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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Collinsville in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Woodhenge

A prehistoric solar calendar

 
 
Woodhenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
1. Woodhenge Marker
Inscription. At least five large post-circle monuments were built at this location from AD 1100 to 1200, each with a different diameter and number of posts. Woodhenge III is the circle most extensively excavated and is the one reconstructed here, in the original location.

The sun rising above the bluffs to the east aligns with certain posts on the perimeter, as viewed from the central observation post. The most important alignments are the winter and summer solstices, marking the southernmost and northernmost sunrise positions, and the fall and spring equinoxes, when the sun rises due east, midway between the solstice posts. Also, at the equinoxes the rising sun appears to emerge from the front of Monks Mound, perhaps confirming a link between the sun and the chief who ruled from the top of the mound.

The excavations also revealed hundreds of houses and pits, showing this was a residential area before and after the construction of the Woodhenges. Fragments of wood in some of the holes indicate that red cedar, a sacred wood for most Indians, was used for the posts.


(Center Left Illustration Caption)
Drawing of a reconstructed beaker from fragments found in a pit near the winter solstice pole. Its symbols represent the sun (radiating lines), earth and the four directions (circle and cross).

(Lower
Woodhenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
2. Woodhenge Marker
Close-up of illustration on marker
Center Image Caption)

Equinox and solstice sunrise observances are held on the Sunday morning closest to the event so that more people are able to attend and learn about this solar calendar monument.

(Lower Center Diagram Caption)
Woodhenge III was reconstructed on its original site. Observerís post is slightly east of center point to form an angle of 30.8 degrees needed to sight solstices at this latitude.
 
Erected by Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
 
Location. 38° 39.562′ N, 90° 4.461′ W. Marker is near Collinsville, Illinois, in Madison County. Marker is on Collinsville Rd 0.4 miles west of Sand Prairie Rd, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Collinsville IL 62234, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Monks Mound (approx. 0.7 miles away); Grand Plaza (approx. 0.8 miles away); Cahokia (approx. 0.8 miles away); Stockade (approx. 0.8 miles away); Lewis and Clark and St. Louis Riverfront (approx. 6.2 miles away in Missouri); La Grande Rue (approx. 6.2 miles
Woodhenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
3. Woodhenge Marker
Close-up of image on marker
away in Missouri); Old Mission Hotel (approx. 6.2 miles away in Missouri); Old Judge Coffee Bldg. (approx. 6.3 miles away in Missouri). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Collinsville.
 
Also see . . .  Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Official website of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. (Submitted on December 27, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.) 
 
Categories. Native AmericansScience & Medicine
 
Woodhenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
4. Woodhenge Marker
Close-up of diagram on marker
Woodhenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
5. Woodhenge Marker
Close-up of diagram on marker
Woodhenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
6. Woodhenge Marker
Woodhenge Reconstruction image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 18, 2010
7. Woodhenge Reconstruction
Mound 44 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 15, 2014
8. Mound 44
East of the Woodhenge Reconstruction
Woodhenge Marker in 2010 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 18, 2010
9. Woodhenge Marker in 2010
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 27, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 418 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 26, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   7. submitted on December 27, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   8. submitted on June 26, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   9. submitted on December 27, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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