SUMMARY, PRESS RELEASE and RESPONSES regarding Ove von Spaeth's
treatise on dating Senmut's star map, which was published in
"Centaurus" 42;3, July-August 2000. The paper
in question was later
re-edited, for non-astronomers, to be used in the appendix in volume 2
of Ove von Spaeth's book-series on the historical Moses (cf.
web-page concerning Vol. 2
and Debate on Vol. 2 ).
SUMMARY / PRESS RELEASE CONCERNING THE TREATISE
New discovery in an ancient Egyptian star-map
Updating Ancient Astronomy
The astronomical knowledge of the ancient Egyptians turns out to be
surprisingly broader than previously imagined. According to the
new-orientating, larger analysis: the world's oldest star-map seems to
contain information of an actual celestial event of its time. This discovery
uncovers the earliest exact scientific description of an otherwise rare, but
not unknown, celestial phenomenon.
This 3,500-year old
star-map adorning one of the ceilings in the tomb of the great Senmut
(Senenmut) near Luxor (Thebes) apparently demonstrates a previously unknown
aspect of the astronomical situation in Egypt around 1,500 BC. The data
encoded in this map, and its significance, has for the first time been
investigated by Danish researcher Ove von Spaeth and is published in
July-August 2000 in the international journal of the history of the exact
sciences, "Centaurus", vol. 42.
configurations, which have been considered as mythic representations, are
now seen to be depictions of a rare gathering of planets in well-defined
celestial positions. The information contained in the map refers to a
specific point of time.
The re-evaluation of this
and of subsequent maps, together with the data conained therein, gives birth
to new perspectives. By introducing these reference points of time -
substantiated in astronomical terms - the appropriate chronology of the
epoch in question, which has been much disputed, may now be dated with
considerably greater precision than possible before.
Data: Ove von Spaeth: "Dating the oldest Egyptian Star Map",
Centaurus International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science
Vol. 42;3, (July-August) 2000, pp.159-179,
Blackwell / Munksgaard
International Publishers, Copenhagen.
Editorial staff: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oldest Known Scientific Report
The well-known Egyptian star map in question was carried out by Senmut who
was the vizier to Queen Hatshepsut and also the calendar registrar of Egypt
during a very interesting period of the 18th dynasty (16th-15th century
The recently decoded
material can be objectively proven, based on modern astronomical
calculations, to depict important astronomical circumstances. It has now
become clear that the map of Senmut neither depicts an arbitrary gathering
of planets in the sky nor is it a virtual copy of possible older patterns
made by Senmut's predecessors.
Since this stellar map
describes a planetary conjunction (i.e. a close encounter of the planets) in
which a unique pattern of the positions of the planets concentrated within a
defined sector of the sky, it therefore contains information unmistakably
related to a fixed point of time. It has been possible to calculate this as
May 1534 BC, (ed.: any doubts about the accuracy of the calculations? -
please, study FAQ: Dating the Oldest Egyptian Star Map ).
According to the
analysis, this dating may additionally be supported by the map's record of a
simultaneous solar eclipse. The map seems to have been made later than the
events in question, and although the eclipse was possibly not observed
directly, it had been relatively easy to re-calculate and put on the map.
Likewise, most of the planets are recorded without they could be seen in the
sky due to their placements near to the sun. The presented interpretation
seems confirmed with great precision by modern astronomical methods.
Accordingly, Senmut's star map must be acknowledged as one of history's
oldest concretely recorded scientific achievements.
A Forgotten Tradition
Subsequently produced star-maps in Egypt seem to confirm this discovery.
Created under the reigns of different pharaohs during 400 years or more
after the first map, these maps exhibit Senmut's principle of depicting a
certain kind of a planetary conjunction in the certain celestial sector.
These findings seem to be in accordance with a now forgotten tradition by
which these younger star-maps were produced only at the time of those
pharaohs, such as Ramses II, where the actual conjunctions of the relevant
type appeared in the Egyptian sky.
disciplines have been involved in Ove von Spaeth's project: especially including
astronomy and Egyptology - and with valuable correcting data contributed by
Dr.Scient. Kristian Peder Moesgaard, Director of the Steno Museum (Denmark's
National Museum for the History of Science) and Egyptologist Dr.phil.h.c. Erik
Iversen, formerly Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen. The "Centaurus
International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science and
Technology" is edited and issued by the History of Science Department,
Aarhus University, Denmark (and published by Blackwell-Munksgaard).
Perspective and Reactions by Decoding the Star Map
The result and the perspectives of Ove von Spaeth's decoding of the
Senmut map have been shown a great interest and have been recorded,
evaluated, acknowledged as well as disputed or protested.
Some of the
responses are listed below. The answers to most of the many questions and
reactions are presented in detail in
the FAQ-list on
next web page.
