Friday, May 01, 2015

Big Mound City and the Now "Pastureland for Cows" Big Circle Mounds in Florida Marked Neighboring Groups of Stars in Cetus Separated by the Celestial Meridian in ca. 670 A.D.

Big Mound City (J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area) and the Big Circle Mounds, presumably of the Belle Glade Culture, are (were) two different and spectacular ancient sites of Florida that once again provide us with many mounds and a relatively easy general astronomical decipherment, according to which they mark(ed) neighboring groups of stars in what we today call Cetus.

Big Mound City is located in Palm Beach County, Florida, 10 miles east of Canal Point, off U.S. Route 98, east of Lake Okeechobee, Florida.

As noted via the J.W. Corbett history at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website, Big Mound City covers 143 acres and has at least 23 mounds.

According to Archaeology in Palm Beach County: a Sampler, Big Mound City is the second largest archaeological site in Florida.

Morgan, as cited further below, writes about Big Mound City:
"Due to its remoteness, Big Mound City has escaped major vandalism, cultivation and quarrying, and recently has been added to the National Register of Historic Places."
The Big Circle Mounds, on the other hand, have had a less desirable fate. The Big Circle mounds were once located ca. 15 miles south-southeast of the Clewiston, Florida, airport, i.e. south of Lake Okeechobee.

Indeed, only relatively recently, Ross Allen published his findings about The Big Circle Mounds in the Florida Anthropologist, Vol. I, May 1948, Nos. 1-2, pp. 17-21, Florida Anthropological Society, Inc., University of Florida,

Unfortunately, as William N. Morgan writes in his book, as cited below:
"Some time after Allen recorded Big Circle mounds, many of the earthworks were flattened and the canals were leveled to provide a pasture for cows."
The Big Circle Mounds show us why national heritage protection is so important, because otherwise, important sites can be destroyed forever for little sensible reason other than ephemeral and serendipity economic and/or agricultural considerations, that are by no means essential.

Due to their similar design, we initially thought that the two sites might merely be variants of one star group location, but closer inspection revealed that the two sites in fact clearly marked adjacent viz. neighboring star groups in Cetus.

What puzzled us most about these two sites were their unusual design and the question of why such large figures, as our decipherment below shows, marked two neighboring groups of stars in Cetus that are normally not particularly significant as a matter of astronomy.

Although we here make no archaeological speculations about the date of design or construction of the two sites -- given our decipherment below, we do note that the celestial meridian cuts right between the two sites -- as deciphered -- ca. 670 A.D.

That could have been the reason why the two adjacent regions of stars in Cetus were treated separately by earthworks as they are (were), although both appear to us -- presumably, in our view -- to represent Native American "Indian" profiles with head feathers, with Big Circle facing right and Big Mound City facing left. The ancients "stretched" the available stars quite a bit to give each profile a mouth. The Big Circle Mounds have a neck as well, but Big Mound City not, because there are simply no visible stars there for that purpose.

Our resized mound map location images are redrawn based on images at pages 221-223 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,

As always, we present star positions and other astronomical parameters via Starry Night Pro,

As can be seen from the decipherment image above, the Big Circle Mounds marked a large number of relatively faint stars whose brightest stars are 46 Ceti and 47 Ceti. Indeed, the deciphered figures are obtained by setting a star magnitude limit of 8.0, which is pretty high, but surely visible to the naked eye of trained hunters in ancient days.

Big Mound City, on the other hand, marks many more brighter stars than the Big Circle Mounds marked. These include Eta Ceti and the quadruple of four stars at Phi 1 Ceti, Phi 2 Ceti, Phi 3 Ceti and Phi 4 Ceti, which are the principle stars marked at Big Mound City.

The stars at both the Big Circle Mounds and Big Mound City were marked by physical earthwork "elongations" that were topped off with "feathery" half-circle heads. This was done because stars higher up, i.e. above the star(s) being marked, could have been seen to have that half-moon shape. That match is not perfect in all cases, but close enough to show how the construction designers of the sites obtained their "feather" design for their stellar elongations.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 71 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Big Mound City and the Now "Pastureland for Cows" Big Circle Mounds in Florida Marked Neighboring Groups of Stars in Cetus Separated by the Celestial Meridian in ca. 670 A.D.

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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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