Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Wolf Plains Mounds viz. Plains Mounds of Ohio as SE Stars of Draco Near the North Ecliptic Pole

The Wolf Plains Group of Mounds ("The Plains Mounds") of Ohio are located between mounds and earthworks we have previously deciphered as marking stars of Cygnus and stars of Cepheus.

Accordingly, the Wolf Plains Mounds -- if they belonged to that same system of geographic landmarking by astronomy, and in the same era -- must mark stars in between Cygnus and Cepheus, and that is indeed the case.

As demonstrated in the graphic image below, the Wolf Plains Mounds of Ohio marks southeast-located stars of Draco near the North Ecliptic Pole (click the graphic to see the image in optimal, originally large resolution and size):


The darker a black dot marking a star, the brighter the star. In order to show the full matching correspondence of mounds, earthworks and stars, our star magnitude setting includes minor stars that are not necessarily marked on the mounds. We could change the magnitude setting but might then lose a star or two in the image that we hold to be mound-marked. It is a threshold question.

Please note that in this and the previous posting we used a limiting star magnitude of 7.5 in comparing ostensibly visible stars to mounds on earth that represent them. We have sometimes used 8.0 and sometimes much less, if it is enough to show the matching correspondence of stars and earthworks.

Dave Snyder at the University of Michigan in University Lowbrow Astronomers Naked Eye Observer’s Guide writes:
"It is a common misconception that you need to have a telescope to do astronomy; this simply is not true. A wide variety of objects can be seen with the naked eye: from planets and stars, to nebulae and galaxies.... The limiting magnitude at suburban locations is typically 3.5, and the limiting magnitude at dark sites is typically 6.5. Experienced observers at very dark sites have reported limiting magnitudes as high as 8.5."
Several thousand years ago much less light interference existed on Earth for viewing the sky than today. The honed eyes of hunters were surely at optimal vision, so we think that using limiting magnitudes of 7.5 or even 8.0 for stars allegedly seen by the ancients is supportable, although with a limit of 8.0 there are often simply too many stars out there to view and it is difficult to show the star patterns represented by the mounds and earthworks in Native America because too many minor stars also are pictured in the image. The fewer stars and the lower the star magnitude (i.e. the brighter all the stars used) that we need to show a clear matching correspondence, the better it is.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 8 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 Wolf Plains Mounds viz. Plains Mounds of Ohio as Southeast Stars of Draco Near the North Ecliptic Pole



Friday, January 30, 2015

Criel Mound Dunbar South Charleston West Virginia Earthworks Mark Stars of Cepheus and Point to North Celestial Pole in ca. 300 BC

The Criel Mound in South Charleston is the second largest Native American mound in West Virginia. Together with its surrounding earthworks and previously existing mounds, many of which have been destroyed by industrialization, it provides splendid further proof that mounds and earthworks in Native America were landmarks for tracks viz. trails oriented by astronomy. We call all these mounds "the Criel Mounds" as a shortened form of notation.

As written at the West Virginia Cyclopedia under the entry Criel Mound:
"The Criel Mound was originally one of 50 mounds of the Adena culture that once extended from present-day Charleston to Institute, WV. All but three of these were destroyed during the industrialization of the Kanawha Valley, which occurred after the completion of the C&O Railway in 1872. One of the three remaining mounds was plowed-under in the 1960s to build a new high school. Like the Criel Mound, the nearby Sunset Mound and the Dunbar Mound at Shawnee Park in Dunbar, WV, also survive."
The Council for West Virginia Archaeology has a map online which shows the ca. "50 mounds" that were mapped in Dunbar and South Charleston by the Bureau of American Ethnology in the year 1884. We interpret that map below, showing that those 50 mounds and earthworks correspond to stars of Cepheus.

The logic of previous postings would place the large Criel Mound in Cepheus as a matter of its stellar (star) location. Indeed, analysis of all of these mounds shows without doubt that they marked selected stars of Cepheus, particularly the stars in that part of Cepheus that are in the "horn" of the Milky Way at this sky location. The horn is the light blue underlying color in the graphic image below. A special earthwork symbol points directly to the North Celestial Pole in ca. 300 B.C., thus confirming our previous analysis. Here is our decipherment.


