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        Ancient Greece: ('Hellas')

The Greek empire arose from a collective of feuding ‘tribes’ which filled the vacuum of the fallen Minoan empire, (2,700 BC – 1,400 BC). Unfortunately, there is too little contemporary text from this early transition period to know the exact path at this early stage. We know that before the emergence of the Greeks, the Mediterranean basin was a melting pot of cultures and trade, with various empires such as the Minoan, Mycenaean, Etruscan, Anatolian, Phoenician and Egyptians having already firmly stamped their cultural mark on the region. It is known that after the Minoans, the Mycenaean culture arose and prospered in the region, culminating in the creation of the Greek empire.

It is recorded that several hundred years following its creation, learned men of ancient Greece such as (Pythagoras, Plato etc) began to secure much of their wisdom and knowledge from exchanges with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian priesthoods. This ‘Golden-age’ of philosophy, science and the arts occurred following the expansion of the Greek empire into Egypt, around the time of Alexander the great (350 BC). Zonares (3) wrote concerning the transfer of arithmetic and astronomy to the Greeks:

‘…It is said that these came from the Chaldees to the Egyptians, and thence to the Greeks’.

Pythagoras, the great mathematician went to the extreme of being circumcised in order to obtain ‘more information than was imparted to any other Greek’ (Plut. De Is. S. 10), which also supports the suggesting of an association between geometry and rituals of worship (sacred-geometry). The ancient accounts of Pythagoras stay in Egypt reveals an interesting fact, namely that his skillful cross-examination of the priests exposed not only the extent of their learning, but also that at this time; they too were apparently already ignorant of the origin of these facts. (3)

 

 

   Prehistoric Greece:
 

Greek Automata:

When his writings on hydraulics, pneumatics and mechanics were translated into Latin in the sixteenth century, Hero’s readers were amazed to discover descriptions of inventions which included vending machines, a water-pump, a wind-organ, and the aeolipile (the first recorded steam engine). Although today the only surviving example of such sophisticated ancient Greek mechanics is the Antikythera mechanism, it is clear that complex mechanical devices existed in ancient Greece.

(More about Greek Automata)

 

Delphi:

The site of the Delphine Oracle, arguably the most important oracle in the classic world and sacred since prehistoric times (1), originally being a shrine to Gaia and a centre from which sacred temples and oracle centres were placed apparently according to principles of longitude.

Delphi is also associated with the worship of Apollo (the sun god), who is said to have killed the serpent Python at Delphi, essentially supplanting one form of worship with another. The sites status as an Earth Navel was recognised by Herodotus, who connected the oracle centre at Delphi with the one at Karnak in Egypt. both sites at which Omphalos stones have been found.

The most famous of all the Greek oracles, Delphi contains a tradition of geodesy in its origin myth, which says that it was located by Zeus who released two birds from the eastern and western ends of the earth, with the point where they flew past each other being considered the centre of the world and therefore marked with an omphalos stone. Delphi happens to be located 3/7th’s of the distance from the equator to the North Pole. Delphi also lies along the same alignment formed by connecting Dodona to Behdet in Egypt (which was the geodetic capital of Northern Egypt before 3,000 BC according to Stecchini), and which sits on the same longitude as Thebes and the same Latitude as Alexandria. Herodotus connected Delphi with Thebes in his narration.

Delphi is also associated geometrically with another two places; One in Anatolia (Turkey) and the other in Africa, also both considered oracle centres and earth-navels. These three points form an inverted Isoscelese triangle. The top corner is based on the Oasis at Siwa, and the third corner in Anatolia at Sardeis (Sardis). All three sites were visited by Heraclese, who represents the collective unconsciousness of Ancient Greece.

