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Architecture of the Ancient World

A Comparison of Religious and Cosmological Symbology found in the Architecture of Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia and Ancient Cambodia

A Beginners Guide to understanding the Architeture or our Past

an Architecture of the Ancient World Publicatoin

Wayne A Morris

An Architecture of the Ancient World Publication Researched, written and edited by Wayne A Morris b.des(Arch) 2013

Architecture of the Ancient World

A Comparison of Religious and Cosmological Symbology found in the Architecture of Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia and Ancient Cambodia
A Beginners Guide to understanding the Architeture or our Past


1. The Passing of Knowledge 2. In the Beginning 3. A Journey of Knowledge 4. The Story of the Annunaki 5. A Comparison of Civilisations 6. Connecting the Ground to the Earth 7. Architecture of Death 8. Architecture of the Stars 9. Mathematical Symbolism in Ancient Architecture 10. Symbology of Sculpture 11. Symbology of Location & Direction 12. Research Findings Bibliography

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Chapter 1: The Passing of Knowledge

The ancient world is full of endless mystery. There are so many differing versions of historical events and supposed scientific reasoning for or against theories that range from the probable to the outright unfathomable assuming that alien technology and ancient electricity are anything more than outrages myths loosely based on scientific and historical fact. For each culture, on every continent, there are stories that claim that they are the founders or the inventors of various buildings, inventions, the first to conquer new lands or travel to faraway places. To look at the history of the planet and to read through the copious amounts of information that is available, is an undertaking that can take you to long forgotten passages of time but also lead the unsuspecting into realms of historical recreation that can see you spend an endless amount of time chasing the wind, intensely looking into new theories about the creation of an historical structure, with seemingly credible information and ideologies, just to have what seemed like a logical explanation of the meaning behind a historical structure turn into outrages claims of ancient power stations or alien stargates. Yes, the ancient world is full of mystery, and we still are using what in the grand scheme of our worlds timeline is primitive technology and archeological science to attempt to recreate and piece together what, why and how the ancients built the amazing and great civilizations which they did. Civilizations such as that of the Egyptians, the Khmer city of Ankgor, hidden in the Jungles of Cambodia, or the Mayan and Aztec cities of Ancient Mesoamerica. To study all of these ancient civilizations and piece together how and why they are all linked together, where their people originated from, how the knowledge they used for construction came about, would take dedicated historians, archeologists and scientists lifetimes to peace all the puzzle together and construct an accurate map of the chronology of the ancient world and just how it is all connected.

We do know however, that despite the majority of the civilizations of the ancient world being separated from each other by expanses of time, land and sea, they all, for the most part, shared an incredible amount of similarities, in religion, scientific knowledge, and even art and architecture. Some scientists even go so far as to place a great number of ancient civilizations on an invisible ring that circles around the globe, stating that for these civilizations to be positioned so accurately, the inhabitants of this planet must have known much more about the measurement of the world and had knowledge of complicated mathematical equations thousands of years before the first Greek philosophers sat down and began to write about what are deemed the mathematical and scientific breakthroughs of our era. Even the ability to travel by sea is possibly a concept that evolved thousands of years before any historical writings ever were written describing what we would consider in our history to be the first known sea fearers of the human race. Humans have been on this planet for a long time, and through that time they would have seen the planet evolve and change from a planet that as modern day inhabitants, we would not recognize. The tilt of the earth is vastly different to how it would have been sitting in its solar orbit over 12,000 years ago, the poles and the continents 12,000 years ago would be unrecognizable if we were to travel back in time today and look at how different the world has been for our ancient ancestors. Even Europe, once or twice during the history of the planet has been encased under miles under hard ice and snow1, until it thawed to reveal the immense area of land that makes up the Europe that we know today.

From Joe Silvia: The First photo of the Sphinx ever captured Maxime Du Camp 1849

Morgan, K.O. The Young Oxford History of Britain and Ireland, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp11

With the changing of the land, the coming and going of various ice ages, the rising and falling of sea levels to change the contour of every continent of the planet, our ancient architects, those that first learnt to take a cave and make it into an inhabitable space, keep it warm and provide shelter and protection from nature, would have had an incredibly hard time in trying to evolve from their nomadic lifestyles of over 12,000 year ago, into the structured and very much static cities and civilizations that we arrive at today. But the world did evolve, and knowledge did travel, people learnt about new ways of religion, design, philosophy and science and what were very much disjointed civilizations of the past, all merged into the one global pool of knowledge, science and religion that we now have today.
Chapter 2: In the Beginning

If you looked up to the sky in 10,500bc, you would not be seeing the same sky which you see today. Once the sun had set and you gazed at the stars, you would not be seeing the same constellations as they appear in the night sky which you would observe in our present time. This is due to the occurrence known as precession, being the spinning of the earth around its own axis as it sits moving through space. You may be aware that the earth has a natural tilt which effects the coming and going of the various seasons throughout the year, this also being the reason why we experience the summer and the winter equinox, and the solstices, but this is not the only movement which the earth makes excluding its obvious orbit around the sun. The earth has another orbit, which sees it circle around its own axis once every 26 thousand years2. This movement of the earth around its own orbit causes the stars in the night sky to also change, ever so slightly from one millennia to the next, it is possible today to recreate the night sky which the ancients would have been looking up at over 12,000 years ago as they supposedly traveled from their nomadic camping grounds to new lands which they would later settle and begin construction of some of the most amazing civlisations that we have the privilege of visiting today. The theory of precession is something that we can easily understand with our modern scientific and astrological knowledge, but some historians even propose that this event was well understood even by

Koupelis, T. In Quest of the Universe, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010, pp 159

the ancient priests and astronomers of the Egyptians, Mayans and the Khmer in Ankgor, Cambodia thousands of years earlier3. It is also proposed that this knowledge of precession was central in the layout and architectural planning of some of the ancient cities and important structures including the main pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mesoamerica, the Bayon temple complex in Angkor, Cambodia, the Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza in Egypt4 . Like most historical theories, there is enough evidence to suggest that the ancients could very well have had knowledge of precession, since they were amazingly knowledgeable astronomers, basing important aspects of their life and religion around astrological events. The Mayans themselves had almost no clear distinction between the roles of their priest and their astrological scientists5, basically meaning that the main role of Mayan priests was to study the stars6. The ancients fascinations with the stars and the universe is much more than a fascination with the unknown which modern scientists have today. In ancient times, the mysteries of why we are here and where we go when we die, was almost the only reasoning behind why they did what they did and built what they built7. For the Egyptians, they believed that their Pharaohs were like the Gods themselves8, and dedicated much of their time and their lives to building great tombs and religious structures, in hope that in the event of the death of their great Pharaohs, they could be placed in their tomb which was architecturally designed to create a passage from this world to the next, and give their pharaoh a place back amongst the stars where they will once again live in eternity, shining down on the people below from the skies above9. Likewise the temples at Ankgor, in Cambodia, were built to take the observer on a journey of knowledge as they passed through the temples, so that by the end of their experience, they would have learnt enough knowledge to take them on the rest of their journey and guarantee them a place amongst the stars in the event of their death10. In the Americas, the Mayans had a great fear of Death11, but also looked upon it as a gateway to the eternal, and through sacrifice, they would be given a

