MOIR'S HILL - GATEWAY TO THE NORTH
After establishing that the most northern purpose placed trig structure, found by 2006, resided at Silverdale, it was time to locate the next marker northward. Some earlier calculations established that it should sit somewhere near the modern trig station at Moir's Hill, several miles north of Puhoi township. With encouragement and considerable assistance from Mike Pope of Stanmore Bay and his brother-in-law, Dave Smith, who is a resident of Moir's Hill, I went on two searches of the general location.
As it turns out, the ancient mound hump, which stands-out conspicuously on the ridgeline like an upward jutting pimple, is highly visible for miles from most outlying directions and was positively identified as being the ancient trig on the second trip. In the interim period between trips, some careful, refined work in TUMONZ, AutoCad and Google-Earth established the position where the marker mound should sit. Unsurprisingly, the ancient marker-mound has a water tank and transmitters sitting atop it, because of its lofty position.
Yet another of the ridgeline marker mounds has, thankfully, survived, with one relating to an overland alignment system stretching over eighty miles from Pukemore Hill in Huntly to this position just north of Puhoi. From this summit position many far-distant locations are easily discernible, including Manaia at Whangarei Heads, the Hauraki Gulf Islands, the Coromandel Peninsula, the entire Auckland Isthmus, terrain to the west stretching all the way to the coast of the Kaipara, Maunganui Bluff, Tutamoe Range, Tokatoka upthrust, as well as (conceivably), northern high country hills at Pungaru, the Mangataniwha & Waima Ranges, etc. East of this Moir's Hill location, near Mangawhai, there are several similar-design, purpose-built ridgeline marker mounds, the specific surveying functions of which are yet to be determined.
More views of the surviving ancient trig. In the photo to the left, a bulldozer has formed a roadway to the side of the mound. A similar fate befell a very important marker mound at Hood Road, Maunganui Bluff, but, again, the bulldozer only cut away the side of the ancient mound and the apex position was, thankfully, not affected. The inbuilt codes of position are, therefore, still intact for future generations to read. As expected, this highly visual mound-hump "pimple" on the skyline is easily seen from the concretion boulder markers at Silverdale, 11-miles southward.
Barry Taylor, engineer/Druid, enjoying the panoramic views and pleasant conditions, only 3-days before the Winter Solstice for the Southern Hemisphere. In the background is the Auckland Isthmus vista, through which this alignment of purpose placed, ancient surveying structures has been tracked for over 80-miles.
Views west to the Kaipara Harbour and coastline or to outlying features on that side of the Island.
Views East to the many islands of the Hauraki Gulf, with circuit vistas ranging from Manaia to Coromandel Peninsula on that coastline.
Spectacular views towards the mysterious lands of the north, with their many standing stone circles, obelisk marker systems or the remains of beehive house dome villages, walls, etc., in the Waipoua Forest and elsewhere. At Maunganui Bluff the tumbled stone markers of an ancient school of learning lie strewn across a wide expanse of landscape and several valleys. Thankfully, the stone positions are still situated true to their original placement, and need only to be correctly stood up again with care and precision. The codes of position remain intact and fully decipherable. The northern region of New Zealand is a favourite haunt to this researcher.
Future careful surveying and exploration of high hills and ranges to the north and south of Auckland Isthmus, will tell us if the ancient surveyors intended upon establishing one continuous baseline, bisecting the North Island of New Zealand from Northland to Southern Hawkes Bay.
Alternatively, did they intend to establish a more limited baseline across the Auckland Isthmus, running southward and resolving upon Puketutu Hill in Bombay, then recommencing anew as a slightly sideways-stepped baseline at a marginally different azimuth? The elongated top of Puketutu Hill displays a series of these highly visible "pimple-on-the-skyline, marker mounds and was a major resolving area for alignments coming in from various northern directions. An integral part of the Puketutu resolving complex was the nearby Mt. William conical mound, which seemed to cater to alignments running across the wide expanse of the Waikato Valley towards Pukemore Hill, or fanning out to the Southeast and Southwest. It also catered to alignments running from Mt. Albert and Stockade Hills northwest and northeast, with yet other interim, purpose built marker positions strategically situated on those secondary alignments.
The spectacle between Mt. William, towering above the Waikato Valley on the north end and Pukemore Hill, towering above the valley to the south, is visually impressive. Both high hills, situated almost 25-miles distant from each other, have been laboriously shaped to look line conical mounds on their top sections and are very conspicuous as purpose modified hills at their highest points.
