In all ancient Mediterranean civilizations the constellation
known to us as the Pleiades had a most important role. It served as a
celestial marker or sign for one of the year's great events, i.e. the
springtime's arriving rain or flood. In fact, these stars were thought to be
connected, in a meta-astrological sense, with the concept "blessing".
Thus the Pleiades were signaling and initiating "the wet season" which
then became more enhanced by other signals from a next following star group,
the Hyades, in Greek 'to rain'.
Later in antiquity, Greek
and Roman authors enjoyed to write about the especial popular stellar group of
the Pleiades, to which there already existed several mythological accounts.
For instance, the
Pleiades group is depicted on the ancient Egyptian vizier Senmut's 3,500-years
old star map - i.e. these stars are placed on the map precisely as the location where the
Pleiades are situated in the sky. More so, on the map the specific picture have
been attached some hieroglyphs showing clearly to be read in the direction from
the right to the left, displaying the name mw(jt) nwt ht , i.e. 'the
watery bodies', 'the humids', or '...of moisture'. - And, as very often in
Egyptian texts, it also may have an additional interpretation: 'three parts of
Nut's body (in the sky)'.
The now so famous Senmut
map is adorning the ceiling of his tomb (Thebes Tomb 353, at Deir el-Bahari,
near Luxor) which like a tunnel is leading beneath Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
of Hathor, goddess of the sky.
However, a certain
analysis of the map reveals such kind of information being of greatest
importance in connection with the history and chronology of Antiquity - cf.
below, the sections 5 and 6 - the detection was made by Ove von Spaeth. His
discovery was first published in 1984 (in the Magazine 'Stjernerne') - and
later added further scientific details, now published as the treatise:
"Dating Egypt's Oldest Star Map", in "Centaurus Magazine of The History of
Mathematics, Science, and Technology" (Vol. 42:3, July 2000, pp.
Some of the Egyptian
temples have been constructed in a way connecting to the star of Sirius when -
each year in the summer after a period of invisibility of 70 days - Sirius rose
together with the sun (i.e. Sirius's Heliacal rising) that the light would travel
down the temples' main corridor and reach the innermost sanctum of the temple.
Here, Sirius would in that moment place its light at the altar, and this light
from Sirius (Sothis) was then considered as being transformed into Sobdet
is the name of Sirius as Egyptian star god. This divinity was a special version
of Isis, the greatest goddess.
Also, it is the case with
the Egyptian temple of Isis in Denderah, a temple build as a copy of more
ancient temples. Similary here when the altar was lighted by the beam, the star
Sirius (Sothis) was thought to be transformed into the divinity Sobdet.
For instance, this is the
case with the Egyptian temple of Isis in Denderah, a temple build as a copy of
more ancient temples. When the altar was hit by the beam, the Sirius star was
thought to be transformed into Sothis (Sirius) as a star god, i.e. special
version of Isis, the greatest goddess.
On the basis of the same
understanding a similar principle was already involved in connection with
previously mentioned Hatshepsut's Temple of Hathor, which with its axis
directed at the line of winter solstice (cf. below: section 3), even also
could receive the beams of the (in the mythology: seven) Stars of the Pleiades.
This was interpreted in a way that the light consisting of the seven beams were
being transformed into the Egyptian celestial goddess Hathor's seven female
judges to judge mankind.
In a similar way later in
Greek temples - for instance in the very Parthenon - being constructed with
the direction to the beams of the Stars of the Pleiades. Thus, when the
temples were oriented geographically to receive these beams of light into
the inner sanctums, the light-rays were described in a symbolic way as being
"transformed into seven women", i.e. "The Seven Sisters", The Pleiades.
Greek scholar, philosopher, and astronomer, Eratosthenes in Alexandria
(276-194 BC), was the director of the famous, enormous library of Alexandria
and having admission to huge amounts of knowledge, and he described the
Pleiades as "the seven stars of which the one of them is not visible".
Already the Greek writer Hesiod states, ca. 700 BC, that according to the
old star lore this group of 7 stars represents the 7 daughters of Atlas
(also known as the giant who carried the very sky globe on his shoulders).
