Because of this their starting point was to divide the horizon into 360 equal units. The mathematical trick used to short-circuit this procedure that was itemized in Appendix One does not apply in this case. It is possible that the Sumerians devised their own method of making the initial procedure quicker, but in any case theirs was a metal-using culture and one that would therefore not have needed to repeat the procedure of defining the linear unit all that often.
They could have created a fairly
accurate standard rod. Establishing the necessary 1/360th of the
horizon by trial and error would have taken time, but it is quite
possible to achieve with a high degree of accuracy.
The desired number of swings in this case is 240, which is the same as 240 seconds, a period of time known to the Sumerians as a 'gesh'.
A pendulum that swung 240 times during
the passage of Venus through the braced frame would be 99.88 cm in
length, a linear length that conforms to that discovered on the
statues of Gudea from Lagesh in Iraq. This unit of length was known
to the Sumerians as the double kush.
Because the object being tracked is Venus, which is moving independently against the backdrop of stars, the time taken for each beat of the pendulum is slightly longer than a second (1.002 seconds). This stands as part of the proof that the Sumerians did use this system to define their linear unit.
They fully understood that there were 43,200 seconds in a day (to us there are twice this number because we use a twenty-four-hour day instead of the Sumerian twelve-hour day) but there is no absolutely reliable way of defining the true second of time by observing the sky and swinging a pendulum. This could only be achieved by tracking the average movement of the Sun in the same way Venus is used in this exercise.
However, because of the Earth's own orbital characteristics, the Sun does appear to move at a constant speed across the sky.
There are only a few days each year on
which the experiment using the Sun would work perfectly and the
Sumerians could not have known which days would have been
appropriate. In addition, the Sun is very much more difficult, and
potentially dangerous, to track in this way.
A seconds pendulum created by tracking a
star would actually give a time reading of 0.997 seconds and lead to
a pendulum length close to 99.3cm.
As we have shown, the Sumerian double mana unit of mass divides into the mass of the Earth 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times, which would not have been the case with a shorter pendulum and therefore a lighter unit of mass.
True, the achieved second of time was slightly at odds with the genuine second of time, but the Sumerians, lacking accurate clocks, could not have been aware of this fact.
In fact the discrepancy is so small it couldn't have been measured until the last century or so.
We started to realize that something
highly unusual was happening when we discovered that the Megalithic
system of geometry worked on the Moon and the Sun as well as the
On its own this could be a bizarre
coincidence, but because of what follows we believe that it is the
'headline' to a message built into the Moon 4.6 billion years ago.
This sequence produces a second of arc
on the Earth's polar circumference that is 366 Megalithic Yards
long, the linear measure of the Megalithic builders as identified by
NASA quote the mean volumetric circumference as being 4,373,096 km, which we converted into Megalithic Yards and applied the 366 geometry.
The fit is 99.99 per cent accurate to
40,000 and given that this is based on a best estimate of the mean
circumference it has to be considered bang on.
NASA gives the mean volumetric circumference of 10,914.5 km, which produces the following result:
If we use the equatorial radius the result is 99.9 MY per second of lunar arc.
Either way, this is as close to 100 MY
as makes no difference, given the irregular surface of the Moon and
the small variation in Thom's definition of the Megalithic Yard of
It therefore appears that the Moon was
designed using units derived from the physical dimensions of the Sun
and the Earth.
It is also a consequence of the above
that the Moon makes 366 orbits of the Earth in 10,000 Earth days.
The Earth's own orbit around the Sun
remains essentially unchanged. It is only the time it takes to spin
on its own axis that alters.
The number sequences which alerted us to
the 'message' are clearly meant for the present period.
No one knows the origin of the
Megalithic system but the origin of the metric system is fully
documented. Whilst it did have a near identical precursor in the
Sumerian system of m ore than 4,000 years earlier, the metric system
is known to have been developed from measuring the polar
circumference of the Earth alone.
All curiously round values!
There are also 109.2 Sun diameters between the Earth and the Sun at its furthest point of orbit. The circumference of the Moon is 109.2 x 100 kilometers.
Is that not odd in the extreme?
Taken in isolation, any one of these
strange associations might be considered to be a coincidence but
there comes a time, however, when coincidences become so frequent
that something else must be at work.
Early cultures did not know either and
must have seriously thought, for a few minutes at least, that the
world was coming to an end.
Hawkins had carefully studied the
ancient monument, parts of which date back five thousand years, and
subjected his data to a massive number- crunching computer. He came
to the conclusion that the Aubrey Holes, a series of fifty-six
chalk-filled pits around the standing stones at Stonehenge,
represented a sophisticated device for predicting both solar and
This single effort certainly caused
humanity to significantly improve its naked-eye astronomy and its
understanding of mathematics. There are good reasons why this should
be the case and at the base of most of them is power. Any would-be
ruler, secular or religious, who could predict when an eclipse was
likely to take place was in a very strong position to manipulate the
situation to his or her own ends.
The prediction itself would have seemed
to most people to be the most sophisticated sort of magic and when
the king or holy man drove away the dark dragon that was trying to
swallow the Sun or causing the Moon to bleed, his power would be
ensured for a considerable period ahead.
The word saros was first used by the astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742) and is supposed to have been derived from a Babylonian word. The saros cycle is 6,585.3 days in length (18 years, 11 days, 8 hours).
It represents the coming together of
three distinct patterns. The first of these is the
Synodic Month (new Moon to new
Moon,) the second is the Draconian Month (node to node [see below
for information on Moon's nodes]) and the third is the Anomalistic
Month (perigee to perigee [see below for information on Moon's
Each saros cycle runs for around 1,200
years (around sixty-six repeat eclipses) until it expends itself. If
the saros cycle commences near the South Pole it will extend itself
gradually further north with each eclipse until it finally
disappears at the North Pole. The same is true in reverse.
This meant that the saros cycle to them was just two days short of eighteen years in length. The two days didn't really matter because solar eclipses can only occur at the new Moon and lunar eclipses at the full Moon.
In other words, just a couple of days
short of eighteen years after a particular eclipse, the next full or
new Moon would be certain to bring another.
If it is a full eclipse the Sun's disc will be covered at what is known as totality.
At totality, all that is perceptible is
the faint glow from the corona of the Sun. Soon after, the shadow
begins to move away and a spectacular shaft of light breaks out,
forming what is known as the diamond ring effect. The phenomenon is
just as impressive now as it must have looked from Babylon or
They are simply not possible anywhere else and only occur as a legacy of a series of breathtaking, apparent coincidences.
The fit of the Moon's disc across the face of the Sun during a total eclipse is not 'near' - it is 'exact '- and this fact should be the greatest sense of wonder to anyone viewing such an event because it is very unlikely.
No other planet has a moon anywhere near big enough or orbiting at the right distance to fully, but not too fully, eclipse the Sun. There are two basic sorts of eclipse, and then subcategories within the two types. The most impressive form of eclipse is known as a solar eclipse.
The drawing below shows what is actually happening when a solar eclipse takes place.
The larger shadow is called the penumbra and people beneath this will see a partial eclipse. There is another form of solar eclipse that can never be total and this is known as an annular eclipse.
The Moon is 1/400th
part the size of the Sun and it stands at 1/400th the distance
between the Earth and the Sun, but not always exactly.
When the Moon is closest to Earth it is
said to be at perigee and when it is furthest away it is at apogee.
It might be thought that because there is a new Moon each month, there should therefore be a solar eclipse each month but this is not the case.
The orbit of the Moon around the Earth does not follow the same angle as the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. If it did, every new Moon would indeed bring a solar eclipse. Rather it is tilted to the Earth's orbit (known as the ecliptic) by five degrees. Only when new Moon occurs at a point when the orbit of the Moon around the Earth crosses that of the Earth around the Sun, can a solar eclipse take place.
These points north and south of the
ecliptic are called the Moon's nodes. This happens 'at least' twice
each year and can produce a solar eclipse observable from somewhere
on the Earth.
A lunar eclipse takes place when the
shadow of the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon. A lunar
eclipse can only take place at the exact opposite time to a solar
eclipse, at the time of the full Moon when the entire disc of the
Moon is visible from Earth.
Such lunar eclipses were seen by many
ancient cultures as terrible harbingers of disaster and were
probably feared as much as solar eclipses.
Because of this, total eclipses can only
happen when new Moons fall on what is known as the node - that point
at which the two orbits cross.
Once again the fact that the plane of
the Earth's orbit around the Sun and that of the Moon around the
Earth are not the same prevents every full Moon from being eclipsed.
Isaac Asimov, the famed science-fiction guru, described this perfect visual alignment as being:
The size of the spheres and the distance
between them is such that because of the perspective to the viewer
the small sphere will exactly cover the large sphere.
Finally, if we keep the spheres the same
as in the last example, but move the smaller one nearer to the eye
of the observer we once again create a situation in which the small
sphere appears to exactly cover the large one.
This in itself might be considered nothing more than a strange but meaningless coincidence but we must stretch coincidence almost to breaking point when we realize that when the Moon is as close to the Earth as its orbit will bring it, it stands at 1/400th the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
Under these circumstances when it stands
precisely between the observer and the Sun, the Moon 'must' exactly
cover the disc of the Sun - it is a simple matter of perspective.
If we estimate the Moon to be 4 billion years in age and then accept the most common assessment that it will reach its furthest position from the Earth in 15 billion years (excluding the fact that the Sun will most certainly have gobbled up both Earth and Moon by then) the sum total of the Moon's journey from closest to furthest from the Earth is 19 billion years.
The Moon is a finite size, as to all intents and purposes is the Sun. There can only be a very short window of opportunity during which the disc of the Moon can cover that of the Sun, as seen from Earth, in the truly perfect way that it does right now.
That it has done so just at the time we
have evolved into a sophisticated enough species to recognize and
study the fact seem s almost incredible. It doesn't matter how much
experts say 'It's just one of those things', it is still an example
of one of the most unlikely coincidences imaginable.
Even bearing in mind the vast size of
the planetary super-giants, with their proliferation of moons,
Earth's Moon is still the fifth largest in the whole solar system.
Yet there is something very strange
about the Moon that isn't easy to explain. Although it is 1/3rd as
big as the Earth it has only 1/81st of the Earth's mass.
Even conservative astronomers admit that total eclipses are very unlikely but still maintain such happenings must be a random chance event.
We beg to differ!
None of these surprised us m ore than that created by the Sumerians, a culture that originated in what is presently known as Iraq at about the same time as the Megalithic culture was flourishing in Britain and France. Our ongoing work for the present book made us look again at some aspects of the Sumerian measuring system.
It could be that yet another part of the message left to us, indicating a deliberate intervention into the origin and progress of humanity, is encapsulated within the methods the Sumerians used to measure their world.
Existent statues of the Sumerian King Gudea demonstrate that the double kush was intended to measure 99.88cm. Units of volume and weight were derived from the double kush by creating a cube with sides of 1/10th of a double kush.
The amount of pure water held by such a cube represented the sila, which was the Sumerian unit for measuring volume. The weight of this water was known as the mana or mina and was the Sumerian unit for measuring m ass.
How we untangled all of this from the
Sumerian records is explained in detail in our book Civilization
Until our own investigations, many
experts had believed that the use of the barley seed by the
Sumerians for measuring purposes was probably an abstraction. It was
generally considered that the Sumerians might originally have used
such seeds (as was the case in ancient western Europe), but that as
in the case of Europe the seeds ultimately came to be words
representing sizes and weights that no longer related to barley
seeds at all.
However, we discovered that if the seeds
were laid on their sides and front to back (as they may have been
carefully strung on a necklace) they conformed absolutely to the
According to Sumerian texts it was considered that there were 10,800 barley seeds to the unit of weight known as the 'mana'. The weight of water held in the double mana, assuming a double kush of 99.88 cm and a cube with sides of 1/10th of this, would have been 996.4 grams.
The mass of the Earth is held to be 5.976 x 1024 kg. If we divide this by .9964 in order to establish how m any double mana there are to the mass of the Earth, we arrive at 5.99759 x 1024 double mana. This number is so close to 6 x 1024 (99.99per cent) that this must surely have been the number intended.
Since there are 10.800 barley seeds to
the mana and therefore 21,600 to the double mana it is possible to
show that the mass of the Earth is equal to that of 1.296 x 1029
barley seeds. This might not seem to be a particularly impressive
number but it has some very important properties.
A further split of sixty brings us to 6
x 1024 barley seeds and yet another split of sixty
results in 1 x 1023 barley seeds, which can be
expressed fully as 100,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000.
What we have with the Sumerian system is
a fully integrated way of measuring length, volume, mass, area and
time, using the same number bases in each case. The whole system can
be constructed from a pendulum set by the movements of Venus across
one degree of arc of the horizon or else from the bottom up with
nothing m ore complicated than barley seeds.
We are left with the impression that the
system would have been very useful in the marketplace and on the
farm in order to ensure equity of measurement throughout Sumerian
society but that it is highly unlikely that the Sumerian Priests
could have known the dimensions of the Earth, let alone its m ass.
It is most likely that both concepts would have been absolutely
alien to them.
By so doing they supplied the Sumerians with one of the hallmarks of true civilization, namely an integrated and replicable measuring system. At the same time, the use of the barley seeds added to a significant series of messages about these events in prehistory that were intended for our consumption.
Since it seems unlikely that a cereal grain as widespread and useful as barley could, by chance, behave in the way that it does in terms of its size and weight, it seem s very likely to us that the crop was genetically engineered.
It was used by the Sumerians for bread
but also brewed into a beer that was drunk for m any centuries
across the whole of civilization.