above: counting 37 lunar months six times to reach 222, one month short of 223: the strong Saros eclipse period.

There is an interesting relationship between the multiple interpretations of a number as to its meaning, and the modern concept of namespace. In a namespace, one declares a space in which no two names will be identical and therefore each name is unique and this has to be so that, in computer namespaces such as web domain names, the routes to a domain can be variable but the destination needs to be a unique URL.

If sacred numbers had unique meanings then they would be like a namespace. Instead, being far more limited in variety, sacred numbers have more meanings, or interpretations, just as one might say that London has many linkages to other cities. In an ordinal number set, there are many relationships of a number to all the other numbers. This means whilst their are infinite numbers in the set of positive whole numbers, there are more than an infinity of relationships between the members of that set, such as shared number factors or squares, cubes, etc. of a number.

The mathematician Georg Cantor saw “doubly infinite” sets. Sets of relationships between members of an already infinite set, must themselves be more than infinite. He called infinite sets as aleph-zero and the sets of relationships within an infinite set (worlds of networking), he called aleph-one.

Originally, Cantor’s theory of transfinite numbers was regarded as counter-intuitive – even shocking.

However, in the world of sacred numbers, although there can be large numbers, in the megalithic the numbers were quite small; partly due to the difficulty that numbers-as-lengths were physically real while later numeracy abstracted numbers into symbols and, using powers of ten, modern integers are a series of place ordered numbers (not factors) in base 10, as with 12,960,000 – possible for the ancient Babylonians but, I believe, not expected for the early megalithic.

The human viewpoint is from the day being lived through and, as weeks and months pass, the larger phenomenon of the year moves the sun in the sky causing seasons. Time to us is stored as a calendar or year diary, and the human present moment conceives of a whole week, a whole month or a whole year. Initially, the stone age had a very rudimentary calendar, the early megalith builders counting the moon over two months as taking around 59 days, giving them the beginning of an astronomy based upon time events on the horizon, at the rising or setting of the moon or sun. Having counted time, only then could formerly unnoticed facts start to emerge, for example the variation of (a) sun rise and setting in the year on the horizon (b) the similar variations in moon rise and set over many years, (c) the geocentric periods of the planets between oppositions to the sun, and (d) the regularity between the periods when eclipses take place. These were the major types of time measured by megalithic astronomy.

The categories of astronomical time most visible to the megalithic were also four-fold as: 1. the day, 2. the month, 3. the year, and 4. cycles longer than the year (long counts).

The day therefore became the first megalithic counter, and there is evidence that the inch was the first unit of length ever used to count days.

In the stone age the month was counted using a tally of uneven strokes or signs, sometimes representing the lunar phase as a symbol, on a bone or stone, and without using a constant unit of measure to represent the day.

Once the tally ran on, into one or more lunar or solar years, then the problem of what numbers were would become central as was, how to read numbers within a length. The innovation of a standard inch (or digit) large numbers, such as the solar year of 365 days, became storable on a non-elastic rope that could then be further studied.

The 365 days in he solar year was daunting, but counting months in pairs, as 59 day-inch lengths of rope, allowed the astronomers to more easily visualize six of these ropes end-to-end, leaving a bit left over, on the solar year rope, of 10 to 11 days. Another way to look at the year would then be as 12 full months and a fraction of a month. This new way of seeing months was crucial in seeing the year of 365 days as also, a smaller number of about 12 and one third months.

And this is where it would have become obvious that, one third of a month in one year adds up, visually, to a full month after three years. This was the beginning of their numerical thinking, or rationality, based upon counting lengths of time; and this involved all the four types of time:

the day to count,

the month length to reduce the number of days in the day count,

the solar year as something which leaves a fraction of a month over and finally,

the visual insight that three of those fractions will become a whole month after three full solar years, that is, within a long count greater than the year.

To help one understand this form of astronomy, these four types of time can be organized using the systematic structure called a tetrad, to show how the activity of megalithic astronomy was an organization of will around these four types of time.

The vertical pair of terms gives the context for astronomical time on a rotating planet, the GROUND of night and a day, for which there is a sky with visible planetary cycles which only the tetrad can reveal as the GOAL. The horizontal pair of terms make it possible to comprehend the cosmic patterns of time through the mediation of the lunar month (the INSTRUMENT), created by a combination of the lunar orbit illuminated by the Sun during the year, which gave DIRECTION. Arguably, a stone age culture could never have studied astronomical time without Moon and Sun offering this early aggregate unit of the month, then enabling insights of long periods, longer than the solar year.

The Manio Quadrilateral near Carnac demonstrates day-inch counting so well that it may itself have been a teaching object or “stone textbook” for the megalithic culture there, since it must have been an oral culture with no writing or numeracy like our own. After more than a decade, the case for this and many further megalithic innovations, in how they could calculate using rational fractions of a foot, allowed my latest book to attempt a first historical account of megalithic influences upon later history including sacred building design and the use of numbers as sacred within ancient literature.

The “output” of the solar count over three years is seen at the Manio Quadrilateral as a new aggregate measure called the Megalithic Yard (MY) of 32.625 (“32 and five eighths”), the solar excess over three lunar years (of 36 months). Repeating the count using the new MY unit, to count in months-per-megalithic yard, gave a longer excess of three feet (36 inches), so that the excess of the solar year over the lunar could then be known as a new unit in the history of the world, exactly one English foot. It was probably the creation of the English foot, that became the root of metrology throughout the ancient and historical world, up until the present.

This theme will be continued in this way to explore how the long counts of Sun, Moon, and Planets, were resolved by the megalithic once this activity of counting was applied, the story told in my latest book.

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.

In early education of applied mathematics, there was a simple introduction to vector addition: It was observed that a distance and direction travelled followed by another (different) distance and direction, shown as a diagram as if on a map, as directly connected, revealed a different distance “as the crow would fly” and the direction from the start.

