Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Metric vs. Imperial Measurement and Ancient Measures : Secrets of the Great Pyramid by Peter Tompkins - LexiLine Journal 359

When we discuss ancient astronomy and archaeoastronomy we must also keep in mind the system of measurement used by the ancients, which was the now-called "imperial" system.

I remember well personally stepping off the relative lengths of the square-cut rocks at the temples of Malta to discover they often had the ratio of the sides of 3 x 4. This was additional clear evidence that the megalithic makers used the imperial system. When I asked the archaeologist who was guiding my tour of the temples what system of measurement the builders used, the archaeologist had no idea, but otherwise acted as if the answers were known, which of course, they were not. The archaeologist had no clue as to who built the temples or why.

Anyone who has built anything knows that you first have to have a system of measure and then proceed from there to build. The system of measure is one of the surest indicators of the provenance of ancient sites - but do not expect mainstream archaeologists to understand this simple wisdom. They prefer scholarly opinion to facts.

The imperial system has recently been in the news as follows:

EUobserver reports in an article by Lisbeth Kirk at http://euobserver.com/?aid=19737&rk=1 that Brussels pressures Britain to go metric.

We have never understood what advantage this is supposed to bring to the UK or anyone else for that matter. After all, the two leading nations of the world, the US and the UK, both still use the ancient inches and feet sexagesimal-type "imperial" system, which is still also visible in the fact that we have 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and so on.

Imagine - for the sake of consistency - now changing those as well to the metric system, e.g. so that we would have 100 deci-minutes in an hour or 30 deci-hours in a day. It would be chaos.

To this we can add the powerful worldwide prevalence of the 360-degree circle, the change of which to a 300 or 400 degree circle would wreak absolute havoc in all the world's mathematics and measurement. The use of a 360-degree circle of course goes back to astronomy and the 360-day year used for ancient civil calendars.

At the level of computer users, various attempts have been made here in continental Europe to replace the inch descriptions of computer monitors and screens with metric equivalents, to no avail, since it simply leads to mass confusion and time-wasting relearning with no logical benefit. Computer monitors are advertised and almost everywhere in Europe still described to be 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, etc. inches.

We not only print by dots per inch http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/columns/ajs_resolution.htmldpi but the well-known pixel = one dot. Our screen resolution is given in pixels. It would then be completely idiotic not to also measure monitor and screen sizes by the imperial system.

It would be even worse for our use and understanding of text fonts if also here we had to go from the imperial to the metric system, since font sizes are give in points, and 72 points = 1 inch. The standard 12-point type is thus 1/6 of an inch, except that Microsoft Windows magnifies fonts by 33% so that only Macs actually render 12-point type accurately, which in the past led to different website text resolution on Macs than on PCs. See http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/columns/ajs_ppi.html

The American Bar Association has an excellent article by Mark Senn on
its website http://www.abanet.org/rppt/publications/magazine/2002/02ma/senn.html entitled "Reflections on Some Forgotten Terms of Land Measurement" (published in Probate Property, March/April 2002, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp 8-11, here http://tinyurl.com/dzlgm viz.
http://www.sennlaw.com/Publications/Senn/Probate%20Property%2004-05%202002.pdf as a .pdf, and based on a similar article originally published in 19 ACREL News No. 3, Aug. 2001, at 5) which contains a useful summary of the development of both the imperial and metric systems in human and land measurement. Of course, land measurement goes back to the days of the megaliths and their use for survey and for marking boundaries.

One of the best books on ancient measurement systems is Secrets of the Great Pyramid, by Peter Tompkins, especially the Appendix, Notes on the Relation of Ancient Measures to the Great Pyramid, by Livio Stecchini, "one of the world's leading authorities on ancient mensuration", whose mentors had been professors of law.

Stecchini too became a professor of law and wrote much about ancient measurement, making the following observations about the scholars (p. 289-291):
"The study of Greek temples ... led me to the study of ancient geography and geodesy. But I was gradually forced to accept the fact that scholars of ancient history do not read numbers, neither in ancient texts nor in research papers .... In many different guises I was told that "numbers do not constitute evidence in ancient
studies." ....

