Visitors to Ancient Skies

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Subject: Visitors To Ancient Skies — continued
Date: 19 Aug 1995 13:51:37 -0400
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Visitors To Ancient Skies

Val Germann
Columbia, Missouri

Now that we have some background on measurement and how important it
is we can proceed to talk about a long article published first in 1971
in Peter Tompkins’ SECRETS OF THE GREAT PYRAMID. The author of this
article was Livio Catullo Stecchini, an Italian who had Doctorates
from both the University of Rome and Harvard. His specialty was
ancient contracts and measurements.

During World War II Stecchini came to the United States with many
years of classical studies behind him, including intense research into
how the ancient world made contracts and used standard units of
measure to define and enforce them. For Stecchini, to whom the
ancients were just as practical and hard-headed as any modern
businessman or scientist, the attitude of many at Harvard toward the
ancient world was a bit of a shock.

“There I discovered that those who came to ancient history from
literature have a completely different view from the practical,
realistic and utilitarian view which prevails in legal studies: in
substance they see the ancient world as the realm of poetic fantasy.
My Harvard teachers used to admonish me to understand “the spirit of
the ancients,” but the only image their perorat- ions could stir in my
mind was the image of the ancients in a constant state of alcoholic
stupor. As to my special field of research, my teachers thought that
my notion that the Greeks were concerned with precision of measurement
was intellectually preposterous and historically impossible.”

This was (and still IS) the attitude of many who study the ancient
world. The astronomers have come around a little since Velikovsky and
Von Danikan forced them to go out and do some research — and they
found out that all over the world megalithic structures were built to
observe the stars. But WHY? Just for laughs? Who knew and anyway,
who CARED exactly why. Once the astronomers had satisfied themselves
that Von Danikan’s Gods had not come down and built all of the ancient
aritifacts they were pretty much done. Oh, there is a field called
Archeo-Astronomy but it is sort of out there in left-field, the kind
of thing that mainly women astronomers take an interest in, since it
is a sure- fire ticket to a genteel academic poverty.

In any event, Stecchini had found, after years of work, that there was
an ancient universal standard of time, length, volume and weight. But
he could not discover what it was based upon, what the ultimate
standard was. It was Tomkins who pointed out to Stecchini that an
megalith like a pyramid could be used to measure the movements of the
stars and that this was related to the speed of the rotation of the
Earth. Stecchini had stayed away from artifacts like the Great
Pyramid because of what he called the metaphysical nonesense
associated with them. But after seeing some of Tomkins’ work he
decided to investigate. He concluded that there was in the end no
doubt: the ancient world used measurements based on the circumference
of the Earth at the equator and the speed of the rotation of the Earth
there. This system automatically related time, angular measure,
length, volume and weight into a systematic whole.

Stecchini’s research showed that the entire ancient world used a
system that could only have originated with the Egyptians, who were
the great surveyors and astronomers of the world 3,000 years prior to
the current era. Already in pre-Dynastic times they had standardized
their system on what Stecchini calls the Geographic Foot, equal to
about 307.8 millimeters, used for geographic measures all across the
ancient world. This length became one side of a cubic measure called
an Artaba, also found all across the ancient world and the basis for
units still in use today.

Why does Stecchini say that this system is of Egyptian origin? Because
for the ancients (who DID measure by degrees, minutes and seconds) a
degree of latitude was considered to be 360,000 geographic feet, which
was also equal to 600 stadia. Thus the stadium was 1/600 of one
degree. And it is a fact that for a stadium of 184.7 meters, the
value used in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean world, a degree of
latitude is equal to 110,806 meters — which just happens to be the
length of a degree of latitude at 27 degrees, 45 minutes north
latitude — the exact latitude of the defined geographic center of
predynastic Egypt.

Last night (August 19, 1995) Dr. Charles Gehrke, a member of the team
who analyzed the Apollo Moon rocks for signs of life, spoke to our
astronomy club. A great deal of his talk was about the struggle he
and his team had with standards, instrumental ones. The vast majority
of his time was spent in establishment of a reliable instrumental
standard, an instrumental baseline, so that if something did turn up
in a lunar sample he and his colleagues could be confident that the
result was REAL and not some bizarre artifact of the apparatus. In
effect he said that once the standards were set and the instrument set
up properly the actual analysis of the samples was relatively easy.
Relatively.

This is in fact the case all across the physical sciences, the
establishment of standards being one fundamental task that cannot be
slighted. Without standards there is no science and standards are the
first thing any physical scientist does when real work needs to be
done. This is why the FACT that the Egyptians had established
standards of time, angular measure, length, volume and weight —
thousands of years ago — is so important. In my view there is no
doubt that a subtle, sophisticated and complex astronomical and
physical science existed in predynastic Egypt, more than 5,500 years
ago. The standards say it was so.

