Building around 1,000 AD

The Globe



Zimbabwe-style architecture includes large, dry-laid stone walls made of rectangular granite "bricks." Zimbabwe-style walls are massive and broad, with bastions, stepped platforms, towers, and large monoliths (massive, upright, single stones) incorporated into their construction. Some wall sections are ornatelyt designed with granite bricks laid in chevron patterns. The two main structures at Great Zimbabwe - the "Hill Ruin" and the "Great Enclosure" - are the most imposing of the monuments built by these people. The Hill Ruin is the smaller of the two, yet its walls stand some 11 m (nearly 37 ft) high. The Hill Ruin actually consists of two separate enclosures connected by a narrow passageway walled in with granite bricks. Altogether, the long axis of the Hill Ruin is more than the length of a football field, about 100 m (328 ft) long and 45 m (148 ft) wide. The Great Enclosure is larger still, an elliptical wall some 244 m (nearly 800 ft) in circumference, 5 m (16 ft) thick, and 10 m (33 ft) tall, enclosing a space with a maximum diameter of nearly 90 m (almost 300 ft). This truly monumental construction project required nearly 1 million granite bricks for its completion. More than simply massive, the masonry of the Great Enclosure is the finest in ancient Africa outside of Egypt. The bricks fit together virtually seamlessly; the walls are imposing yet, in places, delicately graceful. (The Past in Perspective)

Southwest Asia




Indus Valley

Maya pyramid-temple at Tikal, Guatemala (left); temple complex at Madurai, India. (Gods of the Cataclysm)

AD 1150 is the date of the completion of Angkor Wat, with undisputed archaeological evidence that the entire complex of monuments at Angkor was built over slightly more than four centuries between AD 802 and AD 1220. (Heaven's Mirror)

...several extremely important and, we would have thought, glaringly obvious parts of the puzzle do still remain completely unsolved. These include: 1 an explanation for the amazing suddenness with which the sacred domain of Angkor was brought to life at the beginning of the ninth century AD; 2 an explanation for why it was developed so methodically and so industriously, at such vast expense, for approximately 420 years; 3 an explanation for why this staggering and unprecedented burst of temple- building, greater in magnitude and quality than anything in India, took place in a remote backwater of rural Cambodia; and 4 an explanation for why all new temple-building at Angkor suddenly ceased in the thirteenth century after the death of Jayavarman VII and never resumed - even though the site continued to be occupied until at least the sixteenth century. The notion that the rulers of Angkor were working to an imported master-plan that they were for some reason obliged to fulfil within a specific time-frame provides a complete explanation for all of these mysteries. The existence of a similar plan at Giza in 2500 BC would also explain the mystery of the sudden appearance there of the Great Pyramids of Egypt and of the associated smaller structures at Saqqara containing the Pyramid Texts. These massive cultural achievements of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Dynasties were without precedent (and without sequel. And just like the pyramids, temples, bas reliefs and inscriptions of Angkor, they were completed within a span of approximately 420 years (from 2575 to 2152 BC). (Heaven's Mirror)

We suspect that those who fully understood the Angkor monuments were not 'believers' but 'adepts', high initiates in a lost system of cosmic wisdom, who would have come to the Bayon in search of the final mysteries. As such, through diligent inquiry, they would of course have already been equipped to 'go down to any sky' - i.e. to make the precessional calculations that would allow them to visualize the positions of important stars in former epochs. In a general way, they would have long since realized that the layout of the Angkor monuments was intended to draw their attention to the sky-region around the celestial north pole - notably, as we have seen in previous chapters, to stars in the constellations of Cygnus, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, the Corona Borealis and Draco ... especially Draco. In order to have discovered so much they would have had to work their way back, again just as we have done, to the spring equinox in 10,500 BC (although, of course, they would have used a different dating system). And they would have realized that an observer looking north at the moment of sunrise would have seen a perfect meridian-to-meridian match between the patterns of the stars in the sky and the temples on the ground. In the process of mentally 'winding the stars back' until the correlation was achieved such adepts would inevitably have discovered what we can so easily confirm on our computer screens today: the slow, cyclical rotation of the celestial north pole around the 'heart' of the constellation of Draco, i.e. the ecliptic north pole. It is this 'heart', this abstract point in space that finds its terrestrial counterpart at Angkor in the great pyramid of the Bayon...(Heaven's Mirror)




Historians have identified more than 2,000 hill-forts in England, with a preponderance of 600 in the Western Counties of Wales. These forts consisted of flattened hilltops of about 20 to 30 acres; they were surrounded by perimeter earthworks and palisades. Entrances were often modified to include elaborate ramparts that gave defenders a significant advantage. Some forts had walled roadways, consisting of parallel earthen embankments. These extraordinary structures enabled shepherds to channel their flocks of sheep, goats, geese, or herds of oxen and horses... (The Lost History of Ancient America)

