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        Earth Navels: (Navel's of the earth, Omphalos)

The term 'Earth Navel' was applied to several 'sacred' locations from the ancient world. Generally, these sites were accredited with the title following their development into a 'sacred' or 'special' place, such as Delphi or Jerusalem, but in certain cases, the original name of the site contained a translation of the word 'navel'. It appears then, that certain sites were given this status during construction. The ancient Peruvian capital Cuzco, for example, literally means 'navel', and it acted as such to the Inca empire during its great expansion. The mythology of Cuzco recalls that the city was located by the 'children of the sun', from Tiahuanaco, according to pre-designed rituals.

 

The ancient landscape was a canvas upon which in prehistory, our ancestors connected points on the ground with points in the sky, There is much evidence that certain ancient cities and constructions were located according to 'geodetic' or 'geomantic' principles, and these ancient centres are now termed 'earth navel's' because of this.

The suggestion of a further geometric connection or of alignments between sacred sites has always been a bone of contention for mainstream pre-historians, who still argue that Neolithic people were simple tribal, hunter/gatherers, with only basic skills, as yet not identifying any presence of any order or hierarchy in their society, which might facilitate the existence of such grand architecture.

 

 

   Earth Navel's:

There are several locations around the ancient world that have inherited the accolade of 'Earth Navel'. By definition, each location represents the place through which we connected with an invisible umbilical connection to the earth-mother-earth. These sites are invariably considered the centre of the world, or even the universe, and often become primary pilgrimage locations (such as Mecca or Allahabad).

It has long been argued that there may exist a geometric connection between such sites, with a clear geodetic connection between Delphi and Karnak (Egypt), as established by Livvio Stecchini.

Stecchini said this about the subject:-

‘The Temple of Ammon at Thebes at latitude 25° 43’ N was considered, and is, located at 2/7 of the distance between the Equator and the pole. Ancient geographers divided the space between the Equator and the Pole into 7 zones. Egyptologists have vainly tried to explain why the Greeks gave the name of Thebai to the city called Wast by the Egyptians; the explanation is provided by the Hebrew word thibbun meaning “navel”. From the Bible (Jud. 9:37) we learn that “a navel of the earth” was located at Mt. Gerizim where there was originally the sacred center of the Hebrews before it was moved to Jerusalem; the Samaritans never accepted such a shift, and geographically they were right, since the claim of Jerusalem to be the navel of the earth was not correct. The eastern gate of the Second Temple, where the standards of length were located, was called Gate of Susa, but Susa was located at the latitude of Mt. Gerizim which is 32° 11’ N. The sanctuary of Mt. Gerizim was located at a latitude that is 2½ sevenths from the Equator. Egyptian benchmarks had the shape of the “navel” found at the Temple of Delphoi in Greece. These “navels” had the shape of a hemisphere with the meridians and parallels marked upon them; at times they are half a sphere and at times they are elongated at the Pole. The sanctuary of Delphoi was considered a “navel of the earth,” as being located at 3/7 of the distance from the Equator to the Pole. This would correspond to a latitude 38° 34’ N; the Temple of Delphoi is actually located at a latitude 38° 29’ N, … which makes it 6° to the North of one of two Egyptian anchor points, the original apex of the Nile Delta at latitude 30° 05’ N on the axis of Egypt which is 31° 13’ E. Susa was computed as being 17° to the East of this point; it is at latitude 48° 15’ E. When the Assyrians established their religious capital at Nimrud in 875 B.C. they chose a point that was 6° to the North and 12° to the East of this Egyptian anchor point. (5)

(See below for list of Earth Navel's)

 

 

   Omphalos: (Navel stones):

Perhaps surprisingly, the oldest known 'Omphalos' is on view in the Sofia Museum, Bulgaria. It is from the Vinca culture which dates between 3,000 to 5,000 BC. Many Vinca buildings were found to have had an 'Omphalos' area set aside in them. The Vinca culture dissipated from 'Old Europe' c. 3,500 BC, vestiges of the same culture can be seen around the Mediterranean basin and beyond

Vinca Omphalos stone. (Note the presence of netting and a bird figure on top).

(More about the Vinca Culture)

 

The earliest Egyptian depiction of an Omphalos is seen on the walls of the Seti I pyramid.

 

Omphalos stones have been found at several sacred sites. (i.e. Delphi, Dodona and Thebes (Egypt). Within these stones lies a symbolism which is almost lost to us now. Although not at first apparent, the Omphalos stones from Thebes and Delphi have several features in common through which it is possible to see the fusion of Egyptian and Greek iconography and mythology, and the thread of an older set of ideas.

    

Thebes, Egypt (left), Greek engraving of Delphi (Note: Apollo’s harp, Doves), (right).

