Dutch dolmens in proportion

About orientation patterns with Dutch dolmens (in European context)

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Alignment on alpha Crux [17]

On the pages D22 and enlarged dolmens the connexion between the patterns in the ground plan of some dolmens and the 167º and 193º azimut is described. Those values ally with the research of González-García and Costa-Ferrer (GG&CF) (see the page Former research). Both axis mirror each other around south and in the Mecklenburg of 3550 BC they correspond to a declination of -35½º. This agrees with the period in which the dolmens were in use.
With D22 the image doesn't fit in completely, for there is a deviation of -2º in declination. This dolmen was used around 3200 BC. On that moment in Drente an azimuth of 167º and 193º corresponds with a declination of -37º. But the value of -35º in the frequency graph of GG&CF concerns its top, while in the accompanying frequency table there is a clear peak at -37º.
GG&CF nominate six stars for a possible alignment: the four stars of Crux and alpha and beta Centaurus [18]. From Mecklenburg (Frauenmark) 3550 BC to Drente (Bronneger) 3200 BC the concerning stars move about -1¾º in declanation. This agrees with the difference of declination.

There are so many stars in heaven, so that with every azimuth a few matching stars can be found [19]. The question is simply if an alignment could be a possible explanation. To known which star fits in best isn't of much value, but satisfies the curiosity. Of the mentioned stars alpha Crux seems to be the best candidate. Alpha and beta Centaurus only reach azimuth 167º around 2800 BC in Mecklenburg. By then the trB culture has finished already. The rising of alpha Crux in Mecklenburg (Frauenmark) 3550 BC and Drente (Bronneger) 3200 BC coinside with azimuth 167º.

The earliest finds of D22 date from the Brindley 3 horizon (3300-3200 BC). This 'hunebed' (dolmen) with the ground plan of an enlarged dolmen (see the page D22 and enlarged dolmens) seems to be build in the same period as alpha Crux disappeared forever in Mecklenburg (3200 BC). A little later we see influences of a strange culture in the finds of the Dutch dolmens: the Kugelamphoren Kultur (KAK). This culture started of in Kuyavish (East-Group) and from there it has spread towards the west. [20] Kuyavish like elements are found in Havelte E. Bakker remarks on this [21], that there is so much alikeness, that one must accept some kind of influence, despite this implies a diffusion of cultures over hundreds of miles. Could it be that the final phase of the trB (including some KAK influences) has been carried to the regions of Drente indeed? A similar development takes place in Sleshwick-Holstein around the same time. From there the final phase of trB moves to the south west, crossing the Weser. At its place of origin it's replaced by the so called single grave culture [22]. A few hundreds of years later the trB gets to its end in this new area (Osnabrück, Drente) again. This is around 2800 BC, when alpha Crux disappeared there also.

Although alpha Crux is a good candidate, we may not conclude that the orientations of 167º and 193º are true alignments. The fact that the orientation pattern on 167º can also be found in D21 (see the page D13, D21 and D22) makes things unclear. The earliest finds from D21 belong to Brindley horizon 1 (3400 BC). Alpha Crux rose at 164º then. Moreover this is not the only deviating alignment. A grid of 43º/133º can be associated with the winter solstitium ... but at the latitude of Sleshwick-Holstein and Mecklenburg. Other values which don't seem to fit in exactly are the 117º and 140º mutual orientation of some dolmens (see the page Dolmens with satelites). Those orientations are close to the minimum and maximum stillstand of the moon, but also have a deviation of a few degrees. Possibly the ideal construction was more important then a true alignment. We don't need to think of it as so strange, if we think of the fact, that within a small distance of for example 15 km to the north or south, the rising of stars moves 1º already at the horizon. Within 100 years it displaces 3º. The limitedness of a direct alignment on those stars would become visible within one human life. For the construction of orientation patterns, one should possibly pay more attention to the symbolism then to the alignment itself. The orientation pattern could be seen as the fossile reproduction of an initial setting, that has been developped in some kind of 'centre'. Then (like above) one can think of a southward move by a group without adapting the construction or of a 'school' of experts, who applied the same construction techniques in a wide spread area. The preference of one of the two depends on how close or diffuse the culture elements have to be seen (alternation of cultures versus mutual influences).