Discussions in Egyptology 33 1995 Harvard University

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DISCUSSIONS I N E G Y P T O L O G Y ISSN 0 2 6 8 3 0 8 3. 1995 Authors,All Rights Reserved,Editor Alessandra Nibbi. Reviews Editor Angela Tooley,TABLE OF CONTENTS, Editorial note The Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists. Cambridge 1995, A Alcock A Note on the Historical Works of Naguib Mahfouz 7. J Goldberg Centuries of Darkness and Egyptian Chronology 11. Another Look, W Honig Die 9 G tter von Heliopolis in der Cheopspyramide 33. E Iversen Two Suggestions Concerning Obelisks 41, J A R Legon The Orion Correlation and Air shaft Theories 45.
O Ndigi L expression des cardinaux et des ordinaux en gyptien 57. et en basaa, P O Mara Can the Giza Pyramids be dated Astronomically Logical 73. Foundations for an Old Kingdom Astronomical,Chronology. J G Read Placement of El Lahun Lunar Dates and Resulting 87. Chronology,J Rousseau Metrologie et coud e,G Tak cs Aegyptio Afroasiatica II 123. J Vercoutter The Unesco Campaign of Nubia in the Sudan Success. or Failure, T DuQuesne K Koch Geschichte der gyptischen Religion von den. Pyramiden bis zu den Mysterien der Isis Kohlhammer. Verlag K ln 1993 also D Meeks and C Favard 141,Meeks La vie quotidienne des dieux gyptiens.
Hachette 1993, Reynes J Crowfoot Payne Catalogue oj the Predynastic 157. Egyptian Collection in the Ashmolean Museum,Clarendon Press Oxford 1993. L Morenz G Lapp Typologie der S rge und Sargkammern von der 161. 6 bis 3 Dynastie SAGA 7 Heidelberg 1993, R Park S Bickel La cosmogonie gyptienne avant le Nouvel 169. Empire Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 134 Editions,Universitaires Fribourg Suisse 1994. C Sturtewagen ed J M Bremer Th Van den Hout R Peters Hidden 173. Futures Death and Immortality in Ancient Egypt, Anatolia the Classical Biblical and Arabic Islamic World.
Amsterdam University Press 1994,DISCUSSIONS IN EGYPTOLOGY G U I D E L I N E S. Annual S u b s c r i p t i o n consisting of three numbers from J a n u a r y of each. F r o m 1995 U K and abroad 30 00,Airmail abroad 5 00 extra. Single n u m b e r 12 00 Back numbers 15 00,To be paid in sterling only please to. Discussions in Egyptology Discussions in Egyptology. 13 Lovelace R o a d A c no 0 8 2 6 8 1 3 4, OXFORD OX2 8LP National W e s t m i n s t e r Bank pic. United Kingdom Oxford C o r n m a r k e t B r a n c h. OXFORD OX1 3 Q H, Subscribers m a y find that the Post Office giro is the cheapest w a y to send this.
