195,955,200,000,000: What is this number doing on a Cuneiform Tablet?

1280px-Library_of_Ashurbanipal_The_Flood_Tablet.jpg Picture of clay tablet from Library of Ashurbanipal from:      Fæ [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


The Nineveh Constant

I’ve been reading The Secret Teachers of the Western World (Lachman, 2015) and I came across the “Nineveh Number,” a number found on one of the clay tablets excavated from King Ashurbanipal’s Library in Nineveh. The library is dated to the 7th century BC or later, but the tablets maybe older, or at least copies of older works.

The impossibly high Nineveh number (almost 200 trillion) has intrigued scholars for decades. But Maurice Chatelain may have discovered an answer. He claims it is nothing less than the astronomical constant of the universe.


This is how it works:

The orbit, in seconds, of every body circling our sun can be evenly divided into the Nineveh number. Chatelain (1988) puts it this way:

“Every period of revolution or conjunction of all the solar system bodies calculated by the Constant of Nineveh corresponded exactly down to several decimal points with the values given in the modern tables of United States astronomers… I have not been able to find even a single period of revolution or conjunction of a solar system planet or satellite that would not be an exact fraction down to the fourth decimal point of the Great Constant of the Solar System”

So if you want the exact length of time (in seconds) it takes Halley’s comet to make one orbit, you divide 195,955,200,000,000 by 81000 and get 2419200000 seconds or 40320000 minutes or 672000 hours or 28000days.

In addition, he found that the Nineveh number represents 240 cycles of the “Big Year.” A “Big Year” is the approximately 26,000 year cycle also known as the Precession of the Equinoxes.

Chatelain apparently used the orbits of planets around our sun, but at least one other body may also follow this astronomical constant, Pulsar B1257+12. David Wilcox reports that John Gribbin found three planets orbiting this pulsar that match our own three inner planets in size and spacing.


Why 195,955,200,000,000?

The Nineveh constant is actually (70) times (60 to the 7th power) or 70 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60 X60. The number 60 is fascinating as it was the base number of the Assyrian mathematical system. (We use a base 10 system.)

We get our 60 second minute and our 60 minute hour from the Assyrians (who got it from the Babylonians who got it from the Sumerians). That was why Chatelain looked at the number 60. It was important both astrologically and numerically to all three of these cultures.


Nineveh Number and the Mayans:

The Assyrians and cultures spanning generations before them were not the only ones to use impossibly large numbers.

According to Michael Hayes, the Mayans, famous now for their “long-count” calendar, also used huge numbers. Found on the steles at Quiriga, in Guatemala one such calculation was just under 93 million years and one equaled 403 million years. The first is 15 times larger than the Nineveh constant and the second is 65 times larger, so they would represent 15 and 65 Nineveh cycles of 195,955,200,000,000 seconds.


When was the constant first calculated?

Chatelain set out to compute just how long ago the Nineveh constant was first calculated. He had no luck until he realized the earth’s orbit is slowing down, even if very slowly. When he took that into consideration he came up with a date 64,800 years ago.


Who calculated the constant?

Unfortunately the work of Chatlain has been discredited as he is an outspoken proponent of the Ancient Astronaut theory. He believes ancient aliens visited this planet and gave this knowledge to humanity.

I am not so sure.

Lachman (2015) has a very different theory. In his fascinating book he discusses the properties of the right and left brain, stating that over the last 3000 years the left brain has dominated and we have forgotten how to use our right brains. But it is the right brain that is able to calculate such impossibly high numbers, not by systematic trail and error, but by intuiting the big picture. He cites Idiot Savants who also have this ability, who can take a number 16 digits long and tell you whether it is prime (cannot be divided by any number but itself and 1) or square root of that number with out pencil or paper—or computer. Lachman contends this is a right brain function—one we have lost over the last millennia.


More Nineveh Constant calculations:

If you want to be truly boggled, check out the Forbidden Archeology website. They have an article on the Constant of Nineveh. Here it is related to Plato, Atlantis, earth’s dimensions, the Eye of Horus, Pi, cubits and other measurements, as well as the Maya.



Lachman, Gary (2015). The Secret Teachers of the Western World. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.

Chatelain, Maurice (1988). Our Cosmic Ancestors. Sedona: Temple Golden Publications.