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22 August 2016

THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 7/7: Maps: Prehistoric Star map 10500BC



Ancient Astronomy Series: THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 7/7: Maps: Prehistoric Starmap. 10500BC.

What is the age of Astronomy? How old is it? Can we find some tangible evidence of it's age?
Many clues can be found in almost all civilizations on Earth before us.
In this mini series of articles we will establish the chronology of astronomy with astronomical relics, instruments, artifacts, alignments, maps, references and places in ancient periods pinpointing exactly in time, the age of Astronomy.

Ancient Astronomy Series. List of the articles.
    1/7 Instruments: NASA's STEREO mission. Predicting the Sun's activities. 2006AD
    2/7 : Relics: Abù Bakr Ibn Yùsuf's medieval Moroccan astrolabes. 1216AD
    3/7: Places: El Caracol, Mayan Observatory. 906AD
    4/7: Artifacts: Nebra sky disk of North Germany. 1600BC
    5/7: Astronomical References: The scarab and the Dung beetle. 1813BC
    6/7: Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC
    7/7: Maps: Prehistoric Star map. 10500BC
Archaeological site Göbekli Tepe, Southern Turkey.
Credit: German Archaeological Institute.

10500BC. Prehistoric Starmap.
Location: Modern Southern Turkey.

The Prehistoric period of humanity is in a sense ambiguous and left to speculations rather than facts. Prehistory is so far back in time that the only thing that has survived for us to study and contemplate are rocks. There are many type of stones and rocks out there, but the ones that matters the most are the standing stones and especially standing stones with engravings. Prehistoric people has erected Megaliths, this is a fact. But can we find astronomical connections with these engravings? What if the engravings were a map? A Star map? Could we push the age of astronomy to prehistoric times?

While doing research on the age of astronomy, I came across few authors having alternative views on the chronology of ancient history and within it the chronology of the age of astronomy. This last article on the age of astronomy is more on a speculative side, rather than on a solid factual side. We try to understand the mind of the people of that time and try to seek out if there is an astronomical connection, which I think there is. Proven by many previous solid evidences through out the millenia and through out this series of articles, astronomical connections are indeed everywhere. So why not in this one?

Meat the brains behind the imagination.
Paul D. Burley is a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is also an author writing on ancient mysteries. Mr. Burley wrote an article proposing a star map within a pillar at the archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe, Southern Turkey. This star map he believe it to be a message from them of that period to us of the future. This star map would represent the time we are living in now. According to the position of the carvings found on the pillar and the position of the stars (Constellations) in the night sky seen today in our time, it seems that they match. A message in a bottle if you will. Even if this "star map business" is on the fringe of conventional thinking, it is still connected to astronomy. So for me it is worth investigating.

Blue print of the excavated archaelogical site, Göbekli Tepe, Southern Turkey.
This is only a small portion of the site that has been excavated.
Credit: http://www.dainst.org/dai/meldungen

Göbekli Tepe, the oldest temple of the world.
In Southeastern Anatolia ( modern-day Turkey) near Mount Ararat was excavated an archaeological site dated to 10500 BC according to the late Dr. Schmidt who was the lead investigator at that time, from 1995-2014. Schmidt call it the earliest temple in the world. This site has large enclosures and within these enclosures you find 2 central tall T-shape pillars made of rock. On the side of the enclosures we can see smaller t-shaped pillars all around the enclosure. On one of the T-shape side pillar in enclosure D, Pillar 43 specifically, we find engravings of what appears to be a vulture and a disc on his wing with other animals and unidentified carvings. Could this carving on the pillar be a star map?

Pillar 43 in Enclosure D, Göbekli Tepe, Southern Turkey.


Could Pillar 43 in Enclosure D really be a Star map?
In each enclosures dug up on the site of Göbekli Tepe, we find central T-shape pillars as well as T-shape pillars on the sides creating the periphery of the enclosures. Pillar 43 is a side pillar engraved with intricate designs on the whole face of the erected stone. Viewed as a whole, these high reliefs carvings create a Star map. A Star map showing the Sun in a certain position in the sky relative to the background Constellations.