Even though we can only
see 6 Pleiades in the sky it is a fact that all the way from Greece
throughout to the South Pacific, and - notice - also in Pre-Columbian North
America, accounts everywhere tell about "the seven stars of which one is
Gajus Julius Hyginus (64
BC-17 AD), Latin author and the appointed (by Emperor Augustus) head of the
Palatine Library, writes in his work "Astronomica" (Poeticon Astronomicon,
2.21): "... Pleiades are called seven in number, but only six can be seen
the world, in many countries and localities, - which in prehistoric times may
appear to have had some kind of connection - this constellation is, in addition,
often called "the young women" or "girls". The star cluster was also seen in
this way by the ancient Hebrews - as well as by America's Coyote Indians in
Oregon and the Iroques Indians.
Also by e.g. the Dyaks and the Malaysians on Borneo these
stars are exactly counted as "seven of which the one is invisible". And by
Australia's Aboriginals who, too, call them "the young girls". They
are called by this name, likewise, on the Solomon's Islands in the Pacific. And on the
Northern Sumatra this 6-star constellation is called "Bindtang Tudjohc", i.e.
'of the 7 stars".
All this could refer to a
much older age of the concept of the star system than most historians today
would like to accept. Ancient, widespread civilizations of prehistoric times
- being traced and discovered more and more by modern science - could have
existed several places on earth. And from some of these connections the
Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Egyptians seem to have possessed such a
heritage - "the 7 young women", "the sources of blessing", "the humids" -
and have carried it further on.
biblical Job text - mostly in archaic Hebrew and 3,500 years of age - could
contain an extra allusion. It may be showing a lingering loss of the 7th Pleiad which
apparently failed to remain being fixed on the firmament: "... Canst thou
bind together the brilliant Pleiades? ..." (Book of Job, 38:31).
Illustrations. Below: The stars of the Pleiades cluster as
depicted on ancient Egyptian vezire Senmut’s star map.
These stars are designated “the watery bodies”, “the humids”, - and this
group of stars is marking the season of rain or flood
In all ancient
Mediterranean civilizations the Pleiades were important in use in the
Further below: Senmut portrait placed in a contemporary Egyptian
craftman's projection grid to be used as a model for decorating Senmut's tomb.
The Great Bear Constellation and Senmut's Star Map
Earlier Tradition on the Senmut Map
Transatlantic versions of constellations: It is a fact that
reminiscences of our well-known zodiac system were found with the Mayas - prior to the
arrival of the Spaniards in Central America in 1492. Thus, several of their
star sign symbols are in principle identical with the ancient Middle East zodiac
As with the
prehistoric world's widespread, common ideas on the Pleiades something
similar is seen also regarding the constellation Ursa Major, i.e.
Great Bear. This constellation of its own seven-star-group, also known as
Charles's Wain, is a non-existing tail-bear - strangely enough known all
over the world. This is except on the
Senmut star map
where it is shown in quite another version. Yet it has still been placed
correctly - near the top of the celestial World-axis.
This axis was the most
famous celestial line of sight - connecting the brightest main stars
Canopus, Sirius, and Lyra/Wega. The axis is, possibly emphasized for the
very first time, depictured on the Senmut map. (More about the axis, cf. the
This axis is the most
famous celestial line of sight - connecting the brightest main stars Canopus, Sirius,
and Lyra/Wega. The axis is, possibly for the very first time, depictured on the
Europeans, Asians, as
well as the North American Indians prior to Columbus all perceived the
constellation in question as the picture of a bear. In many cases they had
the same designations for the same constellations; and concerning Great
Bear, in the different continents with their several local languages, this
same group of stars was called by the same designation, the "Great Bear",
which is remarkable as it does not at all look like a bear!
And this is even a bear
with a long tail - non-existing in any earthly zoological issue or concept -
i.e. an identical "fantasy" product re-found across the
The above mentioned idea
(cf. Section 1) about a past "intercontinental" range of even several cases
of identical names of stars/constellations seems not only based on an
apparently wide spread knowledge of a principally uniform astronomical
system; especially with matching identical features in the symbols of the 12
sections of the zodiac. Such "agreements" also concern several other identical
astronomical names or descriptions.
