Arkaim: Russia’s Ancient City & the Arctic Origin of CivilisationPosted by davidjones on November 1, 2008 · Share/Bookmark · Leave a Comment
By VICTORIA LEPAGEVast shadowy forces are moving in Central Asia – or rather in the greater region we call Eurasia – which may change the face of our global society and civilisation forever.
Even as the balance of geopolitical forces is shifting inexorably in favour of the Eurasian superpowers – principally Russia, China, the Central Asian states and India – a new spiritual wind is blowing out of Inner Asia and its many hidden mystical schools, promising to sweep the new entente into unprecedented heights of international power, politically and culturally. The immensity of the coming turbulence occasioned by this shift from West to East is incalculable, the outer symptom of a global revolution of consciousness.
Already the transformation of consciousness accompanying this hemispheric shift is creating both exaltation and unease in all people sensitive to evolutionary change. As the West moves through increasing economic and geopolitical tumult towards what many regard as a birthing into a new World Age, pressing questions are being asked. What are we mutating into and what kind of social realities will replace those we know? The mystery and the terror is not so much the speed of change as its unknown destination. Where are we heading? To what precipice sheer and awful, or to what blessed landfall?
Striving to answer such questions, many leading esotericists today have turned to certain very ancient traditions to throw light on the crisis of our times. Increasingly heeding the overwhelming evidence for their thesis, they suggest that the key to humanity’s future lies in its distant past, in the heritage of an unknown antediluvian race that lived in a time so remote that its existence has been erased from racial memory.1
A Forgotten RacePerhaps 100,000 years ago or more, so the hypothesis runs, a great star-gazing Ice Age people lived in the Arctic region, at that time a temperate zone, before migrating south to Inner Asia as conditions changed and the great ice sheets melted. There, in a fertile, paradisaical land, these unknown sages became the core of a Ural-Altaic race that continued to evolve over the millennia, improving the stock of primitive humanity by intermarriage, developing cosmological sciences and political structures that sowed the seeds of our present civilised state, migrating across the earth and then disappearing, leaving immortal legends about itself behind.
The British author John Michell cites the massive evidence for such a civilisation, which he regards as essentially magical, and still faintly visible across the earth for those who care to look:
The entire surface of the earth is marked with the traces of a gigantic work of prehistoric engineering, the remains of a once universal system of natural magic, involving the use of polar magnetism together with another positive force related to solar energy. Of the various human and superhuman races that have occupied the earth in the past, we have only the dreamlike accounts of the earliest myths. All we can suppose is that some overwhelming disaster… destroyed a system whose maintenance depended upon its control of certain natural forces across the entire earth.2
Michell is one voice among many claiming that in the archives of prehistoric peoples a forgotten race has left traces of an advanced body of knowledge, seemingly both spiritual and technological, which can guide us, if we will, into a viable future.
Despite being ignored by mainstream historians and anthropologists, this theory is being ever more insistently put forward by highly accredited researchers as evidence for the enormous age of our species continues to be found not only in the legends of races in every part of the planet but also in the thousands of technological anomalies being unearthed in unlikely geological strata.
The ancient Greek historians had much to say on this subject, especially concerning the legends of Asia Minor which told of the descent thereto, in the depths of the Ice Ages, of the Hyperboreans, a mysterious race of superior beings from polar regions whose Pillar works on earth sought to mirror the starry heavens above. Yet it is Central and Inner Asia further to the east, a vast land of steppes, mountains and sandy deserts, whose people preserve the most significant memories of a time beyond telling when cities populated the deserts and an Elder race walked tall on the earth. And it is these Ural-Altaic regions that are now taking centre stage as the search continues for the roots of homo sapiens and the path into a viable future.
Arkaim: A Bronze Age Town in the Southern UralsIn 1987, in the middle of the Russian steppe, a team of Russian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a fortified town called Arkaim, causing great excitement in scientific ranks and a surge of neo-pagan and nationalist enthusiasm among Russian intellectuals. The region was known to have preserved landmarks of the most diverse cultures, ranging from every epoch and every direction of the compass, but Arkaim was the first clear evidence of an ancient advanced culture flourishing on Russian soil.
Constructed on a circular principle around a central square, with about sixty semi-dugout houses built within its ramparts, the settlement was situated in the southern Urals, near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. It was defended by two concentric ramparts of clay and adobe blocks on a wooden frame, and could only be entered via four intricately constructed passageways that would have made the entrance of enemies extremely difficult. The inhabitants and the common central square were thus well protected by Arkaim’s defensive, inward-turned ground plan. The town was found to be closely aligned to several celestial reference points, and is therefore believed to have been an observatory as well as a fortress, an administrative and a religious centre.
Dubbed “the Russian Stonehenge,” this Bronze age settlement was about 3,600 years old and was contemporaneous with the Cretan-Mycenaean civilisation, with the Egyptian Middle Kingdom and with the Mesopotamian and Indus valley civilisations, and older by several centuries than Homer’s fabled Troy, whose circular layout it so closely resembled. Arkaim was inhabited for 200 years and was then mysteriously burned down and deserted.
The Russian team’s explorations showed that Arkaim enjoyed an advanced technology for its time. It was equipped with a drainage gutter and storm sewage system and had actually been protected from fire: the timbered flooring of the houses and the houses themselves were imbued with a fireproof substance – a strong compound the remnants of which can still be found in the ruins. Each house gave onto an inner ring road paved with wooden blocks; and in each house there was a hearth, a well, cellars, an oven and provision for a cooled food storage system. The oven was such that it may have been possible to smelt bronze in it, as well as to fire pottery.
Subsequent to this exciting excavation, more than another twenty fortified settlements and necropolises were unearthed in the Arkaim Valley, some stone-built, larger and more impressive than Arkaim. With Arkaim possibly its capital, the complex came to be called the Land of Cities and presented scientists with many mysteries. It was the first concrete evidence of a lost neolithic civilisation in southern Russia, confirming what had long been believed, that the southern Urals and northern Kazakhstan, situated at the junction of Asia and Europe, was an important region in the formation of a complex Aryan society.
A possible light was thrown for the first time on the development, nature and wide migratory pattern of early Indo-European culture, and stimulated all sorts of theories in Russian circles about the Aryan roots of the Slavic people.3
This, however, has been only the beginning of the quest for a new ethnic, cultural and religious identity in a small but influential Russian minority since the demise of the Soviet Union. Increasingly rejecting the American and European vision of a global hegemony rooted in Western Christianity, Russians, besides their interest in their Indo-European roots, are turning eastwards to find a connection with the Turkic/Mongol ethnic strain. Many, especially among the young, are already embracing the mystique of a united Eurasian people and community cemented by spiritual bonds far older than those of Christianity or Islam. Arkaim has become a ready focus for these ideals, a symbol of the future basis for world peace.
Ar-ka means sky, and Im means earth, says Alex Sparkey, a Russian writer. He explains that this means Arkaim is a place where the Sky touches the Earth. Here the material and the spiritual are inseparable.
The East and the West are fused here. Today, in Russia, we feel that Mankind is faced by the necessity to choose Oneness. Western culture must come into unity with Eastern wisdom. If this can happen, the harmony that once reigned supreme in the Land of Cities will be restored.4
In fact, it is doubtful whether peace and harmony existed in the period of Arkaim, since it and the surrounding fortified settlements were obviously geared to warfare or at least to heavy defensive measures in a hostile environment. It is noteworthy that the cult of Tengri, the Mongol/Turkic Sky God who plays a prominent part in Central Asian religion, fosters a fierce competitive nationalism rather than peaceful relations with neighbours. However, Sparkey is right to emphasise the principle of harmonious accord implicit in the Arkaim ideology, pointing as it does to the settlement’s inheritance of a once more peaceful culture.
