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Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:26 am
by E.P. Grondine
This work appears to me to be very important:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/292945.aspx

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:20 pm
by Tiompan
Of the six illuminations mentioned ,only one occurs at a solstice . The others are spread around February -April / September -November and all are at different dates .
If there were an obvious pattern it would be more interesting .
"My conclusion is that all of them face the sun either in a direct way related to the three sacred phases of the sun — sunrise, noon and sunset "
That is really underwhelming when we consider that the choice is pretty wide i.e. at the latitude of the monuments the sun will rise and set over a total of approx 108 degrees of the horizon .
And if we include noon then there will be an even greater choice of "alignments "to choose from .
The fact is that most monuments are aligned towards a part of the horizon where the sun can be seen to rise or set or is rising or setting.Very few are actually aligned towards the small area of the horizon where the sun is never to be seen .
In the majority of examples it is a given that at some days in the year sunlight will illuminate the end of the aligned passage .
Without a pattern i.e. choice of auspicious or repeated dates it's not really saying much .

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:45 am
by E.P. Grondine
http://sino-platonic.org/complete/spp25 ... ations.pdf

Could this explain the alignments at the different sites?
Were individual nomes connected with different constellations?

Whhile Sheoard Baird has been working through the constellations of Jason and the Argonauts,
and this paper is very relevant to that,
it strikes me that there was likely some myth cycle that was used to teach the constellations.
What raole Jason and the Argonauts may have held to that myth cycle is of interest.

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:46 pm
by Tiompan
E.P. Grondine wrote:http://sino-platonic.org/complete/spp253_ancient_egyptian_constellations.pdf

Could this explain the alignments at the different sites?


Note p16 . "Archaeologists found the world’s oldest astronomical stone circle in Nabta, Egypt, in an area that is
now desert but once contained a lake used by early pastoralists (McKim Malville, Schild, & Wendorf,
2008). Large stones delineate a circle with four “windows,” which align with the summer solstice and
the North and South poles. Possible alignments to Arcturus, Sirius, Orion, and Ursa Major have been
proposed, indicating that these constellation were sighted as far back as 4500 BC."

The alignments in the paper are possibly between nomes and constellations i.e. p3 "parallels between the iconography of the list of
nomes , or administrative districts of Egypt, and the classical constellations visible in Egypt circa 3100 BC .

That is entirely different from putative alignments at monuments , further alignments to heavenly bodies make sense when they are aligned towards specific points in the sky at specific times ,
not at something that encompasses a wide area of the sky or horizon like a constellation .

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:52 pm
by E.P. Grondine
Hi tiompan -

I understood it to be "assignment" of a nome to a constellation.
If so, the question becomes did the alignments of major structures within a nome bear some relation to "its" constellation?
In any case, I am more interested in trying to identify any tale that was used in the Bronze Age Aegean to teach the night sky.
I am pretty certain that at least one of these existed.

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:42 am
by Tiompan
E.P. Grondine wrote: did the alignments of major structures within a nome bear some relation to "its" constellation?


If each nome was assigned to a constellation and monuments within the nome were aligned towards the constellation then we might expect a uniformity of alignments within the various nomes.
That wouldn't be very difficult to confirm .
But the problem remains " alignments to heavenly bodies make sense when they are aligned towards specific points in the sky at specific times ,
not at something that encompasses a wide area of the sky or horizon like a constellation ."

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:38 am
by E.P. Grondine
Tiompan wrote:
E.P. Grondine wrote: did the alignments of major structures within a nome bear some relation to "its" constellation?


If each nome was assigned to a constellation and monuments within the nome were aligned towards the constellation then we might expect a uniformity of alignments within the various nomes.
That wouldn't be very difficult to confirm .
But the problem remains " alignments to heavenly bodies make sense when they are aligned towards specific points in the sky at specific times ,
not at something that encompasses a wide area of the sky or horizon like a constellation ."


It seems to me that the problem would be figuring out the relation of the sun to the constellations which was held by the ancient Egyptians.
That is for someone else, as I am very busy analyzing other remains a hemisphere away.

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:41 am
by Tiompan
[quote="E.P. Grondine"

It seems to me that the problem would be figuring out the relation of the sun to the constellations which was held by the ancient Egyptians.
[/quote]

That's hardly difficult .
But what has that got to do with what you had said earlier .
"Could this explain the alignments at the different sites?"

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:21 am
by E.P. Grondine
Tiompan wrote:[quote="E.P. Grondine"

It seems to me that the problem would be figuring out the relation of the sun to the constellations which was held by the ancient Egyptians.


That's hardly difficult .
But what has that got to do with what you had said earlier .
"Could this explain the alignments at the different sites?"[/quote]

So, could this explain the solar alignments at the sites in different nomes?

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:42 am
by Tiompan
E.P. Grondine wrote:
So, could this explain the solar alignments at the sites in different nomes?


What is the "this " that could "explain the solar alignments at the sites in different nomes " ?

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:28 am
by E.P. Grondine
Could the assignation of different constellations to different nomes explain
the different solar alignments of the temples found in those different nomes?

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:08 am
by Tiompan
E.P. Grondine wrote:Could the assignation of different constellations to different nomes explain
the different solar alignments of the temples found in those different nomes?


When a monument is oriented towards a solar event on the horizon like a solstice or equinox we assume can assume a possible alignment .
But if it is towards a point on the horizon where the sun can be seen to rise or set some time in the year but not a solstice ,equinox ,or even cross quarter day we do not know that is a aligned towards the sun or for
that matter any heavenly body ?
When it is oriented towards a point on the horizon where the sun is never seen to rise or set then we can't possibly suggest a solar alignment .
Thus , there is a problem in automatically assuming solar alignment in general , without cultural support it is even more difficult to argue for the case .
When there are different orientations of monuments within the same nome , none of which are to the obvious solar events , how can you make a case for the assignation of constellations to nomes impacting
on the differing orientations ?

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:31 am
by circumspice
E.P. Grondine wrote:Could the assignation of different constellations to different nomes explain
the different solar alignments of the temples found in those different nomes?


LMAO! Sometimes you're quite amusing EP... You still retain 'some' entertainment value after all. Your post above gave me a good laugh...

Your usage of the word assignation is technically correct, in the context that you used, but the term is antiquated & pretty much no longer in common use.

as·sig·na·tion
asiɡˈnāSH(ə)n/noun

1. an appointment to meet someone in secret, typically one made by lovers. "his assignation with an older woman"

synonyms: rendezvous, date, appointment, meeting; literary tryst "their secret assignation"

2. the allocation or attribution of someone or something as belonging to something
.

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:23 pm
by E.P. Grondine
Tiompan wrote:
E.P. Grondine wrote:Could the assignation of different constellations to different nomes explain
the different solar alignments of the temples found in those different nomes?


When a monument is oriented towards a solar event on the horizon like a solstice or equinox we assume can assume a possible alignment .
But if it is towards a point on the horizon where the sun can be seen to rise or set some time in the year but not a solstice, equinox, or even cross quarter day we do not know that is a aligned towards the sun or for that matter any heavenly body ?
When there are different orientations of monuments within the same nome, none of which are to the obvious solar events , how can you make a case for the assignation of constellations to nomes impacting on the differing orientations ?


Finally and at last.
The problem is trying to determine the ancient Egyptians understanding of the relation of the Sun to the constellations in general,
working from their remains and surviving writings.

Re: Solar alignments in ancient Egypt

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:26 pm
by E.P. Grondine
circumspice wrote:2. the allocation or attribution of someone or something as belonging to something[/size].


That one.


In the future, I will refer to what tiompan calls a "henge" as a "circulus",
so that circular earthworks are not confused with henges.