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Henge of the World

by Ralph Ellis

Were the Neolithic tribes simple hunter gatherer societies, or did they have a deeper understanding of our world. The world's largest Neolithic earthwork ring explained.
( From the Thoth Architect of the Universe)


The full moon rose sedately into the night sky, it bathed the Avebury henge in a pale luminous glow and the great monolithic stones threw translucent shadows out across the grass. The crisp night air was wet with dew and mist, the atmosphere was equally laden with expectation. Suddenly a ghostly figure stepped silently from behind one of the massive stones in the central ring, his head betraying the frightening outline of a wolf. The assembled masses on the great banks of the henge gave a muffled collective intake of breath.

A drum began a rhythmic beat, and the Shaman stepped softly from stone to stone in a circular dance, his feet stirring the few wisps of mist that clung to the long grass. The crowd too joined the chant, Bah!, Bah!, Bah!... The chant grew in confidence and pace, faster and faster and then, quite abruptly - he stopped. An eerie silence descended on the land once more, not a breath of wind stirred the night air. The Shaman pulled the heart of a bull out of a bag around his waist, it was fresh, dripping blood and gushing great clouds of steam into the night air. The Shaman slowly raised the heart up aloft, the blood dripping onto his mask and gave out a long and mournful cry to the heavens - aaaarrrrrooowwwwww! The crowd froze in fear. Far away, in the depths of the still night air, a lone wolf cried in return - aaarrroowwwww.


The type of portrayal above may be quite familiar for the Neolithic societies of North Western Europe, but it has been reproduced to illustrate a point. Why are we so comfortable with these images of Avebury and Stonehenge? Is it because these images are so alien to our modern culture that we can partition this era off, consign it to a barbarous past that has nothing to do with our modern lives? I suspect that this is part of the attraction. I would even go further and say that there are organisations in this world that would like to keep this idea going indefinitely, to keep us misinformed of our past. This may sound an odd thing to say, but come back to this section after reading the whole of this chapter, then read again the classical ideas on the rituals of the Avebury ring and see how primitive they really are.

So if the established concepts of Neolithic life are wrong, what are we to replace them with? How much did ancient man know of our world, how thorough was his educational system? These are the questions that we shall try to answer in the space of a few short pages and the answers that will emerge from this process will be quite astounding, yet quite difficult to dismiss. The starting point in this process was the great henges themselves. Like the great pyramids of Egypt, there have been many and varied ideas proposed as to the function of these amazing structures. Why did ancient man devote so much time and energy to their construction? If they were so important, as they evidently were, what was their true function? Just to brush off these questions with statements alluding to a 'religious and ritualistic function' is not an answer, it is a statement of ignorance. Ancient man knew why these monuments were built, so why don't we?

The answer to this is that perhaps we were not looking or understanding. We are trying to interpret these structures in our terms, to resolve their function within our established framework of history, religion and our position as masters of all knowledge. But perhaps we are wrong. Perhaps our concepts of our established history are based on phantom foundations, perhaps the concept of our chronological superiority in this world is unjustified. What if there was, long ago, a technically literate civilisation, one who designed and organised the construction of these magnificent monuments in both Wessex and Egypt. This may be a heretical proposal, but let us run with it and see what it will lead us to. What would a technical civilisation want to design into a megalithic monument?

Fig. 1 Avebury

I first started to look at this problem at the Stonehenge site and I found there some interesting possibilities that alluded to a highly technical and mathematical capability for its designer. From there I moved over to the sister monument of Avebury, what could I find here? A veritable cornucopia of technology in fact.

In the top right hand corner of Avebury there is a small circle, in its center there is a group of three large standing stones and, except for the Obelisk in the southern circle, these were the biggest stones on the Avebury site. These three stones were also unlike any others on the site: they were flat, rectangular and placed in the ground as a rectangle, rather than as a diamond. They measure some 5 x 4 meters each and were placed in a formation resembling the walls of an enclosure, accordingly they became known as the Cove.

Many people have identified them as being an example of a dolmen, which normally consists of three upright stones and a huge capstone on the top. But this is not a dolmen, the layout of the lower stones is just not right and there is no evidence of there ever having been a capstone. This enclosure has another function. It consists of three stones that form a horseshoe-like arrangement, that points with its open end out towards the north-east, a horseshoe shape that is enclosed within a circle of stones.