The head of the archaeological team observed:
A flight above Arkaim on board a helicopter gives you an incredible impression. The huge concentric circles on the valley are clearly visible. The town and its outskirts are all enclosed in the circles. We still do not know what point the gigantic circles have, whether they were made for defensive, scientific, educational or ritual purposes. Some researchers say that the circles were actually used as the runway for an ancient spaceport.5
The truth is that Arkaim was a troy town, so-called after the city in Asia Minor that the Greek king Agammenon destroyed during the Trojan Wars. Built on the same circular principle as Troy, as described in Homer’s Iliad, but at least six hundred years older, Arkaim finds its prototype in Plato’s Atlantis with its three concentric circles of canals; in legendary Electris, the Hyperborean city some said was built under the Pole Star by the sea-god Poseidon; and in Asgard, the sacred city dedicated to the Norse god Odin that is described in the Icelandic saga, the Edda. All these legendary troy towns have the same circular ground plan. They have gone down in history as neolithic Wisdom centres and the seats of ancient god-kings, and this undoubtedly throws light on the cultic function of Arkaim in its day, as we shall see.
In Russia’s more mystical quarters there is intense interest in the ancient town, seeing it as the city temple built by the legendary King Yama, ruler of the Aryans in the Golden Age, which will once again become the centre of the world.6 However, the discovery of the settlement has opened a historical aperture onto far more than the battles and conquests of an aggressive Indo-European people waged across Eurasia and south into the Mediterranean lands, where their war chariots shattered the peace of Old Europe. What the Land of Cities has revealed in its very structure and history is above all the still earlier past of the Ural-Altaic peoples – a past of such enormous antiquity that it presents more mysteries than it solves.
Built in the unique architectural mould of nordic Asgard, the most sacred shrine of the Aesir of which the Prose Edda relates that “men call it Troy,” Arkaim may have been a shrine dedicated to the Aryan Sun religion, yet the roots of its dedication would have lain ultimately in the far older cult of the Pole star. Essentially, this was the religion of the shaman, the wizard, the medicine-man and other wonder-workers in touch with the spirits of nature.
Thus the swastika, thought to be the exclusively Aryan symbol of sun-worship misappropriated by the Nazis,7 and found depicted on many of the clay pots unearthed in Arkaim, is an older religious and metaphysical symbol than that attached to the Aryan Sun God, its roots lying in totemic shamanism. René Guénon, the eminent French esotericist, points out that the swastika, symbolising eternal motion around a motionless centre, is a polar rather than a solar symbol, and as such was a symbol central to the Pole star cult, originally dedicated to a planetary deity connected to Ursa Major, the Great Bear. This centre, Guénon stresses, “constitutes the fixed point known symbolically to all traditions as the ‘pole’ or axis around which the world rotates…” The swastika is therefore known world-wide as the ‘sign of the pole.’8
In short, it would be a mistake for Russian ethnic pride to train too narrow a focus on Arkaim’s Aryan background, for the town was heir to a great civilising force that existed in the Eurasian corridor long before there were Indo-Europeans. One universal feature of troy towns is missing in Arkaim – presumably because it has been destroyed over the centuries – and that is the altar pillar in the central square. Undoubtedly, in Arkaim we see a late expression of a megalithic Pillar religion that once reigned universally in every corner of the globe, among nearly all peoples, whatever their ethnic type, and which became associated with troy towns. It is the oldest religion known to us and goes back to the most remote antiquity when men saw the heavens as revolving around the axis of the Pole Star.
Only later did the Sun, as the centre of the revolving stellar system, replace the Pole Star as the supreme deity of the Pillar cult and lead to the elevation of the Sun God of the Indo-European peoples. It led to their greater intellectual development, to complex civilisations, to advanced arts and sciences and the transcendence of nature.
Troy towns like Electris – and Arkaim – were built as stellar observatories. Their function was to unite earth to the starry cosmos above according to the principle of “as above so below” by means of a central axis symbolised by a stone pillar. Thus Diodorus Siculus of the first century BCE, quoting the historian Hecataeus, described the sanctuary of Electris as a troy town after the pattern of the spheres,
by which he meant an astronomical design similar to that of Stonehenge and other ancient sun temples, in which the scheme of the heavenly spheres or astral shells surrounding the earth was represented diagrammatically by a series of concentric circles marked by walls, ditches or moats around a central pillar-stone.9
These enclosed and heavily guarded sanctuaries sacred to the gods of the greater cosmos were inhabited only by initiated priests and their families, and were forbidden to the wandering nomads beyond the ramparts. The mystery to archaeologists is how such an advanced astronomical science can have been pursued at a time when hunter-gatherers still roamed the land. Colin Wilson, a highly accredited investigator, in answer takes us back to the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia, a people who almost certainly had their origin in Central Asia, as the Bible states: “As men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar [Sumer] and settled there.” Sumer is regarded as the site of one of the first true civilisations in human history.
Wilson points out that the Sumerians were accomplished astronomers who had compiled tables of the motions of all the planets, including Uranus and Neptune, as early as five thousand years ago, long before the existence of Arkaim. He adds that according to the library of clay tablets compiled by the Assyrian King Assurbanipal (669 – 626 BCE) and unearthed during the nineteenth century, the Sumerians had also understood the precession of the equinoxes, and therefore knew about the zodiac.10
Further revelations of the Sumerians’ sophisticated astronomical science convinced Wilson that the Chaldaean astronomers understood our solar system as well as Isaac Newton did.11 Indeed Wilson came to believe that a scientific knowledge of the universe existed on earth as far back as 64,000 years ago, if not far longer.
Evidently Arkaim was a Wisdom Centre in a network of such Centres that once related all the prehistoric peoples of the earth to each other under the spiritual aegis of the Pillar religion and its priestly elites. The remains of countless similar stone circles, menhirs and troy towns are scattered throughout Europe, the Americas, Eurasia and the Pacific lands, memorials to great crisscrossing migrations of peoples, all loyal to the same axial principle that relates earth to the heavens.
As to the cradle of this great diaspora, the mystical Russian painter and explorer Nicholas Roerich saw thousands of such megalithic pillar-works in the highlands of Tibet and believed them to be older than any found elsewhere. He suggested they had strong links to the works of the Celts and the Scythian tribes, as also to the megaliths of Carnac in Brittany, and that they represented a Pillar cult that had its beginnings long ago in the Trans-Himalayas of Inner Asia.12
As I have said, various versions of the cult of the World Pillar as it spread around the world were once known from the Americas to northern Africa, where the blond Tamahu worshipped the Magna Mater and her spouse the Heaven-Bearer, as did their cousins in Brittany and Spain. In Hindu India the World Axis, Mt. Meru, ascended into the revolving heavens above through the centre of the three worlds, and in the Canary Islands the Cro-Magnon Guanches, now extinct, worshipped with sacrifices the god of the World Pillar whom they called “the God who Holds the Heavens,” and who thus prevented the collapse of the foundations of the world.”14 A remnant of this belief-system survives in the legend of Jacob’s Ladder in the Hebrew Book of Exodus, in which we learn that on this Ladder angels ascend and descend between heaven and earth.
