Gerald Hawkins, 75; Astronomer Known for Stonehenge Theory

From Staff and Wire Reports

Gerald Stanley Hawkins, 75, an astronomer who theorized that Stonehenge represented a Stone Age astronomical computer, died of a heart attack May 26 on his farm in Rappahannock County, Va.

Hawkins had asked that there be no memorial service or obituaries, long delaying widespread knowledge of his death.

Born in Great Yarmouth, England, and educated at the universities of London and Manchester, Hawkins came to the U.S. in 1954 to work at Harvard College Observatory and Boston University.

He was also associated with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories in Massachusetts.


Hawkins first outlined his thoughts on Stonehenge in a 1963 article for the British scientific journal Nature. The formation of stone monoliths, he said, could have been used to compute the timing of eclipses.

With John B. White, he wrote the popular book “Stonehenge Decoded” in 1965, using modern computers to demonstrate that Stonehenge was in reality a sophisticated observatory.

Among his other books were “Beyond Stonehenge” in 1973, “Splendor in the Sky,” “Meteors, Comets, Meteorites,” “The Life of a Star” and “Mindsteps to the Cosmos.”