Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fourknocks is Cassiopeia in Ireland - Megalithic Astronomy - Stars Stones and Scholars - LexiLine Journal 310

One of the reasons that I am convinced that my decipherment of the megaliths is correct derives out of the fact that corroborating subesequent discoveries - or previous discoveries of which I was not aware at the time that I wrote my book, Stars Stones and Scholars, substantiate my conclusions.

We have one such example presented now at Knowth.com
http://www.knowth.com/fourknocks-mdier.htm which reproduces an interpretation by Martin Dier of the megalithic site of Fourknocks - a site not included in my book.

Fourknocks is a site of four mounds - only one excavated - located southeast of NewGrange, the latter site which I have equated with the North Ecliptic Pole in the ancient geodetic survey of Ireland, with Knowth as the North Celestial Pole.

To the southeast of Fourknocks, I identified the sites of Glencullen and Ballyedmonduff in County Dublin with Andromeda, with Glencullen having Cassiopeia marked at its top, i.e. pointing to Cassiopeia.

Any site between NewGrange and Knowth and Glencullen and Ballyedmonduff could then only represent Cassiopeia - and so it is.

Martin Dier writes
http://www.knowth.com/fourknocks-mdier.htm
(see also http://www.mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/fourknocks/
and http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/meath.htm and
http://www.countymeath.com/Meath_Towns4.htm)

"According to Brennan [The Stones of Time: Calendars, Sundials and
Stone Chambers of Ancient Ireland (1994)], Fourknocks I is aligned
17° east of North, which just eliminates any of the direct lunar or
solar alignments with the passage (but not the chamber). However,
during the stone age the passage was aligned with the helical rising
of the "W" shaped constellation of Cassiopeia.

This constellation is curious in that during the stone age it would
rise above the horizon after sunset, but now because of the
procession of the equinoxes the star no longer rises and is observed
in the sky all year. Perhaps their science allowed them to single out
this constellation during the only time in its 26 thousand year cycle
it rises and sets. It is interesting that most of the art in the
Fourknocks is dominated by the W shaped zig zag.

However, this alignment may largely have been symbolical rather than
practical as the passage was filled by burials during the stone age
hence closing off the chamber."
Of course, if Dier were familiar with the contents of my book, he would not write as above that this is some isolated symbolic item and that Cassiopeia was somehow "singled out" by the ancients. In fact, Fourknocks is an integral part of a large system of geodetic astronomical measure covering all of Ireland and including the stars of the many constellations as they were seen 5000 years ago.

There is no doubt about this whatsover.

More on Latvian Megalithic Sites by Vilnis Grauds - Velnu Laivas - Velēnas - Milzkalne - Talsi - Lube - Valdemarpils - LexiLine Journal 309

More on Latvian Megalithic Sites
by Vilnis Grauds

So-called "velnu laivas"* are large stone cairns found on the sea coast of Courland, Latvia's most westerly State.

[*LexiLine adds: the root veln- in Latvian means "devil" and so this could be translated as "devil's boats", but the correct root could surely be Latvian velēna "turf, mound grave", so that the original term was in our opinion velēna laivas i.e. "turf boats, mound grave boats".]

The largest of these stone edifices, a 20 meter high cairn (shaped like a boat), as already reported in the previous e-mail, was for the most part torn down in the Soviet period in Latvia by fragmenting the stones. Of this cairn, the foundation - measuring about two meters in
height - has remained. Several smaller cairns still exist untouched.

The Latvian Encyclopedic Dictionary**
[**Enciklopediska vardnica, 2 volumes, chief editor A. Vilks, see
also online http://www.letonika.lv/ - a free registration can be
obtained for 7 days, thereafter it costs to subscribe - in its
section on History -> Archaeology (Vesture->Arheologija)]
under the entry
velna laivas

writes***
"–– senkapi Talsu rajona Lubes pag. un Valdemarpils lauku terit. (950–
750 g. pr. Kr.). Nos. pec laivas forma izveidota akmenu kravuma (gar.
7 –24 m), kura ieraktas mala urnas ar sadedzinatu mirušo pišliem.
Akmens laivveida kapi izplatiti Skandinavija, ipaši Gotlande." ©
Nacionalais Apgads
[***Translation by LexiLine - [mound boats are] ancient tombs in the
district of Talsi, parish (rural municipality or county) of Lube and
the rural area of Valdemarpils (ca. 950-750 B.C.) They take their
name from the boat-shaped form of the stone cairns (measuring
anywhere from 7 to 24 meters in length), in which earthenware urns
containing cremated ashes of the deceased were found. Such boat-
shaped stone formations are found in Scandinavian burials, especially
in Gotland.]"
If we now talk specifically about the mound boats - then these have been generally investigated by Latvian archaeology - at least to the degree that it is known that they contain cremation urns - often more than one - and that these burials date to the Bronze Age.

[LexiLine: but do the stone cairns date to that age? or have the cairns been used for urn burials later in time?].