Some misleading readings and reactions, unfortunately, have been seen too
often reappearing, therefore the following facts ought to be recalled:
- that the treatise on the dating contained in the Senmut star map
never states that the mentioned solar eclipse had been observed
in Egypt. The recording on the map only shows that the calculated eclipse
has in fact taken place.
- the paper does not mention anything about a total eclipse; and it is a fact
that also annular eclipses were recorded by the ancients.
- moreover, it is never
stated that the row of planets could be seen at the same time as the eclipse
- in fact, besides the differences of day and night observations, the map
might show that some days had past after the eclipse.
- it is hardly possible
on a pc or laptop to obtain a result with the necessary precision by using
normal computer star programs. These can never match the huge computer
astronomy programs (important extra details) at the scientific institutions.
All this is being taken
care of in the
treatise and carefully emphasized in the text. However, many people have
exposed not being able to read the few pages, or even take a look before
forming their opinion of a text they have never read.
"... the findings
are very ingenious and admirable, and quite surprising considering the
apparent lack of interest of the Egyptians in this sort of astronomy ...I
have visited and photographed the Senmut tomb several times, and I find it
quite fascinating. Thus I find the paper especially interesting ...".
Owen Gingerich, Research Professor in Astronomy and the
History of Science, The Harvard-Smithsonian Institution, Astrophysical
Observatory, Cambridge Mass. - (11 October 2001)
"... the article on
the Senmut ceiling, with so many interesting observations ...".
Erik Hornung, Professor Dr., Ägyptologisches Seminar der
Universität, Basel - (24 October 2001)
"... I remain
unconvinced by the arguments. The main problem is the underestimating of the
question of older traditions ...".
Joachim Friedrich Quack, Dr., Ägyptologisches Seminar, Freie
Universität, Berlin - (2 October 2001)
"... We congratulate
for the discovery and we wish the author good luck with the further
George V. Coyne, S.J., Director of Specula Vaticana (Vatican
Observatory), Cittą del Vaticano; - & Gustav Teres, S.J., astronomer,
Vatican Observatory, Castel Gandolfo, Italy - (12 October 2001)
hronologii. Datirovka egipetskogo ... (etc. ... - quotation from Russian
text translates:) Chronology problem - solution of the Egyptian
celestial picture is not as by Fomenko. - We remind you that I tried to
find better interpretations concerning the celestial picture, and such a
solution was rapidly found... in the new (fresh) issue of the journal of the
history of science Centaurus 2000 vol. 42 pp 159-179, publishing the paper
of Ove von Spaeth, 'Dating the Oldest Egyptian Star Map' ...".
"... A lengthy
illustrated article... by Ove von Spaeth concerning the astronomical ceiling
of the tomb of Senenmut - published in Centaurus ...".
David Moyer, KMT Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt - (Winter 2000-2001,
Vol.11, No.4, p.10)
"... this important
and fascinating paper - many congratulations on the research ...and it is a
major advance. - (Years ago I did an English translation - not published so
far - of E.M. Antoniadi's book on Egyptian astronomy) ...".
Sir Patrick Moore, D.Sc., Astronomer, CBE, FRAS, BBC Science
editor, Selsey, England - (15 September 2000)
"... While serious
papers by P.J. Huber, Michel-Noziéres, Fermor and Steele are in the style of
the journal that by O. von Spaeth is astonishingly far from it ... useless
and misleading ...".
Salvo De Meis, email@example.com - (3 November 2000)
"... the paper on
the Dating of the Oldest Egyptian Star Map, together with the summary and
the FAQ, - I have read it with interest ...".
M.S. Tite, Professor, Director: Archaeological Science,
Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of
Oxford - (9 October 2001)
"... A controversial
interpretation of the Senmut star map ...".
Bibliche lingua e scrittura ebraica. - Site sobre Qumran e os Manuscritos do
Mar Morto. Mantido por Elio Jucci, Universitą degli Studi di Pavia, Itįlia.
- Elio Jucci : SETH - "Semitica et Theologica".
- Calendari. A proposito
di Calendari (questo mese)... č noto a tutti quanto la questione del
calendario fosse importante nel mondo ebraico ... per tale motivo dedicherņ
almeno una pagina a links connessi in qualche modo con questo tema. ...
Calendari: [VII -2003] - An Egyptian Star-map. By Ove von Spaeth,
Independent Scholar, Denmark ( http://www.moses-egypt.net ). ..."
"... This star-map
actually describes a planetary conjunction in which the planet position is
defined to a certain sector of the sky, plus a solar eclipse. As such,
precise astronomical calculation can date this map to the date, May, 1534
BCE (Ove von Spaeth, "Dating the Oldest Egyptian Star Map", International
Journal of the History of Science, Centaurus, vol 42:3 (2000):159-179) ...".
