As one of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge is a symbol of scientific achievement during an age when scientific understanding did not seem likely.
What Is Stonehenge?
Stonehenge, located in South West England, is a prehistoric monument with standing stones. It is positioned to align perfectly with the sunrise on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. There are also eight lines that appear between rectangle and triangles that align with seasonal dates.
In 2018, roughly 9,500 people visited Stonehenge on the summer solstice to see the sun above the heel stone, which is also called friar's heel.
Using Pythagoras' Theorem Before He Was Born
A new book entitled "Megalith" asserts that the ancient humans who designed the Stonehenge followed Pythagoras' theorem. This states that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the other two squares on the triangle.
It was developed by ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who was born in 570 B.C. However, the Stonehenge was assembled 2,000 years before his birth, around 2500 B.C. This theory suggests that these ancient humans were smarter than what people gave them credit for. In order to use Pythagoras' theorem, they had to be really skilled at geometry.
The book was released on June 21 to coincide with the summer solstice.
"We think these people didn't have scientific minds but first and foremost they were astronomers and cosmologists," John Matineau, the editor of the book, told the Telegraph. "They were studying long and difficult to understand cycles and they knew about these when they started planning sites like Stonehenge."
A Great Pythagorean Triangle In The United Kingdom?
Robin Heath, a contributor to the book, believes that there must also be a great Pythagorean triangle somewhere else in the United Kingdom. It is assumed that this will link to Stonehenge.
Heath also contends that the ancient humans who built Stonehenge likely used a rope or another object to represent a time period as it relates to the sun and the moon. He says that this is where the phrase "a length of time" originates from.
Speaking about the book, Heath says that people should appreciate Stonehenge as an incredible achievement of science. Some people view Stonehenge as something mythical, but there is great science behind it.
"People see the Neolithic builders of Stonehenge as howling barbarians when they were very learned and it has been forgotten," Heath said.