Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stonehenge and Wurdi Youang

In light polluted cities we have difficulty in understanding how deeply the night sky was involved in the life and environment of people before electric lamps. Especially in those areas where there are many clear nights during the year the bright starry night was an integral part of human life. Today this intimacy and knowledge of the most visible stars and constellations has been replaced with different kind of presence of the space in the living rooms and places of study through modern media, documentaries and brilliant photography of distant nebulae.

Time dimension
Human species has a built-in system of orientation into the space and time it lives in. There is an ongoing search of purpose and patterns in life which in its deepest levels takes the form of Theology and Philosophy. Human belief systems both seek order and ponder the lack of it in hostile chaotic systems and search for paths in coping with the reality.  

We could visualize an ideal existence of humans knowing the past, present and future as a plus sign
The person would be in the centre and South would be past history, East and West current existence here and now and North the known future. The person living in such reality would be something like Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) in the movie Next!

However, in real life God of Israel created the human species to exist in a Spacetime continuum letter T
By this symbol I mean that the past, South, and present, East and West, are pretty much known at least on some practical level, but the future is unknown. We have expectations of what will happen when we conclude our studies, get married, buy a car, invest on stock markets... But alas! Next moment can utterly change all that and even bring sudden illness or death, as we all know just too well. One tsunami, and all future plans changed in a moment.

Human existence and celestial clockwork
The human species is built so that we search for patterns in our past, present and also future.

A believer gives God or gods a role in all this, thanking for the good things in the past, suffering patiently the present and praying for a better future. A believer trusts in something called guidance.

Many people look for something more concrete than an invisible God to secure the path to the future. One such thing is the sky above us that moves with the regularity of a clockwork, defining our days and nights, seasons and years. Ancients have observed the unchanging, repeating patterns that demonstrate something greater than human life or generations, something approaching eternity.


Stonehenge (wikimedia ref)

We can observe close integration of existence with the celestial clock work already in prehistoric times. For when they built Stonehenge over five thousand years ago they did not write what is its purpose. "Whatever religious, mystical or spiritual elements were central to Stonehenge, its design includes a celestial observatory function, which might have allowed prediction of eclipse, solstice, equinox and other celestial events important to a contemporary religion." (wikipedia)

Wurdi Youang

Aerial image of the stone circle at Wurdi Youang, Victoria, Australia.

A stunning recent discovery of a prehistoric installation in Australia may also have been interpreted an ancient observatory, joining man in his existential search of meaning in life with the movements of celestial objects.

"The discovery of the 50 meter egg-shaped arrangement of stones in a farmer's field in Victoria, Australia, could hold secrets to ancient Aboriginal astronomy.

Were Australia's prehistoric Aboriginal people the world's first true astronomers, predating European and ancient Greek and Indian astronomers by thousands of years?

The stunning discovery of what is being called an "Aboriginal Stonehenge", the first of its kind to be found in Australia, could change that continent's history and with it our whole understanding of how and when humans began to accurately chart the night skies.

The 50 meter egg-shaped arrangement of stones in a farmer's field in Victoria, was forgotten after the arrival of European settlers some 200 years ago and until recently overgrown by meadow grass.

Now, the site called Wurdi Youang has got Aborigines and astronomers scratching their heads."


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