Monday, 9 December 2013

The Principle

Here's the trailer for the film about recent discoveries in cosmology.

The trailer references Stonehenge (at 2 minutes in). But only the film contains the full Stonehenge Sequence; a short "show and tell" of what Stonehenge was for. The producers used the sequences developed in Heavens' Henge, which is described in much more detail in Stonehenge: Solving the Neolithic Universe.

The Stonehenge Sequence was developed by BUF Compagnie, Paris ("Total Recall", Life of Pi")

Friday, 1 November 2013

Goodreads UK Broken Stone Give-away

Goodreads UK Giveaway of the Broken Stone (Original hardback, signed) 



  Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Broken Stone by Jonathan Morris

The Broken Stone

by Jonathan Morris

Giveaway ends November 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Was Stonehenge an engineering project?

I came across this quote on the Goodreads site:

Programmers are isolated. They sit in their cubicle; they don't think about the larger picture. To my mind, a programmer is not an engineer, because an engineer is somebody who starts with a social problem that an organization or a society has and says, "OK, here's this problem that we have- how can we solve it?" The engineer comes up with a clever, cost-effective solution to address that problem, builds it, tests it to make sure it solves the problem. That's engineering.

Stonehenge is often described as an engineering project because it has features which have hallmarks of some sort of functional use. If our ancestors were engineers, and places such as Stonehenge were engineering monuments, then the reason for building this type of monument should start with a problem (or problems) that our ancestors were looking to solve. 

In Solving the Neolithic Universe, Stonehenge represents a geocentric Universe. It, and many earlier monuments, appear to be the solution to a problem. This is described in the Epilogue of Stonehenge: Solving the Neolithic Universe.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Stonehenge: Solving the Neolithic Universe (Expanded Edition)


New version published 21-22/09/2013:
156 pages, 114 illustrations and 243 notes cross-referencing to 46 reference works on Stonehenge (it's much more heavyweight than the original booklet version).   

Available on Amazon, only over equinox 2013: for £3.99 (including delivery in UK):  
Amazon.co.uk: Solving the Neolithic Universe Expanded Edition (about £9.99)
Amazon.com: Solving the Neolithic Universe Expanded Edition (about $12.99)



Saturday, 3 August 2013

Lifting Heavy Irregular Objects Part 2


Thought it might be a bit of fun to look at how we would organise the construction of Stonehenge today if we were trying to get the job done quickly.

In part Part1, a stone jacking solution used a rise rate of 200-400mm per hour over an 8 hour shift. This could potentially accomplish one stone jack in four days or so. Ideally, you would run three teams of say 6 people jacking with a 'labour' team of 18 helping to load. One team would be at the start of a jack, one in the middle, and one at the end so that the number of pallets required is only 50% more than what is required for a single jack:

A separate ground-working team would pack the foundation after the stone is stabilised (using poles)



The lintel lift is similar but uses wider jack platforms (though the original platforms could be made to do any task). 



This is also jacked the same way.
I think there is probably a better way of doing it than this, but it works for programming purposes:



Say 4 teams were available: Three working at any time, the other team on a rest vacation. A separate team is assumed to work on fixing the  lintels to allow the jacking teams to immediately get on with the next job.

The program for doing the work would start in February for the carpentry, then run from April to August for the stone lifts:


This program assumes two days off per week (some days will be lost to rain). The work scheduling software (above) indicates a minimum critical path of one summer. But the chances are that you would want to do this process over two summers, or even longer if the rates at which stones are shaped & delivered are slow.

The textbooks assume that the shaping work would be done in the same way that stone breakers used to work a few centuries back: If this was done, it would have been slow and laborious task. There is another significantly faster method given the resources available. More on this later:  Both methods give the same debitage (and other remains), but I have yet to test the work-rate for the alternative method.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Lifting heavy irregular objects Part 1


Thought for a bit of fun, I'd would look at an alternative method of lifting very heavy blocks of stone (up to the maximum of a block at Stonehenge):

One method uses a frame stack with tapered pallets. The pallet should be big enough to lift the first stages without putting too much load onto the edge of the insertion hole:


Each pallet is lifted using wing levers: These need to be stabilised against a post to prevent racking. You load up the edges with rocks until it starts to lift, a couple of guys either end then slowly force the wings down using their own bodyweight (so that the stone lifts by the height of a pallet) and a new pallet is inserted:
 

The pallets need to have their end joints shaped to avoid racking in the late stages of the lift:



Process needs about 12 people to get the job done quickly, but a few more would be handy. Each load and unload would take about an hour or perhaps less, so a stone could be raised in a few days. A similar method, using exactly the same kit, can be used to raise blocks vertically.

The above system to scale using calculated sizes and a factor of safety of about two.





Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Full Prototype Test of the Stonehenge Model

The first full 30% prototype was constructed last week: This shows a bamboo ring within which each of the five trilithon sets were laid out to the exactly same axis as at Stonehenge. The polar axis pole was then inserted into the Stone 53/54 (the southern stones where three vertically spaced holes exist on the real Stonehenge trilithons). The pole was set so that it points north-south and directly up towards the North Star. The hinge and rod were then placed so that the hinge was directly over the centre of the circle:


The next step was to clad the frames in cloth to give the same flat, internally facing surfaces as exist as on the Stonehenge trilithons. Spherically arranged mirror frames were then put around the perimeter of the circle and tilted so that they all point directly at the hinge
 

Once that was complete, the covers were lifted from the mirror set to allow the grailto light up. For this run, I did not bother to keep the external internally facing ring because my mirror frames were designed to be self-supporting:
 

In the picture above, some of the mirrors are unfocused, so they produce both square and lozenge shaped light reflections on the flat surfaces of the trilithon sets. I found that an easy way to focus the mirror sets was to move the mirrors so that only the outline of the reflection remains. However, though all the squares will disappear, some full bright lozenge shapes will always remain, lighting up the back surfaces of the trilithons, if the ring of mirrors is large enough.
The height of the Great Trilithon (at the rear: Stones 55/56) appears to be critical. The positions of the vertically spaced holes in Stones 53 and 54 (the south stones at Stonehenge) allow the reflector to be kept at a constant height above the exterior lintels (of stones 1-30 at Stonehenge): This means that the mirrors can always be checked for position, even at the highest position of the pole of the hinge of stone, providing that the tall stones (of the Great Trilithon at Stonehenge) are as high as they are.
 -------------------------
In the picture below, the focusing arrangement is shown: The rod holding the reflector is hinged so that it always points directly at the sun. As clouds roll over, the light dims; the reflector lighting up again when the clouds pass, appearing to ride on sunbeams. Ropes are shown from trilithon sets 51/52, 57/58 and 59/60 to stabilise the rotating pole and allow it to be gradually rotated to match the movement of the Sun:


The picture above also simulates what one would see from head height if standing so that you can see the hinge

In summary, the latest tests have shown some additional reasons for having inwardly facing flat surfaces on Stones 51-60, together with an additional reason for the height of Stones 55 and 56. When combined with the existing reasons described inStonehenge: Solving the Neolithic Universe, there are no features of Stonehenge which remain unexplained apart from the Altar Stone (details of this to follow).