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Callanish I/Calanais I

The following layout of Calanais I (58o 12' N latitude, 6o 45' W longitude and 22 m high and the avenue assumed to be between 2600 BCE and 1500 BCE [Ashmore, pers. comm [2004]) has been found in literature (Ponting, [1981], age of Calanais I assumed at 1550 BCE):

Calanais I plan

An important range of hills (the moon rises here at the southern extreme of the major standstill) seen from most of the Calanais sites is The sleeping beauty or The old woman in the moors (Cailleach na Mointeach), looking like:


Form left to right:
Mor Mhonadh (knees), Guainemol (body) and Sidhean an Airgid (head).

During our visit only a few things could be measured, this was also due to the very misty weather. But there is a wonderful museum on Calanais by Margeret and Ron Curtis, so go and visit it! It gives much more background on alignments than the Calanais Visitor Centre.

The most interesting things on Calanais I can be read in Ponting [1981] in which some very pronounced reappearing of the Sun/Moon are described. Below a few of my own (misty) photographs can be seen (including the horizon profiles of Ponting [1981]):


Reappearing point of winter solstice sunset seen from stone 8
The stone on the left is stone 18


Reappearing point of moon set at northern major lunar standstill limit seen from stone 8
The building on the right is an old Scottish backhouse (Backhouse Tearoom)

A comparison of our azimuth readings (using magn-true north2) and the azimuth readings of Ponting, [1981]:

Differance between magn-true north2 and Ponting reading
magn-true Ponting
north2 reading
188.8 189
190.3 191
334.6 335.5
217.6 218
Our measurements are on average some 0.6o lower than the Ponting's readings (which have an accuracy of some 0.01o). This differance is well within the range of our measurements accuracy, which has a variance of 0.25o.


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Last major content related changes: January 2, 1997