Friday, January 06, 2017

What's Another Year -- Another 1/230,000,000th of Our Galactic Orbit -- Caleb A. Scharf in Life, Unbounded at the Scientific American Blog Network

Happy New Year 2017 !

To keep things on our planet in perspective for the New Year 2017, a terrestrial "Earth" year can be compared to a "Galactic" year -- as Caleb A. Scharf has done in his Life, Unbounded posting at the Scientific American Blog Network in

Another 1/230,000,000th of a Galactic Orbit.

Scharf suggests there:

"As the solar year ends, let's try to stop being so parochial".

Our comment is, "hear, hear !!"

As written at the Wikipedia for the entry "Galactic Year":
"The galactic year, also known as a cosmic year, is the duration of time required for the Solar System to orbit once around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Estimates of the length of one orbit range from 225 to 250 million terrestrial years. The Solar System is traveling at an average speed of 828,000 km/h (230 km/s) or 514,000 mph (143 mi/s) within its trajectory around the galactic center, a speed at which an object could circumnavigate the Earth's equator in 2 minutes and 54 seconds; that speed corresponds to approximately one 1300th of the speed of light."
We are, galactically seen, part of a much larger "picture", so to speak.

The word "scharf" in German means "sharp" and a sharp intelligence indeed is at work in writing perspicaciously about the present New Year as

Another 1/230,000,000th of a Galactic Orbit.

Take a look there for some outstanding insights about life on our planet.

In the meantime, Scharf might consider applying his own wisdom further, perhaps depart from the blindered parochial focus that marks the mainstream, and look at our "galactic" (if archaeological-anthropological-historical) decipherments of Stonehenge and Avebury in our previous postings -- from a broad historical-astronomical point of view, of course....

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Gold Torc of Cambridgeshire as Possibly Being a Land Survey viz. Sky Measurement Ell of Ancient Britain

Via Archaeo-News at we have been alerted to a developing story of a fairly recent potentially significant find made in a plowed field in Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom.

See two reports at:
We refer to those two particular reports because each has a slightly different photograph of the torc, which was useful to us for counting "torc twists".

We reluctantly note as too often typical for mainstream Archaeology that the reports appear to focus predominantly on the 732 grams of almost pure gold that was made to use the torc ...
rather than on analytically important torc ESSENTIALS such as the LENGTH of the torc -- a measurement length nowhere to be found in sources thus far published, as far as we can tell.

Accordingly, we had to estimate its length ourselves by using the photographed gloved hands holding the gold torc as a guide, presuming a woman's hand/glove-length of about 6 modern inches and apparently about 7 such hand lengths in the round of the torc for a potential total of somewhere around 42 modern inches as the length of the twisted part of the torc.

The Guardian quotes Neil Wilkin, Bronze Age Europe Curator at the British Museum, as saying that "If you take callipers, and measure the gaps between the twists, they are absolutely spot on accurate."

WELL, then, why not then take those callipers folks, and count just how many such "spot on accurate" twists there are and what their total length might be. The gold torc in its bent shape may reflect its being carried at the "middle girth" of it's wearer, whoever he or she was. That kind of "spot on accuracy" in its twists would seem unusual for something intended only as a fertility belt

The Daily Mail writes that:

"The torc is thought to have been worn as a belt over clothing, as part of animal sacrifice or even by pregnant women in fertility ceremonies."

The fertility explanation caught our eye because we subsequently did go to the trouble to count the number of "twists" in the photographs available at the above sources -- a count nowhere found in any of the sources.

By our count there appear to be 270 twists.... Why such accurate twists?

That number of 270 could indeed have been intended as the simplified "round number" matching the human pregnancy period as calculated from ovulation to birth, which in modern times has been found to average ca. 268 days, i.e. the 270 days could have marked the human birth period (modernly often set at 280 days as measured, however, from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period, which does not necessarily coincide with the point of impregnation.)

The 270 twists -- assuming a six-inch gloved hand as noted above -- could perhaps make for a Cambridgeshire Gold Torc length of about 45 modern inches or about 55 megalithic inches.

The standard "ell" in England was 45 inches.

If the delayed mainstream measurements of the actual torc length actually mesh in any way with our cogitations -- regardless of any other calculational or "fertility" uses the gold torc may have had -- it seems a bit short for a "jump rope" -- then this torc may have been so created in gold to represent a "standard" ell in Ancient Britain, or, should the length of the gold torc be even longer than we have estimated, perhaps even something like the "King's ellwand" or an ancient British ell-version of a longer "royal cubit".

The standard "ell" in England was 45 inches. 

Under ELL in the Wikipedia we can read that:

"In England, the ell was usually 45 in (1.143 m), or a yard and a quarter. It was mainly used in the tailoring business but is now obsolete. Although the exact length was never defined in English law, standards were kept; the brass ell examined at the Exchequer by Graham in the 1740s had been in use "since the time of Queen Elizabeth".

The Viking ell was the measure from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, about 18 inches. The Viking ell or primitive ell was used in Iceland up to the 13th century. By the 13th century, a law set the "stika" as equal to 2 ells which was the English ell of the time. An ell-wand or ellwand was a rod of length one ell used for official measurement. Edward I of England required that every town have one. In Scotland, the Belt of Orion was called "the King's Ellwand"."

