At the top center of the mosaic is a sundial. It plays a key role in locating the height of the sun and thus the latitude of the physical locations in the Roman Empire. When the mosaic was buried in 79 AD the Empire was expanding its size, and this first post using this method of alignments will show the latitude of the south-east corner of the empire at the temple of Kom Ombo on the Nile River, where the Romans had a military base.
There are many ways lines can be drawn on a picture, but the lines drawn on this picture will be accurate to nearly one-tenth of a degree. There are 360 degrees in a circle and ten parts of accuracy within a degree, and that makes the accuracy to one part in 3600, divided by two because the lines run in both directions. A line hitting two special points across the picture at a given angle would be rare and hitting three points would be very rare. Therefore, precise alignments of many special points must have been created intentionally by the artist.
Kom Ombo, latitude 24.5º, is the site of an Egyptian-style temple built by the Ptolemaic Greeks. The Kom Ombo lines are drawn at a 24.5° angle from the horizontal both from the left and the right sides. Observe that the sage’s eye directly under the sundial has a vertical line from the sundial, a horizontal line for the two tree branches intersecting the columns to our left and a diagonal line from the exact center of the mosaic. Note the red line at the same angle from between the gargoyle’s eyes thru a sage’s eye and on to the central sage’s eye. Thus we have three white lines and a red line converging onto a single point.
Descending down the sundial line to the globe we can see a convergence of two red lines with two white lines. All the lines on this chart and the future charts will have similar exact multiple alignments. There are multitudes of these alignments and they must have been placed with great care.
The tenth of a degree alignment that is displayed here equals an accuracy of about six miles (10 kilometers) on the face of the Earth. The original measurements if done carefully even with primitive instruments might have been accurate to a mile.
In the years between the latest date for this map at 54 AD and the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD the Roman Empire had expanded beyond York UK (Eboracum), which was founded in 71 AD. As I will illustrate in a later post the Seven Sages Mosaic must have been made in the eight years between 71 AD and 79 AD.
The Seven Sages of Greece mosaic lines may seem strange but they are accurately drawn.