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Orestes_3113

The Mystery of the Sphinx

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Orestes_3113

The Sphinx faces perfect east at sunrise during the vernal equinox. How did the Egyptians manage to do this and why? Here is a summary of my published article on Medium where I unpack the mystery, the link is included.

 

The Egyptians were using star alignments and precession predictions to base the Sphinx. The Great Sphinx of Giza must have been based on celestial observations made on the winter solstice of 2371 BC. Construction therefore did not start around the 26th century BC which is the current consensus.

Image for post

Figure 3 Star alignment (*, *, *) to the midheaven(MC) meridian, the north pole (NP) is perpendicular to the equinoctial axis(☊, ☋). All align at 5° within 34' within their respective signs. Source: Astro.com

The Sphinx successfully tracks the cardinal directions at the turn of the seasons, these are the defining points of a tropical year, they did this presumably to enhance their seasonal awareness.

Historical time tracking slowly moved from celestial observations towards calendar reckoning. Encasing the cardinal directions in stone, allows for the solar calendar to emerge, the solar calendar is the foundation of western society. Gaining precise understanding of the tropical year in combination with precession awareness is a great scientific and religious achievement.

https://medium.com/@Orestes_3113/the-mystery-of-the-sphinx-a1d6328fdb30

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Piney
38 minutes ago, Orestes_3113 said:

The Sphinx faces perfect east at sunrise during the vernal equinox. How did the Egyptians manage to do this and why?

Long term observation.

The Shenks Ferry Culture of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Pawnee had exceptional star tracking abilities and their "star clocks" made from wooden poles were really accurate.

As for understanding precession of the equinoxes? The A.E. weren't tracking stars long enough. 

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Orestes_3113
Posted (edited)

Correction: that must be winter solstice 2372 BC, the only day within a 25,722 year period where the alignment nears perfection!

image.thumb.png.092a9e410255efe5eff73e4d7891c1ce.png

Star alignment (*, *, *) to the midheaven(MC) meridian, the north pole (NP) is perpendicular to the equinoctial axis(☊, ☋). All align at 5° within 34' within their respective signs. Source: Astro.com

Edited by Orestes_3113

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Orestes_3113 said:

The Sphinx successfully tracks the cardinal directions at the turn of the seasons, these are the defining points of a tropical year, they did this presumably to enhance their seasonal awareness.

 

The AE ordered their year by the three seasons of Akhet, Peret and Shemu. These are based on the rising and falling of the Nile and are not dependent on celestial factors. While celestial observation was important to them, it was for religious reasons, not constructing a calender. The Great Sphinx has only a funerary function.

Edited by Wepwawet
typo
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Windowpane
1 hour ago, Piney said:

...

As for understanding precession of the equinoxes? The A.E. weren't tracking stars long enough. 

Precession not noted as being discovered until Hipparchus, 2nd cent. BC.

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Harte

You question boils down to "How'd they find East?"

You know, that side where the big hot thing comes up.

Harte

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Orestes_3113
Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Harte said:

You question boils down to "How'd they find East?"

You know, that side where the big hot thing comes up.

Harte

I don't know if you took the time to read the medium article or go by the summery but to answer your question... If you find north you find east at a 90 degree angle. North you can observe using the stars Regulus, Phecda and Praecipua. The move north perpendicular to the ecliptic while the winter solstice splices the equatorial plane in 4 evenly divided parts. The moment is simply perfect.

I might have misread you. Perhaps you mean to say why go through all this trouble when you could simply point towards the sun in the morning. If that is the case then the answer is precision, or simply to place a monument that acts as a marker in time.

Edited by Orestes_3113

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Thanos5150
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

The AE ordered their year by the three seasons of Akhet, Peret and Shemu. These are based on the rising and falling of the Nile and are not dependent on celestial factors. While celestial observation was important to them, it was for religious reasons, not constructing a calender. The Great Sphinx has only a funerary function.

But this did not create the calendar which was derived directly from "celestial" observation i.e. the Sun and Moon. Their solar calendar is defined by the time it takes for the Earth to make a complete orbit around the Sun, 365 days. This calendar is then divided into days, weeks, and months which every 4 months constitutes a season corresponding to the "seasons" of the Nile. 

