Celestial Observatories

Celestial Observatories is as its name implies a way to map celestial events throughout the year. Ancient man knew these events followed cycles - circles - hence found a way to track these events. Approximately 5000 years ago they devised a way to place stones in a certain positions to align for events like the seasons, lunar phases, solar phases and so on. As mankind has always been fascinated by the heavens - their mythologies reflecting many of these bodies as connected to the Gods they worshipped.

In examining the observations of such peoples, it is possible to gain a certain insight into the ways in which they constructed their own universes and therefore provide a more holistic understanding of the means and motivations of the culture as a whole.

The astronomical inquiry of the ancients must be looked upon as a mechanism of 'observation' and prediction which closely tied them to their environments, depending upon various cultural, religious and mythological bases for validation in the process.

The erection of these monuments was a great task created by the 'astronomers' - priests - and stone builders of each culture. This was a global phenomenon. These ancient people are presently referred to as the Megalithic Stone Builders. The remnants of their achievements can be found throughout the planet especially where the power grids intersect.

The ancients used this knowledge to better calculate and intuit when the earth energies would be at their peak. If the energy-ley lines that run down the major axis of their observatory - or power site - is oriented to the Summer Solstice Sunrise, then that will be the day that particular site will experience a peak of power. They used this opportunity to visit these places - which became temples in many cases - to meditate - do out of body work - talk to their Gods - or try to work with interdimensional doorways.



Tibet has often been called the "Roof of the World."

From Tingri (4,390 meters) its possible to see four of the highest peaks in the world, including Mt. Everest.

There are dozens of sites spread over 400, 000 square kilometers, documenting the existence of the legendary Zhang zhung kingdom.

Celestial Observatory - Black Rock

Also at Black Rock are the remains of what appear to be chortens (mchod rten), and tenkhar (rten mkhar), shrines used in the worship of environment-based deities.

Remnants of Stone Ring Ceremonies

- Images by John Bellezza


Ahu Akivi on Easter Isand aligns to the sun and the moon.


Norman Locker documented - at the turn of the 19th Century - that indeed the Summer Solstice Sun did come up over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge, on the Wiltshire Downs in England, scientists have been finding significant astronomical orientations at more and more ancient sacred sites all over the world.

Newgrange, British Isles

Underground chambers (tombs) with passageways which point to the rising sun at Winter Solstice. Window allows light to enter at sunrise on the first day of winter.


Cairn T, Loughcrew, Ireland

Notice the shaft of light creating a circle with an eight-petalled flower inside, pecked on the back wall of the chamber.

- Mid-Atlantic Geomancy


The Temple at El Karnak

It has been long recognized that the ancient Egyptians possessed a great knowledge of geometry, mathematics and astronomy , all being the basis for the Great Pyramid of Giza which for 5000 years has stood as a monument to the great cultures that once populated the Nile River Valley. One of the greatest achievements of the Egyptians is the creation of a calendrical system which relied heavily on lunar observations. By 3000 B.C., they had devised a solar calendar of 365 days, the starting point of which hinged on the helical rising of Sirius, which also happened to coincide with the time of the summer solstice and the annual flooding of the Nile (Cornell 1981). While this all may seem to be rather unimpressive it serves to solidify the intrinsic necessity for ancients to be in touch with natural surroundings, through tracking celestial phenomenon, the Ancient Egyptians were able to predict events of great significance in their desert environment.

El Karnac is oriented toward the sunrise of winter solstice. There are other celestial observatories like it in Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian astronomy - like the astronomy of so many other pre-historic peoples - was subjugated to religious mythology and the connections that existed between the heavens (the sky) and the Earth.

A great number of monuments throughout the Nile valley have been identified as possible constructions intended to capture the sun on days imparting meaning to the religious calendar or certain associated rituals. Litle merit has been given to recent theories such as that of the 'orion mystery', however a great many alignments seem to exist in the architecture of the area.

The most intriguing perhaps, is the Temple of Abu-Simtal built by Rameses II circa 1250 B.C.. Constructed by carving massive statues from the stone wall backdrop, the temple faces east in order to greet the morning sun. As the sun rises, the statues are illuminated, perhaps symbolic of a daily rebirth of these revered ancient leaders. More compelling though is the passage to the Temples inner sanctuary which is aligned so that on October 18, the sun filters into the sanctuary, illuminating a statue of Rameses himself.

This October date corresponds to the beginning of the Egyptian civil year, and the jubilee celebration during the time that Rameses lived (Cornell 1981). In such cases then, it is obvious that the ceremonial or ritual aspects become intrinsically intertwined with the daily life and survival of the Ancient Egyptian people. While certain dates (such as October 18) may mean little to us in the Western World, and our ideas of 'science' or astronomy, a sophisticated knowledge of celestial bodies (in this case the sun) are indispensable to them in constructing the sacred world which so closely interacted with the civil world and seasonal changes.