"... Remarks about
the appearance of Mars in the tomb of Senenmut in western Thebes -
(concerning:) An article recently published in this journal by Ove von
Spaeth (2000) - ...are based on a wrong assumption ...". *
Christian Leitz, Dr. Professor, Seminar für Ägyptologie,
Universität zu Köln, - Centaurus, Vol. 44, Issue 1-2, pp.140-143 - (July
(* See: Notice, below)
"Dear Colleague, -
dating the Egyptian star map conveys materials we would not otherwise have,
we appreciate it. (Will be passed on later to the Oriental Institute
Robert D. Biggs, Professor, Ed., Journal of Near Eastern
Studies, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago - (12 October 2001)
старейшей египетской звездной карты ..." etc., - (quotation from the
Russian text translates:) - "...it (Ove von Spaeth's paper) was also
examined in the light of the history of astronomy. The author, just as
Fomenko, approaches the task in terms of farfetched conceptions of Egyptian
astronomical symbolism, as well as the author entertains his own particular
ideas about "correct chronology". Besides, it shows too that the author
lies concerning the astronomical calculations of the planets..." - (In
addition, Gusjev quotes hearsay from Conman and van Gent; cf. notice, below). *
"... a pleasure to
announce that the work on Dating The Oldest Egyptian Star Map has just been
published by Anistoriton - providing the readers of this Journal a selection
of the news of the article published in the electronic version (Vol. 6/2002,
Issue V 021) ... Congratulations and thank you for the permission ...".
STAR-MAP: New orientating discoveries in the world's oldest star map in
a 3500 years old Egyptian tomb - presented through historian Ove von
Spaeth's research - revealing informative and precise astronomical data of
great importance to ancient Egyptian chronology. (
http://www.moses-egypt.net/star-map/senmut-files_survey_en.asp ) ..."
"... I'm most impressed by
the accuracy of the dating. Not of the map... but of the original chronology
that Egyptologists had long-established for dynastic times. Just goes to
show... good theory will be supported by future evidence. ..."
The Oldest Egyptian Star Map - the Senmut map Dating information decoded. A
presentation of newly discovered data of special importance to Egyptology,
ancient history, and astronomy - and, typically, studies of chronology - as
well as related culture and science of Egypt's 18th dynasty and ancient Near
East. - Being published in Ove von Spaeth's treatise on "Dating the Oldest
Egyptian Star Map". The data concerned have been revealed by a thorough
examination of one of the most unique Egyptian celestial decoration ...".
general merit can be given to his [OvS's] interpretation of the ceiling (of
which he received widespread accolades from numerous and notable peers),
there are concerns about the dataset he used ... is confirmed using Starry
Night Pro software ... but we can be sure such an eclipse could have been an
early root from which later generations of priests drew reverence ...". *
R. Avry Wilson, The Official Graham Hancock Website:
Discussion Forum, The Mysteries - The 64th Controversy VI, - (
firstname.lastname@example.org ) &
http://members.fortunecity.com/ravrywilson/senmut.htm - (autumn 2003) & post
153270: www.grahamhancock.com/phorum/read.php?f=1&i=153270&t=153270 - (20
(* See: Notice, below)
"... I have read with
interest information provided on your website concerning the research of the
Senmut star-map and its probable relation to Moses. You suggest the map
describes a real astronomical observation ........
As I am writing a book on the chronology of Jesus Christ, my interest was
drawn to what seems a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the very year
that an eclipse of the sun occurred over Egypt. - (My research shows two
possible dates for the [such kind of] solar eclipse, one retro-calculation
with "Voyager" software came up with June 1, 1478 BC; the other, Julian date
August 23, 1463BC) ...".
Don Leichel, New Zealand - email@example.com - (15 November
Ancient Star Charts: The word "star" comes from the Greek term meaning
heavenly body; - Bronze Age 'star chart' found March 2nd ; - Lascaux,
France, 17,000 years ago: in star pictures of the Pleiades; - Prehistoric
Star Maps Identified In France And Spain; - New Discovery
in Ancient Egyptian Star Map (
http://www.moses-egypt.net/star-map/senmut-files_survey_en.asp ) ...".
Ellie Crystal, - Metaphysical and Science Website, Created
and Designed by Ellie Crystal. - Copyright 1995-2001, - http://www.crystalinks.com/ - Ancient Star Maps - (5.Mar.2001)
"... I have read
your article "Dating the Oldest Egyptian Star Map" with great interest. I
agree with your conclusions as to the general positions in the sky of the
planets, the sun and the moon and the general dating of the configuration. -
I find that there is really a solar eclipse at a time that is very close to
the one you state, but provided the time is ephemeris time. - Actually there
is no safe way of extrapolating that far back in time but the correction
(ephemeris time to universal time) would be accurate to within +/- some
Lars Gislén, D.Sc., Professor, Department of Theoretical
Physics, University of Lund - (12 September 2000)
"... I find your
work on the Senmut star map most interesting ...".
