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a Adapted from Burl (1976, Table 2).

b Burl's chronological ordering, based largely on early and late traits.

a Adapted from Burl (1976, Table 2).

b Burl's chronological ordering, based largely on early and late traits.

nomena were being correlated with planetary movements. If there was an astronomical connection of the axe cult, it is more likely to have been with the planet Jupiter, as known from the Mediterranean (cf. the Roman god Jupiter Tonans, "Thundering Jupiter") and arguable for Scandinavia.12 Such an association, however, is not demonstrable for the mega-lithic sites.

Cumbrian monuments include a predominance of flattened circles (as opposed to circles, egg-shaped ovals, or ellipses), suggesting a consistent style. The best known monuments of this region are Castlerigg (or Castle Rigg) near Keswick (Figures 6.18 and 6.19), and Long Meg and her Daughters, East of the Eden River, near Penrith (Figure 6.20).

Castlerigg is a flattened circle where the geometry and astronomy seem especially well blended (Thom 1966,1967).

12 Thor, the northern axe and thunder god, became the ruler of our day Thursday, the day of Jupiter in the planetary week.

Figure 6.18. The layout of the Cumbrian circle of Castlerigg, near Keswick, England. Drawing by Sharon Hanna.

Figure 6.18. The layout of the Cumbrian circle of Castlerigg, near Keswick, England. Drawing by Sharon Hanna.

Modest in scale, the diameter of the ring is ~97ft (29.6m), and the height of the tallest stone is ~7.4ft (2 1/4m). The horizon is very uneven.

Long Meg is located on the track to the Tyne Gap in the Pennine Mountains that provides access to northeastern England. The ring is a flattened circle, roughly 361 x 305 ft (109 x 93 m), the largest of the Cumbrian sites. It has a partial henge associated with it. A double-stone entrance is at the southwest, and 18 m beyond in the same direction stands the outlier stone, Long Meg (Figure 6.21), 3.4m high, weighing ~28 tons (Burl 1976, p. 89).

According to Burl (1976, p. 92), the bearing of Long Meg from the circle's center is 223.4°. At a latitude of 54.7°, the azimuth of sunset with the Sun at 8 = -24° is actually 227.8° for a level horizon, but Long Meg is the tallest of the stones, 3.7 m high and is moreover set at the top of a ridge. These circumstances mean that the Sun will disappear over the stone at a smaller azimuth by an amount that depends on the relative heights of the observer and the stone. The asso ciation with an observational solar function goes beyond the bearing, however. On the face toward the ring, Long Meg bears three markings: cup and ring, spiral, and a series of concentric circles, of which the outer two are incomplete (see Figure 6.22). The spiral is counterclockwise, a feature that has been associated with the winter solstice. From the center of the circle, the outlier, Long Meg, stands in line with the midwinter sunset (Burl 1988, pp. 196-197).

There was once a great circle of this group at Lochmaben, Dumfries, near the coast; now only two stones remain. Charcoal associated with one of the remaining stones gave a date of 3275 b.c. ±80. The site is mentioned by the Ravenna Geographer of late Roman times as Locus Maponi (from which the present name derives), and the Roman name derives from Maponos, the British-Celtic form of the name of the god known in Ireland as Mac nOg and associated with New-grange (approximately contemporary in construction with Lochmaben) (Burl 1976, p. 205; O'Rahilly 1946/1957, pp. 292-293). One of the mythical figures associated with King

Figure 6.19. Sectional panoramas of the Cumbrian circle of Castlerigg, England: (a) View toward the entrance from the North. (b) Looking ENE across a rectangular enclosure—the largest hill on the right is the Threlkeld Knotts, over which the

Sun appears at the equinoxes. (c) Three views of the rightmost of the stones in (b), and the largest in the circle. Photos by E.F. Milone.

Arthur is Mabon, son of Mellt, i.e., *Maponos,13 son of *Meldos. Here we begin to see a relationship of the Sun god with the god of thunder and lightning, for *Meldos meant "lightning." The Irish Mac nOg is said to have been a son of the Dagda or "Good God." Mac nOg tricked his father out of his rightful possession, the Brugh na boinne (O'Rahilly 1957, pp. 52, 516-517). This association of Sun god and lightning god is definitely not an identity. Burl (1976, p. 205) thought that the name of *Maponos in this connection confirmed "the long use of some stone circles and the continuity of tradition whereby customs were perpetuated even by later comers to the district." The continuity may have been even fuller than Burl realized.

At Penrith, 10km SSE of Long Meg, is a henge known as "King Arthur's Round Table." The central area is 50 m in diameter, and it is surrounded by a circular ditch that in turn is encircled by a bank. The full diameter of the structure is

13 Linguists use an asterisk to mark recontructed forms. See §11.4, footnote 10.

~90m, comparable to that of the flattened ring of Long Meg's Daughters, and probably had a similar function, to gather large numbers of people, possibly for axe trading (Burl 1976, p. 25). Large numbers of axes have been found at Windmill Hill and at Avebury. The stone circle construction, he notes, took a comparable amount of time to construct (he estimates 70 stones x 60 people x 10 hours/day = 42,000 man-hours) compared with estimates by Atkinson (1961) and Coles (l973, p. 73) of 55,000 man-hours for the Penrith henge (cited in Burl 1976/1989, p. 64). Burl also discusses the distributions of these forms. The stone circles and henges have a somewhat different distribution, with larger (over 200 ft, or 61 m diameter) henges distributed more evenly but with larger numbers in the central regions, whereas stone circles are much more strongly concentrated in the central and western regions. It is instructive that the stone circles in the central region tend to be accompanied by henges, but far less so in the western region (Burl 1976, p. 28). Was there competition for local populations in the central regions? If these great enclosures were used primarily as trade centers, the great number of them become somewhat more explicable, and so does the willingness on

Figure 6.20. Sectional panoramas of the Cumbrian circle of Long Meg and Her Daughters, near Penrith, England: (a) to (c) As viewed from the center, proceeding clockwise from the South. (d) As viewed from outside the eastern arc of the circle. Long Meg lies along a line to winter solstice sunset. Photos by E.F. Milone.

Figure 6.20. Sectional panoramas of the Cumbrian circle of Long Meg and Her Daughters, near Penrith, England: (a) to (c) As viewed from the center, proceeding clockwise from the South. (d) As viewed from outside the eastern arc of the circle. Long Meg lies along a line to winter solstice sunset. Photos by E.F. Milone.

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