Sahara Astronomical Site Older Than Stonehenge

April 1, 1998

Researchers have found a complex of slabs and stones in the Sahara Desert that might be the oldest known monument built with astronomical considerations in mind - far older than England's Stonehenge.

It was constructed by nomadic cattle-herders as much as 7,000 years ago in southern Egypt, and probably was intended for rituals rather than astronomical observations, said J. McKim Malville of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

An expert in ancient astronomy said that it would be among the oldest astronomical monuments known, but that the ages of such monuments are so uncertain it's impossible to know if the Egyptian complex is the oldest. He also said the study presents suggestive evidence, but not proof, for astronomical design.

The monument was discovered over several years of field work ending in 1997. Stonehenge was first used about 5,000 years ago and gained some of its current stones about 4,000 years ago. The stones indicate the points of midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset, but nobody knows just what people used Stonehenge for.

The Egyptian stone complex, which isn't circular like Stonehenge, is spread over an area 1.8 miles by three-quarters of a mile. It includes 10 slabs some 9 feet high, 30 rock-lined ovals, nine burial sites for cows, each under a pile of 40 to 50 rocks weighing up to 200 or 300 pounds apiece, and a "calendar circle" of stones. Many of these features line up in five radiating lines, one of them running east-west.

The calendar circle is a 12-foot-wide arrangement of slabs about 18 inches long, most of them lying down. Two pairs of upright stones stand directly across the circle from each other, defining a view that would have displayed sunrise at the summer solstice, the researchers said. That would be an important day to the cattle-herders, because summer is when monsoon rains would begin. But the circle wouldn't have been a very accurate indicator of when the solstice was occurring. It was "more symbolic than practical. The circle also contains two other pairs of standing stones that defined a north-south view.

Charcoal from hearths around the circle and wood from one of the burial sites date to about 7,000 years ago. It's not clear when most of the rest of the monument was erected, but it was at least 5,000 years ago.


The Intihuatana Stone in Sweden is linked to the Viking labyrinths.


In Peru's Machu Picchu's one can find the 'hitching post of the Sun'.


Mayan Temple of the Sun

As with other ancient cultures, observatories, pyramids and temples were erected based on celestial alignments.

Prior to the Maya rising to power circa 400 AD in Central America and Mexico, there is evidence that the Olmec people had already begun to use astronomical orientations to direct the layout of several ceremonial centers, with the Pyramids of the New World oriented to observing and predicting the motions of the Sun and Mon. As with the Egyptians, we can deduce that Mayan astronomical endeavors, heavily relied upon the ritual and ceremonial worlds of the culture, however, here we have a wealth of evidence to substantiate such claims. Left behind are codices, or systems of hieroglyphic recordings of the Maya, and which include celestial sightings and how these sightings and predictions are woven into the entire cultural complex.

'The Dresden Codex' has perhaps proved the most fruitful in helping to recreate the ancient environment, and containing an elaborate calendar used to record the observations of Venus, which seems to be an object of utmost importance to them. Working with both a solar calendar and a ritual calendar, the ancient Maya imparted much meaning in the helical rising of Venus, which is made evident in the structure of several ceremonial centers throughout the area. Unlike the Megalithic and Egyptian complexes, scientific observation can be better deciphered here, because of the elaborate records left behind, and because of the fact that so many of the deductions the Maya made so closely resemble recent calculations of the same recorded cycles.

Like the Egyptians, the Maya had devised two calendars, one solar and one ritual which interacted and depended upon one another for the dictation of certain ritual events to be carried out. The sky for the Maya was a seeming personification of Gods and deities who played important roles in the daily lives of the population. Most significantly, the relationship between the Sun and Venus (talked about previously in the helical rising, conjunction, phases) was representative of Kutaikcan, the God of Venus , and "symbolizes the cyclic myth of departure and return or death and resurrection." (Aveni 1984). In addition other objects may have been tracked in order to predict certain 'natural' phenomenon in accordance to seasonal changes therefor placing major importance on the accurate predictions undertaken to better predict the earthly events thought to be under the control of the Gods.

A great many structures are indicative of the devotion to and dependence upon Venus, to the Maya, and can be found in the architecture ceremonial centers throughout the region. Caracol, at Chichen Itza sits atop a large earthen mound and is a structure obviously intended for observing Venus at its most extreme points on the horizon. Just as famous, is the Governor's Palace at Uxmal, constructed so that it would center on the helical rising of Venus at its southernmost point during the eight year cycle it follows. Such an alignment can be further substantiated by the fact that the Palace deviates from the remainder of the buildings at Uxmal by twenty degrees, indicating the care taken to insure the sight lines of the observation windows. The careful planning inherent in the design and building of such structures is made evident in the precision of their alignments, however this precision was indispensable to the planning of ritual events and the prediction of natural processes that so dictated the lives of the Maya.

In Chichen Itza, in Mexico there is a celestial observatory to the stars that was aligned along the line of the summer and winter soltice. It was built by the ancient Maya and / or their God Quatzequatl

Observatory in the Chichen Itza complex


Archaeoastronomy of North American Indians

The Native Americans called it Star Knowledge - which included the ability to mark events based on celestial alignments.

Almost everything the Lakota scholars brought together from elders in the Lakota Star Knowledge book is about observations leading to the summer solstice -- where the sunpath will be at its farthest north, the days are longest, and the Sun Dance is held "when the sun is strongest and the power of growing things is greatest".

The Tekesta - Miami Circle

In August, 1998, excavations exposed an archaeological treasure consisting of a circle of holes chiseled into the limestone bedrock. Also found were pottery shards, stone axe heads, and other artifacts. The site was to be a parking garage for a $126 million high-rise luxury condo complex, Brikell Pointe, located where the Miami River joins Biscayne Bay near downtown Miami.

Although the site is not eye-catching, it turns out to be a major U.S. archaeological discovery. The site had been an apartment complex and before that the homestead and trading post of the Brikell family, early Miami settlers in the 1870s. But now it seems that site held an important building that was part of the Tekesta Indian capitol town, also called Tekesta. This was possibly evidence that North America's first complex society may have arises well before that of the Calusa.

The Miami Circle was an important part of the town of Tekesta that preceeded Miami.

It represents a major archeological discovery in American history.

The Miami Circle

Does this observatory look like Avebury?

Or Stonehenge in England?

Stonehenge I (3100-2300 BCE)

Stonehenge IIIa (2100-2000 BCE)

Or ancient Mayan ruins?

Newspaper Articles from the Miami Herald

The Miami Stone Circle

January 31, 1999

Deep in the heart of Miami's downtown lies a secret mysterious sacred site. The large chunks of cement are from the previous building that was torn down. This circle of mystery is thirty-eight feet in diameter which lies on a 2.2 acre site.

Archaeologists have discovered a prehistoric circle cut into the limestone bedrock in downtown Miami. The feature, once covered by the Brickell Apartments, measures 38 feet in diameter, and somehow miraculously survived the construction of a three story building on top of it. The circle was discovered after archaeologists began investigating the site when the apartments were demolished earlier this year. Archaeologists directed by the Miami-Dade Historic Preservation Division of the Office of Community and Economic Development and funded by contributions by the developer and the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy were conducting a routine dig at the site when the project surveyor, T. L. Riggs, observed a peculiar set of cut basins in the bedrock about three feet below the surface. Mr. Riggs predicted that the arc of cut features were part of a circle and calculated its location, which was later verified by archaeologists.

The circle is depicted by at least 20 irregular cut basins which vary in size from one to three feet. Peculiar to the circle are numerous postholes, and a carving in the rock similar to an eye, that appear on the circle's cast-west axis suggesting an alignment to the equinox, however, any astronomical alignments remain to be fully documented. Also particular to the site are several offerings, including two basaltic stone axes not manufactured in Florida, and a five foot shark deliberately buried in the circle. The circle's function is unknown. It may be an elite structure, such as a chief's house. No similar site has been found in Florida before.

Although the overall site is approximately 2000 years old, the age of the circle is not known. Some pottery types found within the cut holes indicate that the circle may date to ca. 1200 - 1500 A.D., but the exact date will have to await additional analysis of materials from the site.

The backbone of a shark is perfectly preserved within the circle. "The shark has its head to the west and tail to the east, very much the way the Indians would put a human in the ground." Developers plan to build a 600-unit luxury tower on the property. The company did not return calls for comment. Despite the site's potential historic significance, Florida law would allow officials to halt construction only if the site turned out to be an ancient burial ground."From the developer's point of view it might be their worst nightmare," Carr said. "If unmarked human graves are discovered, they are protected by the state."

Archaeologists plan to continue excavating at the site through January, until developers begin construction of a high-rise on the site. Developers have been cooperative with the investigation, having donated both cash to the project and all artifacts to the Historical Museum of South Florida, and there are no plans to stop the pending development. Instead, archaeologists are concentrating on completing as much work as possible and assessing whether the circle can be cut from the bedrock and moved to another location.

The panoramic view of the entire 2.2 acres where the mysterious circle islocated. On the left you can see the workers at the site.

The earliest portion of the complex, which dates to approximately 3100-2300 BCE., comprised a circular bank-and-ditch of about 330 feet (100 metres) in diameter. Just inside the earth bank is a circle of the 56 Aubrey holes (now invisible on the surface). Probably also dating to this time are the four Station Stones (only two of which survive) and, on the north-east side, an earthwork which runs from the break in the bank-and-ditch. The now-fallen Slaughter Stone, located at the break in the bank-and-ditch, may date from this period, as may also the Heel Stone, located further out along the Avenue.

