The Adena Tablets of Ancient Ohio – The Cincinnati Tablet

© 2014 B. L. Freeborn

The Cincinnati Tablet is a beautiful work of art that has come to us through the centuries because of the wisdom of our ancient elders. They knew that in time we would forget the important message this tablet carefully depicts. The wise knew that if enough significant works of art were buried with them that long after their bones had turned to dust and their societies had vanished the mounds would attract the attention of future grave robbers. This predictable curiosity would drive them to dig and rediscover this important message left to us. It is as if the mounds were intended to function as valuable time capsules. Finding the pieces is the second to last step in the process. The last step is pondering and understanding them. We are presented with this important  message. Can we read it?

Cincinnati Tablet

The Cincinnati Tablet from Skinner’s 1885 report.

This tablet was found in a mound not too distant from where it currently resides. It is displayed in the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Station – poorly. It is not to be found with artifacts from the people of the area in the Natural History wing but in a dim lonely corner of the urban exhibits in the Cincinnati History Museum wing. The lighting is dismal. The location suggests it is to be forgotten. So indeed! Not understanding how beautifully this artist portrayed the ancient but still vitally important message, the curators have buried it in plain sight.

Comparing it to the Wilmington Tablet, it can be seen the basic layout is the same. The comet is the center piece with its two wings along the top. Within its center body are two nested comets. Each comet has one tail and two eyes. The flower images are seen in the Waverly Tablet and in studying that tablet it was suggested they have a dual meaning. They represent both people and flowers. They are ‘shot’ through the head. There are four flowers. At the bottom are mirrored comets once again. Between them is a dot in the negative. On each outer side there is a vertical bar. The two bars represent the two poles, true north and magnetic north, as we know it today. This arrangement gives a number as we count across. One bar, one comet, center dot, etc. or the value 11111. This value squared is 123454321. This number itself can be found on the tablet. Count the dots from the bottom to top, (1, 2, 3), then the center bar (4), add the bottom dot for (5), then reverse the process and obtain 4,3,2,1.

Cincinnati Tablet

Cincinnati Tablet. Art from ancient Ohio as exhibited. Image darkened to add contrast.

If they understood longitude and latitude they should have understood where they were. The longitude and latitude of Cincinnati at the location where the tablet was found is North 39 degrees 6′, West 84 degrees 32′. The sum 39 + 84 is 123. The sum of 32 + 6 = 38. Twice 38 is 76.  (See 76 below.)The sum of the longitude and latitude values of nearby Milford where several complex mounds were built is 123.45. The sum at Fort Ancient is 123.5. The location of the Great Serpent Mound is 83 degrees 25′ 48″ W, 39 degrees 1’31” N and the location of the Newark Earthworks is 82 degrees 25′ 50″ W, 40 degrees 2′ 26″. This is exactly one degree of longitude apart. The location of the Seip Mounds is 83 degrees and zero minutes west and 39 degrees 22′ N. The sum of these two numbers is 122 and 22. Beyond coincidence?

Since we have begun counting we shall continue. Prominently at the top 7 spaces are marked out (or 8 lines). At the bottom there are 6 spaces (or 7 lines). This creates the number 76 and as noted in previous posts, it suggests the period of Halley’s Comet which is 76 to 77 years. This confirms the topic is about comets. Combine the numbers as 77 and obtain another reference to the comet. Combine them as 86 and obtain a reference to the diameter of the Sun (864,000 miles). Combine them as 78 and obtain the diameter of Earth through the pole (7899 miles). Sum the 6, 7, 7 and 8 and obtain 28 or half of 56.

Even more eloquent, notice that there are actually 9 spaces at the top but only 7 within the hash marks and 2 outside. Create 792 easily from them and compare this to the diameter of the planet at 7920 miles. Similarly, count the bottom as 8, 6 and 2 or create 862 which reminds one of the diameter of the Sun.

Side view of Cincinnati Tablet

Side view of Cincinnati Tablet

The very edge of the top and bottom are scored with small marks. J. Ralston Skinner counted the marks and reported them in his 1885-1886 report on this stone. He noted 24 spaces/ 25 hash marks on the top and 23 spaces/ 24 hash marks on the bottom. The sum of these numbers is 96 and the average is 24. There are 24 hours in a day. The top has 23 spaces. There are 23.934 hours in a sidereal day. Combining 23 and 96 obtain 23.96 or very nearly this number.

