Monday, 08 May 2017 08:00

Local archeological attraction known as the ‘Canadian Stonehenge’ on the agenda for Vulcan stargazing evening

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The Majorville Cairn and sunburst represents an ancient calendar. Site researcher Gordon Freeman will speak about this calendar at the March 12 star gazing event hosted by the RASC Calgary Chapter at the Vulcan Trek Centre. The Majorville Cairn and sunburst represents an ancient calendar. Site researcher Gordon Freeman will speak about this calendar at the March 12 star gazing event hosted by the RASC Calgary Chapter at the Vulcan Trek Centre. Photo by Gordon Freeman

Anyone with an interest in local history — especially the archeological kind — won’t want to miss the May presentation at the monthly stargazing event held at the Trek Centre in Vulcan.


On May 12, Professor Emeritus Gordon R. Freeman will be in attendance that night to speak about what some refer to as a medicine wheel, but in fact he says is an ancient calendar.
The Majorville Cairn and medicine wheel includes a central cairn, linked to a surrounding stone circle by 28 spokes. It is located west of the Bow River, about 25 kilometres east of Milo.
“It’s a so-called medicine wheel, but really it’s a sunburst — a sun temple,” says Freeman, about the site that he has been studying since the early 1980s.
In the 1980s, a retired electrical engineer, who was also an amateur archeologist told Freeman about the site. He went to see it with his wife Phyllis. What he saw there turned into a 36-year passion to unlock the secrets of the site which dates back about 5,000 years.
He and his wife Phyllis have camped at the site in all seasons and taken thousands of photographs of it at various times of the day throughout the years.
He believes the site to be a calendar representing the astronomical equinoxes, various constellations and even a lunar calendar as the 28 rays coming from the central cairn correspond to the lunar cycle.
Freeman has come to call the site Canada’s Stonehenge — the title of the book he released in 2009 — due to its similarities to the site in England, but it predates the English site by about 800 years.
The book was released in the United Kingdom under the title Hidden Stonehenge, Ancient Temple in North America Reveals the Key to Ancient Wonders.
“It’s been protected by its remoteness so far,” says Freeman about the site. “In November 2015, the Alberta government redesignated it, but it hasn’t got a formal name.”
The site is protected under a document called the Majorville Heritage Landscape Management Plan, but Freeman is hopeful more protection will be put in place.
Freeman’s interest in archeology dates back to his childhood. Born in Hoffer, Sask. in 1930, his father collected stone tools and other First Nations artifacts.
“As a little kid, he would take us out to look for these things,” adds Freeman.
When his father passed away, Freeman inherited one-third of his father’s collection.
“Many years later, I started to wonder about them,” he adds.
He obtained an M.A. from the University of Saskatchewan, a Ph.D. from McGill, and a D.Phil. from Oxford. He is a chemical physicist, was for 10 years chairman of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Alberta, and for 30 years director of the Radiation Research Centre there. He is now a Professor Emeritus.
At the Vulcan meeting May 12, Freeman will speak about the site and the calendar it represents.
The evening, which gets underway at 7:30 p.m., is free to the public and the talk will be followed by star gazing of the night sky outside the Trek Centre.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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