Miami Herald

Project surveyor T.L. Riggs theorizes that perhaps this was created by the Mayan's. Within the walls are old carvings, but at this time it is hard to tell just what they are. Others believe that it dates back even further than that era. One interesting aspect is the carving that appears as an eye is set in the East. We know from many civilizations that this has been very important in many different cultures.

Miami Herald

This is an enhanced picture of the eye that is carved into the circle on the east side. Inside the pupil we can clearly holes carved into it. Notice how perfect the circle is that holds it.


Chaco Canyon - Sun Dagger

Fajata Butte in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico boasts a chamber in which a spiral petroglyph may be found. The glyph is surrounded by stone slabs allowing only scant light to penetrate into the darkness, and as the sun makes its appearance, a slit of light climbs the wall arriving at the center of the petroglyph at noon at the time of equinox. A number of artistic depictions of celestial phenomenon can be found as well, left behind by various tribes, indicating that even if they were not predicting the movements of the stare, they were intently contemplating the evident motions of the celestial bodies which corresponded to their various mythologies.

Also marks a 19-year lunar cycle. (The spiral has 19 rings.)

Chaco Canyon was an important Anasazi (ancient Native American) cultural center from about 900 through 1130 AD. About 30 ancient masonry buildings, containing hundreds of rooms each, attest to Chaco's importance. Some structures are thought to serve as astronomical observatories or calendars.

At noon on the summer solstice, a dagger of sun penetrates the center of the spiral.

On the autumnal equinox, a sun dagger passes through the center of a small spiral on the left, and another passes on the edge of the large spiral. At the Winter Solstice, a big sun dagger passes on either side of the large spiral.

Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia Mounds in southern Illinois near East St. Louis has a circle of postholes interpreted in 1970 as an astronomical indicator of summer solstice sunrise, winter solstice sunrise, and equinox sunrise.

The mound-building Indians in the Mississippi Valley region began about 3000 years ago, and there were several cultures, and three successive groups of Indians there. There is much conjecture about their circles, but little organized study.

Big Horn Medicine Wheel

The Big Horn Medicine Wheel in the Big Horn Mountains near Sheriden, Wyoming was interpreted in 1974 as an indicator of summer solstice sunrise and sunset, with other alignments for the rising of certain stars (Aldebaran, Rigel, and Sirius).

Built about 1050 AD. Has 28 spokes, and is about 90 ft in diameter.

About 50 similar circles exist. The oldest is in Canada (built about 2500 BC - the age of the Egyptian pyramids, for comparison).

The alignments presented by these stone circles are controversial; they could be due to chance. There is no evidence that they were astronomical in design. Why were they interested in those 3 particular stars?

Research regarding North American Indian astronomical insight has just recently begun to gain headway in the studies of archeoastronomers, and while the same volume of evidence does not exist as with cultures such as the Maya, the depth of Native American astronomical use and understanding is beginning to emerge. Based on the climactic conditions of more northern latitudes, it is safe to assume that one of the major reasons various tribes tracked the stars was for the prediction of seasonal change, which would indicate to nomadic or semi nomadic peoples that it was time to relocate for the winter months. This idea can be tied to the alignments found by John Eddy in the remains of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming.

At Big Horn, Eddy noticed that by standing at the hub of the wheel one is able to deduce "a coherent alignment scheme" where the points on the outer wheel correspond to the sunrise of summer solstice, as well as the rising of Rigel, Aldebran, and Sirius, all of which have helical risings at the time of year when the site was climactically suited for occupation.

(The spoked wheel always reminds me of the amulet and the 'Keys of Enoch' - Weels Within Wheels. Everything is linked together and to the same source. In each program of our reality we find clues to how it all works.)

Makeshift structures and artwork in the southern United States argue for the ingenuity of the various architects responsible for constructing them, and as to the important part of astronomical phenomenon in constructing their own cosmos. Von Del Chamberlain notes that even structures dedicated to habitation may have served as observatories, and has found that the Pawnee earth lodges "highlight a number of celestial phenomena, ranging from the movement of the solar disk to that of constellations known to have been named".

While lack of written records stall progress somewhat, the strong mythological tradition that exists among the descendants of various North American Indian groups helps in deciphering the origins of myth that would lend explanation as to the importance of the sky in the life ways of native cultures. A certain number of scholars however have raised the question as to whether North American Indian astronomy can in fact be considered in the context of archeoastronomy and its study of prehistoric peoples, contending that these Indian populations may have been tainted by Christian schools of thought somewhere along the line. While this is a valid point, and deserves consideration, it is important to account for the mythological elements which factor into the overall schematic.