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Silva, F. Legacy of the Gods, Hampton Roads Publishing, 2011, pp 71 Honcock, G. Lost Knowledge of the Ancients, Inner Traditions / Bear and Co., 2010 5 Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 260 6 Lockard, C.A. Societies, Networks and Transitions: A Global History, Cengage Learning, 2010, pp 217 7 Assmann, J. Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt, Cronell University Press, 2005, pp 141 8 Silverman, D. Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp 108 9 Lemming, madden, Marlin, Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, L-Z, Springer Press, 2010, pp 652 10 Hancock, G. Heavens Mirror: Quest for Lost Civilisations, Three Rivers Press, 1999 pp 13 11 Sharer, R.J. The Ancient Maya, Standford University Press, 2006, pp 673

place among the stars to live for eternity12. These ideologies are not limited to only these three ancient civilizations, but the symbology and meaning behind the journey of life, the meaning and importance of death and the eternal life among the stars, occurs in the vast majority of ancient cultures and civilizations that emerged at varying times and in what we would consider disconnected lands of our Ancient Planet.

Chapter 3: A Journey of Knowledge

When we talk of lands being disconnected, we dont mean completely isolated by land or sea from each other. Even in ancient times, if one wanted to do so, it would have been possible geographically to travel from Egypt through to the Americas, maybe with the help of some form of water craft which the ancient Egyptians we known historically did possess13, with pictures of sea going vessels present in Egyptian wall paintings and hieroglyphs, even well preserved water vessels have been found in the sands of Egypt14 which predate the ships previous thought to be the worlds oldest sea going vessels, which were thought to have been built around 1300bc15. Despite the fact that the ancients did have sea going vessels, to travel from Egypt to the Americas in the year 3000bc, would have been a journey way beyond the capability of any of the ships built in that time16, and to travel by foot to faraway lands would almost have been a one way journey into the unknown, with no guarantee at all that there would be anything to find for the ancients once they got past the lands which they already had mapped. So the idea of ancient sea fearers traveling to faraway lands and spreading their knowledge is almost impossible to consider.

Or, is it?
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Drew, D. Lost Chronicles of Maya Kings, University of California Press, 1999, pp 295 Wachsmann, S. Texas A&M University Press, 2008 pp 9 14 Worlds Oldest Sea Vessel Discovered in Egypt, National Geographic, retrieved 12.05.2013 <> 15 iBid 16 Ward, C.A. Sacred and Secular: Ancient Egyptian Ships and Boats, Archeological Institute of America, 2000

Chapter 4: the story of the Annunaki

I recall stating at the beginning of this paper that theories of alien technology and bogus theories about our past lead anyone wanting to find accurate theories of the past into realms that border on the ludicrous. But the ancient world is one that blurs the lines between Myth and Fact, with many myths derived from factual events, and many supposed factual events evolving from what only could be described as outrages myths. But the story of the Annunaki, although mythological and a breeding ground for the many alien hunting historians, is a mythology that could almost explain, in parts, some questions of historical fact. So, who are the Annunaki? The Annunaki are deities found in a number of ancient Mesopotamian cultures such as the Assyrians, the Babylonians and the Sumerians17. The name Annunaki has a meaning similar in meaning to Royal Blood18, but it is also believed by some to be derived from the names Anu, meaning the heavens and Ki, meaning the Earth19 although this later meaning behind the name isnt given as much credit as the former. The Annunaki emerge in several forms throughout our written history. They appear in the Epic of Galgamesh after the great flood, and are seen as the seven judges of Hell who set the lands aflame as the biblical storm approaches20. But more along with the topic of this paper, the Assyrians and Babylonians saw the Annunaki as the children of the Gods Anu and Ki, who in turn were the children of the Gods Anshar and Kishar (the celestial poles), who were also the children of the Gods Lahamu and Lahmu21. Lahamu and Lahmu were also the names given to the gatekeepers of the Abzu22, Abzu being the fresh water that was sourced by underground aquifers in the temple of Eridu23, Eridu being the site in


Maximillien de Lafeyette, Thesaurus: Dictionary of Sumerian, Anunnaki, Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Aramaic, Createspace Independent publishing Platform, 2008 18 Ibid 19 Ibid 20 Gilgamesh, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Stanford University Press, 1989 21 Maximillien de Lafeyette, Thesaurus: Dictionary of Sumerian, Anunnaki, Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Aramaic, Createspace Independent publishing Platform, 2008 22 Ibid 23 Ibid

Sumerian Ideology where creation was deemed to have occurred24. And lastly, Lahamy and Lahmu were the children of Tiamat, the Goddess of the Ocean, and Abzu, the God of fresh water25. Annunaki myth tells that Anu and Ki were sent to earth to live in the ancient city of Sumer, in modern day Iraq, to spread the knowledge they had to the ancient humans26. So far, the story of the Annunaki still sounds rather more obviously like myth, rather than fact, with some people going so far as to claim that the Annunaki made us humans and used us to mine the Gold from various ancient mines they built27. But through the myth, some of the story does propose some questioning as to whether alien or not, the race of the elite and intellectually superior Annunaki did exist and might have been responsible for much of the knowledge that the ancients did have. The story of the Annunaki goes on to explain how with the help of labour sourced from West Africa and Egypt, four pale men with long beards and who were very tall traveled by sea from the city of Sumer, to the Americas to spread their knowledge which also happened to include the secret of time28. This story of the Annunaki making a journey around the world to share their knowledge coincides with some myths of a number of other ancient civilizations that record being visited by ancient pale skinned sea fearers with long beards who sailed in on large ships, thousands of years before the Chinese discovered the world in the year 142129, or Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas for Spain in 149230. What makes this myth of ancient bearded sea fearers more credible than the average ancient astronaut theory, is that in the jungles of South America, where the Mayan civilization once stood along with the lesser known and understood civilization of the Olmecs, there stands scattered in the jungle, 20 sculptures around the site at Laventa which are unmistakably not depictions of Asiatics, which were assumed to be the first settlers of the area as they traveled down from the bearing straight, but are clearly sculptures of faces with African features31. These sculptures defy historical fact on several levels. Firstly, there is no historical documented
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Ibid Ibid 26 Ibid 27 Dice, M. The New World Order, Mark Dice, 2010 pp302 28 Maximillien de Lafeyette, Thesaurus: Dictionary of Sumerian, Anunnaki, Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Aramaic, Createspace Independent publishing Platform, 2008 29 Menzies, G. 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, Random House, 2003 30 Columbus, C. The Diario of Christopher Columbuss first voyage to America: 1492 1493, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991 31 VanSertima, I. African Precence in early America, Transaction Publishers, 1987, Volume 8 Issue 2, pp 68

events recorded that would put Africans in Mesoamerica around the time period when the sculptures would have been carved, as Africans wouldnt have been in the Americas until arriving also with Caucasians at least around 1492ad when Columbus first startled the Aztec people by sailing into their lands in his tall ships32. Like most of historical events, this only leaves more questions unanswered. Did an ancient race of intellectual white sea fearers travel around the world prior to 1421ad or 1492ad spreading their wisdom to other civilizations who went on to use this knowledge as the base for their entire culture? Or, Did the Egyptians possibly even use their sea going vessels which have actually been found and in used condition with evidence of rot from sea worms in the hull33, to travel all the way to the Americas although any such event was never recorded in the Egyptian manuscripts? Of course, these questions are too monolithic to even contemplate trying to answer in this paper, but the possibility of unrecorded ancient sea fearers would help to explain how such similarities can be seen in the architecture and religion of the Egyptians and the Mayans, and for that matter, even the Khmer of Ankgor.