(More about Delphi)

 

The Greek Oracle Centres:

The importance of the oracles to the ancient Greeks is apparent from their prominence in mythological and historical texts; however, they were never exclusive to Greece, and although they are recorded as an Egyptian introduction, it is known that many of the Oracle sites were shrines to the mother-goddess or Gaia, before they were converted to the more traditional Sybilline sanctuaries. Herodotus repeated what he was told by the priestesses of Dodona, the first Greek oracle, concerning its introduction:

‘Two black doves flew away from Egyptian Thebes, and while one directed its flight to Libya, the other came to them. She alighted on an oak, and sitting there began to speak with a human voice, and told them that on that spot where she was, there should thenceforth be an oracle of Jove (Zeus). They understood the announcement to be from Heaven, so they set to work at once and erected a shrine. The dove that flew to Libya bade the Libyans to establish there the oracle of Ammon (Amon).’ (Herodotus II, 53-5).

In Egypt however, Herodotus was given a different version of the legend. The priests of Jupiter (Amon) at Thebes said:

‘Two of the sacred women were once carried off from Thebes by the Phoenicians. The story went that one of them was sold into Libya, and the other into Greece, and these women were the first founders of the oracles of the two countries’

Regardless in the difference between stories, the concept of the oracle (otherwise named ‘sacred women’, Sybil’s or Pythona’s); perhaps found easy favour in Greece through their close affinity to the already extant and universal mother-earth-goddess cults in the Mediterranean and beyond. So strong are the similarities between the two, that an earlier prehistoric connection between cultures can be easily inferred.

A milestone of literature on the subject of the geodetic placement of oracle centres already exists, written by Livio Stecchini (27), who concluded that several ancient oracle centres in the Mediterranean and Middle-east, were deliberately placed along specific latitudes and separated by units of 1°, which he suggested composed an 'oracle octave', along which the seven major centres were placed, each devoted to one of the seven known planets and symbolised by different sacred trees (for more on this subject refer to the 'Tree alphabet' in R. Greave's book, 'The White Goddess').

Dodona (39° 30' N. 20° 51' E)

Delphi (38° 29' N, 22° 26' E)

Delos – (37° 26’ N, 25° 17’ E)

(Accurate to well within 95% - The standard scientific measure of significance)

(More about the Oracle centres)

 

Underlying this geodetic placement, Stecchini believed was a set of knowledge that that formed the basis of the 'Eleusian mysteries', as the following locations seem to support.

Eleusis - (38° 00’ N, 18° 00’ E)

Alaise - (47° 00' N. 5° 58' E)

(More about the Eleusian Mysteries)

 

Dodona (Dione): The Oldest Oracle centre in Greece. Originally a shrine to the mother goddess it later became dedicated to the Greek god Zeus. Prophesies were made from the rustling of the leaves in a sacred grove.

Herodotus noted the religious transference from the earlier earth-mother-goddess to a pantheon of gods between Greece and Egypt, at the same time confirming the status of Dodona as the first Greek oracle site, and places the existence of oracles before the gods. He said:

‘After a long lapse of time the names of the gods came to Greece from Egypt… not long after the arrival of the names, they sent to consult the oracle at Dodona about them. This is the most ancient oracle in Greece, and at that time there was no other.’ (24)

(More about Dodona)

 

The Minoans.

The Minoans have a provenance that traces back to the Neolithic period (4), and it is immediately noticeable to see in the remnants of their empire that they shared the apparently universal prehistoric preference for bull worship and the mother-goddess, which shares mythological parallels with both the Egyptian Isis (Hathor) and the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar and the Anatolian Earth-Goddess.  It is therefore of interest that the epicenter of the Minoan civilization was the Cretan capital of Knossos (with its nearby village of Omphalos).

Knossos – (35° 17’ N, 25° 09’ E)

Giza      - (30° 05’ N, 31° 11’ E)

It is immediately noticeable that Knossos is almost exactly 5° north and 6° west of Giza (96% accuracy).

Knossos shares geometric connections with several other ancient and sacred sites. This apparent geodetic placement of Knossos has been noted by others (Manias, Stecchini etc).