The question could then be posed as “How far would the plane (or ship) be, from the start, at the end”. This practical addition applies to any continuous medium, yet the reason why took centuries to fully understand using algebraic math, but the presence of vectors within megalithic counted structures did not require knowledge of why vectors within geometries like the right triangle, were able to apply vectors to their astronomical counts.

In previous posts, it has been shown how a linear count of time can form a square and circle of equal perimeter to a count. In this way three views of a time count, relative to a solar year count, showed the differences between counts that are (long-term average) differential angular motion between sun and the moon’s cycle of illumination. Set within a year circle, this was probably first achieved with reference to the difference between the lunar year of 12 months (29.53 days) and the solar year of 12 average solar months (30.43 days). Note that in prehistory, counts were over long periods so that their astronomy reflected averages rather than moment-to-moment motions known through modern calculations.

The solar year was a standard baseline for time counting (the ecliptic naturally viewed as 365.25 days-in-angle, due to solar daily motion, later standardized as our convenient 360 degrees). Solar and other years became reflected in the perimeters of many ancient square and circular buildings, and long periods were called super years, even the Great Year of Plato, of the precession of the equinoxes, traditionally 25920 years long! The Draconic year, in which the Moon’s nodes travel the ecliptic, backwards, is another case.

At Le Manio’s southern curb, the excess of the solar year over the lunar year, over 3 years, is 32.625 (32 and 5/8ths) day-inches, which is probably the first of many megalithic yards of around 2.72 feet, then developed for specific purposes (Appendix 2 of Language of the Angels). At Le Manio, the solar year count was shown above the southern curb, east of the “sun gate”, but many other counts were recorded within that curb, as a recording of many lengths, though the lunar year was the primary baseline and the 14 degree sightline above the curb aligned to the summer solstice sunrise.

Numbers-as-symbols, and arithmetic, did not exist. Instead, numbers-as-lengths, of constant units such as the inch, were generated as measurements of different types of year. To know a length without our numeric system required the finding of how a given number of units divided into a length, in an attempt to know the measurement through its observed factorization. This habit of factorization could start with the megalithic yard itself as having been naturally created from the sky, as Time. In this case, when the megalithic yard was divided into the three lunar year count of 1063.1 days, the result was 10.875 (10 and 7/8th) “times” 32.625 day-inches. which is one third of the megalithic yard, and is the number of day-inches of the excess for a single solar year.

The lunar year is the combined result of lunar motion, in its orbit, and solar motion along the ecliptic, of average of one day-in-angle per solar day. The lunar year is the completion of twelve cycles of the moon’s phases. The counting at Le Manio hinged upon the fact that, in three solar years there was a near-anniversary of 37.1 lunar months. This allowed the excess to be very close to the invariant form of the solar-lunar triangle which can be glimpsed for us by multiplying the lunar month (29.53059 days) by 32/29 to give 32.58548. (see also these posts tagged 32/29).

The excess of the solar year, in duration and hence in measured length, the 0.368 (7/19) lunar months (over 12), almost exactly equals the reciprocal of the megalithic yard (19/7 feet) so that, when lunar months are counted using megalithic yards, the excess becomes 12 inches which is 32/29 of 10.875 day-inches. From this it seems likely that the English foot and megalithic yard were generated, as naturally significant units, when day-inch counting was applied to the solar and lunar years.

The Manio Quadrilateral may have been like a textbook, a monumental expression of Megalithic understanding, originally built over the original site of that work or, carried from a different place in living memory. It presents all manner of powerful achievements, such as the accurate approximation of the lunar month as 29.53125 (945/32) days, the significance of the eclipse year, alignment to the solstice maximum and lunar minimum standstill, the whole number count over 4 years of 1461 days – then available as a model of the ecliptic, and a circular Octon simulator – and much else besides. This megalithic period preceded the English stone-circle culture initiated by Stonehenge 1 around 3000 BC but was somewhat contemporary with the Irish cairn and dolmen building culture. Metrology is presented near Carnac as a work-in-progress, based closely on astronomy rather than land measurement as such.

My work on the Megalithic tools-and-techniques can be read in my Lords of Time and in Language of the Angels, further considered as a tradition inherited by ancient world monumentalism. This post will be followed soon by more on vectors in prehistory.

Above: example of the geometry that can generate one or more circles, equal to a linear time count, in the counting units explained below.

It is clear, one so-called “sacred” geometry was in fact a completely pragmatic method in which the fourfold nature of astronomical day and month counts allowed the circularization of counts, once made, and also the transmission of radius ropes able to make metrological metrological circles in other places, without repeating the counting process. This “Equal Perimeter” geometry (see also this tag list) could be applied to any linear time count, through dividing it by pi = 22/7, using the geometry itself. This would lead to a square and a circle, each having a perimeter equal to the linear day count, in whatever units.

And in two previous posts (this one and that one) it was known that orbital cycles tend towards fourfold-ness. We now know this is because orbits are dynamic systems where potential and kinetic energy are cycled by deform the orbit from circular into an ellipse. Once an orbit is elliptical, the distance from the gravitational centre will express potential energy and the orbital speed of say, the Moon, will express the kinetic energy but the total amount of each energy combined will remain constant, unless disturbed from outside.

In the megalithic, the primary example of a fourfold geometry governs the duration of the lunar year and solar year, as found at Le Manio Quadrilateral survey (2010) and predicted (1998) by Robin Heath in his Lunation Triangle with base equal to 12 lunar months and the third side one quarter of that. Three divides into 12 to give 4 equal unit-squares and the triangle can then be seen as doubled within a four-square rectangle, as two contraflow triangles where the hypotenuse now a diagonal of the rectangle.