Monday, January 29, 2007

Tanum Petroglyphs of Sweden (Norway) Deciphered as Astronomy : A Gigantic 70 Square Kilometer Planisphere of the Heavens - LexiLine Journal 449

This is probably one of the most sensational postings I shall ever make on LexiLine.

It presents my decipherment - of a ca. 6 kilometer by 12 kilometer expanse of land in Sweden - filled with petroglyphs - as an ancient sky map of the heavens.

I shall be presenting a paper about this in May this year in Horn / Bad Meinberg, Germany at the Machalett Conference
[since then reconstituted and renamed as Der Forschungskreis Externsteine e. V.], so that this presentation just contains the basics.

It was 30 years ago in the year 1977 that I first visited the petroglyphs (rock drawings) of Tanum, Sweden, which formerly belonged to Norway (until the year 1658) and which were declared a World Heritage Site in 1994.

I greet especially the family Johansson in the rural outskirts of Uddevalla (Sweden), who allowed us to camp in their front yard, the family Digernes in Digernes (Norway) who showed us how farming in Norway was a bit more difficult than in Minnesota and the family Wegner in Sandefjord (Norway), who invited us into their comfortable home after some rough days in Norway's mountains, including climbing a glacier in Jotunheimen, where I lost one pair of glasses in a crevice in the glacier, and then broke one of the lenses on my only spare spectacles soon thereafter while still in the glacier, so that I had to climb down the glacier half-blind. But we made it. We thank also all those unnamed here who provided us with great hospitality during our one-month camping tour of Norway and Sweden. The vast expense of Vänern Lake, one of the largest lakes in Europe, bathing in near ice in Lom, waking up in August to snow and to giant elks nibbling breakfast right in front of our car, and 30 days camped out "in the wilderness" remain indelibly forever in memory.

Tanum, which is located in Tanumshede, Västra Götaland (historically Bohuslän), is about a two-hour drive north of Göteborg (Gothenburg). Tanum was not well known internationally in 1977, in spite of over 1500, in part gigantic, rock drawings.

It was at Tanum that my interest in ancient megalithic cultures and prehistoric rock drawings and cave paintings really began. At that time I was 30 years old and in the very strength of the prime of life and I could simply not understand that the archaeologists of this world were unable to decipher such a vast expanse of petroglyphs. Surely they could not claim that they did not have enough material available. But over the next 30 years, I too was not able to decipher the entire site either. Until this year. Only at Fossum had I previously made decipherment headway, but Fossum was only one small part of this gigantic complex of petroglyphs.

Tanum includes the following petroglyphic locations covering something like 70 square kilometers of countryside: Vitlycke (where the museum is located), Tanum, Tegneby, Aspeberget, Gerum, Ryland, Oppen, Slänge, Varlös, Fossum, Lycke, Hoghem, Västerby, Ljungby, Tuvene, Litsleby, Kyrkoryk, Orrekläpp, Rungstung, Satetorp, Ryk, Tyft, Hovtorp, Björneröd, Bergslycke, Kalleby and Trättelanda.

The map of Tanum at the World Heritage Site which I used for my decipherment was the key to my success. Without such a complete overview of the area, the decipherment would be impossible, so that the archaeologists are here not to be faulted too severely for keeping their at times blindered attention focused on individual petroglyphs or small groups of petroglyphs.

And yet, it is the entire complex of petroglyphs which builds the secret to this enormous site, for these petroglyphs represent the stars of the heavens, and multiple petroglyphs in clusters represent constellations of stars known to us today.

One cannot escape the feeling at Tanum that what we are witnessing here is the birth of astronomy among the ancient seafarers who needed a knowledge of the stars for navigation and who formed these constellations for practical purposes. No wonder there are so many boats (ancient ships) represented in the petroglyphic figures - to the seafaring ancients, the night sky was a sea of stars. I really think that this might be the location at which our modern stellar constellations may have been initially created by European man for purposes of seafaring travel.