For instance, this is the
case with the sun, called 'Ra' or 'Re' by the
Egyptians; the Chinese called it 'Re', and so did the Polynesians.
And all over the Pacific Ocean it is also called 'Ra' - despite
the lack of relation/affinity between the Egyptian, Chinese, and Polynesian
languages - and irrespective of the huge geographical distances.
To this it should
be added that apart from the almost identical pronunciation of Ra/Re (Ri),
the Chinese still use in their special writing the very same pictographic
sign for the sun as the Egyptians. It is the well-known ancient symbol of a
circle with a dot in the middle (in later Chinese pictography the circle has
been changed to be square-like, for reasons of a calligraphic writing
The Egyptians' hieroglyph for Re or Ra,
'the sun', (here, together with a glyph meaning 'son of Ra') - and in China
the sign for Re or Ri, 'the sun', (and a later, square version more easy to
for example, children make drawings of a sun it is always just a circle -
possibly equipped with rays or a face - but never a circle with a dot in the
centre. The very specific sun symbol consisting of a non-empty circle
contour and "characteristically made" with its centre-dot as the 'core' is
therefore no coincidence when it is found in the same special form both with
the ancient Egyptians and the Polynesians, and in the Chinese script as
Similarly, both the
ancient Egyptians and the Chinese have a glyph or symbolic sign showing a
scorpion. According to the ancient traditions of astrological significances,
for instance in use among the Greeks and the Romans, the celestial sign of Scorpio
(originally the constellation named Scorpio) may symbolize or refer to "huge
quantities or numbers"; and when a picture of a scorpion is used as a
hieroglyph in an Egyptian text - or as a writing sign in the Chinese writing
still used - this also means the same thing in both of these written languages, i.e.
"huge numbers". In the same symbol concept at all the places the by nature
toxic Scorpion signified also something concerning death, and America's
Mayas called this particular constellation "the sign of the god of death".
Also the stars known by
us as the Gemini have the same Greek and Babylonian name or meaning, which is also the case among the ancient inhabitants of the southern Pacific Ocean.
Heritage from earlier
civilizations? Archetypes? For all these examples too it goes that the
concepts and designations they had in common are hardly each time just a
coincidence, but could indicate a form of transport of traditions, for
example, via the ancient seafarers, who, all over the world at all times
navigated by means of the stars. Thus, the spreading of some of the mutual
ideas could also have been done in this way; although not necessarily as the
In this connection it is
interesting that the ancient Egyptians did not call the constellation in
question Great Bear, but Meshkitu, i.e. the 'shank of an ox'. In
ancient myths, and also in the Bible, a shank, thigh, or loin refer
conceptually to the delivery process or re-birth and were also well known
euphemisms for the reproductive organs.
In the Senmut star map
and in numerous other ancient Egyptian pictures the Meshkitu - the
constellation of the Great Bear/Charles's Wain - has been made unusually
flat. When the Egyptian mythological tradition seems to have many references
to a previous civilization - could the idea have been faithfully passed on
Illustrations. Below: - Left: The Great Bear constellation on
many Egyptian pictures.
- Centre: the constellation's movements thousands of years ago.
- Right: the constellation shown as a bear with the unnatural tail
(Beyer's map from the Renaissance).
A large part of the basis for the Senmut-map is deeply rooted in ancient
Egypt's astronomical traditions - which now appears more comprehensive than
hitherto acknowledged - to which the following examples, although not
directly related to his star map, are showing an advanced capacity and
collected experience concerning the starry sky, which included astronomy,
celestial geometry, astrology, and time measuring was an especially
important issue in a comprehensive knowledge thus existing in the societies
of the past.
In Egypt from very early
times an observatory was known at the top of the shrine for the Moon-god's
son Khonsu in the temple of Karnak/Thebes. Even from the very ancient times
astronomical lines of sight were used as placement plan for the axes of the
Ramses II's rock temple
at Abu Simple has been arranged so that the sun's light every 22nd October
enters through the very long corridor following the temple's central axis
and reaches completely out at its end and lighten up this pharaoh's statue
which is extremely precisely placed here.
