The New Key to an Ancient Enigma
   by Anthony Johnson:
THAMES & HUDSON ISBN 978-0-500-05155-9
                                                                                stonehenge reconstruction                                                                                          
above: computer  reconstruction partly based on laser point cloud data


          Bush Barrow Lozenge Geometry

The Lozenge goldsmith began with a circle and hexagon.
Anyone using a compass and straight edge can, given some thought, discover exactly how the rest of the design was accomplished. Computer analysis identified at least 28 stages. Every detail, including the incised decorative lines can be worked out from the basic hexagonal outline. It took many weeks to discover what proved to be a simple formula, given the clues above it can be resolved quite easily. If you discover how it was done, consider how earlier Neolithic surveyors may have marked out an accurate ring of 56*

The trick of how they set out the circuit with a cord and peg is 5,000 years old…. but has been lost, until that is, it was re-discovered by experiment while working on the book. It is actually so simple that you will find it hard to believe that people have puzzled over the number for the best part of a century. If there is a significance to 56, and there is plenty of speculation, it is has nothing to do with the surveying which was simply based on simple square and circle geometry. Further research reveals that the fifty-six sided polygon was already part of ancient folklore in the classical world; so it is quite clear that it was possible to draw…Just one small detail - measuring is not allowed!

* The number of 'Aubrey Holes'  inside the bank of the early enclosure. Probably post settings; they date from shortly after 3,000 BC.
for a plan of the Aubrey holes see: this link

graphics and text © A.E.Johnson


             Astronomy or Architecture?

The construction of Stonehenge reflects the empirical discovery of mathematical truths. Its design embodies the elegant and universal symbolism of numbers and geometry. 4,500 years ago Neolithic surveyors and engineers understood and employed the relationships between squares and circles. They accurately created polygons which included hexagons pentagons decagons; the classic 30 sided figure which determined the positions of the Sarsen Circle (a 'triacontagon') is itself a product of these fundamental shapes. 

The 'horseshoe' form of the central array was derived from the same markers that determined the position of the Sarsen Circle. Beyond the circle, the four 'Station Stones' sit in perfect spatial and geometric relationship with the central group. A modern preoccupation with 'alignments' has masked the elegantly simple formulae used by the prehistoric designers.   

          plan of stonehenge

Prehistoric  knowledge embedded in icons

The Bush Barrow Lozenge (buried c.1700 BC the exact date of it manufacture is unknown) is one of a number of objects that provide a further remarkable insight into the sublime dimension of the prehistoric mind. This artefact is a tangible and intimate connection with the creativity of the Early Bronze Age artisans, a mature reflection of the geometric principles developed not by ‘astronomer priests’ but by Neolithic ‘draftsmen-surveyors’ who had used the same elegantly simple methods in the construction of both timber and stone monuments for generations. 

In examining how these mirrored symmetrical designs were created we may take one step closer to unlocking and appreciating the rationale behind the iconography of these dynamic communities, and the building of Stonehenge itself.

The Bush Barrow Lozenge. Unearthed by Wiilam Cunnington in July 1808 from a barrow 1km south-west of Stonehenge, size: 185.5 x 157 mm.

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