Does this not sound a little like the central formation on the Stonehenge site? At Stonehenge we have the Trilithons, the pairs of standing stones that form a horseshoe shape in the center of the Sarsen circle, the pairs of standing stones that were the largest on the site, the horseshoe arrangement that points out towards the north east. Is this not exactly what we see here in the northern circle at Avebury, a little map of Stonehenge?


Fig. 2 Avebury horseshoe Stonehenge horseshoe

I sat for a while looking at this coincidence, wondering if this really had been planned. It seemed to me that, if the designer had really wanted to confirm this similarity between Avebury and Stonehenge, he would probably have tried to link the two sites, perhaps by using his measurement system. Looking at the two sites for a few minutes confirmed that they are indeed related, by their perimeter length of the Stonehenge site in comparison to that of Avebury.

Out by the earth ring and ditch at Stonehenge, there is a ring of post-holes just inside the ditch. These are known as the Aubrey holes after their discoverer, the seventeenth-century antiquary John Aubrey. The function of these enigmatic holes was a complete mystery, as were most of the formations on these sites. But, by just looking at them, they had to be something to do with our mythical designer, who I named 'Thoth' after the Egyptian god of technology - for later in the book "Thoth, Architect of the Universe" I also go on to show that the Great Pyramid at Giza has exactly the same function as Avebury. What other crafty architect would dig a ring of holes at Stonehenge and immediately fill them back in again? This would perform no rational function, but it is the sort of trick that our mythical designer Thoth would devise to cover up another of his mathematical conundrums. As one orthodox commentator says in regard to these holes:

Their purpose is unknown, though it is clear that they never held upright stones or wooden posts, which would have left impressions in the chalk at the bottom. Soon after they were dug they were refilled with chalk. Later they were reused for the burials of cremated human bones.

The true function of this Aubrey circle was difficult to fathom, but if the thrust of this whole thesis was true, then it is likely to have a mathematical answer, not a religious one. Alexander Thom measured the ring in the 1960s, the reported result being a perimeter length of 328.1 Megalithic yards (my) or 271.7 meters. I had found the link between Avebury and Stonehenge, the perimeter of the Aubrey holes is exactly one-quarter of the perimeter length of the Avebury ring. There was a correlation after all.

The clear inference to me was that the design of Avebury involved cartography, it was something to do with maps. This in itself is a rather revolutionary concept for a Neolithic site, so in order to pursue this concept further it is at this point that we must try to purge our minds of any previous ideas we may have had about these sites, from whatever end of the spectrum they may come. Try to start with a blank sheet and work up from there. These ancient builders were men and women exactly like us. Their education may have been a little different, but for the educated elite it was probably no less demanding. Think of them as having the same ideas, and perhaps the same knowledge of the world, as ourselves. Many people at this point may disagree with such a notion, but that is the very reason why the Avebury henge has not been seen for what it is for so long.

It needs an open mind to see the real Avebury.

Heaven on Earth

The time has come for some more dramatic evidence from the book "Thoth, Architect of the Universe", for now we come to the real reason and purpose for building the great henge of Avebury. The answer to one of the central enigmas of British history, is very simply that Avebury is a representation of our planet Earth. And quite a good one at that!


Fig. 3 Avebury Earth

Is such a suggestion as preposterous as it sounds? We are talking about Neolithic man here; how could Neolithic man know the form of our Earth? This is where established dogma clouds our judgment. We must keep the sheet of paper blank until we have something to put on it, otherwise this line of reasoning cannot be taken to its ultimate conclusion. Instead, let us take a look at the evidence in favour of this suggestion, for there is plenty there to be found:

  1. Notice how the east-west road cuts across the Avebury ring, this can be considered as being the equator of the Avebury Earth.
  2. Notice how the circle of Avebury leans to the left a little, at an angle of about 23 from true north. It is unlikely that this is the result of imperfect surveying. As a line joining the centers of the two small inner circles mimics this leaning angle quite precisely, it has to have been designed this way. If one is prepared to take on board the controversial theory, however, one cannot help noticing that the Earth's current angle of obliquity, the angle at which it also 'leans', is some 23.4.
  3. Note that the henge circle is not quite circular. It has traditionally been assumed that this was because the ancients could not survey a circle properly, yet there are many examples of perfectly circular henges in Britain, including the Stonehenge site and the smaller circles at Avebury. Now we have an entirely plausible reason for why Avebury was not designed to be circular, it is because the Earth itself is not circular. The Earth, as it spins, bulges out the equatorial latitudes and that is exactly what we find at Avebury; the east-west dimension of the henge is greater than the north-south dimension, just as it is on the real Earth.

