An academic maverick is challenging conventional wisdom on Canada's prehistory by claiming an archeological site in southern Alberta is really a vast, open-air sun temple with a precise 5,000-year-old calendar predating England's Stonehenge and Egypt's pyramids.
Mainstream archeologists consider the rock-encircled cairn to be just another medicine wheel left behind by early aboriginals. But a new book by retired University of Alberta professor Gordon Freeman says it is in fact the centre of a 26-square-kilometre stone “lacework” that marks the changing seasons and the phases of the moon with greater accuracy than our current calendar.
The central cairn is surrounded by 28 radiating stone lines, four of which align with the cardinal points of the compass. Those lines are encircled by another ring of stones.
A few metres away lies a stone semicircle, with a large stone between it and the central cairn. The left edge of the semicircle lines up with both the central stone and the right edge of the cairn, and vice versa.
To Mr. Freeman, those features represent the sun, the crescent moon and the morning star.
“Genius existed on the prairies 5,000 years ago,” says Mr. Freeman, the widely published former head of the university's physical and theoretical chemistry department.