more ancient calendars

very very draft of some ancient calendars, mainly from:

http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/astronomy.htm

and other places here and there.

35,000 – 33,000 BC – Decorated baboon fibula with 29 parallel incised notches from Kwazulu border cave, Africa. (4) Richard Rudgley. Civilisations of the ice age. 1999. Arrow. Press

‘The oldest image of a star pattern, that of the famous constellation of Orion, has been recognised on an ivory tablet some 32,500 years old’.

(BBC – Science/nature)

32,000 BC – Lunar notations found on remains in W. Siberia. (Ref: Science CXLVI, Nov 6, 1964).

22,000 BC – Artefacts to record the solar year and phases of the moon from Ma’alta, Siberia. (4) Richard Rudgley. Civilisations of the ice age. 1999. Arrow. Press

9,000 – 8,000 BC – Bone plaque with lunar notations from Grotte Dutai, W. France. (4)

7,180 – 6,140 BC: Stonehenge, England. – C-14 dates for the ‘car park’ post holes 250m NW of circle. Each once contained a Pine trunk (1.5-2m Diameter), which align to the positions of the sun and moon with ‘extreme accuracy’. (5) Sir B. Cunliffe. Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 2001, Oxford University Press. The presence of these huge ‘Totem’ trunks are often ignored in relation to Stonehenge, but their existence several thousand years before the stone circle suggests a significance even at this early time and certainly raises questions about whether this particular location was deliberately chosen due to it’s astronomical relevance

4,500 BC – France: The Kerkado passage mound aligned to midwinter sunrise. Lunar observations at the original Morbihan, monument as determined by Prof. A. Thom.

Also aligned to midsummer sunrise through the rectangular ‘Crucuno’ enclosure which encompasses a 3:4:5 triangle, with the east – west sides aligned to the equinox sunrise and sunset, and perhaps more importantly, the diagonals being aligned to both the solstice sunrise and sunset positions, a feature similar to the four ‘station-stones’ at Stonehenge.

4,000 BC – The Sumerians:  (Shumer- ‘Shem’ – ‘points to sky’, ‘pointed stone marker’),

The Sumerians were one of the first civilisations to record their observations, and their fascination resulted in the basis for much of modern astronomy today. They recorded the sun at the centre of a system surrounded by several planets. They considered the New-year to begin at the exact moment when the Sun crossed the spring equinox.

The Sumerians were the first to divide both space and time by units of six. The modern division of the year into 12 months, the 24 hours of each day, the division of hours into 60 minutes and 60 seconds, and the divisions of the circle/sphere by 360 degrees, each composed of 60 minutes and 60 seconds of an arc, are all Sumerian developments. This same division by units of six has been observed at several of prominent British megaliths.

3,500 – 3,000 BC – Malta. Temples orientated to astronomically significant moments of the solar and lunar cycle (see Mnajdra). Discovery of pottery with astronomical marking on.

3,300 BC – Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland – The passage is aligned to midwinter sunrise. Knowth and Dowth passage mounds similarly aligned and orientated towards important solar and lunar events creating an observatory capable of calculating  both cycles accurately.

3,300 BC – Lochmariaquer, France – Several monuments in the Carnac area dismantled and re-used for new constructions. The original monuments were built around 4,500 BC. It is suspected that at this time, the new monuments were designed with a solar emphasis , in contrast to the earlier lunar monuments at Lochmariaquer.

3,200 BC – Stonehenge, England – The henge and 56 ‘Aubrey holes’ were placed. (Lunar alignment only). Each of the 56 ‘Aubrey holes’ had a fragment of Bluestone buried in it. It is suggested that these 56 holes were used to calculate the Metonic cycle of 18.6 years (3 x 18.6 = 55.8). The same system can be used to calculate tidal motions (based on lunar activity), eclipses, and ultimately to synchronise the movements of the sun and moon.

The latitude of Stonehenge (51° 10′ N), is one of only two latitudes at which the full moon passes directly overhead on its maximum zenith. The other (38° 33′ N), is on the same as the latitude of the oldest stone-circle in Europe, at Almendres in Portugal.

3,114 BC (Aug 13) – The Mayan ‘long count’ begins. The great cycle was believed to last for 13 baktuns – 1,872,000 days. The present cycle comes to an end on 21st December 2012 AD [though calculations differ].

The Mayans used two calendars with each day having two names, the first a repeating cycle of 260 days, called a ‘tzolkin’, and the second a ‘vague’ year of 365 days called a ‘haab’. The year was composed of 360 days divided into 18 months of 20 days each plus a short month of 5 extra days and the intercalary days. Using the dual calendar system, any specific combination of day names did not occur for a period of 52 ‘vague’ years (52 x 365 = 18,980 = 73 x 260). he ‘Dresden codex’ contains tables for the prediction of eclipses.

3,000 BC – The Giza Complex, Egypt. The Giza complex in Egypt shows numerous geometric and astronomical references in its design. Pi (л) in the exterior dimensions of the Great pyramid, the 3:4:5 triangle in the dimensions of the ‘Kings chamber’ of the ‘Great pyramid’, and the sacred mean (0.618) in the overall layout of the site. In addition, The structures at Giza have several astronomical features built into them. In particular, the almost exact cardinal orientation of the pyramids, the polar-shafts in each pyramid, cut to face the pole-star at the time of construction. The ‘Star-shafts’ in Khufu’s pyramid, said to align to both Orion and Sirius, and not forgetting of course the majestic sphinx, which sits facing the rising sun on the solstices.

Davidson (7), showed how the shadow cast by the Great pyramid could have been used to measure the solstice, equinoxes and quarter periods of the year.

