Chartres, in north-west France, is a very special version of the Gothic transcept cathedral design. Having burnt down more than once, due to wooden ceilings, its reconstruction over many building seasons and different masonic teams, as funds permitted, would have needed strong organizing ideas to inform the work (as per Master Masons of Chartres by John James).

ABOVE: Stela C from Tres Zapotes roughly rebuilt by Ludovic Celle and based on a drawing by Miguel Covarrubias.

Introduction

The policy of archaeology regarding the Maya and their root progenitor the Olmec (1500 BCE onwards) is that its cultural innovations were made within Mexico alongside an agrarian revolution of the three sisters, namely squash, maize (“corn”), and climbing beans. This relationship of agriculture to civilizing skills then reads like the Neolithic revolution in Mesopotamia after 4000 BCE, where irrigation made the fertile loam able to absorb agricultural innovations from the northern golden triangle leading to writing, trade, city states, religion, arithmetic and so on. However, the idea that the ancient near east or India could have been an influence through ocean conveyors, of currents and trade winds, has never been accepted when proposed. Yet there are good reasons to think this since the astronomy and monumentalism of the pre-Columbian Mexican civilizations has precedents in the ancient near east and other locations.

The timing of the Olmec and the strangeness of immediately building sacred cities with an almost captive population of around 10,000 people, such as La Venta and San Lorenzo, with strong Jaguar imagery and practices, implies a cultic basis was present from the beginning. And it is now looking likely that the ancient near east was similarly prefigured, not just by agriculture but also by know how involving numbers for the building of sacred buildings with astronomical aspects – a tradition that goes back at least to the megalithic of the Atlantic seaboard of Europe.

Since Columbus, the native populations of North and South America have been largely displaced or marginalized. It may be for this reason that the notion that people from an advanced population had initiated the Olmec civilization requires a high, possibly impossible, level of proof. This Isolationism***, perhaps to avoid “adding insult to injury”, is against the Olmec having derived from the Old World, where the historical records are not that much better. The Olmec origin date is around the time of the quite sudden collapse of the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean around 1200 BCE. And the Olmec, Maya and Aztec appear to have had a definite myth concerning someone called Quetzelcoatl bringing civilizing skills to found their culture, though their culture was also seen as arising from a group of seven underground caves.

***The opposite of Diffusionism: Diffusionism is an anthropological school of thought, was an attempt to understand the distribution of culture in terms of the origin of culture traits and their spread from one society to another. Versions of diffusionist thought included the conviction that all cultures originated from one culture center (heliocentric diffusion); the more reasonable view that cultures originated from a limited number of culture centers (culture circles); and finally the notion that each society is influenced by others but that the process of diffusion is both [subject to chance] and arbitrary .read more

Long Counts and The LUNAR Calendar

Having sketched this background, this article will explore a strange coincidence between the calendrical origins of the Megalithic in Brittany, of a 36 lunar month, 3 lunar year calendar, and the 18 month calendar found in the some of the later Olmec Great Counts, called after the Supplementary Glyphs appended to record the local time in an 18 lunar month calendar. The correlation between long counts and the supplementary data has been invaluable since the long counts can be ambiguous between one or more possible dates but we can predict the sun and moon that far back can compare the glyphs with the alternative dates. Counts have also been found that were eclipses of the sun or moon, resolving a given long count date. It is therefoe interesting to compare the two calendars using the geometrical fact that 36 lunar months is both 2 x 18, 4 x 9 and 3 x 12 since 36 is 4 x 3 x3.

The implication is that the megalithic calendar over three years, which was based upon noticing that three solar years was the diagonal of a four square triangle whose side length is three lunar years, appears to have resulted in an Olmec/Maya calendar in which each square is 9 lunar months. As was noted in previous books (2004, 2016, 2018), the range 9 to 18 years contains a single lunar month {12}, the Jupiter synod {13.5}, the Saturn synod {12.8} and the Uranus synod {12.5}. This octave range between 9 and 2 x 9 = 18 was therefore possible to manifest as a Mexican city design (Teotihuacan) and as the Parthenon of Athens. A number of other examples can be found as one of the proposed major models used from the megalithic onwards, as discussed in Sacred Number: Language of the Angels (2021).

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).

A previous post explained the anatomy of the primary celestial cycles of the Sun and Moon. The “resting” part of these cycles are the winter solstice (opposite the summer solstice which was today) and the dark moon (which is coming in a week, after the waning half moon day before yesterday). In the resting phase, the cosmological origin is traditionally found, containing all that is to manifest but that is not yet expressed. In this respect, the Big Bang is the equivalent for modern thinking, as the origin of the entire visible and invisible universe seen via modern instrumentation and discoveries.