Scattered throughout the green hills of Ireland are sixty-five round towers, some over one hundred feet tall. They are built of stone, similar to many of the megalithic passage structures, and were a product of the early Christian monks (many of whom were themselves Irish mystics, with their Druid roots garbed in a more politically correct decor). No one knows the exact date of construction, but the best guess is somewhere between AD 600 and AD 950.  All the towers appear to have been built to the same basic design: between forty-five and fifty-flve feet in circumference at the base, the tower shaft consisting of two parallel circular block walls several feet apart, and the space between filled in with gravel. Most of the tower doorways are raised at least nine to ten feet above the ground.Also, the base of each tower was filled in with earth or aggregate, frequently right up to the door. Most towers have seven floors, with a single small window on each of the four middle levels. The top floor normally has four windows, each facing a cardinal point (North, South, East, West).

Callahan discusses research which indicates that the round towers may have been designed, constructed and utilized as huge resonant systems for collecting and storing meter-long wavelengths of magnetic and electromagnetic energy coming from the earth and skies. Based on fascinating studies of the forms of insect antenna and their capacity to resonate to micrometer-long electromagnetic waves, Professor Callahan suggests that the Irish round towers (and similarly shaped religious structures throughout the ancient world) were human-made antennas which collected subtle magnetic radiation from the sun and passed it on to monks meditating in the tower and plants growing around the tower's base. The unknown designers created uniquely shaped structures that seem to convey important subtle magnetic or electromagnetic energies that help plants grow and make people feel better; in many places they went even further and aligned them with the star patterns in the heavens. (Lost Star of Myth and Time

South America

Although they were master builders, most Inka lived in rural villages, not great metropolises. Typical Inka residential units were rectangular walled houses of stone or adobe, subdivided into smaller units. Most public constructions were in the form or palaces temples granaries, fortresses, barracks, and highway stations. The skill used in these constructions is amazing, considering the simple tools employed. The Inka cut stones into huge blocks simply by chipping and abrading them with harder stones, and they then fitted them together (without the use of mortar) so precisely that, as the cliché goes, a knife blade could not be inserted between them. (Patterns in Prehistory)

The capital city of Cuzco was an orderly arrangement of houses, monumental buildings, and streets, well-provided with a municipal water and drainage system. The great temple of Qori Kancha here had exterior walls measuring sixty-eight by fifty-nine meters and a semi-circular annex that rose to a height of more than thirty-four meters. A gold frieze about a meter wide ran along the exterior wall, and the entranceway was heavily sheathed in gold plate. Many other structures at the capital were lavishly decorated with gold and silver. (Patterns in Prehistory)

…there is a legend that has been told by the people living around Lake Titicaca since the time of the Spanish Conquest some 500 years ago. It has been passed down from generation to generation and claims that there is an ancient sunken city in Titicaca's depths. A recent discovery as reported by the BBC, "Archaeologists Probe Lake of Mystery," just may prove this to be an accurate historical record: La Paz, Bolivia, Aug. 24--A stone anchor and animal bones were among the artifacts scientists said they found beneath South America's Lake Titicaca in what is thought to be a giant 1,000-year-old temple. After 18 days of diving below the clear waters of Titicaca, scientists said Tuesday that they had discovered a 660-foot-long, 160-foot-wide temple, a terrace for crops, a pre-Incan road, and a 2,600-foot containing wall. (The Genesis Race)


Around the year 590 AD, at the site they call Ceren in present-day El Salvador, a volcano erupted that provided remains of a village so well preserved that it has been stamped with the inevitable sobriquet of Central American Pompeii. So far, 11 buildings have been uncovered: dwellings, an obsidian workshop, a food storehouse, a sauna for ritual sweat baths, a religious center and a community hall. The structures had adobe walls and roofs of thatch made from a type of grass that is now extinct, apparently killed off by alien grasses from the Old World. Found in the surviving thatch were the bones of mice that had infested the roofs. Ground-penetrating radar surveys have detected the sites of many more dwellings, leading to estimates that 200 to 300 people lived in the village. (101)

Maya pyramid-temple at Tikal, Guatemala (left); temple complex at Madurai, India. (Gods of the Cataclysm)

The Aztec description of the Toltecs represents them as the apotheosis of the technical, the skilled, the civilized: The Toltecs were a skillful people; all of their works were good, all were exact, all well made and admirable. Their houses were beautiful, with turquoise mosaics, the walls finished with plaster, clean and marvelous houses, which is to say, Toltec houses, beautifully made, beautiful in everything...(Gods of the Cataclysm)

North America

Great Serpent Mound, an Adena construction near Cincinnati, Ohio. (Patterns in Prehistory)

But we know comparatively little about daily life for the mass of the Hopewell or Adena peoples. The few houses excavated seem to be rectangular or ovoid constructions supported on posts and covered with bark or mats. (Patterns in Prehistory)

Stoltman has listed some characteristics that define Mississippian culture, including certain kinds of houses, built by digging wall trenches and then using clay and thatch to form rooms. (Patterns in Prehistory)

Artifacts and mounds of the Mississippian type,…by AD 1800 to AD 900 occurred over much of the Ohio and Missouri river valleys. Between AD 900 and AD 1600, large towns with impressive ceremonial centers were built from Florida to northern Illinois, and from Ohio to eastern Oklahoma, but the heartland of this culture was in the central Mississippi Valley.