Each race has considered a certain tree as symbolic of the World Pillar and therefore sacred. In the Voluspa, the song of the Old Norse prophetess, the tree on which the god Odin hung in order to receive the sacred runes was called Yggdrasil, the heaven-pole or world axis. The World Ash Yggdrasil was declared to be the greatest of all trees and the best; its limbs spread over the world and above the heavens, its shaft the pivot of the ever-revolving sky. At the foot of that tree the laws were first brought into being by the Aesir, the Norse gods, and Yggdrasil was worshipped as the source of all higher knowledge.15
To the inhabitants of Sumer, whose language is unknown – being neither Indo-European nor Semitic – the Pillar was a dominant religious feature: thus Nippur, one of Sumer’s chief cities, as long ago as 3800 BCE had the meaning of “Bond of Heaven-Earth.” A prominent researcher on this subject says that in the text of the Sumerian ‘Enuma Elish’, “clues to the purpose of Nippur were found in references to a heavenward tall pillar reaching to the sky.”16 In ancient Egypt, the land of the Hamitic peoples, the city of An or Anu, which was renamed Heliopolis by the Greeks, originally meant Pillar City.17 As a commentator has pointed out, this fact may shed light on the mysterious djed pillar, the “backbone of Osiris,” often associated with Heliopolis.18
Like others of the Pillar fraternities, the totemic shaman too dedicated his life and calling to the vision of the marriage of heaven and earth achieved by means of a heaven-bearing Tree of Life. In ancient Crete he was a familiar adjunct to the temple rituals of the Great Mother Demeter; in Siberia, Mongolia and the Americas, he was the magician and wise man of his tribe. Beating his drum and climbing the central pole of his yurt, the symbolic pillar by which he communed with the sky spirits above, the shaman thus brought down healings, prophecies and advice from the ancestors to the people of his community. The Mongol-Turkic shamanic tradition with its Sky God Tengri and its World Tree still survives over a vast area of the planet, although its roots are lost far back in the mists of the palaeolithic age.
The mystery of Arkaim is indeed the mystery of the Pillar religion. Who brought to all the primitive peoples of earth this knowledge of the Polar Axis, uniting them for many thousands of years in a common planetary culture? Who taught them the astronomical secrets of the solar system, the zodiac and precession of the equinoxes at a time in prehistory when human intelligence was not supposed to be evolved enough to have developed that knowledge alone? And what part did Arkaim play in that dissemination?
Tracing the Arctic Origins of CivilisationThe Babylonians believed in a mysterious paradise in “the far north” where a race of great sages lived; and the ancient Greeks too extolled a northern Elysium in which they believed the Hyperboreans, a wise, peaceful and long-lived race, lived in great splendour and prosperity. Even though Delphi was regarded as the centre of the Greek world, its god Apollo and his sister, the goddess Artemis, were acknowledged to be originally deities of this secret land far to the north, where stood the cosmic axle that the Greeks called Helice, “That Which Turns.” Many Greek historians as well as later scholars located this northern paradise in Scythia or the Altai, and as having its source in the shamanism that grew up around the semi-mythical magicians and pole-lords of Altai. But research and sacred tradition both suggest its origins go further back still to northeastern Asia within the Arctic Circle, to a society that flourished on the shores of the Siberian Sea.
How long ago, or for how long, this circumpolar culture may have existed no-one knows: possibly 200,000 years or more. In The Interpretation of Radium, the acclaimed physicist Frederick Soddy stated that some of the beliefs and legends which have come down to us from antiquity may be “evidence of a wholly unknown and unsuspected ancient civilisation of which all other relic has disappeared.”19 There may have been, he suggested, previous cycles in the unrecorded history of the world when civilised men lived “in a past possibly so remote that even the very atoms of civilisation literally have had time to disintegrate.”20
On the basis of years of investigation, Charles Hapgood, a New England professor of history, in 1982 declared that possibly as long ago as 100,000 years BCE the hub of a worldwide maritime civilisation with a highly developed level of scientific knowledge must have been in existence in the Arctic Circle.21 Until lately Hapgood’s finds, presented in Earth’s Shifting Crust (1958) and Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (1966), have been largely ignored in scientific circles, even though they elicited support from the great physicist Albert Einstein; but today interest in them is mushrooming among a growing number of highly accredited investigators.
René Guénon appeals to the oldest and most authentic esoteric traditions in claiming that long before the Indo-European races arose, at a time when a hunter-gatherer humanity was still at a primitive stage of development, the tropics were differently distributed and a great Hyperborean culture flourished around the Arctic Circle, “in the Islands of the Blest on the shores of the Ocean where the great maelstrom whirls.”22
Only later, after a catastrophic change in geological conditions, did this senior race migrate southward, some to Central Asia, others, possibly crossing the Bering Strait, to Atlantis to the west. The latter has been located by some researchers in the Antilles, two large islands beyond the Gulf of Mexico widely regarded as the remains of what was once a great sunken landmass.23 (In support of this theory, the Caribs and the tribes of Hispaniola have long had a tradition that many of the islands of the Antilles, a well-known earthquake zone, were once connected by a single landmass, before a great cataclysm about 15,000 years ago submerged the connection and left only the known island fragments.)24
Leaving aside Guénon’s oblique reference to the two southern refuges of the Hyperboreans being in Russia and Central America, he suggests that in both cases the two groups brought with them advanced mathematical and astronomical knowledge and the seeds of arts and sciences that would eventually be passed on to our brute ancestors to become the basis, about eight thousand years ago, for our own civilisations.
Both Sumer in the Middle East and Central America have flood stories written down long before the biblical account of Noah’s flood, and in all these stories the salvific activity of the Elder race is pivotal. There is the Sumerian story of Utnapishtim and his wife, who, helped by the gods, survived a flood and were made immortal; and likewise early American accounts tell how the god Viracocha, who “came from the east,” destroyed the earth in a great flood. Later, after a man and a woman survived by taking refuge in a floating box, “Virachocha recreated the peoples of the earth, and gave each one his own language and songs.”25 Wilson cites many such instances in which flood stories about the Hyperboreans and their salvation of our race are to be found in both the Old World and the New.
Guénon is emphatic, however, that of the two primary locations, both of which have at times borne the name of Tula (known to the Greeks as Thule), that of Central Asia was the elder. The Atlantean Tula, says Guénon, must be distinguished from the Hyperborean Tula, the supreme Holy Land, which latter represents the first and supreme centre for the entire current Manvantara, and is the archetypal “sacred isle.”
All the other “sacred isles,” although everywhere bearing names of equivalent meaning, are still only images of the original. This even applies to the spiritual centre of Atlantean tradition, which only governed a secondary historical cycle, subordinate to the Manvantara.26
Plato himself notes this hierarchical distribution: the Atlantean empire, he said, was only one nexus established by the gods in a greater network of Centres whose capital was elsewhere “at the centre of the Universe.”27 Thus the Eurasian heartland, Guénon says in his brief but ground-breaking work, The Lord of the World, has indeed become that “centre of the Universe,” the authentic “supreme country” which,
According to certain Vedic and Avestan texts, was originally situated towards the North Pole, even in the literal sense of the word. Although it may change its localisation according to the different phases of human history, it still remains polar in a symbolic sense because essentially it represents the fixed axis around which everything revolves.28
However, this still does not tell us why the location in Central Asia was chosen as the Hyperboreans’ primary destination? Guénon’s response to this question is cryptic in the extreme. He admits he is dealing with proscripted material he is not permitted to divulge, but goes so far as to reveal that Mt. Meru, the “polar mountain” stands in the centre of the “supreme country” – and Mt. Meru, as is now generally understood, symbolises the mysterious World Axis or World Tree of esoteric tradition. In other words, Central Asia was chosen because the World Axis was there; that was the real goal of the migration. The World Axis was, and is, the “centre of the Universe”; it is the World Axis that renders its geographical location a Holy Land – a fact which is only now being elucidated in para-scientific circles.
As we shall see in the second part of this article, the earth’s esoteric structure is a subject that has been veiled in secrecy for thousands of years, and this applies especially to the mystic’s Mt. Meru or World Axis. John Major Jenkins, in his book Galactic Alignment, is one of the first modern researchers to throw light on the meaning of this and much other Hyperborean lore that Guénon was unwilling or unable to discuss. Beyond referring to the senior race as “the guardians of Earth’s sacred mysteries,” Guénon’s initiatory vows kept him silent.
