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a Assuming each dot on East Pillar marks 1 day counted from the heliacal rising of the Pleiades. b Nearly vertical line of dots and separated from the above sequences. c Three pairs of dots forming a roughly triangular grouping, separated from the sequences.

a Assuming each dot on East Pillar marks 1 day counted from the heliacal rising of the Pleiades. b Nearly vertical line of dots and separated from the above sequences. c Three pairs of dots forming a roughly triangular grouping, separated from the sequences.

ference of alignments between Ggantija I at 8 = -27.3 (corresponding to A = 125.5) and the somewhat later Ggantija II with 8 = -33.8 (A = 134.5) may best be explained by the precessional shift.

At Mnajdra Temple III, the earliest of the three temples at this site, there are two pillars into which rows of dots have been drilled (Ventura, Serio, and Hoskin 1993). The features of the pillar are sketched in Figure 6.37.

The holes apparently represent a tally count because of structural similarity between the counts on the two pillars, summarized in Table 6.7, in which the counts are summed in the same way, from top to bottom. The rows are not similar in position on the two pillars, and all but the last two groupings on the East Pillar are horizontal. The upper half of the structure, at least, seems to reflect a common interest on both pillars, but exactly what that interest is remains obscure. Ventura et al. (1993) think that the tally refers to days and that the total of sequenced holes on the East

Pillar may represent a half-year. However, the fact that Mnajdra I is aligned closely on equinox sunrise, which is also the direction of the heliacally rising Pleiades, eventually led them to an interpretation of the tally numbers as marking intervals between the heliacal risings of a series of bright stars or asterisms (last column of Table 6.7). They start the tally with April 6 (Day 96 of the current calendar) as the date of the heliacal rising of the Pleiades. The stars were presumably selected because of the proximity of their heliacal rises to the postulated dates at the ends of the sequences; the calculation of heliacal rise dates depends to some extent on the visual extinction coefficients (see ยง3.1.2.2) reasonably assumed to be between 0.20 and 0.25 (said to be based on unpublished calculations by Bradley Schaefer). With these assumptions, the dates of agreement are less than about 4 days apart at most; the authors argue that this degree of congruence is unlikely to be due to chance.

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