Life is somehow connected with our large Moon, without which there could have been no living planet. The form of life appears influenced by the moon and its conjunctions with different planets. And without (a) the tides, (b) the tectonic plates supporting continents, and (c) the tilt and spin of the earth; the earth would be static rather than actively supporting the necessary rhythms of Life. A primordial collision created these features of our earth and moon, since the cyclic archetypes provide an essential framework for living beings, to which their bodies are synchronized through circadian and behavioral rhythms.

Our two luminaries, the sun and moon, share a similar form-in-time, as the seasonal year and the monthly phases of the moon. The form they share is of two extremes of opposite character, and two midpoints between these.

The Solar Extremes: At the solar extremes, the sun rises high in midsummer day and rises to a much lower point in midwinter day, extreme points at which the sun moves very slowly day-by-day these hence called solstices from the Latin, “sun stands still”.

The Lunar Extremes: These are the full moon, meaning its face is completely illuminated by the sun, and the dark moon, when the moon stands by and in front of the sun and so its face is not illuminated but during a rare solar eclipse, the dark disk of the moon can be seen slowly crossing the sun’s face since the moon moves 12.368 times faster than the sun that defines each day.

The Solar Midpoints: These occur when the sun rises exactly east and sets directly west, everywhere on the earth. These moments are called Equinox because the length of the day then equals (in Latin: “equi”) and the length of the night (in Latin, “nox”). In the year these two equinoxes are called Spring, when light and heat from the sun are growing (waxing), and Autumn, when light and heat are diminishing (waning).

The Lunar Midpoints: Like the sun, these are exactly between its extremes, when exactly half the moon’s face is illuminated. In the morning, as the full moon approaches the sun, its gibbous (less-than-circular) face is waning until it reaches the point of half illumination by the sun. In contrast, the dark moon reappears as a crescent moon, pulling away from the sun setting in the evening.

The common factor between the midpoints of both sun and moon is that this is when time begins, in the sense that, at two equinoxes and at the two half-moons, (a) the sun’s daily sunrise on the horizon is moving fastest and (b) The sun’s illumination of the moon is changing most quickly. In both cases, this allowed the megalithic to accurately start and finish their counting of these time cycles of the year and the month. In both cases, midpoints could most accurately define the day on which an event occurred.

By 2016 it was already obvious that the lunar month (in days) and the PMY, AMY and yard (in inches) had peculiar relationships involving the ratio 32/29, shown above. This can now be explained as a manifestation of day-inch counting and the unusual numerical properties of the solar and lunar year, when seen using day-inch counting.

It is hard to imagine that the English foot arose from any other process than day-inch counting; to resolve the excess of the solar year over the lunar year, in three years â€“ the near-anniversary of sun and moon. This created the Proto Megalithic Yard (PMY) of 32.625 day-inches as the difference.

A strange property of N:N+1 right triangles can then transform this PMY into the English foot, when counting over a single lunar and solar year using the PMY to count months.

The metrological explanation

If one divides the three-year excess (here, the PMY) into the base then N, the normalized base of the N:N+1 triangle. In the case of the sun and moon, N is very nearly 32.625, so that the lunar to solar years are closely in the ratio 32.625:33.625. Because of this, if one counts

months instead of days,

using the three-year excess (i.e. the PMY) to stand for the lunar month,

over a single year,

the excess becomes, quite unexpectedly, the reciprocal of the PMY;

One has effectively normalized the solar year as 12.368 PMYs long. This single year difference, of 0.368 lunar months cancels with the PMY; the 0.36827 lunar months becoming 12.0147 inches. Were the true Astronomical Megalithic Yard (AMY of 32.585 inches) used, instead of the PMY, the foot of 12 inches would result. Indeed, this is the AMYs definition, as being the N (normalizing value) of 32.585 inches long, unique to the sun-moon cycle. The AMY only becomes clear, in feet, after completion of 19 solar years. This Metonic anniversary of sun and moon over 235 lunar months, is exactly 7 lunar months larger than 19 lunar years (228 months).

But this is all seen using the arithmetical methods of ancient metrology, which did not exist in the megalithic circa 4000BC. Our numeracy can divide the 1063.1 day-inches by 32.625 day-inches, to reveal the AMY as 32.585 inches long, but the megalithic could not. Any attempt to resolve the AMY in the megalithic, using a day-inch technology***, without arithmetical processes, could not resolve the AMY over 3 years as it is a mere 40 thousandths of an inch smaller than the PMY. So arithmetic provides us with an explanation, but prevents us from explaining how the megalithic came to have a value for the AMY; only visible over long itineraries requiring awkward processes to divide using factorization. However, by exploiting the coincidences of number built in to the lunar and solar years, geometry could oblige.