Furthermore, the secret traditions of the priesthood would tell future generations that the henge had to be misshapen in this fashion. Not quite knowing the reason for this, later designers made all subsequent Avebury copies, such as Durrington Walls, Mount Pleasant and Marden, have distorted and exaggerated Avebury features. These henges tend to bulge out even more than Avebury does. It is apparent that the designers of these henges knew that this shape was sacred for some reason, but they did not quite know why. If Avebury bulges, then a henge that bulges even more must be even more sacred, the logic is simple and undeniable. Durrington in particular seems to be an imperfect copy of Avebury. It even comes complete with two inner circles, one above the other, but the design is strangely distorted from the Avebury design. The most telling point that this is an Avebury copy, though, is that the designer could only manage wooden posts in his circles, not the massive Sarsen stones of Avebury. The technology of Avebury had been lost, even in this era.

  1. We have already identified the northern small circle at Avebury as being a representation of the Stonehenge site, but why was it put there? The answer was now clear; it is because Stonehenge is in the northern hemisphere, both on the real Earth and on our Avebury Earth. What we have is a picture of our Earth, floating in space, a picture with Stonehenge clearly marked for all to see. Stonehenge is a marker.

Fig. 4 Stonehenge at Avebury The real Stonehenge

This is what one might call a really devastating theory, one that turns upside-down all previous thoughts, not only about Avebury, but also about the history of mankind. These are our familiar Stone Age hunter-gatherers, people who have only just come out of the woods to do a little farming and settle in primitive stick and mud huts. It was always difficult to imagine these primitive people having the technology and organization required to drag the massive Sarsen stones into these highly technical stone circles, like Stonehenge. Yet here we have them not only doing all this, but also drawing highly accurate pictures of our Earth as seen from space. Such revelations can be uncomfortable on the mind. If this is the case, just think for the moment that the architect had some assistance from the gods in making this design. For although this is a truly amazing hypothesis, it would remain just that, a hypothesis, if it were not for some nice little confirmations that can verify this theory and set us thinking even more.


Complete Picture

The task was now to find further evidence that this was indeed the intended picture that our designer, Thoth, had left for us to see because what we have here so far would not really convince a critical mind. The designer of Avebury would have had to have left further clues to his prowess, otherwise nobody would believe him or that he had such a comprehensive understanding of our world in that era. The quest was getting exciting because the theory was spawning further theories that were being verified in quick succession, for Thoth has indeed left some further confirmation for us that this was the picture that he wanted us to see. By now, I was beginning to understand the mind of the designer quite well and it was for this reason I declared him and the title of the book to be, "Thoth, Architect of the Universe".

The confirmation of this strange state of affairs is to be found in the small southern circle at Avebury. This circle has 29 stones and contains within it an odd 'D' shaped group of stones. Needless to say, the function of these stones has never been even remotely guessed at. Traditionally it has been assumed that there could be no way in which one could probe the mind of someone living so many thousands of years ago. At last it is now possible, but only just, for this particular feature took a great deal of lateral thinking even to start speculating about its true function. It would be interesting to try reasoning this one out independently without first reading the answer, but to achieve this it is imperative to keep reminding oneself that anything is imaginable. The secret of lateral thinking, in this case, is never to put limits on the possibilities that could be designed into these structures. This entails placing a great deal of faith in the capabilities of our designer, but Thoth is not about to let us down in this respect.

The answer lies in the South Sandwich Islands, these are a group of forgotten islands in the far South Atlantic, which happen to have exactly the same shape as the ' ) ' shaped stones at Avebury. Avebury truly is a complete picture of the Earth. Just ponder for a minute the further ramifications of this bizarre state of affairs. If this theory is true, then Neolithic man, our familiar 'Stig of the Dump' hunter-gatherer from our school books, complete with fur-skin cape and wooden club, was not only aware of the form of the Earth all those thousands of years ago, but was also quite familiar with an obscure group of islands in the South Atlantic. Stone Age man knew of the South Sandwich Islands, long before any transatlantic trade was supposed to have started. Fascinating is it not?