John Anthony West, Egyptologist, author and explorer, New
York, http://www.jawest.com/ - (31 March 2002)
"... I am not sure
there would be enough information given on the ceilings to identify a date
if this is what the ceilings represent ..."
"... inconsistent with
the ancient Egyptian culture. ...The Egyptians routinely expressed abstract
ideas using pictures. There are messages hidden in every day Egyptian art by
incorporating hieroglyphs into designs. ... Figures that have been taken to
be constellations may just as likely represent abstract ideas. I do not read
too much into the placement of planets in this art ...". *
Joanne Conman, Maine, - History of Astronomy Discussion
Group, http://wvnvm.wvnet.edu/htbin/listarch?hastro-l&a:scmcc.archives -
(No.183, 21 January 2002)
(* See: Notice, below)
"... The redating of
the Senmut ceiling star map appears to be one of the first victims of the
author's chronological adjustments and I fear that several more will follow
in the near future ...". *
Robert H. van Gent, Dr., Faculty of Physics and Astronomy,
Utrecht University, - History of Astronomy Discussion Group,
http://wvnvm.wvnet.edu/htbin/listarch?hastro-l&a:scmcc.archives - (No.179,
21 January 2002)
(* See: Notice, below)
Egyptologists were able to date that this particular configuration of
planets occurred in the sky in 1534 BC, - cf. von Spaeth, (Centaurus, 2000).
Bojan Novakovic, astronomer, - in his treatise 'Senenmut:
an ancient Egyptian astronomer',Publ. of the Astronomical
Observatory of Belgrade, vol.85, - (Oct.2008).
considering the existence of an original star chart that indicates the
occurrence of a solar eclipse 3500 years ago, one should be allowed to focus
one's attention on the closest - chronologically and geographically - solar
eclipse that actually occurred. Why else would the indication of a solar
eclipse be inserted into a star chart?
The thesis on Senmut's
star chart has raised an interesting discussion. - Ove von Spaeth, you have
engendered quite a row among astronomers.
If nothing else, your
work will lead to some interesting clarifications - which is more than most
books have managed to achieve. ..."
Jurij Moskvitin, mathematician, philosopher, writer, - 22270-010 Rio de Janeiro,
Botafogo, Brazil - (9 January 2003)
closely-reasoned scientific article that explores the implications and
significance of an unusual configuration of planets and stars represented on
an ancient Egyptian star map - the Senmut Star Map. His approach - a
combination of modern astronomical and mathematical evidence with
archaeological materials and Egyptology - allows for a fuller understanding
of the development of astronomy in ancient Egypt and to provide important
chronological evidence. Ove von Spaeth's article takes a thoughtful and
reflective leap in this direction and brings startling new light upon the
skies of the Senmut star map. ..."
Anu Kumar, Ph.D. in English Literature, Pittsburgh
University, and M.A. in Sanskrit Studies, Copenhagen University -
Diego Coughi, Trystero,
it.scienza.astronomia, - diego.trystero(at)gmail.com -
www.newsland.it/nr/browse/it.scienza.astronomia/34408.html - (14.Jul.2005)
using astronomical approach on the ancient Senmut star map, Ove von Spaeth
computed and verified the presence of distinctive planetary conjunctions
represented as a factual occurrence in the sky. This allowed the calculation
of an exact dating of its time and thus the period in Egyptian history. ..."
Stephanie Michelle, Soror Samhain - Practicus 3=8, Copyright 1999 or
5759 common era -
http://groups.msn.com/GuildoftheProphets/moses.msnw - (1999, &
"I have purchased your
paper, 'Dating the Oldest Egyptian Star Map',
from Centaurus Magazine via Blackwell. We are preparing a special exhibition
about astronomy. I am the Acting Head of the Department of Astronomy at The Kroppedal Museum (formerly
The Ole Roemer
Museum). The main subject of this department is in general the history of Danish
astronomy (Tycho Brahe, Ole Roemer, etc.), however, we are also
engaged in ancient natural science and cosmology. With greatest interest I
have read your paper on the dating of the Star
Map from the tomb of Senmut."
people like Owen Gingerich, whom I greatly respect as an astronomical
historian, appear to endorse something astronomically historical, I tend to
sit up and take notice. I have just emailed him about this and will report
back here if I get a reply (busy man, so it may be a while). ..."