An alignment running for 80.78-miles from Moir's Hill mound, north of the Auckland Isthmus, to Pukemore Hill south of it, crosses directly over or scoots only slightly to the side of all of the purpose built and positioned structures on the line. This south running azimuth angle would be 156.1666-degrees. Alternatively, if the alignment from Moir's Hill ran for 56-miles and resolved on Puketutu Hill's eastern most summit mound, an angle very close to 156.25-degrees could be achieved, with good relative accuracy for all components sitting on or very near to the line. Because the ancient surveyors were obliged to use sighting sticks (alidades) and other basic, non-optical, manual instruments to fix very distant overland positions, a small amount of off-line drift, in the placement of marker structures in blind spots, is to be expected. The surveyors could only work to accuracy's that were visually achievable.
To this researcher, the south running azimuth angle of 156.25-degrees would seem to have been the preferred target for use, as the value itself was anciently used in navigation and is, mnemonically, easy to remember. For example, the ancient British league was 3.125-miles (16500-feet) or 1.5625-miles X 2. The decimal values used here are, in reality, only very simple fractions. Here's a bit more of the ancient mathematical stuff to do with navigation:
There were several ways to read the base perimeter of the Great Pyramid as 1-minute of arc for the equatorial circumference of the Earth, but the two main systems later became the Greek method of navigation and the Germanic-Celtic method, for want of better or more historically accurate expressions. The Greek system was based upon combining the numbers "6&7" to create a mile of 5250-feet. Two circuits of the Great Pyramid (6048-feet @ 756-feet per side) represented 1-minute of Earth equatorial arc under that system. The Greek measurement system, like the British one, was derived from the Egyptian range of variable "number family" systems and this common methodology for "Weights, Measures, Volumes, Time or Angle" determinations, spilled over into many satellite nations.
Under yet another method, based upon an "11" family of numbers (later adopted as the most used standard by many ancient Continental European nations), two circuits of the Great Pyramid's base represented 6050-feet for 1-minute of equatorial arc @ 756.25-feet per side (an alternative, symbolic or pavement marked reading). Under this system, 1-degree of arc was 68.75-miles (of 5280-feet each), for a full Earth equatorial circumference of 24,750-miles. This means there were 22-Leagues per degree of arc or 7920*-Leagues for the full equatorial circumnavigation of the Earth.
*Note: the British "Link" was 7.92-inches* and the Earth, quite literally, has a diameter of 7920 British Standard Miles. In a sense, the value of 3.125 is just one more ancient rendition of PI (3.1416, but alternatively expressed as 22/7ths, etc.) In consideration of the values used to fashion the British League, Mile, Furlong, Chain. Rod-Perch, Fathom & Link, the value 156.25 (half of 312.5) becomes very important as a very factorable numerical expression.
*Note 2: The British Standard "Inch" is not British at all and is very, very old. This increment is at the basis for all of the early "Cubits" of the Eastern Mediterranean nations or other, earlier nations extending into Northern India, etc. These cousin nations were the forebears to the latter European nations and all of their measurements were founded on the selfsame "Inch", with the variable national "Cubits" being in direct and calculable ratio, one to another. Essentially, all of these ancient measurement standards were one and the same. There were different measuring rods or rules, pressed into service, to act as calculators for varying functions, whether that be navigation, the lunisolar calendar count or the equatorial size of the Earth (under three main circumnavigation systems). In reality, each of the cousin nations used the whole range of different "Cubits"shared by other cousins, depending on the kind of astronomical-navigational problem that had to be tackled and solved in any one instance.
There is much to suggest that once multiple surveying markers were established from Pukemore Hill and the Puketutu-Mt. William complex southward, all the way to Moir's Hill in the north, that the Auckland Isthmus Alignment was essentially complete. With the multiples of northern mountains and high-range targets fully in view from Moirs Hill, including some that are known to be component parts of the Northern Alignment sequence, it's possible this segment of the alignment ended. That said, however, one might expect to see more evidence that Moir's Hill was a final resolving area for incoming surveying lines from many directions. There are no such peripheral markers in evidence (cairns or standing stones) spread around the mound. Such alignment resolving sites, once encountered, are quite unforgettable and, as in places like the summit of Maunganui Bluff, there are rings of cairn or standing stone markers identifying the direction an alignment is coming-in from. With this in mind, it would be well worth investigating if yet another marker mound or stone arrangement was built at an azimuth angle very close to 336.25-degrees some distance NNW of Moir's Hill. mound.