Risings in the East.
The facade of Pillar 43 containing the high relief carvings is facing Eastward. An invitation to look Eastward to read the Star map. Orientation is the key to deciphering the star map. I think it was not a coincidence that the pillar was carved on the side facing East. As the spin of Earth's revolution is from left to right, the Stars seem to rise in the East, allowing heliacal rising of some stars to be observed and studied. The constant observation of heliacal risings of certain stars at the Eastern horizon can give away the secret of Precession (slight change in location of the stars at the horizon across long periods of time). This cyclical Precession was somehow essential to the ancients and therefore kept engraved in stone to teach next generations the knowledge of astronomy on Earth.

Decoding the Star map one symbol at the time.
The symbols on the stone consist from bottom to top numerous animals and unidentified inscriptions and patterns. Are these symbols related to astronomy? At the bottom of the pillar is a neck and head of some sort of bird tilted to the right. Unknown to this point if the meaning is astronomical.
Carvings found at Göbekli Tepe's Pillar 43 matches star constellations.

Beside on the right is a headless man having an erection. This erection headless man is found in other prehistoric sites in caves as rock paintings, it seems to be a common theme around the world. Again no real connection to astronomy.

On top of this is a large scorpion crawling upward from the ground. Now this is an universal astrological symbol and has been used to identify star patterns (Constellations) since the begining of Constellation identification. Strangely the scorpion is represented in all the cultures of the world. This gives it a strong incentive to be an astronomical candidate representing the Constellation of Scorpio.
Next to it at the right is a small curved serpent-like carving reminiscent of a constellation in the night sky close to the Constellation of Scorpio, the constellation of Virgo . Another clue of an astronomical connection.

Above that on the left is a vulture type of bird "holding" on its left wing a round large disc. This vulture could be identified with a constellation as we did for the scorpion symbol. In this case, which one? Maybe the scorpion symbol bellow can give us the answer on which constellation we are looking for.
Maybe we are looking for an constellation above the Constellation of Scorpio or near it. Computer Astronomy software showing constellations tells us that the Constellation of Ophiucus and Sagiarius are near Scorpio's. Ophiucus may be the Serpent handler in our time, but in that time, the ancient people may have viewed it as a vulture. but this is unlikely, because the ecliptic does not cross path with this constellation. We are looking for one that crosses the path of the ecliptic, where the Sun could pass. Looking carefully, the Constellation of Sagitarius could fit the bill. The star pattern seen in the night sky could easily be the form of a vulture and the ecliptic passes straight through that constellation. Forwarding evidence that the two symbols on the pillar must be the constellation of Scorpio and the Constellation of Sagitarius. This is good evidence of astronomical symbolism and of a Star map engraved in stone.

Just on the right of the vulture are two chicken-like birds with their feet in front of them. Maybe representing neighbouring Constellation of the Scorpio or Sagitarius viewed by the ancients at that time. Filling the gap between the chickens and the vulture are some intricate V lines and square patterns. Difficult to interpret in astronomical terms. On the very top of the pillar above the vulture and the chickens are 3 symbols looking like hand bags and one unidentified symbol. These last carvings looks like it frames the star map in. Making a window-like vignette for the Star map to be looked at. It is difficult to correlate these carvings with nowadays constellations. We can all agree that the star patterns, meaning Constellations of there time were probably not the same that we have today.

Notice the disk at the center of the stone. This might represent the Sun.
Credit: German Archaeological Institute.
The Sun at the center of it all.
The large disc at the center of the Star map represents the Sun. This large disc is carved dead center of the stone pillar as if it was purposefully placed there to be noticed. It appears to be the center piece of this Star map. The Sun located in the midst of the Constellation Sagitarius engraved on the pillar is astronomically accurate as the path of the Sun, the Ecliptic, passes through the Constellation of

What is the purpose of this Star map?
According to the clues we can gather within this Star map, the carvings indicates a time when Our Sun is crossing the Constellation of Sagitarius observed while the star Antares in Scorpio was rising at the horizon (Heliacal rising of Antares) at the Fall Equinox in the East. The purpose of this Star map according to Paul Burley, the founder of this theory, is that this Star map is a message in a bottle from the ancient people of Göbekli Tepe to Us here in the modern times. This representation in stone of a moment when the Sun interacts with the Constellation Sagitarius, which would be now in our time. In other words, the Star map is from today, but built by someone more than +/-12500 years ago.