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Columbus, C. The Diario of Christopher Columbuss first voyage to America: 1492 1493, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991 Worlds Oldest Sea Vessel Discovered in Egypt, National Geographic, retrieved 12.05.2013 <>

Chapter 5: A Comparison of Civilisations

Lets look first at the city of Ankgor, built by the Khmer in the 12th century AD, deep in the heart of the jungles of Cambodia. Angkor is a city built in the middle of the Cambodian jungle, dedication to the Hindu Deity Vishnu34 after being founded by Khmer ruler Indravarman around the time of 880ad35 making it a much younger civilization than that of the Egyptians by several thousand years. At the heart of the Khmer culture is a religion, which like the Egyptians, is based around the journey from this world, to the next36. Before the Khmer people turned to Buddhism during the reign of emperor Jayavarman VII around 1181ad37, Hinduism was the dominant religion which inspired much of the Architecture found in the city of Angkor38. Built originally as a Hindu Temple, and still today being the largest Hindu turned Buddhist temple constructed in the world39, Angkor Wat was built during the rule of Khmer King Suryavarman II in the beginning of the 12th century ad40. The inspiration and symbology behind the design of Angkor Wat is heavily influenced by the beliefs of the Khmer Hindus, with religious symbology, art and sculpture found throughout the temple complex. The temple of Angkor Wat is built using an Architectural style that is derivative of earlier Dravidian Architecture that flourished in the nearby Indian Subcontinent a millennia before the Khmer built their temple city at Angkor41. Dravidian Architecture is heavily decorative, often built of carved stonemasonry depicting stories of Gods, Battles and important religious events, with temples often being pyramidal shaped or having tall towers called gopurams, or, Gate Towers, dominating the skyline of the Temples and marking important Entrances or spaces in the Architecture42.

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Higham, C. Civilization of Angkor, University of California Press, 2001, pp 115 Kliener, F.S., Mamiya, C.J. Gardners Art Through the Ages: non western perspectives, Cengage Learning, 2009, pp 28 36 Rosen, S. Ultimate Journey: Death & Dying in the Worlds Major Religions, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008, pp 121 37 Kliener, F.S., Mamiya, C.J. Gardners Art Through the Ages: non western perspectives, Cengage Learning, 2009, pp 30 38 Michell, G. The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to its Meaning and Form, University of Chicago Press, 1977, pp 176 39 Rasor, E. The Journey of a Modern Mystic: The Battle for the Kingdom of God, iUniverse, 2006, pp250 40 Langmead, D. Garnaut, C. Encyclopedia of Architectural and Engineering Facts, ABC-CLIO inc, 2001, pp 16 41 Singh, P. Hawley, M. Re-imagining South Asian Religions: Essays in Honour of Professors Harold G. Coward and R. W. Neufeldt, Brill, pp 86 42 Jermsawatdi, P. Thai Art with Indian Influence, Abhinav Publications, 1979, pp 120

In the temple of Angkor Wat, it is possible to see the influence that Dravidian Architecture had on the design of the temple itself43, and the other temples scattered throughout the Ankgor site. Like with Dravidian Architecture, Angkor Wat is dominated by several tall, highly decorated towers emerging from the central structure built in the heart of the temple complex, these towers being arranged in the form of a quincunx, being a pattern of five points arranged in a cross of five coplanar points with the fifth point in the centre marking the heart of the Temple. Symbolically, the Temple of Angkor Wat itself is a representation of the sacred mountain known as Mount Meru44, found in both Hindu and Buddhist belief. To the Khmer who built Ankgor, Mount Meru is considered to be the centre of the Universe45, and all other spiritual, physical and metaphysical life, as well as being home to the Hindu God Brahma46. Mount Meru, whether a depiction of a physically locatable mountain found on this earth or not, is found in the religion of the ancient Khmer people as being part of the Cosmic Ocean47, which to the Hindu people, was the Ocean from which life was created and immortality was found48. The symbology found in the temple of Angkor Wat is so rich, that the story of creation, of the Milky, Cosmic Ocean, and the pathway to the afterlife, appears constantly as you walk through the temple. On one wall of the temple is a large mural, a depiction of the churning of the Cosmic Ocean for the purposes of obtaining Amrita, or, Immortality49. The churning of the Milky Ocean is carried out by two opposing forces, on one side stands the Devas, or, the Gods, and on the other side of the ocean stands the Asuras, or, The Demons. Both the Devas and the Asuras each hold one end of the Serpant King Vasuki. As Vasuki is dragged back and forth by the opposing forces, Gods versus Demons, Good versus Evil, Dark Versus Night, He moves the mountain known as Mount Mandara, located in the centre of the Milky Ocean, which is placed on the back of a Great Tortoise, This Tortoise being the second Avatar of Vishnu, Vishnu having several incarnations in Hindu belief50.
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Singh , P. Hawley, M. Re-imagining South Asian Religions: Essays in Honour of Professors Harold G. Coward and R. W. Neufeldt, Brill, pp 86 Rasor, E. The Journey of a Modern Mystic: The Battle for the Kingdom of God, iUniverse, 2006, pp250 45 Beer, R. The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Serindia, 1999, pp 103 46 Stookey, L. Thematic Guide to World Mythology, Greenwood Publishing Company, 2004, pp 163 47 Ibid 48 Flood, G.D. An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp 116 49 Ibid 50 Moore, C. Iconography of Religions: An Introduction, Fortress Press, 1977 pp 113


