Zecharia Sitchin - When Time Began

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Zecharia Sitchin - When Time Began

  1. 1. CONTENTS Foreword 11. The Cycles of Time 22. A Computer Made of Stone 273. The Temples That Faced Heaven 514. DUR.AN.KI—The "Bond Heaven-Earth" 795. Keepers of the Secrets 1086. The Divine Architects 1407. A Stonehenge on the Euphrates 1708. Calendar Tales 1989. Where the Sun Also Rises 22410.In Their Footsteps 25511.Exiles on a Shifting Earth 29212.The Age of the Ram 31813.Aftermath 350 Additional Sources 380 Index 395
  2. 2. FOREWORDSince the earliest times, Earthlings have lifted their eyesunto the heavens. Awed as well as fascinated, Earthlingslearned the Ways of Heaven: the positions of the stars, thecycles of Moon and Sun, the turning of an inclined Earth.How did it all begin, how will it end—and what will happenin between?Heaven and Earth meet on the horizon. For millenniaEarthlings have watched the stars of the night give way tothe rays of the Sun at that meeting place, and chose as apoint of reference the moment when daytime and nighttimeare equal, the day of the Equinox. Man, aided by the cal-endar, has counted Earthly Time from that point on.To identify the starry heavens, the skies were dividedinto twelve parts, the twelve houses of the zodiac. But asthe millennia rolled on, the "fixed stars" seemed not to befixed at all. and the Day of the Equinox, the day of theNew Year, appeared to shift from one zodiacal house toanother; and to Earthly Time was added Celestial Time—the start of a new era, a New Age.As we stand at the threshold of a New Age, when sunriseon the day of the spring equinox will occur in the zodiacalhouse of Aquarius rather than, as in the past 2,000 years,in the zodiacal house of Pisces, many wonder what thechange might portend: good or evil, a new beginning or anend—or no change at all?To understand the future we should examine the past;because since Mankind began to count Earthly Time, it hasalready experienced the measure of Celestial Time—thearrival of New Ages. What preceded and followed one suchNew Age holds great lessons for our own present station inthe course of Time.1
  3. 3. 1THE CYCLES OF TIMEIt is said that Augustine of Hippo, the bishop in RomanCarthage (A.D. 354-430), the greatest thinker of the Chris-tian Church in its early centuries, who fused the religion ofthe New Testament with the Platonistic tradition of Greekphilosophy, was asked, "What is time?" His answer was,"If no one asks me, I know what it is; if I wish to explainwhat it is to him who asks me, I do not know." Time is essential to Earth and all that is upon it, and toeach one of us as individuals; for, as we know from ourown experience and observations, what separates us fromthe moment we are born and the moment when we ceaseto live is TIME. Though we know not what Time is, we have found waysto measure it. We count our lifetimes in years, which—come to think of it—is another way of saying "orbits," forthat is what a "year" on Earth is: the time it takes Earth,our planet, to complete one orbit around our star, the Sun.We do not know what time is, but the way we measure itmakes us wonder: would we live longer, would our lifecycle be different, were we to live on another planet whose"year" is longer? Would we be "immortal" if we were tobe upon a "Planet of millions of years"—as, in fact, theEgyptian pharaohs believed that they would be, in an eternalAfterlife, once they joined the gods on that "Planet ofmillions of years"? Indeed, are there other planets "out there," and, evenmore so, planets on which life as we know it could haveevolved—or is our planetary system unique, and life onEarth unique, and we, humankind, are all alone—or did thepharaohs know what they were speaking of in their PyramidTexts? 2
  4. 4. The Cycles of Time 3 "Look up skyward and count the stars," Yahweh toldAbraham as He made the covenant with him. Man haslooked skyward from time immemorial, and has been won-dering whether there are others like him out there, uponother earths. Logic, and mathematical probability, dictatea Yes answer; but it was only in 1991 that astronomers, forthe first time, it was stressed, actually found other planetsorbiting other suns elsewhere in the universe. The first discovery, in July 1991, turned out not to havebeen entirely correct. It was an announcement by a team ofBritish astronomers that, based on observations over a five-year period, they concluded that a rapidly spinning staridentified as Pulsar 1829-10 has a "planet-sized compan-ion" about ten times the size of Earth. Pulsars are assumedto be the extraordinarily dense cores of stars that have col-lapsed for one reason or another. Spinning madly, they emitpulses of radio energy in regular bursts, many times persecond. Such pulses can be monitored by radio telescopes;by detecting a cyclic fluctuation, the astronomers surmisedthat a planet that orbits Pulsar 1829-10 once every sixmonths can cause and explain the fluctuation. As it turned out, the British astronomers admitted severalmonths later that their calculations were imprecise and,therefore, they could not stand by their conclusion that thepulsar, some 30,000 light-years away, had a planetary sat-ellite. By then, however, an American team had made asimilar discovery pertaining to a much closer pulsar, iden-tified as PSR 1257+ 12—a collapsed sun only 1,300 light-years away from us. It exploded, astronomers estimated,about a mere billion years ago; and it definitely has two,and perhaps three, orbiting planets. The two certain oneswere orbiting their sun at about the same distance as Mercurydoes our Sun; the possible third planet orbits its sun at aboutthe same distance as Earth does our Sun. "The discovery stirred speculation that planetary systemsnot only were fairly common but also could occur underdiverse circumstances," wrote John Noble Wilford in TheNew York Times of January 9, 1992; "scientists said it wasmost unlikely that planets orbiting pulsars could be hospita-
  5. 5. 4 WHEN TIME BEGANble to life; but the findings encouraged astronomers, whothis fall will begin a systematic survey of the heavens forsigns of intelligent extraterrestrial life." Were, then, the pharaohs right? Long before the pharaohs and the Pyramid Texts, anancient civilization—Mans first known one—possessed anadvanced cosmogony. Six thousand years ago, in ancientSumer, what astronomers have discovered in the 1990s wasalready known; not only the true nature and composition ofour Solar System (including the farthest out planets), butalso the notion that there are other solar systems in theuniverse, that their stars ("suns") can collapse or explode,that their planets can be thrown off course—that Life, in-deed, can thus be carried from one star system to another.It was a detailed cosmogony, spelled out in writing. One long text, written on seven tablets, has reached usprimarily in its later Babylonian version. Called the Epic ofCreation and known by its opening words Enuma elish, itwas publicly read during the New Year festival that startedon the first day of the month Nissan, coinciding with thefirst day of spring. Outlining the process by which our own Solar Systemcame into being, the long text described how the Sun("Apsu") and its messenger Mercury ("Mummu") werefirst joined by an olden planet called Tiamat; how a pair ofplanets Venus and Mars—("Lahamu" and "Lahmu") thencoalesced between the Sun and Tiamat, followed by twopairs beyond Tiamat—Jupiter and Saturn ("Kishar" and"Anshar") and Uranus and Neptune ("Anu" and "Nudim-mud"), the latter two being planets unknown to modernastronomers until 1781 and 1846 respectively—yet known,and described, by the Sumerians millennia earlier. As thosenewly-created "celestial gods" tugged and pulled at eachother, some of them sprouted satellites—moonlets. Tiamat,in the midst of that unstable planetary family, sproutedeleven satellites; one of them, "Kingu," grew so much insize that it began to assume the aspects of a "celestial god,"a planet, on its own. Modern astronomers were totally ig-norant of the possibility that a planet could have many
  6. 6. The Cycles of Time 5moons until Galileo discovered the four largest moons ofJupiter in 1609, with the aid of a telescope; but the Su-merians were aware of the phenomenon millennia earlier. Into that unstable solar system, according to the millen-nia-old Epic of Creation, there appeared an invader fromouter space—another planet; a planet not born into the fam-ily of Apsu, but one that had belonged to some other starsfamily and that was thrust off to wander in space. Millenniabefore modern astronomy learned of pulsars and collapsingstars, the Sumerian cosmogony had already envisioned otherplanetary systems and collapsing or exploding stars thatthrew off their planets. And so, Enuma elish related, onesuch cast-off planet, reaching the outskirts of our own SolarSystem, began to be drawn into its midst (Fig. 1) . As it passed by the outer planets, it caused changes thataccount for many of the enigmas that still baffle modernastronomy—such as the cause for Uranuss tilt on its side,the retrograde orbit of Neptunes largest moon, Triton, orwhat pulled Pluto from its place as a moonlet to become aplanet with an odd orbit. The more the invader was drawninto the Solar Systems center, the more was it forced ontoa collision course with Tiamat, resulting in the "CelestialBattle." In the series of collisions, with the invaders sat-
  7. 7. 6 WHEN TIME BEGANellites repeatedly smashing into Tiamat, the olden planetsplit in two. One half of it was smashed into bits and piecesto become the Asteroid Belt (between Mars and Jupiter) andvarious comets; the other half, wounded but intact, wasthrust into a new orbit to become the planet we call Earth("Ki" in Sumerian); shunted with it was Tiamats largestsatellite, to become Earths Moon. The invader itself wascaught into permanent orbit around the Sun, to become ourSolar Systems twelfth member (Sun, Moon, and tenplanets). The Sumerians called it Nibiru—"Planet of theCrossing." The Babylonians renamed it Marduk in honorof their national god. It was during the Celestial Battle, theancient epic asserted, that the "seed of life," brought byNibiru from elsewhere, was passed to Earth. Philosophers and scientists, contemplating the universeand offering modern cosmogonies, invariably end up dis-cussing Time. Is Time a dimension in itself, or perhaps theonly true dimension in the universe? Does Time only flowforward, or can it flow backward? Is the present part of thepast or the beginning of the future? And, not least of all,did Time have a beginning? For, if so, will it have an end?If the universe has existed forever, without a beginning andthus without an end, is Time too without a beginning andwithout an end—or did the universe indeed have a begin-ning, perhaps with the Big Bang assumed by many astro-physicists, in which case Time began when the universebegan? Those who conceived the amazingly accurate Sumeriancosmogony also believed in a Beginning (and thus, inex-orably, in an End). It is clear that they conceived of Timeas a measure, the pacesetter from, and the marker of, abeginning in a celestial saga; for the very first word of theancient Epic of Creation, Enuma, means When:Enuma elish la nabu shamamu When in the heights heaven had not been namedShaplitu ammatum shuma la zakrat And below, firm ground (Earth) had not been called