Count out the dots. There are 16. The Earth travels 1.6 million miles in a day. There are 2 bars. The 2 and 16 combined creates 216. The diameter of the Moon is 2160 miles.

There are 8 dots in the upper third. There are 6 dots in the middle third. There are 4 dots in the center. There are 2 dots at the bottom. This creates the series 8642 or it refers to the diameter of the Sun at 864,336 miles.

The upper third has 3 dots left and right and 2 in the center. From the center out then is found 23. Reversing it is 32. The Arctic Circle ends at 23 degrees and 30 seconds. The tilt of the planet is this same value. The square of 5.65 is 32.

The center third provides 222. A square of sides 2222 has a diagonal equal to the constant pi (3.14) times 1000. The sum of 22 and 22 is 44. Divide the circumference of the planet by 44 and obtain 565 miles. Forty-four is found in the center bar as well. Count the 4 dots and notice there are 4 bump outs. Recall also a square with sides of 4 has a diagonal of 5.65.

Cincinnati Tablet Museum View. Image darkened for contrast.

Cincinnati Tablet Museum View. Image darkened for contrast.

The dots on each side number 6 which creates 66. The velocity of the planet is 66,600 miles per hour. In the center there are 4 dots. Below this is the one dot in the negative. This creates the number 5. Combine this with the 6 on each side and obtain 56 once again. Or count it out as 1 and 4 which reminds us of the fingers in the Gaitskill Clay Tablet. Combine them and create 14 and then recall there are 4 bumps in the center. 4 x 14 is 56.

The exterior dimensions of the stone and its shape provide numbers that appear familiar. It was measured in 1885 by Skinner to be 3.00″ x 5.00″ x 5/8 inch thick. The width of the narrow middle is 2.5 inches. The sum of these three numbers is 3 + 5 + .625 or 8.625 which recalls the diameter of the Sun. The diagonal of the piece is 5.831 inches. The distance Earth travels in a year is 584 million miles. The thickness expressed as 5/8 repeats this value. The circumference of the piece is 16. The Earth travels 1.6 million miles in a day.

The curved portion on each side recalls the idea of a crater. They are 4.5 inches across and .25 inches deep. The area of the curve on each side is .563 inches. The ratio of the narrow width to the length is 2.5 to 5 or .5. The ratio of the width to the length is 3 to 5 or .6. The ratios are .5 and .6 or a reminder of 56 once again.

Cincinnati Tablet. Image before darkening for contrast.

Cincinnati Tablet. Image before darkening for contrast.

Overall, the tablet is extraordinary. It relates this ancient message to us with ease and symmetrical beauty. It tells us we did not crawl out of caves 10,000 years ago to create society as we know it. Indeed, it tells us great scientists once explored and measured the heavens. But the unimaginable happened.

Perhaps the Inch System of today was inherited from this distant prior time. The measure of length of a Hunab found at ancient Teotihuacan, Mexico is 41.66 inches. (1) Multiply this by the diameter of the Sun (.864) and obtain a simple yard of 36 inches.

Yet to be reviewed are the mysterious (next in series) Bainbridge and McKensie Mound Tablets, the Ramey Peet Tablet from Cahokia Mound, the way too accurate Gridley Stone, the beautiful Ohio Adena Pipe now a Ohio State symbol, and the Hopewell Shaman – Bear. Many interesting posts are to come.


(1) See Hugh Harleston, Jr. pg. 241-263 in “Mysteries of the Mexican Pyramids,” by Peter Tompkins, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1976.

From Harleston, Hugh, Jr.  “A Mathematical Analysis of Teotihuacan.” Mexico City: XLI International Congress of Americanists. October 3, 1974.


Back to the very beginning of series on Adena Tablets

Previous Post on Egyptian Art Comparison

Posts on: Wilmington Tablet, Lakin A Tablet, The Gaitskill Clay Tablet,

Allen Tablet, Grave Creek, The Kiefer Tablet,

Wright, Lakin B and Meigs Tablets,

Berlin Tablet, Gaitskill Stone Tablet, The Low Tablet,

The Waverly Tablet,  Metcalf Stone,

and pdf article on

Hudson Bay as a comet crater of recent origin.

J. Ralston Skinner’s articles from 1886.


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