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Revised Edition! April 20, 2013

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A new revised edition of Sailors of Stonehenge is delivered!

Sailors of Stonehenge: The Celestial & Atlantic Origin of Civilization was my first published book. The experience has been highly positive. In its eight months of existence, I sold and distributed 600 copies of the English version and 100 of the Spanish one, which for a self-published book of a novel author is not that bad.

Moreover, the book has received so far more than 100 reviews in Goodreads, with a rating average of 3.95 stars (as today).

Those who know about the subject, such as Neil Wiseman (reviewer ofThe Megalithic Portal), or writers like Gavin Menzies (author of 1421and The Lost Empire of Atlantis), the classicist Anna Ntinti (specialized on Plato), or Dr. Reinoud the Jonge (expert on megalithic art), among many others, wrote excellent reviews about my book.

Quite good!… but not enough. Throughout these months, the details to be changed or modified accumulated, so I finally decided to produce a revised edition. The main reason was to fully proofread the English version. I could count on the help of many people, though I must single out a Welsh friend and Bodhisattva for her contribution to this task: Gill… Diolch yn fawr!

Capitalizing on that editorial intervention, I decided to introduce several modifications that I hope will make for a more fluid reading experience. For example, the footnotes were moved to the end of each chapter; the qualities of the paper and the font were improved, and the number of pages was increased considerably to accommodate larger figures and photos.

Hope you’ll enjoy it. Happy reading!

PS. Clicking on the cover (upper right corner) redirects you to Amazon.com (also available from most of its international branches).

Where Is Atlantis? November 13, 2012

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The following review of “Sailors of Stonehenge” has appeared in The Megalithic Portal.

Sailors of Stonehenge September 16, 2012

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It has taken me four years to write “Sailors of Stonehenge,” but it was worth the effort. I had to study about prehistory, astronomy, archaeology, mythology, navigation… and to gain some knowledge about all these matters has been a reward in itself.

When I now contemplate the same starry sky our ancestors looked at with admiration, I feel it like a familiar landscape, as if suddenly I could bridge the millennia that separate us. And you too can have now a similar feeling after reading “Sailors of Stonehenge,” because you too will learn about all these subjects, regardless you agree or not with the theories I put forward in it.

I wanted to include plenty of pictures and figures to make its reading more pleasant, and so I ended up inserting almost one illustration per page. I also chose a slightly larger format than the typical 9×6 inches to make it more roomy, and decided (against the advice of editors), to include footnotes wherever I thought it was necessary to clarify a point or to give additional information. My only purpose was to not lose any reader… (now you can tell me if I succeeded or failed).

If you think this is an interesting book, please lend it or let others know about it. (By the way, I’d appreciate if you could stop by the Amazon page and leave a comment.) Thanks for helping, and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

You can buy “Sailors of Stonehenge” by clicking on its cover, at the sidebar.

I also published it in Spanish, in case you prefer this option, as “Marineros de piedra,” and signed it with my full name (José Manuel Gómez Vega).

Just a warning note: Besides knowing the true history behind Stonehenge or Atlantis, “Sailors of Stonehenge” may change all your preconceived ideas about human history.

Almendres: The First Royal Monument June 9, 2011

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The Iberian cromlech of Almendres (Alentejo, Portugal) could be the original site where the confederation of Megalith Builders reunited, at the arrival of spring, when the Sun “defeated” the Moon.

The visibility of the celestial scene that the Megalith Builders contemplated to renew their kings –the simultaneous rising of Leo and Orion constellations– was the key reason that motivated a change of the ceremonial venue from Iberia to Great Britain.

Once the geographical, astronomical, and navigational knowledge was mature enough, the Megalith Builders decided to move the ceremony of monarchical renewal to higher latitudes to correct this deviation, and Avebury was the place they selected where to build a new venue.