  8. 8. The Cycles of Time 7 It must have taken great scientific minds to conceive ofa primordial phase when "naught existed but primordialApsu, their begetter; Mummu, and Tiamat"—when Earthhad not yet come into being; and to realize that for Earthand all upon it the "big bang" was not when the universeor even the Solar System was created, but the event of theCelestial Battle. It was then, at that moment, that Timebegan for Earth—the moment when, separated from the halfof Tiamat that became the Asteroid Belt ("heaven"), Earthwas shunted to its own new orbit and could start countingthe years, the months, the days, the nights—to measureTime. This scientific view, central to ancient cosmogony, re-ligion, and mathematics, was expressed in many other Su-merian texts besides the Epic of Creation. A text treated byscholars as the "myth" of "Enki and the world order," butwhich is literally the autobiographical tale by Enki, theSumerian god of science, describes the moment when—When—Time began to tick for Earth: In the days of yore, when heaven was separated from Earth, In the nights of yore, when heaven was separated from Earth . . . Another text, in words often repeated on Sumerian claytablets, conveyed the notion of Beginning by listing themany aspects of evolution and civilization that had not yetcome into being before the crucial event. Before then, thetext asserted, "the name of Man had not yet been called"and "needful things had not yet been brought into being."All those developments started to take place only "afterheaven had been moved away from Earth, after Earth hadbeen separated from heaven." It is not surprising that the same notions of Times be-ginnings also ruled Egyptian beliefs, whose developmentwas subsequent to those of the Sumerians. We read in thePyramid Texts (para. 1466) the following description of theBeginning of Things:
  9. 9. 8 WHEN TIME BEGAN When heaven had not yet come into existence, When men had not yet come into existence, When gods had not yet been born, When death had not yet come into existence . . . This knowledge, universal in antiquity and stemmingfrom the Sumerian cosmogony, was echoed in the very firstverse of Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible: In the beginningElohim created the heaven and the earth.And the earth was without form and voidand darkness was upon the face of Tehom, and the wind of the Lord swept over its waters. It is now well established that this biblical tale of creationwas based on Mesopotamian texts such as Enuma elish,with Tehom meaning Tiamat, the "wind" meaning "sat-ellites," in Sumerian, and "heaven," described as the"hammered out bracelet," the Asteroid Belt. The Bible,however, is clearer regarding the moment of the Beginningas far as Earth was concerned; the biblical version picks upthe Mesopotamian cosmogony only from the point of theseparation of the Earth from the Shamaim, the HammeredBracelet, as a result of the breakup of Tiamat. For Earth, Time began with the Celestial Battle. The Mesopotamian tale of creation begins with the for-mation of our Solar System and the appearance of Nibiru/Marduk at a time when the planetary orbits were not yetfixed and stable. It ends by attributing to Nibiru/Marduk thecurrent shape of our Solar System, whereby each planet("celestial god") received its assigned place ("station"),orbital path ("destiny"), and rotation, even its moons. In-deed, as a large planet that encompasses by its orbit all theother planets, one who "crosses the heavens and surveysthe regions," it was considered to have become the one thatstabilized the Solar System:
  10. 10. The Cycles of Time 9 He established the station of Nibiru, to determine their heavenly bands, that none might transgress or fall short. . . He established for the planets their sacred heavens, He keeps hold on their ways, determines their courses. Thus, states Enuma elish (Tablet V, line 65), "He createdthe Heaven and the Earth"—the very same words used inthe Book of Genesis. The Celestial Battle eliminated Tiamat as a member ofthe old Solar System, thrust half of it into a new orbit tobecome Planet Earth, retained the Moon as a vital com-ponent of the new Solar System, detached Pluto into anindependent orbit, and added Nibiru as the twelfth memberof the New Order in our heavens. For Earth and its inhab-itants, those were to become the elements that determinedTime. To this day, the key role that the number twelve playedin Sumerian science and daily life (in line with the twelve-member Solar System) has accompanied us throughout themillennia. They divided the "day" (from sunset to sunset)into twelve "double-hours," retained into modern times inthe twelve-hour clock and the twenty-four-hour day. Thetwelve months in the year are still with us, as are the twelvehouses of the zodiac. This celestial number had many otherexpressions, as in the twelve tribes of Israel or the twelveapostles of Jesus. The Sumerian mathematical system is called sexagesimal,i.e. "based on sixty" rather than on 100 as in the metricsystem (in which one meter is equal to 100 centimeters).Among the advantages of the sexagesimal system was itsdivisibility into twelve. The sexagesimal system progressedby alternately multiplying six and ten: starting with six,multiplying six by ten (6 x 10 = 60), then by six to obtain360—the number applied by the Sumerians to the circle andstill used both in geometry and astronomy. That, in turn,
  11. 11. 10 WHEN TIME BEGANwas multiplied by ten, to obtain the sar ("ruler, lord"), thenumber 3,600, which was written by inscribing a greatcircle, and so on. The sar, 3,600 Earth-years, was the orbital period ofNibiru around the Sun; for anyone on Nibiru, it was justone Nibiru-year. According to the Sumerians, there wereindeed others, intelligent beings, on Nibiru, evolving therewell ahead of hominids on Earth. The Sumerians calledthem Anunnaki, literally meaning "Those who from Heavento Earth came." Sumerian texts repeatedly asserted that theAnunnaki had come to Earth from Nibiru in great antiquity;and that when they had come here, they counted time notin Earth terms but in terms of Nibirus orbit. The unit ofthat Divine Time, a year of the gods, was the sar. Texts known as the Sumerian King Lists, which describethe first settlements of the Anunnaki on Earth, list the gov-ernorships of the first ten Anunnaki leaders before the Del-uge in sars, the 3,600 Earth-year cycles. From the firstlanding to the Deluge, according to those texts, 120 sarshad passed: Nibiru orbited the Sun one hundred and twentytimes, which equals 432,000 Earth-years. It was on the onehundred twentieth orbit that the gravitational pull of Nibiruwas such that it caused the ice sheet that accumulated overAntarctica to slip off into the southern oceans, creating theimmense tidal wave that engulfed the Earth—the great floodor Deluge, recorded in the Bible from much earlier andmuch more detailed Sumerian sources. Legends and ancient lore gave this number, 432,000,cyclical significance beyond the land then called Sumer. InHamlets Mill, Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von De-chend, searching for "a point where myth and science join,"concluded that "432,000 was a number of significance fromold." Among the examples cited by them was the Teutonicand Norse tale of the Valhalla, the mythic abode of the slainwarriors who, on the Day of Judgment, will march out ofthe Valhallas gates to fight at the side of the god Odin orWoden against the giants. They would exit through theValhallas 540 doors; eight hundred warriors would marchout of each. The total number of warrior-heroes, Santillana
  12. 12. The Cycles of Time 11and von Dechend pointed out, was thus 432,000. "Thisnumber," they continued, "must have had a very ancientmeaning, for it is also the number of syllables in theRigveda," the "Sacred Book of Verses" in the Sanskritlanguage, in which have been recorded the Indo-Europeantales of gods and heroes. Four hundred thirty-two thousand,the two authors wrote, "goes back to the basic figure10,800, the number of stanzas in the Rigveda, with 40syllables to a stanza" (10,800 x 40 = 432,000). Hindu traditions clearly associated the number 432,000with the yugas or Ages that Earth and Mankind had expe-rienced. Each caturyuga ("great yuga") was divided intofour yugas or Ages whose diminishing lengths were expres-sions of 432,000: first the Fourfold Age (4 x 432,000 =1,728,000 years) which was the Golden Age, then theThreefold Age of Knowledge (3 x 432,000 = 1,296,000years), followed by the Double or Twofold Age of Sacrifice(2 x 432,000 = 864,000 years); and finally our presentera, the Age of Discord which will last a mere 432,000years. All in all these Hindu traditions envision ten eons,paralleling the ten Sumerian rulers of the pre-Diluvial erabut expanding the overall time span to 4,320,000 years. Further expanded, such astronomical numbers based on432,000 were applied in Hindu religion and traditions tothe kalpa, the "Day" of the Lord Brahma. It was definedas an eon comprising twelve million devas ("DivineYears"). Each Divine Year in turn equaled 360 Earth-years. Therefore, a "Day of the Lord Brahma" equaled4,320,000,000 Earth-years—a time span very much likemodern estimates of the age of our Solar System—arrivedat by multiplications of 360 and 12. 4,320,000,000 is, however, a thousandfold great yugas—a fact brought out in the eleventh century by the Arab math-ematician Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, who explained that thekalpa consisted of 1,000 cycles of caturyugas. One couldthus paraphrase the mathematics of the Hindu celestial cal-endar by stating that in the eyes of the Lord Brahma, athousand cycles were but a single day. This brings to mind
  13. 13. 12 WHEN TIME BEGANthe enigmatic statement in Psalms (90:4) regarding the Di-vine Day of the biblical Lord: A thousand years, in thy eyes, [are] as a day past, gone by.The statement has traditionally been viewed as merelysymbolic of the Lords eternity. But in view of the numeroustraces of Sumerian data in the Book of Psalms (as well asin other parts of the Hebrew Bible), a precise mathematicalformula might well have been intended—a formula echoedalso in Hindu traditions.The Hindu traditions were brought to the Indian subcon-tinent by "Aryan" migrants from the shores of the CaspianSea, cousins of the Indo-Europeans who were the Hittitesof Asia Minor (todays Turkey) and of the Hurrians of theupper Euphrates River, through whom Sumerian knowledgeand beliefs were transmitted to the Indo-Europeans. TheAryan migrations are believed to have taken place in thesecond millennium B.C. and the Vedas were held to be "notof human origin," having been composed by the gods them-selves in a previous age. In time the various componentsof the Vedas and the auxiliary literature that derived fromthem (the Mantras, Brahmanas, etc.) were augmented bythe non-Vedic Puranas ("Ancient Writings") and the greatepic tales of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. In them, agesderiving from multiples of 3,600 also predominate; thus,according to the Vishnu Parana, "the day that Krishna shalldepart from Earth will be the first day of the age of Kali;it will continue for 360,000 years of mortals." This is areference to the concept that the Kaliyuga, the present age,is divided to a dawn or "morning twilight" of 100 divineyears that equal 36,000 Earth or "mortal" years, the ageitself (1,000 divine years equaling 360,000 Earth-years),and a dusk or "evening twilight" of a final 100 divine years{36,000 mortal-years), adding up to 1,200 divine or 432,000Earth-years.The depth of such widespread beliefs in a Divine Cycleof 432,000 years, equaling 120 orbits of 3,600 Earth-years
  14. 14. The Cycles of Time 13each of Nibiru, makes one wonder whether they representmerely arithmetical sleights of hand—or, in some unknownway, a basic natural or astronomical phenomenon recog-nized in antiquity by the Anunnaki. We have shown in The12th Planet, the first book of The Earth Chronicles series,that the Deluge was a global calamity anticipated by theAnunnaki, resulting from the gravitational pull of the near-ing Nibiru on the unstable ice sheet over Antarctica. Theevent brought the last ice age to an abrupt end circa 13,000years ago, and was thus recorded in Earths cycles as amajor geological and climatic change.Such changes, the longest being the geological epochs,have been verified through studies of the Earths surfaceand oceanic sediments. The last geological epoch, calledthe Pleistocene, began about 2,500,000 years ago and endedat the time of the Deluge; it was the time span during whichhominids evolved, the Anunnaki came to Earth, and Man,Homo sapiens, was brought into being. And it was duringthe Pleistocene that a cycle of approximately 430,000 yearswas identified in marine sediments. According to a seriesof studies by teams of geologists led by Madeleine Briskinof the University of Cincinnati, sea level changes and deep-sea climatic records show a "430,000-year quasi-periodiccyclicity." Such a cyclic periodicity conforms with the As-tronomical Theory of climatic modulations that takes intoaccount changes due to obliquity (the Earths tilt), preces-sion (the slight orbital retardation), and eccentricity (theshape of the elliptical orbit). Milutin Milankovitch, whooutlined the theory in the 1920s, estimated that the resultinggrand periodicity was 413,000 years. His, and the morerecent Briskin cycle, almost conform to the Sumerian cycleof 432,000 Earth-years attributed to Nibirus effects: theconvergence of orbits and perturbations and climatic cycles.The "myth" of Divine Ages thus appears to be based onscientific facts.The element of Time features in the ancient records, bothSumerian and biblical, not only as a point of beginning—When." The process of creation is at once linked to themeasurement of time, measurements that in turn are linked
  15. 15. 14 WHEN TIME BEGANto determinable celestial motions. The destruction of Tiamatand the ensuing creation of the Asteroid Belt and Earthrequired, according to the Mesopotamian version, two re-turn orbits of the Celestial Lord (the invading Nibiru/Mar-duk). In the biblical version, it took the Lord two divine"days" to complete the task; hopefully, even Fundamen-talists will by now agree that these were not day and nightdays as we now know them, for the two "days" occurredbefore Earth had yet come into existence (and besides, letthem heed the Psalmists statement of the Lords day beingequal to a thousand years or so). The Mesopotamian versionclearly measures Creation Time or Divine Time by the pas-sages of Nibiru, in an orbit equaling 3,600 Earth-years. Before that ancient story of Creation shifts to the newlyformed Earth and evolution upon it, it is a tale of stars,planets, celestial orbits; and the Time it deals with is DivineTime. But once the focus shifts to Earth and ultimately toMan upon it, the scale of Time also shifts—to an EarthlyTime—to a scale appropriate not only to Mans abode butalso to one that Mankind could grasp and measure: Day,Month, Year. Even as we consider these familiar elements of EarthlyTime, it should be borne in mind that all three of them arealso expressions of celestial motions—cyclical motions—involving a complex correlation between Earth, Moon, andSun. We now know that the daily sequence of light anddarkness that we call a Day (of twenty-four hours) resultsfrom the fact that Earth turns on its axis, so that as it is litby the Suns rays on one side, the other side is in darkness.We now know that the Moon is always there, even whenunseen, and that it wanes and waxes not because it disap-pears but because, depending on the Earth-Moon-Sun po-sitions (Fig. 2) we see the Moon fully lighted by the Sunsrays, or fully obscured by the Earths shadow, or in phasesin between. It is this threefold relationship that extends theactual orbital period of the Moon around the Earth fromabout 27.3 days (the "sidereal month") to the observedcycle of about 29.53 days (the "synodic month") and the
  16. 16. The Cycles of Time 15phenomenon of the reappearing or New Moon with all itscalendrical and religious implications. And the year or SolarYear, we now of course know, is the period it takes theEarth to complete one orbit around the Sun, our star. But such basic truths regarding the causes of the EarthlyTime cycles of day, month, year are not self-evident andrequired advanced scientific knowledge to be realized. Forthe better part of two thousand years it was believed, forexample, that the day-night cycle resulted from the circlingof Earth by the Sun; for from the time of Ptolemy of Al-exandria (second century A.D.) until the "Copernican Rev-olution" in 1543 A . D ., the unquestioned belief was that theSun, the Moon, and the visible planets were circling theEarth, which was the center of the universe. The suggestionby Nicolaus Copernicus that the Sun was at the center andthat the Earth was just another celestial body orbiting it,
  17. 17. 16 WHEN TIME BEGANlike any other planet, was so revolutionary scientifically andheretical religiously that he delayed writing his great astro-nomical work (De revolutionibus coelestium; English trans-lation, On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres) and hisfriends delayed printing it until his very last day, May 24,1543. Yet it is evident that in earlier times Sumerian knowledgeincluded familiarity with the triple Earth-Moon-Sun rela-tionship. The Enuma elish text, describing the four phasesof the Moon, clearly explained them in terms of the positionof the Moon vis-a-vis the Sun as it (the Moon) circled theEarth: a full moon at midmonth as it "stood still oppositethe Sun," and its waning at months end as it "stood againstthe Sun" (see Fig. 2). These motions were attributed to the"destinies" (orbits) that the Celestial Lord (Nibiru) gaveEarth and its moon as a result of the Celestial Battle: The Moon he caused to shine, to it the night entrusting; In the night the days to signal he appointed it, [saying:] Monthly, without cease, form designs with a crown. At the months very start, rising over the Earth, thou shalt have luminous horns to signify six days, reaching a crescent on the seventh day. At mid month stand still opposite the Sun; it shall overtake thee at the horizon. Then diminish thy crown and regress in light, at that time approaching the Sun; And on the 30th day thou shalt stand against the Sun. I have appointed thee a destiny; follow its path. "Thus," the ancient text concludes, did the CelestialLord "appoint the days and establish the precincts of nightand day." (It is noteworthy that the biblical and Jewish tradition,according to which the twenty-four-hour day begins at sun-down the previous evening—"and it was evening and it wasmorning, one day"—is already expressed in the Mesopo-tamian texts. In the words of Enuma elish, the Moon was"appointed in the night the days to signal.")
  18. 18. The Cycles of Time 17 Even in its condensed version of the much more detailedMesopotamian texts, the Bible (Genesis 1:14) expressed thetriple relationship between Earth, Moon, and Sun as it ap-plied to the cycles of day, month, year: And the Lord said: Let there be luminaries in the hammered-out Heaven to distinguish between the day and the night; And let them be signs for months and for days and for years. The Hebrew term Moedim used here to denote"months," which signifies the ritual assembly called for onthe evening of the New Moon, establishes the Moons orbitalperiod and phases as an integral component of the Meso-potamian-Hebrew calendar from its very inception. By list-ing the two luminaries (Sun and Moon) as responsible forthe months and the days and the years, the complex lunar-solar nature of that calendars antiquity is also presented.Over the millennia of Mankinds efforts to measure time bydevising a calendar, some (as the Moslems continue to thisday) have followed only the Moons cycles; others (as theancient Egyptians and the Common Era calendars in use inthe Western world) have adopted the solar year, convenient-ly dividing it into "months." But the calendar devised aboutfifty-eight hundred years ago in Nippur (Sumers religiouscenter) and still adhered to by the Jews retained the biblicallystated complexity of time-keeping based on the orbital re-lationship between the Earth and the two luminaries. Indoing that, the fact that the Earth orbits the Sun was rec-ognized by the term Shanah for "year" which stems fromthe Sumerian shatu, an astronomical term meaning "tocourse, to orbit," and the full term Tekufath ha-Shanah—"the circling or annual orbiting" to denote the passage ofa full year. Scholars have been puzzled by the fact that the Zohar(The Book of Splendor), an Aramaic-Hebrew compositionwhich is a central work in the literature of Jewish mysticismknown as Kabbalah, unmistakably explained—in the thir-
  19. 19. 18 WHEN TIME BEGANtccnth century of the Christian era—that the cause of thedays changing into night was the turning of the Earth aroundits own axis. Some two hundred fifty years before Coperni-cus asserted that the day-night sequence resulted not fromthe Suns circling of the Earth but from the Earths turningon its own axis, the Zohar stated that "The entire Earthspins, turning as a sphere. When one part is down the otherpart is up. When it is light for one part it is dark for theother part; when it is day for that, it is night for the other."The Zohars source was the third century Rabbi Hamnuna!Though little known, the role of Jewish savants in trans-mitting astronomical knowledge to Christian Europe in theMiddle Ages has been convincingly documented by extantbooks on astronomy, written in Hebrew and containing clearillustrations (as this one from a twelfth century book pub-lished in Spain, Fig. 3). Indeed, the writings of Ptolemy ofAlexandria, known to the Western world as the Almagest,were first preserved by the Arab conquerors of Egypt in theeighth century and became available to Europeans throughtranslations by Jewish scholars; significantly some of thesetranslations contained commentaries casting doubt on theFigure 3
  20. 20. The Cycles of Time 19accuracy of the geocentric theories of Ptolemy centuriesbefore Copernicus. Other such translations of Arabic andGreek works on astronomy, as well as independent treatises,were a main channel for the study of astronomy in medievalEurope. In the ninth and tenth centuries Jewish astronomerscomposed treatises on the movements of the Moon and theplanets and calculated the paths of the Sun and the positionsof the constellations. In fact, the compilation of astronom-ical tables, whether for European kings or Moslem caliphs,was a specialty of Jewish court astronomers.Such advanced knowledge, seemingly ahead of its time,can be explained only by the retention of the earlier so-phisticated knowledge that permeates the Bible and its ear-lier Sumerian sources. Indeed, Kabbalah literally means"that which was received," earlier secret knowledge trans-mitted from generation to generation. The knowledge ofJewish savants in the Middle Ages can be traced directly toacademies in Judea and Babylonia that commented uponand retained biblical data. The Talmud, recording such dataand commentaries from about 300 B.C. to about a.d. 500,is replete with astronomical snippets; they include the state-ment that Rabbi Samuel "knew the paths of heaven" as ifthey were the streets of his town, and the reference by RabbiJoshua ben-Zakai to "a star which appears once in seventyyears and confounds the mariners"—familiarity with Hal-leys Comet whose periodic return every seventy-five yearsor so was assumed to have been unknown until discoveredby Edmund Halley in the eighteenth century. Rabbi Gamlielof Jabneh possessed a tubular optical instrument with whichhe observed the stars and planets—fifteen centuries beforethe "official" invention of the telescope.The need to know the heavenly secrets stemmed from thelunar-solar nature of the Jewish (i.e. Nippurian) calendar,which required a complex adjustment—"intercalation"—between the solar year and the lunar year, the latter fallingshort of the former by 10 days, 21 hours. 6 minutes andabout 45.5 seconds. That shortfall equals 7/19 of a synodicmonth, and, therefore, a lunar year can be realigned withthe solar year by adding seven lunar months to every nine-teen solar years. Astronomy books credit the Athenian as-
  21. 21. 20 WHEN TIME BEGANtronomer Meton (circa 430 B.C.) with the discovery of thisnineteen-year cycle; but the knowledge in fact goes backmillennia, to ancient Mesopotamia. Scholars have been puzzled by the fact that in theSumerian-Mesopotamian pantheon, Shamash (the "Sungod") was depicted as the son of the "Moon god" Sin,and thus of a lesser hierarchical standing, rather than theexpected reverse order. The explanation may lie in theorigins of the calendar, wherein the notation of the cyclesof the Moon preceded the measurement of the solar cycle.Alexander Marshack, in The Roots of Civilization, sug-gested that markings on bone and stone tools from Nean-derthal times were not decorations but primitive lunarcalendars. In the purely lunar calendars, as is still the case in theMoslem calendar, the holidays keep slipping back by abouta month every three years. The Nippurian calendar, havingbeen devised to maintain a cycle of holidays connected withthe seasons, could not allow such an ongoing slippage: theNew Year, for example, had to begin on the first day ofspring. This required, from the very beginning of Sumeriancivilization, a precise knowledge of the motions of the Earthand the Moon, and their correlation with the Sun, and thusthe secrets of intercalation. It also required understandinghow the seasons come about. Nowadays we know that the annual movement of the Sunfrom north to south and back, causing the seasons, resultsfrom the fact that the Earths axis is tilted relative to theplane of its orbit around the Sun; this "obliquity" is atpresent about 23.5 degrees. The farthest points reached bythe Sun north and south, where it seems to hesitate, thenturn back, are called solstices (literally, "Sun standstills"),occurring on June 21 and December 22. The discovery ofthe solstices has also been attributed to Meton and his col-league, the Athenian astronomer Euctemon. But, in fact,such knowledge goes back to much earlier times. The richastronomical vocabulary of the Talmud had already appliedthe term Netiyah (from the verb Natoh, "to tilt, incline,turn sideways") to the modern equivalent term "obliquity";
  22. 22. The Cycles of Time 21a millennium earlier the Bible recognized the notion of theEarths axis by attributing the day-night cycle to a "line"drawn through the Earth (Psalms 19:5); and the Book ofJob, speaking of the formation of the Earth and its mysteries,attributed to the Celestial Lord the creation of an inclinedline, a tilted axis, for the Earth (Job 38:5). Using the termNatoh, the Book of Job refers to the Earths tilted axis andthe North Pole when it states (26:7) He tilted north over the void and hangeth the Earth upon nothing at all. Psalms 74:16-17 recognized not only the correlation be-tween the Earth, Moon, and Sun, and the Earths rotationabout its axis as the cause of day, night, and the seasons,but also recognized the outermost points, the "limits" ofthe Suns apparent seasonal movements, that we callsolstices: Thine is the day and thine also is the night; the Moon and Sun thou didst ordain. All the Earths limits thou hast set, summer and winter didst create. If a line is drawn between the sunrise and sunset pointsfor each solstice, the result is such that the two lines crossabove the viewers head, forming a giant X that divides theEarth, and the skies above it, into four parts. This divisionhas been recognized in antiquity and is referred to in theBible when it speaks of the "four corners of the Earth" andthe "four corners of the skies." The resulting division ofthe circle of the Earth and the skies into four parts that looklike triangles rounded at their bases created for the ancientpeoples the image of "wings." The Bible thus spoke of the"four wings of the Earth" as well as of the "four wingsof the skies." A Babylonian map of the Earth, from the first millenniumB.C., illustrated this concept of four "corners of the Earth"
  23. 23. 22 WHEN TIME BEGANby literally depicting four "wings" attached to the circularEarth (Fig. 4). The Suns apparent movement from north to south andback resulted not only in the two clearly opposite seasonsof summer and winter, but also the interim seasons of au-tumn and spring. The latter were associated with the equi-noxes, when the Sun passed over the Earths equator (oncegoing, once coming back)—times at which daylight andnighttime are equal. In ancient Mesopotamia, the New Yearbegan on the day of the spring equinox—the first day of theFirst Month (Nisannu—Month "when the sign is given").Even when, at the time of the Exodus, the Bible (Leviticuschapter 23) decreed that the New Year be celebrated on theday of the autumnal equinox, that designated month (Tish-rei) was called "the seventh month," recognizing that Ni-sannu has been the first month. In either case, the knowledgeof the equinoxes, attested to by the New Year days, clearlyextends back to Sumerian times. The fourfold division of the solar year (two solstices, twoequinoxes) was combined in antiquity with the lunar motionsto create the first known formal calendar, the lunar-solarcalendar of Nippur. It was used by the Akkadians, Baby-lonians, Assyrians, and other nations after them, and re-mains in use to this very day as the Jewish calendar. Figure 4
  24. 24. The Cycles of Time 23 For Mankind, Earthly Time began in 3760 B.C.; we knowthe exact date because, in the year 1992 of the CommonEra, the Jewish calendar counts the year 5752. Between Earthly Time and Divine Time there is CelestialTime. From the moment Noah stepped out of the ark, needingreassurance that the watery end of all flesh would not soonrecur, Mankind has lived with a lingering notion—or is ita recollection?—of cycles or eons or Ages of Earths de-struction and resurrection, and has looked to the heavensfor celestial signs, omens of good or bad to come. From its Mesopotamian roots the Hebrew language re-tains the term Mazal as meaning "luck, fortune" whichcould be either good or bad. Little is it realized that theterm is a celestial one, meaning zodiac house, and harkensback to the time when astronomy and astrology were oneand the same, and priests atop temple-towers followed themovements of the Celestial Gods to see in which house ofthe zodiac—in which Manzalu, in Akkadian—they stoodthat night. But it was not Man who had first grouped the myriadsof stars into recognizable constellations, defined and namedthose that spanned the ecliptic, and divided them into twelveto create the twelve houses of the zodiac. It was the An-unnaki who had conceived of that for their own needs; Manadopted that as his link, his means of ascent, to the heavensfrom the mortality of life on Earth. For someone arriving from Nibiru with its vast orbital"year" on a fast orbiting planet (Earth, the "seventhplanet" as the Anunnaki had called it) whose year is butone part of 3,600 of theirs, time-keeping had to pose a greatproblem. It is evident from the Sumerian King Lists andother texts dealing with the affairs of the Anunnaki that fora long time—certainly until the Deluge—they retained thesar, the 3,600 Earth-years of Nibiru, as the divine unit oftime. But what could they do somehow to create a reason-able relationship, other than 1:3600, between that DivineTime and the Earthly Time?
  25. 25. 24 WHEN TIME BEGAN The solution was provided by the phenomenon calledprecession. Because of its wobble, the Earths orbit aroundthe Sun is slightly retarded each year; the retardation orprecession amounts to 1° in seventy-two years. Devisingthe division of the ecliptic (the plane of planetary orbitsaround the Sun) into twelve—to conform to the twelve-member composition of the Solar System—the Anunnakiinvented the twelve houses of the zodiac; that allotted toeach zodiac house 30°, in consequence of which the retar-dation per house added up to 2,160 years (72 x 30 =2,160) and the complete Precessional Cycle or "GreatYear" to 25,920 years (2,160 x 12 = 25,920). In GenesisRevisited we have suggested that by relating 2,160 to 3,600the Anunnaki arrived at the Golden Ratio of 6:10 and, moreimportantly, at the sexagesimal system of mathematicswhich multiplied 6 by 10 by 6 by 10 and so on and on. "By a miracle that I have found no one to interpret,"the mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote in The Masks ofGod: Oriental Mythology (1962), "the arithmetic that wasdeveloped in Sumer as early as c. 3200 B.C., whether bycoincidence or by intuitive induction, so matched the ce-lestial order as to amount in itself to a revelation." The"miracle," as we have since shown, was provided by theadvanced knowledge of the Anunnaki. Modern astronomy, as well as modern exact sciences,owes much to the Sumerian "firsts." Among them the di-vision of the skies about us and all other circles into 360portions ("degrees") is the most basic. Hugo Winckler,who with but a few others combined, at the turn of thecentury, mastery of "Assyriology" with knowledge of as-tronomy, realized that the number 72 was fundamental asa link between "Heaven, Calendar and Myth" (Altorien-talische Forschungen). It was so through the Hameshtu, the"fiver" or "times five," he wrote, creating the fundamentalnumber 360 by multiplying the celestial 72 (the precessionalshift of 1°) by the human 5 of an Earthlings hand. Hisinsight, understandably for his time, did not lead him toenvision the role of the Anunnaki, whose science wasneeded to know of Earths retardation to begin with.
