On the Paths of the Ancient Stars

Pyramids should no longer be considered solely as monuments asserting the megalomaniac pride of the theocratic despots who commissioned them, but rather as testaments to the culture, science and advanced technology of the period of their construction.

—Z. Zaba, L'Orientation Astronomique dans l'Ancienne Egypte e la

It would be wonderful if it turned out that the builder of the Great Pyramid had obligingly left an astronomical instrument sealed inside the pyramid for us, just to confirm the monument's close link with the stars. That would enable us to respond to those who stubbornly refuse to accept that the discovery of the stellar orientation of the four shafts, together with the doors at the end of the lower shafts, has changed forever our way of looking at Khufu's pyramid. The last "wonder of the world'' would have finally broken free of a century of absurd and harmful speculation, such as unfinished chambers, designs changed halfway through construction, "ventilation" shafts hundreds of feet long but only a few inches wide, and other equally short-sighted conclusions reached by so-called experts.

Today we know that Khufu's pyramid is the fruit of a complex unified design, and that it was devised from the start to be the container for a series of structural elements, whose significance is largely symbolic. We also know that Khufu's pyramid was conceived as an astronomically anchored mechanism, similar to numerous others described in this book, albeit the most sophisticated and complex. The aim of this mechanism was to reconcile the sun cult with the star cult, in order to ensure the king's rebirth, and simultaneously to assert the king's power in the face of death itself.

If the chamber shafts give ample evidence of the link with the stars, so too the aspect of sun worship is reflected in an extraordinary discovery, made in 1954 by the Egyptian archaeologist Kamal el Mallak.

G. Magli, Mysteries and Discoveries of Archaeoastronomy, DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-76566-2_18, 359 © Praxis Publishing, Ltd. 2009

Precession de l'Axe du Monde, 1953

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