Service and Bradbury (2), state that 'Within concept of the Omphalos, there is also implied an umbilical cord, an invisible link reaching from the depths of the earth through the navel right up into the heavens' (Roscher 1913) (2)

Pennick (28), notes that the Roman author Varro compared the Omphalos shape with a ‘treasury’, the name commonly applied to dome-shaped graves (such as the ‘Treasury of Atreus’ at Mycenae, so described by Pausanias). The suggestion that the Treasury of Atreus may be an Omphalos of ‘negative space’, is of interest as we are told that the site was ‘Treasury’ was built on the site of the old oracle of the earth goddess herself, with legends stating that Python, the serpent spirit of the earth, lays buried there having been killed by Apollo the sun god.

Omphalos Stones on Greek 1st - 2nd Cent. BC Coins.

 

 

   The Oracle Centres:

Following on the work of Michell, Stecchini, Temple and others, Hancock (1), suggested that an ancient network of geodetic centres was established, which were connected mathematically.

The Delos Omphalos, Greece.

(More about Delos)

Livvio Stecchini suggested that the ancient oracle centres were placed according to geodetic principles at which 'Omphalus' or 'Navel stones' were placed. This idea is supported by the historical narratives of Herodotus, who wrote that the oracle centre of Amon in Libya was founded by flying doves from Thebes, which was long considered the geodetic centre of ancient Egypt, is located 2/7ths of the distance from the equator and the North pole, and at which an Omphalus was later discovered. Herodotus also wrote that the oracle centre at Dodona was said to have been founded by Egyptian priestesses from Thebes and that doves flew between the two sites.

Following this, Robert Temple suggested that the separation of the oracle centres, each by 1° of latitude created an 'oracle octave', from which the seven major centres were placed, each devoted to one of the seven know planets, and symbolised by different sacred trees and letters (for more on this subject refer to the 'tree alphabet' in R. Graves book 'The White Goddess'), and this, he believed formed the basis of the Eleusian mysteries.

(More about the Oracle centres)

 

          

The Delphi Omphalos before restoration (left), and after (right).

There are two myths concerning the origin of the Delphi oracle. The first says that Zeus wishing to find the centre of the earth sent two eagles to the ends of the earth and they met at Delphi thus making it the centre or ‘navel’ of the earth. (Many Omphalos have two birds on to symbolise this). The second myth says that it was dedicated originally to the mother of the gods, Gaia. The oracles were said to have been protected by Python (Gaia's daughter). Apollo slew Python making himself master of the oracle and burying her under the Omphalos stone. As a punishment because he had killed a god, Apollo had to leave Delphi every three months during the winter. Many scholars believe that the Python’s death at the hand of Apollo symbolized the change in oracles at Delphi.

(More about Delphi)

 

 

  Omphalos:  'Plugging the Deep'.

Santillana (4), offers several examples to support the association between navel-stones and ‘the flood’ by referring to their function as ‘plugs’; an idea typified by the following phrase “The opening of the navel brings the deluge”. However of even greater interest is that we see in ‘Hamlet’s Mill’, that certain common subject matter has been approached but through a different medium, namely mythology. The primary emphasis of their research was the existence of an ancient system of astronomical/ astrological knowledge involving the precession of the equinoxes, and the constellations, stored in mythologies around the world. It is from their work we are made aware of a significant set of stories concerning the purpose of navel-stones, through which such already described associations are reinforced.

In the Sumerian myth of Utnapishtim (Noah), we are told that the first ark was ‘a cube measuring 60x60x60 fathoms’, which represents the unit in sexagesimal system (where 60 is written as 1 or 1³ ). In one version, we are told that ‘there is no ark, just a cubic stone, which rests on a pillar which reaches from earth to heaven’. In the Old Testament, these elements are repeated, when we learn that Noah’s ark was also a cube, whose landing symbolised the end of the great flood. In Jewish legends, it is said that “since the ark disappeared there was a stone in its place…which was called the foundation stone”…and it is said to lie above the waters that are below the Holy of Holies. In Mecca, the navel of the Islam faith, there stands the Holy stone of the Ka’aba, which is also a cube, and we are told that even Christ is compared to ‘a cube shaped mountain’. But why a cube?

Apart from the obvious fact that a cube represents a single unit (as in the Sumerian base-6), the traditional reason for the cube-shape is suggested as being the shape designated for the planet Saturn, as illustrated in Keplers ‘Mysterium Cosmographicum’. To support this idea Santillana reminds us that in this group of stories, the figure (power) who warns ‘Noah’ of the impending flood, (and suggests the dimensions of the Ark), is ‘…Saturn, as Jehovah, as Enki, as Tane, etc…’. The antiquity of these traditions is shown by the fact that In pre-Islamic days, before the Ka’aba was constructed, there was a well on the site, which had a statue of the ‘God’’ Hubal, across the opening ‘to prevent the waters from rising’. Hildegard Levy points out that, in pre-Islamic days, the god Hubal was Saturn, and that the Holy stone of the Ka’aba served the same symbolic function (4).