  26. 26. The Cycles of Time 25 Among the thousands of mathematical tablets discoveredin Mesopotamia, many that served as ready-made tables ofdivision begin with the astronomical number 12,960,000and end with 60 as the 216,000th part of 12,960,000. H.V.Hilprecht (The Babylonian Expedition of the University ofPennsylvania), who studied thousands of mathematical tab-lets from the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal inNineveh, concluded that the number 12,960,000 was lit-erally astronomical, stemming from an enigmatic GreatCycle of 500 Great Years of complete precessional shifts(500 x 25,920 = 12,960,000). He, and others, had nodoubt that the phenomenon of precession, presumably firstmentioned by the Greek Hipparchus in the second centuryB.C., was already known and followed in Sumerian times.The number, reduced by ten to 1,296,000, it will be re-called, appears in Hindu tradition as the length of the Ageof Knowledge as a threefold multiple of the cycle of 432,000years. The cycles-within-cycles, interplaying 6 and 12 (the72 years of a 1° zodiacal shift), 6 and 10 (the ratio of 2,160and 3,600) and 432,000 to 12,960,000, may thus reflectsmall and great cosmic and astronomical cycles—secretsyet to be unveiled, of which Sumerian numbers offer justa glimpse. The selection of the vernal equinox day (or conversely,the autumnal equinox day) as the moment to begin the NewYear was not accidental, for because of the Earths tilt, itis just on these two days that the Sun rises at the pointswhere the celestial equator and the ecliptic circle intersect.Because of precession—the full term is Precession of theEquinoxes—the zodiacal house in which this intersectionoccurs keeps shifting back, appearing in a preceding 1° inthe zodiacal band every seventy-two years. Although thispoint is still being referred to as the First Point of Aries, infact we have been in the "Age" (or zodiac) of Pisces sinceabout 60 B.C., and slowly but surely we will soon enter theAge of Aquarius (Fig. 5). It is such a shift—the changefrom a fading zodiacal age to the start of another zodiacalage—that is the coming of a New Age. As Mankind on Earth awaits the change with anticipation,
  27. 27. 26 WHEN TIME BEGANFigure 5many are those who wonder what the change will bring withit—of what Mazal will it be a harbinger? Bliss or upheavals,an end—or a new beginning? The end of the Old Order orthe start of a New Order on Earth, perhaps the prophesiedreturn of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth?Does Time only flow forward or can it also flow back-ward, philosophers have wondered. In fact, Time does shiftbackward, for that is the essence of the phenomenon ofprecession: the retardation in Earths orbit around the Sunthat causes, once in about 2,160 years, the observance ofsunrise on the spring equinox not in the next zodiacal housebut in the preceding one. . .Celestial Time, as we havedesignated it. does not progress in the direction of Earthly(and all Planetary) Time, counterclockwise; rather, it movesin the opposite direction, matching the orbital (clockwise)direction of Nibiru.Celestial Time does flow backward, as far as we on Earthare concerned; and therefore, in zodiacal terms, the Past isthe Future.Let us examine the Past.
  28. 28. 2 A COMPUTER MADE OF STONEThe notion or recollection of cyclical ages affecting Earthand Mankind was not confined to the Old World. WhenHernando Cortes was welcomed by the Aztec king Moc-tezuma as a returning god, he was presented with an im-mense golden disk on which were carved the symbols ofthe cyclical ages in which the Aztecs and their predecessorsin Mexico believed. That precious artifact has been lostforever, having been quickly melted down by the Spaniards;but replicas thereof, in stone, have been found (Fig. 6). Theglyphs represented the cycle of "Suns" or ages of whichthe present is the fifth. The previous four all ended in oneor another natural calamity—-water, wind, quakes andstorms, and wild animals. The first age was the Age of theWhite Haired Giants; the second, the Golden Age. The third
  29. 29. 28 WHEN TIME BEGANwas the Age of the Red Haired People (who, according tothe legends, were the lirsl to arrive by ships in the Americas);and the fourth was the Age of the Black Haired People,with whom the supreme Mexican god, Quctzalcoatl, hadarrived.All the way south in pre-Columbian Peru, the Andeanpeoples also spoke of five "Suns" or ages. The first onewas the age of the Viracochas, white and bearded gods; thesecond was the Age of the Giants, followed by the Age ofPrimitive Man. The fourth was the Age of Heroes; and thencame the fifth or contemporary age, the Age of Kings, ofwhich the Inca kings were last in line. The durations ofthese ages were measured in thousands rather than in tensor hundreds of thousands of years. Mayan monuments andtombs were decorated with "sky bands" whose glyphs havebeen found to represent the zodiacal division of the heavens;artifacts found in Mayan ruins and in the Inca capital Cuzcohave been identified as zodiacal calendars. The city of Cuzcoitself, it appears, was (in the words of S. Hagar in a paperdelivered at the 14th Congress of Americanists) "a testi-monial in stone" to the South American familiarity withthe twelve-house zodiac. The unavoidable conclusion is thatknowledge of the zodiacal division of the ecliptic was some-how known in the New World millennia ago, and that theAges were measured in the 2,160-year units of CelestialTime.The idea that calendars could be made of stone mightseem strange to us, but was evidently quite logical in an-tiquity. One such calendar, posing many puzzles, is calledStonehenge. It consists nowadays of gigantic stone blocksthat stand silently on a windswept plain in England, northof the city of Salisbury and about eighty miles southwestof London. The remains pose an enigma that has titillatedthe curiosity and imagination of generations, challenginghistorians, archaeologists, and astronomers. The mysterythese megaliths bespeak is lost in the mists of earlier times;and Time, we believe, is the key to its secrets.Stonehenge has been called "the most important prehis-toric monument in the whole of Britain," and that alone
  30. 30. A Computer Made of Stone 29justifies the attention it has been given over the centuriesand especially in recent times. It has been described—atleast by its British relators—as unique, for "there is nothingelse like it anywhere in the world" (R.J.C. Atkinson, Stone-henge and Neighbouring Monuments); and that may explainwhy an eighteenth-century manuscript listed more than sixhundred works on Stonehenge in its catalogue of ancientmonuments in Western Europe. Stonehenge is indeed thelargest and most elaborate of more than nine hundred ancientstone, wood, and earthen circles in the British Isles, as wellas the largest and most complicated one in Europe.Yet, in our view, it is not only what makes Stonehengeunique that is its most important aspect. It is also whatreveals its similarity to certain monuments elsewhere, andits purpose at the specific time of its construction, that makeit part of the tale we have called The Earth Chronicles. Itis within such a wider framework, we believe, that one canoffer a plausible solution to its enigma.Even those who have not visited Stonehenge must haveseen, in print or on the screen, the most striking featuresof this ancient complex: the pairs of huge upright stoneblocks, each about thirteen feet high, connected at the topby an equally massive lintel stone to form freestanding Tril-ithons; and these, erected in a semicircle, surrounded inturn by a massive circle of similar giant stones connectedat the top by lintels that were carefully carved to form acontinuous ring around the paired uprights. Though someof the stone blocks in what are called the sarsen trilithonsand the Sarsen Circle (after the type of stone, a kind ofsandstone, to which these boulders belong) are missing andsome have toppled, it is they that create the view that theword "Stonehenge" conjures (Fig. 7).Inside this massive stone ring other, smaller stones calledbluestones were placed so as to form the Bluestone Circleoutside the Trilithons and a bluestone semicircle (some referto it as the Bluestone Horseshoe) inside the Trilithon half-circle. As is the case regarding the sarsen stones, not all ofthe bluestones that together formed these circles and half-circles (or "horseshoes") are still in place. Some are miss-
  31. 31. 30 WHEN TIME BEGANFigure 7ing altogether; some lie about as fallen giants. Adding tothe sites haunting aura are other gigantic stones that lieabout and whose nicknames (of uncertain origin) compoundthe mystery; they include the Altar Stone, a sixteen-foot-long dressed block of blue-gray sandstone that remains half-buried under an upright and the lintel of one of the Trilith-ons. In spite of considerable restoration work, much of thestructures past glory is either gone or fallen. Still, archae-ologists have been able to reconstruct from all the availableevidence how this remarkable stone monument looked inits prime.They have concluded that the outer ring, of uprights con-nected by curved lintels, consisted of thirty upright stonesof which seventeen remain. Within this Sarsen Circle therestood the Bluestone Circle of smaller stones (of whichtwenty-nine are still extant). Within this second ring stoodfive pairs of Trilithons, making up the Sarsen Horseshoeoften massive sarsen blocks; they are usually numbered 51through 60 on charts (lintel stones are numbered separatelyin a series that adds 100 to their related uprights; thus thelintel connecting the uprights 51-52 is number 152).The innermost semicircle consisted of nineteen bluestones(some numbered 61-72), forming the so-called BluestoneHorseshoe; and within this innermost compound, precisely
  32. 32. A Computer Made of Stone 31on the axis of the whole Stonehenge complex, stood the so-called Altar Stone, giving these circles within circles ofstone the layout envisioned in Fig. 8a.As if to emphasize the importance of the circular shapealready evident, the rings of stones are in turn centeredwithin a large framing circle. It is a deep and wide ditchwhose excavated soil was used to raise its banks; it formsa perfect encompassing ring around the whole Stonehengecomplex, a ring with a diameter in excess of three hundredfeet. Approximately half the circuit of the ditch was ex-cavated earlier this century and then partly refilled; the otherportions of the ditch and its raised banks bear the marks ofbeing weathered down by nature and man over the millennia.These circles within circles have been repeated in yetother ways. A few feet away from the inner bank of theditch there exists a circle made up of fifty-six pits, deep andperfectly dug into the ground, called the Aubrey Holes aftertheir seventeenth-century discoverer, John Aubrey. Ar-chaeologists have excavated these holes for whatever cluesthe accumulation of debris might disclose about the site andits builders, and have thereafter plugged up the holes withwhite cement discs; the result is that the perfect circle thatthese holes form stands out—especially from the air. Inaddition, cruder and more irregular holes were dug at someunknown time in two circles around the sarsen and bluestonecircles, now known as the Y and Z holes.Two stones, unlike all the others, have been found po-sitioned on opposite sides of the ditchs inner embankment;and somewhat farther down the line of the Aubrey Holes(but evidently not part of them), two circular mounds, equi-distant from the two stones, have been found with holes inthem. Researchers are convinced that the holes also heldstones akin to the first two, and that the four—called StationStones (now numbered 91-94)—served a distinct purpose,especially since, when connected by lines, the four stonesoutline a perfect rectangle with probable astronomical con-notations. Yet another massive stone block, nicknamed theSlaughter Stone, lies fallen where the embanked ditch hasa wide gap that clearly served as the opening into (or from)
