The Broch that Modelled the Earth


In the picture above [1] the inner profile of the thick-walled Iron-Age broch of Dun Torceill is the only elliptical example, almost every other broch having a circular inner court. Torceill’s essential data was reported by Euan MacKie in 1977 [2]: The inner chamber of the broch is an ellipse with axes nearly 23:25 (and not 14:15). The actual ratio directly generates a metrological difference, between the major and minor axis lengths, of 63/20 feet. When multiplied by the broch’s 40-foot major axis, this π-like yard creates a length of 126 feet which, multiplied again by π as 22/7, generates 396 feet. If each of these feet represented ten miles, this number is an accurate approximation to the mean radius of the Earth, were it a sphere.

The two ratios involved, 22/7 and 63/20, each an approximation to π, become 9.9 (99/100) when they are multiplied together, as an approximation to π squared.  Figure 1 shows that these two ratios, if 22/7 differently used as its reciprocal 7/22, also generates the ratio between the mean and polar radii of the Earth, since 63/20 x 7/22 = 441/440. The ancient Meridian length could be calculated from 396 when multiplied by using the most accurate rational π noted by Fibonacci as 864/275. The 396 units, of 10 miles per foot, was a practical distance to have realized in the megalithic without arithmetic, to store the 3960 mile mean radius of the earth, since the mile of 5280 feet is 4/3 of 3960; that is, 396 x 4/3 equals 528, implying that this model was conceived of within a decimal framework but without the base-10 positional notation of arithmetic. We show that the methods of calculation used can only have seen numbers-as-lengths as being composed of factors of just the first five prime numbers {2 3 5 7 11} and that this limitation upon numbers created a metrology in which fractional units of measure could manipulate lengths to multiply and divide them through addition and subtraction of the powers of these primes.

Marc Calhoun’s picture from the Island (picture from his blog)


  1. Summary
  2. Introduction.
  3. Main Thesis.
  4. Pre-arithmetic Calculation using Powers of {2 3 5 7 11}
  5. Combining Prime Number Composites.
  6. Appendix 1 Extract from Science and Society in Prehistoric Britain.
  7. Appendix 2: Preface: The Metrology of the Brochs.
  8. Metrological Bibliography.
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Walking on the Moon

There are plans to walk again on the moon (above is a NASA visualization), but there is a sense in which the surface of the moon belongs to the surface of the earth, since the earth’s circumference is 4 times the mean diameter of the earth, minus the moon’s circumference.

The Earth and Moon were formed out of an early collision which left the two bodies in an unusual relationship to one another, in more ways than one. Here we discuss the diameter (and circumference) of each body as a sphere as being in the ratio 11 to 3. The diameter of the Moon is 2160 miles so that the common unit is 720 miles (the harmonic constant) and the diameter of the spherical mean earth would be 7920 miles.

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The Megalithic Pythagoras

Pythagoras of Samos (c.600BC) very likely gleaned megalithic number science on his travels around the “Mysteries” of the ancient world. His father, operating from the island of Samos, became a rich merchant, trading by sea and naming his child Pythagoras; after the god of Delphi who had “killed” the Python snake beneath Delphi’s oracular chasm, now a place of Apollo. The eventual disciples of Pythagoras were reclusive and secretive, threatening death on anybody who would openly speak of mysteries, such as the square root of two, to the uninitiated. It can be seen from the previous post that many such “mysteries” were natural discoveries made by the megalithic astronomers, when learning how to manipulate number without arithmetic, through a metrological geometry unfamiliar to the romantic sacred geometry of “straight edge and compass”.

As previously stated, the vertex angles of right triangles whose longer sides are integer in length, are angular invariants belonging to the invariant ratio of their sides. To create a {11 14} angle one can use any multiple of 11 and the same multiple of 14 to obtain the invariant angle whereupon, the hypotenuse and base will shrink or grow together in that ratio: any length on the “14” line is 14/11 of any length below it on the “11” base line and visa versa.

If one enlarges the base line to being 99 then the diagonal of the square side length 99 will be 140, which is 99 times the square root of two. In choosing, as I did, to enlarge 91 (the quarter year) to 9 x 11 = 99, I encountered the cubit of the Samian (“of Samos”) foot of 33/35 feet, as follows. When Heraclitus, also of Samos, visited the Great Pyramid he gave its southerly side length as 800 “of our feet” and 756 English feet (the measured length) needs to be divided by 189 and multiplied by 200 to obtain such a measurement, giving a Samian foot of 189/200 (=0.945 feet) which is 441/440 of the Samian root foot of 33/35 feet. 33/35 x 3/2 = 99/70 (1.4143) feet but its inverse of 35/33 x 4/3 = 140/99 feet.

There is then no doubt about Samos as being a center in the Greek Mysteries since, the form of the Greek temple seems first to evolve there. For example, 10,000 feet of 0.945 feet equal 945 feet, the number of days in 32 lunar months. The Heraion of Samos (pictured above) has been shown to have had pillars around a platform (a peristyle), and an elongated rectangular room (a cella), involving megalithic yards and a 4-square geometry cunningly linking lunar and solar years, to alignments to the Moon’s minimum using the {5 12 13} second Pythagorean Triangle. (diagram at top is from figure 5.9 of Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels).

The reason for the Samian (lit. “of Samos”) foot being 33/35 feet appears to be that as a cubit of 99/70 feet, or √2 =1.4142, it is the twin of 140/99 as 1.41. In the geometrical world such foot ratios were exact, relative to the English foot; which is the root of the Greek module and of all other rational modules, such as the Royal of 8/7 feet. Such cubits could measure across the diagonal the same number as the side length in English feet. Such measures became essential for building of rectangular temple structures in Greece and further east, but when the metrological geometry, of square and circle in equal perimeter, was the focus, 140 in the diagonal can use 99 in the base (or side-length of the square).

If we remember that the 99 length must be rooted from the shared center of the square and equal circle then, the side length of the square must be twice that, or 198. This means that the perimeter of the square must be 4 times that, equal to 792, at which point readers of John Michell’s books on models of the world will recall that the diameter of the mean earth can be presented, within an equal perimeter design, if each unit is multiplied by 720 units of 10 miles, my own summary being in my recent Sacred Geometry book , chapter 3 on measuring the Earth. This model Michell called The Cosmological Prototype, where the mean earth diameter is (quite accurately) 7920 miles.

If the square of 198 feet is rolled out into a single line, it “becomes” the mean diameter of the Earth in units of 10 miles. For this sort of reason, my 2020 book was called Language of the Angels, since this model looks like a first approximation of the mean earth size which a later Ancient Metrology would improve upon as to accuracy, by a couple of miles! That is, that the earth’s dimensions follow a design based upon metrological geometry and the properties of numbers.

John Michell finalized his Cosmological Model in an Appendix to The Sacred Center, and in his text on “sacred Geometry, Ancient Science, and the Heavenly Order on Earth” called The Dimensions of Paradise, both published by Inner Traditions.