As strange as it may sound, this surprising message to the future has many evidences to support astronomical implications on the stone pillar.
However, to be fair, if this map represented this time the correlation would be with the winter solstice of 21.12.2016, not the Fall equinox. The Sun is in Sagitarius and the helical rising of Antares is taking place in winter time. So the difference between the fall equinox and the winter solstice creates a problem.

Looking East, The Sun disk in the middle. Pillar 43 Enclosure D, Göbekli Tepe, Turkey
Credit: German Archaeological Institute. 

Even though, the Megalithic T-shape stone pillars at Göbekli Tepe strongly suggest an astronomical map of some sort. There are some discrepancies though. As I wrote at the beginning of this articles; "The Prehistoric period of humanity is in a sense ambiguous and left to speculations rather than facts". That is exactly what we should think about this article. The connection is still fundamentally astronomical, hence worthy of research. Whatever is the case, I think this pillar brought forward the knowledge of astronomy in that period of time. With the evidence in hand, I must conclude that the Prehistoric carvings on the pillar were indeed astronomically linked.

So what is the age of Astronomy, you ask? At least since 10500BC. That means the knowledge of astronomy is at least 12516 years old.
My research on the age of Astronomy comes to an end with this last article on THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. The search for the age of astronomy brought us to 12516 years that humans have had the knowledge of astronomy. Passed down from generations to generations, until it reached us today and will continue I suspect far into the future. Please leave a comment or questions you may have to keep on going the conversation on Ancient civilizations and Astronomy.

Continue reading past articles of Ancient Astronomy Series: THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY.
Please take time to read the links and PDF files on this subject.
Links:
http://www.timothystephany.com/gobekli.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Schmidt_(archaeologist)
http://asabovesobelow-pauldburley.com/


Pubic outreach program  by Astronomy club Toutatis, Kustavi, Finland

20 August 2016

THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 6/7: Astronomical Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC


Ancient Astronomy Series: THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 6/7: Astronomical Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC.

What is the age of Astronomy? How old is it? Can we find some tangible evidence of it's age?
Many clues can be found in almost all civilizations on Earth before us.
In this mini series of articles we will establish the chronology of astronomy with astronomical relics, instruments, artifacts, alignments, maps, references and places in ancient periods pinpointing exactly in time, the age of Astronomy.

Ancient Astronomy Series. List of articles.
    1/7 Instruments: NASA's STEREO mission. Predicting the Sun's activities. 2006AD
    2/7 : Relics: Abù Bakr Ibn Yùsuf's medieval Moroccan astrolabes. 1216AD
    3/7: Places: El Caracol, Mayan Observatory. 906AD
    4/7: Artifacts: Nebra sky disk of North Germany. 1600BC
    5/7: Astronomical References: The scarab and the Dung beetle. 1813BC
    6/7: Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC
    7/7: Maps: Prehistoric Starmap. 10500BC
Illustration 15: Scale model of the megalithic stones in Carnac, France.


3300BC. Megaliths of Carnac, France.
Location: Western Europe.
On the coast of Brittany in Western France we find fields of Megaliths. These Megaliths create alignments that track certain celestial events, such as the monthly Full moon's positioning with the lines of the Megalithic stones. These stones align them selves with the sun's risings and settings at solstices and equinoxes. A complete astronomical calendar I dare say.

”The Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites around the village of Carnac, in Brittany, consisting of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs. More than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre/proto-Celtic people of Brittany, and are the largest such collection in the world. Most of the stones are within the Breton village of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer. The stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC.

Illustartion 16 The sixteen-square matrix, useable at Carnac for estimating 
solar and lunar extremes within each quadrant.

Alignments.
There are three major groups of stone rows — Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan — which may have once formed a single group, but have been split up as stones were removed for other purposes.
Howard Crowhurst is a resident researcher of the Megalitics stones of Carnac. His research shows that there are many alignments to be found of the Moon and the Sun at certain periods of time through out the year. His research applies the principles of Alexander Thom, a researcher that came before him.