Many of the temples were,
so to speak, lined up also according to the stars - thereby the intension
was supported that the both worlds were united. These conditions were
created very consciously because we can see that the temple constructions
added on through millennia change direction a bit according to the celestial
pattern continuously very small changing (via the "the precession") through
The special, geometrical
patterns of lines of sight to important stars, found by measuring the sky, were
assumed to be like reflected in the terrestrial geography. The connection with
"the mark from cosmos" can be recognized in the biblical statement "as in heaven
so on earth".
Even at the construction
of the three great pyramids of Giza at 4,500 years ago the constructers were
intrigued by the stars. When observing the pattern of the constellation Orion -
the central part is the 3 bright stars known as "Orion's Belt "- the ancient
astronomers are believed to have identified a related situation here and used
this star system as a template for the geographical layout of the three great
pyramids at their particular location on the building area.
Among the Egyptians
the sky-related version of the death-and-resurrection-god Osiris was Orion, who
especially was involved with the pyramid cult of the dead. In addition, the
pyramid buildings' specific mutual relations in their positions on the ground
were so precisely carried out that it fully corresponds to the ideas of ancient
tradition that these pyramids in their earthly - geographically - circumstances
constitute "a mirror image of the sky".
G. Bauval and Adrian Gilbert points out in their book "The Orion Mystery" (1994)
that the dead cultic Egyptian pyramids in Giza were positioned at the Nile so
that they were corresponding to a (mirror) image of the Orion stars - relating
to the god of the deceased, Osiris - at the celestial "river" of the Milky Way.
Critics reject the
whole thing as "a coincidence" and allege even that the pyramids' location
having a reversed orientation relative to the constellation, but these critics
apparently do not know that a mirror-reversed image of a constellation - i.e. as
a direct projection of the image from the sky and down to the ground - was a
frequently used tradition everywhere right up to a few hundred years ago. Thus,
from Antiquity the famous statue of Atlas is seen bearing on his shoulders the
celestial sphere with all the constellations facing towards the Earth and
turning their backs to the viewer - and in the same way on the star maps later
in the Renaissance. Even the Egyptians almost never showed the constellation
figures in front but mostly in profile.
The notion that
these pyramids are in correspondence with the sky, is also demonstrated to be
probable in particular by the fact that the pyramids in the ancient inscriptions
can be seen explicitly called "the pyramid which is a star" - according to the
British Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson, Cambridge University ("The Guardian", May
Moreover, it is in
particular known that in general the Egyptians also looked upon the Nile and its
course from south to north as a reflection of a dominating celestial image, the
The principle of
such kind of pattern can be seen documented via Father of Church, St. Augustine,
who, in 415 AD in his writings, "De Civitate Dei" (8:23), quoting the ancient
Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistos, 'the Thrice Great Thoth', saying:
"... the entire Egypt is as a mirror image of the sky ... transferred from
heaven down to earth ..."
Concerning the placement
of the three Great Pyramids it seems not only to have been arranged to reflect
the three stars in Orion's Belt, but it is a fact that also the so-called
airshafts in the Great Pyramid are pointing, in an exact angle, in particular to
Orion and other selected stars.
Furthermore, these three
pyramids have been built with the most incredibly exact celestial line of sight
towards the North Star, i.e. at its position at that time. Kate Spence, the
British Egyptologist, published a brilliant, although disputed, article on that
method: "Ancient Egyptian Chronology and the Astronomical Orientation", in
"Nature" 16 November 2000 (Vol. 408, No. 6810, pp. 320-324).
The constellation Orion's belt of 3 bright stars might have inspired to
the location of the 3 pyramids. To the right: a part of Senmut's star
map with the 3 stars highlighted.
Also ancient temples were
considered literally as a holy piece of heaven reflected into the geography
on Earth. For instance, the ancient Babylonians/Assyrians directly referred
each of their major cities to certain stars - e.g. Nineveh (cf. "Book
of Genesis", 10:11), the city's name meaning 'wild boar' also being the
totem of this city and a name of the constellation "The Boar" (our Great
Bear/Charles' Wain). Another example of their concept of a
sky-earth-mutual-reflection is that with their sky-yardstick the Babylonians
measured degrees of arc by use of a certain terrestrial measure, "the royal
Through their many years
of archaeo-astronomical studies, researchers Robert Bauval and Wayne Herchel
independently of one another detected (in 2005-2006) that the ancient
Egyptians used even very accurately the little group of pyramids in Abusir -
which is located exactly on an extension line from Giza - to represent
the Pleiades on this "celestial map on the ground".