C o n t r i b u t i o n s should be sent to the above address. a They should be clearly typed in black ink preferably on a n e w ribbon. on A 4 paper with margins of at least 3 cm at the top and 2 5 c m at sides a n d. bottom The lines should be well spaced to allow for the effects of r e d u c t i o n. because the sheets go to press just as we receive them For reasons of cost w e. prefer illustrations to be line d r a w i n g s but if the occasional p h o t o g r a p h is. n e c e s s a r y please m a k e sure that there is sufficient c o n t r a s t so that it will. r e p r o d u c e satisfactorily,b Please type on one side of the sheet only. c It is to everyone s a d v a n t a g e to include a short s u m m a r y with e a c h. c o n t r i b u t i o n to facilitate its i n c l u s i o n in the Annual Egyptological. Bibliography,d Each contributor will receive 25 offprints free. e W h e n preparing for the post please protect against accidental folding. by enclosing s o m e stiff c a r d b o a r d inside the envelope. f O u r n u m b e r s are n o w filling early so that articles are often held o v e r. until the next number, Discussions in Egyptology 3 3 1 9 9 5 ISSN 0 2 6 8 3 0 8 3. The Orion Correlation and Air Shaft Theories,John A R Legon. In recent articles in this journal a number of references have been. made to the results of my research into the design of the pyramids and. other monuments of the Fourth Dynasty and it has been pointed out that. although I do not accept Robert Bauval s Orion correlation theory for. the Giza pyramids I have not as yet offered an alternative explanatioh. for the linking together of these pyramids in a single plan in terms of. the religious ideas which are thought to have motivated the construction. of pyramids during the Old Kingdom Ever since I first demonstrated the. existence of the Giza plan in 1979 however it has been my intention. to put forward such an explanation but I have refrained from doing so. because I do not believe that sufficient evidence is yet available from. which a secure interpretation of the religious and other objectives of. the Fourth Dynasty pyramid builders can be determined. The correct identification of this purpose is to my mind a serious. matter and it is necessary to dissociate the geometrical structure of. the site plan the evidence for which stands by itself and has never. been refuted from speculations concerning the positioning of the Giza. pyramids based on a misrepresentation of the Egyptian funerary beliefs. There is after all no evidence from the Pyramid Texts or elsewhere to. support the idea that different pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty might be. equated with different stars of the constellation of Orion and I find. the idea conceptually implausible in view of the fact that successive. kings of the Old Kingdom wished to be identified with S 3 i Osiris in the. afterlife in precisely the same terms from one reign to the next. Central to this problem is the convenient but vague identification. of the word S3h in the Pyramid Texts with the constellation of Orion. when there are good reasons for supposing that the compilers of these. texts conceived of S3h not as a constellation but as a star This. understanding was indeed clearly expressed by Alexander Badawy in his. important paper describing the stellar destiny of pharaoh in which. he referred to Orion as a kind of prince among the other stars the. most powerful among the stars and Orion probably o Orionis as the. brightest star in the southern sky, Although it appears that in later contexts the name S3h could refer.
to the constellation of Orion as whole yet there can be no doubt that. just as Sirius stood alone in the sky as the embodiment of Isis so also. only one star in the constellation of Orion could have been supposed to. embody the spirit of Osiris or that of the deceased king in the guise. of Osiris This conclusion is obviously supported in the decan lists of. astronomical ceilings in which the dieties of the different stars are. given In the tombs of Senmut Pedamenope and Montemhet for example. Osiris is associated with the star known as hry ran S3h the star under. the arm of S3h while elsewhere according to Parker and Neugebauer s. classification the same star with the presiding deity of Osiris is. identified as S3h specifically Other stars of Orion were referred to. in the decan lists as Children of Horus and Eye of Horus. As we have seen Badawy equated the name S3h in the Pyramid Texts. with a Orionis apparently believing that this was the designation of. the brightest star in the constellation of Orion when in fact the star. in question is named B Orionis or Rigel Since Rigel marks one of the. feet of Orion it accords perfectly with the identification of S3h as. the Toe star as shown by the translation of the word s3h and it. also gives meaning to several passages in the Pyramid Texts including. the following as rendered by Badawy Thou must approach the sky on. thy toes as the Toe star Orion PT 723 Substituting Toe star for. S3h in this manner similarly explains the allusion to Seth s complaint. that Osiris had kicked him when there came into being this his name. of Toe star long of leg and lengthy of stride PT 959 and likewise. the method of ascent of the deceased I have gone up upon the ladder. with my foot on the Toe star PT 1763 Again in the Coffin Texts. we find am the Toe star who treads his Two Lands who navigates in. front of the stars of the sky on the belly of my mother Nut CT III. 263 This last passage clearly shows which of the two feet stars. of Orion should be identified as the Toe star since when Orion rises. in the east the