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Picture of Arbor Low from English Heritage page
A fairly crucial component of Peter Harris' booklet, Astronomy & Measurement in Megalithic Archetecture, and of John Barnatt's Stone Circles of the Peak is their refactoring of Thom's megalithic yard (TMY = 2.72 ft) as being 2.31 of a new type of "megalithic foot" (MF=1.177 ft). This then enabled measures known in TMY (and TMRods = 2.5 TMY ~= 6.8 ft), when seen in terms of these megalithic feet (MF), to reveal nearly exact numbers of day-MFs as lengths found employed in monuments. The subsequent success of the authors in converting megalithic dimensions into time units gave them validation of their megalithic foot (MF), as being a unit actually employed within monuments which were deliberately dimensioned according to astronomical time periods.
Such a result could be interpreted as evidence of an earlier and less developed metrology, in use prior to the advent of the ancient metrology found world-wide (c.f. Neal) and historically considered to have emanated from the Ancient Near East. However, is the metrology proposed based upon the English foot and inch which the authors use to measure their units throughout? Or are they, by implication, evolving their megalithic foot as a standard unrelated to the English foot? It is certainly true that their megalithic foot finds no accurate home within the module of the Russian foot within whose territory it belongs, except as a Standard Canonical Russian foot of 1.176 ft and also the authors usage of their foot can define its length as within a small range of variation.
The problem with metrology in general is that a longer dimension can be broken up in many different ways and especially diabolical is when a unit of measure and a measurement using it can be switched around. For example 2.5 x 3 = 7.5 but also equals 3 x 2.5; is 2.5 the unit or is 3? The answer then is that the unit can be a different aspect of the dimension to that first thought.
In the case of Arbor Low, the dimension is 150 TMY = 408 ft, is then interpreted by Harris as the eclipse year (of 346.62 days) in megalithic feet (MF). When 408 ft is divided by 346.62 the result is 1.177 (MF) and this MF made into a step (x 2.5) is then of equal length to the megalithic yard (TMY).
But, since the authors are quite at odds with Thom's averaged MY, what if one divides 150 megalithic yards of the sort found at Carnac (CMY) of 2.71875 ft (= 32.625 inches) i.e. 407.81 ft. This length is 441 Root Geographical Iberian (RGI) feet (0.924765 ft) which is also 440 Standard Geographical Iberian (SGI) feet (0.926866 ft). The step of 2.5 RGI feet equals the megalithic yard of 2.3119 feet, just as the TMY is said by the authors to be 2.31 of their megalithic feet (MF). Thus the magalithic yard can be seen as being 2.3119 megalithic feet (but why?) so as to see 150 TMY as 346.62 MF whereas 150 CMY can instead be seen as 441 RGI or equally well as 440 SGI since the Standard measure emerges as 441/440 larger and a larger UNIT give a proportionately lesser MEASUREMENT of the same DIMENSION.
440 SGI is 44 x 10 and so the radius can immediately be known as 7 x 10 units long when PI is taken as 22/7.
150 CMY is merely ten times 15 CMY, which is 44 SGI so that 6 megalithic rods "do the trick" of relating circumference to radius, once one is interested in seeing ancient metrology as being employed in the creation of Arbor Low rather than needing to have the monument express astronomical time lengths in a monument thought contemporanious with the Sarsen Circle of Stonehenge, where ancient metrology is strongly demonstrated.
The above gives us two pairs of numbers which can work well together in a Triangular Proximate way: 150 CMY to 176 STEPS (shown above) and 346.62 MF to 407.8 feet. The first would have enabled rationality between a radius and its circumference whilst the latter, proposed by Harris, would have enabled the eclipse year to have been symbolised around the circumference but in a way not obviously useful for the purpose of counting.
The numbers 176 and 440 form part of John Neal's microvariations within ancient near eastern metrology and indeed are here revealing that 176 times the step ratio of 2.5 is 440. We note also that the ratio 2.31 representing the number of Harris & Barnatt's megalithic feet in a megalithic yard turns up again in the Step length of 2.317 feet above which divides into Arbor Low's circumference 176 times, indicating that the ratio can be part of a Unit or of a Measurement in ways quite hard to resolve, hence creating cul-de-sacs unless one continues to investigate alternative perspectives within the same data.
Part Three (to come) will return to what was said in Sacred Number and the Lords of Time book, pages 220-223,
about the 3:4:5 triangle between Stonehenge, Bry Celli Dhu
and Arbor Low, viz-a-vis its diameter.