Concerning the three
great pyramids at Giza the researcher on history, Robert Temple, has disclosed by meticulous measuring and observation disclosed that during the days
around December 21, i.e. exactly around winter solstice, the
pyramids cast shadows on each other. And in particular that such a special
winter solstice shadow will be cast on the southern surface of the largest
pyramid (cf. Robert Temple: "The Crystal Sun", London 2000).
The pyramid silhouette of
this "rare" shadow has an angle of 26 degrees and 34 minutes -exactly like
the slope of the ramps (for instance "the Gallery) inside the very pyramid.
This definite 26 degrees angle is part of the "golden" right-angled triangle
with sides in a ratio of 1 to 2 and a corresponding square root of 5 which
in particular is connected to "the Golden Section".
This concept was
especially important within the almost religiously sublime geometric science
of ancient times - and was here the canonical basis of Egyptian art and
Illustration, below: The ramps of the interior of the pyramid with
the 26 degrees tilt (26:34 degrees).
The clues for understanding the build-in information in the Senmut star map
should be based on knowledge about the special Egyptian astronomic-cosmological
The ancient temples constitute or represent "a part of the sky" placed in the
terrestrial world. The temple of Queen Hatshepsut was built 3500 years ago in Deir el-Bahari west of Luxor,
and Senmut, the Grand Vizier, who was also a brilliant and innovative architect,
had engraved in the foundation stone a kind of horoscope for the foundation of
the temple (according to French Egyptologist Suzanne Ratie's work "La
reine-pharaon", Paris 1972).
is also established that Senmut has arranged the building in such a way that a
long line of sight of several kilometres pointing from the central axis of the
large Temple of Karnak (in northern part of present city Luxor) and further
crossing the Nile and all the way out where it eventually is united with the
central axis of Hatshepsut's Temple of the Egyptian sky-goddess Hathor - at the
mountain ridge in front of the Valley of Kings. The deviation of the line of
sight is accurate to less than 2 degrees. The axis is discussed and depicted in
Ove von Spaeth's book-series on Moses, Vol. 2, "The
Enigmatic Son of Pharaoh's Daughter" (chapter7).
The prolonged axis or
special line of sight, i.e. a narrow belt of sight more than a 'cord' in
particular, is not heading directly east-west, but has a little wry angle to
this, however, the main direction is the very same. Only few know about this
axis, and less than few that it has been designated a special meaning or
intension. The meaning can be disclosed by combining the various accessible
data. Thus, the geographical angle of this axis will state that in reality
it is placed directly at the very line of winter solstice.
This can be observed,
concretely, at the very site: the sun will appear at solstice on the shortest
day of the year - approx. on December 21 - which was important, because at this
special turning point the length of the days will again begin to increase. And in
Luxor (Karnak) the passage of the sun will follow exactly the central axis of
the Temple of Karnak in east and further on.
On that particular day it is possible to track the sun in the morning, when it
rises precisely in the centre at the end of the "main street" of the Temple of
Karnak, where the sun beams hit in a special, brilliant way without "wry"
angles. (For instance, Ronald Lane Reese, Professor in Physics and Astronomy, at
Washington and Lee University, have also noted some of these features, cf. his article:
"Midwinter Sunrise at El Karnak", Sky & Telescope Magazine, March 1992, pp. 276-278).
It was of great
significance that with this date the point of the year was reached when,
simultaneously, Sirius - always considered by the Egyptians to be the most important
star (and is always followed by Orion) - was "born" (as they called it) here,
down by the horizon.
In Egypt the star Sirius
can be seen in the sky most of the year - and at this exact time to which
relation the temple axis had been constructed, a special correspondence was
understood between the sun and Sirius. Because here, exactly at winter
solstice, Sirius can be seen appearing above the horizon at sunset.