Edited by Thanos5150

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Wepwawet
22 minutes ago, Thanos5150 said:

But this did not create the calendar which was derived directly from "celestial" observation i.e. the Sun and Moon. Their solar calendar is defined by the time it takes for the Earth to make a complete orbit around the Sun, 365 days. This calendar is then divided into days, weeks, and months which every 4 months constitutes a season corresponding to the "seasons" of the Nile. 

When I said celestial I was thinking about objects other than the Sun, and Moon, which was also very important. Of course the yearly calender is derived from the number of days it takes between one winter solstice and the next, with the five "bad days" in there, though they would never have seen us as orbiting the Sun. They will have grasped that rotation is involved, but the rotation of everything around us, not us rotating and wobbling, and you know all this of course. My post was really to address the OP having the Great Sphinx as having, in our terms, a scientific function that it did not have. 

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Orestes_3113
5 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

When I said celestial I was thinking about objects other than the Sun, and Moon, which was also very important. Of course the yearly calender is derived from the number of days it takes between one winter solstice and the next, with the five "bad days" in there, though they would never have seen us as orbiting the Sun. They will have grasped that rotation is involved, but the rotation of everything around us, not us rotating and wobbling, and you know all this of course. My post was really to address the OP having the Great Sphinx as having, in our terms, a scientific function that it did not have. 

Let me rephrase it here because I perhaps have gotten blinded by the level of detail that I am imposing. The precession simply happens but it is slow. It is true that the year 2372 BC provides the greatest accuracy but one would have a great accuracy for about a century on both ends.

More likely they knew that on the winter solstice they saw a line in the sky between a few stars that happened to involve regulus and pointing towards Phecda (and Praecipae as collateral damage). Seeing this for so long each winter one could see how they would simply place a monument for worship's sake.

By a lucky stroke they would have actually captured the cardinal directions in the way described above. The primary point is that the Sphinx was most likely built around this alignment, this would not have been rocket science.

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Harte
1 hour ago, Orestes_3113 said:

I don't know if you took the time to read the medium article or go by the summery but to answer your question... If you find north you find east at a 90 degree angle. North you can observe using the stars Regulus, Phecda and Praecipua. The move north perpendicular to the ecliptic while the winter solstice splices the equatorial plane in 4 evenly divided parts. The moment is simply perfect.

I might have misread you. Perhaps you mean to say why go through all this trouble when you could simply point towards the sun in the morning. If that is the case then the answer is precision, or simply to place a monument that acts as a marker in time.

Anything in that general area that points East has the same property that so astonishes you.

Harte

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Wepwawet
19 minutes ago, Orestes_3113 said:

Let me rephrase it here because I perhaps have gotten blinded by the level of detail that I am imposing. The precession simply happens but it is slow. It is true that the year 2372 BC provides the greatest accuracy but one would have a great accuracy for about a century on both ends.

More likely they knew that on the winter solstice they saw a line in the sky between a few stars that happened to involve regulus and pointing towards Phecda (and Praecipae as collateral damage). Seeing this for so long each winter one could see how they would simply place a monument for worship's sake.

By a lucky stroke they would have actually captured the cardinal directions in the way described above. The primary point is that the Sphinx was most likely built around this alignment, this would not have been rocket science.

I see what you are getting at, though surely this is really about the alignment of G1, and the Sphinx is aligned with that. While we cannot know precisely what was in their minds when they created the Sphinx, we do know how important direction was for funerary purposes, so the alignment of G1 is the important factor. The Sphinx as Horus and the king needs to face east to the rising Sun, and as part of a complex they would naturally align it with the foundation block, as it were, of the complex, G1, so the precise alignment of the Sphinx that interests you could well be not by specific design, but as a conseqence of G1 needing a specific alignment.

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jaylemurph

A discussion of the Sphinx without mention of /them/?

—Jaylemurph 

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Orestes_3113
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

I see what you are getting at, though surely this is really about the alignment of G1, and the Sphinx is aligned with that. While we cannot know precisely what was in their minds when they created the Sphinx, we do know how important direction was for funerary purposes, so the alignment of G1 is the important factor. The Sphinx as Horus and the king needs to face east to the rising Sun, and as part of a complex they would naturally align it with the foundation block, as it were, of the complex, G1, so the precise alignment of the Sphinx that interests you could well be not by specific design, but as a conseqence of G1 needing a specific alignment.