The importance of these stories and symbols found at Angkor Wat would have been unquestionable for the Khmer who originally built the city at Angkor. The journey through the temple at Angkor Wat is a journey that takes the visitor on a quest of knowledge, educating those that enter the temple about the origins of life, and preparing them for the next journey, being the journey from this realm, to the next51. Its important to consider how civilizations like the Khmer, or the Egyptians of even the Mayans of the Americas viewed death. In the depiction of the churning of the cosmic ocean, the forces of good and evil are said to not be working against each other to churn the Milky Ocean, but are working with each other, taking turns to achieve the ultimate objective being immortality52. In the ancient Egyptian language for example, there was no specific word for Death, since the thought of a person ceasing to exist was not something that was considered by the Egyptian belief system53. In place of death, the Egyptians used a term known as westing54. The meaning of westing comes from the Egyptian belief that when someone ceases to be in this mortal life, they travel west towards the setting sun to take their place in the underworld and begin the next part of their journey55. The Egyptians belief of westing, would have influenced also the reasoning why the Egyptians valued so highly the building of great structures in order to make sure that when their much loved rulers and Pharaohs left this world, they could reclaim their place among the stars and become eternal Gods once more56, it is also for this reason that many Pharaohs and Egyptian Kings dedicated their entire lives to building their final resting tombs, to prepare them for the journey they will be undertaking in their afterlife57. To the Egyptians, death was not something of permanence, but as the sun sets to the west every night, again it will rise from the east the next day58, even proceeding the ancient Egyptian text the book of the dead the next text written in succession was titled, the book of coming forth by day, or, the book of coming forth into the light, written to guide the departed on their journey through the underworld and into the afterlife59.
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Bourbon, F. Lost Civilisations: rediscovering the great cultures of the past, Barnes & Nobles Books, 1998, pp 248 Mack, C. K. Mack, D. A Field Guide to Demons, Vampires, Fallen Angels and other Subversive Spirites, Skyhorse Publishing Inc, 2011 53 Kardaras, N., How Plato and Pythagoras can save your life, Conari Press, 2011, pp 148 54 Ibid 55 Fox, M. The Ancient Egyptian Ebook, Curriculum Press, 2012 56 Ellis, R. Solomon, Pharaoh of Egypt, Edfu Books Ltd, 2013, pp 120 57 Hendrickx, S. Adams, B. Egypt at its Origins, Peeters Publishers, 2004, pp 1129 58 Assmann, J. Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt, Cronell University Press, 2005, pp 416 59 Dassow, E.V. The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day, Chronicles Books, 2008


Chapter 6: Connecting the ground and the earth

I will talk more about the symbology and meaning of death in ancient architecture a little later since death, astronomy and transcendence to the heavens above are all closely linked together in the ancient world, but for now I want to explain some historians interpretations of how the ancients attempted to connect the heavens with the earth through the placement or the design of their structures. Like the Egyptians, the Khmer believed that the journey we take is not limited to what we experience only in this life. And it is this belief that inspired the Khmer to build the monolithic temples that still stand today in the Jungles of Cambodia. Avid Historian Graham Hancock, writer of numerous texts on the subject of ancient civilizations and their origins, has spent many decades studying the meaning and symbology behind many of the worlds most mysterious structures and civilizations. A lthough his findings can sometimes be quite hard to digest and could possibly be influenced by the fact that he was a self confessed Marijuana addict for several decades throughout his career, he has found some questionable anomalies in the architecture of many of our ancient civilizations including those of the Khmer, the Egyptians and the Mayans. Although I do not want to state that Hancocks findings should be taken as solid fact, some of his research does arouse some interest in whether his interpretations of the symbology found in ancient architectural sites could have been influential in their construction. We know for sure that the three main civilizations that are being looked at in this paper had advanced knowledge of astronomy60, which they used to study the heavens and create remarkably accurate calendars, in some cases predicting the movements of the earth with more accuracy than what we deduce in our current age of sophisticated scientific equipment61. But just how advanced was their knowledge of the earth and the stars and how much of an influence did this have on how and why they built the enormous structures that they built?

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Farr, R. C. Strickland, D. S. Treasury of Literature, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1995, pp 600 Rogers, J.R. Environmental and Water Resources: Milestones in Engineering History, ASCE Publications, 2007, pp 69


One theory proposed by Hancock is that the ancients knew about a complicated solar occurrence known as the precession of the earth62. We now know that there are three major movements of the planet in our solar system. The first being the movement of the planet around the sun, the second being the movement of the planet around its own axis, but there is another movement which our planet makes, only once every 26 thousand years it slowly changes its orbital parameter, altering the direction in the universe in which the north pole faces, much like how the top of a spinning top will create an orbit of the tip as it spins on a table although the base will remain in a static position. The occurrence of precession slowly alters the equatorial coordinates and the position of the northern pole, which in turn also alters the positioning of the equatorial band around the centre of the earth63. Another result of this event is that as the earth makes its way once every 26 thousand years orbiting its precessional path, the stars which can be seen from the earth alter ever so slowly, but on a large enough time line will completely change the location of celestial bodies visible from any given viewing point on the earth64. Hancock proposes that the ancients knew about precession65, and that they built many structures such as the temples of Angkor, the Pyramids on the Giza plateau, the Sphinx and even pyramids in the Americas based around this knowledge. Hancock suggests that each of these civilizations built their structures based on the positioning of celestial bodies as they would have appeared around the year 10,500bc66, which they would only have been able to accomplish through an understanding of the complicated astronomical event of precession. Despite the theory being almost bordering on the preposterous, there is convincingly enough, evidence to suggest that this theory might carry some truth. 12,500 years ago, around 10,500bc, if the Khmer people looked up from the jungles of Cambodia at the night sky they would have been viewing the constellation of Draco, the Dragon67. If the Egyptians that later would occupy the fertile lands around the Nile looked up at their night sky they would be looking at


Kenyon, J.D. Forbidden History, Prehistoric Technologies, Extraterrestrial Intervention, and teh Suppressed Orgins of Civilisation, Inner Traditions/Bear & Co. , 2005, pp. 112 63 Charles, Hartwell, Horne, Cheyne, The Earths Motion of Rotation, Macmillan, 1867 64 Ibid 65 Hancock, G. Heavens Mirror, Quest for Lost Civilisations, Three Rivers Press, 1999, pp 54 66 Lachman, G. A Secret History of Consciousness, Steinerbooks, 2003, pp 130 67 Hancock, G. Fingerprints of the Gods, Random House, 2011, pp 640


