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Steinabrunn

Steinabrunn

The virtual reconstruction of the KGA at Steinabrunn (2 ditches, 4 entrances, overall diameter 88m) in a small patch of digital elevation model had been one of the cornerstones of the preliminary astronomical interpretation of 2004. The results of the more detailed works of 2009-12 which included on-site survey and work with a better digital elevation model provide in contrast a huge disappointment!

We could confirm the correctness of the stellar orientation line towards the north-eastern entrance on elevated horizon. However, this remained the only accurate stellar line in all KGAs, therefore we must concede this was an unfortunate chance alignment. The entrance in question is however the highest point of the KGA, so we can once again identify this entrance as “upper entrance”, unrelated to celestial observation.

The south-eastern entrance had appeared to be in connection wit the winter crossquarter sunrise over a hill in the digital terrain model used for the virtual reconstruction. However, this hill does not exist in reality, and must have been a data error! So this sunrise took place a few days earlier (on a lower horizon) is not related to any astro-geometrically significant date.

Standing in the center of the virtual model built on a larger piece of digital terrain which is sloped here at 5-6°, we can easily see that an observer would have overlooked a palisade of 3-4 m height towards the south. A notion of “artificial horizon” also postulated as one interpretation of the KGA can therefore likewise be rejected.

The analysis of a high-quality digital terrain model leads to the conclusion that the terrain is not a flat slope, but the slope line runs in a curve from the upper entrance through the centre and towards the bottom, south-westerly entrance. The two other entrances are again to be interpreted as indicating the contour line. To conclude, there is no indication of systematic or rital celestial observation in KGA Steinabrunn!

 

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