Ghost Mine Case Notes

Mystery at Ghost Mine an Ace Detectives Adventure

Neolithic Period in Britain

Stonehenge at nightThe Neolithic period, or “New Stone” Age is the name given to a time in the history of England, Scotland and Ireland. This was over 5000 years ago, when these countries were called Britain.

How people lived

Lots of things changed during the Neolithic period. Before this, people survived by hunting and gathering food. Now they started to farm the land and to keep animals for their meat and skins.

They learned to grow crops, and make pottery and tools to use on their farms.

We also know that the Neolithic people understood some of the mathematical concepts that were once thought to have been ‘discovered’ by civilisations that came much later. The people of ancient Britain used the special properties of right-angled triangles long before the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and his students wrote about them around 550 BC.

Temples and early computers

The Neolithic people also built strange circles from wood and stone and. Many of these were temples, for worshipping the Sun and Moon. Other circles were built as solar calenders and primitive computers. People used them to find out about the solar and lunar cycles and the annual seasons that ruled their lives.

You can still see some of these circles today in parts of England, Scotland and Ireland. The most famous is the great stone circle of Stonehenge. Our scientists have tried for decades to find out what Stonehenge was used for, and it’s still a puzzle.

The Shaman and the Sun God

The Ancient Celts had priests, called Shaman. They performed a ceremony when the summer sun became weaker and the winter sun stronger, to ask the Sun God to return safely to them.

As the sun sank on the horizon, the Shaman stood in front of three specially positioned poles. He put his cheek against the first pole, and looked to the north through a narrow gap between the other poles. As the glowing sun touched the horizon, it was captured for a moment between the gap in the two poles and the horizon. The Shaman then told his people that the Sun God had safely returned to his home and that when he arose again, a new seasonal cycle would begin.

The times of the year when the sun begins to change its movements and the Shaman performed his ceremony are called the Winter and Summer Solstice.

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