Positive Progress Through The Benevolent Use Of Knowledge

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Exact Date Pinned to Great Pyramid's Construction?

Andrew Bossone in Cairo
for National Geographic News

The Egyptians started building the Great Pyramid of Giza on August 23, 2470 B.C., according to controversial new research that attempts to place an exact date on the start of the ancient construction project.


A team of Egyptian researchers arrived at the date based on calculations of historical appearances of the star Sothis—today called Sirius.

Every year around the time of the Nile River floods, Sothis would rise in the early morning sky after a long absence.

"The appearance of this star indicates the beginning of an inundation period" for the Nile, said team leader Abdel-Halim Nur El-Din, former head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Throughout their history, "Egyptians … started their main buildings, the tombs, and the temples at the beginning of the inundation"—an auspicious time, since floodwaters brought fresh soil, maintaining the region's fertility.

In addition, pharaohs always started building their tombs at the starts of their rules. Khufu, the pharaoh meant to be buried in the Great Pyramid, took power in 2470 B.C., according to Nur El-Din and colleagues.

The researchers therefore compared the modern calendar, the ancient Egyptian calendar, and the cycle of the star to find the exact day Sothis would have appeared that year.

The team believes the ancient Egyptians observed the star from July 17 to 19, and the inundation period began 35 days later—on August 23.

Pharaohs Reset the Clock

Using Sothis's arrival to keep track of the annual Nile floods made sense, said Mark Hammergren, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago who was not involved in the work.

"It happens at about the same time every solar year, so it corresponds to the seasons, and it provides them a good fixed date," he said.

Hammergren agrees with the days Nur El-Din's team calculated for Sothis, based on other researchers' estimates for the dates the star would have risen during ancient Egyptian times.

the "appearance" of the star is subject to weather conditions, which might have obscured its first rise in any given year.

Mahmoud Afifi, the general director of Giza antiquities, is also concerned about placing an exact year on the start of Khufu's rule.

Ancient Egyptian chronology reset to zero at the beginning of each pharaoh's reign, making it difficult to match Western calendar years with the dates given for ancient events.

What's more, dated lists of kings are unreliable, since the ancient Egyptians often had political motivations to alter the historical record.

Some unpopular pharaohs could have been left off the lists, for example, which would have changed the ruling dates of every pharaoh that followed.

Many scholars debate the precise year Khufu ascended to the throne, with some estimates as much as 139 years earlier than the date Nur El-Din and his team selected.

In addition, the design of the monumental Great Pyramid probably took considerable time to prepare, Afifi said, which might have delayed the start of construction beyond the first year of Khufu's reign.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mayan 2012 And Quetzalcoatl Egypt Astronomy

The Mayans.

The Mayans developed astronomy to the point where they could predict eclipses hundreds of years in the future. Their legends say they obtained their astronomical wisdom from the Olmecs. Little is known about the Olmecs, though traces of their culture have been found dating to about 2000 B.C.E. A Mayan stone calendar is shown at left.

Diagram 1:
The sky on December 21st, 2012 A.D. showing a rare astronomical alignment -the winter solstice sun is right in the "dark rift" in the Milky Way.

This is a feature of the Milky Way anyone can see on a clear midsummer’s night, away from the light pollution of industrial society. At dawn on the winter solstice of A.D. 2012, the sun will be right in this dark-rift, and the orientation is such that the Milky Way rims the horizon at all points around.

Thus, the Milky Way "sits" on the earth, touching it at all points around, opening up the cosmic sky portal. The galactic and solar planes are thus aligned. "Sky portal" is just a term to describe the "opened sky" scenario apparent when the Milky Way rims the horizon. This is not to be confused with the "dark-rift" itself.

In Mayan myth, the winter solstice sun corresponds to the deity One Hunahpu, also known as First Father. The Mayan Sacred Book, the Popol Vuh, is all about setting the stage so that the Hero Twins’ father (One Hunahpu) can be reborn, thus beginning a new World Age.

The dark rift has many mythic identities: it is the Black Road; it is the xibalba be (the Road to the Underworld); it is a crevice in the branches of the cosmic tree (the Milky Way); it is the mouth of the Cosmic Monster (often portrayed as a frog, jaguar or snake with tree-like features); it is the birth canal of the Cosmic Mother.

Overall, the dark-rift is best understood as the birth canal of the Cosmic Mother, who we may call First Mother, to complement First Father. In this way we can trace how these various metaphors are found in Mayan Creation Mythology. And the date of this alignment is, again, the end date of the 13-baktun Great Cycle - a cycle of approximately 5125 years.

Earth's Wobble

The slow process by which the winter solstice sun comes to conjoin the dark-rift in the Milky Way is a function of a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes.

This involves the slow wobbling of the earth’s axis, which causes the stellar frame to slowly shift. To observers on earth, it causes the position of the winter solstice sun to slowly move in relation to celestial background features such as the Milky Way. A full cycle is completed in roughly 26,000 years.

Approximately 2100 years ago, when both the Long Count calendar and the Popol Vuh were devised by the early Maya, the dark-rift in the Milky Way could be observed some 30 degrees above the dawning winter solstice sun

Diagram 2:
Winter solstice sunrise from the early Mayan site of Izapa,
50 B.C. Notice the dark rift in the Milky Way, the
celestial birth canal of Cosmic Mother, some 30 degrees above the rising sun.

When these early skywatchers discovered precession, they realized that every winter solstice the cosmic birth canal was moving closer and closer to the dawning sun.