It’s a beautiful system, and a lot of fun. This is because the whole
thing was set up to be mnemonic, i.e., easy to remember. I have no
doubt that the Egyptians knew that the year of precession was not
25,920 years but something less. The current value, which is also an
estimate, is 25,776 years. But using 25,920 years meant that the
equinoxes moved around the horizon at one degree every 72 years and
spent one-twelfth of the time in each constellation of the zodiac —
2,160 years. That was easy to remember and easy to teach, in a series
of stories we call myths.

This was one of the functions of what we call playing cards. How many
cards in a deck: 52 — the same number of weeks in a year. How many
suits are there: 4 — the number of the seasons. How many cards are
there in each suit: 13 — the number of lunations in a year. Dice had
a similiar function, the ancient incantation “seven come eleven”
immortalizing the use of seven and eleven in figuring areas and
volumes. A square with side length of ten units has twice the area of
a square with side length of seven units. A cylinder with a height and
diameter of eleven units has (minus a bit for the lid) the same volume
as a cube with a side of 10 units.

But we have begged in many respects the fundamental question, which is
— why? Why such astounding accuracy? And how was it attained? The
effort involved must have been staggering, just as was the effort
involved in building the megaliths that were used to establish and
maintain the standards. It seems like overkill.

** End, Part 6/10 **

Visitors To Ancient Skies — Part 8/10 (VG)

Val Germann
Columbia, Missouri

Once one accepts that the ancient world had a sophisticated
system of measurement and did little by chance one finds very
interesting resonances all over the place. For instance, I was
the other night re-reading sections of an interesting 1966 book
called THE PASSOVER PLOT by Hugh Schonfield. On page 95 of this
book you will find the following:

“The Samaritans, to whom the Temple at Jersualem was a false
sanctuary, the true one where they worshipped being on Mount
Gerizim. . .”

Then, on page 259, this:

“Pilate was also in bad odour with the Samaratians. They too at
this time were expecting a messianic personality, the Taheb, who
would bring to light the sacred vessels of the Tabernacle hidden
in ancient times on Mount Gerizim. A man appeared claiming to be
the Taheb, and multitudes of Samaritians assembled to follow him
up the mountain. Pilate, treating this activity as the beginning
of a revolt, sent his forces against them, killing many and
capturing and executing the leaders. The Council of the
Samaraitans at once wrote to Vitellius, accusing Pilate of
murdering innocent people. This incident underlines the peril in
which Jesus stood in proclaiming the Kingdom of God to the
multitudes in Galilee, even though Pilate had no jurisdiction in
this area. . .”

Now, from page 183 of THE SECRETS OF THE GREAT PYRAMID:

“According to Hebrew historians the original Jewish center of
worship was not Jerusalem, but Mount Gerizim, a strictly geodetic
point exactly 4 degrees east of the main axis of Egypt. It was
only moved to Jersualem after 980 B.C.”

You know, the exact origin of the Hebrews is a bit of a mystery.
The Old Testament tells of hundreds of years in Egypt where
people like Joseph rose high in Pharoah’s bureaucracy. On page
214 of SECRETS we read this:

“Heliopolis, the On of the Bible, was considered the greatest
university in the world. It had existed since much earlier times
under the domination of the priests, of whom there were said to
be 13,000 in the time of Ramses III, 1225 B.C. More than 200
years earlier, Moses was instructed at Heliopolis, “in all the
wisdom of the Egyptians,” which included physics, arithmetic,
geometry, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, geology, meteorology
and music.”

In his book THE SIGN AND THE SEAL, Graham Hancock demonstrates to
my satisfaction that the Jewish Ark of the Covenant was an exact
replica of the “shrines” found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun
and that, in fact, the ancient Hebrew “religion” was a version of
the Egyptian “religion” at the time of the exodus. There is a
lot of work to be done in this area — for someone with the nerve
to do it! There used to be a lot more to “religion” than we of
the “modern” world think. But we must move on.

So, let’s go back to Egypt and discuss some recent work published
in Hancock’s new book FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS. It seems that a
French mathmatician named Robert Bauval published a book last
year that made no splash on this side of the Atlantic. The title
of the book was THE ORION MYSTERY and in it he clearly showed two
amazing things:

1) The southern shaft of the so-called “Queen’s Chamber” is
exactly aligned with where the the bottom star in the belt of
Orion would have crossed the meridian 12,500 or so years ago. It
was only in 1993 that the exact angle of this shaft became known.

2) The ground plan of the three pyramids at Giza exactly
duplicates, on the ground, the relative positons (both to each
other and to the axis of Egypt) of the three stars in the belt of
Orion to each other and to true north and south. The Egyptians
had determined the main axis of their country in pre-dynastic
times (31 degrees, 14 minutes east longitude) and had set up
their geodetic system based in part on it. This main axis ran
just to the east of the Giza plain, the offset made necessary by
the lack of suitable building sites directly on the axis.

Hancock publishes charts showing how all of this works and as far
as the stellar positions are concerned they are certainly
correct. If this is true then we have very strong evidence for
the entire Giza plain, including the Sphynx, being laid out as a
calendric device at a time when the sun rose against the stars
between Leo and Virgo — 12,500 or so years ago.

** End, Part 8/10 **

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