Stonehenge builders used Pythagoras’ theorem 2,000 years before Greek philosopher was born, say experts

Pythagoras’ discovery that the sum of the areas of two squares on the sides of a triangle will add up to the area of a square on hypotenuse has been used for millennia to help builders attain perfect right-angles.

They also mark Imbolc, the ancient date for the beginning of Spring on February 1, Beltane, or May Day,  lammas, the start of the wheat harvest and Samhain, October 31 which traditionally marked the time when cattle were brought down from summer pastures and slaughtered for the winter which has become Halloween.

A bird's eye view of Stonehenge showing the rectangle and Pythagorean triangles
A bird’s eye view of Stonehenge showing the rectangle and Pythagorean triangles

Contributor and editor John Matineau, said: “People often think of our ancestors as rough cavemen but they were also sophisticated astronomers.

“They were applying Pythagorean geometry over 2000 years before Pythagoras was born.

“We see triangles and double squares used which are simple versions of pythagorean geometry. And then we have this synthesis on different sites of solar and lunar numbers.

“We think these people didn’t have scientific minds but first and foremost they were astronomers and cosmologists. They were studying long and difficult to understand cycles and they knew about these when they started planning sites like Stonehenge.

“I do feel very sad that visitors to Stonehenge are not told anything about the astronomical alignments, even when they are very simple to explain.”

Nearly two miles north-east of Stonehenge, stood Woodhenge, which was…

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