Ancient Greek sculptor,
Phidias, also painter and architect, ca. 480–430 BC, is regarded as being
among the greatest of all Classical sculptors. His famous work, the seated
statue of Zeus, 12 metres tall, occupied the whole width of the aisle of the
temple in Olympia built to house it, and was one of the Seven Wonders of the
ancient world. The gigantic, precious sculpture of ivory and gold-plated
bronze was made in Phidias' huge building erected for that purpose at the
site of the temple. The point here is that the ruins of this workshop still
prove the old knowledge as the building was placed precisely parallel with
the line of sight used for the construction of the temple itself - in order
to shape the statue for receiving the cosmic light in the very best way
exactly as it would appear in the temple.
significance may be attached to such a type of axis. If we look at modern
architects' and surveyors' measures of the ruins in Tell el-Amarna, the town Akhetaten
founded by Pharaoh Akhenaten, approx. mid-14th
it appears that there is a similar line
of sight following the central axis of the temple and the town and further
crossing the landscape out to certain mountains, which are being passed by the
sun at the terminal point of its diurnal arc.
This construction seems
to copy the principle of Senmut's (subterranean) tomb placed in front of the
mountain at the end of the long line of sight, which in Luxor/Thebes has its
point of origin in the axis of the temple of Karnak. Furthermore, on the latter
mountain's rear side (i.e. the Kings' Valley) is situated a tomb, prepared for
being shared by Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis I, placed directly in the further
extension of this line.
Everywhere in the old
world the axis of winter solstice was of major importance. For instance, it is
the very recognizable base of the whole structure of the Ale's Stenar, the 'Nordic
Stonehenge' in Scania, Sweden.
pyramids of black volcanic stone - situated near Guimar on east coast of
Tenerife, the Canary Island - were found in 1990 by explorer Thor Heyerdahl.
These pyramids' main complex discloses a perfect line marking the axis of winter
solstice. In 1997-1998 archaeologist Donald Ryan have excavated underneath one
of these pyramids and found ostracon and obsidian-made tools from the island's
original pre-Spanish people, the Guanches, tracing back at least to 6th century
astronomer, Sir J. Norman Lockyer (1836-1920) - among other things famous for
the discovery of the sun's chromosphere and the element of helium (in the sun),
and his foundation of the famous scientific journal "Nature" - calculated the
astronomical lines in ancient Egyptian major temples. He discovered that they
all followed such celestial lines of sight and that even later temple buildings
changing direction according to later changes in the stellar arrangement in the
He discovered in the
temple inscriptions that the sacred Egyptian ceremony Streching the Cord
ceremony was the very description of creating sacred alignment with the
celestial lines of sight, especially the axis of the winter solstice, thus
making the temple foundation and layout in harmony with the cosmos.
Lockyer also measured
Greek temples and got the same results - nobody before him had seen and analysed
this major coherence between astronomy and the temples through the ages.
And the same principle at
Stonehenge, too, where Lockyer also dated its construction by again using the
fact, that the lines were adapted according to a previous angle of tilt of
the axis of Earth. Modern C-14 measuring confirms the dating results about the
early time. And especially the Stonehenge axis of winter solstice shows
its major importance in the whole arrangement of the construction.
Hatshepsut together with the goddess Seshat performing the Stretching
of the Cord ceremony - for the astronomical orientation of the temples.
From a wall block in Hatshepsut's Red Chapel, in the Karnak temple.
In the year 2000 the world's oldest known star observatory was found at the German
town Goseck, approx. 180 kilometres southeast of Berlin. The neolithic
circular construction shows a diameter of 75 metres, and by all methods it
is dated to more than 7,000 years of age, i.e. older than even Stonehenge.
Cf. Madhusree Mukerjee: "Circles for Space. German 'Stonehenge' marks oldest
observatory", Scientific American (8th December 2003).