There are what Alexander Thom considered to be the remains of stone circles at either end. According to Crowhurst there is a "cromlech containing 71 stone blocks" at the western end and a very ruined cromlech at the eastern end. The largest stones, around 4 metres (13 feet) high, are at the wider, western end; the stones then become as small as 0.6 metres (2 feet 0 inches) high along the length of the alignment before growing in height again toward the extreme eastern end.

At the Carnac field we can identify many different ”stones lines” making alignments, such as the Kermario alignment, the Kerlescan alignments and the Petit-Ménec alignments. Everyone of these stone alignments are different from the next in it's own respect. Here are the alignments in details.


Illustration 17: Drawing of the Kermario stone alignment. Based upon a photo by Yvon M.

Kermario alignment
This layout recurs a little further along to the east in the Kermario (House of the Dead) alignment. It consists of 1029 stones[9] in ten columns, about 1,300 m (4,300 ft) in length. A stone circle to the east end, where the stones are shorter, was revealed by aerial photography.

Illustration 18: Scale model of Kerlescan. Von Marek.69 talk - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5230347


















Kerlescan alignments
A smaller group of 555 stones, further to the east of the other two sites. It is composed of 13 lines with a total length of about 800 metres (2,600 ft), ranging in height from 80 cm (2 ft 7 in) to 4 m (13 ft). At the extreme west, where the stones are tallest, there is a stone circle which has 39 stones. There may also be another stone circle to the north.

Illustration 19: Megaliths in boisée. Petit-Ménec - Unmentioned author, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31542412

Petit-Ménec alignments
A much smaller group, further east again of Kerlescan, falling within the commune of La Trinité-sur-Mer. These are now set in woods, and most are covered with moss and ivy.


Illustration 20: Tumuli of St-Michael (Tumulus de Saint-Michel). By Zacharie Le Rouzic - Own work, Moreau.henri, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34098806

Tumuli
Tumuli's are generally mounds of earth built up over a grave. Usually these graves are from the neolithic period (from 10000 to 2000 BC ). They generally feature a passage leading to a central chamber which once held neolithic artifacts.
The Tumuli of Saint-Michel is the largest grave mound in continental Europe. Later in time, they have build a church on top of the tumuli to cover the old burial mound and emphasize the new worship institution.

Illustration 21: The Dolmen of Er-Roc'h-Feutet (Roch-Feutet).Near the Chapelle de La Madelaine has a completely covered roof.La Madelaine 47.6208°N 3.0482°WA large dolmen measuring 12 by 5 m (39 by 16 ft), with a 5 m (16 ft) long broken capstone.

Dolmens
There are several dolmens scattered around the area. These dolmens are generally considered to have been tombs; however, the acidic soil of Brittany has eroded away the bones. They were constructed with several large stones supporting a capstone, then buried under a mound of earth. In many cases, the mound is no longer present, sometimes due to archaeological excavation, and only the large stones remain, in various states of ruin.


The Megalithic Stones at Carnac strongly indicate clues of astronomical alignments, which brought forward the knowledge of astronomy in that period of time. With the evidence in hand, i must conclude that the Prehistoric Stone fields of Carnac were indeed astronomically linked.

So what is the age of Astronomy, you ask? At least since 3300BC. That means the knowledge of astronomy is at least 5316 years old.
The search for the age of Astronomy is still out there. Read the next article of our series on The age of Astronomy”and see how far back we can push it's age in time. Stay tuned, and continue reading Ancient Astronomy Series. THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY.

Next Article: THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 7/7:  

Please take time to read the links and PDF files on this subject.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Michel_tumulus


Pubic outreach program  by Astronomy club Toutatis, Kustavi, Finland

17 August 2016

THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 5/7: Astronomical References: The Scarab and the Dung Beetle 1813BC



Ancient Astronomy Series. THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 5/7: Astronomical References: The Scarab and the Dung Beetle. 1813BC.

What is the age of Astronomy? How old is it? Can we find some tangible evidence of it's age?
Many clues can be found in almost all civilizations on Earth before us.
In this mini series of articles we will establish the chronology of astronomy with astronomical relics, instruments, artifacts, alignments, maps, references and places in ancient periods pinpointing exactly in time, the age of Astronomy.

