With satellite imagery increasingly being used for archaeological investigations The Morien Institute has decided to report discoveries in our Astro-ArchÃ¦ology news archive
Likewise, many ancient legends that have previously been dismissed as purely “mythological” are now proving to be based on fact, and so The Morien Institute has decided to also report these new discoveries in our Astro-ArchÃ¦ology news archive
Discoveries of meteorites in ancient ruins are showing that ancient peoples held these to be “sacred”, and The Morien Institute has always believed that ancient societies build megalithic “early-warning systems” that were designed to monitor comets and their debris streams. Therefore new reports of their discoveries will also feature below
Alongside these will be material about archaic astrological beliefs which were inextricably inter-linked with ancient astronomical science
New Astro-ArchÃ¦ology & ArchÃ¦oastronomy Discoveries made in 2013 will appear below
as we become aware of them …
“Most have heard of the treasures of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Tutankhamun, first discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922 when they uncovered his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
Few are familiar with his impeccably preserved brooch, recovered along with the numerous other artifacts within the tomb.
Fewer still know about the striking yellow-brown scarab that is set at its center, and that it is made of a yellow silica glass stone procured from the sand of the Sahara and then shaped and polished by ancient craftsmen.
The silica glass was originally formed 28 million years ago, when an ancient comet entered the earth’s atmosphere and exploded over Egypt, heating up the sand beneath it to a temperature of about 2,000 degrees Celsius and resulting in the formation of a huge amount of the yellow silica glass, which lies scattered over a 6,000 square kilometer area in the Sahara.” [Full Story]
“A carved stone found marking a Bronze Age grave in the Ukraine is the oldest sundial of its kind ever found, a new study reveals.
The sundial may have marked the final resting place of a young man sacrificed or otherwise marked as a messenger to the gods or ancestors, said study researcher Larisa Vodolazhskaya of the Archaeoastronomical Research Center at Southern Federal University in Russia.
Vodolazhskaya analyzed the geometry of the tire-size stone and its carvings, confirming the stone would have marked the time using a system of parallel lines and an elliptical pattern of circular depressions.
The elliptical pattern makes the carving an analemmatic sundial. A traditional sundial marks the time using a gnomon, a fixed vertical that casts a shadow.
An analemmatic sundial has a gnomon that must move every day of the year to adjust to the changing position of the sun in the sky.”
“Two penises engraved on a 2,000 year old stone may shed light on the foundation of the city of Aosta in northern Italy, revealing its deep connection with the Roman emperor Augustus.
Named Augusta Praetoria Salassorum by the Romans – who captured it from the local Salassi people in 25 B.C. to control strategic mountain passes – Aosta boasts several monuments dedicated to Augustus.
‘But the newly discovered stone tells even more about Aosta’s connection with the Roman emperor. It reveals the city was built under Augustus’ sign during the winter solstice’, Giulio Magli, professor of archaeoastronomy at Milan’s Polytechnic University, told Discovery News.
‘The tips of the two phalli point to southeast, where the sun raises in the winter months’, she said.” [Full Story]
“Peruvian-Polish research team examined previously unknown Inca object, which turned out to be an astronomical observatory, Prof. Mariusz ZiÃ³lkowski, Head of Pre-Columbian Research Centre at the University of Warsaw, told PAP.
The monument built with well-worked stones was identified in an inaccessible part of the National Park of Machu Picchu by the park director, anthropologist Fernando Astete Victoria, during the prospective inventory work conducted on the slopes of Mount Huayna Picchu.
‘Despite the difficult terrain we managed to perform 3D laser scans, which we then used to prepare a precise model of this amazing complex.’
‘Results of preliminary analysis indicate that it is a device used probably by a small group of Inca priests – astronomers for precise observations of the position of celestial bodies on the horizon, against the distinctive Yanantin mountain peaks’ said Prof. ZiÃ³lkowski.” [Full Story]
“Archaeologists from the Portuguese Association of Archaeological Research (APIA) believe they have discovered new archaeological evidence that suggests that the strange protohistoric pyramidal rock structures situated around the vineyards in Madalena, on the island of Pico in the Azores, were constructed before the 15th century.
If substantiated, their claims mean human occupation of the mid-Atlantic archipelago predates the arrival of the Portuguese by many thousands of years.
The collection of structures made of black basalt stone and some as high as 13 metres, is clustered in and around the Madalena area, and characterises much of the surrounding landscape.
APIA archaeologist Nuno Ribeiro, speaking to PÃºblico newspaper, insisted that the ‘pyramids’ were present on Pico long before the Portuguese made the first recorded landfall in the Azores in 1427, and were constructed by ancestral occupiers of the islands.
The APIA has been present on the island since January. The new evidence comprises an additional variety of these structures, known by locals as maroiÃ§os.
The archeologists noted that around 70 of these maroiÃ§os appear to have been built according to an oriented plan, aligned with the summer solstices and therefore constructed with an intended purpose.” [Full Story]
[It’s about time a brave archaeologist recognised these structures as much more ancient than the Portuguese “discovery” of the Azores, and has the integrity to comment that they are similar to “protohistoric structures found in North Africa and the Canary Islands”.
It’s really typical that some sections of academia has seen fit to slag him off and question his interpretation of the structures as “fanciful”.
Stick to your guns Nuno Ribeiro, and well done. We need more archaeologists like you! – Ed.]
“Just how long have we been able to model future time? And when did we start on the path that led us to that bane of modern life: the deadline?
Recent research by Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology and Geomatics at the University of Birmingham, and a group of researchers indicates that the answer may lie in Aberdeenshire.
They believe that the dawn of timekeeping stretches back far further than the emergence of the earliest formal calendars in around 3,000 BC.
In the 1960s and 1970s the scholar Alexander Marshack suggested that markings on a handful of Upper Palaeolithic objects, such as the Abri Blanchard bone plate from the Dordogne region in France, represent a waxing and waning moon.
Marshack argued that these carvings, manufactured around 30,000 BC, could have served as crude calendars. Current consensus, however, is that these engravings are simply tallies, recording observations of lunar events as they unfolded, rather than making predictions about the future.
When clear evidence for formal lunar calendars does appear in the 3rd millennium BC, it comes from Babylonia, that intellectual power house in the cradle of civilisation.
Is it really possible that elementary timekeeping had been mastered thousands of years earlier in backward Britain?” [Full Story]
[An incredible discovery. Well worth a site visit to read the full story – Ed.]
August 22 2013, National Geographic Daily News, USA
“After a century of uncertainty, researchers have confirmed that the iron used to weld 5,000-year-old Egyptian beads fell from the sky – in the form of a meteorite, that is.
The nine small beads were excavated in 1911 from a tomb in Gerzeh, an ancient cemetery in northern Egypt. Early chemical testing showed traces of nickel, leading scientists to believe they were made from meteoric iron.
The beads were prized as exotic artifacts, strung together on a necklace with precious minerals like gold and carnelian.
In addition to being the oldest discovered artifacts made from meteoric iron, these beads provide novel insight into Egyptian civilization that predates the Iron Age by 2,000 years.”
“Researchers have shown that ancient Egyptian iron beads held at the UCL Petrie Museum were hammered from pieces of meteorites, rather than iron ore.
The objects, which trace their origins to outer space, also predate the emergence of iron smelting by two millennia.
Carefully hammered into thin sheets before being rolled into tubes, the nine beads – which are over 5000 years-old – were originally strung into a necklace together with other exotic minerals such as gold and gemstones, revealing the high value of this exotic material in ancient times.”
“The world’s oldest temple, GÃ¶bekli Tepe in southern Turkey, may have been built to worship the dog star, Sirius.
The 11,000-year-old site consists of a series of at least 20 circular enclosures, although only a few have been uncovered since excavations began in the mid-1990s.
Each one is surrounded by a ring of huge, T-shaped stone pillars, some of which are decorated with carvings of fierce animals. Two more megaliths stand parallel to each other at the centre of each ring.
GÃ¶bekli Tepe put a dent in the idea of the Neolithic revolution, which said that the invention of agriculture spurred humans to build settlements and develop civilisation, art and religion.
There is no evidence of agriculture near the temple, hinting that religion came first in this instance.”
[Over the past 15+ years The Morien Institute has consistently maintained that only in the wider context of the history of the solar system can any real sense be made of the history of human endeavour and civilisation. Here is another excellent study that shatters the inaccurate and out-dated paradigm of prehistory that is taught in our schools, colleges and univesities.
A more holistic view of prehistory will give a clearer picture of the past, and those archaeologists who like to declare down their noses “I’m not a catastrophist!” should be made to get themselves much better read or else to step down – Ed.]
“One explanation of the abrupt cooling episode known as the Younger Dryas (YD) is a cosmic impact or airburst at the YD boundary (YDB) that triggered cooling and resulted in other calamities, including the disappearance of the Clovis culture and the extinction of many large mammal species.
We tested the YDB impact hypothesis by analyzing ice samples from the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core across the BÃ¸lling-AllerÃ¸d/YD boundary for major and trace elements.
We found a large Pt anomaly at the YDB, not accompanied by a prominent Ir anomaly, with the Pt/Ir ratios at the Pt peak exceeding those in known terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials.”
“Humans had a sophisticated calendrical system thousands of years earlier than previously thought, according to new research.
The discovery is based on a detailed analysis of data from an archaeological site in northern Scotland – a row of ancient pits which archaeologists believe is the world’s oldest calendar.
It is almost five thousand years older than its nearest rival – an ancient calendar from Bronze Age Mesopotamia.
Created by Stone Age Britons some 10,000 years ago, archaeologists believe that the complex of pits was designed to represent the months of the year and the lunar phases of the month.
They believe it also allowed the observation of the mid-winter sunrise – in effect the birth of the New Year – so that the lunar calendar could be annually re-calibrated to bring it back into line with the solar year.
Remarkably the monument was in use for some 4,000 years – from around 8,000BC (the early Mesolithic period) to around 4,000BC (the early Neolithic).”
June 2013 Edition, Meteoritics & Planetary Science
“Tube-shaped beads excavated from grave pits at the prehistoric Gerzeh cemetery, approximately 3300 BCE, represent the earliest known use of iron in Egypt.
Using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and micro X-ray microcomputer tomography, we show that microstructural and chemical analysis of a Gerzeh iron bead is consistent with a cold-worked iron meteorite.
Thin fragments of parallel bands of taenite within a meteoritic WidmanstÃ¤tten pattern are present, with structural distortion caused by cold-working.
The metal fragments retain their original chemistry of approximately 30 wt% nickel. The bulk of the bead is highly oxidized, with only approximately 2.4% of the total bead volume remaining as metal.
Our results show that the first known example of the use of iron in Egypt was produced from a meteorite, its celestial origin having implications for both the perception of meteorite iron by ancient Egyptians and the development of metallurgical knowledge in the Nile Valley.”
“Pieces of rock art dot the Appalachian Mountains and research by anthropology professor Jan Simek finds each engraving or drawing is strategically placed to reveal a cosmological puzzle.
Recently, the discoveries of prehistoric rock art have become more common.
With these discoveries comes a single giant one – all these drawing and engravings map the prehistoric peoples’ cosmological world.
Through analysis of the depictions, colors, and spatial organization, they found that the sites mimic the Southeastern native people’s cosmological principles.
‘The cosmological divisions of the universe were mapped onto the physical landscape using the relief of the Cumberland Plateau as a topographic canvas’, said Simek.
The ‘upper world’ included celestial bodies and weather forces personified in mythic characters that exerted influences on the human situation. Mostly open-air art sites located in high elevations touched by the sun and stars feature these images.”
“Recording the passage of time is a fundamental human activity, whether by turning the pages of a calendar, following the sweep of a watch’s second hand, or measuring the time it takes for the sun to complete its arc.
Almost 3,500 years ago, men working in the Valley of the Kings, the burial ground for ancient Egypt’s pharaohs and nobility, made a small sundial using a chip of discarded limestone to mark their days.
Uncovered by archaeologist Susanne Bickel of the University of Basel in an area where workmen of the 19th Dynasty rested after laboring in the royal tombs, the sundial is one of the earliest such devices ever found in Egypt. ”
“A three year examination of astronomical alignments found in the buildings of Mesoamerican cities has demonstrated the basis of some pre-Columbian rituals.
Through the research, archaeologists are trying to establish archaeo-astronomical patterns to see if these impacted in some way to distribution alignments and placement of pre-Colombian cities and the main structures within Mesoamerica.
To date, 150 Maya sites have been investigated in the Gulf of Mexico, the Central Highlands and Oaxaca, with a range of temporal periods from the Formative to the late Postclassic (500 BCE – 1521 CE).