Who, then, were these mysterious Hyperboreans – or as we might perhaps better call them, these Elders, these early Masters of Wisdom who understood the importance of the World Axis? The records of most of the Bronze age nations have a legend that an unknown race of Elders gave us kingship and civilisation and that they came from the gods and understood the most powerful secrets of our planet – secrets that have since been lost.
The Elders have been known as the Nephilim, the Sons of God, the Anunnaki, the Watchers and many other appellations; G.I. Gurdjieff spoke of them as agents of the divine Demiurge from a previous cycle of humanity. But beyond being credited with great wisdom and magical powers as well as having giant stature and extremely high craniums, little more is known about them. Did they really exist? All that can be said with certainty is that they remain a benign shadowy presence moving inscrutably in the background of virtually all the prehistoric traditions of our race.
These souls from Sirius, say the ancient texts, descended down the World Axis and incarnated on earth long ago in order to aid our fledgling species. When a great catastrophe towards the end of the Ice Age, around the twelfth millennium BCE, threatened us with extinction, these sons and daughters of the gods instituted the hieros gamos, a genetic science that mingled their genes with ours and so bred a superior human stock with a greater survival potential that spread gradually from the heart of Asia on one hand, and Atlantis on the other, to the rest of the world.29
The climate changed again around the ninth millennium BCE, which is widely regarded as the date of the demise of Atlantis and the enforced dispersal of its people both westward to Central America and eastwards to Europe. Bringing catastrophic earthquakes and coastal flooding to vast areas of the globe30 and a severe threat to the survival of our species, it was a racial crisis that brought another response from the senior race.
Although the Elders had gone, their dynastic descendants, a long line of neolithic priest-kings, began a new evolutionary programme. In their migrations from Central Asia, the Ural-Altaic race is credited with establishing in every corner of the earth its Pillar religion, which Plato’s Critias vividly describes as also the religion of the Atlanteans. Stone pillar altars have survived in Malta from c. 5000 BCE, also from Catal Huyuk, in Anatolia, c. 5800 BCE.31 The Pillar religion is the earliest known vehicle of a comprehensive body of wisdom originally centred on the Pole Star, in which the moon is the primary image of the mysteries of birth, generation and death. It is the fundamental root of all the religions and esoteric traditions we know today, as well as all our higher learning. Its spread heralded the dawn of peaceful, egalitarian, Goddess-loving societies clustered in neolithic towns and villages around the world wherein the feminine principle was dominant and strife little known.32
Arkaim and the Sun GodsModern historians have found that three great floods seem to have occurred in the known span of human history. According to Stephen Oppenheimer in Eden in the East, the third of these, around the fifth millennium BCE, corresponded to Noah’s Flood and was the greatest of the three, peaking during the fourth millennium.33 It caused catastrophic coastal flooding, tsunamis and severe earthquakes, and also desertification of the interior of the land masses, and civilisation disappeared. Once again the species was threatened with a reversion to savagery, and once again salvation appeared from Inner Asia.
In the third millennium BCE, so the Chinese Celestial records tell us, the Sons of the Sun – also known as the Sons of Heaven – fanned out across the world from their homeland in the Karakorum Range at the western end of the Trans-Himalayas, bearing with them the higher revelation of the Sun religion.34 It was a patriarchal and hierarchical belief-system that disclosed new depths of metaphysical and technological knowledge inducive to civilisation. Everywhere the stone circles whose central axis was dedicated to the Pole Star, like Stonehenge in ancient Britain, evolved over a further thousand years into more sophisticated observatories focused instead on the Sun and its circling planets, and human culture once more blossomed.
This innovation, however, was not without inter-faith warfare, since many ethnic groups, such as the Mongol/Turkic peoples of the eastern steppes, remained loyal to the Pole Star cult. At the same time, pyramids as well as defensive troy towns like Arkaim sprang up in dedication to the Sun Gods, whose mystique became more and more occulted as enmity grew for the powerful new faith. Indeed Arkaim may have been the seat of one of the Solar mystery religions of that period, and the fiery holocaust that destroyed the settlement after two hundred years of operation may well have been caused by that same internecine conflict between the old order and the new.
The pictorial evidence contained in the ‘Enuma Elish’ shows that the Sumerians understood full well that the Elders they revered so much were “from the gods” – not gods themselves but human beings, though far more advanced in consciousness. According to the murals they have left us, the early Egyptians too knew in some sense that their deities were really high shaman masters, each masked in the official headdress of his animal totem. But that understanding was to be occluded with the increasingly aggressive dominance of the Solar religion, when a kind of darkness of amnesia fell over the collective consciousness of our race. The Solar priesthoods withdrew behind barricades, and a spiritual division opened up in society that had never before existed.
As the historian Giorgio de Santillana has pointed out in Hamlet’s Mill, from then on the enlightened understanding of our forbears began to descend into mythology and superstition as small pockets of secret wisdom called temples shone out in a sea of darkness, and a mystique of gods replaced the cosmological knowledge of an earlier age.35 While bands of initiate culture-bearers spread out across the globe to sow the seeds of civilisation once more, a nucleus of the senior race withdrew deep into the mountain ranges of High Asia that surround the Takla Makan desert and severed all direct contact with the outside world.
Ever since, the whole Eurasian heartland, from the Urals to the Gobi and including southern Siberia, has borne the stamp of a special sanctity. High Asia in particular has been called by a succession of peoples and religions Paradesha, the Forbidden Land, the Land of the Living Gods, Thule, Djong, Uttarakuru, Olmolungring, Shambhala, the Holy Land and the Land of White Waters. Whatever its current name, almost all esoteric traditions in the Old World have related this vast, mysterious Inner Eurasian region, so rich in higher knowledge, to the legendary Elder race and revered it as the home of the Ancient Wisdom for the present World Age.
The legend of the Sons and Daughters of God has thus never died, though it has gone underground. Inner Asia, thought to be the immemorial cradle of shamanism as well as of all yogic and religious systems, is believed by many to be still spiritually efficacious, still a holy land which, under a single governing Hierarchy, nurtures without fear or favour arcane schools and brotherhoods persecuted elsewhere. Sufis, Buddhists, Nestorian Christians, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Jews, Neo-Platonists and others who have been hidden from the profane world by long chains of initiatic transmission have never failed to find sanctuary in that specially blessed protectorate, where everything began.
From being hidden in shadows for thousands of years, today the region is being illuminated by an intense spotlight from every possible angle. The discovery of Arkaim is only one such angle. The highly publicised row between China and Tibet is another; the ever-worsening struggle between the US and Russia for military dominance over the oil- and gas-rich provinces of Central Asia; the increasing commitment of Russia, China, Iran and India to a Eurasian geopolitical bloc, in tacit opposition to the Western powers; and at the same time the awakening of interest in the West to the mysterious spiritual wealth that can be glimpsed in the place, are yet other factors bringing the heart of Asia to the very centre of world attention. Yet the questions they pose remain unanswered.
What is the secret of the Holy Land? Who really were the Elders who gave us civilisation? Are they still guiding our evolution in discarnate form? What is the secret of the World Axis? Do we as yet understand the archetypal principles that shape our planet? And why are we only now beginning to ask such questions?
1. Colin Wilson, Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals, Bear & Co., Vermont, 2006.
2. John Michell, The View Over Atlantis, Sphere Books, London, 1975, 117.
3. V.A. Shnirelman, Archaeology and Ethnic Politics: the Discovery of Arkaim, Unesco, 1998.
4. Alex Sparkey, The Ancient Land of Arkaim, from Spirit of Ma’at: Russia: Land of Living Mysticism, Vol. 3, No. 9, 3.
5. Pravda.Ru, An Ancient Aryan Civilisation, 16/07/2005.
6. Shnirelman, op. cit., 38.
7. Louis Pauwels & Jacques Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians, Souvenir Press, London, 1960, 188.
8. René Guénon, The Lord of the World, Octagon Press, U.K., 1983, 9.
9. Victoria LePage, Shambhala, Quest Books, Illinois, USA, 1996, 197, citing Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, Loeb Classical Library, London, 1936 – 67.