Ancient Astronomy Series: List of the articles
    1/7 Instruments: NASA's STEREO mission. Predicting the Sun's activities. 2006AD
    2/7 : Relics: Abù Bakr Ibn Yùsuf's medieval Moroccan astrolabes. 1216AD
    3/7: Places: El caracol, Mayan Observatory. 906AD
    4/7: Artifacts: Nebra sky disk of North Germany. 1600BC
    5/7: Astronomical References: The scarab and the Dung beetle. 1813BC
    6/7: Alignments: Megaliths of Carnac, France. 3300BC
    7/7: Maps: Prehistoric Starmap. 10500BC

Illustration 13: The beetle ring of Sithathoryunet in homage to the God Khepri. Middle Kingdom, ancient Egypt.






















1813BC. The scarab and the Dung beetle.
Location: Egypt.

An Ancient Egyptian Artifact representing a God describing an astronomical objects is what we investigate in this article. The ring of Sithathoryunet, the beetle amulet. Sithathoryunet was a member of the royalty in the middle kingdom period and her ring was a powerful amulet in the form of a beetle. The relation with the nature world and the heavens are well represented in this ring. Does this ring represent something astronomical as well? And if it does, we can push the age of Astronomy back into an much earlier past than the previous evidence suggested in a past article of the Age of astronomy Series.


The Dung Beetle
Dung beetles are beetles that feed partly or exclusively on dung.
All the species belong to the super family Scarabaeoidea; most of them to the subfamilies Scarabaeinae (scarab beetles). As most species of Scarabaeinae feed exclusively on feces, that subfamily is often dubbed true dung beetles. Beetles or scarabs are often found in funeral coffins as well as mentions in Egyptian coffin texts.
























Scarab in ancient Egypt
Several species of the dung beetle, most notably the species Scarabaeus sacer (the sacred scarab), enjoyed a sacred status among the ancient Egyptians. As this scarab was linked to Khepri ("He who has come into being"), the god of the rising sun. The ancients believed that the dung beetle was only male in gender, and reproduced by depositing semen into a dung ball. The supposed self-creation of the beetle resembles that of Khepri, who creates himself out of nothing. Moreover, the dung ball rolled by a dung beetle represented the rising sun.


The God Khepri and the rising Sun.
The Scarab ring had a direct link to the God Khepri. The shape of the beetle on the ring represented the God and when ancient people wore this ring, they believe to have the God with them. The God Khepri known also as "He who has come into being" is link to the rising Sun. As the Sun rises it becomes into being and therefore is represented by Khepri. The beetle signified the God Khepri and the God Khepri signified the rising Sun that was represented by the beetle pushing its dung ball. A very cyclical outlook at life. From here below to there above (and back).
























Illustration 14: The God Khepri's name in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The ancient Egyptians believed that Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it, again, the next day. Some New Kingdom royal tombs exhibit a threefold image of the sun god, with the beetle as symbol of the morning sun. The astronomical ceiling in the tomb of Ramses VI portrays the nightly "death" and "rebirth" of the sun as being swallowed by Nut, goddess of the sky, and re-emerging from her womb as Khepri.

Plutarch wrote:
"The race of beetles has no female, but all the males eject their sperm into a round pellet of material which they roll up by pushing it from the opposite side, just as the sun seems to turn the heavens in the direction opposite to its own course, which is from West to East."

The Sun being an astronomical object hence connect astronomy with this period of time of at least 1813BC. The Quote by Plutarch and the artifact found in Egypt, the Ring of Sithathoryunet gives a tangible evidence of knowledge of Astronomy at that period.

So what is the age of Astronomy, you ask? At least since 1813BC. That means the knowledge of astronomy is at least 3828 years old.
The search for the age of Astronomy is still out there. Read the next article of our series on The age of Astronomy”and see how far back we can push it's age in time. Stay tuned, and continue reading Ancient Astronomy Series. THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY.

Next Article: THE AGE OF ASTRONOMY. 6/7:  

Please take time to read the links and PDF files on this subject.
Links:
https://www.metmuseum.org/pubs/journals/1/pdf/40034600.pdf.bannered.pdf
http://www.wikiwand.com/fi/Khepri


Pubic outreach program  by Astronomy club Toutatis, Kustavi, Finland