Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Great Serpent Mound in Ohio Marks the Stars of Draco and Nearby Mounds and Earthworks Help to Calculate Precession

Only through the knowledge we have gained from the previous nine postings about the "center" of the astronomy-oriented ancient land navigation system in Native America can we now return to one of our original posted questions and examine the significance of the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, the largest such effigy mound in the world.

Did the ancients have something of great importance in mind to have made such an extensive earthwork?

Recall that our basic inquiry began when Steve Burdic asked us late in 2014 by email whether the petroglyphic Judaculla Rock in North Carolina (near Cherokee, Cullowhee and Sylva) could be ancient astronomy in some form. After examining many nearby petroglyphic sites and establishing them to be astronomy, we noticed that Judaculla Rock, and even closer, the important Cowee Mound, was nearly directly south of the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio. Was that significant? That question led to a far more complicated investigation than initially imagined, with unexpected results.

As we prove in the images and discussion below, the Great Serpent Mound marked stars of Draco, and its nearby mounds and earthworks were used to calculate precession. See the graphic image below of what the mounds and earthworks mean in an astronomical context.

The astronomers here apparently saw Draco approximately as follows:

However, the key earthworks at the Serpent Mound are the smaller mounds and earthworks that identify various stars and groups of stars in the heavens and mark the North Celestial Pole ca. 800 A.D. (could also be ca. 1000 A.D. to fit current mainstream estimates of the age of the Serpent Mound).

The stars near the North Celestial Pole in the era ca. 1000 A.D. are of minor importance -- except as they mark the North Celestial Pole in that era.

The stars above Thuban are similarly of minor importance, except that they mark the triangulation line to be taken to the North Ecliptic Pole, and then, bonanza (!), when one connects Thuban, the North Ecliptic Pole, the North Celestial Pole, and then draws a middle line through Kochab from the North Ecliptic Pole, then one has a superb triangulation of precession.

The Great Serpent Mound in our opinion thus marks the successful calculation of precession in Native America by the astronomers of that era, whoever they were, and it has been done in a magnificent triangulation. See the graphic image below. It was surely a momentous achievement and arguably immortalized in the Great Serpent Mound as a great advance in knowledge.

Click on the image above for the original, larger size.

There is 1 degree of precession every 72 years,
25 degrees every 1800 years (25 x 72),
50 degrees every 3600 years (50 x 72) and
100 degrees every 7200 years (100 x 72).
A full cycle of precession of 360 degrees is 25920 years.
25920 divided by 3600 = 7.2.

The Great Serpent Mound was used to calculate a passage of 50 degrees or precession in principle, which is a period of 3600 years, or perhaps at this location they calculated only 25 degrees, which is a period of 1800 years.

Very important here to note is that in recent years radiocarbon dating has shown that the Great Serpent Mound is surely to be dated much younger than previously thought by the archaeologists, i.e. to ca. 1000 A.D. rather than to 800 B.C., a difference of ca, 1800 years, which, if we are looking for astronomical connections, makes a big difference for analysis. It is not, however, to be excluded, that the Serpent Mound was constructed at a location also previously important, which may have been used for calculations too.

In any case, the younger dating of the Serpent Mound caused us to reassess our previous evaluation made in Stars Stones and Scholars, by which we had assigned Ursa Major to the Serpent Mound.

With the changed date, this means that the mounds and earthworks that we discussed in our earlier postings were constructed much earlier than the Serpent Mound. Given this new knowledge, the Serpent Mound marks stars of Draco ca. 1000 A.D. We think the correct date could be around 800 A.D.

The image of a serpent chasing a ball-type cosmic egg surfaces at several megalithic locations in the Old World, but we had trouble assigning that figure to one of the Poles in the megalithic era. A cosmic egg of sorts can be imagined in those stars at the head of the Draco. But to what purpose? The North Ecliptic Pole is not located there -- rather the serpent encircles that ecliptic pole.

We thus examined the position of the North Celestial Pole to see if it had been located close to the "egg/serpent head" position sometime in the past eras. Indeed, that is the case. But it had that position in ca. 11750 B.C. That is a long time ago. A serpent attempting to "swallow" the North Celestial Pole would have made sense as a figure THEN, with the Pole slowly moving away out of its grasp. But would the ancients have maintained that image over thousands of years if we otherwise do not find it in the record of ancient peoples on petroglyphs etc.? It makes no sense in other, later eras.

There is yet another, rather unexpected explanation for the heavenly serpent having a ball-type of figure or a cosmic egg of some kind that it is chasing. It is the path of the Sun through the Milky Way, i.e. our galaxy. The position of the North Celestial Pole ca. 11750 BC near the large star Vega in Lyra is also near the so-called "Solar Apex" or "Apex of the Sun's Way", whose anti-pole ("Antapex") is near Sirius on the other side of the heavens. Our solar system is moving toward Vega and away from Sirius. writes at
"Our sun’s direction of motion (and thus our Earth’s corresponding motion) toward Vega has a special name. It’s called the apex of the sun’s way. Vega – the solar apex star – can be found in the eastern sky during the dawn and predawn hours throughout the winter season.

Bottom line: Our sun moves toward the star Vega as it revolves around the center of the Milky Way galaxy. One circuit takes about 230 million years, or one “cosmic year.”"
We have made a small illustration of the Solar Apex location, which coincides well with the location of the North Celestial Pole in the era of ca. 11750 B.C.

Is either above alternative explanation viable? Could ancient astronomers have known either of those two reasons for the "cosmic egg" being chased by the serpent? Even in modern times, acceptance of the idea that the solar system was moving in the direction of Hercules viz. Vega in Lyra was disputed. Indeed, the modern method used to measure Solar Apex and Solar Antapex seems beyond the capabilities of ancient astronomers, but if moderns found it, why not ancients, in principle, if it was observable over long periods of time -- and we are talking about thousands of years? But how could it have been done?

As written at FFYS4327 Galactic Dynamics, Module 7, March-April 2010, by Chris Flynn at Tuorla Obervatory, Finland:
"For any star the velocity relative to the Sun is a reflection of the Solar Motion i.e. the motion of the Sun in space. The solar motion depends in a simple systematic way on the type of star used. As a result, it is possible to define a local standard of rest (LSR) against which the velocity of all stars, including the Sun, can be referenced.... the average radial velocity of stars will be smallest in the direction in which the Sun is moving (called the Solar Apex), and largest in the opposite direction (the Solar antapex)."
Well, we are not going to resolve that issue here. It is something for professional astronomers. What is possible and what is not possible?

In any case, we know now that we have to take the age of mounds and petroglyphs and similar locations into account in our future analysis, because they may not all belong to the same system, but be parts of systems created in different eras. This will indeed be useful for the most ancient sites.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 10 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

At the Center of the Ancient Land Navigation System in Native America: The Great Serpent Mound in Ohio Marks the Stars of Draco and Nearby Mounds and Earthworks Help to Calculate Precession

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".
    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,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    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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