10. Colin Wilson, op. cit., 32.
11. Ibid., 32.
12. Nicholas Roerich, Shambhala: In Search of the New Era, Inner Traditions International, 1930, 221.
13. Jacob Bryant, A New System or An Analysis of Ancient Mythology, T. Payne, P. Elmsly, B. White and J. Walter, publishers, London, 1776.
14. Jurgen Spanuth, Atlantis of the North, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1979, 123 – 24.
15. Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God, Vol. 1, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1984, 121.
16. Alan F. Alford, Gods of the New Millennium, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1996, 261.
17. Ibid., 261
18. Ibid., 261
19. Frederick Soddy, The Interpretation of Radium and the Structure of the Atom, Putnam, New York, 1922, quoted by Colin Wilson, op. cit., 292.
20. Ibid., 292.
21. Colin Wilson, op. cit., 2.
22. Hesiod [Works], R. Lattimore, trans., University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1959, 172 – 3.
23. Lewis Spence, The History of Atlantis, Rider, London, 1926; cited by Geoffrey Ashe, Atlantis, Thames & Hudson, London, 1992, 21.
24. Eberhard Zangger, The Flood from Heaven, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1992, 66.
25. Colin Wilson, op. cit., 91.
26. René Guénon, op. cit., 56.
27. Plato, Timaeus and Critius, Desmond Lee, trans., Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1983, 145.
28. René Guénon, op. cit., 50.
29. Ibid, 56.
30. Stephen Oppenheimer, Eden in the East, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1998, 30 – 41.
31. Anne Baring & Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess, Penguin, 1993.
32. Ibid., 50 –56.
33. Oppenheimer, op. cit., 35.
34. Andrew Tomas, Shambhala: Oasis of Light, Sphere Books, London, 1976, 26.
35. G. Santillana & H. Von Deschend, Hamlet’s Mill, Gambit International, Boston, 1969.
.VICTORIA LEPAGE has published numerous articles on the new spiritual paradigm emerging in cultures worldwide and is the author of Shambhala: The Fascinating Truth Behind the Myth of Shangri-la, published in ten foreign languages. Her latest book is Mysteries of the Bridechamber: The Initiation of Jesus and the Temple of Solomon. She lives in New South Wales, Australia, and can be contacted through her website at www.victoria-lepage.org.
Ancient civilization achieved incredible technological progress 40 centuries agoenglish.pravda.ru/science
The Arkaim valley in the south of Ural was supposed to be flooded in 1987: local authorities were going to create a water reservoir there to irrigate droughty fields. However, scientists found strange circles in the center of the valley: the authorities gave archaeologists 12 months to explore the area. Scientists were shocked to find out that Arkaim was the same age as Egypt and Babylon, and a little older than Troy and Rome.
Gennady Zdanovich, the chairman of the archaeological expedition in Ural had to prove the scientific significance of Arkaim to regional officials. „We achieved what seemed to be absolutely unreal: the multi-million construction project in the region was shut down,” the scientist said.
Archaeological excavations showed that the people, who inhabited Arkaim, represented one of the most ancient Indo-European civilizations, particularly the branch, which is referred to as the Aryan culture. Arkaim turned out to be not only a town, but also a temple and an astronomic observatory.
„A flight above Arkaim on board a helicopter gives you an incredible impression. The huge concentric circles on the valley are clearly visible. The town and its outskirts are all enclosed in the circles. We still do not know, what point the gigantic circles have, whether they were made for defensive, scientific, educational, or ritual purposes. Some researchers say that the circles were actually used as the runway for an ancient spaceport,” Vadim Chernobrovy said.
Researchers discovered that the ancient town was equipped with the storm sewage system, which helped Arkaim’s residents avoid floods. The people were protected against fires as well: timbered floorings and houses themselves were imbued with fireproof substance. It was a rather strong compound, the remnants of which can still be found in the ruins of the town.
Each house was outfitted with „all modern conveniences,” as they would say nowadays. There was a well, an oven and dome-like food storage in every house. The well was branching out into two underground trenches: one of them was directed to the oven and the other one ended in the food storage. The trenches were used to supply chilly air to the oven and to the food storage. The cool air from the trenches was also creating a very powerful traction force in the Aryan oven, which made it possible to smelt bronze there.
The central square in Arkaim was the only object of square shape in the town. Judging upon traces of bonfires that were placed in a specific order on the square, the place was used as a site for certain rituals.
Arkaim was built according to a previously projected plan as a single complicated complex, which also had an acute orientation on astronomic objects. While archaeologists are meticulously brushing dust off ancient stones trying to recreate the lifestyle of Arkaim’s residents, ufologists study mysterious phenomena, which they register in the town: inexplicable fluctuations of voltage, magnetic field tension, temperatures and so on.
[W Polsce jakoś mało kto mówi w ogóle o Arkajimie – tylko i wyłącznie o Stonhenege, o którym dzisiaj już wiemy, że najprawdopodobniej był dziełem naszych sprzymierzeńców Wenedów (haplogrupa I2a2) - kniagina Widnura I Wodyna, podobnie jak Bretońskie megality w Carnacu i te na Pomorzu Polskim. C. B.].
SOL Magazine (Issues ## 1 to 3)
by Yuri Smirnov, spaceoflove.com, Edited by Regina B. Jensen, PhD, fullyalivewellnesscenter.com
Part 1. Pearl of „The Land of Cities”The archeological site Arkaim, in the Russian Chelyabinsk territory, was discovered in the summer of 1987 and declared a national archeological reserve in 1991. In 2005, Vladimir Putin himself visited the site which had become a national treasure. At the time of this writing, over twenty years later, one might assume that the excitement about this discovery and its significance would be waning, but instead, the interest this amazing, ancient site has attracted continues to increase.
Why all this excitement?
Many of the three to four thousand visitors to Arkaim every summer witness what some have called a veritable miracle: The remnants of this „Land of Cities” are thought to bear testimony to one of the most ancient civilizations known to man.
Walking among these ruins, people discover original designs, massive walls, complicated defensive structures, furnaces, craft workshops, especially early bronze forgeries and carefully designed infrastructures, as well as many other signs of a culture so ancient that their discovery has definitely disturbed many traditional archeologists. Here, it is believed, the first horses were domesticated and the first two-wheel chariots were built.
There are still scientists who insist upon placing “man’s origin” within certain rigid time-frames, even though they have long been dis-proven by many archeological discoveries. Nevertheless, for various reasons too complex to mention in this introductory article, these are still not added into our children’s history-books.
After the archaeologists, historians and ethnographers, the psychics arrived, along with prophets, pilgrims and members of various religious sects, all people thirsting for spiritual healing or enlightenment and each wanting to personally see “The Place”.
Arkaim has been featured in articles, both scientific and general, movies, presentations at scientific conferences and many carefully researched books and monographs which have since been published.
Many historians and archeologists agree that visitors to this area are viewing the ancestral homes of ancient Aryans, for which many scientists have searched diligently. Covering the vast territory of the Bolshaya Karaganskaya river valley, they believe that this is the place where at the turn of the third to second millennium BC a historical split occurred, namely that of Aryans dividing into two branches, the Indo-Iranian and Iranian, a scientific fact that had already been documented by linguists much earlier. Even some of the most conservative scientists are prepared to acknowledge that these places were the native lands of Zarathustra, the author of the sacred hymns of „Avesta”, a sage as legendary as the Buddha or Mahomet.