Even during stormy weather, two days after the Winter Solstice 07, the pimple hump at Moir's Hill is still visible to anyone with acute eyesight, 11-miles distant from the concretion boulder marker complex at Silverdale.
One of the last surviving giant boulders from the ancient surveying marker at Silverdale, sitting in full view of the "pimple-mound" on the skyline ridge of Moir's Hill. From an adjacent position nearby, where the large cluster of concretions were located together on the top of the Silverdale Hill in 1971, the azimuth angle North to the Moir's Hill mound was 336.25-degrees.
Throughout Northland , New Zealand, the ancient surveyors often used the large round concretion boulders as solar observatory station markers or as component marker stones in overland alignments. These two sit in different locations of the Dargaville district and the one on the left is now used as a gateway ornament and is probably no longer "in situ" where the ancient surveyors placed it. Alternatively, the one seen in the picture to the right seems to be "in situ" and a part of a general observatory complex, the component parts of which still survive, including a hilltop marker mound like the one at Moir's Hill.
These two pictures are of concretion boulder markers at widely different locations of Northland. The picture on the left shows one of a double marker set, which anciently might have orientated onto a triple peak mountain to the West. They were exposed, it seems, during roadworks through reasonably elevated country near the very end of the Hokianga Harbour. The boulder in the picture to the right is part of, what was, a triple set, two components of which have been moved, with the third still sitting "in situ". The one still in its original place acts as a solar sunset observatory as the sun alights onto a mountain to the West.
The ball seen to the left was a part of the triple set and is one of the two that have been moved. It now sits at the side of the highway on the approach to the Mangamuka Range and attracts the graffiti of passers-by. It is heavily incised, however, with ancient "chevron" or other more nondescript geometric markings. To the right is seen one of the many balls that once made up the Silverdale overland alignment marker. This ball, along with another three from the Silverdale site now sits at the gateway into the Auckland Domain. It is heavily incised with ancient geometric markings and crossing lines and was possibly once a map ball for the passing wayfarer traveling through the Silverdale district. Some of the lines depicted are reminiscent of the crossing geometry seen at Nazca in Southern Peru.
There is a very similar modus operandi, in the use of giant round stone balls as markers, between Costa Rica in Central America and New Zealand, at the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean. The picture at the left shows archaeologists involved in mapping the locations of over 100 large and smaller stone balls, found in and around the the Diquis Valley or Delta in the 1940's. Considerable plotting work and analysis was undertaken by Doris Stone and Samuel Lothrop during the 40's to the 60's, with more recent exhaustive work being undertaken by archaeologist, Ifigenia Quintanilla for her thesis. The picture to the right shows yet another of the laboriously carved stone balls of Costa Rica.
The purpose of the ancient, carved Stone Balls of Costa Rica remains a mystery, but many are known to have been set out in alignments and offset geometric pattern configurations. A clue to their former function, as mound and ball sites in scattered batches across the landscape of the Diguis Delta of Costa Rica, might be provided by the way in which some of the ball sites of New Zealand are found to work.
There are certainly many cultural and symbolism similarities between the two regions, including heavy usage of the double spiral, chevron and lozenge patterns in artistic expression. The comparisons include the fabrication of quite similar jade (greenstone) "Tiki-like" or elongated neck pendants, very similar adze designs, as well as latter-era head (decapitation & preservation) practices and phallus symbol cults, as found prevalent amongst the Maoris when the first European explorers arrived in New Zealand, etc.
One of the dynamic evidences of ancient cultural migration and practices from South America to New Zealand is found in the use of quipus (string knot devices). The one shown above is from ancient Peru and is an example of the many hundreds found perfectly preserved, having been interred with great care in a "mummy bundle" during an ancient funeral. The name "quipu" is the Spanish rendition of the word "khipu", which was the regional word used by the Incas to describe the string knot devices. The ancient pre-Maori people of New Zealand used the same devices and the traditional Maori word for them is "kupu". Each string contains numbers in the placement and type of knots used. The devices would have been invaluable for preserving the "special scientific numbers that described the duration of cycles or principles of navigation, including the recording of SINE values for trigonometry in overland mapping calculations. (Photo courtesy of Anthropologist, Gary Urton of Harvard University).
