Mystery of Sacred Site Shaped by Stars
From an article in Yorkshire Post Today by Brian Dooks:
Thornborough is the only triple henge complex in the world and the only one to share the same astronomical alignment as the pyramids at Giza in Egypt.
A recent theory is that the henges' alignment may follow that of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion.
The site, which may have been chosen because of its proximity to the River Ure, was first used about 3500BC and it continued to be a centre for religious ritual worship, drawing pilgrims from across the North, at least until 2500BC.
The henges are one of the largest earthmoving projects undertaken by Neolithic man. Together with other henges at Nunwick, Hutton Moor and Cana Barn, near Ripon, plus the Devil's Arrows at Roecliffe, near Boroughbridge, they form one of Britain's premier sacred sites.
Superficial investigations of the site took place in the late 19th century but the henges were largely ignored by archaeologists until 1994, when a team from Newcastle University launched an intensive research project, which still continues under senior lecturer Jan Harding.
Worked flints from the Pennines and the Yorkshire coast have been discovered there along with axeheads from Langdale in Cumbria.
Dr Harding says the henges are a mirror image of Orion in its highest position with the southern entrances framing Sirius as it appeared over the horizon.
If the banks were covered in gypsum, as some excavations suggest, they would have appeared silvery white in the moonlight.
The Friends of Thornborough - www.friendsofthornborough.org - say that after years of neglect, including the use of the central henge as an ammunition store in the Second World War, their setting is now threatened by an extension to Nosterfield sand and gravel quarry.
Posted by BrigantesNation
9th March 2004ce
Edited 9th March 2004ce