I will get into G1 in my next article, its focus is Orion of course. All structures were aligned during the night when the sun was properly in its tomb. The act of building then becomes a funerary process, a religious matter. Which is the same reason that they must have chosen the Leo/Sphinx alignment.

Edited by Orestes_3113

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diddyman68
39 minutes ago, jaylemurph said:

A discussion of the Sphinx without mention of /them/?

—Jaylemurph 

Ok then I'll say it.

It was the plastersenes.:tu:

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Hanslune
3 hours ago, Harte said:

You question boils down to "How'd they find East?"

You know, that side where the big hot thing comes up.

Harte

Show evidence for this alleged 'big hot thing' or are you just having a personal moment?

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Hanslune
1 hour ago, Wepwawet said:

I see what you are getting at, though surely this is really about the alignment of G1, and the Sphinx is aligned with that. While we cannot know precisely what was in their minds when they created the Sphinx, we do know how important direction was for funerary purposes, so the alignment of G1 is the important factor. The Sphinx as Horus and the king needs to face east to the rising Sun, and as part of a complex they would naturally align it with the foundation block, as it were, of the complex, G1, so the precise alignment of the Sphinx that interests you could well be not by specific design, but as a conseqence of G1 needing a specific alignment.

...additionally we don't know if the Sphinx was planned or a brilliant flash on what to do with a used quarry or if cutting the rocks out was the main purpose to highlight a Yardang.

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Tatetopa
3 hours ago, Orestes_3113 said:

Perhaps you mean to say why go through all this trouble when you could simply point towards the sun in the morning. If that is the case then the answer is precision, or simply to place a monument that acts as a marker in time.

Precision?  What would be the significance of pointing due East?  For the casual observer interested in sunrise and the progression of the year,  it may not be very dramatic. I would argue insignificant for most people, surely not enough to build a monument.  Pointing due east is not so useful as a calendar marker.

Pointing at where the sun rises on a specific, significant day might have a lot more use. That can be determined by observation of sunrise  and a few sticks.

 

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Tatetopa
5 minutes ago, Hanslune said:

additionally we don't know if the Sphinx was planned or a brilliant flash on what to do with a used quarry or if cutting the rocks out was the main purpose to highlight a Yardang.

Well of course for a finishing touch with a little stonework  you could turn its head slightly to point at...  the sun, Atlantis, the location of the first alien landing, the future site of Tiwanaku, or Ptennisnet's street stall  with the best rats on a stick in all of lower Egypt.

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jaylemurph
5 hours ago, Harte said:

You question boils down to "How'd they find East?"

You know, that side where the big hot thing comes up.

Harte

...

We should really be more specific about defining "big hot things"

--Jaylemurph

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Sir Wearer of Hats

Doesn’t What constitutes “east” on any specific day change over time due to the wobble of the planet? 

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Orestes_3113
Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

Doesn’t What constitutes “east” on any specific day change over time due to the wobble of the planet? 

Not if you align true north on winter solstice at midnight. You will capture all axes if you set it in stone. The problem is getting true north at winter solstice midnight.

Edit: Yes it will wobble, but it will always align at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Having the sun rise at the exact desired degree.

Edited by Orestes_3113

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Sir Wearer of Hats
3 minutes ago, Orestes_3113 said:

Not if you align true north on winter solstice at midnight. You will capture all axes if you set it in stone. The problem is getting true north at winter solstice midnight.

Edit: Yes it will wobble, but it will always align at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Having the sun rise at the exact desired degree.

My next question would be “do we know if Egyptians used the same conception of lines of longitude as we do?”, isn’t “zero” longitude based out of Greenwich?

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The Truman show

I thought i conclusively proved in another thread that the Sphinx is 7000 years old. The mods really need to shut this thread down as the mystery has been solved. 

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Orestes_3113
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

My next question would be “do we know if Egyptians used the same conception of lines of longitude as we do?”, isn’t “zero” longitude based out of Greenwich?

Of course not. They would need to track the correct sign through the sky in order to determine midnight. The midnight hour itself locks the polar meridian on the 21st of December to the equinoctial axis (it's a proper crucifixion :P). But then again you need to find north.

Given that the line from Regulus to Phecda runs perpendicular to the eclipse, which has the maximum tilt at the solstices you would be good once ever 25,722 years. Given that Regulus is in Leo, Leo would need to be at the midheaven at night. That happened in the 24th century BC.

Edited by Orestes_3113

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