The observatory has three
gates - to the south-east, the south-west, and the north - precisely placed
according to the axis of winter solstice. Standing in the centre at the time
of winter solstice - and only then - the observers thus could see the sun
raising and its setting. Some traditional views by science have been
surprised that neolithic people measured the celestial elements to such an
extended exactness and so early in history.
the Senmut map adorning the ceiling of his subterranean tomb's tunneling
room on its way beneath Hatshepsut's temple - in fact, the very star map was
planned to be in line with this tunnel of more than 100 metres. This line is
following the direction of the winter solstice axis connecting the Karnak
temple with Hatshepsut's temple several kilometres away.
Below: The line of sight:
The Karnark's temple-axis, early in the morning on the day of Winter
solstice, every year when around 23rd of December.
The line of sight: from Karnark's temple-axis via Deir el-Bahari's temple-axis
and and further over to Hatshepsut's and her father Tuthmosis I's combined royal
tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The deviation in the precision of the line of
sight is less than 2 degrees of arc.
Pharaoh/Queen Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahari built by
Senmut, vizier and chief architect of Egypt. From the upper
temple terrace with the the goddess Hathor pillars, an
excellent view follows a straight line through some
kilometres to the Karnak tempel at the River Nile.
Pharaoh/Queen Hatshepsut depicted as the god Osiris,
repeated through a row of her big
statues at her temple at
Apart from the analysis: A possible relation to Moses?
The earlier mentioned
the Senmut star map carried out by Ove von Spaeth follows its own
objective purpose: to be concerned only with the very dating of the ancient
Egyptian star map - and without any dependence of how the result could be
used in other connections.
Apart from this
investigation, - by a totally separated research - the many data on the
Senmut map have interesting perspectives: - The precise astronomical dating of
the star map implying an enhanced concept of the chronology, which will also
contribute to the new orientating research on the historical Moses as presented
von Spaeth's book-series).
In addition, Ove von Spaeth's
treatise, published in "Centaurus" (42;3, 2000), with documentation for the
dating of Egypt's oldest star map, has been re-edited to be used by readers
without professional astronomical knowledge. It has been attached as an Appendix
to the Volume 2 of Ove von Spaeth's
present book-series on research of the historical Moses.
Thus, in relation to the
concept of Ove von Spaeth's book series, the result of the analysis of the star map
having disclosed remarkable
The material indicates a
special date is signified in the star map. The same date seems to appear in the Rabbinical
Writings informing about a specific event for Moses in Egypt. In addition to this, the possible cross-reference between Egyptian and Israelite history has
been demonstrated in the series' Volume 2 (and in Vol.1
as well) and the result seems to be supported further by several important
relations in this area of research.
Centaurus-publisher's part of copyright to publish the treatise of the star
map has most kindly been excluded for the benefit of presenting the text in
connection with Ove von Spaeth's Moses-research. The treatise was thus also
allowed being published as an appendix to
the Volume 2
of this author's book-series "Assassinating
below, left: Portrait of Senmut, a contemporary ink-drawing.
Right: a staircase in the long tunnel of Senmut's secret tomb beneath
the temple ground.
The combination of archaeology and the rare but informative data from ancient astronomy -
together with Egyptology and textual research - is a basic way to a better
understanding of some of the great enigmas in the history of the past.
These conditions have brought light to what seems to be the existence of a special connection
between the Senmut star map and the Moses era, this being discovered by Ove von Spaeth's researching.
In his five-volume book-series "Assassinating Moses" Ove von Spaeth has
most carefully analysed and published a great amount of ancient traces and highly important clues
of the historical Moses. This task has been thoroughly supported by the author's
substantial basis of historical and astronomical learning and experience. In his many years of
intensive studies Ove von Spaeth has, furthermore, made extensive use of
research into archaeology, anthropology, ancient languages, history of religion,
Egyptian tradition as well as the ancient teachings of mystery and mythology. He
throws new light on the unusually abundant and also controversial material, and even
using holistic angle.
It is in this
context that Ove von Spaeth has meticulously investigated the chronological
background, in order to obtain a considerably better precision concerning
the historical time-frame of the era in question.
von Spaeth's momentous, new-orientating treatise on "Dating the Oldest
Egyptian Star Map" which was published in "Centaurus International Magazine
on The History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology" in 2000 (Vol. 42:3,
pp. 159-179): - a scientific pioneering work which has gained sustained
admiration and respect internationally for its non-traditional observations
and for finding solutions to the special difficult problems of key
importance to the ancient Egyptian astronomy and the chronological
perspectives. - In addition, the actual findings have furthered
research on rendering more accurate the dating of Moses' historical period."