  33. 33. 32 WHEN TIME BEGANthe concentric rings of stones, holes, and earthworks. Itprobably lies not exactly where it once stood, and wasprobably not alone, as holes in the ground suggest.The opening in the ditch is oriented exactly to the north-east. It leads to (or allows arrival from) a causeway, calledthe Avenue. Two parallel embanked ditches outline thisavenue, leaving a clear passage over thirty feet wide. It runsstraight for more than a third of a mile where it branchesnorthward toward a vast elongated earthwork known as theCursus, whose orientation is at an angle to that of the Av-enue; the other branch of the Avenue curves toward theRiver Avon.The concentric circles of Stonehcnge with the Avenueleading to the northeast (Fig. 8b) provide a major clue re-Figures 8a and 8b
  34. 34. A Computer Made of Stone 33garding the purpose for which Stonehenge was constructed.That the direction of the Avenue—its precise northeasternorientation—was not accidental becomes clear when it isrealized that a line drawn through the center of the Avenuepasses through the center of the circles of stones and holesto form the structures axis (see Fig. 8a). That the axis wasdeliberately oriented is suggested by a series of holes in-dicating that the marker stones had once been placed alongthis axis. One of them, called the Heel Stone, still standsas a mute witness to the builders intentions and the sitespurpose; it was undoubtedly astronomical.The idea that Stonehenge was a carefully planned astro-nomical observatory rather than a heathen cult or occult site(a notion expressed, for example, by calling a fallen stone"Slaughter Stone," implying human sacrifices), was noteasily accepted. In fact, the difficulty grew rather than di-minished the more the site was investigated and its date ofconstruction kept shifting backward.A twelfth-century account (Historia regum Britanniae byGeoffrey of Monmouth) related that the "Giants Ring"was "a stone cluster which no man of the period could evererect and was first built in Ireland from stones brought bythe giants from Africa." It was then on the advice of thesorcerer Merlin (whom Arthurian legends also connectedwith the Holy Grail) that the King of Vortigen moved thestones and "re-erected them in a circle round a sepulchre,in exactly the same way as they had been arranged on MountKillaraus" in Ireland. (That this medieval legend had afactual core was given confirmation by the modem discoverythat the bluestones originated from the Prescelly Mountainsin southwestern Wales and were somehow transported byland and water over a distance of two hundred fifty miles—first to a site some twelve miles northwest of Stonehenge,where they might have been erected in an earlier circle, andthen on to Stonehenge proper).In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the stonetemple was attributed to the Romans, the Greeks, the Phoe-nicians, or the Druids. The common aspect of these various
  35. 35. 34 WHEN TIME BEGANnotions is that they all shifted the time attributed to Stone-henge from the Middle Ages back to the beginning of theChristian era and earlier, thus substantially increasing thesites antiquity. Of these various theories, the one concern-ing the Druids gained the most favor at the time, not leastof all because of the research and writings of William Stuke-ley, especially his 1740 work Stonehenge, A Temple Re-stord To The British Druids. The Druids were the learnedclass or sect of teacher-priests among the ancient Celts.According to Julius Caesar, who is the prime source ofinformation regarding the Druids, they assembled once ayear at a sacred place for secret rites; they offered humansacrifices; and among the subjects they taught the Celt no-blemen were "the powers of the gods," the sciences ofnature, and astronomy. While nothing that has been un-covered by archaeologists at the site reveals any connectionwith pre-Christian era Druids, the Celts had arrived in thearea by that time and there is no proof the other way either,namely that the Druids did not gather at this "Sun Temple"even if they had nothing to do with its much earlier builders.Although Roman legions encamped near the site, no evi-dence was found to connect Stonehenge with the Romans.A Greek and Phoenician connection, however, shows morepromise. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (first centuryB.C.)—a contemporary of Julius Caesar—who had traveledto Egypt, wrote a multivolume history of the ancient world.In the first volumes he dealt with the prehistory of theEgyptians, Assyrians, Ethiopians, and Greeks, the so-called"mythic times." Drawing on the writings of earlier histo-rians, he quotes from a (by now lost) book by Hecataeusof Abdera in which the latter had stated, circa 300 B.C.,that on an island inhabited by the Hyperboreans "there isa magnificent sacred precinct of Apollo and a notable templewhich is spherical in shape." The name in Greek signifieda people from the distant north, whence the north wind("Boreas") comes. They were worshipers of the Greek(later Roman) god Apollo, and the legends regarding theHyperboreans were thus mingled with the myths concerning
  36. 36. A Computer 35Made of StoneApollo and his twin sister, the goddess Artemis. As theancients told it, the twins were the children of the great godZeus and their mother Leto, a Titaness. Impregnated byZeus, Leto wandered over the face of the Earth seeking aplace to give birth to her children in peace, away from thewrath of Hera, the official wife of Zeus; Apollo was thusassociated with the distant north. The Greeks and the Ro-mans considered him a god of divination and prophecy; hecircled the zodiac in his chariot.Though not attributing any scientific value to such a leg-endary or mythological connection with Greece, archaeol-ogists have nevertheless seemed to find such a connectionthrough archaeological discoveries in the area of Stone-henge, which is replete with prehistoric earthworks, struc-tures, and graves. These man-made ancient remains includethe great Avebury Circle, which schematically drawn re-sembles the works of a modern watch (Fig. 9a, as sketchedby William Stukeley) or even the meshing wheels of theancient Mayan calendar (Fig. 9b). They also include themiles-long trench called the Cursus; a kind of wooden-pegged rather than stone-made circle called Woodhenge;and the outstanding Silbury Hill—an artificial conical hillFigures 9a and 9b
  37. 37. 36 WHEN TIME BEGANwhich is precisely circular and 520 feet in diameter, thelargest of its kind in Europe (some see significance in thefact that it is situated an exact six purported "megalithicmiles" from Stonehenge).The most important finds, archaeologically speaking,have been made in this area (as often elsewhere) in tombs,which are scattered all over the Stonehenge area. In themarchaeologists have found bronze daggers, axes and maces,golden ornaments, decorated pottery, and polished stones.Many of those finds reinforced archaeological opinion thatthe manner in which stones at Stonehenge were smoothlydressed and carefully shaped indicated "influences" fromMinoan Crete (the Mediterranean island) and Mycenaean(mainland) Greece. It was also noted that some of the peg-into-socket joints used at Stonehenge to hold together stoneblocks were similar to the joints used in the stone gatewaysof Mycenae. All this, many archaeologists held, pointed toa connection with ancient Greece.A leading representative of this school has been JacquettaHawkes, who in her book. Dawn of the Gods, about theMinoan and Mycenaean origins of Greek civilization, couldnot help devoting a good portion of the chapter on "Gravesand Kingdoms" to Stonehenge.Mycenae is situated in the southwestern part of mainlandGreece that is called the Peloponnesus (and now separatedfrom the rest of Greece by a man-made Corinth Canal) andacted as a bridge between the earlier Minoan civilization onthe island of Crete and the later classical Greek one. Itflowered in the sixteenth century B.C. and the treasuresuncovered in the tombs of its kings revealed foreign contactsthat undoubtedly included Britain. "At just this time whenMycenaean kings were rising to a new wealth and power,"Jacquetta Hawkes wrote, "a rather similar advance, al-though on a smaller scale, was taking place in southernEngland. There too a warrior aristocracy was ruling overpeasants and herders and beginning to trade and to prosper—and to be buried with appropriate extravagance. Among thepossessions so buried were a few objects that prove thesechieftains to have had contacts with the Mycenaean world.
  38. 38. A Computer Made of Stone 37Such things, she added, were not of great moment and couldjust be the fruits of trade or imitation, were it not for "theunique event—the building of the great sarsen-stonc circleand trilithons of Stonehenge."Not all archaeological finds, however, showed such earlyGreek "influences." The finds in tombs around Stonehengeincluded, for example, decorated beads and amber disksbound with gold in a method developed in Egypt and notat all in Greece. Such finds raised the possibility that allthose artifacts were somehow imported to southeast En-gland, neither by Greeks nor Egyptians but perhaps by trad-ing people from the eastern Mediterranean. The obviouscandidates were the Phoenicians, the renowned sailors-cum-traders of antiquity.It is a recorded fact that the Phoenicians, sailing fromtheir Mediterranean ports, reached Cornwall in the south-west corner of England, quite close to Stonehenge, in thesearch for tin, with which hardened bronze was made fromsoft copper. But were any of these peoples, whose tradelinks flourished in the millennium between 1500 B.C. and500 B.C., responsible for the planning and construction ofStonehenge? Did they even visit it? A partial answer woulddepend, of course, on when Stonehenge itself was conceivedand built, or who else was there to build it.In the absence of written records or carved images of theMediterranean gods (artifacts found elsewhere among Mi-noan, Mycenaean, and Phoenician ruins) no one can answerthe question with any certainty. But the question itself be-came moot when various remains of organic origin, suchas carved antlers, were dug up by archaeologists at Stone-henge. Subjected to radiocarbon dating, remains found inthe Ditch produced a date of between 2900 to 2600 B.C.—at least a thousand years and probably much more beforethe sailors from the Mediterranean may have arrived. Acharcoal piece found in one of the Aubrey Holes provideda carbon date of 2200 B.C.; an antler pick found near oneof the trilithons gave a reading of between 2280 and 2060b.c; radiocarbon datings of finds in the Avenue gave datesbetween 2245 and 2085 b.c.
