A Visual Tour of Newark Earthworks

Without commentary….. a video on the Newark Earthworks including the Octagon, Observatory Circle, and Great Circle in Central Ohio.

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What Fits Where?

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013

circle-octagon only

Circle and Octagon at Newark, Ohio from Squier -Davis drawing.

The most fascinating part of the Newark Earthworks is the Octagon and how very many things are going on inside it. It is mathematically a very busy place. In every respect this structure is a monument to mathematics and geometry.

It begins with a circle meeting an irregular octagon which is almost a distorted square. They join via a path or neck. Opposite this neck on the southwest side of the circle is an area dubbed the observation area due to its height and view it gives through this neck into the octagon. In addition, the circle has a slight ditch surrounding its exterior perimeter.

We have already noted that the square roots of 7.7 and 7.66 are 2.77 and 2.76. The outside distance of the neck is 270 – 274 feet on the north side and 278 to 281 feet on the south side. Assuming some form of creep is present the average of 270 and 281 is about 276 feet. The square of this value is 75900 feet or just shy of 76,000. The distance proposed between the two centers was 1540 or 2 x 770. The square root of 770 is 27.7. It would seem the original intention was to replicate the 770 in the neck as a multiple of its square root.

Hively/Horn, measuring from the middle top of the mounds, determined the neck measures 292 on the north and 296 on the south. The first number we saw as the distance from the Great Circle to Wright Square, 2920′, and twice this value is 584. The number 296 is the gematria value for Earth in Hebrew. The square root of 8.8 is 2.96. This 8.8 or 88 will appear again shortly. One final point, 292 x 296 = 86432 which reminds one of the diameter of the Sun at 864,337 miles and cannot even remotely be a coincidence.

The present distance across the throat at the base of the mounds measures somewhere in the range of 110 to 113.7 feet. Twice 56 is 112. Twice 56.5 is 113. This is a good indication of the original value.

The Observatory Circle at its southwestern extreme has an observation area. According to Hively the area was 170 feet long by 100 feet and 11 feet high in the year 1847. The number 170 is half of 340. Note that 90 degrees minus 34 is 56.

Octagon with 8 moundsThe octagon is composed of 8 long mounds that are separated at the corners. Within the Octagon there are 8 mounds, one at each break in the corners which seem to orbit within the Octagon. Recall that the earth is one of 8 planets orbiting the Sun. Wright Square also had 8 interior mounds. The eight sides plus the 8 inner mounds suggests the number 88. We have seen this number in the distance this Earthwork lies from The Great Serpent, 88.15 miles, and from Miamisburg Mound, 87.7 nautical miles. Each side averages in length from its mid-point 620 feet. Their sum is 4973 feet. This is a midpoint measurement. A measurement of the exterior perimeter is just over 5000 feet. The mounds measure on average 584 feet in length. The 8 interior mounds create an inner octagon. Measurement of the perimeter at the midpoints of the inner mounds measures 4400 feet.

The exterior circumference of 5000 x 88 = 440,000. This number, 440, appeared when the circumference of the earth in miles was divided by 56.5. It repeats in the perimeter of the inner mounds.Squares in the Newark octagon

The diameter of the Observatory Circle, or a fifth mile, is not restricted to the circle. It can be found twice in the Octagon. The diameter of the Great Circle can be found there as well. This is better explained by looking at the image above. Now we see the “circle inscribed in a square” and “the square inscribed in a circle.”  This is the beloved old world exercise explained earlier.

By way of the next image we can see that the two circumscribed squares have rotated with respect to each other. This will become important when we discuss the cosmology implied here.

Squares rotate

Hively and Horn show and Romain also proves that the diameter of a square 1056 feet (their OCD) is used to generate the shape of the octagon. The diameter of a 1056′ square is 1493′. By making an arc of radius 1493′ from each of the four corners as shown the four remaining corners of the octagon can be generated.

This does not create a regular octagon in a stop sign shape. Instead this creates a square with sides that are broken outwards at the midpoints which is also important in the cosmology implied here.