"... I also had a look at the (
www.moses-egypt.net/images/Senmut_conjunction2.jpg ) chart for May
www.moses-egypt.net/star-map/senmut-survey_en.asp . Although the
planetary positions are correct, there is again the problem of this being an
eclipse that was ( www.astunit.com/astrocrud/BC1534May06eclipse.jpg ) only
visible on the other side of the world. - The difference in one day between
my date for it and that of the authors is that I am using UT and they are
presumably using local time at Luxor. ..." *
Stephen Tonkin, astronomer, writer, - Ancient History and
Archaeology, "The Hall of Ma'at" - Re: One for the astronomers ? (IP Logged)
- www.hallofmaat.com/read.php?1,21406,21937#msg-21937 Date: January 19, 2002
08:53AM - & - www.hallofmaat.com/read.php?1,21406,21906#msg-21906 Date:
January 19, 2002 07:07AM - (19 January 2002)
(* See: Notice, below)
"I found Ove von Spaeth's page on Senmut's Star Map very interesting. - It's
also interesting that von Spaeth suggested that the map indicated a "specific
point in time"; on that I agree because it's something the Ancients would
Why in this living world,
on the other hand, von Spaeth would include a series of responses on the
subject from the-hall-of-maat (net discussiongroup) - I cannot imagine. I also loved the choice comment by Owen Gingerich: Quote: "... the
[von Spaeth's] findings are very ingenious and admirable, ..." "
knowledge of astronomy I am nevertheless convinced that from an Egyptological
point of view the paper by Mr. Ove von Spaeth contains new and valuable
information concerning the date of Senmut's star map."
Erik Iversen, Dr.Phil.h.c., Egyptologist, formerly the
University of Copenhagen - (20 January 1997)
"The resulting date
of Senmut's star map, objectively proven by the author on an astronomical
basis, adds, in my opinion, a considerable contribution to the debate
concerning the Egyptian chronology."
Kristian Peder Moesgaard, D.Sc., Professor, History of
Science Department, Aarhus University; - Director of the Steno Museum,
Denmark's National Museum for the History of Science, Aarhus - (10 February
A further number of acknowledgements, Notice, disputes, and questions, from e.g.:
- Sebastian Richter, Dr., Ägyptologisches Institut, Universität
Leipzig (21.Sep.00 & 17.Oct.00); - Lisa Montago Leahy, Ed., The
Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Department of Ancient History and
Archaeology, The University of Birmingham (20.Sep.00); - Rolf
Krauss, Dr., Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin (5.Oct.99);
- Amanda McCaig, Ed., Astronomy & Geophysics, The Journal of the
Royal Astronomical Society, University of Leeds (9.Sep.00); - Mike Levad,
Developer, The Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia (7.May.02);
- Dave Eicher, Astronomer, Ed.: Astronomy Magazine, Wausheska,
Wisconsin (24.Feb.2003); - Margaret Rossiter, History of
Science Educator, Ed.: Isis Journal of the History of Science Society,
Cornell University, NY (5.May.02); - etc. - Tanks to all for their
:: Comments. - Debate and criticism are indispensable
to science and research. Acknowledgements and critic from esteemed
scientists, scholars, and other experts and authorities have been productive
in the actual case, indeed. However, the invaluable asset of criticism can
be misdirected by incorrect quotations from the paper under discussion, and
even by "references" to strange statements, which the treatise never has
contained. But once entered into the debate, such tend to remain in
Some of the skeptics (all
not quoted above) wish to present a somewhat different result (concerning a
solar eclipse) based on their calculations from certain formulae - e.g. in
"The Nautical Almanac", or PC astronomy-programmes - but without knowing the
existence of alternative formulae: differences of these formulae are due to
hitherto unsolved problems concerning the Delta-T factors. Besides, the
opponents inexpediently disregard the fact that in the treatise the in
reality interesting conditions of a solar eclipse (or the eclipse itself)
are not at all treated as a factor as regards the basic dating of this star
Among the critics, some are concerned with alleged Egyptological
problems which in fact are non-existent - and they ignore that the
treatise's star map elements contain identifications which previously have
been recognized, especially in Neugebauer & Parker's authoritative work
"Egyptian Astronomical Texts, I-III".
A problem appears to
occur because some of the critics openly substitute their own opinions and
considerations for concrete facts and data. - Furthermore, they forget that
the treatise on Senmut's Star Map is published in the esteemed "Centaurus
International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and
Technology". Prior to publication in this journal, as required, the treatise
has been peer-reviewed by experts.
