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Ambassador College Thesis
Calendar and Eclipse Interrelationships
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Calendar and Eclipse Interrelationships
Kenneth C Herrmann   
Church of God

Born: 1924
Died: 2006
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1953

Chapter VI:


   How did early man keep time? First, what do we mean by early man? Historians take us back to Egypt and to the valley of the Tigris-Euphrates. The time; before this supposedly belong to the cavemen. These early men were gradually becoming aware of the world about them; first superstitiously, later in a more civilized way:
   A legion of errors has crept into modern studies. Egyptian chronology was altered by Manetho to give the appearance of great antiquity; the chronologies of other nations were warped to suit the Egyptian model.
   The evolution of man is assumed, and artifacts are arranged from the simple to the complex in the approved pattern. "Stone Age" cultures of the past are assumed to be more ancient than their contemporary but more advanced neighbors. Whole civilizations are placed in backward order.
   Recent declarations by astronomer Gerald S. Hawkins startled the world by insisting that these "Stone Age" men designed Stonehenge as an astronomical observatory in Britain about 1800 B.C., and that with that design were able to predict both solar and lunar eclipses.
   What is even more disturbing to the modern scholar is that these men supposedly knew of a 56-year eclipse cycle that modern astronomers do not acknowledge. By calling their device a computer, Dr. Hawkins has captured the imagination: of the public, so fascinated by the electronic marvels of this age.
   Here then is the starting point for our search into just what these early men knew and what they were attempting to learn, not only at Stonehenge but at other early "observatories." Egyptian temples and pyramids were supposed to have both solar and stellar alignments. Early "Indians" in North America set up "henges," huge circles of posts to learn something from the heavens.
   Sundance, Wyoming is located at an ideal spot for watching the location of the sunrise. At this site an almost perfectly level, barren horizon stretches from the southeast to the northeast. A mountain near the city of Sundance was used as an observation point. What could man have learned in this way?

A Fifty-Six Year Eclipse Cycle

   The research of Gerald S. Hawkins purported to find a 56-year eclipse cycle. Other astronomers deny that such a cycle exists. The available evidence is simply 56 "Aubrey Holes" dug in a circular pattern on the Salisbury plain for some unknown reason and then quickly filled in again. They seem to have served as markers.
   We could assume as Dr. Hawkins does, that these early men spaced six stones (8 and 9 holes apart) on these 56 spots, rotating them (clockwise or counterclockwise, take your choice) one position a year, and thus were "warned" of impending eclipses. Dr. Hawkins assumes as do many scholars that early men "worshipped" the moon, the sun, the stars; that they were terrified by the commencement of any eclipse, and willingly rewarded any savant well who could ward off evil the eclipse was certain to bring. Eclipse prediction would have been a blessing to these superstitious folk.
   But is that what these men were doing? Does the 56-year eclipse cycle even exist? It is also known that the 19-year Metonic cycle, which forms the basis for the Sacred Calendar perpetuated by the Jewish people, is an eclipse cycle. Yet astronomy books mention neither of these cycles.
   We do find a 3.8-year cycle, the shortest practical one; another cycle 18 years, 11 1/3 days long called a Saros (a very accurate predictor of eclipses). Others are generally mentioned in terms of the number of eclipse years (346.62 days each) they contain, and are called the 23, 42, 61, 342 and 385-year cycles. The latter contains 365 tropical years (our year of the seasons) plus four months and 13.
   The obvious fact is that astronomy books do not mention any 56-year cycle; nor is there any allusion to the 19-year cycle. The reason for this will become apparent as we continue our research for the reason for Stonehenge.

Eclipse Tables Give the Answer

   The scientific approach to any problem is 1) determine that a problem exists, 2) formulate a possible means of arriving at a solution, 3) carry out an experiment to discover new facts. Eclipse tables are available in various books. One entitled Eclipses in the Second Millennium B.C. gave calculations for the years 1600 B.C. to 1200 B.C. These are not actual historical observations of eclipses but rather the backward extrapolation of our modern observations.
   A solar eclipse took place March 19, 1558 B.C. (Julian calendar) and 56 years later the table failed to show any March eclipse of the sun. Several tries with other dates led to the same expected failure. Dr. Hawkins' method was not working. Perhaps our approach to the problem was wrong. A table of lunar eclipses was available in the same book. Stonehenge was supposedly able to predict both. I wonder if...
   Curiosity rightly directed was sure to bear fruit. Could a solar eclipse be followed by a lunar one 56 years later? The following table was obtained by turning from the solar eclipse of 1558 to the lunar eclipse of 1502, to the solar eclipse of 1446, to the lunar of 1390 to the solar of 1334, to the lunar of 1278, all dates B.C. An unrecognized cycle was "in the book" all the while! The FIFTY-SIX YEAR CYCLE of alternating solar-lunar eclipses was a reality, but it was about 4 days short of 56 full years. (Note: 1558 B.C. is equal to the astronomer's notation -1557.)

Stonehenge Sequence of Eclipses

   The following series shows that there is a FIFTY-SIX year cycle, that "stone age" man was successful in relating the tropical year, the synodic month and the recession of the moon's nodes.
[HWALibrary.com Note: Please see page 38 of original PDF. Some information is out of place and will require your interpretation. It appears when the PDF file was created; pages 36, 37, & 38 are all jumbled together and unreadable.]
The 18-Year Saros Cycle
Synodic Months 6585.32 days (or 12 Synodic Months shorter than the Sacred Calendar)
Eclipse Years 6585.78
Anomalistic Months 6585.53745
(365 day years)+15 6585.
years, 11 1/3 days 6585.33 1/3

? near equality in the anomalistic months (measured from perigee to ? causes the eclipses to be very similar. The apparent size of the almost the same as in the previous eclipse because it is at almost ? on the orbit. The moon will thus cover (or fail to cover) the ?he same degree.
[If you figure these pages out or have a copy of them, could you please let us know so we can fix the missing information?]

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Publication Date: June 1967
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