(More about Knossos)

 

Earth Mother Goddess Worship in Ancient Greece:

Mackenzie (24) had the following to say concerning the subject of the Minoan mother-goddess worship before the advent of the Egyptian pantheon:

In Crete there were three outstanding forms of the mother-goddess – the snake-goddess, the dove-goddess, and the “lady of the wild creatures” … As in Egypt, and Babylonia, it is found that one goddess tends to absorb the attributes of the other’

The similarities between the Cretan, Egyptian, Babylonian mother-goddess find parallels in several other primitive cultures from the same time. It is interesting to note that on pre-Hellenic Crete, she was depicted in a strikingly similar way to the Babylonian Ishtar.  Mackenzie goes on to say:

‘The great goddess was depicted wearing a flounced gown suspended from her slim waist, round which a girdle is clasped. The upper part of the body is bare, and she has enormous breasts. Sometimes she stands on a mountain top, guarded by two lions’. (24)

The same symbolic image of an Earth-mother with flanking lions can be seen in the Earth-goddess unearthed at Çatal Hüyük in Turkey (left), and the European Cybele (right).  The same iconic symbol was also used by the Sumerian 'Gilgamesh' Hero-king.  

 (More about Gilgamesh)

 

'Like the Neolithic settlements of the Near East, those in Greece offer a variety of small animal figurines and statuettes of steatopygous (fat-buttocked) women, testifying to a cult of the goddess of fertility'. (6)

 

We are told by Larousse that: ‘Cretan iconography is associated with the survival of the Neolithic mother goddess, symbol of fertility with her bare breasts, the serpent, the bull’s horns, which recur in the architecture, and the bird, which precedes the dove of Aphrodite’. All of these icons are repeated in the set of myths surrounding the oracle centers, which are later imported from Egypt, and which relate to a deeper set of myths.

We can now identify several features common to both the primitive earth-goddess and the Sybil’s of ancient Greece; They were invariably associated with the feminine, they were connected to both serpents and doves (birds), and shared a similar set of traditions with roots leading back to the primitive worship of an ‘earth-mother’ or ‘mother-earth’, in relation to agriculture and harvest.

(Earth-Mother-Earth)

 

The close relationship between Neolithic Greece and Anatolia is confirmed by Oliva who mentions that the ceramic culture in Greece evolved from the beginning of the sixth millennium B.C. He also says of it:

'It is highly probable that the bearers of this new and more mature Neolithic culture were once more immigrants from the east. Certain analogies in the ceramic products suggest that they may have come from the region of Çatal Hüyük'. (6)

(More about Çatal Hüyük)

 

 

Greek Pyramids:

It is a curious fact that Greece is home to several small pyramids (over 16 according to some sources). Even stranger then that the one in the picture right from Hellenicon is currently dated at 2720 BC, placing it in the same time frame as the early dynastic Egyptian pyramid building phase.

Recent dating by the Academy of Athens of crystals from internal surfaces of the limestone blocks using thermoluminescence puts the construction times back two millennia. The Hellenikon pyramid was dated to 2730 B.C.; the Ligourio pyramid, to 2260 B.C. (5)

(Other European Pyramids)

 

The Mycenaean's:

The Mycenaean’s flourished in the absence of the Minoans (1,600 - 1,200 BC), and while there is little evidence that they were concerned with geometry let alone things such as geodesy, the best known monument from Mycenae suggests otherwise. The famous ‘lion-gate’ (left), has been suggested by Stecchini as having been a geodetic marker containing Egyptian iconography, identifying it as a symbolic reference to geodesy.

The famous 'Treasury of Atreus' was built on the site of an ancient oracle centre. It is noticeable that its shape is comparable to a 'negative omphalos' in design.

The fact that both Greek and Roman travelers used to measure 1 degree of latitude at 600 Greek Stadia or 75 Roman miles, a measure which is only correct at the latitude of Mycenae, adds to the suggestion that their ‘system of calculation goes back to the Mycenaean ancestors of the Greeks’. (27)

 

Mycenaean Lintels.