  39. 39. 38 WHEN TIME BEGANWho was there at such an early time to plan and executethe marvelous stone complex? Scholars hold that until about3000 B.C. the area was sparsely populated by small groupsof early farmers and herders who used stone for their tools.Some time after 2500 B.C. new groups arrived from theEuropean continent; they brought with them knowledge ofmetals (copper and gold), used clay utensils, and buriedtheir dead in round mounds; they have been nicknamed theBeaker People, after the shape of their drinking vessels. Atabout 2000 B.C. bronze made its appearance in the area anda wealthier and more numerous population, known as theWessex People, engaged in cattle ranching, metal crafts,and trade with western and central Europe and the Medi-terranean. By 1500 B.C. this era of prosperity suffered anabrupt decline that lasted the better part of a millennium;and Stonehenge must have shared in this decline.Were the Neolithic farmers and herders, the Beaker Peo-ple, or even the Early Bronze Age Wessex People, capableof creating Stonehenge? Or did they just provide the laborand the manpower to construct a complex mechanism instone devised by advanced scientific knowledge of others?Even an outspoken proponent of the Mycenaean connec-tion, Jacquetta Hawkes, had to admit that Stonehenge, thissanctuary, constructed from colossal yet carefully-shapedblocks that make the cyclopean masonry of Mycenae looklike childrens bricks, has nothing to compare with it in allprehistoric Europe." To allow for the Mycenaean connec-tion and to link it with the early Englanders, she proceededto offer the theory that "some of the local lords controllingthe pastures of Salisbury plain, and perhaps, like Odysseus,owning twelve herds of cattle, may have had the wealth andauthority needed to turn what had been a modest sanctuaryof Stone Age origin into a noble and unparalleled work ofmegalithic architecture. It has always seemed that someindividual must have initiated it—through swollen ambitionor religious obsession—but because the whole design andmethod of building is so far advanced on anything knownin the island before, it has seemed likely that ideas drawn
  40. 40. A Computer Made of Stone 39from a more civilized tradition might also have beeninvolved."But what was that "more civilized tradition" that gaverise to this structure that was beyond compare to anythingin prehistoric Europe? The answer must depend on an ac-curate dating of Stonehenge; and if, as scientific data sug-gests, it is a thousand to two thousand years older than theMycenaeans and the Phoenicians, then an earlier source ofthe "civilized tradition" must be sought. If Stonehengebelongs to the third millennium B.C., then the only candi-dates are those of Sumer and Egypt. When Stonehenge wasfirst conceived, the Sumerian civilization, with its cities,high-rise temples-cum-observatories, writing, and scientificknowledge, was already a thousand years old, and kingshiphad already flourished in Egypt for many centuries.For a better answer, we have to put together the knowl-edge accumulated by now regarding the several phases bywhich Stonehenge, according to the latest research, cameto be.Stonehenge began with hardly any stones. It began, allare agreed, with the Ditch and its embankment, a greatearthen circle with a circumference of 1,050 feet at its bot-tom; it is about twelve feet wide and up to six feet deep,and thus required digging up a considerable quantity of soil(chalky earth) and arranging it to form the two raised banks.Within this outer ring the circle of 56 Aubrey Holes wasmade.The northeastern section of the earthen ring was left un-dug, to provide an entranceway into the midst of the circle.There, two "gateway stones," now missing, flanked thisentry to the enclosure; they also served as focusing aidesfor the Heel Stone, which was erected on the resultant axis.This massive natural boulder stands sixteen feet above theground and cuts four feet into the earth; it has been set upinclined at an angle of 24°. A series of holes at the entrancegap may have been intended to hold movable wooden mark-ers, and are thus called Post Holes. Finally, the four roundedStation Stones were positioned to form a perfect rectangle;
  41. 41. 40 WHEN TIME BEGANand this completed Stonehenge I—the earthen ring, the Au-brey Holes, an entranceway axis, seven stones, and somewooden pegs.Organic remains and stone tools associated with this phasesuggest to scholars that Stonehenge I was constructed some-time between 2900 and 2600 B.C.; the date selected by theBritish authorities is 2800 b.c.Whoever constructed Stonehenge I, and for whatever pur-pose, found it satisfactory for several centuries. Throughoutthe occupation of the area by the Beaker People, no needto change or improve the arrangement of earthwork andstones was indicated. Then, at about 2100 B.C., just beforethe arrival of the Wessex People (or perhaps coinciding withit) a spate of extraordinary activity burst upon the scene.The main event was the introduction of the bluestones intothe makeup of Stonehenge, making Stonehenge II a stone"henge" for the first time.It was no mean feat to haul the bluestones, weighing upto four tons each, across land and over sea and river for atotal distance of some two hundred fifty miles. To this dayit is not known why these particular dolerite stones werechosen and why such a great effort was made to bring themto the site, directly or with a short interval at a temporaryway station. Whatever the precise route was, it is believedthat in the end they were brought to the sites proximity upthe River Avon, which explains why the Avenue was ex-tended by some two miles at this phase to connect Stone-henge with the river.At least eighty (some estimate eighty-two) bluestoneswere brought over. It is believed that seventy-six of themwere intended for the holes that made up the two concentricQ and R holes, thirty-eight per circle; the circles appear tohave had openings on their west-facing sides.At the same time a separate larger stone, the so-calledAltar Stone, was erected within the circles exactly on theStonehenge axis, facing the Heel Stone to the northeast.But as the researchers checked the alignment and the po-sition of the outer stones, they discovered to their surprisethat the Heel Stone was shifted in this Phase II somewhat
  42. 42. A Computer Made of Stone 41eastward (to the right, as one looks from the enclosurescenter); simultaneously, two other stones were erected in arow in front of the Heel Stone, so as to emphasize the newline of sight. To accommodate these changes, the entranceto the enclosure was widened on its right (eastern side) byfilling up part of the Ditch, and the Avenue too was widenedthere.Unexpectedly the researchers realized that the main in-novation of Stonehenge II was not the introduction of thebluestones, but the introduction of a new axis, an axis some-what more to the east than the previous one.Unlike the seven or so centuries of dormancy for Stone-henge I, Stonehenge III followed Phase II within decades.Whoever was in charge decided to give the complex a mon-umental scope and permanence. It was then that the hugesarsen stones, weighing forty to fifty tons each, were hauledto Stonehenge from Marlboro Downs, some twenty milesaway. It is generally assumed that seventy-seven stones werebrought.As laborious as the transporting of these boulders withan aggregate weight of thousands of tons was, even moredaunting must have been the task of setting them up. Thestones were carefully dressed to the desired shapes. Thelintels were given a precise curvature, given (somehow)protruding pegs exactly where they had to fit into carved-out sockets where stone joined stone; and then all thoseprepared stones had to be erected in a precise circle or inpairs, and the holding lintels hauled up to be placed on top.How the task, made more difficult by the sites slope, wasachieved, no one really knows.At this time the realigned axis was also given permanenceby the erection of two new massive Gateway Stones, re-placing the earlier ones. It is believed that the fallen Slaugh-ter Stone could have been one of the two new GatewayStones.In order to make room for the Sarsen Circle and theTrilithon Horseshoe or oval, the two circles of bluestonesfrom Phase II had to be completely dismantled. Nineteenof them were used to form the inner Bluestone Horseshoe
  43. 43. 42 WHEN TIME BEGAN(now recognized as an open-ended oval) and fifty-nine, itis believed, were intended to be placed in two new circlesof holes (Y and Z), surrounding the Sarsen Circle. The Ycircle was meant to hold thirty stones and the Z circletwenty-nine. Some of the other stones of the original eighty-two may have been intended to serve as lintels or (as JohnE. Wood, Sun, Moon and Standing Stones, believes) tocomplete the oval. The Y and Z circles, however, werenever erected; instead the bluestones were arranged in onelarge circle, the Bluestone Circle, with an undeterminednumber of stones (some believe sixty). Also uncertain isthe time when this circle was erected—right away, or acentury or two later. Some also think that additional work,mainly on the Avenue, was done about 1100 B.C.But for all intents and purposes, the Stonehenge we seewas planned in 2100 B.C., executed during the followingcentury, and given its final touches circa 1900 B.C. Modernscientific research methods have thus corroborated the find-ings—astounding at the time, 1880—of the renowned Egyp-tologist Sir Flinders Petrie, that Stonehenge dated to circa2000 B.C. (It was Petrie who devised the stones numberingsystem still in use).In the usual course of scientific studies of ancient sites,archaeologists are the first to be on the scene, and others—anthropologists, metallurgists, historians, linguists, andother experts—follow. In the case of Stonehenge, astron-omers led the way. This was not only because the ruinswere visible above the surface and required no excavationto reveal them, but also because from the very beginning itseemed almost self-evident that the axis line from the centertoward the Heel Stone through the Avenue pointed "to thenortheast, whereabouts the Sun rises when the days arelongest" (to use the words of William Stukeley, 1740)—toward the point in the sky where the Sun rises at the summersolstice (about June 21). Stonehenge was an instrument tomeasure the passage of time!After two and a half centuries of scientific progress, thisconclusion is still valid. All are agreed that Stonehenge wasnot a place of residence; nor was it a burial place. Neither
  44. 44. A Computer Made of Stone 43palace nor tomb, it was in essence a temple-cum-observatory, as the ziggurats (step-pyramids) of Mesopo-tamia and ancient America were. And being oriented towardthe Sun when it rises in midsummer, it could be called aTemple of the Sun.With this basic fact undisputable, it is no wonder thatastronomers continue to lead the research concerning Stone-henge. Prominent among them, at the very beginning ofthis century, was Sir Norman Lockyer, who conducted acomprehensive survey of Stonehenge in 1901 and confirmedthe summer solstice orientation in his master work Stone-henge and Other British Stone Monuments. Since this ori-entation is satisfied by the axis alone, subsequent researchersbegan in time to wonder whether the additional complexityof Stonehenge—the diverse circles, ovals, rectangle, mark-ers—might signify that other celestial phenomena besidessunrise at summer solstice and other time cycles have beenobserved at Stonehenge.There have been suggestions to that effect in earlier trea-tises on Stonehenge. But it was only in 1963, when CecilA. Newham discovered alignments that suggested that equi-noxes too could have been observed and even predicted atStonehenge, that these possibilities were given modern sci-entific credence.His most sensational suggestion, however (first in articlesand then in his 1964 book The Enigma of Stonehenge), wasthat Stonehenge must have also been a lunar observatory.He based this conclusion on examination of the four StationStones and the rectangle that they form (Fig. 10); he alsoshowed that whoever had intended to give Stonehenge thiscapability knew where to erect it, for the rectangle and itsalignments had to be sited exactly where Stonehenge is.All this was at first received with extreme doubt anddisdain, because lunar observations are considerably morecomplex than solar ones. The Moons motions (around theEarth and together with the Earth around the Sun) are notrepeated on an annual basis, because, among other reasons,the Moon orbits the Earth at a slight inclination to the Earthsorbit around the Sun. The complete cycle, which is repeated
  45. 45. 44 WHEN TIME BEGANFigure 10only once in about nineteen years, includes eight points of"Moon Standstill" as the astronomers call them, four majorand four minor. The suggestion that Stonehenge I—whichalready possessed the alignments highlighted by Newham—was built to enable the determination, or even prediction,of these eight points seemed preposterous in view of thefact that Britains inhabitants at the time were just emergingfrom the Stone Age. This is clearly a valid argument; andthose who have nevertheless found more evidence for theastronomical marvels at Stonehenge are yet to provide ananswer to the paradox of a complex lunar observatory amidstStone Age people!Prominent among the astronomers whose investigationsconfirmed the incredible capabilities of Stonehenge wasGerald S. Hawkins of Boston University. Writing in pres-tigious scientific journals in 1963, 1964, and 1965, he an-nounced his far-reaching conclusions by entitling his studies"Stonehenge Decoded," "Stonehenge: A Neolithic Com-puter," and "Sun, Moon, Men and Stones," followed byhis books Stonehenge Decoded and Beyond Stonehenge.
