Whenever I read anything about how a monument is aligned towards the rising sun on the Winter Solstice, or some other such mystic arrangement, I do find myself wondering how that was achieved. Unless there’s a secret stash of prehistoric timepieces that the archaeologists haven’t interpreted the bejesus out of yet, I’m not sure how one’s aware of how short the day is.

I’d be more willing to believe in an alignment to something a little more tangible, like the direction of the sun on the day an important person was born, or died, or when the people first came to these lands. Or perhaps the one day of the year when the sun pokes its head above a certain rock on the horizon. That I can believe in.

I can’t help this: I design software and processes that have to be implemented. That means that for everything I dream up, I have to provide a mechanism for it happening before I can incorporate it.

I’m thinking if any kind of observations resulted in these alignments, stars other than our local one would be of more assistance. I reckon it would be much easier to line things up when the stars got into a certain position, and perhaps this just might turn out to be the shortest day. Everyone knows that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten. Or something.

I guess this post is a mental note to find out more about this if possible. So far I’ve read about these magical alignments, but nothing I’ve read has explained a mechanism for them coming into being, so either it’s supposed to be self-evident and I’m an idiot (no-one would be less surprised than me), or no-one has explained it. Enquiring minds need to know..

Written on January 5th, 2011 , Musings Tags: ,

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Notes from a field