Note particularly the superb confluence of the stars of the "platform mound" in the lower right hand corner with the actual bright stars there of Cepheus. We set the limit of magnitude at 7.5 to obtain the above stellar map.

Below is a graphic image showing the triangulation line to the North Celestial Pole, showing an angular separation of ca. 30° to the stars HIP110715, HIP110610 and HIP110588 and also a significant ca. 24° position angle. It is quite clear that the "hand mirror-shaped" mound symbol pictured there was intended to show the corresponding stars and point to the North Celestial Pole:


The ca. 300 B.C. date for this marking of the North Celestial Pole corresponds well with the current dating of the Criel Mound, which is placed at ca. 250 B.C.

The Wikipedia description of what was found in the Criel Mound would seem to suggest some kind of a geometric/astronomic significance when it writes that:
"The Criel Mound was excavated in 1883-84 under the auspices of the US Bureau of Ethnology and the supervision of Col. P.W. Norris. The excavation was performed by Professor Cyrus Thomas of the Smithsonian Institution. Inside the mound, Professor Thomas found thirteen skeletons: two near the top of the mound, and eleven at the base. The skeletons at the base consisted of a single very large but badly decayed skeleton at the center, a "once most powerful man" which according to A.R. Sines who assisted Col. Norris in the excavation, measured "Six feet, 8 3-4 inches" (205 cm) from head to heel with broad shoulders, massive teeth and a very thick low and flat skull encased in a large copper headband. This skeleton was surrounded by ten other skeletons arranged in a spoke-like pattern, with their feet pointing toward the central skeleton."
THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 7 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: Criel Mound Dunbar South Charleston West Virginia Earthworks Mark Stars of Cepheus and Point to North Celestial Pole in ca. 300 BC

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

At the Center of the Ancient Land Navigation System in Native America: The North Celestial Pole and Ursa Minor as Marked by the Mounds and Earthworks in Chillicothe, Ohio

The mounds and earthworks of Chillicothe, Ohio mark the stars of Ursa Minor and calculate the position of the North Celestial Pole in ca. 300 B.C. as shown in the graphic below (that date coincides with e.g. the Grave Creek Mound):


To understand the above graphic image, one must appreciate that there is an astronomically crucial difference between the North Celestial Pole and the North Ecliptic Pole. A good explanation and graphic image are found at the University of Michigan Astronomy Department in an article on "Precession". A very useful presentation with multiple images is found at the Wikipedia at Axial precession.

The North Ecliptic Pole is a fixed, unmoving point which serves as "the north pole" for the plane of the ecliptic, the plane of the path of the Earth around the Sun. The North Ecliptic Pole is the same today as in yesteryear.

The North Celestial Pole, on the other hand, which is currently at the star Polaris at the bottom of Ursa Minor, is a moving point which serves as "the north pole" for the plane of the "celestial equator". Wikipedia: "The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, in the same plane as the Earth's equator. In other words, it is a projection of the terrestrial equator out into space. As a result of the Earth's axial tilt, the celestial equator is inclined by 23.4° with respect to the ecliptic plane."

In ca. 300 B.C., the North Celestial Pole was at the faint stars that are "mounded" viz. marked by earthworks at Chillicothe.

Precession causes the North Celestial Pole to rotate in a circle around the North Ecliptic Pole -- maintaining a distance radius (angular separation) of ca. 24°, the angle of the axial tilt of the Earth viz. obliquity (currently ca. 23.4°)-- over a period of ca. 25,800 years. The ancients here appear to have known this.

25,800 years is a number that is easier to understand if we think of a great circle, so that 30 degrees of a 360 degree circle are "precessed" every 2150 years, or about 1 degree every 72 years. Ancient cultures thus could obtain knowledge of precession only if preceding generations had already observed stars over the course of many years and eras.

Precession causes the celestial equator to change its position in the course of that ca. 25,800-year cycle, which moves the position of the Solstices and Equinoxes with respect to the stars, and also changes the position of the North Celestial Pole in terms of the stars to which it is pointing. At Chillicothe, the makers of the mounds and earthworks were pinpointing this pole in their era.