Understandably, many individuals who had been searching for the tap-roots of their ancestral origins had difficulties calming their excitement and imagination. After all, this discovery by South Ural archaeologists did represent somewhat of a miracle even to those observers unaffected by such longings. It was one of those discoveries that would force any diligent scientist to reconsider the paradigms they had developed over decades if not centuries. The implications of the findings as well as the ensuing research were as important to the field of archeology as they were for the – too frequently minimized – “spirito-philosophical” needs of many of the pilgrims.
Arkaim’s age represents a predicament which has forced historians to change their concepts of the Bronze Age on the territories of the Ural-Kazakhstan steppes. It now appears that the latter was not the era which was to define a world about to enter into its first experience of civilization. The discovery and signs of high levels of metallurgical development puts this region into another most significant position culturally, extending, as it does now, from the Mediterranean to present-day Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
Very unique metal objects of amazing workmanship had been found at the coasts of the Aegean sea as well as in the Southern Ural Mountains, attesting to extensive cultural contacts. It now appears that these in fact had “migrated” by caravan – or wandered, as it were – not „from there to here”, but „from here to there”, namely from Russia to Greece rather than the reverse, as had been assumed.
The importance of such detailed clarifications of historical travel and whether it happened from hither to thither or vice-versa might be brushed aside. But their importance is not lost on people who consider them essential to their regional patriotic ambitions, not a comfortable arena to enter into in modern-day Russia, nor anywhere else in the world. After all, it is still a world bleeding from ideological conflicts based upon misused patriotic identifications. But discoveries of such importance are extremely rare, occurring maybe once in a century. So we must not be shy nor hide behind the memories of our deepest wounds from the most perverse of perpetrations, nor beneath newly created hysterias. Some of these fears are very understandable. Yet neither our ever-living wounds of World II nor of other ancient or recent regional wars should distract us from this noble goal of finding something so possibly uniting for feuding nations as a common gene-pool to much of humankind. Many sciences already do point to such a possibility, notably gene-samples from all races. Must such innocent curiosities and claims really continue to be so heavily burdened with memories of political abuses by truly deranged leaders whose names we need not mention here?
But reasonable reactions notwithstanding, why have people who are looking for their roots in the direction of Vedic ancestry been more suspect than any other indigenous people curious about their heritage? After all, it would appear to be an uncommonly large area upon which such ancestors would have enjoyed their apparently advanced culture. Such a culture would seem to have „fed” much of what we now call Western civilization and parts of Asia, including migrated tribes, such as American Indians and even Europeans settling America.
Moreover, as we also explore elsewhere regarding linguistic research efforts around the so-called Nostratic or Proto-Language question, some linguists are struggling with the possibility of linguistic ancestral roots for possibly ALL humankind, of all colors, so that the suspect idea of any „superiority” should be supported as an excitement for all of humanity maybe re-discovering its true origin and common spiritual heritage.
But even if we just return to the simple idea of a very ancient highly evolved Vedic culture, as many scientists such as archeologist Michael Cremo are discovering and support. Again: Why was this essential piece of possible human history and origins so completely „lost” to a searching world for millennia? After all, we had not lost all their ancient remains. (Cremo coined the term Human Devolution and used it as the title of one of his books to describe that hypothesis of our human race having de-volved from a high civilization, rather than evolved from cavemen.)
And why did someone as powerful as Anastasia, the recluse of the Siberian Taiga who many of our readers admire for what seem to be super-human powers and a deep, spiritual integrity, pause and then say out loud and with very conscious caution and deliberation, “I am Ved-Russ“, seemingly prepared to inherit a great cosmic rain of wrath upon such a claim? She explained to author Vladimir Megre that she was a member of an unbroken ancestral lineage hailing from the Vedic culture which used to extend from her native boreal forest lands to large parts of Europe. Cremo has inherited, maybe not cosmic, but “establishment” wrath and professional ridicule, along with many others who have even lost their University positions because of unusual discoveries and related publications they dared to disseminate. WHY must anything disappear that is not in keeping with the “prevailing paradigm” of the short-lived human fairy-tale constructed for and bottle-fed to us modern folk? What could be so dangerous about discovering a bit of missing – though admittedly quite fabulous and empowering – human history?
Some people claim that such discoveries as Arkaim do not happen by chance, that Time itself works upon them – as if a critical mass of expectation might bring them to consciousness. (Ed. note: Your editor could not miss the fact that the discovery of this site happened exactly 21 years ago, in the year when many other “earth-moving” events happened, all in keeping with what people with transpersonal leanings called the Harmonic Convergence. Even our completion day for this special Magazine – perchance – had fallen upon the anniversary date of that event, which was considered a turning-point in the evolution of the planet’s quality of consciousness).
Maybe there are other explanations yet for the strange events leading to the discovery and last-minute preservation of Arkaim – which was slated to be flooded to create a reservoir – only to be found in the eleventh hour by some schoolboys who received a can of condensed milk for their literally ground-breaking discovery. Actually, the ruins had been perfectly visible on aerial photographs taken prior to the year of the ancient city’s discovery. Experts had been confused, was the speculation offered, by the excellent preservation of the ancient monuments: everybody assumed that these kinds of accurate geometrical forms must have been of purely modern origin. Why was no-one asking about these strange-looking arrangements? In the Russia of the past, a „top-secret” country full of restrictions, it was not encouraged to ask possibly unwelcome questions, and yet, one might assume that the government itself may have wanted to explore these unusual, presumably „modern” arrangements.
The „miracle-rescue” of Arkaim, namely the fact that this precious site had practically been doomed, did not escape the attention of the mass media, who spoke about this aspect as the second miraculous fact about Arkaim, the first being its very existence. With Its location as a construction zone for a huge water reservoir, orders had already been signed on the highest governmental levels. At the time that archaeologists were called in, blueprints had been confirmed, large investments had been made and construction was already under way. The estimated time frame for job completion was only a few months, if not weeks away, and it seemed there was no power in the world capable of stopping such a heavy flywheel of a planned and very profitable economic investment and local necessity. The retaining dam had been erected and all that was left to do was to fill up a short crosspiece – and the spring floods would have left no trace of Arkaim.
This second miracle, however, was not heaven-made but created by Man. Many people still remember how scientists, journalists and intellectuals took a stand for the “Ural’s Troy” (a comparison which, it turned out later, actually flattered the ancient Troy, which is considered to be a millennium younger than this hoary site). The struggle for Arkaim’s rescue was part of a public crusade against the typical arbitrary treatment of the Soviet system of that time, namely a bureaucratic attitude with focus on utilitarian rather than cultural values. It did indeed help the cause that this system was nearly dead and that Ural’s branch of the Academy of Sciences (AS) threatened to resign from the Academy if Arkaim was not protected.
Below are excerpts from letters received by the editorial office of the newspaper “The Science of Ural” which, at that time, was used as headquarters for the rescue campaign: “For how much longer will bureaucrats decide what is needed for the people and what is not? The Ministry of Water Industry does not need Arkaim. But we do!” And: “If Arkaim is not rescued, the idea of socialism for me will fall once and for all.”
The idea of socialism did fall indeed, but Arkaim remained.
What do scientists say about Arkaim? The man who has the honour of being the pioneer in the discovery of this ancient site, archaeologist Gennady Borisovich Zdanovich, explains: “I see Arkaim as the brightest example of an integration of primitiveness, unity and wholeness which combines very different functions. It is at once a fortress, a temple, a craft centre, and an inhabited settlement”. And astro-archeologist K. K. Bystrushkin adds another important note: “In addition, Arkaim is also a celestial observatory of extreme accuracy, the most complex of those presently known to mankind. In this respect it is compared to Stonehenge, the well-known megalithic structure standing on the Salisbury plain in Southern England. As early as the middle of the eighteenth century, it was believed to represent the most ancient observatory in the world. This hypothesis was confirmed and received wide recognition two hundred years later. However, Arkaim appears to be an observatory of much more sophistication than Stonehenge. Another important fact is its age: archeologists estimate that the age of Arkaim is close to 3800 – 3600 years. K. K. Bystrushkin, according to his methodology, increases this age by one thousand years. What do we do with evidence and a heritage of such a highly evolved culture – with an age of ~ 4800 years?