the exact centre of Orions Belt68, of which its three stars Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak would be an almost mirror image of the 3 Pyramids on the Giza Plateau built thousands of years later69, as the sphinx gazes towards the east around 10,500 bc, it would have been looking directly at the constellation of Leo70. Although this theory of processional influence on the design and layout of these ancient structures seems slightly hard to digest, there is still yet another link between the 10,500bc theory proposed by Hancock and evidence to suggest that the temples at Angkor were planned out to mirror the stars found in the constellation of Draco, and that the Pyramids at Giza were planned out to mirror the stars in the constellation of Orion. Turning back to Angkor, the temple of Angkor Wat, the temple found in the Bayon Complex in the heart of the city of Angkor, and the various other temples scattered throughout the jungle could be constructed into an earthen map of the stars which mimic the positions of some of the stars found in the constellation of Draco71. Although this theory is convincingly put forward by hancock in his texts and his documentary Quest for the Lost Civilizations, it is questionable as to the accuracy of his findings, such as his theory of the temple of Angkor Wat being the head of the Dragon, the Temple Complex of the Bayon being the heart and the various other temples making up the tail of the dragon, graphically being illustrated so as to make the positioning of the temples appear more closely in line with the positioning of the stars location in the constellation of Draco. When we look at a more accurate map of the Angkor site, the location of the Temples of Angkor dont quite lineup as romantically with the positioning of the stars in the Constellation of Draco like how Hancock would like us to perceive. As for the positioning of the constellation of Orion over the Pyramids found at Giza, the Constellation of Orion still looks over the pyramids in their current position72, only the positioning of Orion would be slightly different 12,500 years ago to how it would be seen today73. For the Sphinx, the positioning of the Sphinx places it at a facing of due East, to gaze at the rising sun74, whether there is more meaning to the positioning of the sphinx or
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Lachman, G. A Secret History of Consciousness, Steinerbooks, 2003, pp 130 Bauval, R. Hancock, G. Keepers of Genisis, Random House, 2011, pp 231 70 Wilson, C. From Atlantis to the Sphinx: recovering the lost wisdom of the ancient world, Random House, 2011, pp 307 71 Hancock, G. Heavens Mirror, Quest for Lost Civilisations, Three Rivers Press, 1999, pp 128 72 MacDonald, S. Rice, M. Consuming Ancient Egypt, Routledge, 2003, pp 183 73 Wilson, C. From Atlantis to the Sphinx: recovering the lost wisdom of the ancient world, Random House, 2011, pp 307 74 Merril, J.M. Books Written in Stone, AuthorHouse, 2012, pp 249


not might very well come down to personal interpretations of mythology and astrological fact. Although there is some truth in the proposition that the ancients were attempting to connect the heavens above with the earth below, to consider that the event of precession, and celestial movements made thousands of years before any stones were ever laid in Cambodia or Egypt might be slightly more adventurous ideas than most truth seeking Architectural historians would ever consider to entertain.

Chapter 7: Architecture of Death

All the Civilizations studied in this paper have strong connections between their Architecture and the event we in modern times call Death. But how is the ancients interpretation of death different from how we perceive death today and how did this concept of death, or the passing, or method of passing from this realm to the next influence the Architecture that was built by these ancient civilizations? If we look now to the pyramids built throughout the Yucatan by the Mayan Civilization of Mesoamerica from the period 2050bc through to the dawning of the Aztecs around 1400ad, only a few millennia later, the pyramids closely resemble those found in the Mesopotamian plateaus of Egypt, but differ in scale, purpose and construction technique. Like the Egyptian pyramids, the pyramids found in the Yucatan were designed for religious purposes75 and had strong connections with death, transcendence and the afterlife76. Whereas the Egyptian pyramids were designed and built as tombs for the passing of the pharaohs soul into the afterlife after their death77, the pyramids of the Mayan Civilization were not built to be tombs for the dead, but were designed to assist in the process of sacrifice which was central in Mayan religious ideologies78. Stereotypical Mayan pyramids were constructed in a stepped form79, with stairways on each of the four sides of the pyramid leading ultimately to the sacrificial platform where in ancient times, the priest would stand, waiting for the offering to be laid down before him where he would plunge a knife into his chest and

75 76

Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 204 Ibid 77 Watson, P.J. Egyptian Pyramids and Mastaba Tombs, Osprey Publishing, 1987, pp 41 78 Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 204 79 Kliener, F.S., Mamiya, C.J. Gardners Art Through the Ages: non western perspectives, Cengage Learning, 2009, pp 154


rip out his beating heart80, if the victim was still conscious, they would glance up to see their heart one last time before being thrown down another flight of steep descending stairs on an opposite side of the pyramid81. This depiction of Mayan Pyramids being used as instruments of death is far less romanticized than the way in which the Egyptians used and built their pyramids to celebrate what we call death. On one hand, the Egyptians built their pyramids as instruments to assist in the journey of the Pharaohs into the afterlife82. Death or westing was a far more romantic experience than that of the Mayans, Where it was treated with an immense quantity of dignity and respect. To preserve the mortal body of the departed, the dead went through a process of mummification, being embalmed and preserved carefully before being placed in their final tombs. For the Mayans, Death was a horrific and undignifying experience, where the pyramids were designed to quickly dispose of the departeds corpse after they had been used for their sacrificial purposes83. The steps of the Mayan pyramids were designed steep, which made the climb to the top for those to be sacrificed, one of difficulty and anxiety84, but also the steep design of the Mayan Pyramids stairs meant that the sacrificeds corpses would make a quick, and brutal descent down the face of the pyramid where they would be piled up at the base85. Although both the Egyptian and the Mayan pyramids were designed for the process of death, the way in which both cultures used their pyramids couldnt be more differing in execution. The Architecture found in Cambodia, at Angkor is also based on Hindu beliefs about death and the journey to the next world86, although the temples of Angkor arent designed specifically for the purposes of death, or the dead, like the pyramids were in Egypt of their Mayan Pyramid counterparts were in Mesoamerica. The temples at Angkor were more a symbolic representation of the passage one would take through life and into the underworld87, a sharing of Knowledge through the many murals, reliefs and statues found around the Angkor sites which included the depiction of the churning of the milky ocean seen on the walls of Angkor Wat. Close to the temple of Angkor Wat stands the sacred enclosure of
80 81

Eller, J. Introducing Anthropology of Religion, Routledge, 2007, pp 232 Ibid 82 Silverman, D. Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp 174 83 Eller, J. Introducing Anthropology of Religion, Routledge, 2007, pp 232 84 Calabrese Et Al, Internationalisation and Globalisation in Mathematics and Science Education, Springer, 2008, pp 237 85 Eller, J. Introducing Anthropology of Religion, Routledge, 2007, pp 232 86 Flood, G.D. An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp 116 87 Bussagli, M. Understanding Architecture, I.B. Tauris, 2005, pp 250


Angkor Thom which is built out of 5 square miles of the Cambodian Jungle. Entering into Angkor Thom there are 5 bridges which have on their sides, statues which are symbolic 3D representations of the Churning of the Elixir of life seen on the walls of Angkor Wat88. Going back to Hancocks theory that the Khmer had advanced knowledge of precession, he prophesizes that the statues on either side of the bridge, being 54 figures on each, with 108 figures on each bridge repeated on the bridges all add up to numbers representative of periods of time relative to the precession89. Whether again this theory has any weight or not, the bridges do however stand as a representation of the journey that the Khmer would take as they moved along the path of life towards the gateway to immortality, hoping in the end to attain their final place among the stars90.
Chapter 8: Architecture of the Stars

