Friday, March 18, 2005

Astronomical Axe of Lamao Village, Qinghai, China

We have previously identified astronomical figures on axes, as at the Brimble Pit Swallet in Somerset, England, or axe figures as stars, e.g. Gro├čenrode in Germany. Stonehenge sarsens also have axe figures on them.

As now reported on March 12, 2005, at the Xinhua news website, Chinese archaeologists have found and correctly identified an axehead from Lamao Village, Qinghai, China, as being astronomical and have dated it to ca. 3000 BC.

According to the news report:

"Liu Baoshan, head of the Qinghai Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, said seven holes on the stone knife clearly form the Big Dipper and another three holes form [stars at] Altair."

Congratulations, men of China, on the identification of Ursa Major.

However, we think that the identification of Altair in Aquila is wrong. Our corrected decipherment of the axe is found below, adding some newly identified astronomical features of the axe:

We have made the above appropriate corrections based upon our long experience with these matters.

We have newly identified Ursa Minor for the cupmarks in the center, between the Ecliptic and Celestial Poles (the holes in the axe), as the ancients regarded the three bright stars of Ursa Minor (Kochab, Pherkad and Polaris) as well as the star HIP47193 (to the left of Polaris) to be important. Polaris is marked as the alpha-star in Ursa Minor above.

To the right of Ursa Minor we find Cygnus, where only the front four stars are used, together with Lyra and the star Vega. This corresponds to ancient Chinese practice, for as noted by Richard Hinckley Allen in Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (Dover, New York, 1963), Tien Tsin was the name of a heavenly city, a name "generally ... given to the group of four stars alpha, beta [epsilon ?], gamma and delta". We might add that these cupmarks could just represent the stars of Cygnus alone, but for that they would have to be turned quite a bit and the angles look not quite right then.

The two large holes in the axe mark from left to right the North Ecliptic Pole (immovable center of heaven) and the North Celestial Pole (Pole Star position, movable by precession, which rotates around the Ecliptic Pole).

The double headed-axe is similar to the Roman double-faced Janus or the Minoan double axe, both marking the solstice.

By the position of the holes with respect to Ursa Major the axe can be dated to ca. 3000 BC.

Hat Tip to Stone Pages

and to
Coast to Coast with Goerge Noory

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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".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
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    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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