- The same rules and
principles apply to "Aristoriton Journal of History, Archaeology and
ArtHistory", which published parts of the treatise. Here too, peer-review is
performed by specialists in the relevant fields and/or topics, and further,
is read one more time by the Editorial Board. In addition, authorities on the history of astronomy and Egyptology: - Professor
Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Institute (11.Oct.2001), - Sir Patrick Moore, D.Sc., Astronomer, BBC Science editor
(15.Sep.2000), - and Professor Dr. Erik Hornung, Basel
Universitaet (24.Oct.2001), - all with a special knowledge and long-term
interest concerning the Senmut star map - have acknowledged, independently
and voluntarily, the star map dating project and the value of what it
suggests. They, and the many others, welcome the work as a promising
proposal for a solution and do not speak about any "truth" about something
having taking place 3500 years ago - whereas the opponents are expressing
their own critic ("this is completely impossible" ... etc.) as being the
very truth and with no doubts. And note that no skeptics have proven any
calculation wrong concerning the treatise's general positions in the sky for
the Sun, Moon, and the planets - these are all correct and unambiguous.
In any case,
comprehensive answers are presented by our web site page:
FAQ: Dating the Oldest Egyptian Star
Map (cf. paragraphs 3 and 5) - and in addition some special
From the libraries'
article-bases, copies (xerox, etc.) of the treatise can be requested from
the issue of Centaurus with the reference No. ISSN 0008-8994 : "Centaurus
International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology", Vol. 42;3, 2000, pp 159-179. - Or the treatise may be
downloaded at the web page: "The
Senmut Star Map Decoded" .
Ove von Spaeth
Some notices to special cases
Typically three kinds of problems come up by many of the critics who prefer
to think that no other valuable system, formula, or
tradition in this relation exists than the only one which the critics
themselves first had happen to be acquainted with long ago.
It might be productive to
re-examine this basis before they are problematizing their own reaction to the
CONCERNING R. Avry Wilson, (of 20.Dec.2003, cf. above):
- A discussion group being housed by well-respected Graham Hancock web site,
was introduced to R. Avry Wilson's considerations (20.Dec.2003) concerning the
Senmut map. Wilson has computed the data from OvS' treatise and obtained some
strange results - because he used his Starry Night Pro Software. Wilson seems to
observe the belief that this is far better than using e.g. the big scale
computers on those universities where scientists in several cases have spoken in
favour of the treatise.
Thus, in the case of the
planet's sky positions 3,500 years ago, his experiment was bound to go wrong -
and, consequently, was impossible to build a hypothesis on, but he did it anyway.
Unfortunately, he uncritically considered new literature in this field
automatically to be the best and previous literature to be outdated, which is
absolutely not the case when dealing with fundamental planetary formula theory.
It is true that the Delta-T problem is not solved - but this is exactly the case
in his Starry Night Pro Software!
Wilson should have
started, instead, with studying planetary computing problems (obtaining a
high precision here is extremely more complicated than in case of the
stars), cf. paragraphs 1-4 in FAQ: Dating the Oldest Egyptian Star Map . -
When future computer power and computations will continue to improve, they
will not move the basic results of the treatise, they can only strengthen
CONCERNING Gusjev, (of 2.Oct.2002, cf. above):
- A somewhat strange
criticism (Gusjev, 2.Oct.2002, part not quoted) cites the
impossibility of a "total solar eclipse", in spite of the fact that the
treatise does not mention a total eclipse.
As stated elsewhere several times in the texts of Ove von Spaeth, this
eclipse means nothing for the exactness of the dating, and is of no
significance for the basic dating of this star map. In the paper it was only
natural to present a suggestion for dating the eclipse, and it was based on
calculation by the best astronomical programmes.
In any case, the general
positions in the sky for the Sun, Moon, and all the planets are correct and
The ancient Egyptians
were able to calculate several astronomical events. The paper presents that
the Senmut star map indicates a solar eclipse at a distance of approx. 10
degrees of arc from the Sirius-star meridian. In several respects it is a
most interesting fact, though almost nobody seem to care about this and its
perspectives but instead about an alleged, possibly more late eclipse to be
seen elsewhere after being computed by - in this context - apparently less
Please note that neither
the map nor the paper say anything about annular or total eclipse, and they
say nothing about that it is proved it was observed. No more, no less.
CONCERNING Christian Leitz, (of July 2002, in Centaurus
Magazine, cf. above):
- On the aforementioned
FAQ-page: the Paragraphs 7, 8, and 9 covers the questions concerning
Christian Leitz (July 2002). Christian Leitz has earlier tried, in
vain, to solve the enigma of the Senmut Star Map (just like Joachim
Friedrich Quack, 2.Oct.2001, cf. above - in his way - also have
tried). Unfortunately, Leitz' disagreeing article abandons sound scholarship
and methodology concerning his total disregard of the important material of
the astronomical clues in Ove von Spaeth's treatise.