Based on the results so far obtained, Sanchez Nava said that of the buildings that have had alignment measurements taken, more than 70 per cent are solar in nature and their functionality is undoubtedly based on an east-west direction, with Mesoamericans mainly viewing sunrises and sunsets.”
“In 1592, a British ship sank near the island of Alderney in the English Channel carrying an odd piece of cargo: a small, angular crystal.
Though cloudy and scuffed up from 4 centuries at the bottom of the sea, its precise geometry and proximity to the ship’s navigation equipment caught the eye of a diver exploring the wreckage.
Once it was brought back to land, a few European scientists began to suspect the mysterious object might be a calcite crystal, which they believe Vikings and other European seafarers used to navigate before the introduction of the magnetic compass.
A previous study showed that calcite crystals reveal the patterns of polarized light around the sun and, therefore, could have been used to determine its position in the sky even on cloudy days.
That led researchers to believe these crystals, which are commonly found in Iceland and other parts of Scandinavia, might have been the powerful “sunstones” referred to in Norse legends, but they had no archaeological evidence to support their hypothesis – until now.”
“The highest concentration of ancient rock art ever discovered in the Highlands has been found on hillside farmland in Ross-shire (Scotland).
Bronze Age cupmarks carved into rocks up to 5,000 years ago have been found on twenty-eight separate sites on Swordale Hill outside Evanton.
The majority of the cup-marked stones, as well as the henge, have been identified and recorded by Tain man Douglas Scott who says all the evidence suggests the hill was once a ‘ritual centre of some significance’.
His surveys suggested there could have been “general orientations between some cup-marked stones to the rising and setting of the suns at midwinter, midsummer and equinoxes”.
There is also evidence of a connection to the rising and setting of full moons.”
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.
The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.
In 2006 the journal “Nature” published a letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon – as seen from the Earth: – Ed]
More news stories and websites about The Antikythera mechanism
“Stonehenge today is a battlefield, not only for police and festivalgoers at midsummer but also for rival camps of archaeologists, astronomers, and other researchers into the mysteries of prehistoric religion and science. Controversy flared up in 1963, when Gerald Hawkins made early use of the computer to identify Stonehenge as an observatory for the sun and moon and an instrument for predicting eclipses. Further studies of megalithic sites by Alexander Thom proved that many of them were also related to the seasonal positions of the heavenly bodies.
The study of astro-archaeology has now expanded worldwide, bringing new revelations about the mystical sciences of antiquity. This “little history” summarizes the issues involved in astro-archaeology, and illustrates its principal sites and personalities. Included are recent findings of British scientists, whose records of anomalous levels of natural energies at stone circles are in accordance with the magical reputations of such places in local folklore.”
“This complete, authoritative study of the growing discipline of Archaeoastronomy examines the role of astronomy in antiquity. Professor Giulio Magli provides a clear, up-to-date survey of current thinking on the motives of the ancients for building fabulous and mysterious monuments all over our planet. Was it an attempt to reproduce the sky on Earth, to bring down the power of the stars to where they could see it, worship it and use it?
The connecting thread is astronomy: Giulio Magli uses astronomy as a key to understanding our ancestorsâ€™ way of thinking. It is a challenge he likes to call â€˜predicting the pastâ€™ – archaeology as a science is able to make predictions, like any other science, and to check them.
All of the astronomical achievements of the past are considered as a whole, in a comprehensive way that shows the depth and breadth of the thought behind them. In the past, the motives of the ancients â€“ and particularly their scientific thought â€“ have often been misconstrued, maligned or even dismissed.
In an ironic, provocative style, Professor Magli shows the limitations of orthodox archaeology in the face of astronomically-based artefacts and tries to understand what led the ancients to construct magnificent buildings such as the city of Teotihuacan in the Mexico Valley, the Ceremonial Centre of Chaco Canyon in the USA, the Avebury stone circle in Great Britain or the Great Pyramids in Egypt.
The book is divided into two parts. In the first, the reader is taken on an ideal â€˜world tourâ€™ of many wonderful and enigmatic places in almost every continent, in search of traces of astronomical knowledge and lore of the sky. In the second part, Giulio Magli uses the elements presented in the tour to show that the fundamental idea which led to the construction of the astronomically-related giant monuments was the foundation of power, a foundation which was exploited by â€˜replicatingâ€™ the sky.