Building the Newark Octagon

The question as to how big this exterior square is remains. We can measure its dimensions as displayed in the earthwork but it needs to be confirmed. The diagonals are 1728 and 1717 feet. The sides measure roughly 1227, 1212, 1210, and 1213. (Hively) Compare this to a calculated diagonal of 1737 and side of 1228 feet. The largest side of the square is the end facing the circle. It is not an optical illusion that end is larger. The average length of each is then 1215 feet. This is 607′ per each of the 8 bars and 8 inner mounds. This might imply the relationship 6 x 88 = 5280 feet to the mile.

Largest Square within Newark OctagonThe two diameters 1728 and 1717 differ from the calculated 1737. The first differs by 9′ and the second by 20′. In other words, the most northern corner is pushed in considerably to create this number. The number 1717 repeats the 17 which appeared in the observation area. The number 1728 is 864 x 2.

Calculating the largest diameter at Newark Octagon All in all, a very pleasing geometric harmony is produced by continuously repeating the same numbers. The next image adds the largest square used and completes the Octagon.All the Squares within Newark Octagon

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References/Footnotes:

  1. Hively, Ray, and Horn, Robert, Geometry and Astronomy in Prehistoric Ohio, “Journal for the History of Astronomy, Archaeoastronomy,” Supplement, Vol. 13, p.S1; also Science History Publications, 1982.      See:   http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu
  2. Romain, William F., Ph.D., Newark Earthwork Cosmology: This Island Earth, “Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley,” Vol.6 (2), March 2005.   See:  http://www.nps.gov/mwac/hopewell/v6n2/one.htm
  3. Romain, William F., Ph.D., Design and Layout of the Newark Earthwork Complex, “Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley,” Vol.6 (2), March 2005.  See:   http://www.nps.gov/mwac/hopewell/v6n2/two.htm

Isosceles and Other Equals

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013

Because the Great Circle and Octagon are equally placed from Geller Hill an isosceles triangle is formed. (See image from Geller Hill at bottom.) The angle between them is 50 degrees. The line bisecting it is on the azimuth of 52.2  and this is said to be the same azimuth as the line running through the octagon-circle centerline making them parallel.

Isosceles triangles formed at Newark, Ohio Earthworks. Positions as located by satellite image. Drawing by B.L. Freeborn.

Isosceles triangles formed at Newark, Ohio Earthworks. Positions as located by satellite image. Drawing by B.L. Freeborn, 2013.

The line from Geller Hill to the center of the Observatory Circle creates an angle of 56 degrees as shown in the image. The triangle formed from the intersection of these two triangles is another isosceles triangle of degrees 50 80 50. These three numbers remind us of the numbers that compose 58.5 or very nearly the 584 we saw in the East Fork Works. In the same manner the 50 65 65 triangle reminds us of 5.6565.

It can be determined that the azimuth angle from the center of the Great Circle through the center of Wright Square is 43 degrees. Recall that we had 86 on our number list and 2 x 43 equals 86. Using this angle and 1540 foot distance between the centers of the Octagon-Circle and Hively/Horn’s lengths for the translation of the figures across the plane, we can calculate the distance between the center of the Great Circle and Wright Square as 2920 feet. The image below was created by drawing over a satellite image using what appears to be correct centers and the Square’s position shown by Romain in his diagrams. This distance does not appear to be all that important but in fact 2 x 2920 = 5840. The angle that closes the polygon is 93 degrees or virtually the angle 92.8  at which Wright Square is set. The final angle, 79.5, repeats the idea of 79.2.

All of which confirms the numbers on our list. But there is another set of numbers we should see before we move on to looking at the Octagon and its development.

Hively and Horn base their report on the idea that these structures were built on complex ideas of archaeoastronomy which include rise and set points of the sun, moon and other celestial occurrences. But at certain times they are confused by obvious angles that do not meet with their expectations. The angle through the Wright Square at 92.8 degrees is one and the angle which passes through the center of the Great Circle and out through the center of its neck is another. One might say that if these structures were built to verifiable celestial alignments that this is one very important angle that is off. They calculate its measured azimuth at 66.6  an error of .9 degrees or nearly one full degree from what they expect to find. This does not sound like very much but this sort of error adds up quickly in layouts of this magnitude.

Calculated distance between Great Circle and Wright Square. By B.L. Freeborn 2013.

Calculated distance between Great Circle and Wright Square. By B.L. Freeborn 2013.

