Ancient US Southwestern Architects Knew Advanced Geometry Skills

Posted: Jan 25 2017, 7:13am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Ancient US Southwestern Architects Knew Advanced Geometry Skills
This is a satellite photo of Pueblo Bonito archaeological site with illustrations demonstrating its geometrical properties. Credit: Dr. Sherry Towers
  • ASU scientist finds advanced geometry no secret to prehistoric architects in US Southwest

Researchers from ASU have discovered that a high degree of geometrical skills were possessed by ancient American architects.

If you were to build a building from scratch and had to apply some rules of geometry, you would obviously need paper and pencil not mention a scientific calculator to do the maths and designing. Yet such luxuries were unavailable to prehistoric people who lived in the Southwestern region in America.

The latest evidence from ASU has proven beyond a shadow of doubt that the Pueblo Indians in prehistoric times had no texts to refer to and even lacked a numerical system. Yet these rather primitive people managed to construct complex buildings based on the most intricate geometry.

A scientist while studying the Sun Temple in Colorado found this much to his surprise. The Sun Temple was built in 1200 A.D. This place was the focus of the Pueblo people as far as viewing the summer solstice was concerned.

The scientist took an interest in the site as far as it served as a remarkable vantage point to observe the stars. Yet as he got to know the building in more detail, he found out that there was more to it than met the eye.

The various patterns that emerged from the study showed that it was not a primitive or simple structure. Rather, the same measurements repeated themselves in the manner of the golden ratio in these architectural achievements.

The geometry involved in the construction from the basic plans was mind-blowingly modern in its nature. A high school student studying architecture and geometry today would have to struggle with some of the stuff that went on in the minds of these ancient people.

This may seem fairly hard to believe yet it is true. Such difficult-to-grasp concepts as triangles, squares, the golden rectangle and other things as perspective not to mention keeping things in beautiful and balanced proportion were the norm way back then.

The fact which remains hard to digest is how these people who lacked a written code or mathematical system managed to build such magnificent buildings. The prodigies who constructed these dwellings were way ahead of their times.

Someone given the same conditions of scarcity today, as these Pueblo people suffered from in those prehistoric times, would not be able to hold a up candle to them. They very clearly possessed some kind of secret knowledge about which we moderns are ignorant.

The study "Advanced geometrical constructs in a Pueblo ceremonial site, c. 1200 CE" will appear in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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