Hawkins, Gerald S(tanley) 1928-2003
HAWKINS, Gerald S(tanley) 1928-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born April 20, 1928, in Great Yarmouth, England; died of a heart attack May 26, 2003, in Rappahannock County, VA. Astronomer, educator, and author. Hawkins was interested in archaeoastronomy and was the first to theorize that Stonehenge had been used by its designers as an astronomical calendar. Educated at the University of London, where he earned a B.Sc. in 1949, and the University of Manchester, where he received a Ph.D. in 1952, he conducted classified work in England for Ferranti Bros. before moving to the United States in 1954 and heading the radio meteor program at Harvard College Observatory. He later also worked as a research associate and lecturer in radio astronomy at Harvard University. Hawkins next joined Boston University as director of that school's observatory in 1957; he taught astronomy there and was chair of the astronomy department from 1966 to 1969. In addition to his university work, Hawkins was associated with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. Fascinated by the scientific pursuits into astronomy by early civilizations, Hawkins analyzed the placement of the stone monoliths at Stonehenge and devised the theory that they were used by ancient peoples to predict eclipses and other astronomical events. He published his theory in the groundbreaking book Stonehenge Decoded (1965), which he wrote with John B. White. He later wrote Beyond Stonehenge (1973) and authored a television special called The Mystery of Stonehenge. Just before his death, Hawkins completed another book on the topic, Stonehenge, Earth and Sky. In addition to the mysteries of Stonehenge, Hawkins was interested in puzzling evidence of the mathematical and scientific gifts of other ancient civilizations, evidence apparent in the Amun Temple of Karnak in Egypt and the Nazca lines in Peru—he was a contributor on the subject in 1978's Pathways to the Gods: The Mystery of the Andes Lines—as well as the mysteries of crop circles. Some of his other publications include Meteors, Comets, Meteorites (1964), The Life of a Star (1965), and Mindsteps to the Cosmos (1983).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Writers Directory, 18th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2003.
New York Times, July 26, 2003, p. A15.
Times (London, England), August 5, 2003.