brilliant Rigel leads the way and indeed navigates. because it marks the place on the horizon where Sirius will be seen to. rise about 100 minutes later This indication was of course useful for. observations of the heliacal rising of Sothis alluded to in the naming. of Spelt as Year in line 965 of the Pyramid Texts, In passages such as the following May S3h give me his hand for. Sothis has taken my hand PT 1561 a reference may appear to be made. to the anthropomorphic figure of Orion and yet since this idea cannot. possibly have applied to Spdt there is no reason why it should have. applied to S3h either Consequently it makes good sense to substitute. Toe star for Orion in every occurrence in the Pyramid Texts and to. conclude that the interplay between Isis Sprft and 0siris 5Jh took place. in a balanced relationship between two stars namely Sirius and Rigel. two of the brightest stars in the sky and not between a star and a. constellation We may infer that the name S3h originally referred to. the Toe star Rigel alone but was later applied to the constellation of. Orion as a whole yet the Egyptians never lost sight of the fact that. only one star in the constellation represented Osiris. Despite these theological objections I would not have discounted. the Orion correlation theory if a satisfactory correlation had been. shown to exist but this simply is not the case I find it surprising. that Bauval should have attempted to equate the relative dimensions of. the three Giza pyramids with the relative brightnesses of the stars in. Orion s Belt since when viewed in the night sky these stars appear. almost equally bright and indeed have similar astronomical magnitudes. Certainly Mintaka is less bright than the two other stars Alnilam and. Alnitak but when seen in the sky and in photographs the difference is. not very noticeable and can hardly account for the construction of the. Third Pyramid with only one tenth of the volume of the Great Pyramid. The stars appear naturally as points of light and not at all as blobs. of varying sizes comparable to the bases of the three pyramids as one. might suppose from a time lapse photograph published by Bauval. Although the patterning of the stars in Orion s Belt must be said to. resemble the broad disposition of the Giza pyramids the orientation of. the arrangement argues against a deliberate correlation because firstly. the alignment of the Belt stars when referred to the meridian diverged. by more than 30 from the corresponding alignment on the ground for the. epoch of around 2500 BC Bauval has tried to explain this discrepancy. by supposing that it was intended to reflect the situation which due to. precession would have existed in 10450 B C S t i U more surprisingly. in order to obtain a correlation with the bend in the line of the Belt. stars Bauval has had to turn Orion upside down reversing the positions. of the stars from north to south Thus whereas Mintaka is offset to the. north of a line joining Alnitak to Alnilam the Third Pyramid is offset. to the south of a line joining the Creat Pyramid to the Second Pyramid. I do not believe that the pyramid builders who were acutely conscious. of the natural orientations of the star fields would have conceived of. such a representation and for this reason alone I do not believe that. a correlation was intended between the Giza pyramids and Orion s Beit. Three stars do not in any case make a constellation and we must. also consider the larger plan which is supposed to encompass the other. major pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty For the reason just cited and. contrary to notion that the stars of Orion were in some way projected. on to the landscape beneath them Bauval has equated the northernmost. pyramid at Abu Roash with the star Saiph to the south of Orion s Belt. while relating the Unfinished Pyramid at Zawiyet el Aryan to the south. of Giza with the northerly star Bellatrix Now accepting this reversal. of the natural geographical relationship and taking the correlation. between the Giza pyramids and the Belt stars as fixed we can determine. where the other stars of Orion will fall over Egypt when mapped out on. the same scale using spherical trigonometry to calculate the angular. separations of the stars from their celestial coordinates An accurate. comparison can then be made with the distances between the Giza pyramids. and the other pyramids of the plan with reference to a large scale map. such as that published in the Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Equating the angular distance of 2 78 between Alnitak and Mintaka. with the corresponding ground plan dimension of 936 18 ms between the. centres of the Great Pyramid and the Third Pyramid we thus find that. the angular distance of 7 89 from Alnitak to Saiph should correspond. to a distance on the ground of 2 66 km In fact however the distance. from the Great Pyramid to the Abu Roash Pyramid is about 5 km or nearly. twice the distance required for a correlation Similarly the angular. distance of 9 18 between Alnitak and Bellatrix gives a distance on the. ground of 3 09 km or less than half the actual distance of about 8 km. The outcome of this analysis which is easily verified using a computer. program such as Skyglobe is shown in fig 1 Anything less resembling. Discussions in Egyptology 33 1995 ISSN 0268 3083 The Orion Correlation and Air Shaft Theories John A R Legon In recent articles in this journal a number of references have been made to the results of my research into the design of the pyramids and other monuments of the Fourth Dynasty and it has been pointed out that

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