It is therefore also possible that standard land survey measurement ells viz. "ellwands" in Ancient Britain, Scotland and Ireland had their astronomical comparables in terms of sky measurement "sticks" or "torcs".

We had hoped, for example, to find comprehensive mainstream archaeological measurements online of the width and height of the Avebury stones in order to see whether their dimensions correspond to some standard length of measure for measuring the distances between stars, but we have found nothing.

Looks like we will have to take another trip to the UK and see what we can do.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Avebury Stone #16 Henge Inward Marks Stars Above Virgo with Boötes as a Horned Ox

Avebury Stone #16 Henge Inward Marks Stars Above Virgo with Boötes as a Horned Ox Facing Left

Want to try your hand at deciphering? This stone gives you a nice opportunity.

Not only did the ancients provide us with stones carved with figures, but they also interspersed veritable sky maps for us, carved on stone. The ancients created such maps not only by carving figures imagined "in the sky" onto the stone, but also by carving holes or "cupped" indentations in the stones, called cupules or cupmarks. Each hole or indentation represents a particular star. The relative sizes of the holes or indentations often mark the relative brightness (magnitude) of the stars being portrayed, but because of differing erosive and other forces, size can be a variable and is not always reliable.

Mainstream scholars "think" that such indentations or holes such as on the henge inward face of Avebury Stone #16 are "naturally caused" and are not man-made.

"Think" is not the right word for what the scholars up to now have done.

They presume that the holes are natural, but never check their own unproven presumptions. Merriam-Webster defines the word "presumption" inter alia as
"a belief that something is true even though it has not been proved".

As we show here, such markings on megaliths are often man-made, though of course one would expect that natural markings on stone were also used or integrated into carvings if they fit the astronomical picture being represented.

The henge inward face of Avebury Stone #16 is a good example of holes viz. indentations that were intentionally made by the ancients to represent stars.

Avebury Stone #16 Henge Inward Face - Photograph by Andis Kaulins

Avebury Stone #16 Henge Inward Face - Photograph Tracing
(we do our tracing using Paint Shop Pro 7 at magnifications up to 8x the normal image resolution, which reveals many more features than those seen easily by naked-eye observation -- feature selection is subjective)

Avebury Stone #16 Henge Inward Face Selection of Stars Above Virgo
A Star Field for Would-Be Decipherers

We know from previous decipherments of stones at Avebury that the henge inward face of a stone marks stars above those marked on the henge outward face. Since we have deciphered the henge outward face of Avebury Stone #16 to mark stars of Virgo, we know that the above inward face must mark stars above Virgo, but it is always an adventure to discover which stars those are.

Accordingly, we provide below an appropriate "star field" of stars above Virgo clipped via the astronomy software Starry Nigh Pro 3.1 (

-- click the sky map graphic below to obtain a larger image --

This is your chance, would-be decipherers! You can test your own analytical and observational skills by trying to discover which stars from the above star field are marked on the henge inward face of Avebury Stone #16.

We have marked the most prominent circle of stars to give you a fair start, because that is our method of proceeding, by identifying one or two main features that appear to be certain and going from there, but be careful here, because our previous finding -- that most Avebury stone markings match the sky closely in terms of the true relative distances of stars -- does not work here, and that is the second decipherment hint. Form yes, distances no.

We provide our own "decipherment" of the henge inward face of Avebury Stone #16 further below, but if you do not look beyond the star field image above, you can try your own decipherment out before looking at our below solution. You might even try retracing the most prominent lines on the stone, fewer than we have, and your results may be even better. Try it out.

Avebury Stone #16 Henge Inward Face Decipherment As Shown by Identification of the Corresponding Stars

Looking left is a head at Boötes that is the horned head of an ox, which is the classical animal identity (ox, horn) assigned to Boötes in antiquity. See Richard Hinckly Allen, Star Names, Boötes, starting in that book at page 92.

The stars of Ursa Major, Canes Venatici, and Coma Berenices are otherwise all carved as birds, with Coma Berenices as a bird head extending clear across the stone, looking right.

One can also see that the ancients carved the entire stone as a human head, grimacing, that is looking left at Boötes with a kind of tassled hair bun to the right at Ursa Major. We already saw that grimace on the left side of the stone.

What made this particular decipherment difficult was the fact that the stone carvings do not keep the proportions of the sky but compress them narrower in breadth. We hope that remains an exception for other Avebury stones.

-- click on the graphic below to obtain a larger image --

If you had the courage to try to decipher this henge inward face of Avebury Stone #16 on your own, how did you do? Not as easy as you thought, was it?

We hope through this exercise to show how difficult it can be to reconstruct the manner in which the ancients carved these stones.

Moreover, you, the reader, already have a great advantage over normal decipherment work.

We have shown you which region of the sky of stars is involved and have given you a sure starting point in those stars.

Without such helpers, which is the normal situation, deciphering the henge inward face of Avebury Stone #16 would be extremely difficult and, indeed, it took us a long time to figure it out.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
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    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
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    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
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    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
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    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
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