These changes were of course a vexation for ancient skygazers, who did not know the causes, leading to the tale that ancient seafaring Norse (Vikings) -- who had to know their stars -- feared nothing except "the sky falling", which in a way it was and is, as the Celestial Equator shifts its positions.

In the following illustration, we show the change in the position of the North Celestial Pole over a full cycle of 25,800 years, and also mark 3000 and 300 B.C., since especially 300 B.C. is important for this posting. There was no other reason for the creators of the Chillicothe Earthworks and Mounds to feature otherwise faint and meaningless stars next to Ursa Minor, except that they marked the North Celestial Pole in their era:


We illustrate here also the change in the height of the celestial equator in the graphic image below on the example of Orion, from which one can understand the ancient fear of the Norse viz. Viking seafarers of the sky falling:


The lowest point of the celestial equator in the stars with respect to the ecliptic is always found at the Summer Solstice point. Currently, for example, that point is at the three "Belt Stars" of Orion (Orion's Belt). We have made an illustration to show how the celestial equator has changed over the eras, using Orion as the example:


The people who made the mounds and earthworks at Chillicothe were not just primitive "stargazers" but worthy of the title "real" astronomers, because they understood many of these technical if elementary things of astronomy at a time when much such knowledge was arguably unknown and definitely not widespread yet in Western Civilization.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 6 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 North Celestial Pole and Ursa Minor as Marked by the Mounds and Earthworks in Chillicothe, Ohio

At the Center of the Ancient Land Navigation System in Native America: Draco and The Hopewell Mounds of the Mound City Necropolis in Chillicothe, Ohio

This posting is a prelude to our more significant next posting.

The Hopewell Mounds of the Mound City Necropolis in Chillicothe presented here are located within the Chillicothe Earthworks and are of lesser importance than the Chillicothe Earthworks as a whole. We include this special section of the Earthworks since it too is decipherable, showing that funerary installations very likely also followed patterns seen in the stars, as in the image below, showing that the Mound City Necropolis in Chillicothe likely marked the stars of Draco in sort of a mini planisphere:


THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 5 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: Draco and The Hopewell Mounds of the Mound City Necropolis in Chillicothe, Ohio

At the Center of the Ancient Land Navigation System in Native America: The North Ecliptic Pole and Draco as Marked by the Newark Earthworks in Ohio

Our analysis indicates that Ohio was the center of the ancient land navigation system of Native America. The next several postings concentrate on various aspects and locations of that center, a center which was oriented by astronomy.

In this posting we thus go to the Newark Earthworks at Newark, Ohio, which -- in our discovery -- marked the location of the North Ecliptic Pole, something which we show explained in the graphic image below, based on a comparison of the stars of Draco with a map published by the Smithsonian Institution of the survey results of Ephraim Geroge Squier and Edwin H. Davis (1847) and Cyrus Thomas (1894). Squier and Davis wrote: "These works are so complicated, that it is impossible to give anything like a comprehensive description of them." As the image below suggests, these earthworks are in fact complicated, but they ARE explainable to a great degree as marking stars in the sky:


The Newark Earthworks in Ohio marked various stars of Draco in proximity to the North Celestial Pole (thus excluding the head of Draco, which is some distance away) and calculated the position of the fixed, unmoving North Ecliptic Pole, which is near to the "square" of stars set out in the earthworks to the right. This is the same location that the North Ecliptic Pole also has today.

To the left we find the body viz. tail of Draco and further the left is the so-called "octagon" of stars (the "Octagon Earthworks"), shown as an octagon-like shape in the earthworks. That octagon-like shape was interpreted in the year 1982 by  Professors Ray Hively and Robert Horn at Earlham College to be a lunar calculator. See Bradley T. Lepper, curator of archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society, Ancient Ohio cultures were devoted to sun and moon, The Columbus Dispatch; Joe Knapp,  Hopewell Lunar Astronomy; and, J.Q. Jacobs, Newark Archaeogeodesy: Assessing Evidence of Geospatial Intelligence in the Americas. We have not studied any lunar or solar alignments, and that is not our interest here. It is, however, entirely conceivable that a star map on Earth involving midheaven could be constructed to include other astronomical calculations.

