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The aim of this study is to show that the Egyptians have traced on the theban soil to the east of the Nile a huge representation of the Aries constellation, the axes of which have determined the building sites. It is, therefore, a procedure, which, at the start, looks very much like that adopted by Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert in their study of the site of Gizeh (The Orion mystery). Nevertheless, the hypotheses which are to be found in this WEB page, except where explicitly mentioned, are strictly my personal views.

Used technique: after choosing a suitable scale, the map of the Aries (Ram) constellation is printed on a tracing paper. This is then turned over to give the image that would be seen if the sky was observed in a mirror or in water (truly a reflection of the sky). This reversed (turned over) image is then superimposed onto the map of the site of Thebes.

In these diagrams, the buildings are represented in green. Red is the colour of the projection of Aries (ARI) and blue shows the extensions of the dromos (processional avenues).

We can see that the sacred buildings of Karnak and Luxor have been implanted on a projection of the Aries constellation. The star Sheratan (beta) corresponds to the ancient sanctuary of the Great Temple of Amun in Karnak. The star (alpha) Hamal is placed on the Temple of Mut. Finally, the star 41 (of Aries) is sited over the Temple of Luxor. Moreover, it can be noticed that the dromos linking Luxor to Karnak corresponds to the 41-beta axis. In the same way, the dromos linking the Amun Temple Enclosure to that of Mut superposes itself to the gamma-alpha axis.

However, the Montu Temple Enclosure and the projection of gamma Ari (Mesarthim) require further explanation

The constellation of Aries (Ram) probably drew the Egyptians' attention for the following reasons:

  1. During the passage from the third to the second millennium, the zodiacal zone concerned was where the vernal point was located.. It is useful to remind you, that for people in Antiquity, the cluster of the Pleiades probably represented the limit of this area. The vernal point, drawn by the movement of precession, went beyond this limit in about 2200 BC.
  2. In the beginning of the second millennium, in Thebes, beta Aries (Sheratan) culminated at the time of the rising of Sirius, the most observed star in Egypt. I will discuss this in more detail below. Furthermore, Sheratan used to rise due east and underwent its heliacal rising a week before the vernal equinox.
  3. If you observe the sky placing Aries in the center of the field of observation, you realize that the star Sheratan was, at the time, part of a remarkable geometrical figure which included Sirius and the north pole of the ecliptic (the proper motion of Sirius has gradually changed the proportions of this geometrical figure since then).

One more problem must still be resolved: is the orientation of the projection of Aries Constellation in relation to the Theban meridian fortuitous or not? I will attempt to show that this orientation is the result of a known geometrical figure in relation to the figure that has been discussed above.

Let's begin with the following drawing: a red meridian line passes over the ancient sanctuary of Karnak (Sheratan) It is also the colour of the parallel crossing the nothern part of the temple of Luxor (41 ARI).
C is the intersection of the meridian and the axis of the Dromos of Mut (the axis going through Hamal and Mesarthim).

The triangle ACE is intriguing because the ratio AC/AE equals 1.6 .
This ratio is very near the Golden Ratio (1.618) and virtually equals that measured on the celestial vault within the remarkable geometrical figure described earlier, which includes, together with the pole of the ecliptic, Sheratan et Sirius. I shall give further explanation later about the fact that Sirius as well as Sheratan plays an important part on the site of Thebes.
The angle CÂE equals therefore 51.3 degrees { arcosinus(1/1.6) }. As a consequence, this angle is very near the angle of the slope (51.8°) of the pyramid of Khéops.
Furthermore, the supplementary angle (128.7°) corresponds to the angular distance between Sirius and the north ecliptic pole (I'll show later that this angle of 128.7° is connected to Sirius on the Theban soil).

The diagram of the constellation, together with the whole of the architectural alignment in Thebes, were probably purposely oriented in relation to the meridian.
In what follows the "triangle phi" will stand for a triangle the proportions of which are ruled by the golden section. In the same way, I'll call "angle phi" the 51.8° angle determined by this triangle.

The diagram also shows an alignment which Gerald Hawkins in a succint way has used as supporting evidence. We are concerned here with the major axis of the Temple of Amun which is oriented to the sunrise on the winter solstice. In my view, this alignment has two problems :

Another queer thing that has already been mentioned is the reversal of the constellation of Aries.
The following diagram can account for this curiosity and assist in describing some other remarkable lines.
You can get it by flipping over the whole Theban site around the meridian (CE). In this way, you obtain in the half right of the diagram a virtual site which appears as the required complement to the real site.

In this composite figure we can note the appearance of :

This principle of symmetry has been openly discussed in another context in relationship to the site at Gizeh by Guy Gruais and Guy Mouny. Thus it may well be that this procedure is a part of the usual method employed in sacred egyptian architecture.

Now, it is possible to show that the star Sirius, here and elsewhere, has played an important part in the elaboration of the general structure of the site.

First, I may need to remind you that the helical rising of Sirius took place at the time near the summer solstice. Let's then remember that, at the border between the third to the second millennium, Sirius used to rise at the time when Sheratan crossed the meridian .
So an observer, placed at the point C in a somewhat elevated position and oriented towards the south, could watch Sirius rise ( azimuth 112 in 1950 BC) above the foot-hill of the Arabic Mountain Range and visualise that Sheratan at meridian occupied (point D) a position in the sky equivalent to the position of his own feet

He could also determine the position of the area S in the foot-hills which was intersected by the sighting line of Sirius.
This area is also intersected by the Luxor parallel (AB).
Moreover, as you certainly know, the angle CBS (128.7°) indicates the angular distance between Sirius and the north ecliptic pole in the beginning of the second millennium. This distance from the pole, which is solely affected by the proper motion of the star, was its "signiture" during the few centuries preceding or following the turning of the millennium.
So it is most likely that the extension of the site northwards (by almost two kilometers) should be linked to the observation of the rising of Sirius.

To conclude, I'll quote the text by Hermes Trimegiste to Asclepius, an extract from the Corpus Hermeticum by A.J. Festugière and quoted by Schwaller de Lubicz in Her-Bak "Pois Chiche" : " Don't you know, ô Asclepius, that Egypt is the copy of the sky, or, to express it better, the place where every movement ordered by the celestial forces are transferred and projected? "



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©1997 Jean-Pierre Lacroix