There are many proofs that this decipherment is correct, but I will not bring them all here today. I will bring them in May when I present a long paper in German to the Machalett Study Group on Prehistory and Early History
[since then reconstituted and renamed as Der Forschungskreis Externsteine e. V.],.

Here is the decipherment, copyright © by Andis Kaulins. What this means is that you can use my graphic for non-commercial purposes provided you give attribution that I am the discoverer. You can not use this graphic for commercial purposes. Of course, anyone is free to make their own graphic, based on my discovery, and use that as they wish, non-commercially or commercially, provided that they attribute this knowledge to me as the discoverer. Thank you.

Tanum petroglyphs rock drawings art deciphered by andis kaulins

The Decipherment of the Tanum Petroglyphs by Andis Kaulins 2007

Thornborough Circles (Henges) Revisited - LexiLine Journal 448

James Q. Jacobs has an image of the Thornborough Circles (Henges) at
which contains an element I had never seen before, the Three Hills Barrows at Thornborough North (I previously only had one basic fairly limited photo of Thornborough for my research work). The Three Hills Barrows absolutely confirm my decipherment of this megalithic website. But before I explain how this is, here is a bit of background information.

Recently, some people have been alleging that the Thornborough Circles represent Orion. They have also been writing as if they were the first to assign an astronomical connection to Thornborough. This is incorrect.

We do appreciate their courage for alleging an astronomical connection, but that identification is wrong, and we assigned an astronomical connection to the Thornborough Circles quite some time ago.

In my 2003 book Stars Stones and Scholars, pages 161 and 162, I write as follows regarding the following two images dealing with the Thornborough Circles (Henges):
"The Thornborough Circles of Yorkshire north of Ripon calculate the position of the South Pole along the celestial meridian of the Equinoxes to the North Pole in ca. 3117 BC, i.e. a line running from the star alpha in Hydrus to the star alpha in the Southern Triangle to Antares or Dschubba in Scorpio and from there to kappa-Serpentis, the head of Serpens Caput and from there to the North Pole Star, dividing the meridian into four equal segments. The Cursus marks the edge of the Milky Way and the Mound Hill marks the Southern Pole Star. Tucana, Octans, Apus and Ara are also marked."

"The Thornborough Circles use a triangulational system of measure similar to Balnuaran of Clava in Scotland, i.e. three circles of triangulation, to determine the Pole Star position. As we also have discovered, this same kind of measurement is also found at Nazca in Peru [ ]. Below is a drawing of the calculation made at Thornborough."

This measurement uses the same astronomical unit of measure that according to my research was used in Scotland at the Clava Cairns, as I write at page 58 of Stars Stones and Scholars:
"The linear planispheric map distance between Polaris (not then the pole star but the brightest star on the path of precession) and Deneb and between the Pole Star and Vega is the same as used by the ancients as one-fourth of the distance from North Pole Star to South Pole Star as measured along the meridian of the Equinoxes (equinox axis) in ca. 3117 BC, i.e. from the South Pole to the star alpha in the Southern Triangle, from there to Antares (or Dschubba) in Scorpio, from there to Serpens Caput and from there to the North Pole Star. The word meridian (Merid-ian) comes from Indo-European, e.g. Latvian Merit "to measure"."
Let us now take a look at the image of the Thornborough Circles (Henges) that Jacobs has on his website at

This image of Thornborough resolves several questions that I had about the Circles in my decipherment, but also raises some new questions.

As is apparent from the quotation above, I was not sure whether the meridian was calculated through Antares in Scorpio or through Dschubba, the major of the three stars in the head of Scorpio. Jacobs' image resolves that issue, showing that the celestial meridian at the Equinoxes was measured through Antares, as the Three Hills Barrows in my view represent the three large stars in the head of Scorpio, including Dschubba and Graffias. As I note at page 170 of
Stars Stones and Scholars, this alternative use of Dschubba or Antares (the hieroglyph NTR), as I have discovered, is visible for one particular king named after this star (region)
in the Egyptian list of kings (a list of kings which is stellar, just as the Maya king list).