Our overall analysis is strengthened by a different ground plan of the Newark Earthworks as made by David Wyrick in the year 1860. Wyrick, a surveyor by profession, marked additional features that were apparently excluded in the map above, and these features all fit seamlessly into the analysis of the previous map as representing the stars of Draco. The additional features are circled in dark red in the lower explanatory map below (i.e. the star map below the Newark earthworks):


The above map is reproduced at the J. Huston McCulloch website at http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arc/decalog.htm. The original map now in the public domain was published in the 1866 Newark County Atlas. McCulloch is the only one to publish this map online as a "clarified image", and for that we are extremely grateful.  McCulloch writes: "Clarified image copyrighted and reproduced by permission of Arthur W. McGraw... Photos of this site may be freely downloaded and copied, with photo credit to J. Huston McCulloch and a link to this site, except as noted." See Warren King Moorehead & Arthur W. McGraw, The Indian Tribes of Ohio: Historically Considered 1600-1840.

We note, by the way, that we are skeptical of the inscribed stones allegedly found at these earthworks, especially since Wyrick was later convinced that he had been the victim of a hoax. McCulloch has written about these stones and we have not researched the matter. It is not an issue in our study here.

Our next posting is about the Hopewell Mounds of the Mound City Necropolis in Chillicothe, Ohio.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 4 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 North Ecliptic Pole and Draco as Marked by the Newark Earthworks in Ohio


Monday, January 26, 2015

The Center of the Mound System of Native America: Great Serpent Mound, Newark, Chillicothe, Miamisburg

The Grave Creek Mound and appurtenant locations of Moundsville discussed in the previous posting, are, as we shall see, located within a larger astronomical system of land survey viz. geographic orientation in Native America.

As an example of the "trail" principle involved, going virtually straight North from the Great Serpent Mound, which we discuss subsequently, there is an old Indian trail which was later dubbed the "Mound Road". As written at DetroitYes.com by nain rouge:
"Hickory Corners [Warren] became a way station or carriage stop for anyone travelling north from Detroit. At the time [perhaps 1830s or '40s], the area was scarcely more than dense forest of virgin timber traversed by an old Indian trail. Running north and south (now part of Mound Road), this Indian trail was once call 'Prairie Mound' Road for the dirt hills which resembled Indian burial mounds. Over the years, parts of it have been known as the 'State' Road, the 'Plank' Road, and recently as Mound and Sherwood."
That example supports our conviction that many old Indian trails were located by mounds, petroglyphs and painted or carved rock art placed according to stargazing, i.e. ancient astronomy, with the known heavens providing a ready heavenly map for earthly travel. This system arguably covered Native America.

Coming next are various components of the CENTER of that system:
Our results are thought-provoking. Here is a "teaser" for coming postings (star magnitude set at a maximum of 8.0):


Let us add in advance our answers to the main objection that could be raised by possible critics: if it is all so simple, why has no one else seen this before?

1. First of all, the "simple" results were not so simple to achieve. You are talking about many months of 18-hour days putting the details together so that they work. A major advance came, for example, by accepting the archaeologists' date of ca. 300 - 200 B.C. for the Grave Creek Mound or even a bit later for Chillicothe (see The History Blog), whereas we had tried to work with much older dates (which may nevertheless apply to many petroglyphs, painted and/or carved rocks and cupmarked megaliths or stones with cupules. We shall see.)

2. Archaeologists have their heads earthwards. Nothing wrong with that. That is their profession. We are thankful for the digs that they make and the maps that they and others (e.g. surveyors, and amateurs) have drawn. However, archaeologists seem to show little interest in astronomy.

3. Astronomers have their heads skywards. Nothing wrong with that. That is their profession. We are thankful for precise observations of the stellar heavens they provide, especially the astronomy software Starry Night Pro which allows us to see the sky in previous eras at any geographic location. However, astronomers seem to show little interest in archaeology.