The largest prehistoric settlement north of Mexico was Cahokia, in East St. Louis, Illinois. Beginning at about AD 600 the people of Cahokia began building mounds and other features, and by about AD 1250 there were over 100 mounds within the 13 square kilometers of the site. Monk's Mound, an earthen pyramid in the center of Cahokia, is over 30 meters high, 241 by 316 meters at the base, and covers an area of more than 6.5 hectares. Thirty to forty thousand people are estimated to have lived in the environs of Cahokia at about AD 1200 in several large towns, a few smaller towns, and more than forty villages; no doubt people living within a large surrounding area had some contact with Cahokia. (Patterns in Prehistory)

This reconstruction of Cahokia shows the palisade that enclosed the center of the site and some of the seventeen other major structures that existed at about AD 1200. The base of Monk's Mound, the largest pyramid, is larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt. (Patterns in Prehistory)

Outside the great ceremonial centers, Mississippian villages were dispersed settlements of a few score wattle-and-daub structures, supported by internal wooden beams, with floors of packed earth. (Patterns in Prehistory)

After about A.D. 400, the Anasazi began to use pottery and to build large pit houses, most of which were circular or rectangular, from 3 to 7.5 meters in diameter, and covered by log and mud roofs supported on center posts. Interior walls were plastered with mud or faced with stone, access was through a descending passageway, and fireplaces and benches were standard furnishings. At some sites, large ceremonial pit houses, or kivas, were built. After about AD 700, above-ground masonry houses were erected in some Anasazi communities, but the pit house and kiva combination continued to be the basic village type until the end of the thirteenth century AD. (Patterns in Prehistory)

Reconstruction of Pueblo Bonito, as it may have appeared at about AD 1050. (Patterns in Prehistory)

Southwest Hohokam piled adobe building

A 700-year-old Norse settlement has been positively identified in Canada,... an Atlantic coastal site high above the Arctic Circle. There, they unearthed stone remains closely resembling Viking house foundations more commonly found in Greenland. ...she noticed two pieces of unusual cord that had come to light during a Baffin Island dig some decades before. Neither strand was made of animal sinew native hunters typically twisted into cordage, but yarn as characteristically woven by Viking women in medieval Greenland. she and her colleagues retrieved more local wools that had been turned into yarns—a practice unknown to Canadian aboriginals—together with a whalebone shovel like those fashioned by Greenland Vikings for cutting sod used as roofing material, and pelts belonging to Old World rats, plus large stones cut and shaped by someone skilled in European masonry techniques; Baffin Island natives did not work with large or cut stone. Most decisive were whetstones used for sharpening tools according to medieval European traditional methods. When their worn grooves were examined by energy dispersive spectroscopy, the Geological Survey of Canada detected microscopic streaks of bronze, brass and smelted iron—all diagnostic of Viking Age metallurgy. Carbon-datable materials from the Tanfield Valley centered on a mid- to late-14th-century time frame, although additional valid periods as much as 400 years earlier were also obtained. (The Lost History of Ancient America)

When King Arthur’s colonists came ashore along the coast of Labrador or Nova Scotia, they immediately set about constructing hill-forts with standardized perimeter earthworks, palisades, and wattleand-daub dwellings. These were the sorts of dwelling places where they had lived in Medieval England; they naturally built similar hill-forts and farmsteads along North America’s Eastern Seaboard, as part of their traditional culture. Huge Ohio hill-forts—such as Fort Ancient, Spruce Hill, and Fort Hill—were very similar to structures used in Medieval England. Historians have identified more than 2,000 hill-forts in England, with a preponderance of 600 in the Western Counties of Wales. These forts consisted of flattened hilltops of about 20 to 30 acres; they were surrounded by perimeter earthworks and palisades. Entrances were often modified to include elaborate ramparts that gave defenders a significant advantage. Some forts had walled roadways, consisting of parallel earthen embankments. These extraordinary structures enabled shepherds to channel their flocks of sheep, goats, geese, or herds of oxen and horses, and are the kind of structures we would expect Arthurian settlers to build in North America. At Ohio’s Spruce Hill, for example, historian Arlington Mallery reported the presence of numerous iron-smelting furnaces. Tests by the Battelle Laboratory showed that iron and copper tools found at or near the hill-forts were made from melted or forged metals using Old World technology. (The Lost History of Ancient America) earthwork called “Monks Mound” at the sacred heart of the ancient Mississippian city of Cahokia   bears that name simply because a group of Trappist monks —immigrants from France—grew vegetables on its terraces for a few years either side of AD 1810, but it was built around AD 1050 by the Native American civilization archaeologists call the Mississippians. Though rectangular rather than square (910 feet from north to south and 720 feet from east to west), Monks Mound has a 14-acre footprint. Considered as a pyramid... It is... part of a giant complex with multiple different elements including more than 100 subsidiary earthen mounds, the archaeological traces of what was once a spectacular circle of huge wooden posts (known as Cahokia’s “Woodhenge”), a spacious central plaza, and an 18-meter-wide, 800-meter-long earthwork causeway running arrow-straight between raised embankments. (America Before)