Part 2. A Culture too Ancient for our History Books?After we learned about the fascinating story of Arkaim’s discovery in Part I of this amazing report, let’s go „inside” this culture now and find out what it might have been like to live as part of this highly developed settlement so many thousands of years ago.
Arkaim is located south of the river Uy, and mostly occupies the watersheds of the rivers Ural and Tobol. The “Land of Cities” as we describe the archeological and cultural expanse of the larger Arkaim, covers the territory of about 400 km (250 miles) length by 120-150 km (75 – 93 miles) width. More than twenty cities are part of the map of this “Land”, and the villages are even more in number. Each city acted as the center of a district, with multiple neighborhood villages, just as we know it from modern times.
As we look around, the cities are surprisingly similar to each other. As a rule, they are walled and ditched, features which actually act as rather complicated, fortified structures. In their lay-out they form either an oval, a circle or a rectangle, which is close to a square. There are six oval-shaped cities and as many circle-shaped ones, including the circular city of Arkaim itself. The angular cities are in the majority.
But whatever shape each city displays, all appear to have been built in accordance with a master blueprint. As a rule, there is a square in each center. One or two streets had been surfaced with wooden logs, in circles, with a storm-water sewer-system beneath, as well as household water drains. In the houses (or better, apartments, because they had shared walls, like a single-story house with ten and up to thirty apartments) there were wells, storage rooms, kitchens with stoves, a dining area and bedrooms. It is amazing to discover the many conveniences available to these early settlers.
The apartment-type dwellings seem to have been very large, up to ten bedrooms, with the total area of each apartment about 100-180 sq.m. (Ed: 1000-2000 sq.ft) Apparently, they were meant for a whole extended family – a Kin. The bedrooms were constructed for a certain number of families. Attached to each apartment was also a courtyard and workshop. The sophisticated inhabitants moulded tableware and knew how to weave and sew their clothes. They used the process of joining in their wood-work and built chariots (-the most ancient in the world). They apparently had amongst themselves many metalworkers and blacksmiths, bronze founders and moulders. Being townspeople, they had no cattle. But the city was the center of a rural area where several villages bred cattle and grew cereals. Even traces of irrigation were found.
Authorities now agree with the most popular opinion about these settlements, namely that the cities were spiritual centers for priests in which they could live and practice sacred rites: fellow tribesmen from across the country gathered here for sacred festivals. The square in the center of the city served as an open-air temple. Fortresses were garrisons for warriors of the tribe and the tribe took cover from the enemies under their protection. The cities were also industrial centers. Craftsmen lived under such protection for a reason: they were valued for their skills, especially the mastery of metal and the tools to work it.
During the excavations of Arkaim no jewellery was found, no masterpieces of ancient art, no unknown writings, nor other such treasures – only fragments of broken ceramic ware, bones of domestic and wild animals, an occasional stone tool and even more rare, bronze tools. But even those common things are not well presented at Arkaim. The collection of “artefacts” is so poor and unimpressive, that it is not possible to make a museum exhibit appropriate to the site. Therefore, from the point of view of archeologists, the main value of the ruins was, and probably will be, the design of the structures itself and their lay-out.
The structures were tall; they had solid walls, gallery ceilings, wood-paved roadways, second floors and high wooden towers. Nowadays, archeologists have a more complete picture of how the settlement in the Arkaim Valley looked at the time of its peak, and it is quite impressive. First of all it is important to emphasize the point that this large settlement was not a collection of separate structures, but an all-inclusive design and construction. The total area extends to about twenty thousand square meters (twenty-four thousand square yards), and the settlement ground-plan is comprised of two circles, one inside the other, made of massive defensive walls.
The external wall is about 160 meters (500 feet) in diameter. It was surrounded by a ditch 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide, filled with water. The external wall is very massive, 5.5 meters (16 feet) high and five meters wide. It was constructed of timbered cages filled with soil and added lime, and an outer facing of cob blocks. Four entries were designated in the wall: the largest-one southwesterly and three smaller ones located on opposite sides.
Inside the city entrance is the only ring-shaped street, about 5 meters (18 feet) wide, that separates dwellings adjoining the external wall from the internal ring-shaped wall. As mentioned above, the street had timbered flooring under which, along its full length, the 2 meter-wide (6 feet) ditch was dug which connected to the external ditch. Thus, the city had their storm water drain, the overflow of water filtered through the timbered roadway into the ditch which then went into the external ditch.
Further on, we see the ring of the internal wall with a puzzling purpose. It is even more massive than the external wall, being 3 meters wide (9 feet) by 7 meters high (22 feet). This wall, according to excavation data, has no entry, except for a small doorway in the southeast which isolates the twenty-five internal premises from all the rest. To approach the small entry in the internal ring, one had to go along the whole length of the ring-shaped street. This not only served defensive purposes, but also had a sacred meaning. To enter the city, one had to follow the Sun. Most likely, people who lived within the internal ring possessed something that was not meant to be seen even by those living in the external ring, let alone external observers.
The circles of the dwellings were divided into sectors by radial walls, spaced in between every two premises. In the plan they look similar to wheel spokes. There were thirty-five dwellings at the external wall and twenty-five dwellings at the internal one.
One end of every dwelling adjoined either the external or the internal wall, and faced either the main ring-shaped street or the central square. In an improvised hall there was a special water drain which went into the ditch under the main street. Yes, as we saw earlier, ancient Aryans had a water drain! Furthermore, each dwelling enjoyed a well, a furnace and a small dome-shaped storage place. From the well, above the water level, two earthen pipes branched off. One of them went to the furnace, another one to the dome-shaped storage place. What for? The most ingenious things are often simple. We all know that if one looks into a well one feels a flow of cool air. And so in the Aryan furnace, this cool air, passing through the earthen pipe, created a draught of such power, that they could mould bronze without use of bellows. It appears that each dwelling had such a furnace and ancient metal smiths only needed to perfect their skills to compete in this art. Another earthen pipe provided air to the storage place, of a lower temperature than the ambient air: some type of a refrigerator?
The central square that crowns Arkaim is approximately 25 by 27 meters (82 by 88 feet). Judging by the remnants of the fire places which were situated in specific locations, this was the square to fulfill certain sacraments.
The complicated and well planned internal lay-out of dwellings and ring-shaped streets made a sophisticated trap for uninvited visitors, in the divide between the external defensive wall and other fortifications as well as an efficient storm water drainage system. Even the colors of the „facing materials” used by ancient Arkaim inhabitants were functionally and aesthetically significant.
The obvious complexity of the social order of a people who built such a structural and artistic miracle several millennia ago is not all that an expert’s eye would notice in observing the contours of this ancient proto-city. The geometry of the construction conceals in itself some riddles: Why is it a circle? Was it linked to symbolism relevant to the spiritual philosophy of the ancients? If yes, then what do these symbols express and to whom? What kind of message are they meant to relay? Following are some suggestions made by the first researchers of Arkaim, G.B. Zdanovich and I.M. Batanina. They realized that its lay-out, the ground-plan of Arkaim, is related to the Mandala principle, a square inside a circle – one of the basic sacred symbols of Buddhist philosophy. The word Mandala is translated as “a circle”, “a disk”, “circular”. In the ancient Rig-Veda writings, where it has been first described, the word has a set of values: “a wheel”, “a ring”, “the country”, “space”, “society”, “gathering”.
