spokes. It is possible that all the spokes were added later, but no evidence precludes their presence in the original structure. Major excavations were carried out at the site over a period of several years under the general supervision of Richard Forbis of the Department of Archeology of the University of Calgary with much of the field work by James Calder (1977). A wide range of artifacts were recovered in good stratigraphic sequence. Apparently, the cairn was being increased in size from ~3200 b.c. until after 1800 a.d., except for a hiatus in building, although not necessarily in use between ~1000 b.c. and 200 a.d. Table 6.8 lists the archeo-logical phases, components of which were found at Majorville.

Astronomical alignments have been claimed for this site but are not yet fully demonstrated, and the degree of damage to this site is so extensive that convincing demonstration is difficult. A museum model of Majorville at the Department of Archeology of the University of Calgary shows alignments to the summer solstice sunrise and to heliacal rise points of Sirius, Aldebaran, and Rigel. Studies by Gordon and Phyllis Freeman (1992) maintain that there are several types of distant foresights and local equinoctial markers as well. They raise the interesting point that the equinox, defined as the date at which the Sun crosses the equator, does not actually correspond to the date when day and night are equal because of dip and refraction considerations. They maintain that the alignments work best about three days before the vernal equinox, which is the date when observationally day and night were equal. However, they do not explain how people could have observed or calculated the small temporal difference involved. The current value of the site is its demonstrated antiquity and its structural similarity to younger, but less complex sites, for which astronomical alignments can be shown.

0 0

Post a comment