The breadth and height of the stone cairns differs greatly. Archaeological digs have also been made in part with respect to the so-called "offering stones", but the cult hills in Latvia have not been studied separately from those found in neighboring Russia and Belarus [Byelorussia, White Russia], where many archaeological digs have been made, and where many of these sites have been fairly well investigated both archaeologically as well as morphologically, also with respect to geodetic measurement.

If we talk precisely about what has not been investigated in Latvia - at least, if we ignore a few general discussions in the Soviet period in the amateur astronomy journal "Zvaigznota debess" [(The Starry Sky), http://www.astr.lu.lv/zvd/stsky.html] - then these are directly the questions of structure and archaeoastronomy, which have become serious topics worldwide in their own right only in the last few decades.

The late Ivars Viiks (who passed away a few years ago) wrote two books in the post-Soviet period, but his work leans more in the direction of the occult or even beyond that, finding a few confluences of geometric rules, while the greater part of his work consists of the presentation of several occult sources (e.g. ideas about an ancient Nordic global civilization), together with his own ideas about these matters. Looking at Viiks' geometric ideas, there is considerable manipulation by him in order to achieve the desired result, although at the same time, some of his factual materials in these books are useful.

For his part, Enins is an enthusiast, who suddenly became involved with other disciplines through his search for and fixation on cliff rock drawings. The "Dabas retumu kraatuve"
[(Collection of the Rarities of Nature), http://www.gramata21.lv/users/enins_guntis/index.html] is his creation.

Not all of Milzkalne ["Giant Hill"] has been destroyed, but one whole side was removed in the course of taking gravel from this location in the Soviet period.

Wishing all the best,

Vilnis Grauds

Monday, October 25, 2004

Megalithic Sites in Latvia by Vilnis Grauds - LexiLine Journal 308

Megalithic Sites in Latvia
- by Vilnis Grauds

In Latvia churches were often built on old holy sites, for example, Rauna, Aizkraukle, Aglona, etc. Ancient megalithic stones may have been used to build church buildings and castles. Since the Latvians tried to maintain their old traditions after the advent of Christianity, the Christian clergy tried to stop this process by destroying cult places if they could not be used for the building of churches.

Some sites were destroyed in the Soviet period, even though there was a formal pretense of saving ancient sites for purposes of political propaganda. A case in point is a 20 meter high cairn (shaped like a boat) on the Baltic Sea shore in Courland which was destroyed by taking the stones for building construction. Also damaged was the site of Milzkalne ("Giant Hill") in Courland.

The result is that today we can find mostly only separate megaliths in Latvia - as landmark stones and as so-called "offering stones". Although the majority of megalithic sites have been destroyed or damaged, we can still find remnants of stone systems in some places in Latvia. These megalithic sites are not always registered as historical or archaeological sites even today.

For example, of the Allazhi stones http://tradition.lf.lv/Allazhu_akmenji.htm only one of these stones is officially recorded as an archaeological site - the "Chernausku akmens" ("Chernauskas Stone"), an offering stone. Nothing has been examined or investigated from the scientific side, even though an initial on-site examination or a review of maps shows that there is a geodetic structure to the ancient holy sites.

We might refer here to Zilaiskalns ("Blue Hill") or to many pre-Christian sites where rock drawings and paintings are found relating to the ancient religion of the Latvians. The naturalist Guntis Enins was the first to pay serious attention to these megalithic sites. See his website at

[http://www.gramata21.lv/users/enins_guntis/]

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Megaliths in Latvia - Pokainu Mežs - Davinu Upurakmens - Kolkas Rags - LexiLine Journal 307

Vilnis Grauds sent me the following link about megaliths in Latvia where the stones are known as "foot stones" or "border stones". The site is in Latvian but the photographs do not require much language. See http://tradition.lf.lv/Allazhu_akmenji.htm

Grauds was interested as to whether I had done any work on the Latvian megaliths and I have, but I had not posted it up to now since it is all provisional - I simply do not have enough photographs or locational material. Nevetheless, I am uploading a general - provisional - decipherment as latvianmegaliths.png [the graphic below]


to our Lexiline files for the "Baltic - Latvia Lithuania Estonia" at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LexiLine/files/

in which we already have the file for the Davinu Upurakmens
davinuupurakmens.gif (here as davinuupurakmens.png)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Reader Brightens Our Day - LexiLine Journal 306

Posting pages of ideas to the internet has its good and bad sides. I get a lot of crank mail, often anonymous and some of it from cowardly mainstreamers too afraid to discuss controversial issues openly and objectively.

Here is a wonderful example of the good side of people which surfaces in emails such as this which I received today:

>Hello!
>I want to say 'Wow!" and thank you, for the Lexiline site. I was up
>far too early this morning, discovered your site & have read avidly
>for 3 hours! It certainly put some sunshine in this grey, cold
>British morning!
>All the best

Here is a person who has taken my postings as they should be taken.
As interesting ideas worth reading and thinking about.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Sharia - Ancient Mapping - The Territorial Imperative - LexiLine Journal 305

My LawPundit blog has a posting on Ancient Mapping at
http://snipurl.com/9us6
which I reproduce below without the links - which you can view at the blog if need be.
____________________

Sometimes the book reviews are better than the books. The referenced book reviews may be examples of this phenomenon.