Almedres could be, therefore, the original starting point of long maritime voyage that the princes of the Megalith Builders had to undergo before being crowned. This rite of passage would arrive through an oral tradition to Greece in the form of the myth of Jason and the Argonauts.

 

Jason and the Argonauts: The Voyage as a Rite of Passage June 2, 2011

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As I already explained in the post dedicated to the Orkney Islands, the myth of Hyperborea was related to the Megalith Builders, but there is another myth that contains even more explicit references to this correlation, and that is the myth that narrates the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, whose central theme is, appropriately, the renewal of the monarchy.

Succinctly, the kingdom of Iolcos (Thessaly, Greece) was reigned by Jason’s uncle, Pelias, who had overthrown Jason’s father, the legitimate king. The myth begins with a prophecy received by Pelias according to which he will be deposed by someone who will arrive to the kingdom wearing only one sandal. Jason, in his way to meet Pelias to reclaim his right to the throne, helps an old woman (Goddess Hera in disguise) to wade a river and ends up losing one of his sandals. Jason is later announced to Pelias as a man wearing only one sandal, so the king knows immediately that the man of the prophecy has arrived. Pelias agrees to cede the crown to his nephew under one condition, which Jason is forced to accept by means of a sly argumentation, and that is to retrieve the Golden Fleece, a sacred ram’s woolly skin.

Jason recruited a crew of about fifty great heroes, heroines and noblemen to fulfill the mission, to sail in a great ship called Argo, immortalized in the sky as Argo Navis constellation.

The strange –even absurd– prophecy of the “one sandal” gains all its meaning when it is reconnected to its cosmic origin. The celestial scene represented during the ceremony to renew the Megalith Builders’ monarchy provides the link. Orion constellation was embodied by the prince, and the pair of stars that correspond to his legs did not rise above the horizon at the same time, but Rigel did it ahead of Saiph.

In Avebury, that was the precise moment in which the princes left The Sanctuary heading towards the henge, when one of “Orion’s sandals” was still not visible. Between Orion (great hunter) represented by the princes and Leo (great lion) represented by the kings lies the Milky Way, which would explain why in the myth Jason loses his sandal while crossing a river.

Newgrange: A Royal Necropolis May 24, 2011

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The Megalith Builders divided the British Isles and Brittany into four quadrants, and built their main monuments on this territory in accordance with the symbolism associated with each cardinal point. The island of Ireland, in the west, was where they erected the royal necropolis.

The mound with a passage tomb called Newgrange is undoubtedly one of the most important and prominent megalithic monuments. Like Avebury and Carnac, the main stage of construction took place at the end of the 4th millennium BC. This monument is located on the north side of a large meander of the Boyne River in the eastern side of Ireland, along with other fine examples of mounds with passage tombs such as Knowth and Dowth.

The Megalith Builders understood life as a result of the union of two principles, solar and lunar (in classical mythology Apollo and Artemis), and, logically, they understood death as the result of their separation. The kings, like Orion, were considered demigods, possessed of an immortal spirit within a mortal body. The megalithic complex of Avebury and Stonehenge were designed to make sure that the kings should experience the same kind of immortality that Orion, that is, they should die to be reborn again as princes.

This unbroken maintenance of the royal lineage would be accomplished during the monarchical renewal ceremony, held every 19 years during the mayor lunar standstill (lunastice). This very special ceremony included the regicide, as I explained in the releases dedicated to Avebury and Stonehenge, but also the sacred union (hierosgamos) of the new kings and queens as explained in this new issue. The Y and Z Holes of Stonehenge were used to determine the most suitable time, depending on the cycles of the moon, to celebrate the sacred marriage.

Orkney Islands: Capital of Hyperborea May 16, 2011

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The Orkney Islands belong to a Scottish archipelago uniquely rich in Neolithic sites. The “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” is a group of megalithic monuments on Mainland Island consisting of Maeshowe, a chambered cairn, the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar (both henge-type monuments), and Skara Brae, one of the best preserved Neolithic villages.