Yet the techniques of land surveying used in Mesopotamia are a key to the understanding of how the ancients mapped the sky.... [emphasis added]

[Tompkins' explanation of the geometry of the Great Pyramid] permitted me to see ancient astronomy in terms of observational techniques based on measurements, rather than systems based on the theological persuasions or the psychological projections of the modern investigators...." [emphasis added]
The book by Tompkins is essential reading for anyone interested in this field.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Astronomical Megaliths in Armenia : Carahunge (Carahundge, Caranish) near Goris, Ararat : Astroarchaeological Monuments - LexiLine Journal 358

A reader of my websites has referred me to the previously unknown megaliths of Armenia at Carahunge (Carahundge, Caranish) near Goris, about 150 km southeast of Ararat. For maps of Armenia see MultiMap at http://uk.multimap.com/index/AM1.htm

For the megalithic site of Carahunge itself see the website http://www.carahunge.com/index.html and the reference to the book by Professor Paris Herouni "Armenians and Old Armenia" at
http://www.carahunge.com/carahunge-book.html

There is also a good discussion by Nikolai Bochkarev entitled "Ancient Armenian Astroarchaeological Monuments: Personal Impressions of Metsamor and Carahunge" at http://www.folklore.ee/SEAC/SEAC_teesid2.htm

Professor Herouni dates Carahunge to 5000 BC which I find to be doubtful, since the megalithic-building period centers around 3000 BC. Bochkarev writes in this regard:
"The author is in all probability the first professional astronomer outside Armenia who has ever visited Carahunge. The site is located 3 km from the city of SiSian (in the Eastern part of the Republic of Armenia and 200 km from the capital, Yerevan) at the Eastern slope of Zangezur Ridge, 1770 m above sea level at 39.5 deg. North latitude and 46.0 deg. East longitude. It is part of a larger neolithic site dating from the third/second millennia BC with many dolmens and similar features. The monument consists of more than 200 vertical 1 - 2.8 m high megaliths of considerably varying form (P. Herouni with co-workers counted and described 222 main stones). Some of the stones (no more than a quarter of the total) have fallen to the ground."
I think Bochkarev is closer to the true date of the Carahunge site, which will be part of the ancient survey of the Earth by astronomy that I describe in my book Stars Stones and Scholars. See http://www.starsstonesscholars.com/ However, I have not yet read Herouni's book and until I do, my remarks here are provisional.

My initial examination of available photographs of the megaliths at Carahunge definitely show them to be of a style of carving typical for ca. 3000 BC. In addition, whereas everyone is concentrating on the holes in the megaliths, some of the megaliths show clear signs of being carved into definite shapes and also have cupmarks for the stars to which they are oriented - features which can not be ignored.

Research needs to be done here.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Agoza, Chad, Africa - Ancient Border Point - Extreme Northern Latitude of the Lion - LexiLine Journal 357

I received an inquiry relating to Agoza which indicated that I needed to post some more information about it. Agoza is merely the site of ancient ruins which have thus far not been dated.

For background, see my postings at
http://www.megaliths.net/ancientneareast.htm and
http://snipurl.com/h1lk viz.
http://archaeopundit.blogspot.com/2004_03_01_archaeopundit_archive.html#107929913155694335

Please note that Arabic Qasr means "fortification" and that this word was used to mark ancient border points. Qasr has become Agoza by loss of the ending r, i.e. QAS-r = aGOZa.

Agoza is located in the Ennedi region, where ancient prehistoric rock art has been found.
See http://www.archaeoafrica.de/

As noted at that website, which also has a nice clickable map of "archaeology in Africa", parts of this region of Africa and the Darb El Arba'in Desert are among the least explored regions
http://snipurl.com/h1mr viz.
http://www.tec.army.mil/research/products/desert_guide/laxopcom/biblio.htm
of our planet, but we do have evidence of nearby prehistoric inhabitation....
See http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/~knicoll/mi/nika.pdf
I myself have never been there.

