Heritage: February 2005 Archives

February 21, 2005

New Zealand's Stonehenge

New Zealand: The Phoenix Astronomical Society has unveiled it's own version of Stonehenge, designed to work properly in the antipodes.

The astronomical society's volunteers supplied 11,000 hours of labour over the 18 months the henge took to build.

The result of that toil is a henge of 24 upright pillars and connecting lintels that is 30m in diameter and about 4m high. In the centre of the henge is a 5m-tall obelisk, the eye of which points at the south celestial pole.

Set into a tiled mosaic that runs out from the obelisk along the meridian is a 10m analemma, the figure of eight pattern that the path of sun traces over a year.

Outside the circle of the henge stand six heel stones, the markers for the rising and setting points of the sun at solstice and equinox.

Maori astronomical achievements are also celebrated in the new monument:

To make the henge truly of Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand), the astronomers have ensured that their creation marks the stars and constellations that Polynesian navigators used on their epic voyages across the Pacific Ocean, and they have also incorporated Maori lore.

NZ unveils Stonehenge replica - BBC News, 14th February 2005.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Heritage category from February 2005.

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