Interestingly, and again despite the 5-degree offset from true north so firmly declared by Cahokia’s principal axis, the largest known building of the Mississippian civilization was erected on the apex of Monks Mound and in this case was precisely aligned to the cardinal directions. Its long axis, measuring ...was set perfectly east–west; its short axis...was set perfectly north–south. The circles, rectangles and squares of Cahokia, the solstitial and equinoctial alignments, and the perfect cardinality of the large structure that once stood atop Monks Mound are among the hallmarks of the same distinct pattern of geometry and astronomy that we find in the Amazon earthworks.  (America Before)

Because they were always in plain view, however, and because they often occupied land that was desirable for agricultural or industrial purposes, the vast majority of the immense prehistoric structures of the Mississippi Valley no longer exist. An estimated 90 percent are gone—either partially or completely demolished and cleared away in the obliteration of North America’s past that began with the European conquest.  (America Before)

It looks very much as if there was another hiatus, perhaps not of 1,000 years—let’s say 800 years—between the end of Poverty Point and the rebirth of the mound-builder movement late in the Adena period. Thereafter it grew again to full force in its Hopewell and later Mississippian manifestations until finally being brought to an end by the European conquest. Despite the fact that different cultures were involved at different periods, every resurgence of mound-building was linked to the reiteration and reimagination of the same geometrical and astronomical memes.  (America Before)

Regarding structures in Georgia, he says, “The three dates from the soil within the stone matrix immediately above the original ground surface (Layer 2) ranged from AD 3 to AD 1075 while the soil directly underneath the stones was dated to AD 1101, suggesting the mound was constructed during the Late Woodland to early Mississippian time period” (Spirits in Stone


...a most unusual and mysterious archaeological site with unknown origins and function does lie in the Pacific Ocean 54 degrees of longitude to the east of Angkor. The name of this site is Nan Madol and it consists of approximately 100 artificial islands, constructed out of basalt and coral, which lie in the blue waters of a lagoon off the south-eastern coast of the Micronesian island of Pohnpei. Although the setting is very different, Nan Madol has a number of features in common with Angkor. Scholars believe that the bulk of the temple-islands were completed between AD 800 and AD 1250, precisely the period of Angkor's florescence, but have also detected the traces of an earlier layer of construction - as is again the case at Angkor. The largest structure, Nan Douwas, is oriented to the cardinal directions, with its principal entrance facing west. Adopting the classic 'mandala' form, it consists of two concentric perimeter walls separated by a seawater moat and enclosing a central pyramidial mound. The walls reach 7.6 metres in height and are made from crystalline basalt megaliths, some of which weigh 50 tonnes and are more than 6 metres in length. (Heaven's Mirror)

...the people of Pohnpei remember a legend that the canals separating their temples were originally dredged by a 'dragon' which offered its assistance to Olosopa and Olosipa, the two mythical founders of the city. Said to have been brothers, Olosopa and Olosipa were 'Ani-Aramach', primordial god-kings, who arrived in boats 'from a land to the west' bringing with them a 'sacred ceremony', which they instituted in their new homeland with the help of wise magicians. The name of the submerged 'city of the gods' under the 'Reef of Heaven' is Khanimweiso and it is not a figment of myth. As part of an archaeological conservation project led by Dr Arthur Saxe of Ohio State University a thorough mapping-survey of large parts of Nan Madol has now been undertaken and has confirmed the existence of extensive undersea ruins, some of them lying at very great depths. The majority have so far been discovered to the east, and a little to the south of the massive breakwaters around Nan Douwas and have included what appear to be a series of tall pillars or columns, standing on flat pedestals on the sloping sides of the island and reaching heights of up to S metres. ...the temples of Nan Madol are linked to ancient local beliefs in life after death. According to these beliefs, which are astonishingly similar to those of the ancient Egyptians, the soul must make a perilous afterlife journey during which it will face many trials and tests. In Egypt this journey takes place in the Duat, a region of the sky...(Heaven's Mirror)