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Callanish

38 AStrOnOMy At the StOneS Admiral Somerville and Professor Thom Admiral Boyle Somerville surveyed Callanish and in 1912 published the most accurate plan up to that date opposite. His numbering of the stones remains in use today pages 3, 24 25. Of the astronomical alignments which he claimed, the most significant was the line from stone 9 to stone 34, which points to the moonrise at its furthest north. This was the first suggestion that prehistoric man might have followed the complex movements of the moon. Alexander Thom, a Professor of Engineering at Oxford, spent many years surveying standing stone sites throughout Britain. The original observation which stimulated his interest was made on a summer evening in 1923, when he had anchored his yacht near Callanish. Decades later, he explained after dinner, we went ashore to explore I saw by looking at the Pole Star that there was a northsouth line in the complex I wondered whether the alignment had been deliberately built that way Thoms eventual conclusions, which created a furore in archaeology, were that the builders of stone circles used the same system of measurement and geometry throughout Britain and that they possessed a detailed knowledge of astronomy.
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