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The torquetum is an ingenious instrument which can be used to calculate ecliptic coordinates without the need of calculations based on any other coordinates.

This instrument, which was called a tanawa in pre-Biblical times and was given the name of torquetum in 1492, could measure lunar distance as well as that of other celestial bodies, and with the aid of astronomical tables, roughly calculate position in terms of longitude.

Here we can see an illustration of a tanawa or torquetum found in the ‘Caves of the Navigators', located in the Bay of McCluer, near Sosora, Irian Jaya, West New Guinea (Courtesy of Barry Fell in America BC, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1976, p. 118). The photograph of the modern torquetum belongs to Richard A. Paselk, website

Some inscriptions were also discovered in these same caves and deciphered by Barry Fell in 1970. They tell us how, in 232 BC, an Egyptian fleet, composing of six ships under the command of Rata and Mawi, a friend of Eratosthenes, set sail from the Red Sea and reaching the western coasts of America. Information offered by Rick Sanders (Ancient navigators could have measured the longitude) in October 2001, published in 21st. Century Science & Technology Magazine. You can find further information on web

Further related data can also be found on this same website: Inscripciones egipcias en América, based on the work of Paul Gallez (Predescubrimientos de América, Bahía Blanca, Argentina, 2001, p 52-59). The fact is that inscriptions related to those of West New Guinea were discovered in Tiguiririca (Chile), 34º 45´ S, in 1885 by Karl Stolp, and deciphered by Barry Fell in 1974.