The ruins at Agoza are referred to at:

http://snipurl.com/h1n0 viz. http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:Qcfac2LEq4wJ:www.globalcoordinate.com/items/1137124.aspx+agoza+ancient&hl=en

http://www.viovio.com/travel/101613725 and

http://www.traveljournals.net/explore/chad/map/m1613725/agoza.html

and its location is found given at

http://atlas.splad.com/atlasville_41534.html

Note that there are some differences in latitude for the location of Agoza given by the various soruces.

A map of the actual location is found at http://www.reiseklinikken.com/ChaDistribution.pdf
which resolves the issue, showing that Agoza is above 18° north latitude.

The ruins are located near the mountain of Tagoulicha - see http://snipurl.com/h1lj viz.
http://www.traveljournals.net/explore/chad/map/m1633000/tagoulicha.html

and the Depression du Mourdi
see http://www.haberlah.com/fu/sahara.html

The larger area is called the Erdi Plateau.

Thr area known as the Erdi Plateau is interesting because it
represents the highest latitude at which the African lion has been
found.

As written at
http://snipurl.com/h1k1 viz.
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2005-23,GGLG:en&q=chad+lion+plateau+erdi
"The extreme latitudes of the lion range are:
Highest latitudes
- Northern Hemisphere
The African lion has been extirpated from all the former high latitudes where it used to live, both in the Northern (North Africa) and Southern Hemisphere (the Cape). Rock paintings also attest to the former presence of lion deep inside what is now the Sahara Desert. The famous Theodore Monod reported in Northern Chad that a lion was shot in 1927 in the region of Erdi Dji (as far North as 19°N, just where the 3 borders Chad, Libya, Sudan meet), and another lion was shot in 1940 near Mourdi (18°30'N) (Smithers, 1983). Now lions are still present in Central Africa up to 15°N (Hoinathy Honimadji, pers. comm.; J. Tubiana, pers. comm.). The Northernmost lion populations are probably:
(i) The few remaining individuals of Boucle du Baoulé National Park in Mali (if
they still exist);
(ii) The small relict population of Kapka mountain range, a non-gazetted area in North-Eastern Chad (the Ennedi mountain range seems to have lost its lion
population), and;
(iii) The population of Dinder National Park, Sudan, and of the neighbouring area in Ethiopia."
Where the current borders of Chad, Libya and Sudan meet is must a bit north of Agoza, the ancient border point. These modern borders are not quite accurate. See
http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/collection/LimitsinSeas/IBS015.pdf

There is also an ancient ruin at Qunianga Kebir (Qunianga Serir) to the northwest, of which a picture photo exists at http://www.archaeoafrica.de/G_Wanyanga.html

Very interesting.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Moonrise at Chimney Rock - LexiLine Journal 356

Moonrise at Chimney Rock in Colorado - is described in this Denver Post article of August 9, 2005:

http://www.denverpost.com/favicon.ico/ci_2909172

Prof. J. McKim Malville thinks that the Pueblo Indians observed the "lunar standstill" at Chimney Rock. As written in the article, "Trekkers eager to be moonstruck: Ruins on Colo. mesa offer view of lunar standstill", by Electa Draper, Denver Post Staff Writer:
"Every 18.61 years, the moon completes a great sweep across the sky until moonrise finally occurs at the northernmost point of the lunar journey along the horizon. This astronomical event lasts almost four years."
Written there also is:
"Archaeologists believe this special purpose for Chimney Rock was lost until rediscovered in 1988 by University of Colorado professor J. McKim Malville."
For once, we agree with a mainstream archaeologist. Malville is surely right.

This 18.61 year cycle was known in ancient Babylon as the Saros Cycle.

This 18.61 year cycle is also found in the United Kingdom marked by the 56 Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge (18.61 x3), which can be used to predict eclipses.

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