If we look beyond the end use of the pyramids of both the Egyptian and the Mayan civilizations, the astrological symbology found in both civilizations pyramids start to show more similarities between the design of the pyramids of the two cultures. Both the Egyptians and the Mayans, like the Khmer, were incredibly knowledgeable astronomers, and based a lot of their religion on celestial events which influenced the designs of their pyramids and temples91. In the Mayan culture, there was no clear distinction between the role of their priests and that of their Astronomers92, in fact the priests were the civilizations scholars, who practiced learned skills of reading, writing, astrology and calandrics93. The Mayan Architects would have used this knowledge passed down from the priests to plan the layout and design of many of the Pyramids and Temples built throughout Mesoamerica. Similarly the Ancient Architects of the Egyptians, such as Amenhotep, Amhotep of Senenmut would also have used their cultures advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics to design and build the great pyramids and temples found in Egypt such as the Great Pyramid of Khufu, or the Temple of Karnak, in Luxor which is
88 89

Hancock, G. Heavens Mirror, Quest for Lost Civilisations, Three Rivers Press, 1999, pp 54 Ibid 90 Ibid 91 Lehman, H. The Language of God in Prophecy, Pillar of Enoch Ministry, 2006, pp 501 92 Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 260 93 Vail, G. Hernandez, C.L. Astronomers, Scribes and Priests: Interlectual Interchange between the Northern Maya Lowlands and highland Mexico in the late postclassic period, Harvard University Press, 2010, pp 3


designed so that when the sun rises during the winter solstice, it illuminates the left and right walls on either side of the entrance to the great temple, and as the sun rises still, it shines directly on the sanctuary of Amoun-Re, The Sun God, brightening the obelisk of Hatshepsut in the centre of the temple. The positioning of the Mayan Pyramids such as the great pyramid found at Chichen Itza and the locations of adjacent observation towers were designed to accurately track the path of the sun and the stars as they traveled across the sky throughout the year94, this allowed the priests to predict and document events such as the solstices, the equinoxs, and other celestial events including even solar eclipses that might occur even over a millennia in advance through the use of tables written in the Dresdon Codex95. The observatories designed at Chichen Itza were so intelligently designed with diagonal site lines built into the walls, doors and windows of the structures, that observations could be taken by the priests through these various orifices allowing them to easily study the movement of the planet in the universe96. Through the use of their incredibly accurate observatories, the Mayans became so advanced in their astrological science that their predictions about future events, and their calculations surrounding the exact amount of days in the solar year were so accurate, that we have yet to come up with methods of astrological calculations with all of the knowledge of today, that could scarcely compete with the knowledge held by the Mayans almost three millennia ago97. Another theory attempting to understand more about the astrological symbology found in the temples of Angkor Wat is based on the connection between the Temples of Angkor, and an older style of Indian Temples known as Vedic Temples from which it is proposed that the temple designs at Angkor are based98, other than the Dravidian Temples covered earlier. Going back to the theories of Graham Hancock, the temples at Angkor are designed using measurements that coincide with periods of time important to Hindu belief. Using the ancient length of measurement known as the cubit, which is slightly longer than half of the standard unit of measurement we use today known as the meter99, the

94 95

Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 235 Littmann, M. Espenak, F. Wilcox, K. Totality, Eclipse of the Sun, Oxford University Press, 2009, 36 96 Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 235 97 Vanel, S. The Astrological Karma of the USA, Spiritual Company Press, 2004, pp 227 98 Bonshek, A.J. The Big Fish, Consciousness as Structure, Body and Space, Rodopi, 2007, pp 97 99 Marie, M. Deza, E. Encyclopedia of Distance, Springer, 2013, pp 533


dimensions of the causeway to the central temple at Angkor Wat measures 1728 cubits in length100. This measurement, according to Hancock, is representative of the length in a scale of time, of the first period of Hindu Cosmology known as Krita, being 1728 thousand human years101, Hancock also claims to have found in the dimensions taken around the site of Angkor Wat, units measuring out periods of time relating to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ages of Hindu Cosmology102, named Dvapara (1,296,000 years), Treta (864,000 years), and Kali(432,000 years)103. According to an essay written by Subhash Kak, a student of Louisiana State University, this method of design instilled in the Architecture at Angkor is consistent with the design methodology of ancient Indian Vedic Alters104. According to Kak, Vedic Architecture was designed using astronomical influences relating to the reconciliation of the Lunar and Solar years, and had differing temple designs to represent the earth, the space, and the sky105. Geometrically, the Vedic Alters representing the sky, or the Heavens, were drawn as squares, while Alters representing the Earth were drawn as circular planed Alters106. Kak claims that there are numerous measurements to be found in the Vedic Temples that relate back to specific numbers, including 21, 78, 261, 360 and various other numbers of religious of astronomical importance107. Kak also claims that the number of bricks placed around the alters or used in their construction, were symbolic of periods of time relating back to the days of the year, or periods of time spanning thousands of years108. Kak includes in his finding that through certain mathematical calculations and counting of elements in the design of the Vedic Temples such as the number of bricks used, or bricks used of a certain type, that the numbers 365.24675, and 25,920 are symbolically present in Vedic Architecture109. According to the findings of Hugh Harlston Jr, when measurements are taken around the site of Teotihuacan in Mexico in standard Teotihuacan Units (STU) of measurement, the measurements that are

100 101 102

Mannikka, E. Angkor Wat: Time, Space, Kingship, University of Hawaii Press, 1996, pp 110 Melton, J.G. Baumann, M. Religions of the World, Second Edition,ABC-CLIO, 2010, pp1424 Hancock, G. Heavens Mirror, Quest for Lost Civilisations, Three Rivers Press, 1999, pp 148 103 Melton, J.G. Baumann, M. Religions of the World, Second Edition,ABC-CLIO, 2010, pp1424 104 Kak, S. Time, Space and Astronomy in Angkor Wat, Louisiana State University, 2001, pp 2 105 Ibid pp 5 106 Ibid 107 Ibid 108 Kak, S. Time, Space and Astronomy in Angkor Wat, Louisiana State University, 2001, pp 6 109 Ibid


found in the dimensions of the quadrangles or the structures, are indicative also of periods of time such as the length of time that planets such as Saturn had been observed in the sky or periods of time that have passed since they had last been visible110. Some of Harlston jrs work has strong connections with the Dresdon Codex111. The Dresdon Codex is a Mayan manuscript that contains highly accurate tables of astronomical calculations including the famous Lunar Series and the Venus Table, which are tables of intervals correlating with the lunar eclipses the Mayans are well known for predicting, as well as a table of measurement which correlates with the movement of the planet of Venus112. The Dresdon Codex also includes information on Mayan rituals, as well as various astrological and astronomical tables which would have been calculated using the knowledge gained from the Mayan priests as they sat in their temple observatories studying the stars thousands of years ago. Harlston jr spent many years studying and writing about his findings in the dimensions of the Teotihuacan site and comparing them with the information found in the Dresdon Codex, concluding that measurements taken are indicative of units of time associated with planetary cycles or even corresponding to mathematical equations for musical notes and harmony connected with the vibration of the planets and the stars113. Harlston jrs findings are analogous with those of Hancock in his findings regarding the dimensions found at the site of Angkor Wat, in that both men claim to have found a unmistakable link between units of time and the units of measurement in the Architecture at both of these sites.
Chapter 9: Mathematical Symbolism in Ancient Architecture