The symbolic meaning of a Mandala is understood all over the world as a model of the Universe, even of the entire cosmos, where the two most important principles present in our Universe are represented in the form of a circle and a square. Arkaim, with its dwellings, having adjoining rooms, might possibly represent the „wheel of time”, where every aspect is defined by the previous one and in turn, defines the next one. Did these ancient sages, perfectly familiar with the structure of the Universe, see how harmoniously and naturally it is arranged and therefore, constructed their city as a mini-Universe? And the engineering genius of these ancient builders, which we already explored, is equally admirable.
And now, further into these explorations, come more far-reaching conclusions which can be taken as a key to the most important riddle of Arkaim: In the “Land of Cities”, its most amazing distinction is not any richness of artefacts, but its surprisingly high level of spiritual culture. It represents a special world that in many aspects is permeated with spirituality, from settlement and funeral architectural forms to sculptured images chiselled into stone.
Part 3. An Ancient Celestial Observatory of Ultimate AccuracyArkaim’s constructions are both complicated and sophisticated, but their true purpose and functions are not very obvious. And only when its accurate geometry is discovered in the lay-out is it possible to comprehend the builders’ messages. By way of various essential elements of geometry and the dimensions of Arkaim, researchers are directed to precise correspondences with certain parameters of Great Britain’s ancient Stonehenge.
In all archaeological publications about Arkaim the diameter of the ring-shaped wall of the citadel is listed as eighty-five meters. In fact, this figure is slighty rounded-off. If it is measured with the accuracy needed for astronomical purposes it turns out for the imperfectly shaped ring to be having radiuses of 40 and 43.2 meters. The radius of the “Obri holes” ring in Stonehenge is also 43.2 meters. Both ancient sites are located basically at the same latitude; both are in the middle of bowl-shaped valleys with hilly horizon views. And this is not all: The more accurately both sites are compared, the more details are found which are precisely concurring.
At Arkaim and associated ancient sites, the radiocarbon analysis was done not less than three times, using tens of probes. It turns out that in most cases Arkaim is of the same age as Stonehenge or even older.
The resemblance of these two ancient sites and their ages have much significance, particularly the implication that household articles of a civilized world migrated not from “cultural” Greece to “wild” Siberia, but very much the other way around. It also means that regarding the designs of both sites, one should search for one common denominator rather than dismiss the similarities, believing them to be mere coincidences.
There is of course, one complication: The stone monoliths of Stonehenge have passed through millennia practically damage-free, whereas the wooden elements of design of the Southern Ural proto-city are almost completely lost. They did not decay but were destroyed in a fire raging here almost five thousand years ago.
The fire that eliminated the “living” history of Arkaim is among the most intriguing riddles of this ancient structure. It would be less strange if it was one of those natural disasters that even today, quite often, suddenly destroy whole settlements, taking inhabitants off-guard and burying belongings, along with anyone who couldn’t escape. The singularity of Arkaim’s fire is that it was, apparently, not unexpected for inhabitants and it is quite possible that the inhabitants caused it themselves. Only this could explain the fact that in the ancient ashes there are no intact household items, only fragments and splinters and there are no human remains at all. They all left alive, and carried away everything valuable. Why? We can only guess now. Nevertheless there is an immutable fact; being built at once, as a one-time project, the proto-city Arkaim also ceased to exist overnight, was left by all inhabitants and, possibly, burnt down by them.
Comparisons of Arkaim with Stonehenge are not accidental. Careful research of Arkaim by archeologists and astronomers has determined that it is a celestial observatory of ultimate accuracy. Modern astronomers have been surprised by the fact that a project of such versatility, complexity and accuracy has been fulfilled, the more that no traces of earlier and simpler constructions were found. Notable in the collection of confirmed patterns is the use of the “Golden Section” rule in the internal circle, consisting of 27 walls and 12-sectioned zodiac partitionings. The internal circle has been devoted to the Sun, the external one to the Moon. The inclination of lunar orbit to the ecliptic plane (5º 09 ‘) is defined very precisely. In the erection of the ring-shaped internal wall they used a circle with a radius measuring 52.65 of Arkaim’s linear measures (one Arkaim linear measure equals 80.0 cm) that corresponds to 52º 39 ‘ – the latitude of Arkaim. The latitude of Arkaim, by the way, is close to the latitude of Altai barrow Arjan (52º 00 ‘) and Stonehenge (51º 17 ‘), and it is possible that this strip on the Earth’s surface, as well as the 30th parallel, had significant meaning for ancient astronomers and priests.
Measurements confirmed that the ancients of the Southern Ural were aware of the phenomenon of the precision of the Earth’s axis expressed in ratios of the internal circle. The period of this phenomenon is enormous – 25786 years, but Arkaim’s builders portrayed corresponding parameters perfectly and very precisely. Researchers specifically note that in order to create this sort of observatory they had to know that the Earth has the form of a sphere and together with other planets spins around the Sun… (On Arkaim’s ceramic ware, the sacred sign for the “sun wheel”, a swastika was found.) Another surprise is that the city itself, and mortuary facilities in its plan, represent the combination of a circle and a square.
On our planet, quite a few archeological finds confound modern science: the Egyptian and Mayan pyramids, the great figures of the Nasca desert, Stonehenge in England, Zorats-Kar in Armenia and, it seems, our Arkaim.
It is hard to explain how our ancestors managed to build these amazing constructions, or for what purpose, but it is impossible to ignore them. American researcher Jerald Hockings asserts that to erect Stonehenge required no less than one and a half million man-days, a vast, simply Immeasurable expenditure of power. For what? And then there is Arkaim – for what? The largest, and according to K.K. Bystrushkin, the most perfect celestial observatory, constructed by people we assumed were “primitive” and half-civilized, living almost five thousand years ago in the Southern Ural steppes?
Here we are talking about complicated sites such as Stonehenge and Arkaim and yet, we do not even understand the much more simple and humble Dolmen structures. But even they certainly have astronomically significant orientations and they are, in fact, the most ancient calendars of mankind, not to mention their other important functions.
Maybe we have yet to make an objective assessment of mankind’s distant past? With the chauvinistic attitude modern science brings to these discoveries, what if we have grossly misrepresented our ancestors’ level of „primitiveness”?
Suppose that our ancestors were no more primitive than we are and just lived differently, according to principles and values unknown to us? What if K.K. Bystrushkin is correct in asserting that Arkaim is more sophisticated than we are, and if we wish to understand it we would have to grow up in order to match its heights?
* * *Note: Please find below our recognition of and great gratitude to only a few of the scientists who have brought this information to public attention.
G.B.Zdanovich – Gennady Borisovich Zdanovich, Doctor of Historical Sciences, chairman of History and Ethnography of Chelyabinsk State University, director of Arkaim reserve, the person who discovered Arkaim.
K.K.Bystrushkin – Konstantin Konstantinovich Bystrushkin, Astro-archeologist.
Ludmila Koryakova – Ural State University; Institute of History and Archeology
RE: Copyright acknowledgments and references. The internet, as our new „mother” for instant corroboration of scientific and historical facts, stands by with her large lap to satisfy any curious reader in only minutes of googling with endless scientific proof for the „story” told above – as it did for us. We would like to remain a publication which stimulates thought, curiosity and individual research – a heuristic venue, as it were – not to satisfy those who need pages of references.
We are ever committed to do the opposite, namely to free ourselves as best we can from the cumbersome paralyses caused by undue scientific or quasi-scientific requirements. Therefore, we shamelessly admit that much of the information was paraphrased from news-clippings or „notice taken” during television reports and ideas collected in the author’s mind over the years, although we DID carefully confirm all that we shared above.
May those who have not received proper attribution forgive us in the spirit of the „fruits of their labor toddling into the world without their parent/s.” Please do tell us if we have overlooked you or hurt your feelings, and we will gladly add you to our „social-glitch list” of guilty transgressions in the next issue.