Hans Baron Anckarstjerna,
historian, editor-in-chief, - Swedano Journal
A certain background
concerning the star-map and the Moses-research:
The following information - about similar astronomically based chronology
studies from Ove von Spaeth's first volume on the Moses-research - is an introduction written by Kristian Peder Moesgaard, D.Sc., Professor
on History of Astronomy, at The University of Aarhus:
"Already the overall picture in this book - of the detection of some radical
circumstances behind Moses' role in the history of Egypt and the Hebrew
people - is extremely exciting in itself. Rightly, Ove von Spaeth has chosen
a vivid style in order to reach a wider circle of readers than mere
specialists. Furthermore, this work of Ove von Spaeth is inter-disciplinary
to an exceptional degree based on extensive and thorough studies within
history, theology, archaeology, and the history of religion as well as the
history of astronomy.
With zeal and flair Ove
von Spaeth has collected evidence from widely different sources to support his
main thesis regarding Moses and his status and place in
history; and from the
astronomical-historical point of view I find the basic assumption of a certain planetary constellation in
1537 BC worth testing in relation to biblical research Egyptology archaeology as
well as general history.
The actual occurrence of
the above-mentioned planetary constellation and other astronomical circumstances
may be objectively verified by computation based on modern astronomical theory.
And the author argues that the Moses tradition in source material from
Egyptology, the Bible, the Rabbinical Texts, and from a number of historians of
antiquity reflects these astronomical phenomena. He is also of the opinion that
this starting point throws new light on the coherence of the remaining source
The author's dating of Moses
at 1500-1400 BC, about 200 years earlier than the most frequently accepted
dating in 11th century BC, has previously been suggested by researchers of
various backgrounds and nationalities: Egyptologists, historians of religion, and
archaeologists throughout the last one hundred years (e.g. G. Lefébure, V.H.
Juvelius, J. Garstang, and lately, J.J. Bimson and S. Ratié, among others). Thus
Ove von Spaeth's assertion is not unprecedented and in the present work the
hypothesis has been confronted with a much wider spectrum of source material
than in the works of the researchers mentioned.
An extensive bibliography
reveals extraordinarily thorough background studies. The entire account and its
results deserve to be known also outside Scandinavia."
Kristian Peder Moesgaard,
D.Sc., Professor, History of Science Department, Aarhus University; -
Director of the Steno Museum, Danish National Museum for the History of
An introduction (to Vol. 2 of Ove von Spaeth's
Moses-series) - of relevance in
relation to The Antiquity's sources on Ancient Egypt - was written by Leo Hjortsoe, University lecturer in
"This work by Ove von Spaeth reassesses
Moses' historic situation, and - if properly published and put into
circulation - it could alter our current view of this historic sequence of
events in the Near East during the last half of the second millennium BC.
This is a
well-articulated, thought-provoking text that is very enjoyable reading and
which should interest any avid reader of ancient history for scientific and
personal reasons alike.
The writer presents a
truthful, comprehensive presentation of his material - with no ulterior
motives. The primary sources used here go far beyond those used in
contemporary research; and his secondary sources, including the results of
modern research all the way up to the present, are applied and discussed to
an astonishing degree.
Ove von Spaeth's work -
the result of year-long efforts on partly unheeded problems up to now - not
only constitutes serious historical research, but is a vivid historiography
appealing both to scientific history research and ordinary readers interested in
Leo Hjortsoe, University
lecturer, Classical Philology, University of Copenhagen
Naturally and as already referred to, Ove von Spaeth's research of the very
Senmut star map and its chronological perspectives contains valuable data which were later taken into
consideration in relation to his work on the investigation of the historical
Moses and the era concerned.
Illustrations. Below: Quarry with modern
entrance to Senmut tomb TT353 - from where its hidden, long tunnel
continues through the deep underground beneath Hatshepsut's temple.
Further below: Senmut's
astronomical ceiling from 'Chamber A' in his tomb, No TT353.
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: