Archive for October 13th, 2013

For the remainder of 2013, my posts will be from Layla Daltry’s perspective. She’s the hero of The Compass Master, a daring antiquities hunter, and while on the trail of a rare, precious artifact is living undercover in Denver as Helena Soister. Here are the latest details of her mission…

I was stunned the moment I saw the photograph and read the online news story.

In an instant, my brain made the connection.  I could create a firestorm in the world of archeology, was my reaction.  One that just might blow my cover as I lay low here in Colorado.

According to the article, my friend, Larisa Vodolazhskaya (gad, those long Russian names!), a study researcher at the Archaeoastronomical Research Center in Russia, has rendered her judgment on some Bronze Age petroglyphs.

They had been carved on a slab of stone discovered by archeologists in 2011 in a burial mound in the Ukraine.  The mound has been dated to the 12th or 13th century B.C.   After studying the angles of the carvings and making calculations, Larisa has now concluded that the slab was likely used to mark the hours in the day at that particular latitude.  In short, it was a sundial, perhaps the most ancient sundial ever discovered.

All well and good.  But it was the photograph that took my breath away, and for good reason.

On the left is the Ukrainian sundial.

And here’s this one…

It’s a photo of a stone petroglyph in Crack Cave in southeastern Colorado.  On only two days of the year—the spring and autumn equinox—they are illuminated when the sun’s rays can reach into the cave at dawn.  Some scientists argue that this Colorado petroglyph is made up of Ogham words from the ancient Celts, likely Irish Christian monks who may have explored a stretch of the Arkansas River, perhaps around 500 to 800 A.D., and left their Ogham writings over an area stretching from Oklahoma into Colorado along the Arkansas River.  The theory is controversial.

These two photos confound me.  Why are these upper and lower vertical grooves transected by a horizontal one so similar in both?  Why are there small “circular depressions” around the Ukrainian sundial, but also a few on the Colorado petroglyph?  Depressions Larisa describes as “hour marks of an analemmatic sundial” that reveal a sophisticated grasp of geometry.

Yes, the native Americans had their own astronomical calendars, but none of them match the style of this Colorado one.  The Celtic connection remains.  But is there now an even more ancient Ukrainian one?

And is the Colorado petroglyph slightly different from the Ukrainian one to account for the change in latitude?

I suspect the scientists are wrong about Crack Cave’s “Ogham” markings.  Yes, it was likely Dark Ages Celtic monks who carved them, but instead of Ogham letters they are the calculations of a sundial.  And these monks learned this astronomical tradition from fellow Europeans who had been using it as far away as the Ukrainian steppes and since at least 1000 B.C.

But how was this knowledge passed down? How did these far-flung cultures meet and exchange their mathematics and sciences?

I hope the answers are not lost in the mists of time.  I hope to make my own discoveries soon.  And then the firestorm of controversy will begin.