Studying the base dimensions of two of the main structures looked at in this paper, the first being the Great Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan in Mexico and the second being the Great Pyramid of Khufu in Giza, it is uncanny how close the base structures of these monoliths compare in their dimensions. Take for example, the base length of the Pyramid of Khufu, currently at 690 feet, but originally would have been

110 111

Harlston, H. Jr. Mathematics of Ancient Architecture: Research Summary no.6, pp iii Ibid 112 Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 262 113 Harlston, H. Jr. Mathematics of Ancient Architecture: Research Summary no.6, pp 9


707 feet in length with the original casing stones114, if we look at the base length of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan it is 740 feet in length115. Whether these dimensions were planned to be similar or what these dimensions mean symbolically isnt quite known, but whether these dimensions are just a coincidental occurrence, or the result of a common link, or a sharing of knowledge between these cultures is something to be considered. If we dissect the majority of the pyramids in Egypt, we will find that they are typically Polyhedrons, with bases that are polygons and sides that are triangles that have a common vertex116, Egyptian Architects understood the relationship between the circumferences of a circle to its diameter, by their use of the equation Pi117. Whether intentional or not, Pi played a large role in the design of the great pyramid of khufu, in the measurements of the Pyramid we find that height of the Great Pyramid, is equal to the radius of the circle around the polyhedron. According to various sources, other mathematical calculations that are apparently found in the Great Pyramid of Khufu include:
The length of the Great Pyramid parameter is apparently 365.24 cubits long 119 The height of the pyramid times 10^9 is the approximate distance from the Earth to the Sun 120 The parameter divided by 2 times the height of the pyramid is equal to pi or 3.1416 121 The weight of the pyramid times 10^15 is approximately the weight of the Earth

Lastly, calculations associated with the precession of the Earth can apparently be found in the dimensions of the Great Pyramid, by adding together the cross directional measurements of the base we get 25,286.6122, which is remarkably close to the 26 thousand years that it takes for the Earth to make asingle orbit around its polar axis. The methods used to arrive at these calculations and the validity of findings by Kak and Halston Jr are questionable at best, being strikingly Hancockesque. Whether in Vedic Architecture, likewise, also in Angkor, they were meaning to include these calculations, or whether these calculations are discovered
114 115 116

Jamyah al-Lbyah li-Ulm al-Ar, Annual Field Conference, Earth Sciences Society of the Libyan Arab Republic, 1964, pp 112 Kelly, J. An Archeological Guide to Central and Southern Mexico, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, pp 127 Abott, A.E. Encyclopedia of Numbers, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, pp 169 117 Garcia, S. Building the World: Mathematics of the Ancients, 2009, pp 9 118 Ibid 119 Seawright, C. Egypt: The Ancient Number System (Math), A Feature Tour Egypt Story, retrieved 20.05.2013 <> 120 iBid 121 iBid 122 iBid


purely through a want for some historians to discover them would probably be answered at the discretion of the reader. Likewise, many Egyptologists claim to have discovered in the chambers of the King and of the Queen, in the Pyramid of Khufu on the Giza Plateau, mathematical symbology relating to the equations of Phi and Pi123, being the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Number. It may be true that the ancient Egyptians were using these advanced calculations, thousands of years before their discovery by later Greek Mathematicians and Philosophers, but there is still some consideration in the scientific community, that some researchers may be finding symbology in the Egyptian Pyramids, only through a wanting to find it, and not because it is necessarily there124. After all, the mathematical equations later attributed to by the study of many later Greek philosophers, were not invented, they had always existed, just no one had yet to discover them.

Chapter 10: Symbology in Sculpture

If we look back to the theory of the Annunaki, we know that in southern America, there lay 20 statues hidden in the jungle around the Olmec site of Laventa. The Olmecs were one of the first people to inhabit the land of south America, arriving slightly after the dawning of the Mayan empire around 1300bc125, it is not quite known from where the Olmecs came, but like the Mayans, they were highly educated people, who had their own method of writing similar to Egyptian Hieroglyphs, which so far historians have not yet been able to decipher126. Like the Mayans, the Egyptians and the Khmer, The Olmecs were talented astronomers and mathematicians127. One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the Olmecs is the origin of the 20 sculptures that are positioned around Laventa, historically, it Is believed that the Americas were first colonized by the Asiatics, who arrived in the Americas after crossing the bearing straight during the last ice age128, but centuries before the documented landing of any Caucasian sea fearers in the


Alford, A.F. Pyramid of Secrets: The Architecture of the Great Pyramid Reconsidered in the Light of Creational Mythology, Eridu Books, 2003, pp 43 124 Ellis, R. Solomon, Pharaoh of Egypt, Edfu Books Ltd, 2013, pp 31 125 Machel, L. Time Portal, The World of the First Maya, Xlibris Corporation, 2001, pp 25 126 Duiker, W.J., Spielvogel, J.J. World History, Cengage learning, 2011, pp 160 127 Whitaker, S. H. Africans in the Americas Our Journey Throughout the World: The Long African Journey Throughout the World Our History a Short Stop in the Americas, iUniverse, 2003, pp 30 128 Campbell, L. American Indian Language, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp 91


Americas, the Olmecs had carved giant statues of what appear to be African, and bearded Caucasian men near Laventa129. These statues might explain the missing link between how the knowledge from the east, and Africa, traveled to the Americas and where in fact the Olmecs even might have originated from. If there was in fact a fleet of intellectual ancient sea fearers who sailed ships manned by men sourced from Africa and Sumer, then this might explain how knowledge, religion and Architectural design spread around the world, implanting similar ideologies in disconnected cultures that emerged throughout the ancient world. In Mesoamerica, Mayan Temple and Pyramid facades were richly covered in religious and political symbolism much like the highly detailed facades found on the temples of Angkor in Cambodia130. Mayan pyramids were literally the centre of Mayan life, dominating the skylines of the cities and being places of large public gatherings during important religious events and sacrifices held throughout the year131. On the Palenque Palace, located in Southern Mexico, the north faade of the palace is decorated with a mask that is almost synonymous with Mayan Sculpture and Architecture132, the mask on the Palenque Palace is supposedly representative of the head of historical Mayan ruler Kan Hok Chitam133, and here the head in surrounded by other figures including various serpent heads and monsters which are symbolic of a cosmic monster from the milky way134. In other Mayan facades, bodyless, humanesque heads appear regularly across temple and pyramid facades and symbolically can be representative of either of two hero twins in Mayan mythology known as Hunahpu and Xbalanque135. The story of Hanahpu and Xbalanque is told that, after being summoned to Xibalab, their father and uncle were defeated by the Lords of the Underworld and sacrificed in the ancient Mayan ball game Uluma, the twins fled from Xibalab with their pregnant mother, later, the Twins grew up to avenge the death of their father and uncle in the


Whitaker, S. H. Africans in the Americas Our Journey Throughout the World: The Long African Journey Throughout the World Our History a Short Stop in the Americas, iUniverse, 2003, pp 37 130 Houston, S.D. Function and Meaning in Classic Mayan Architecture, Dumbarton Oaks, 1998, pp 479 131 Ibid 132 iBid pp 481 133 iBid 134 iBid pp 482 135 iBid


same manor their father had died, and defeated the Lords of the underworld before later being turned each into the Sun and the Moon so that they would rule over the Earth and the Sky136.