 

In addition to having been recorded as the first Greek oracle centre, Dodona has a still greater, and older claim to fame being located at the foot of Mount Tomaros, which is named in Greek myth as the refuge for Deucalion and his wife, the sole survivors of the great ‘flood of Deucalion’. It is within this myth that an older, perhaps hidden significance (and connection), can be found in the location of Dodona, for while Mt. Tomaros is the reputed resting place of the Greek ark, the Hebrews record the final resting place of their ark as being on Mount Ararat in Turkey (near Metsamor), which both sits on the same latitude as Dodona and happens to be equidistant from Thebes, so that the three locations form an almost perfect equilateral triangle.

 Geometric alignments between oracle centres

While it is possible that such a geometric connection between sites may be a coincidence, the earlier mythological connection through the flood-myth is harder to explain. It is not possible to know if the significance of the site was already known to the Egyptian priests at Thebes (or Phoenicians) when the oracle at Dodona was established, but there is little doubt that the location had a special significance from before the arrival of the Egyptian oracles.

(More about Egyptian Geodesy)

 

 

 

   The World Grid.

There has been much speculation over the existence of a 'world-grid' - But what exactly is it?

The two general theories about a 'world grid' are:

  • The most common theory suggests the presence of tangible earth-energies which flow in lines around the world and which can be either reinforced or tapped into through the building of megalithic and sacred structures along their path. It is speculated that at some time in the past, our ancestors constructed sacred sites at certain locations at nodes of these energy lines.

  • The other theory also involves the construction of ancient and sacred sites, only it speculates that their placement was based on geometric principles. This theory is often associated with the mysterious knowledge of 'sacred geometry', and is not exclusively  involved with energy, although there is suggestion of magnification of universal energies through constructions designed with certain proportions.

For the purpose of this page, we are concerned only with the latter theory, which suggests the placement of ancient and sacred sites according to geometric principles. The late, great, Alexander Thom determined the presence of geometry at numerous megalithic locations and concluded that the builders had applied 'Euclidean' geometry in the construction of many significant sites.

(More about the World-Grid)

 

 

 

   Examples of Earth Navels:

 
Cuzco - Literally translated means 'Navel'. The capital of the Inca empire was situated at Cuzco, high in the Andes. Tradition states that the city was founded according to 'geomantic' principles.

Easter Island - Was also called 'Te-Pito-O-Te Henua' Which translated means, 'The Navel of the Earth'. Hancock suggested that its geographical location may have determined the original settlement. (1)

Jerusalem - As the capital of the 'Holy land' Jerusalem is called an Earth Navel.

Delphi - Contained an 'Omphalus', which was believed to mark the centre of the world. It was supposed to have fallen from heaven. The story is that Cronus, the god of time, was driven to the depths of the universe by Zeus, who forced him to vomit the stone, which landed in the centre of the Earth. The current Omphalus is a replica of the original, made in the Hellenistic period. (1)

Eridu - Iraq. The original Sumerian 'Mound of Creation'.

Angkor Wat - The 'Bayon' in the network of temples at Angkor was described by B. Groslier as 'the Omphalus in Angkor's stone cosmos'. (1)

Karnak, Egypt - An Omphalus was excavated in the sanctuary of the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak, by G. A. Reisner. It supports the Greek traditions of doves flying between Delphi and Karnak. (1)

 

Mecca - The centre of Islam. The location of the Kabba, and the 'black stone' which, according to Islamic tradition, fell from heaven during the time of Adam and Eve. It is said that Abraham found the black rock and when he rebuilt the Kaaba, Archangel Gabriel brought the Stone out of hiding and gave it to him.

Ref( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaaba )

Allahabad, India - Formerly called Prayag, and listed in the Mahabharata as the last and most important of 270 ancient holy places. Prayag was considered the mythical creation point of the universe. The chief cult shrines at Prayag stood on an island with a shrine to the primordial serpent who protected the eternal tree (seen by Hsuan Tsang in 644). A goddess-shrine was recently found south of Allahabad that dates to 11,000 BC, along with Mesolithic cave paintings of a dancing shaman with horned head-dress, bangles and a trident, closely resembling Shiva. (3)

Allahabad is still the site of the largest gathering of humanity on earth.

 

(The Oracle Centres)

(Earth-mother-earth)

(Geodesy Homepage)

 

 

References:

1) G. Hancock. Heavens Mirror, 1998, Michael Joseph Ltd.
2). A. Service & J. Bradbery. Megaliths and their Mysteries. 1979. Macmillan.
3). Michael Wood. In Search of the First Civilisations. 1992. BBC Books.
4). G. Santillana and H. Von Dechend. Hamlets mill. 1983. D. R. G. Press.
22). R. Temple. The Sirius mystery.
28). Nigel Pennick. Sacred Geometry. 1994 Capal Bann.

 

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