The Centre Hill Barrow above, which I label "the Mound" in my drawing, was in my opinion the calculated position of the South Celestial Pole ca. 3117 BC. However, it is conceivable that this barrow is the Small Magellanic Cloud and that the position of alpha in Hydrus was taken as the position of the South Celestial Pole by the ancients.

The center Circle or Henge (Thornborough Centre in the image above) represents the Southern Triangle and the barrow to its left can only be the variable Algol-type star R, a type of star to which the ancients paid a great deal of attention, as also to Algol in Perseus. At page 88 I refer to a "Sanskrit legend about Visvamitra of Somadatta" reported in Richard Hinckley Allen's Star Names, p. 436, as follows:
"[A]t one time in the history of the Creation an attempt was made by Visvamitra to form a southern heavenly home for the body of the dead king, the pious Somadatta; and this work was not abandoned till a southern pole and another Bear had been located in positions corresponding to the northern, this pole passing through the island Lunka, or Vadavamukha (Ceylon). The Anglo-Saxon Manual made distinct mention of this duplicate constellation 'which we can never see.' ..."
In the northern stellar hemisphere, the variable star Algol is right next to Triangulum, the (Northern) Triangle. In the southern stellar hemisphere, the variable star R is right next to the Southern Triangle, which must have pleased the ancient southern stargazers and seafarers who were mapping the heavens to correspond as much as possible in the southern skies to what they already knew well in the northern skies (making it much easier to retain in memory).

The Circle (Henge) at Thornborough South represents the star alpha in Hydrus. The barrow to the right below it would conceivably represent the South Ecliptic Pole, or it might also simply mark the Large Magellanic Cloud, which in ca. 3117 BC marked the South Ecliptic Pole. It is also near here at Achernar that Eridanus, the heavenly river of the underworld begins, so that the Large Magellanic Cloud may be connected to legend of Phaeton and Eridanus.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Archaeogeodesy, Archaeoastronomy & Megalithic Sites - LexiLine Journal 447

James Q. Jacobs, Anthropologist, Archaeologist and Academic Instructor
is doing a great deal of work
- in part in cooperation with Victor Reijs -
on archaeogeodesy and ancient megalithic sites,
especially from the mathematical and technical side of things.

See especially Jacobs' recent blog posting at
as well his Ancient Monuments Placemarks at

Much of this work at
follows along archaeoastronomical and archaeogeodesic lines of thought
that we also have followed over the years
as seen on the following two graphics taken out of my 2003 book
Stars Stones and Scholars , pages 226 and 227:

Neolithic European   Survey

Above : Satellite Map Projection (page 226 of Stars Stones and Scholars)

Neolithic European   Survey

Above : Normal Road Map Projection (page 227 Stars Stones and Scholars)

Very interesting for me is that Jacobs has found a line by very precise mathematical methods which corresponds to the very same geodetic line that I alleged - using simple map methods - running from Newgrange/Knowth to Silbury Hill/Avebury/Stonehenge. Hence, what Jacobs writes is certainly bound to be important for the further development of archaeoastronomy and archaeogeodesy, especially since, as far as I can tell, he was not aware of my work or my calculated line when he did his own calculations.

The differing map projections show - in my opinion - that the ancients used the stars for their triangulations, otherwise they could not have arrived at the lines found in the satellite projection. It remains to be seen if Jacobs' precise mathematical methods can corroborate all or any of these lines which I have calculated by simple map projections.

I am not sure if you will be able to see the graphics on your browser, so here are the URLs for the online images: (satellite map projection) (road map projection)

John (*Northstar) wrote:

As I am not one to believe in coincidence, was any effort made in
locating the apex of the 'pyramid' given a 51 degree angle or
establishing connection between other known sites using this form?
I'm quite sure, given your study of the errors of Egyptology, that
you can guess where I'm going with this line of thinking. Perhaps
there are also two other outlines yet to be re-discovered?