***One can safely assume the early megalithic resolved eighths or tenths of an inch when counting day-inches.

The geometrical explanation

In proposing the AMY was properly quantified, in the similarly early megalithic cultures of Carnac in France and the Preselis in Wales, one must turn to a geometrical method

One clue is that the yard of 3 feet (36 inches) is exactly 32/29ths of the PMY. This shows itself in the fact that 32 PMYs equal 29 yards.

Another clue is that the lunar month had been quantified (at Le Manio) by finding 32 months equalled 945 day-inches. By inference, the lunar month is therefore 945 day-inches divided by 32 or 945/32 (29.53125) day-inches – very close to our present knowledge of 29.53059 days.

From point 1, one can geometrically express any length that is 32 relative to another of 29, using the right triangle (29,32). And from point 2, since the 945 day period is 32 lunar months, as a length it will be in the ratio 29 to 32 to a length 32 PMYs long, the triangle’s hypotenuse.

Point 1 also means that 32 PMY (of 32.625 inches) will equal 1044 inches, which must also be 29 x 36 inches, and 29 yards hence handily divides the 32 side of the {29 32} right triangle into 29 portions equal to a yard on that side. One can then “mirror the right triangle about its 29-side so as to be able to draw 29 parallel lines between the two, mirrored, 32-sides, as shown in figure 1. The 945 day-inch 29-side which already equals 32 lunar months (in day-inches), now has 29 megalithic yards in that length, which are then an AMY of 945/29 day-inches!

Comparing the two AMYs and their necessary origins

Using a modern calculator, 945 divided by the PMY actually gives 28.9655 PMY and not 29, so that 945 inches requires a unit slightly smaller than the PMY and 945/29 gives the result as 32.586 inches, which length one could call the geometrical AMY. This AMY is 30625/30624 of the AMY in ancient metrology which is arrived at as 2.7 feet times 176/175 equal to 32.585142857 inches. By implication therefore, the ancient AMY is the root Drusian step whose formula is 19.008/7 feet whilst the first AMY was resolved by the megalithic to be 945/29 inches.

This geometrical AMY (gAMY?) obviously hailed from the world of day-inch counting, which preceded the ancient arithmetical metrology which was based upon fractions of the English foot. The gAMY is 32/29 of the lunar month of 29.53125 (945/32) day-inches, since 945/32 inches Ã— 32/29 is 945/29 inches.

Using ancient metrology to interpret the earliest megalithic monuments may be questionable in the absence of a highly civilised source which had, in an even greater antiquity, provided it; from an “Atlantis”. In contrast, the monumental record of the megalithic suggests that geometrical methods were in active development and involved less sophisticated metrology, on a step-by-step basis. From this arose the English foot which, being twelve times larger than the inch, could provide the more versatile metrology of fractional feet, to provide a pre-arithmetical mechanism, to solve numerical problems through geometrical re-scaling. This foot based, fractional metrology then developed into the ancient metrology of Neal and Michell, which itself survived to become our historical metrology [Petrie and Berriman].

The two types of AMY, geometrical and the metrological, though not identical are practically indistinguishable; the AMY being just over one thousandths of an inch larger. The geometrical AMY (945/29 inches) is shown, by figure 2, to be geometrically resolvable, and so must have preceded the metrological AMY, itself only 40 thousandths of an inch less than the PMY.

The two AMYs, effectively identical, reveal a developmental history starting with day-inch counting, and division of 945 inches by 29 was made easy by exploiting the alternative factorisation of 32 PMV as 36 Ã— 29 yards using geometry. The AMY of ancient metrology was the necessary rationalization of 945/29 inches into the foot- based system.

Bibliography for Ancient Metrology

Berriman, A. E. Historical Metrology. London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1953.

Heath, Robin, and John Michell. Lost Science of Measuring the Earth: Discovering the Sacred Geometry of the Ancients. Kempton, Ill.: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2006. Reprint edition of The Measure of Albion.

Heath, Richard. Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels. Vermont: Inner Traditions 2022.

Michell, John. Ancient Metrology. Bristol, England: Pentacle Press, 1981.

Neal, John. All Done with Mirrors. London: Secret Academy, 2000.

—-. Ancient Metrology. Vol. 1, A Numerical Codeâ€”Metrological Continuity in Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age Europe. Glastonbury, England: Squeeze, 2016 – read 1.6 Pi and the World.

—-. Ancient Metrology. Vol. 2, The Geographic Correlationâ€”Arabian, Egyptian, and Chinese Metrology. Glastonbury, England: Squeeze, 2017.

—-. Ancient Metrology, Vol. 3, The Worldwide Diffusion – Ancient Egyptian, and American Metrology. Â The Squeeze Press: 2024.

Petri, W. M. Flinders. Inductive Metrology. 1877. Reprint, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.