Their problem emerge
because of the way of Senmut's handling the elements in the structure of his
star map. Senmut did so in several cases - e.g. concerning Mars and also the
eclipse - by maintaining the tradition and at the same time expanding its
ability of expression: A quite normal feature, as the Egyptians practised
extended play on words (more than in any other known culture) and multiple
meanings of hieroglyphic texts, and in this field Senmut is famous as the
When Leitz tries to argue
that some of the paper's points are against tradition, it is a circularity
of no meaning, because it is exactly what the paper itself suggests but on
grounds of the rationale behind Senmut's inventive construction of his star
map and the fact that Senmut was a pioneer extending and renewing tradition.
Leitz' claim about
missing the planet Mars as depicted as a falcon is unrealistic, because the
falcon issue was in use some hundred years later than Senmut - as
Leitz very well should know. Indeed, it has no foundation when Leitz is
using the lack of a Mars-falcon in the Senmut Map to support his total
rejection of Mars being present there.
To form an opinion on
facts presented may take some more insight and experience of historical
astronomy than being mobilized in his article. Thus, it should be respected
that astronomy basically is an exact science which often may have less in
common with the Humanities' manner of interpretations: Leitz ignores
completely that the treatise's exact statistics of 2000 years of the
planetary conjunctions fit precisely and unambiguously to the Senmut map and
to some equal maps as well (the exact facts and data are presented in the
treatise's Paragraph 6 and Table 1 and 2).
Furthermore, Leitz treats
one of the common provisional models of the chronology as if it were a
historical "truth". The real truth is that a consensus (Leitz, page 140,
expression: "... generally accepted") can never constitute any proof of
Leitz states that "...
all the calculations of von Spaeth are based on a wrong assumption (presence
of Mars in a retrograde movement)." False !, the treatise's main argument is
the importance of the very conjunction of planets - exactly depicted without
Mars - around the Sirius meridian as shown openly and directly on the map.
Regarded from any experienced astronomer's point of view it is the very
logical solution which, by the way, nobody had ever suggested before Ove von
In his article Leitz has
not yet proven anything at all. And the unacceptable number of unfounded
statements weakens the article. And its conclusive remarks exclude, in
reality, all Egyptologists who do not happen to agree with Leitz' opinion -
and among these one of the world's finest experts (appreciated in OvS's treatise for his counsel and support). Demonstrating, too, the impossible
problem of trying to contradict the treatise when the reading of it thus has
shown to be somewhat sporadic.
CONCERNING Stephen Tonkin, (of 19.Jan.2002, parts of his
text not quoted above):
- The eclipse question is
being answered several times, but astronomer Stephen Tonkin
also writes (04:34am) that "... it does not explain, why the position of
Saturn (perhaps the easiest planet to calculate) is so wrong ...". But he
(07:07am) appreciates Owen Gingerich as the great authority, which has
endorsed Ove von Spaeth's treatise.
And in the treatise in
question there are - besides results of astronomical calculations supported
by modern computer power - also reference to results of Owen Gingerich &
William Stahlman: "Solary and Planetary Longitudes for the Years -2500 to
+2000 by 10-Day Intervals" (Madison 1963).
It is a fact that the
1963-conditions (for the book) were more advanced than normally thought of
today, i.e. the calculations were made by the most expanded, advanced, and
detailed planet programmes executed by enormous computers as of the great
research centres and universities - being far better than the present
"dinky" star programmes in more "normal" computers (as being used by Stephen
Tonkin and colleagues).
Thus, concerning the
alleged problem with Saturn, Stephen Tonkin has not discovered that
Gingerich/Stahlman's book/table shows exactly the same result as being
stated in the treatise.
Hasty decisions as to
declare that the position of Saturn is wrong, and by only base this on that
the treatise's calculations showing otherwise than one's own calculations
do, is - with all respect - a practice of non-valid scientifically conduct
and, more so, it is absurd to publish before thoroughly reconsidering.
The same goes for the
statement about certain ancient observation methods as being merely myths.
(Cf. when astronomer Gerald Hawkins and mathematician engineer Alexander
Thom (after investigating some 300 sites) proved the today accepted fact,
that it was not myths that Stonehenge and many other prehistoric megalithic
circles, alignments, and isolated standing stones were ingeniously
constructed astronomical markers and calculators, - many archaeologists and
historians became furious).
Once more it must be
emphasized, that by dealing with such delicate problems and going 3,500
years back in time: don't use "normal" star programmes, even those of good
quality and reputation, but only use the most detailed special programmes
(which, unfortunately, are not distributed for sale normally).
CONCERNING Conman and van Gent, (of
21.Jan.2002, cf. above):
- Two of the
contributions above - from Joanne Conman and van Gent
(both: 21.Jan.2002) - from an international Newsgroup for the
History of Astronomy are joining the discussions on the internet among
researchers, scholars, and scientists concerning Ove von Spaeth's scientific
treatise on dating the world's oldest star map. About 25 different letters
relating this matter were distributed world-wide to all members of the group
during the first months of 2002.
based on accounts and comments the two contributors' remarks also contain
serious misunderstandings. They have stated their mere opinions, all right.