The Ring of Brodgar is among the northernmost examples of henges in Britain, comparable with Avebury and Stonehenge among the greatest.

Additionally, a recent archaeological site called Ness of Brodgar has been excavated between the Rings of Brodgar and Stenness, and it has provided evidence of housing, decorated stone slabs, a massive stone wall with foundations, and a large building dubbed as “the cathedral.”

The high concentration of Neolithic sites at this location of this northern island is quite remarkable. The people who built the huge chamber of Maes Howe and lived in the houses like those of Skara Brae (they even had sewers in the 3rd millennium BC), surrounded by such extraordinary ritual landscape, were coetaneous with those who built Avebury, Carnac, the early phase of Stonehenge, and Newgrange (described in a coming post).

This coincidence in time, and the geodesic fact that Orkney is the northernmost land on the same meridian than Carnac (ca. 3.2º W), may suggest a connection among these megalithic complexes.

The hypothesis of MacKie proposing the existence of a theocratic élite with capacity of movement over large territories in Neolithic Britain, radiating from Orkney in the north, would fit within a scheme in which these islands were chosen by the Megalith Builders to build the headquarters of their priests.

But, why would they build it in such remote northern archipelago? Find the answer in the book.

 

Stonehenge: The Celestial Mirror May 5, 2011

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The most famous megalithic monument in the world is, unarguably, Stonehenge. Its construction began in the early 3rd millennium BC as a large henge (110 m of diameter) built on the southern plains of England.

By the 24th century BC, it also had –among other features– a tall bank along the inner side of the ditch, a concentric ring of thirty standing stones with as many horizontal above (Sarsen Circle), and five huge trilithons arranged inside in the shape of a horseshoe.

Later, another ring and horseshoe of stones called Bluestones were also erected  inside the Sarsen Circle. About its center there was a unique stone known as Altar Stone.

The transit of the Sun at midsummer over the star Regulus, which took place around the 24th century BC, had to be an astronomic event of capital importance for a solar culture. This moment would be anticipated and signaled as the propitious occasion to reform the ceremony of monarchical renewal, outdated by the precession of the equinoxes.

The solution to their problem could be very simple yet revolutionary: to move the ceremony from summer to winter.

The inadequacy of Avebury’s design to accommodate the necessary shift from a static to a dynamic scenario, reflection of the sky, would be the insurmountable motive behind its abandonment.

The entrance of Stonehenge would be, therefore, designed to be oriented towards the rising of Regulus during midwinter, and not, as popularly believed, towards the midsummer sunrise.

The Bluestones placed inside the Sarsen Circle of Stonehenge were collected in Wales, concretely in Preseli Hills, more than 200 km away from Stonehenge, a fact that has puzzled archaeologists, but to which we can now give a compelling reason based on the sky of that epoch.

The kings and princes would gather for the monarchical renewal ceremony in Avebury –later Stonehenge– arriving from different directions, the princes would do it from the east, navigating on the Thames and Kennet Rivers, whereas the kings would arrive from the west, along the Bristol-Avon River.

The people gathered for the monarchical renewal ceremony would live mostly in provisional shelters dismantled at the conclusion, and near to a good source of water. The locations of the living quarters at Avebury have been already suggested for the different participants in the previous installment. In Stonehenge, these quarters could have been at Woodhenge and Durrington Walls, large henge-type structures built by the Salisbury-Avon River. This river was connected to Stonehenge by an avenue of about 3 km in length, which would be for the exclusive use of kings, princes, princesses and priests.

At Stonehenge, the ceremony had to begin exactly at sunset, when the kings (rising Regulus), walking along the avenue, reached the entrance, illuminated by the last solar rays filtered through the stones. The regicides would happen when Leo culminated and reflected inside the Sarsen Circle.

The crowing ceremony would start when Corona Borealis reached the zenith, and it would finish with the following sunrise, some minutes later, when the princes would be declared as new kings.

Once the ceremony was over, the kings would navigate southwards on the Salisbury-Avon River, into the English Channel and from there to Carnac in Brittany to erect the stones in memory of their fathers, the late kings.

Avebury: The Venue Where to Renew the Kings April 27, 2011

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Avebury is a huge megalithic complex in the south of England. It comprises several stone circles, avenues, enclosures, mounds and long barrows, being its principal element a large henge (ca. 400 m in diameter), a type of megalithic construction consisting of a stone ring (the largest in Europe) surrounded by a ditch and a bank.

Its original purpose is unknown, although archaeologists believe that it was most likely used for some form of ritual or ceremonial usage. As a matter of fact, I am going to propose which could have been that ceremonial usage, and describe the ritual performed in it.

The first signs of activity at this megalithic complex can be traced back to the first half of the 4th millennium BC, but it was not until the end of this millennium that construction took on a larger scale, about the same time than in Carnac.

The complex has suffered severe damage, mostly from the 14th century AC onwards due to farming and religious zealotry, although reports from antiquarians and archaeological research have helped to reconstruct virtually its original aspect.

Inside the henge there are two extra stone rings; the north one containing three large stones (two extant) at its center known as The Cove, and the south one containing a single tall monolith called The Obelisk (non–extant) along with an alignment of smaller stones.

The henge had four opposing entrances, the south one connected with an avenue, the West Kennet Avenue, formed by paired standing stones that ended on top of a hill, at a wooden circle called The Sanctuary. A similar avenue, the Beckhampton Avenue, led out from the western entrance of the henge towards a structure called The Longstones.

A huge man-made mound, the largest in Europe (pre-modern times), known as Silbury Hill, is the other great element of the complex. It has a conical shape with an imposing height of 40 m ended in a platform that was reached by a spiraling ramp around the mound. Silbury Hill was erected near the source of the Kennet River.

Here we are proposing that Avebury was built as the venue where the Megalith Builders renewed their monarchy. The whole complex was designed as a schematic representation of the celestial scene visible during the heliacal rising of Orion’s brightest star, Rigel, some days after midsummer.

Avebury functioned, therefore, like a huge scenario where kings and princes enacted the drama they interpreted was being played in the sky.

Carnac: The Royal Mausoleum April 16, 2011

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The Alignments of Carnac are near the coasts of Brittany (NW peninsula of France), and constitute the largest and most spectacular megalithic monument in the world. This extraordinary complex contains more than 3,000 standing stones, huge granite menhirs aligned in several rows along approximately 4 km, divided into three main modules and a last one much smaller and degraded.

Many hypotheses have been raised, some really unusual, to explain the purpose of these alignments; for example, an antiquarian of the last century suggested that it could be the fossil of a large snake. Others suggested that it might be a Roman camp, or a way to temples disappeared, or even a prehistoric earthquake detector. A local legend says that they were Roman soldiers petrified by God while they were chasing St Cornelius, the local saint. Alexander Thom proposed, as he did with many other megalithic monuments, that they could have been an ancient astronomical observatory.

However, the most accepted hypothesis is that they formed a huge necropolis; in fact, in the vicinity of the alignments there are several mounds with a more obvious funerary purpose, such as that of Saint-Michel, one of the oldest megalithic constructions.

A colossal monument such as the Alignments of Carnac necessarily requires an equally colossal labor in its construction. Archaeology is faced with the dilemma of finding a megalithic society that complies with the grandeur of its monuments. What type of social organization would allow such a display? We should keep in mind that we are talking about the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, i.e. the European Megaliths Builders preceded the considered as the earliest civilizations, those of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

I propose as a working hypothesis that the builders of the Alignments of Carnac could have belonged to a solar culture, politically organized as a confederation of about ten kingdoms, each governed by a king who ruled for a fixed period of time established by a cycle of heaven. This monument in particular would be the royal mausoleum, each stone representing one of the kings of their history.

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