Davidson (7), showed how the shadow cast by the Great pyramid could have been used to measure the solstice, equinoxes and quarter periods of the year.

2,800 – 2,500 BC in Armenia shows evidence of astronomy and the first ever zodiacal division of the heavens into 12 equal parts.

2,000 BC – In the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis. An avenue of stones points to Mount Clisham, where the midsummer moon-set occurs from Callanish. Because the complex lies only 1.3 degrees south of the Arctic latitude for the moon, so that ancient observers would have been able to see the moon appearing to stand still about one degree above the horizon. This 18.6 year cycle is the same as that recorded at Stonehenge. Both avenues of stones allowed ancient astronomers to observe what is called the ‘moon’s wobble’, a small amplitude ripple of the moons declination at extreme positions. It is possibly significant that with both sites having key observation stones with similar geometry, and with Callanish situated at a latitude where the moon appears to skim the horizon, while at Stonehenge, the extreme positions of the moon appear at right angles to the Sun; it makes Earth’s curvature obvious and from that the calculations necessary to determine its size. (9).

AD 1 – 250 (?)   Recent studies at Chichen Itza by archaeo-astronomers have revealed that other structures, besides the Pyramid of Kukulkan, have significant astronomical alignments. For example, several of the windows in the unique circular building known as the Caracol were positioned to be in alignment with key positions of the planet Venus, particularly its southern and northern rising extremes on the horizon and with the equinox sunset. Mayan historical sources mention that a man who called himself Kukulkan arrived in Chichen Itza from the west (Kukul means “feathered” and kan means “serpent”) in the period that ended in 987 AD.

It is estimated that the Temple of the warriors was built around 1,100 AD.  (12)

83 BC – A Mechanical device for working out the motions of the sun, moon and planets (based on number and relationship of over 30 gears). Found underwater off Antikythera Island, Greece, 1901 (Current Location: National museum, Athens). Examined by Derek De Solla Price with x-ray. It is made of different metal alloys with 1/10 mm precision teeth.

Map of the Moon

c. 3,000 BC? Knowrth Map – carved map of moon. You can see the overall pattern of the lunar features, from features such as Mare Humorun through to Mare Crisium. “The people who carved this Moon map were the first scientists,” said Dr Stooke. “They knew a great deal about the motion of the Moon. They were not primitive at all.”

The passage tomb at Knowth is estimated to be about 5,000 years old. It was obviously built by men who had a sophisticated understanding of the motions of the Sun, Moon and stars. nvestigations at Knowth almost 20 years ago showed that at certain times moonlight could shine down the eastern passage of the tomb. Remarkably, the moonlight would also fall on the Neolithic lunar map.

During excavations, the stone in question was named Orthostat 47. Its right-hand section contains a series of arcs.

The circular limb of the moon is not included in the carving. Dr Stooke believes that it may have been drawn on the rock with chalk or with coloured paint.

(Ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/325290.stm)

1505 map of the moon, drawn by Leonardo da Vinci

Scotland is home to hundreds of ‘Recumbent’ stone circles. These circles are usually fairly small, the largest being (Innesmill (B5/1 at 110 ft diameter). Recumbent circles in the Grampians of Scotland have been shown to have a primary association with the observation of the extreme setting points on the lunar cycle. They are defined by a prominent ‘recumbent’ stone, positioned horizontally, so that the moon sets behind it at both extremes of its cycle, and upon which stones cup-marks are often found.

In Aberdeenshire, with a mean latitude of 57° 30’s, the moon at its maximum, will rise at 155° SSE, and set at 205° SSW. Of the 48 recumbent’s where it is possible to plot their axis, 45 have recumbent between these limits. The remaining were placed at 230°, 231° and 232°, the min moon setting. (Ref: Burl. Stone circles).

It is an interesting fact that the only recumbent circles found outside of Scotland, are in the Ross-Carbery area of Ireland, which places them too far south to make them any use as lunar observatories, and have in fact been shown to be solar in their orientation. Cope (4), makes note of the Drombeg RSC, where the sun has been observed setting at midwinter (solstice), directly into a notch in the landscape behind the recumbent stone.

The largest recumbent stone in Scotland is at Old Keig, Aberdeenshire, which at an estimated 53 tons, and still sitting perfectly horizontally, is a testimony to the engineering skills of the builders. The Old Keig recumbent was positioned so that its length (5m), was such that the moon rose at its minimum and maximum settings (over the 18.6 yr cycle) from behind the left and right ‘flankers’, gliding along the surface of the recumbent (due to its specific latitude).

1) G. Santillana and H. Von Dechend. Hamlets mill. 1983. D. R. G. Press.

2). A. Service & J. Bradbery. Megaliths and their Mysteries. 1979. Macmillan.

3). Aubrey Burl. Stone Circles of the British Isles. 1976. Yale University Press.

4). Richard Rudgley. Civilisations of the ice age. 1999. Arrow. Press

5). Sir B. Cunliffe. Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 2001, Oxford University Press

6). http://www.physorg.com/news126183668.html

7). D. Davidson & H. Aldersmith. Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message. 1924. Williams and Norgate.

8). Dr. Hans J. Zillmer. Darwin’s Mistake, 1998. Adventures Unlimited press.

9). Rene Noorbergen. Secrets of the Lost Races. 1977. New English Library.

10). http://www.astrocal.co.uk/lunarstandstills.html

13). Maurice Chatelain. Our Cosmic Ancestors. 1987. Temple Golden Publ.

21). G. Hancock. Fingerprints of the gods. 1996. Mandarin.

23). Z. Sitchin. The 12th Planet. 1976. Avon books.

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