Stenhed, sun year calendar and sundial
The shiplike formation of stones at Stenhed, like that at Ales stenar, has been arranged to account for the 365 days of the solar year and the 24 hours of day and night. The just over 50 meters long and 14 meters wide stone configuration consists of 30 boulders midships. You can see another three stones placed in the axisline, the center stone being the sun observation point.
© Foto Bob G Lind
Stenhed, an ancient sun calendarical
From this observation stone, the sunrises and sunsets can be read off at stones 15 - 1 - 4 - 6 - 7 and 8. The year is divided into eleven months of thirty days each and one month of 35 days. The passing of the sun between the opposing stones is the same as at Ales stenar, that is exactly 6 months and 12 hours. An example: at the vernal equinox the sun rises at 0600 hours over stone no. 6 in the east. At the autumnal equinox the sun sets at 1800 hours over the opposing no. 6 stone in the west. Unlike at Ales stenar, the stem stones at Stenhed mark the middle of winter and summer - facts which were very important for the people of that time. In many of the stones you will find indentations typical of the Bronze age, suggesting that Stenhed might have been built during the latter part of it.
A narrow asphalt road runs westwards from E. Herrestad church to Stenhed..