The winter solstice sun was called the First Sun, the First Lord or First Father, because it is the first day of the year, the beginning of the sun’s annual rebirth into increasing daylight. They calibrated the process, and fixed their Creation Mythology to the future alignment as described.

Monuments from the early Mayan site of Izapa clearly portray, by way of mythological iconography, the anticipated astronomical alignment of the Long Count end date. In this way, the Long Count calendar and Popol Vuh Creation Mythology work together to describe the future astronomical alignment.

Diagram 3:
Stela 11 from Izapa shows Cosmic Father in the "mouth" of Cosmic Mother, the "dark rift" or "birth canal" in the Milky Way. This is an image of the celestial alignment which culminates in A.D. 2012.

The irony, perhaps, is that the impending solstice-galaxy alignment was first mentioned back in 1969 in Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend’s groundbreaking book Hamlet’s Mill.

the astronomical alignment itself (which targets the opening of the new millennium) and the established end-date of the Mayan Calendar in A.D. 2012.

The ancient Maya apparently understood that the future alignment would have apocalyptic effects, and designed their World Age mythology to remind us of something essential. Myth, legend, or ancient message, whatever it is, clearly, it means we must all remember where we come from, where everything comes from: Mother.

The Mayans and Aztecs have a legend of learning great things from a bearded "white man" who came to them sometime after 500 B.C.E. The Aztecs named him Quetzalcoatl, which means "Plumed Serpent.

There is some speculation that Quetzalcoatl could have come from Egypt, and that the "Plumed Serpent" represented the cobra with its hood expanded.

Mayan legend says that the Yucatan was originally inhabited by "people of the serpent," and their leader's name was "Serpent of the East." Mayans claimed that they got their writing from the Tula, and that their leaders sailed over the sea to the East to learn their wisdom.

Ancient Cosmology Points To Our Immediate Future
Based upon these simple facts, ancient skywatchers in Mesoamerica were apparently aware of a subtle celestial process, the precession of the equinoxes.

Knowledge of that process, and the fact that a major alignment in that process culminates at the end of their Great Cycle, strongly suggest a cosmological understanding which modern scholars have yet to explore. While today the conjunction is hidden behind the rays of the solstice sun, to early skywatchers the future convergence would have been the focus of intense calendar calculations and eschatological myth-making.

Mayans counted using a base 20 system. Their numbers used three symbols: a sea shell for zero, a dot for one, and a bar for five. They also had a small curved symbol that served as a filler around a small number of dots, for aesthetics.


The Mayan Long Calendar. The Mayan timeline began on 13 August 3114 B.C.E. (very near the start of the Egyptian Old Kingdom). This is the starting point of the Mayan Long Calendar. The time divisions in the long calendar were:

1 kin = 1 day
20 kins = unial (20 days)
18 unials = tun (360 days)
20 tuns = katun (7200 days)
20 katuns = baktun (144,000 days, about 394.25 years)
13 baktuns = a Great Cycle (1,872,000 days, about 5,125.25 years)

A Great Cycle, or Age, is also known as a "Sun." Their legends state that at the end of each Sun there is a catastrophe, followed by a renewal. They count time in a cycle of five Suns, which therefore spans 9,360,000 days, or about 25,627 years. Some cite this Five Sun cycle as evidence of Mayan knowledge of precession of the equinoxes.

Mayans believed that we are currently in the Fifth Great Cycle, which will end, and a new First Sun begin, on 23 December 2012. Popular literature abounds with speculation on this event, and its near-coinciding with ecliptic crossing to the north of the Solar System's orbit around the Galatic Center.

The Mayan Vague Year Calendar (Haab). Mayans knew that the length of the Solar Year was about 365.25 days long but, like the Egyptians, they used a calendar of 365 days and did not use leap years. Because this calendar does not follow the true Solar Year, is is referred to as the Vague Year calendar, or Haab.

The Vague Year Calendar is divided into 20 months of 18 days each (360 days total), followed by a five-day period. The days of the month are numbered from 0 to 19. Each month is named after a Mayan god. These are:


The Mayan Ritual Calendar (Tzolkin). The third Mayan calendar was the Ritual Calendar, or Tzolkin, which had 13 months of 20 days each (260 days total). This 260-day cycle was related to the period of Venus. They Mayans knew that he Evening Star and the Morning Star were the same object, Venus, and had accurate tables of the planet's motion. The 20 days were named as follows:


The numbers 1 through 13 increased along with the days. So for example the first day in the cycle was 1 Imix, the second was 2 Ik, and so on. After 260 days, every combination of name and number (1-13) would repeat.

The Mayan "Calendar Round." Every 52 years, the Vague Calendar and the Ritual Almanac coincide at the same beginning day. The Mayans called this a Calendar Round. They considered this an auspicious time, where the old would end and the new would begin. They rebuilt houses, refaced templed, and performed other such acts on this day. This custom has allowed us to accurately estimate the ages of many of their temples.

Mayans followed a longer cycle of 22 Calendar Rounds, consisting of 13 Heavens (the first 13 Calendar Rounds) followed by 9 Hells (the last 9 Calendar Rounds). The last cycle completed in 1987, placing us now in the first Heaven.

Lost Mayan Culture. Today, much of the ancient Mayan culture is lost forever. Their beliefs conflicted in many ways with the Roman Catholic Church, and the first Archbishop of Mexico claimed to have burned tens of thousands of Mayan books in the 1500s. Apart from remaining temple inscriptions, only four books remain today as the remnant of this ancient culture: the Dresden Codex, the Grolier Codex, the Madrid Codex, and the Paris Codex.

ref: History Of Astronomy - The Mayans
Spirit Of Sankofa*