Ancient human inventions aren’t always easy to explain—especially the larger ancient structures that can be found dotted all over the globe. Intervention from an extraterrestrial race of intelligent beings is a far-fetched explanation for the existence of these structures, but makes for great entertainment. ETI, UFOs, etc…if you can identify what these acronyms mean then you’ve likely come across the television program Ancient Aliens. It’s a docu-series that features self-proclaimed experts on out-of-this-world intervention in human history. What many of these “ancient alien theorists” proclaim is that many great human inventions had a guiding hand in their construction. Well, humanity definitely deserves far more credit for taking ancient engineering and pioneering its inventiveness into the future. One aspect of this ancient inventiveness is, of course, timekeeping. Today we’re going to have a quick look at two big topics from Ancient Aliens and dissect what they mean to the world of horology. As well, we’ll be giving a quick nod to Giorgio Tsoukalos’ relationship watches (yes, the guy from the memes).
Egyptian Obelisks and Stonehenge
Two big topics from the show Ancient Aliens have to do with Egypt and Stonehenge. The prior is the hypothesis that ancient Egyptian obelisks were used as markers for international flight by intergalactic aliens. The latter is far more mysterious and purportedly derived its structure from aliens teaching humanity how to make calendars (essentially). Well, to start, Egyptian obelisks actually have a far more time-oriented utility. In order to calculate the passage of time, these structures were erected to help split the day into two halves. What we now currently know as 12pm and 12am were determined via these massive stone monoliths. By demonstrating when the sun had reached high noon, authority figures in Egyptian society could mark the change of days into seasons. This was particularly important considering how much their society depended on repeated flooding of the nile. Splitting the day into halves was eventually studied by the Greeks and Romans and made its way into more modern watch and clock making.
Stonehenge is not as straightforward as Egyptian obelisks. However, we do know that an ancient group called the Druids erected the structure to determine our place among the stars. Where Ancient Aliens gets things right on this one is that Stonehenge was designed to be a calendar (centuries of study on the subject can attest). Not only does Stonehenge work as a solar calendar, it also works as a lunar calendar. Many agree that its influence on early civilization helped shape the modern Gregorian calendar we all use today. This day/night cycle over long periods of time is still a huge part of watchmaking—with perpetual calendars relying on old-world calculations of celestial cycles to update the day/date accurately. Whether or not Stonehenge had an otherworldly hand in its construction is still up in the air, but its existence is a testament to humanity’s ability to discern time through invention.
Giorgio Tsoukolos: I Want to Believe
Of all of the ancient alien theorists, Giorgio Tsoukolos is the most famous. Known online for his big hair and emphasizing “aliens” with his hands—Tsoukolos is the essence of the show. This made us curious about whether or not he dons any particular type of watch (considering where our curiosities lie). It took some time to find any image depicting this star-theorist in any type of wrist attire (though he does have some pretty far-out fashion outside of Ancient Aliens). Recently on his Twitter account he’s pictured with David Duchovney (aka Moulder from the X-Files) wearing a large-cased sports-style watch with a wide leather strap. Perhaps Tsoukolos would have an ancient aliens explanation for how his wristwatch came-to-be after all these centuries—if interviewed about it (we’ll have to reach to his people). Tsoukolos’ public appearances have sci-fi fans and History Channel fans alike buying plenty of merch and asking him big questions about the past. The discourse of timetelling is but one aspect of his ideas on ancient civilization.
A Final Note
Nowadays folks seem to have trouble trusting the information they hear in all forms of media. It makes ideas from shows like Ancient Aliens all-the-more interesting, fascinating, and perhaps compelling. Maybe there are some grains of truth to be harvested from this television program—or more so among the stars. Until more ambiguity fades regarding the subject, it might be worth asking a local archaeologist about old-world horological habits and culture. Any someday-ancient watches can be forwarded to us in the meantime.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.