4. Archaeoastronomers, the few of them, appear to focus mostly on solar and lunar alignments and appear to have no time for the stars. Nothing wrong with that. Solar and lunar observations can be reduced to mathematics. Stars less so. We are thankful for some of the pioneer work that emanates from this field.

5. Many "esoterically oriented people" are out in the field with dowsing rods, health equipment, audio and magnetic measuring devices, with little interest in either astronomy or archaeology. Nothing wrong with that. They are following their interests -- which we do not share. Nevertheless, we have received some of our best materials from such "esoterics" out in the field, even if we differ greatly in our interpretations of what has been found and what it all means.

6. There is a rare group, usually generalists and multi-professionals, who urge that one has to look both down, up and indeed, also simply straight ahead at what lies ON the ground before us in terms of ancient earthworks and related technology left to us by the ancients. Only then can one truly understand mounds, petroglyphs, megaliths, and painted or carved rock art from prehistory.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 3 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

The Center of the Mound System of Native America: Great Serpent Mound, Newark, Chillicothe, Miamisburg



The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, West Virginia as a Landmark Oriented to Cygnus the Swan

This posting relates to the Grave Creek Mound and to the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, West Virginia, which is the largest and most famous conical mound in the USA. Below is a map of that complex together with our decipherment of it, which we explain further below: 


The major bright stars of Cygnus are shown via the superb astronomy software Starry Night Pro (http://astronomy. starrynight.com/) and their location is compared to the Moundsville Grave Creek Mound and appurtenant earthworks.

We find that the Grave Creek Mound marked the bright star Deneb in a group of stars we today call the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan. The entire complex of mounds and earthworks at Moundsville marked the brightest stars of Cygnus. Neighboring mounds, as shown later, marked nearby stars in the heavens.

Please note that the Swan in past eras was seen as a different flying bird by various cultures. Ancient Greeks knew it simply as a bird, while the Arabs saw it as a flying eagle or hen. Richard Hinckley Allen in Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning examines those and other alternatives. The bright stars of Cygnus so nearly represent a bird in flight that it is no wonder that most cultures have seen a large flying bird at this location, also apparently in Native America.

Two maps of the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex were consulted to make our own map illustration, which may or may not correctly include Lyra:
  • Henry Schoolcraft prepared a map in 1851 (Plate 39) of the Grave Creek area mounds and earthworks, shown as Figure 2 in the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (March 20, 1990 -- National Historic Landmark). Grave Creek Mound is labelled as the "Large Mound." The Register dates it to 300 to 200 B.C.
  • A modernized ground plan map, apparently based on Schoolcraft, as found at http://megalithomania-america.blogspot.com/. This map would seem to have four stars of Lyra included whereas Schoolcraft's may not. This is not crucial here as Lyra is represented by another mound location elsewhere.
These maps themselves provide the basis for what might be a coincidental stellar similarity. To be of probative value, the Moundsville earthworks would have to fit into a larger astronomical and land survey geographic system, hermetically oriented ("as above, so below"), and we will present that system.

Many people think such mounds in Native America were constructed as burial mounds, which may not be true. We shall show that many of these mounds were originally landmarks, trail markers and land survey points, oriented by stars in sky, perhaps having some related funerary or ceremonial use, originally or afterwards, but not such a use principally. Native America had geographic markers oriented by the "starry night", much as water navigation takes place via buoys and other "markers". Land travel too requires landmarks.

The State of West Virginia proclaims that The Past Still Matters Today and writes as follows about "the Woodland Period" to which the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is assigned:
"The period is also associated with the use of burial mounds and other earthworks.... The largest extant burial mounds in West Virginia can be found in Moundsville and South Charleston. The Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and the Criel Mound in South Charleston was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970."
The start of the "Woodland Period" was ca. 1000 B.C., but archaeologists date the Grave Creek Mound somewhat later to ca. 300 to 200 B.C., which will be an important date for the analysis which follows in subsequent postings.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 2 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, West Virginia as a Landmark Oriented to Cygnus the Swan

The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America Begins!

OK, are you ready?!

At Google Earth did you find the large "Native American" viz. "Indian" mound not far from Judaculla Rock and virtually directly South of the Great Serpent Mound of Ohio? We will turn to these mounds and others shortly.

We are about to begin a marvelous journey into a study and understanding of the mounds, petroglyphs and painted art of Native America, showing that Native Americans viz. American Indians (or their ancestors) did not place these by chance throughout the landscape, but rather according to a reconstructable astronomical system of geographic orientation, "as above, so below", as precedentially described for the Pawnee Indians of Nebraska, and cited at our Megaliths.net website on megalithic cultures, where we write:
"As observed by Alice Cunningham Fletcher (Alice C. Fletcher) in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist, there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska, geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens. FLETCHER, A. C. (1902), STAR CULT AMONG THE PAWNEE —A PRELIMINARY REPORT. American Anthropologist, 4: 730–736. doi: 10.1525/aa.1902.4.4.02a00050."
We honor in memory A.C. Fletcher. THANK YOU! She wrote that more than 100 years ago and no one, except for the present writer, has paid any attention.

You will now see in subsequent postings that this practice was not restricted to the Pawnee, but characterized the entire culture of Native America.

To make this fun for all, we will not reveal the entire solution at once, but will travel through the great land of North America (mostly the present USA, but also including Canada and Mexico), individual location by individual location, and show how many of the mounds, petroglpyhs and painted rocks of Native America "were located ... according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens".

Have your "Google Earth" or comparable geo-program at the ready!

Let us now head to West Virginia.
The Cygnian Swan of Moundsville is our first in presentation of many,
because the correspondence at Moundsville between the mounds, appurtenant earthworks and the stars is so simple and so obvious, even to a lay person ...

We are off to the mounds!

THIS POSTING is Posting Number 1 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Monday, January 19, 2015

Prehistoric Mankind's Primary Technologies Were Rooted in Astronomy and the Prevailing Economies Were Based on Land and Property

To understand the development of human civilization, it is important to recognize that mankind's first "scientific" technologies were arguably based on primitive "stargazing", i.e. what we modernly call "astronomy".

No less a thinker than Bertrand Russell wrote in Human Knowledge: Its Scope and  Limits (Simon and Schuster, Clarion Books, New York, 1948) that:
"Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences, and the contemplation of the heavens, with their periodic regularities, gave men their first conceptions of natural law."
Furthermore, in terms of both land survey and land or sea navigation, as written at the Wikipedia under Surveying:
"The primary way of determining one's position on the earth's surface when no known positions are nearby is by astronomic observations. Observations to the sun, moon and stars could all be made using navigational techniques. Once the instrument's position and bearing to a star is determined, the bearing can be transferred to a reference point on the earth and which can then be used as a base for further observations. Survey-accurate astronomic positions were difficult to observe and calculate and so tended to be a base off which many other measurements were made. Since the advent of the GPS system, astronomic observations are rare as GPS allows positions to be determined adequately over most of the surface of the earth."
Since human survival has at all times depended on either ownership or control of actual physical territory on our planet Earth, that same astronomy served as the simplest way to map out that territory, with maps made to mirror the ever-present and ready-made sky map of the heavens, "as above, so below". At our Megaliths.net website on megalithic cultures we write:
"As observed by Alice Cunningham Fletcher (Alice C. Fletcher) in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist, there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska, geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens. FLETCHER, A. C. (1902), STAR CULT AMONG THE PAWNEE —A PRELIMINARY REPORT. American Anthropologist, 4: 730–736. doi: 10.1525/aa.1902.4.4.02a00050."
To the importance of astronomy for ancient peoples we can add timekeeping, as written at Curious About Astronomy:
"In ancient times, the practical need for timekeeping and navigation was one of the primary reasons for the study of astronomy. The celestial origins of timekeeping and navigation are still evident. "
In spite of the above observations, anthropologists and archaeologists worldwide generally proceed in their academic work as if the ancients knew more or less nothing of astronomy and, furthermore, placed little or no importance upon it for land survey, navigation, timekeeping and chronology, whereas the probative evidence that we have increasingly found presents exactly the opposite picture. Astronomy DOMINATED the ancient world.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hiawatha as Atlas and Orion, the Iroquois Aron-Hiawagon with Hiawagon = Hiawatha, the "Holder of the Heavens"

If Hiawatha was the "Holder of the Heavens", as suggested in our previous posting, then "what" and "where" was he holding those heavens?