Whereas the stone balls of Costa Rica were mostly carved from a hard, granite like stone, the round balls of New Zealand formed naturally in sea-sediments as concretions. There is some evidence to suggest that a few round concretion boulders were also pressed into service within the Diquis Delta marker complex of Costa Rica, as one article mentions them being used near the coast. The many New Zealand balls used as markers were anciently and laboriously moved, by determined human intervention, to high hills or volcanic clay terrain locations where they could not have formed naturally. Still others are highly incised, with ancient geometric markings or crossing lines carved into their surfaces.
1. Archaeologist Ifigenia Quintanilla views one of the Costa Rican stone balls still sitting "in situ". 2. The Park of Spheres in Costa Rica. 3. New Zealand's "ball park" at the Auckland Domain, the regional equivalent to Costa Rica's, some 8,000-miles removed at the other extremity of the Pacific Ocean. Many of our anciently used food plants of New Zealand came by way of South and Central America.
THE ALIGNMENT SO FAR
The 80.78-mile ancient surveying alignment crossing through the Auckland Isthmus, with interim purpose built mounds or stone markers, as well as shaped and laboriously modified hilltops. More centrally located within the isthmus are a series of crossing alignments marked by purpose built structures. The alignment between Stockade Hill and Mount Wellington was fully based upon the Equinox sunsets and sunrises, using a cut trench in the rim of Mount Wellington as the target alighting point from Stockade Hill. The alignment from Red Hill to the Bombay Obelisk stones provided a perfect "Southing" from the Red Hill observatory hubstone. Once a fix was set at 180-degrees azimuth from the Red Hill circle to Bombay outer marker (seven miles distant), then the azimuth angles to all other targets through 360-degrees could be read with precision. Alignments from Mount Albert's summit stone or Stockade Hill's crown position, resolve perfectly onto Mount William's apex trig after crossing the Bombay hilltop mound from Mount Albert or the surviving sighting pits atop Pukekiwiriki Hill, at Papakura, from Stockade Hill.
As theorised, the isthmus bisecting, ancient surveying alignment or baseline might not have been set up to be continuous through the entire North Island of New Zealand and might have proceeded in other stages beyond Puketutu Hill southward. Perhaps a "step-sideways" onto Mount William commenced the alignment southward, as it traversed the wide Waikato Valley to Pukemore Hill and beyond.
In an old Maori oral tradition or story is an account of a prominent Waikato chief encountering the pre-Maori, Patu-paiarehe people on Pukemore Hill, Huntly. These earlier Caucasoid inhabitants of New Zealand had lived in the country for thousands of years before the coming of the Melanesian-Polynesian Maori. The ancient residents built into the New Zealand landscape all of the selfsame kinds of surveying and astronomical-based structures that they had built in their Mediterranean and Continental European or British Isles homelands. Most symbolism and other design features of what is now called "Maori culture", including greenstone artefacts, etc., etc., were taken from the earlier people and are, in fact, ancient European. A close comparison of all aspects of "Maori culture" confirms its origins in the European theatre and the Mediterranean Basin, with some migratory waves coming via North, Middle or South America and bringing with them many influences from that continent, while en route to New Zealand.
Cultural proof of homeland origins for ancient New Zealanders is as easy to find and verify as, simply, finding their surveying or astronomical structures and methods, station by station, across the landscape, then doing comparative analysis against models from the ancient European theatre.
This picture was taken in the Summer when estimating that the Winter Solstice sunrise should occur on the southern approaches to Moehau Mountain Range from this Bastion Point solar observatory position. The spot would be very close to where, closer in, Waiheke Island conjuncts with, further out, Coromandel. The ancient observers, who were very familiar with the regional landscape, had excellent outer-target geological features to use as the Solstice fix point and could determine the day of the Winter Solstice, from this stone position at Bastion Point, with excellent accuracy. The Equinox position should be on a line towards Castle Rock on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Although clouds hovering just over Moehau obscured the view, we can say with reasonable confidence that the southern reaches of the Moehau Range represented the outer marker position for the Winter Solstice from this ancient Patu-paiarehe observatory at Bastion Point. The goblet of wine, accompanied by gingerbread, was supplied gratis of Wiccans, Russell & Shona and RA was accorded an appropriate toast as He rose at the Winter Solstice. Three ancient Patu-paiarehe trig marker stones still stand upright, side-by-side, atop the highest point of the range at Moehau Mountain.
Left: Paula, Russell and Shona at Bastion Point for the Winter Solstice 07. Right: Shona, holding a can of witches brew, at the ancient, ornately etched pictograph rocks of Raglan, New Zealand, during a tour of many pre-Maori sites.
Martin Doutré, June 07.