Andis replied:

Walter Machalett, the founder of the Machalett Group on Prehistory and Early History, at whose annual conference I will be giving my Tanum / Gerum presentation in Germany in May, in fact developed the theory that the Extern Stones (Externsteine) in Germany formed the apex of a land survey pyramid which had one corner at the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

See these works (both in German):
Walter Machalett, Die Externsteine, Hallonen-Verlag, Maschen, 1970.
Walter Machalett, Die Externsteine, Arbeits- und Mitteilungsblatt eines Forscherkreises für die Vor- und Frühgeschichte der Externsteine im Teutoberger Wald, 7. Jahrgang, Heft 28/29, Maschen, 1972.

I have been very reluctant, however, to include any discussion of the pyramids in my megalithic survey work because it is difficult enough just to get people to consider the simple possibility that Neolithic man was capable of land survey by astronomy. If you bring the pyramids into such a discussion, then your believability becomes even more difficult to sustain, because there are simply too many wild theories about the pyramids out there. Usually, adding pyramids to the discussion of any theory tends to detract from that theory, rather than to help it. That is why in my book, Stars Stones and Scholars, at page 301, with a reference at footnote 42 to Peter Tompkins, Secrets of the Great Pyramid , I write about - my alleged - ancient megalithic survey of the Earth as follows:

"These measurements would have allowed the ancients to draw many far-reaching conclusions about the actual size and shape of the Earth. It would also have permitted them to calculate the length of a degree of latitude and longitude for various geodetic locations selected by them and thus also for the whole Earth by extrapolation. Such calculations were of course later improved at megalithic sites and later measured in detail at the Cheops Pyramid."

As you can see, I simply relegate the pyramids to a later time frame than the megaliths. That way, I do not have to deal at all with the pyramids.

What we first have to do is to prove that there was an ancient Neolithic survey of the Earth.
Once that has been done, then we can turn to issues of the pyramids.

As far as the ca. 52° angle is concerned, there is of course a potential joint relation between land survey and the pyramids to be found in phi, the so-golden section of mathematics, especially in the figure of the pentagon. Take a look at what the Wikipedia writes about that under Golden ratio.

In any case, to return to the question of whether phi was used in ancient land survey, I must say that I simply do not know, and it will have to be investigated.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Evidence-Based Science is Approaching the Humanities - LexiLine Journal 446

J. Peder Zane at the News & Observer in Scientists see dazzling future writes concerning the EDGE 2007 question, "What are you optimistic about? Why?":

"The overriding hope among Edge respondents is that our increased capacity to gather and analyze information will spark the rise of an "evidence-based" world. We see this already in the field of criminal justice, where people convicted on faulty "eyewitness" testimony have been freed thanks to DNA. In the future, respondents argue, the instincts and perceptions that inform so much of our political, legal and cultural decision-making will be replaced by hard facts."

A very interesting article on Evidence by Clay Shirky, Social & Technology Network Topology Researcher, Adjunct Professor, NYU Graduate School of Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) is found at the EDGE World Question Center 2007.

Shirky puts eloquently some of the rants and raves that we have been throwing at the academic community for the last 35 years (see here,here and here) when he writes:

"In school, the embrace of evidence is often taught as if it were a one-time revolution that has now been internalized by society. It hasn't. The idea of evidence is consistently radical: Take nothing on faith. No authority is infallible. If you figure out a good way to test something, you can contradict hallowed figures with impunity.

Evidence will continue to improve society, but slowly — this is long-view optimism. The use of evidence dragged the curious mind from the confusion of alchemy into the precision of chemistry in the historical blink of an eye, but its progress past the hard sciences has been considerably slower. Even accepting that evidence should shape our views is inconsistent with much human behavior....

It is only in the last hundred years that evidence has even begun spreading from the hard sciences into other parts of human life....

Social science is expanding because we are better about gathering data and about understanding it. We have gone from a drought to a flood of data about personal and social behavior in the last generation. We will learn more about the human condition in the next two decades years than we did in the last two millennia, and we will then begin to apply what we learn, everywhere. Evidence-based treaties. Evidence-based teaching. Evidence-based industrial design. Evidence-based parenting."