The Mycenean builders left behind some spectacular examples of 'cyclopean' masonry. Of particular interest are the large lintels covering the doorways to 'Tholos' or 'Tombs', the largest of which is in the treasury of Atreaus, and estimated to weigh around 120 tons.

The lion-Tomb, Mcyenae (Left), Treasury of Atreus (Right).

Note: These lintels were carved with curved faces, similar to the Stonehenge Lintels from Stonhenge III.

(More about Mycenae)

 

 

Geodesy in Ancient Greece.

Both Eratosthenes and Plato are known to have been actively involved in the investigation of earthly measurements (Geo-metrica), and it has long been concluded that such knowledge originated in Greece, but it is now established fact that sciences including astronomy and geometry were understood long before the Greek civilisation existed.

The idea that ancient Greek (pre-Hellenic) temples and sacred locations were situated according to geometric principles was also explored extensively by Th. Manias (Via Antonis T. Vasilakis), who wrote that:

'The cultural invasion of the Cretans, in the various areas of the northern (especially) hemisphere, commenced before the 4th millennium B.C., creating several afterwards great civilizations like the Egyptian and the great civilizations of south America. Each of the different enormous cities built around the globe by our ancestors, the Minoans (before the existence of any form of civilization in Egypt), was a geodetic landmark of a colossal system of annotation for each geographical longitude, with the most ancient being the centre of the omphalic field of Knossos’ ...(until).. ‘The grand disaster which took place in the second half of the 16th century BC'.

Extract from the book of Th. Manias " Ta Agnosta Megaloyrgimata Ton Arhaion Hellinon"

Also of interest is the revelation by Manias that the Dodona, Delphi and Trophonion oracle centres formed an isosceles triangle which was part of a larger decagon, whose geometric elements extended to other ancient sites such as Illion (Troy), Sparta and more importantly, Knossos. He also showed how Dodona (and other Greek sites such as Knossos and Delos), was located equidistant to other ancient sites and oracle centre's.

Knossos (Left), Dodona and Delos (Right). From Manias (2)

(Egyptian Geodesy)       (British Geodesy)

 

 

The Phaistos disc.

The Phaistos Disc is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (2nd Millennium BC). It is about 15 cm (5.9 in) in diameter and covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion in Crete, Greece.

The Phaistos disc, Knossos, Crete.

The disc was discovered in 1908 by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier in the Minoan palace-site of Phaistos, on the south coast of Crete, and features 241 tokens, comprising 45 unique signs, which were apparently made by pressing pre-formed hieroglyphic "seals" into a disc of soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiralling towards the disc's centre.

(More about the Phaistos Disc)

 

 

 

   List and Description of Greek Locations:

 

Delos.      The 'Floating Isle'. Birthplace of Apollo.

Delphi.

     The 'Navel of the Earth'.
Dodona.      The first oracle centre in Greece.
Knossos.      Minoan Capital on Crete.
Mycenae.      Includes the Treasury of Atreus / Lion Gate

 

 

References:

1). http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/delphi.html
2). Th. Manias " Ta Agnosta Megaloyrgimata Ton Arhaion Hellinon"
3). D. Davidson & H. Aldersmith. The Great Pyramid: It's Devine Message. 1924. Williams and Norgate.
4). http://www.explorecrete.com/history/crete-history.html
5). Hammond, Norman; "Did the Early Greeks Simply Copy the Pyramids of Egypt?" London Times, August 1, 1997.
6). Pavel Oliva. The Birth of Greek Civilisation. 1981. Pica Pica Press.
24). D. A. Mackenzie, Crete and Prehellenic. 1995. Senate Books.
25). Thomas Bulfinch. The Golden age of Myth and Legend. 1993. Wordsworth Ref.
26). G. Santillana and H. Von Dechend. Hamlets mill. 1983. D. R. G. Press.
27). Hoyle, Fred. Sir. On Stonehenge. 1977. W. H. Freeman and Co.
 

 

 

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