They 'think', and 'suppose', and 'assume', and using hearsay - but
present no concrete facts and data.
Besides from appearing not to be too well informed or experienced on the
special points in this special case, they pronounce their verdict in
absentia having never proven nor documented
any error in the paper in question - and yet their newsgroup-talk later has
been incompetently referred to as if the opinions here were a real "source".
In their own letters Conman & van Gent admit neglecting to consult the
primary source, i.e. they had never read the original text/treatise. (For
instance, it is presented here:
The Senmut Star
Map Decoded ).
SCIENTIFIC LIBRARIES - & NEWS- AND DISCUSSION-GROUPS ON THE STAR
Discussions, News, - and Scientific Libraries
Central Libraries by International Scientific Institutions
Although the "Centaurus International Magazine of the History of
Mathematics, Science, and Technology" (established 1950/51) is highly
appreciated and received all over the world, in that perspective the number
of issues is relatively limited. - Among the following options some may be
An offprint-issue of Ove von Spaeth's paper (origin. publ. in
Centarus, vol. 42, 2000) on the Senmut star map, and with a
attached, is accessible world wide at several central libraries by
scientific institutions. Some of them being represented here:
- Danish National Library of Science and Medicine, University of
Copenhagen, Denmark, -
- British Library, London, England - also presented by print: Imago Mundi (History
of Cartography) Bibliography, JSTOR Collection: Arts & Sciences Complement,
2001 vol. & vol. 2003 vol., -
- - - Libraries of Universities of -
Cracow, Moscow, Beijing, and Tokyo, etc.
- - - Libraries of other Scientific institutions of
history, astronomy, and Egyptology, in a great number, e.g. in
Germany, Belgium, Southafrica and Egypt (Library of the Luxor Museum).
On Continued Debates
Discussions by News-groups and Discussions-groups:
Debate on the Senmut map/Ove von Spaeth's treatise - discussion groups, in
ENGLISH (altogether approx. 12 mess.):
"The Hall of Ma'at" - Ancient History and Archaeology - Re: One for the
astronomers? - http://www.hallofmaat.com
The discussion began (the very first message determinated where there is no
"RE:" in the Subject line) on Jan 19th 2002 by
firstname.lastname@example.org etc. => "Stephan Tonkin" etc.
- it is msg 145 for the month of January 2002,
- => and the next: 148 email@example.com
01/19/2002 13:17:03 The Senmut ceiling star map - ... e.g. Messages Nos. ...
(some of van Gent's and Conman's msg:) ... 165 ... 179 ... 183 ... 187... etc.,
Several contributions are pro - fully or to some degree - the von Spaeth line.
Above, the HASTRO-L quotations of 'contra' forms are exposed from "worst cases"
only. - Altogether the exchange of messages - approx. 25 mails - continued in
February and March 2002 also.
Debate on the Senmut map/Ove von Spaeth's treatise - discussion groups, in
RUSSIAN (altogether approx. 8 mess.):
Apart from the analysis: a Moses relation possible?
The Dating of the Senmut Star Map containing time correlation with the
The actual analysis of the Senmut star map follows its own objective
purpose: to be concerned with only the dating of the ancient Egyptian star
map and without any dependence of whatever the result could be used for in
However, Ove von Spaeth's
treatise, published in "Centaurus" (42;3, 2000), with scientific
documentation for the dating of Egypt's oldest star map, has been re-edited
to be used by non-astronomers.
The said version was
later published also in the appendix in Volume 2 of Ove von Spaeth's
book-series ("Assassinating Moses", vols. 1-5) about the historical Moses.
Unusual many and very strong indications suggest that the Senmut star map is
being of a special contemporarity with Moses and his era; cf.
Debate on Vol. 2 , and
Vol. 2 Inform , and not least "On History".
A special treasure of knowledge and wisdom
of Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance had originated in Ancient Egypt -
and was here known to connect also with the historical Moses' dramatic
fate and mystery.
Ove von Spaeth has
written an intriguing, new-orientating work presenting this still
influential background of our civilization. • His interdisciplinary
research on history, archaeology, and anthropology goes deeply into
Egyptian tradition, history of religion, initiation cults, star-knowledge,
and mythology - relating to biblical studies, the Rabbinical Writings,
and the authors of Antiquity. • Each volume offers unique insights not
Special information is
presented by clicking on the individual cover illustrations:
(ed.note: reading the orientation is highly
recommended. The books are being translated into English)
News about the book-series: