithic, the British Isles had been mostly forested; and it was only during the Bronze Age - which was between 2000 and 1000 BCE - that on Dartmoor, almost all of the trees were cut down to fire the Blowing Houses that were smelting bronze that was found in abundance in that area of what is now southern Devon.  While we now talk about the rape of the Brazilian rain forest, a much earlier deforestation had occurred on what is now the moor land of Dartmoor. 

I have long felt that the destruction of the forests that were Dartmoor occurred in the Bronze Age (2000 - 1000 BCE) to stoke the forest for the bronze and lead that were mined at the blowing houses that dot the moor. The Bronze Age decimation of the trees on Dartmoor still appears to be a fact, but apparently the dates I learned back then about when the Bronze Age was were not.

In a New Scientist article "Do Dartmoor's ancient stones have link to Stonehenge?" Linda Geddes writes:

"LITTERED across the hills of Dartmoor in Devon, southern England, around 80 rows and circles of stones stand sentinel in the wild landscape. Now, striking similarities between one of these monuments and Stonehenge, 180 kilometres to the east, suggest they may be the work of the same people.

"The row of nine stones on Cut Hill was discovered in 2004 on one of the highest, most remote hills of Dartmoor national park. "It is on easily the most spectacular hill on north Dartmoor," says Andrew Fleming, president of the Devon Archaeological Society. "If you were looking for a distant shrine in the centre of the north moor, that's where you would put it."

"Ralph Fyfe of the University of Plymouth and independent archaeologist Tom Greeves have now carbon-dated the peat surrounding the stones. This suggests that at least one of the stones had fallen - or been placed flat on the ground - by between 3600 and 3440 BC, and another by 3350 to 3100 BC."
  (Antiquity, vol 84, p 55)      

In the seventies, the prevailing thinking was that Stonehenge I (the Henge, Aubrey Holes and the Station Stones) were built around 2750 BC (with no mention of the preceding wooden poles some archaeologists speak of today) {the earliest date for Stonehenge is now 3100 BC}, and Stonehenge III (the massive trilithons) were brought there around 1500 BC.  But, back in the seventies, archaeologists told us that Dartmoor was deforested in the second millennium BC.  Now The row of nine stones on Cut Hill date as far back as 3600 Before the Christian Era! - That's before the date we now have when Stonehenge was even begun!

Another big change in facts about Britain's most popular prehistoric tourist attraction was that when I began, it was said that the most important solar alignment at Stonehenge was the Summer Solstice Sunrise.  Now the azimuth of the most important alignment there has swung 180 degrees to the Winter Solstice Sunset!

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunrise   Stonehenge Winter Solstice Sunset
Summer Solstice Sunrise
Looking toward the Heel Stone
  Winter Solstice Sunset
Looking from the Heel Stone

When can we trust a fact to be a fact?  This is one of the biggest problems geomancers working in Sacred Space can run in to.  Who holds THE "Truth"?  Is it academics or scientists?  Or is it our geomantic dowsing/intuition?  Or is it both?

Oh well, the only constant there is is change.

Please Remember:
World Labyrinth Day
1:00 pm Saturday 1 May
Please do "Walk One at 1 (pm) your time zone.


Sig's sig

Sig Lonegren, Geomancer
9 Bove Town
Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8JE