Counting Perimeters

above: a slide from my lecture at Megalithomania in 2015

We know that some paleolithic marks counted in days the moon’s illuminations, which over two cycles equal 59 day-marks. This paved the way for the megalithic monuments that studied the stars by pointing to the sky on the horizon; at the sun and moon rising to the east and setting in the west. It was natural then to them to see the 12 lunar months (6 x 59 = 354 day-marks) within the seasonal year (about 1/3 of a month longer than 12) between successive high summers or high winters.

Lunar eclipses only occur between full moons and so they fitted perfectly the counting of the repetitions of the lunar eclipses as following a fixed pattern, around six months apart (actually 5.869 months, ideally 173.3 day-marks apart). The accuracy of successive eclipse seasons to the lunar month can then improve over longer counts so that, after 47 lunar months, one can expect an eclipse to have occurred about one and a half days earlier. This appears to be the reason for the distance between the megalithic monuments of Crucuno, its dolmen and and its rectangle, which enabled simultaneous counting of days as Iberian feet and months as 27 foot units, at the very end of the Stone Age.

Contrary to modern expectations, the stone age could have been working with months because they are more easily observed with the phases of the moon and then easily counted between what are a most intriguing phenomena: the eclipse of the fully illuminated moon. Thereafter, it would soon become clear to the earliest observers that there were two places in the sky of stars (viz. our Zodiac) where the moon appeared to be swallowed over an hour or two, often turning red in the process and very rarely blue. And these two places were reached after less than six months and hence were within the lunar year of twelve months. Th etime taken between these two places is now called the eclipse year. The eclipse period of 4 eclipse years is called the Octon (in Latin) from the eight eclipse seasons within it.

Another important number of months is 37, since in three solar years there are just over that number (37.1) lunar months. Divided by three, the solar year was probably rationalized as 37/3 months long or twelve and a third months in length (364.2 day-marks), versus the actual figure of 12.368 months. This would have been a solar year of 364 days which corresponds with the Saturnian year found in historical terms as a year of the Hebrews but also found in Greek Myth as delineated by Robert Graves.

One can therefore expect the megalithic to have emerged from a reasonably exact form of counting months, the lunar year, the eclipse periods and the solar year, approximated through three years as taking 37 months. Slippage with respect to the sun might have been corrected by the insertion of an extra day, as seen in the Saturnian “year and a day”. The intercalation days could have then been stretched to two, as required.

It will remarked in my new book that a {3 4} rectangle, when each unit equals 27 inches has a perimeter of 378 inches. This rectangle can be seen as two contraflow {3 4 5} triangles, with common diagonal equal to 5. This appears then to be a relic of Grave’s “saturnian” solar year from the stone age. The {3 4 5} triangle is often called the prime Pythagorean triangle, and to a stone age culture, whose numeracy demanded integer solutions to problems, such triangles were a boon.

The second Pythagorean triangle is {5 12 13}, found at Stonehenge 1 as the Station Stone Rectangle which is {5 12}, again two triangles contraflowing upon a common diameter of 13, and this allows for the counting of the two above numbers, 37 (the triple solar year) and 47 (the Octon eclipse period), both in lunar months. Firstly, 37 is the common diagonal of 13 lunar months plus the two 12 month lunar years. Secondly, this 37 plus the two 5 sides gives 47 lunar months.

37: At Gavrinis stone L9, the engravings of carrot shapes had become the symbol of a triangle, which is either the 37 months countable using the {5 12 13} Second Triangle or the Four-Squares Lunation triangle over three years {9 36 “37”} . Six carrots of 37 lunar months add up to 222 lunar months which, plus one more month, gives the 223 lunar months of the Saros eclipse period.

47: The use of 47 at Crucuno demonstrated, using megalithic metrology, a way of predicting an eclipse existed, following an earlier eclipse after nearly 47 lunar months.

These coincidences would have enabled the stone age to not worry so much about the solar year. In lunar months they had a good approximation to the solar year in 37/3 lunar months which is the 364 days reportedly used by their matriarchal social structures, whose kings rules for a year and a day. They also had a good estimate for 4 eclipse years in the Octon, in which 8 lunar eclipses might occur at eight equally-spaced time periods or eclipse “seasons” lasting a few days when eclipses of different appearance might appear

Out of this background of counting lunar months, the megalithic was able to broaden interest in the sky so as to quantify counted lengths of time using days per inch (a thumb’s width) or similar “digit”. By the strangest co-incidence, simple geometries such as the {5 12 13} and 9 36 37} triangles now enabled time periods, initially of sun and moon, to be quantified and reduced to ratios, from which the megalithic yard and then, reverting to counting months, the foot of 12 inches. As my books tell it, this astronomy established the megalithic, as the developer of human numeracy; in preparation of later religious thoughts of a world creation held by the ancient world that succeeded it.