We think these were almost certainly the stars of Orion, with ORION = ARON and found in Iroquois language variants such as "Aron-Hiawagon" viz. "(Aron)-Hiawatha".** The Iroquois nations were Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora. Cherokee is also an Iroquoian language.

The image below shows
-- in thick colored lines that we have added to our clip as taken from the astronomy software Starry Night Pro (http://astronomy.starrynight.com/) --
just how Orion "holds up the heavens", whether we apply this "holding up" concept to the ecliptic, celestial equator, or both of those "celestial spheres".


Compare Lee Lawrie's colossal bronze Atlas at Rockefeller Center, New York.


The positions of the ecliptic and celestial equator in our illustration are from 3117 B.C., but we remain uncertain about the exact era that this system began to be used in Native America, and that is a question to be resolved at some future time. Our purpose here is just to show how the concept of "holder of the heavens" fits Orion well in terms of groupings of its major stars.

These stars need not have been grouped by the ancients exactly as we see them today in the Orion constellation, but the main groupings of the brightest stars are quite prominent, and were so surely also seen in prehistoric times by ancient stargazers, so that they were likely grouped similarly.

Greek mythology had its "holder of the heavens" as in the image above, Atlas, a name whose root is traced to Indo-European terms. We quote the Wikipedia:
"Traditionally historical linguists etymologize the Ancient Greek word Ἄτλας ...as comprised from copulative α- and the Proto-Indo-European root *telh₂- 'to uphold, support' (whence also τλῆναι) .... [we add here to that analysis the Indo-European "r"-form as in Latvian tur-, turēt "hold", which is useful further below*]
A common misconception today is that Atlas was forced to hold the Earth on his shoulders, but Classical art shows Atlas holding the celestial spheres, not a globe...."
Greek myth states that Atlas tried to trick Heracles (Hercules) into carrying the heavens ... in astronomy, the stars of Hercules are directly opposite Orion. Moreover, the Orion-near Pleiades stars were said to be the daughters of Atlas, so that a link of Atlas and Orion is not impossible, though one may simply be the human mythological manifestation of the heavenly other. The key thing is that Atlas holds up "the celestial spheres", the ecliptic and the celestial equator as it were, as Orion also does.

Traditionally, in Europe, Orion was seen as a mighty giant of a hunter, perhaps the same mighty giant of a hunter that according to Cherokee legend allegedly came down from the mountains to carve the Judaculla Rock, which we also think marked Orion in the era of the Judaculla Rock's petroglyphs.

The above general astronomical understanding now puts us into position to embark upon a marvelous journey via Google Earth to attempt a reconstruction of what appears to us to be an ancient survey of "Native America" via the stars of the heavens, "as above, so below". We are not alleging point blank that it was as we shall describe it, but it could have been. At the least, "land survey by astronomy" should be considered in formulating an explanation of many of the petroglyphs, painted rocks and mounds in Native America.
 
By the way, what intrigued us initially to conduct this analysis was that Judaculla Rock was nearly straight South, but not exactly South, of the famed Serpent Mound in Ohio. Was there a large mound anywhere near Judaculla Rock that was on a nearly exact perpendicular line to the Serpent Mound?

Check out Google Earth to see if you can find it.

__________

* P.S. Atlas (A-Tlas) in the r- variant as in Indo-European Latvian turiens ("hold") could speculatively be related in language origin to Iroquois variant names of Hiawatha such as Tearon-hiaonagon, Taon-hiawagi, or Tahi-awagi ... Tayon-watha ... Thanna-wege. However, this is not a main query of our writing.

** P.S.S. The similarly of "Aron" in the Iroquois to our modern word "Orion" and to the ancient phrase "Aron Haberit" gives grounds for thought in view of the still mysterious origin of Haplogroup X in Native America. This anthropological question is not the main focus of our current writing and we leave the issue for now to genetic research, but we do mention here the perhaps chance similarity.

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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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