Use of foot ratios in Megalithic Astronomy

The ratios of ancient metrology emerged from the Megalithic innovations of count&compare: counting time as length and comparing lengths as the longest sides of right triangles. To compare two lengths in this way, one can take a longer rope length and lay it out (say East-West), starting at the beginning of the shorter rope length, using a stake in the ground to fix those ends together.

The longer rope end is then moved to form an angle to the shorter, on the ground, whilst keeping the longer rope straight. The Right triangle will be formed when the longer rope’s end points exactly to the North of the shorter rope end. But to do that one needs to be able to form a right angle at the shorter rope’s end. The classic proposal (from Robin Heath) is to form the simplest Pythagorean triangle with sides {3 4 5} at the rope’s end. One tool for this could then have been the romantic knotted belt of a Druid, whose 13 equally spaced knots could define 12 equal intervals. Holding the 5th knot, 8th knot and the starting and ending knots together automatically generates that triangle sides{3 4 5}.

Forming a square with the AMY is helped by the diagonals being rational at 140/99 of the AMY.
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Harmonic Genesis of the Sumerians

Here I start by publishing an important diagram that shows how the earliest known references to musical tuning (early 4th millennium BC) on clay cuneiform tablets, using “regular numbers” whose factors are products of only the numbers 2, 3 and 5, led to the cosmological vision of their gods, the primary god, Anu, being a balanced mix of all three numbers as 60 but also called ONE. This is the source of their Sexagesimal  or base-60, still employed in measuring angles and time called minutes and seconds. All comes from ONE.

The emergence of 2, 3, 5 from ONE then combining as ANU and leading to the differentiation of the World along various paths. The creation proceeds through three prime number dimensions, Ea (as in Earth) through 2, Enki through 3 , Enlil through 5. Anu remains the fountainhead associated with all three and with the Zodiac, which emerged in later Babylonian as a seasonally relevant calendar.
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Thornborough Henge as Moon’s Maximum Standstill

The three henges appear to align to the three notable manifestations to the north west of the northerly moon setting at maximum standstill. The distance between northern and southern henge entrances could count 3400 days, each 5/8th of a foot (7.5 inches), enabling a “there and back again” counting of the 6800 days (18.618 solar years/ 19.618 eclipse years) between lunar maximum standstills.

Figure 1 The three henges are of similar size and design, a design most clear in what remains of the central henge.
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The Cult of Seven Days

Published in Nexus Magazine in 2004

When understanding the origins of human knowledge, we tend not to look into the everyday aspects of life such as the calendar, our numbering systems and how these could have developed. However, these components of everyday life hold surprising clues to the past.

An example is the seven day week which we all slavishly follow today. It has been said that seven makes a good number of days for a week and this convenience argument often given for the existence of weeks.

Having a week allows one to know what day of the week it is for the purposes of markets and religious observances. It is an informal method of counting based on names rather than numbers. Beyond this however, a useful week length should fit well with the organisation of the year (i.e. the Sun), or the month (i.e. the Moon) or other significant celestial or seasonal cycle. But the seven day week does not fit in with the Sun and the Moon.

The Week and the Year

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Megalithic Measurement of Jupiter’s Synodic Period

Though megalithic astronomers could look at the sky, their measurement methods were only accurate using horizon events. Horizon observations of solstice sunrise/set each year, lunar extreme moonrises or settings (over 18.6 years) allowed them to establish the geometrical ratios between these and other time periods, including the eclipse cycles. In contrast, the synod of Jupiter is measured between its loops in the sky, upon the backdrop of stars, in which Jupiter heads backwards each year as the earth passes between itself and the Sun. That is, Jupiter goes retrograde relative to general planetary direction towards the east. Since such retrograde movement occurs over 120 days, Jupiter will set 120 times whilst moving retrograde. This allowed megalithic astronomy to study the retrograde Jupiter, but only when the moon is conjunct with Jupiter in the night sky and hence will set with Jupiter at its own setting.


Figure 1 The metamorphosis of loop shape when Jupiter is in different signs of the Zodiac
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Story of Three Similar Triangles

first published on 24 May 2012

Interpreting Lochmariaquer in 2012, an early discovery was of a near-Pythagorean triangle with sides 18, 19 and 6. This year I found that triangle as between the start of the Erdevan Alignments near Carnac. But how did this work on cosmic N:N+1 triangles get started?

Robin Heath’s earliest work, A Key to Stonehenge (1993) placed his Lunation Triangle within a sequence of three right-angled triangles which could easily be constructed using one megalithic yard per lunar month. These would then have been useful in generating some key lengths proportional to the lunar year:  

  • the number of lunar months in the solar year,
  • the number of lunar orbits in the solar year and 
  • the length of the eclipse year in 30-day months. 

all in lunar months. These triangles are to be constructed using the number series 11, 12, 13, 14 so as to form N:N+1 triangles (see figure 1).

n.b. In the 1990s the primary geometry used to explore megalithic astronomy was N:N+1 triangles, where N could be non-integer, since the lunation triangle was just such whilst easily set out using the 12:13:5 Pythagorean triangle and forming the intermediate hypotenuse to the 3 point of the 5 side. In the 11:12 and 13:14 triangles, the short side is not equal to 5.


Figure 1 Robin Heath’s original set of three right angled triangles that exploit the 3:2 points to make intermediate hypotenuses so as to achieve numerically accurate time lengths in units of lunar or solar months and lunar orbits.
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