Clive Ruggles

Publications

     

This list of books and selected papers and articles contains links and downloadable copies where available.

Free downloads

ICOMOSIAU Thematic Studies on Astronomical Heritage

No. 1 (2010): See here for more information or click here to download a copy directly (46 Mb)

No. 2 (2017): See here for more information or click here to download a copy (19 Mb)

 

Stonehenge and Ancient Astronomy

 

Download a copy of the Royal Astronomical Society’s factsheet

Image collection

Leicester University Archive

An archival collection of c. 1100 images of archaeological and archaeoastronomical interest has been available on-line since 1995.

     

     

Thousands of new images are (very!) gradually being made available— see here

Stonehenge avenue and “Bluestonehenge”

Stonehenge avenue runs for almost 3km up to Stonehenge from West Amesbury henge, by the banks of the River Avon. Excavations in 2009 suggested that this location once held a circle of bluestones that were subsequently moved to Stonehenge, around the same time that the ditches of the avenue were dug.

The final stretch of the avenue leading up to Stonehenge is famously aligned upon winter solstice sunset and summer solstice sunrise, as is the axis of Stonehenge itself. An excavated section across the avenue in 2008 yielded a big surprise, however…

Between the avenue ditches were a number of deep natural fissures in the chalk running parallel to the avenue ditches, suggesting that the latter were simply an elaboration of the natural features and therefore (at first sight) that the solstitial orientation of the avenue is fortuitous. However, what is to us a coincidence of nature—the existence of natural ruts aligned upon winter solstice sunset—could actually have served to identify the top of those ruts as a place of huge sacred power and cosmic significance, and explain why it went on to become such an important focus for ritual activity, including the construction of Stonehenge itself. It is possible that this alignment was recognised long before the Neolithic.

The short (100m-long) avenue at Durrington Walls henge was also an elaboration of a natural feature—an accumulation of frost-shattered flint running along the bottom of a dry valley—and was also roughly solstitially oriented, in this case towards summer solstice sunset.

For more details see the full paper: Stonehenge's avenue and 'Bluestonehenge', by Michael J. Allen et al., published in Antiquity 90 (2016), 991–1008.

An “e-print” is also available from the University of Southampton.

Go to the Antiquity website

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Archaeoastronomy

… is the study of beliefs and practices relating to the sky in the past, especially in prehistory, and the uses to which people's know- ledge of the skies was put.

     
Journals

   
Professional bodies


Free software tools

Basic declination calculator

 

HORIZON
by Andrew Smith


See the Tools page for more info


Books

Springer Handbook (2014):

 

Ocarina Books publishes and distributes books relating to archaeo- and ethnoastronomy

Alice Ruggles Trust

If you are looking for things related to Alice and/or information about stalking, please visit the Alice Ruggles Trust website