But we have seen this number, 66, before. We saw it at East Forks. It is repeated no less than eleven times there. It is in the length and width of the square corner of East Fork, the radius of the top circle and it is used 8 times to space the candles. But this is the only time we have seen 66 in this earthwork … or maybe not!

Note that 7 OCD = 7/5ths mile = 1.4 miles = 7392 feet which equals 66 x 56 x 2 feet. This gives us not only 66 but 56.

Additionally, the distance 6 OCD = 6/5ths mile = 1.2 miles = 6336 feet = 56 x 56.5 x 2 feet. This gives both forms of 56. All of which is remarkably equal once again. And if we were in the habit of writing fractions as 5 of 7 or 5 of 6, then 56 appears again. The 57 is another number of importance. It is seen in the conversion from degrees to radians. There are 57.29 degrees to a radian. People who study objects that move in circles, like planets, prefer to calculate with radians.

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References/Footnotes:

  1. Hively, Ray, and Horn, Robert, Geometry and Astronomy in Prehistoric Ohio, “Journal for the History of Astronomy, Archaeoastronomy,” Supplement, Vol. 13, p.S1; also Science History Publications, 1982.      See:   http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu
  2. Romain, William F., Ph.D., Newark Earthwork Cosmology: This Island Earth, “Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley,” Vol.6 (2), March 2005.   See:  http://www.nps.gov/mwac/hopewell/v6n2/one.htm
  3. Romain, William F., Ph.D., Design and Layout of the Newark Earthwork Complex, “Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley,” Vol.6 (2), March 2005.  See:   http://www.nps.gov/mwac/hopewell/v6n2/two.htm
View from Geller Hill looking north towards Great Circle and Octagon. 2013

View from Geller Hill looking north towards Great Circle and Octagon. 2013

Creeping Away with Time

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013

How is that more than one researcher can claim these mounds are precisely laid out yet they are so out of round that they vary in their diameter? The Great Circle varies from 1163 to 1189 feet. The Observatory Circle varies from 1050 to 1058 feet. The Octagon is visibly unsymmetrical. It is wider at the end joining the circle.

Large burial mound overlooking Ohio River. See more images of mounds at http://moundbuilder.blogspot.com/p/27-largest-burial-mounds-in-ohio.html

There are three plausible explanations for these irregularities. The first is the variation was intentional as was suggested in the difference between the sides of Wright Square of 926 and 928 and later numbers will show that this stretching was done to achieve certain distances. The second explanation is that when they were reconstructed by the Ohio National Guard and others (see complete explanation in Hively/Horn) they were altered.

The last explanation is creep. Let us say the mounds are thousands of years old and that the reason they still exist today is that on a regular basis they were maintained. The manner in which this is done can contribute to their movement.

The Miamisburg Mound is burned every other year to keep weeds and trees from overtaking it. Many mounds throughout Ohio are owned by the Ohio Historical Society and they allow massive trees to take root. Over time the roots push out, break down and do their part in returning the mounds to the landscape. In effect the Society is allowing that which they have been charged with preserving to be destroyed. The Newark Octagon is a golf course and is groomed with precision machines. The grass cover keeps the soil in place.

Carbon dating of charcoal at the Alligator Mound tells us it was built about a 1000 BP. Or does this actually tell us the date of a forest fire or a controlled burn to maintain the site?

Trees, erosion and careless reconstruction all contribute to creep but there is another way they creep out of round.  Persons charged with digging the dirt out of the ditch at the Great Circle and putting it back onto the top of the mound year after year work around the circle. Each and every year slight variations are introduced. The change is so incrementally small that it is never noticed until someone comes back a thousand years later and says, “Yo, your circle looks like an oval!” They creep out of shape. What can contribute even faster to creeping is a sloped site. Fortunately, few are on slopes. Numerous reconstructions and rearrangements in areas such as Thornborough indicate that over the centuries different generations have left their mark, so too we must assume this has happened at both Hopewell and Adena sites.

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References/Footnotes:

  1. Hively, Ray, and Horn, Robert, Geometry and Astronomy in Prehistoric Ohio, “Journal for the History of Astronomy, Archaeoastronomy,” Supplement, Vol. 13, p.S1; also Science History Publications, 1982.      See:   http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu
  2. Image of Mound from: http://moundbuilder.blogspot.com/p/27-largest-burial-mounds-in-ohio.html