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Archive 2211

Lampedusa Stonehengemore

by Diego Ratti

A neolithic circular enclosure/rondel on the island of Lampedusa

Research Interests:

Neolithic Archaeology, Megalithic Monuments, Stonehenge, Megaliths, and Stone Circles<div>()</div>edit

megalithic-lampedusa.com

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MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COMMEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM

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Working Paper:

LAMPEDUSA STONEHENGE

© September 2011copyright by Diego RattiAll Rights are reserved

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COMMEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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INTRODUCTION

I have described elsewhere

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the remains of three “large sub-circular stone structures” with a 40+ meters diameter on the island of Lampedusa resembling to either “concentric ditches” or“henges” that can be found in continental Europe (Goseck Circle) and on the British Isles(Stonehenge) during the Neolithic period and with no similar structures reported in the Mediterranean Sea.Textual analysis of “

The Circumnavigation of the inhabited world 

” attributed to a Pseudo-Skylax of the fourth century BC revealed that the three “large sub-circular stone structures” of the island of Lampedusa could be related to the three towers described by the Pseudo Skylax

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.In this paper we will focus on one of these structures, the best-preserved one: see picture below.

 Large Stone structure number 1 Satellite imagery courtesy of Google Earth

 

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COMMEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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Large Stone Structure Number 1:

Coordinate: 35°31’16’’20N 12°34’09’’E – “Cimitero Vecchio” Number of Concentric Circles: 3* concentric traces are clearly from satellite imagery Outer Circle diameter: Approximately 80 metersCentral Circle diameter: Approximately 45 meters inner Circle diameter: Approximately 25 metersEntrance: East*

 It is possible that the number of concentric circles composing the main structure is actually 5 rather than 3, a higher resolution aerial picture would be needed to better define the plan of the structure.

In this working paper, the remains of this ancient stone structure will be described and examined: a tentative archaeo-astronomical interpretation will be discussed comparing the orientation and alignment of the main circular stone structure and its peripheral structures with important astronomical cycles that may have been used for calendric reasons by the builders of such structure.

 

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COMMEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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DESCRIPTION OF THE SITE

The site hosting the main circular stone structure ( described as “Large Circle 1” in the following pictures, plans and maps) covers an area of approximately 150 x 150 meters consisting of:-the main structure: three large concentric circles with an outer circle of approximately 80meters diameter-some peripheral smaller structures (described as A-B-C in the following pictures, plans and maps) and walls (described as D in the following pictures, plans and maps)

 

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COMMEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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Not far from this site there are three different sites with small stone circles and/or huts (see pictures below ) creating a wide area of archaeological interest.

 Aerial views of the area with the site described in this working paper and the other surrounding sites of archaeological interest 

 

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COMMEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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The site hosting the main circular stone structure is characterized by large zones of exposed limestone bedrock because of strong soil erosional losses caused by wind and rain and aggravated since 1850 by human land use and widespread deforestation and construction activity. The soil loss is so pronounced that in most of the site the bedrock lies almost exposed with little or no soil or vegetation.

 Bedrock is almost exposed (picture was taken from the road excavations next to the SW side of the site.

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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DESCRIPTION OF THE MAIN STRUCTURE

The main circular stone structure can be described as a set of three (or up to five) concentric circles with remains of earthworks and ditches, most likely it once had parts made of wood and earth: wood has decayed and the upstanding earthen features have been eroded by wind and water. Nonetheless, evidence of the remains of the ancient structures is still visible by satellite imagery and also on the field. Below are some pictures of the concentric circles seen from different angles.

 Large Stone structure number 1 South View

 

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COMMEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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 Large Stone structure number 1 South View

 

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011

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 Large Stone structure number 1 North View

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Diego Ratti

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