The ancients, the creators of Inyo, had a completely different view of astronomy than we do. We perceive the motions of the heavens as sun centered orbital functions. This makes the sun primary center of all calculations. The ancients perceived the earth as primary center and based their calculations accordingly.
The heavens were an observable mystery. We know, as a matter of simple fact, that the ancients had been observing and noting for many thousands of years. How do we know this? Because they shifted their celebrated beginning of the year from the observable summer solstice to the calculated vernal equinox. Why did they do this? Because they had noted the position of the sun was moving!
Inyo is more than two thousand years old and the summer solstice and winter solstice markers still function without observable alteration. The variation due to precession is, to the human eye, negligable. Precession is a 26,000 year cycle best described as a wobble of the earth. Observing this would require many thousands of years of careful notation and transference of information. Modern archaeologists, anthropologists and ethnographers do not credit ancient societies with this ability, despite the affirmative evidence.
Archaeoastronomers have a bad habit of attempting to apply modern astronomy and science to the work of the ancients. Lasers, satellites and details of orbital motion are applied at great expense. Sadly, they forget that the ancients did not have lasers nor satellites and they traded 'great expense' for extreme patience. Finally, their objectives were not for mechanical precision, but for religious invocation at predictable times .
The constellations were first named, not for purposes of divination, but for what we would later call science. To memorize the sky and it's motions, various star patterns were given names. The fact that these same names occur world wide demonstrates the dispersal of the knowledge. It is not coincidence. It is not an accident. It is because of schooling and education. This is something that most modern scholars and teachers are either unaware or unwilling to recognize. Stone Age and Bronze Age man, the ancients, were neither stupid nor ignorant. The creators of Inyo were gifted, skilled and well educated.
© 2008The Equinox Project, All Rights Reserved. Compiled from the
contents of The Dawson Library
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Last Modified January 2010