BookBlog is

"Adina Levin's weblog. For conversation about books I've been reading, social software, and other stuff too."

Adina has some excellently written book reviews on the BookBlog:

What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response
a book by Bernard Lewis

Adina writes e.g.:

"Contemporary Sharia systems in places like Iran and Afghanistan are often mocked for being medieval and backward, legislating repression of women and brutal corporal punishment (no, I'm not in favor of the Texas death penalty, either). But there is no empirical reason that a system of Muslim jurisprudence needs to be backward. After all, European laws once featured trial by ordeal, and prevented women from owning property. A living tradition of Muslim law might be able to adapt to current economic and social conditions. How did the Sharia change from a system that had once reflected the standards of justice of its time to one that insisted on avoiding change?"

Those are essentially interesting and modern jurisprudential issues.

The Mapmakers
a book by John Noble Wilford

This book and review are of particular interest to the Law Pundit because of his own book
Stars Stones and Scholars
which claims that the megaliths are remnants of ancient surveys, i.e. that they are Stone Age geodetic mapping systems triangulated by means of the astronomy, using stars much as in ocean navigation.

Adina writes, inter alia:

"The Mapmakers purports to be world history, but it has a strong European focus. Wilford does include few pages about sophisticated early mapmaking practices in China. But he almost completely ignores Muslim and Indian geography. The book contains just one brief reference to ibn Khaldun, the medieval Muslim traveler and geographer, and nothing on Al Idrisi, who was commissioned by Roger II, the Christian king of Sicily, to update navigational records, and created the famous early atlas called "The Book of Roger." The Mapmakers briefly mentions that one Francis Wilford, a member of India Survey, was a student of ancient Hindu geography. Given early Indian sophistication in astronomy, math, and government administration, one wonders what earlier sources of geographic knowledge he drew on. According to an Indian friend of mine, many early maps were destroyed to keep them out of the hands of British colonial rulers.

Wilford writes about the dire level of geographic ignorance of Medieval Europeans, whose maps routinely placed Paradise at the Eastern border of China, without noting that during the same period, there was a longstanding, ongoing system of travel and trade from Arabia through India and Southeast Asia to China (see books by Abu Lughod and KN Chaudhuri, among others), conducted by Arabs, Jews, Indians, and sometimes Chinese. I don't know what sorts of maps were used by these travelling merchants, but they must have used something, because they got from place to place regularly and routinely."


Law and Territory

What is the connection between law and mapping? Of course, it is a significant one. All knowledge of ancient cultures indicates that the old civilizations had "territories" and "lands" and that these were marked - and thus obviously, mapped - in some manner, giving rise to "territorial" consequences involving retribution - i.e. sanctions for violating territory - which is a "legal" connection.

Without the mapping of land, law would be impossible. The Territorial Imperative (a book by Robert Ardrey) is at the foundation of jurisprudence. This indeed is the main dispute in the current war in Iraq - does America have a "right" to be there or not? The underlying answer - on both sides - is based, essentially, on territorial claims - defending "land" and "national security".

Territorial claims have a long history. Let us take the case of Ancient Babylon, here described in a site on the History of Iraq:

"Babylonian town life had revived on the basis of commerce and handicrafts. The Kassitic nobility, however, maintained the upper hand in the rural areas, their wealthiest representatives holding very large landed estates. Many of these holdings came from donations of the king to deserving officers and civil servants, considerable privileges being connected with such grants. From the time of Kurigalzu II these were registered on stone tablets or, more frequently, on boundary stones called kudurrus. After 1200 the number of these increased substantially, because the kings needed a steadily growing retinue of loyal followers. The boundary stones had pictures in bas-relief, very often a multitude of religious symbols, and frequently contained detailed inscriptions giving the borders of the particular estate; sometimes the deserts of the recipient were listed and his privileges recorded; finally, trespassers were threatened with the most terrifying curses. Agriculture and cattle husbandry were the main pursuits on these estates, and horses were raised for the light war chariots of the cavalry. There was an export trade in horses and vehicles in exchange for raw material. As for the king, the idea of the social-minded ruler continued to be valid."

The New York Review of Books has an inane review of Ardrey's book as compared to the more benevolent and naive theories of Konrad Lorenz, and, in view of recent world developments, there is little doubt that Ardrey is more right than Lorenz.

Indeed, keywords such as intellectual property, copyrights, trademarks, P2P and file-sharing involve modern outgrowths of the territorial imperative.

Our ancient forbears understood the territorial imperative only too well - since their survival depended upon it - and thus staked out their territories long before the advent of reading and writing. To stake out territories, you had to have some way of mapping them and some way of protecting those territories - by legal and military systems. About this there is little doubt.

And as the modern wars show us, little has changed in the interim. The battle for territory on this planet is still a bloody business.

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