  46. 46. A Computer Made of Stone 45With the aid of the universitys computers he analyzedhundreds of sight lines at Stonehenge and related them tothe positions of the Sun, Moon, and major stars as theywere in ancient times, and decided that the resulting ori-entations could not have been just accidental.He attached great significance to the four Station Stonesand the perfect rectangle they form and showed how thelines connecting opposite stones (91 with 94 and 92 with93) were oriented to the points of major standstills and thoseconnecting the stones diagonally to the points of minorstandstills of the Moon at moonrise and moonset. Togetherwith the four points of the Suns movements, Stonehenge,according to Hawkins, enables observation and predictionof all the twelve points marking the Suns and the Moonsmovements. Above all he was fascinated by the number 19expressed by stones and holes in the various circles: the twocircles of 38 bluestones of Stonehenge II "can be regardedas two semi-circles of 19" (Stonehenge Decoded) and theoval "horseshoe" of Stonehenge III had the exact 19. Thiswas an unmistakable lunar relationship, for 19 was theMoons cycle which governs intercalation.Professor Hawkins went even farther: he concluded thatthe numbers expressed by stones and holes in the variouscircles bespoke an ability to predict eclipses. Because theMoons orbit is not exactly in the same plane as the Earthsorbit around the Sun (the former is inclined to the latter byjust over 5°), the Moons orbit crosses the path of the Eartharound the Sun at two points each year. The two points ofintersection ("nodes") are commonly marked on astronom-ical charts N and N; this is when eclipses occur. But becauseof the irregularities in the shape and lag of the Earths orbitaround the Sun, these nodal intersections do not recur pre-cisely at the same celestial positions year after year; rather,they recur in a cycle of 18.61 years. Hawkins postulatedthat the operating principle for this cycle was, therefore,"cycle end/cycle start" in the nineteenth year, and Hawkinsreasoned that the purpose of the 56 Aubrey Holes was toattain an adjustment by moving three markers at a timewithin the Aubrey circle, since 18 2/3 x 3 = 56. This, he
  47. 47. 46 WHEN TIME BEGANheld, made possible the foretelling of eclipses of the Moonas well as of the Sun, and his conclusion was that such aprediction of eclipses was the main purpose of the construc-tion and design of Stonehenge. Stonehenge, he announced,was nothing short of a brilliant astronomical computer madeof stone.The proposition that Stonehenge was not only a "Suntemple" but also a lunar observatory was met at first withfierce resistance. Prominent among the dissenters, who con-sidered many of the Moon alignments to be coincidental,was Richard J.C. Atkinson of the University College inCardiff, who had led some of the most extensive archaeo-logical excavations at the site. The archaeological evidencefor the great antiquity of Stonehenge was the very reasonfor his disdain for the obscrvatory/lunar-alignments/Neo-lithic computer theories, for he asserted that Neolithic Manin Britain was simply incapable of such achievements. Hisdisdain and even ridicule, expressed in such titles for hisarticles in Antiquity as "Moonshine on Stonehenge" and inhis book Stonehenge, turned to grudging support as a resultof studies conducted at Stonehenge by Alexander Thorn(Megalithic Lunar Observations). Thorn, an engineeringprofessor at Oxford University, conducted the most accuratemeasurements at Stonehenge, and pointed out that the"horseshoe" arrangement of the sarsen stones in fact rep-resented an oval (Fig. 11), an elliptical shape that representsFigure 11
  48. 48. A Computer Made of Stone 47planetary orbits more accurately than a circle. He agreedwith Newham that Stonchenge 1 was primarily a lunar, andnot just a solar, observatory, and confirmed that Stonehengewas erected where it is because it is only there that the eightlunar observations could be made precisely along the linesformed by the rectangle connecting the four Station Stones.The fierce debate, conducted on the pages of leadingscientific magazines and in confrontational conferences, wassummed up by C.A. Newham (Supplement to the Enigmaof Stonehenge and its Astronomical and Geometric Signif-icance) in the following words: "With the exception of thefive Trilithons, practically all the remaining features appearto have lunar connections." He agreed that the "56 AubreyHoles rotate to the eight main alignments of the Moon settingand rising." Thereafter, even Atkinson admitted that he"has become sufficiently persuaded that conventional ar-chaeological thinking is in need of drastic revision" in re-gard to the purpose and functions of Stonehenge.These conclusions were to no small measure the resultof the research by a notable participant who had joined thegrowing list of involved scientists in the late 1960s and thedecade of the 1970s. He was Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomerand mathematician. He held that the alignments listed byHawkins to various stars and constellations were rather ran-dom than deliberate, but fully agreed with the lunar aspectsof Stonehenge I—and especially the role of the fifty-sixAubrey Holes and the rectangular arrangement of the StationStones ("Stonehenge—An Eclipse Predictor" in Nature andOn Stonehenge).But concurring that the Aubrey Circle could act as a"calculator" for predicting eclipses (in his opinion it wasdone by moving four markers around), Hoyle stirred upanother issue. Whoever had designed this calculator—Hawkins called it a "computer"—must have known in ad-vance the precise length of the solar year, the Moons orbitalperiod, and the cycle of 18.61 years; and Neolithic Man inBritain simply did not possess such knowledge.Struggling to explain how the advanced knowledge ofastronomy and mathematics had appeared in Neolithic Brit-
  49. 49. 48 WHEN TIME BEGANain, Hawkins resorted to ancient records of the Mediterra-nean peoples. In addition to the Diodorus/Hecataeus ref-erence he also mentioned Plutarchs quote (in Isis andOsiris) of Eudoxus of Cnidus, the fourth century B.C.astronomer-mathematician from Asia Minor, who had as-sociated the demon god of eclipses" with the number fifty-six.In the absence of answers from Man, a glance at thesuperhuman?Hoyle, on his part, arrived at the conviction that Stone-henge was not a mere observatory, a place to see what goeson in the skies. He called it a Predictor, an instrument forforetelling celestial events and a facility for noting them onthe predetermined dates. Agreeing that "such an intellectualachievement was beyond the capacity of the local Neolithicfarmers and herdsmen," he felt that the Station Stones rect-angle and all it implied indicate "that the builders of Stone-henge I might have come to the British Isles from theoutside, purposely looking for this rectangular alignment"(which is possible just where Stonehengc is located, in thenorthern hemisphere), "just as the modern astronomer oftensearches far from home for places to build his telescopes."A veritable Newton or Einstein must have been at workat Stonehenge," Hoyle mused; but even so, where was theuniversity where he had learned mathematics and astron-omy, where were the writings without which accumulatedknowledge could not be passed on and taught, and howcould a sole genius plan, execute, and supervise such acelestial predictor when, for Phase II alone, a whole centurywas needed? "There have only been about 200 generationsof history; there were upward of 10,000 generations of pre-history," Hoyle observed. Was it all part of the "eclipseof the gods," he wondered—the transition from a time whenpeople worshiped an actual Sun god and a Moon god, "tobecome the invisible God of Isaiah?"Without explicitly divulging his thoughts, Hoyle gave ananswer by quoting the full section in Diodorus from Hec-ataeus regarding the Hyperboreans; it states toward its end
  50. 50. A Computer Made of Stone 49that after the Greeks and Hyperboreans exchanged visits "inthe most ancient times."They also say that the Moon, as viewed from thisisland, appears to be but a little distance from the Earth,and to have upon it prominences, like those of theEarth, which are visible to the eye.The account is also given that the god visits the islandevery nineteen years, the period in which the return ofthe stars to the same place in the heavens is accom-plished; and for this reason the nineteen-year period iscalled by the Greeks the "year of Meton."The familiarity in such distant times not only with thenineteen-year cycle of the Moon but also with "promi-nences, like those of the Earth"—surface features such asmountains and plains—is unquestionably amazing.The attribution by Greek historians of the circular struc-ture in Hyperborea to the lunar cycle first described inGreece by the Athenian Meton tosses the problem of WhoBuilt Stonehenge to the ancient Near East; so do the soul-searching conclusions and musings of the above mentionedastronomers.But more than two centuries earlier, William Stukeleyhad already pointed for answers in the same direction, to-ward the ancient Near East. To his sketch of Stonehenge,as he understood it to have been, he appended the designhe had seen on an eastern Mediterranean ancient coin (Fig.12a) which depicts a temple on an elevated platform. Thisdepiction, more explicit, also appears on another ancientcoin from the city of Byblos in the same area, one that wehave reproduced in the very first volume of The EarthChronicles. It shows that the ancient temple had an enclo-sure in which there stood a rocket upon a launch pad (Fig.12b). We have identified the place as The Landing Placeof Sumerian lore, the place where the Sumerian king Gil-gamesh witnessed a rocket ship rise. The place still exists;it is now the vast platform in the mountains of Lebanon, atBaalbek, upon which there still stand the ruins of the greatest
  51. 51. 50 WHEN TIME BEGANFigures I2a and 12bRoman temple ever built. Supporting the massive platformare three colossal stone blocks that have been known sinceantiquity as the Trilithon.The answers to the Stonehenge enigma should thus besought in places far away from it, but in a time frame quiteclose to it. The When holds the key. we believe, not onlyto the Who of Stonehenge I, but also to the Why of Stone-henge II and III.For, as we shall see, the hurried remaking of Stonehengein 2100-2000 b.c. had to do with the coming of a NewAge—Mankinds first historically recorded New Age.

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