Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Long Key White Sand Mound and Earthworks Boca Ciega Bay Gulf Coast Florida near St. Petersburg Mark Stars of Cetus and Eridanus

The Long Key Mound and Earthworks west of St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay on the Florida central west coast, just to the northwest of Terra Ceia, are diagrammed in a reconstruction image at page 218 in William N. Morgan, Precolumbian Architecture in Eastern North America, Ripley P. Bullen Series, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FL, 1999,

For the original reconstruction image Morgan references Clarence B. Moore, "Certain Aboriginal Mounds of the Florida Central West-Coast" in the year 1903, a reprint from the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Volume 12, pt. 3. [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, P.C. Stockhausen, 1903].

We have redrawn and enlarged the image below, although original sources should be consulted for corroboration. Morgan describes the Long Key mound as an "oval knoll" of white sand. As Morgan writes further at p. 218:
"Midway to the summit, the mound appeared to be surrounded by a circumambulation that was connected, on the north, to a raised flat-topped embankment or causeway extending toward the northeast. To the south a second embankment flanked the mound to form an access at grade level.... [link added]

The purpose of the earthworks is obscure."

Although one can surmise the general location of the stars represented by the above earthworks from the previous decipherment of the nearby stars of Terra Ceia, their exact identification is by no means overwhelmingly proven here, nor is it perfectly clear exactly what the ancients meant to portray at Long Key.

About Long Key it has been written: "The mound is described by Mr. S. T. Walker (op. tit., pg. 403, et. seq.) who also gives a plan of it, and ascribes to it the form of a turtle." Clarence B. Moore, Certain aboriginal mounds of the Florida Central West-Coast, reprint from The Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Volume XII, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, P.C. Stockhausen, 1903.

Indeed, the mound is referred to as "Turtle Mound" in a catalogue of prehistoric works at the Smithsonian.  Catalogue of Prehistoric Works East of the Rocky Mountains, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology: J.W. Powell, Director, Washington D.C., Government Printing Office, 1891.

We have problems with the turtle interpretation of the earthworks because the earthwork legs are simply much too long for a turtle. Hence, we think the Long Key Earthworks could rather have represented an octopus (an anthropomorphic image sometimes assigned to Eridanus), as shown in our decipherment image, based, as always, on star positions via Starry Night Pro, to which we add thick colored lines and labels by way of explanation:

The oval that we have selected above includes the star HIP13717 and surrounding stars. It is a pretty good fit, but most of the stars in that oval are pretty faint, and one could argue that an oval of stars further to the left is more prominent in the stars of Eridanus as Eta and Rho Eridani, which are brighter.

The reasons that we think that the "oval" that we have selected is correct are:
  • the center of that oval is directly on the Galactic Meridian, and we know from previous decipherments that the ancients knew the location of that Galactic Meridian, and used it as a focus of orientation for drawing their anthropomorphic figures in the stars, if possible
  • the oval above is really nearly perfect in its "oval shape"
  • the oval has the right angle of orientation to the northeast
  • the oval has the same "nose" to the left as the Long Key earthworks
  • the arms that extend from this particular oval seem to match the mound and earthworks at Long Key
We might note, however, that there is another interpretation possible for what is being represented by the Long Key Earthworks, especially given the white sand used for the mound.

If the Long Key earthworks are related by subject matter to the nearby Terra Ceia site, just to the southeast, and if our decipherment is correct of Terra Ceia as representing stars shaped as a bakers peel, dough, mortar and pestle, then it could be that Long Key simply represents an egg (for baking), it then being located near to the bakers peel.

Perhaps that is not likely, but possible, and so we wanted to mention it, in case more information were to surface in the future about the Long Key site, which might make a more reliable identification possible than is currently the case.

Otherwise, this will simply remain a "fun site" whose ancient oval design and white sand mound one could -- in jest of course -- regard as an ancient "egg" premonition of the works of Salvador Dali, whose Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg now neighbors Long Key, with the earthwork extensions of the Long Key mound as premonitions of the famed Salvador Dali moustache.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 70 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Long Key White Sand Mound and Earthworks Boca Ciega Bay Gulf Coast Florida near St. Petersburg Mark Stars of Cetus and Eridanus

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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,
    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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