On the surface, the Celtic Cross is a beautiful Christian symbol representing the Cross of Christ. But now a new controversial theory posits it was a tool used by the ancients in a very significant way. Could the Celtic Cross wind up rewriting history?
Have you ever wondered how ancient people kept track of time? We’re told they studied the position of the stars, the sun, and some planets which altogether gave them a kind of understanding of time. But were they really so clueless? (Celtic Cross right in Tipperary, Ireland.)
These were Homo sapiens whose larger brains thought and felt the same way as we do today. Surely they watched their loved ones age and die, they watched the changes in nature and handed down that knowledge to their children so their idea of time would surely have been closer to ours than some would have us think.
Could it even be possible that their understanding of time was actually quite sophisticated?
A controversial new theory has been put forth by Crichton EM Miller in his book, The Golden Thread of Time. Mr. Miller is described as an “amateur historian, archaeologist and navigator.” I haven’t read the book, but I have read about it. (Photo left of Celtic Cross on Llanddwyn Island.)
Miller believes he has found the key to timekeeping in the distant past, and that key is the Celtic Cross. In an article for the Scotsman.com, he says, “This magical instrument that I have discovered, hoary with age … encompasses a knowledge of the cosmos, the use and understanding of mathematics, geometry, surveying, astronomy and astrology. The secrets of this device were foundations of ancient civilizations, long before the written word.”
I don’t think we even have an app that does all that today!
He further expounds that he can prove the ancients understood time, knew exactly where they were on earth via the stars above, and even found how to calculate longitude.
The only way you can accurately pinpoint where you are on the oceans of this great planet is by knowing your longitude. According to Wiki, longitude is “a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth’s surface … A location’s north-south position along a meridian is given by its latitude which is approximately the angle between the local vertical and the plane of the Equator.” For details, see the Wiki article in the References section below.
So basically, if you don’t want to get hopelessly lost at sea, you better be able to figure out where you are in order to get where you’re going.
Did you catch the episode of Expedition Unknown with Josh Gates on Travel Channel where he’s searching for a Viking sunstone? (The link to the full episode is in the References section below. It’s about 43 minutes long, and very interesting.)
Basically some people believe that the reason the Vikings were so successful at navigating the world’s oceans is because they had figured out how to calculate the position of the sun even on cloudy days. They did so by using a clear crystal and taking measurements from that.
Formal history tells us that John Harrison invented the long-awaited longitude calculator, thereby changing maritime history forever. That was in the 1730s. But there’s more evidence that ancient peoples were navigating the seas long before then.
Another show I like, America Unearthed, features a forensic geologist named Scott Wolter. He has presented us with several shows that do seem to prove mankind was on the move from a very early era.
The ones I remember best are the Polynesian people who made it to America’s Pacific northwest region. There is archaeological evidence there to prove it. Unfortunately I can’t figure out which episode that was.
Another story (S 1 E 2) is about an Englishman from the 12th century whose gravestone was found in Arizona! His traveling companion carved a runic tribute to his friend on a stone which was later found by locals.
So there is some precedent for people traveling the globe long before formal history tells us it was possible.
Critics say that in order to use longitude you have to know the local time. Miller counters them by pointing to the henges and pyramids seen in special places around the world. He believes the ancients used these structures to keep track of local time which would making calculating longitude possible. Miller is quoted as saying, “I have discovered that these pyramids and megaliths are the clocks and calendars of the ancients.”
Back to the Celtic Cross.
The Celtic Cross
Miller goes on to postulate that these great ancient structures were able to be constructed because of one very special, smaller instrument that they had – the Celtic Cross. He says, “The Celtic cross is a practical working tool of great depth. It was the staff of magicians.”
He discovered the connection while out at sea where he was trying to figure out the position of various stars. Miller held a protractor to the cross while using a plumb-line to calculate degrees. (Celtic Cross right in Drumcliffe Cemetary, County Sligo.)
Further study showed Miller that the Cross, protractor, and plumb-line could be used together to determine minute geometric calculations required to build henges and pyramids as well as pinpointing longitude.
The Great Pyramid of Giza produced a clue as to how things were calculated in the ancient world. In 1872 engineer Waynman Dixon discovered what is thought to be a “cedar-like” measuring stick, a plumb-line ball made of granite, and a small bronze hook in one of the hidden shafts of the Great Pyramid. Probably left there by builders of the pyramid, Miller believes that these items were part of a cross system that the ancients used to measure and track stars, thereby keeping track of time. He says that the Great Pyramid of Giza was the prime meridian for the ancient world with everyone else’s time being calculated from it.
Miller is quoted as saying, “A lot of the proof is similarity of design separated by ocean and time. There are so many similarities in boats, language. Anomalies which cause problems to histories are solved by the early ability to navigate.”
Miller’s theory is very interesting and, I think, exciting. However it’s just a theory and there isn’t enough proof to say it’s true or not true with any certainty.
The academic world is still resistant to the idea of ancient ocean-going travel so it’s probably going to take many years before they acknowledge and study the theory themselves. We’ve seen examples of this before in history, of people being ahead of their time: Galileo, Da Vinci, Darwin and probably many more.
I know one thing for sure, though. I will never look at a Celtic Cross the same way again!
What do you think about all this? Do you find it an exciting theory?