A possible interpretive model then emerges that is founded on the relationship the ancients had with â€œnatureâ€, in the sense of everything that surrounded them, the cosmos. The numerous monumental astronomically aligned structures of the past then become interpretable as acts of will, expressions of power on the part of those who held it; the will to replicate the heavenly plane here on earth and to build sacred landscapes.”
“The discovery of a 5000-year-old Sun Temple and an ancient “time machine” – Stone Age calendar – in Canada led scientist Gordon Freeman to ground-breaking discoveries in Stonehenge. During fieldwork and research from 1986 to 2006, Freeman found striking similarities between the surface geometry of the two sites.
These similarities push back the boundaries of written history and have far-reaching implications for North American and European history.
Passion and science blend in this remarkable, readable book, as Freeman takes us along on his patient and exciting discovery of a 5000-year-old Temple in the plains of Alberta. What he finds at the Majorville Medicine Wheel in turn informs his convincing account of Stonehenge archaeoastronomy”
“In all of the world’s myths and religions we find traditions of a Great Flood. There are stories too of a Golden Age: the antediluvian paradise that it destroyed. Might these be real memories of the ancient world? And how can we analyse the subject scientifically? The key to unlock these ancient myths lies in astronomy. “Under Ancient Skies” will examine the astronomical evidence for an ancient cataclysm and in the process will explore a number of related anomalies in prehistory, including: Was there a single great flood in human prehistory, or have there been many?
Could the workings of ancient calendars and the records of ancient eclipses give us clues about the Flood and the antediluvian world? Did the Celtic Druids use a calendar based on the orbit of Saturn; and is this the same antediluvian calendar as is described in Plato’s myth of Atlantis? Do Hindu, Chinese and Mayan cosmology myths recall the years after the Flood when our world wobbled on its axis?
Geologists have recently found the crater in Yucatan, where an asteroid impact destroyed the world of the dinosaurs. Scientists and astronomers have stopped dismissing the theory that a comet could have struck the Earth during prehistory – but any suggestion that a comet impact just a few thousand years ago might have caused the Biblical Flood, remains the last taboo. It is time for this barrier too to be washed away. If you read this book and you understand it then be warned – it may scare you!”
“Historical astronomical records can play an important role in modern research, especially in the case of ancient Chinese observational data: sunspot and aurora records are important for the study of solar variability; solar and lunar eclipse records for the study of the Earth’s rotation; records of Comet Hally for the study of orbital evolution; “guest star” records for the study of supernova remnants; planetary conjunction records for research in astronomical chronology.
In the past, Western scientists have not been able to exploit these valuable data fully because the original records were difficult to gather and interpret, and complete English translations have not been available. East-Asian Archaeoastronomy is the first comprehensive translation into English of such historical records for modern research.
The book also features an introduction to East Asian astronomy and offers guidance on how to use the records effectively. It will not only be a valuable research tool for astronomers but should also be of great interest to historians of China and Chinese science. Xu; Zhenoao Purple Mountin Observatory,Pankenier; W Department of Modern Foreign Language and Literatur,Yaotiao; Jiang Nanjing University , China.”
“Recent studies of Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments have given rise to the science of astro-archaology, the study of early astronominical knowledge through the interpretation of ancient monuments and other archaeological data. A noted British astronomer’s fascinating study of early megalithic period astronomical knowledge through the interpretation of such monuments as Stonehenge, Carnac, and many other megalithic sites.
Stone Age sculpture, astronomical computations, radiocarbon dating and many other topics explored. Over 140 maps, photographs and illustrations. An essential summary of astronomy in the Stone Age.”
“The 2300 BC Event takes a new look at an old puzzle: what happened at this date to cause the various advanced societies on the Earth to simultaneously collapse?
Civilizations in Anatolia and Greece, through Egypt and the Middle East, and eastward to India and Central Asia were at their height. The collapse of these civilizations due to earthquakes and climatic changes has been mirrored by similar interruptions on all continents, in the Arctic, and extending to the Pacific.
The discontinuities have long puzzled archaeologists and historians. New religions and accompanying mythologies appeared at this time in all cultural regions describing bombardment and flooding from the skies.
Strangely, the dominant aspect of the mythologies, however, is the observation and worship of a ring appearing to surround the Earth, oriented to the two Ursa (Bear) constellations.”