The Great Reed
© Alan Watts 2009
Measure the distance between Warren Hill and Silbury Hill navels in kilometres and it is not apparently significant - until you divide it by π. It then becomes the round number of 25. Therefore pi kilometres could be an, as yet, un-noticed ancient measure of length just under two miles long.
The unit has been lying dormant in the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel where the dimensions to be accorded to the Holy Oblation are given.
Ezekiel Ch 40 v. 1 In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month – in the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me. And brought me thither. v.3 And he brought me thither, and behold there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of brass. With a line of flax in his hand , and a measuring reed, and he stood in the gate.
v.5 And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth; so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed.
The next verses describe in great detail the measurement of many buildings in reeds and cubits. It is obvious that Ezekiel is having the immense importance of this reed that is six cubits and an hand breadth impressed upon him and that his mentors require him to communicate its length to the House of Israel.
The cubit and an hand breadth is the Royal Egyptian cubit of 1.72 feet (0.52 m) and six of them make 10.32 feet which converts to 3.14 metres i.e. it is π metres. So the reed (rd) is pi metres in length.
However Ezekiel’s mentors wish him to communicate a much greater length to the house of Israel .
Ch45 v1 Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the Lord, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand . This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about.
Ezekiel is told that this great area is to contain the sanctuary and the most holy place and that it shall be for the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary and that these priests will be required to minister unto the Lord. The whole House of Israel is to occupy a strip lying alongside the Holy Oblation that will be the full 25,000 reeds long but only 5,000 wide. If we dub 1000 reeds a Great reed (Grd) then the long side of the Holy Oblation was to be 25 Grd.
Therefore we see that the distance between Warren Hill and Silbury Hill is the same 25 Grd as was allocated for the longest dimension of the Holy Oblation. Also the interval of latitude between these two navels is 42 minutes.
The Grd is Earth commensurate for at the 45N parallel and, taking the equatorial circumference to be 40,000 km, we find that a degree of longitude is 25π km or 25 Great reeds.
(A degree of latitude is 40,000/360 km = 111.11 km and so a minute = 1.852 km = 1 nautical mile. At 45° N ( or S) a degree of longitude = 1.852 cos45 x 60 = 78.574 km = 25.011π km i.e. 25 Grd ).
According to research undertaken by Professor Livio Catullo Stecchini – one-time Professor of the History of Science at MIT – and published as an appendix to Peter Tompkins’ Secrets of the Great Pyramid (Allen Lane 1971) – Lower Egypt consisted of two geodetic squares of 84 minutes. This means that in the north-south direction these squares were 84’ of latitude deep i.e. twice the latitude interval between Warren Hill and Silbury Hill. In other words they were 50 Grd deep. Stecchini also shows that the Egyptian estimates of the length of a degree between equator and pole matched, length for length, the modern estimates of these distances.
Thus the distance between Warren Hill and Silbury Hill is the same as the long side of the Holy Oblation and a module of the geodetic Plan of ancient Lower Egypt as well as a degree of longitude at half way up the hemisphere.