This may not be strictly Celtic-related, or rather only tenuously, but there's bound to
be someone on here who can possibly answer the question. I was watching 'The
Quest for the Lost Civilisation' on Ch4 last night (UK), the second in a three-part
documentary, a programme about a mysterious sea-faring group of people who told
the egyptians how to build the pyramids, instructed the Aztecs and Nazcans in
astronomy and built the statues on Easter Island - that is, according to this archaeologist
chap who has made these programmes.
In one part of it they visited Callanish and demonstrated, using virtual reality as it was
filmed at the wrong time of year, how if one stood at the side of one of the stones some
distance from the circle itself and traced the path of the moon on the summer solstice,
it appeared to sink into the centre of the circle when it set.
Anyway - that wasn't the question. This man (whose name I've typically forgotten - I
think it was Doug something) said that on the summer solstice these people (the ones
who constructed Callanish) believed that a gateway opened between this world and the
next and the souls of the dead could travel abroad. Now, I thought this happened at
Samhain, or the night before Samhain (Halloween), at least in Celtic and other ancient
British cultures. Are there prior cultures in which they believed this of the solstice
rather than the autumn/winter festival? I could find nothing referring to it in my few books.
On the subject of books, is TG Powell's book 'The Celts' a reliable / good source of
information, or are there better ones?