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16 June 2003
Was Arthur's Stone an ancient clock?

Arthur’s Stone, one of Wales’s best-known landmarks, has become the focus of a recent theory that it may have been one of the world’s first clocks. Researchers are working on the theory that the 25-ft boulder, which sits on top of a series of smaller stones at Cefn Bryn in the middle of Gower, may have been hauled into place by ancient Britons to aid them in knowing when to sow and when to harvest.
     According to Howard Middleton-Jones, of the University of Wales, Swansea’s archaeology department, “An astronomy researcher at the university, Paul Bessette, has been working on the site for years and has discovered evidence to suggest ancient Celts were well versed in astronomical alignments. By using the procession of the heavens and the movement of the stars in relation to the fixed stone, they may have been able to predict the exact timing of the seasons, sunset and sunrises.”
     In investigating a contrasting theory, some researchers spent this past weekend flying over the stone in a helicopter in search of evidence that natural movement during the last Ice Age deposited Arthur’s Stone on Gower.
     If it is found that Arthur’s Stone, also known as Maen Ceti, was indeed put in place by human hands for use as a giant clock, it will disprove one of its oldest legends—that it is the original stone from which King Arthur withdrew his sword to prove his right to be king.

Source: The Western Mail (16 June 2003)

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