Wall China Sky Map
THE GREAT WALL
OF CHINA 2
Copyright © 2002
by Andis Kaulins
The Astronomy of
the Great Wall of China
Evidence for the
Great Wall of China being the Dragon of the Milky Way
of Chinese names differs from source to source and era to era,
which makes it very difficult to match up sources or stick to one
The Head of the
Dragon - The Azure Dragon
The East End of the Great Wall of China
at Shan-hai-kuan (Shanhaikuan), just north of Ch'in-huang-tao
on the Gulf of the
Liaotung (Liaodung Wan)
viz. the lower larger Gulf of Chihli or Po Hai (Bo Hai)
is known as "the
Head of the Dragon".
Our Graphic THE
DRAGON uses the Historical Planisphere Copyright Milton D. Heifetz
Learning Technologies, Somerville, MA, USA at www.starlab.com
According to Richard Hinckley Allen (in his Dover
book, Star Names,
ISBN 0-486-21079-0, LOC 63-21808), hereafter cited as "RHA",
the constellations of Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra and Virgo
apparently also Cygnus, Andromeda and Lacerta, the early
Chinese "Tang Shay") were known as the Azure Dragon (or "East
Dragon") in the ancient Chinese solar zodiac - and later were even
incorporated into Capricorn by the Chinese astrologers in the Sing Ki.
Hence, since the Eastern end of the Great Wall is known by the people
as the "head" of the dragon, then we have here a first possible
confirmation of the astronomical connection of the Great Wall to the
Milky Way of stars.
The Tomb at
The "size" and location of the heavenly dragon became clearer
through a discovery made in a tomb at Zhangye in April 2000 and
described as follows at www.chinese-art.com/newsletters
(618-907) Pictorial Brick Tomb in Zhangye, Gansu.
In April 2000, a tomb with pictures impressed on its brick walls was
discovered in Shandan County in Gansu. Oriented north-to-south, the
rectangular tomb consists of its doors, a forecourt, a passageway, a
front chamber, two side chambers, and a rear chamber, all lined with
bricks. The front and rear chambers are 3.3 meters high from foor to
ceiling and measure 3.6 and 3.7 meters long, respectively.
Rectangular floor bricks bear impressed patterns of lotus flowers. In
the upper walls, bricks simulate recessed arched wooden beams. Below,
all four walls bear four registers of rectangular bricks impressed
with continuous painting compositions. The top register contains
twelve figures, three on each wall. On the east and west walls, a
green dragon occupies the second register, with the Dark Warrior on
the north wall and a red bird on the south wall. The third and bottom
registers show a procession of mounted soldiers and foreign grooms
leading camels. Mineral green, blue, red, and black pigments dominate
the color scheme and lively composition, akin to popular folk art.
According to a stone epitaph carved in regular script, the deceased
was a Tang military figure surnamed Han who died the first year of
the Xianheng reign (670). His wife, surnamed Yang, died in the first
year of the Tianshou reign of the Wu Zetian Interregnum (690). This
tomb offers important evidence towards the study of early Tang
historical, economic, and cultural development in the Hexi area."
[From Shi Aimin and Wang Yanzhang, Zhongguo wenwu bao (26 July,
At Zhangye the Heavenly Dragon is both East AND West,
the Dark Warrior is North and the Red Bird is South.
If this eastward and westward stretching Dragon is the Milky Way,
then the heavenly location of the Red Bird and
Black Warrior - as made by David B. Kelley - can be confirmed.
As David B. Kelley had already previously discovered, the Red Bird
extended from Procyon and Cancer to Spica and Virgo.
RHA mentions a red bird only twice in his book Star Names and
a red bird at both the constellations Corvus and Virgo stating at p.
181 that "The Hebrews knew it as 'Orebh, or Orev, the Raven,: and the
Chinese, as a portion of their great stellar division the Red
and at p. 464 "The Turcomans knew the constellation [Virgo] as
Dufhiza Pakhiza, the Pure Virgin; and the Chinese, as She Sang
Nue...but Williams [translates] "the Qual's Tail, a part of the early
stellar figure otherwise known as the Red Bird...."
As David B. Kelley had previously discovered, the Dark
Warrior (also called the Black Tortoise) extended from Pisces and
Pegasus to Sagittarius.
As RHA notes (p. 337), "In earliest
Chinese astronomy, with Aquarius,
Capricornus, and a part of Sagittarius, [Pisces] was the northern of
the four quarters of the zodiac, the Dark Warrior, or the residence
of the Dark, or Northern, Emperor; but later, in their zodiac of
twelve figures, it was the Pig, Tseu Tsze; and, after the Jesuits,
Shwang Yu, the Two Fishes."
If these identifications of the Red Bird and Dark Warrior in the sky
as North and South were correct by David B. Kelley, then the East and
West Dragon could only be the Milky Way.
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