Monday, April 7, 2014
Do the ancient stone walls of Saksaywaman in Peru contain hidden communication?
Lying on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco in Peru, lies the remarkable walled complex of Saksaywaman (Sacsayhuaman), believed to have been built by the Inca. The site is famous for its remarkable large dry stone walls with boulders carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar, displaying a precision of fitting that is unmatched in the Americas. This, combined with the variety of interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward has puzzled scientists for decades. But there is another puzzle hidden in the stones of Saksaywaman – the angles of the stones, according to researcher Dr Derek Cunningham, correspond to astronomical alignments.
Dr Cunningham, author of ‘400,000 Years of Stone Age Science’, has put forward a theory that ancient civilizations developed writing from a very archaic geometrical form that is based on the study of the motion of the moon and the sun. According to his hypothesis, astronomical values considered central to the prediction of eclipses, are converted into angular values. In total, there are approximately 9 standard values which Dr Cunningham has identified in a large number of ancient drawings, with a small number of secondary values that are occasionally seen in regional art. Some examples, include the Stonehenge lozenge, the Kharga Oasis Spider, and religious statues from Cyprus.
Now he has discovered the same values are present in the construction of the Saksaywaman stone wall.
The most important of these astronomical values is the sidereal month, which is drawn in early astronomical texts as an angular value at either 13.66 or 27.32 degrees to represent the half and full month values. After the sidereal month value is known it is then a simple matter for astronomers to calculate that the earth is moving approximately 1 degree per day around the sun, and through more careful observations to deduce there is an eclipse season every 6.511 draconic months, this being a time period a time period equivalent to 6 synodic months. Other parameters important for predicting eclipses are the 5.1 degree angle of inclination of the moon’s orbit, and the 9.3/18.6 year lunar nutation cycle. Finally a value of 11 degrees is found on many early Stone Age artefacts, which corresponds to the 11 day difference between the lunar and solar year.
Arrangement of stones in a wall at Saksaywaman. Astronomical values can be found in the form of an angular array, offset to either above or below the horizontal, or the right or left of the vertical. Photo credit: Derek Cunningham
The astronomical values are also represented in the layout of the walls when viewed from above.
Astronomical values can be observed in the overhead layout of Saksaywaman. Photo credit: Derek Cunningham
Despite the theory being developed only recently, to date many sites now show a striking ability to align to the exact same angular values. This includes the causeways located in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza, as well as the lines making up the body of the Atacama Giant. As Dr Cunningham notes, it is impossible to yet verify that the theory is correct, because many images of important artefacts are distorted during uploading to the internet, and satellite images cannot replace direct ground studies, but so far the results are incredibly consistent, and can even be seen in artifacts dating back tens of thousands of years.
“The potential of the idea to explain some things about so many sites from the pyramids of Egypt to the Atacama Giant in Chile is obviously very controversial, and it should be,” said Dr Cunningham in an article on Popular Archaeology. “But if correct, it could rewrite some aspects of our understanding of not only the Stone Age but also world history. If, on the other hand, scholars prove this specific astronomical theory wrong, then we can move on, knowing that it has been sufficiently tested. What is most intriguing is that a complete new window may have been opened into the past."