Fig. 5 The Sandwich Islands

Of course, there will always be one or two skeptics. I can hear them already, beating their fists with rage at this preposterous assumption, for how can we be so certain that this little ' ) ' shape does refer to these remote southern islands? The answer is that Thoth has told us, in his usual fashion:

  1. The small representation of Stonehenge at Avebury lies in the upper half of the Avebury ring; this indicated that Stonehenge should lie in the northern hemisphere on the real Earth, which it does.
  2. In a similar fashion, the ' ) ' shape lies in the southern half of the large Avebury ring, and so in turn the ' ) ' shape should also reside in the southern hemisphere on the real Earth. Accordingly, the South Sandwich Islands do reside in the southern hemisphere, and they reside almost exactly below the position of Stonehenge on an atlas. Thus the real layout of the islands is exactly the same as we see at Avebury. The ' ) ' shape is in just the right position in relation to the small picture of Stonehenge at Avebury.
  3. The ' ) ' shape at Avebury is normally pictured as comprising seven stones, the ' ) ' shaped Sandwich Islands comprise seven islands. As I indicated earlier, the physical shape of the island chain is exactly the same as the ' ) ' shaped stones at Avebury; in this case the representation at Avebury is getting dangerously close to the real thing.

So the layout of the Sandwich Islands is very close to what we see at Avebury and, in turn, the Avebury Earth is very, very close to what we see in reality. While this is interesting, it could still be considered to be coincidence, especially in an educational climate that deems such things impossible. What we really need is something tangible, and mathematical, that we can really hang this theory on, such as a latitude or longitude. We are not to be disappointed; Thoth is running exactly according to plan.

  1. The northern outer circle of stones, the one that surrounds the small representation of Stonehenge, has 26 stones. It happens that Stonehenge itself lies just below the 52 parallel north of the equator, Avebury is 51.5 north and Stonehenge 51.3 north. We have our latitude pointer and Thoth has at one stroke clarified the function of this little enclosure of stones at Avebury; it really is a map of Stonehenge. Stonehenge lies just about on the 52nd parallel north of the equator and, at the same time, its Avebury representation lies inside a circle contains 26 stones. 2 x 26 stones equals 52 degrees of latitude. It is simple really.
  2. In the same fashion, we can now prove the true function of the ' ) ' shaped stones in the southern circle. The ring that surrounds this ' ) ' shape comprises 29 stones. As before, 2 x 29 stones equals 58 degrees of latitude. The South Sandwich Islands reside at 58 south on a globe of the Earth. In fact, the very center of the whole group of islands straddles the parallel of 58 S.

Fig. 6 Latitudes 52 and 58 at Avebury Latitudes 52 N and 58 S on the Earth

Both Stonehenge and the Sandwich Islands are confirmed as being the correct concepts for each of these small circles at Avebury. They are confirmed by the latitudes at which they lie - simple but conclusive. The plot keeps getting more fascinating by the minute. How should we suppose that all this was achieved? Who was this incredible designer? Can we ourselves really accept that Neolithic man created an ocean-going ship and travelled the southern seas? Not only that, but now we can also say that he took with him a sextant in order that he might calculate the exact latitude of a group of southern islands? It is certainly a revolutionary concept and I can well understand anyone who is shaking their head in disbelief, but read the data again and look at the diagrams. Is this not proof of a long-lost technical civilisation that was either living on or visiting our planet many thousands of years ago?

Is this not also the source of those enigmatic ancient maps of Antarctica that appear to show the southern continent long before it was deemed to have been discovered? The Piri Reis, Oronteus Finaeus and Philippe Buache maps all show the southern continents, but they were published 'impossibly' early, long before the documented discovery of Antarctica. In addition, the Philippe Buache map also seems to show the continent when it was free of ice; in other words, this eighteenth-century cartographer was copying a very early map indeed. Could the designer of Avebury have been the original author? And at the same time, of course, Avebury is pointing at some islands out in the Atlantic beyond the pillars of Hercules as Gibraltar was once known. Could this be a source for the myths of Atlantis?

Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999
R. Ellis has asserted his rights, in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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