Interpreting Neolithic passage grave art is difficult but, according to middle range theory, could be achieved with analogies with known other factors. Celestial phenomena present one possibility and can easily be assessed qualitatively and quantitatively; however, a single match in modern eyes need not necessarily have been intended by Neolithic minds; independent corroboration is needed. The late fourth millennium BC kerbstone KI5 at Knowth, Ireland, bears a fan-shaped pattern that has been controversially interpreted as a solar calendar yet it has not been noted until now that there is independent evidence for exactly this calendar, in fine detail, in the standing stone alignments of Britain. A new examination and reinterpretation of the rock carving reveals a strikingly good match with this “menhir calendar” of Alexander Thom and strongly supports his statistical deductions from his survey data. Also offered is an interpretation of the “diamond and spiral” symbol that appears rarely on passage grave art and once on a sherd of Orkney Grooved ware. A link with the solar calendar is possible.
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- Resource type
National Museums Scotland
- Journal title
Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture
Taylor and Francis
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