Beautifully written, and correct.

Similarly, J. Craig Venter, Human Genome Decoder and Director, The J. Craig Venter Institute writes at EDGE that:

"Iam optimistic (and hopeful) that one of the key tenets of scientific investigation, "evidenced-based decision making" will be extended to all aspects of modern society."

We agree.

Science a Go Go : Evolution, Megaliths, and Astronomy - LexiLine Journal 445

Science a Go Go ( )
has a zippy website from down under
devoted to "the latest science news, research tidbits and science discussion".

What caught my attention were their science book reviews:
Science a Go Go 2005 Book Reviews
Science a Go Go 2006 Book Reviews
for a good overview of what is going on in science,
through the medium of books.

Online book reviews, still fairly rare outside of e.g. Amazon,
or involving the payment of online fees for viewing, as at Antiquity magazine,
will surely play an increasingly greater role in science and literature,
and we were gratified to see Science a Go Go review our book Stars Stones and Scholars
on the same page as their review of Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory
by legal expert and Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward J. Larson (2006).

Take a look at Larson's publications and awards
and you will see that I would probably be better off
if I had Larson rewrite my book :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Megalithic Wiki Founded at Wikia by Andis Kaulins - LexiLine Journal 444

The first post in 2007 starts out with the announcement
of what I hope will be a successful project:

About a month ago I suggested a wiki on megaliths and megalithic sites to Wikia
which has some diffuse relations to Wikipedia and Wikimedia
and this has recently been approved as the Megalithic Wiki at Wikia
at the website URL
with the following purpose:

"The Megalithic Wiki is intended as a wiki for detailed information about megaliths and megalithic sites around the world, including but not limited to dolmens, menhirs, cairns, standing stones, stone circles, henges, earthworks, petroglyphs, etc. and including detailed descriptions, all possible interpretations (e.g. archaeoastronomy), GPS locations, original user photographs of megalithic sites (from all angles and positions), bibliographies of research materials, literature, books and book reviews, authors, websites, online journals (blogs), old and new media such as film and videos, etc. Terminology relating to megalithic sites is also to be included in the Megalithic Wiki entries."

I have created a simple starting megalithic site template page at
Just copy the source code and adapt to your own uses.

The Megalithic Wiki is listed at
I am listed there as the founder of the Megalithic Wiki at Wikia:
"English: Started December 26, 2006 by Akaulins."
See my user page at: " "

Please note that Megalithic Wiki is a Wikia Wiki and that numerous members of the Wikia staff have full access to all Wikia
wikis, including the Megalithic Wiki. See in this regard

Please note that the Megalithic Wiki is an open community where pages are or will be protected only in exceptional cases for legal and/or administrative reasons by the system operators, of which I am the first as the founder, but, of course, I hope in the course of time that we will have dozens of people involved in the day-to-day administration of Megalithic Wiki. I personally do not want to do much of any administration of any kind and would prefer to spend my time on my own megalithic work. Accordingly, we urge people with expertise in this field to become additional administrators of this Wiki.

Wikia is not a Wikimedia project. Rather, Wikia, Inc. is an independent company, although there are some relationships between the two. Wikia was founded by Jimmy Wales, who is the founder of the well-known Wikipedia, and by Angela Beesley, a former member of the Wikimedia's Board of Trustees.

For a full discussion of the relationships see
For a history of Wikia see

The Megalithic Wiki is a real wiki and open to everyone although it is best for each individual not to edit anonymously but rather to create a free account giving you a Megalithic Wiki name which will then credit all of your edits to your name.

See the Tutorial at
and see also the Editing page at

The Megalithic Wiki at Wikia is not intended to be a substitute for individual megalithic websites, of which there are many online, but rather it is intended to be a compendium of world megalithic sites, broadly defined, and including also petroglyphs, i.e. rock drawings, cave paintings and rock art.

Feel free to pass this information on to those of your friends who might be interested in this project.

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