Chapter 11: Symbology of Location and Direction

We have almost come to the end of this paper, and one of the most important symbolic aspects of ancient Architecture still has yet to be covered. The placement and orientation of many of the ancient structures, such as the Temple of the Sun in Teotihuacan, the pyramids on the Giza plateau in Egypt or the placement and orientation of the temples found at Angkor have incredible importance in the daily cycle and scientific advances of these civilizations. Looking first at the pyramids on the Giza Plateau, the Great Pyramid is constructed at an almost perfect north south angle being only 3 degrees west facing of North137. The repetition of this 3 offset from true north in the two other pyramids at Giza may be indicative of a shift in the location of the northern point of the globe from the time the pyramids were built138, or that the Egyptians were slightly off in their calculations of the cardinal points. Nevertheless, the pyramids were designed to sit as accurately as possible on the earths north south, east west axis139. Although there is no historical evidence that the Egyptians built the Sphinx or when it was built140, the orientation of the Sphinx was designed also to face almost perfectly east toward the rising sun141. The Sphinx sits in a pit, carved from solid limestone possibly over 8000 years ago based on irrefutable evidence that the Sphinx has suffered from water erosion caused by rain that would only have been possible if the Sphinx was carved when the Giza plateau was last green142. The direction which the Sphinx faces is due East, to catch the rising sun as it makes its journey from the underworld and back into the daytime sky143.

136 137

Foster, L.V. Handbook to life in the Ancient Maya World, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 184 Isler, M. Sticks, Stones and Shadows, building the Egyptian Pyramids, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, pp 157 138 iBid 139 iBid 140 Verner, M. The Phyramids: Their Archeology and History, Atlantic, 2003, pp 238 141 Sledge, A. The Quintessential Jesus of Nazareth: An Astrological Interpretation of the Messiah's Natal Chart, Authorhouse, 2011, pp 217 142 West, J.A. The traveler`s key to ancient Egypt: a guide to the sacred places of ancient Egypt, Quest Books, 1995, pp 449 143 Evans-Wentz, W. The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries: The Classic Study of Leprechauns, Pixies, and Other Fairy Spirits, NuVision, 2007, pp 328


The importance of the pyramids, and more importantly of the Pyramid of Khufu, being lined up along the Earths North South axis, may become evident as the stars of Orion pass over the pyramid in the night sky, with scientists claiming that secret cavities found in the Pyramid, line up with specific stars found in the constellation of Orion144. The symbolic meaning of the positioning of the Pyramid of Khufu leads researchers in two separate directions. One common assumption is that the shafts in the centre of the pyramid, line up with the stars in the constellation of Orion that are representative of the God Osiris and his wife Isis, who some believe that Khufu and his wife would return back into when they took their place among the stars in the afterlife145. Another proposition by the American Research Centre in Egypt is that one of the shafts, short of pointing outward towards the stars, in fact points inwards into the sepulchral chamber of the King, while the other points towards the stars, creating a continuous canal through the chamber146. For this theory to be given consideration, it is necessary to understand the meaning of this mythological canal and its importance in Egyptian Cosmography and mythology. In early style burial chambers, the sarcophagus would be placed below ground where it would be deposited into the watery abyss of the underground147, where the waters of the abyss would inundate the Nile and give new life to the departed pharaoh148. In later pyramid design, the sarcophagus would be placed above the entrance to the pyramid, meaning that the burial chambers were now located above the waterline of the Nile149. Because of this, a new canal had to be designed by the engineers of the pyramids to allow for the waters of the abyss below and the abyss above to flood the burial chamber of the pyramid and give new life to the body of the departed King or Pharaoh150. This later style of pyramid architecture is evident not only in the Pyramid of Khufu, but is also evident in the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur where there is a second cavity which enters the pyramid above the burial chamber on the west face151.

144 145

Bauval, R. Gilbert, A. The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids, Random House, 2001, pp 279 Journal of the American Research Centre in Egypt, Volume 42, 2005 2006, pp 3 146 iBid 147 Journal of the American Research Centre in Egypt, Volume 42, 2005 2006, pp 4 148 iBid 149 iBid 150 iBid 151 iBid


Chapter 12: Research Findings

In researching the cultural, religious, scientific and symbolic aspects of the civilizations of the ancient world, I have come to understand a great deal more about these societies and what influenced their art, sculpture and architecture. One similarity between them all is the importance that the universe, the stars and the earths place in the universe had on their entire lives. All civilizations had a fascination with the afterlife, and attaining immortality, which they viewed strongly as being connected with the heavens, or the stars in the sky above. This devotion to lifestyles that placed great importance on their journey into the next life, and not only of the life that they were presently living was a key element in the design, decoration, function and even orientation of each of these civilizations architecture. Unlike how we design in todays world for public and personal needs, the ancients built entire cities based on the beliefs of their religions and inscribed into their structures murals, and sculptures that not only depicted important stories to do with their religion, their creation and their ultimate journey, but they built their architecture like giant educational tools to teach those that experienced them about life, beliefs and the journey to immortality. There are more similarities between these civilizations that could be expressed all in this paper, but it is fascinating to learn about the belief structures of these ancient civilizations, all of which would have had little or no interaction with one another, but all developed an almost similar fascination with the seeking of immortality, of transcending to the afterlife, and the existence of cosmic oceans or rivers which were not only the origins of life, but the bringers of immortality. The connection each civilization had between the sky above, the stars, and the earth below all is evident in their religious ideologies and the fact that each of these civilizations covered in this paper would have dedicated a great deal of their time studying the movement of the stars above and relating this back to where the earth is located within the universe. The fact that the ancients could understand the complexity of all this thousands of years before any westerners would ever consider that the world was not flat makes you question just how advanced these civilizations actually were and how much other knowledge which they possessed has been lost to the sands of time.

Where this knowledge came from that inspired their beliefs and their architecture is a great mystery, and whether mythological stories such as that of the Annunaki are viable enough to be entertained as possible origins of the knowledge that the ancients seemed to possess, is something that is outside of the scope of this thesis to find definitive answers to. But the ancients did possess an incredible amount of scientific, astrological and mathematical knowledge which was influential in the design of their cities, temples, pyramids and observatories. The ancient world was built out of mythological symbolism, on one hand physical creations of mythological elements found in Egyptian, Khmer or Mayan religious beliefs, but built with highly advanced mathematical, astrological and scientific knowledge for religious, scientific and astrological purposes. The ancient world was a combining of ancient myth, with what then would have been modern science, with the result being the amazing ancient structures that we are privileged with still being able to visit and study thousands of years after their creation.


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