24 Pictures of Egyptian Zodiacs used for Dating in this Book

Investigation of an Egyptian zodiac for the purpose of astronomical decoding requires the most careful analysis of its smallest details. Our study of Egyptian zodiacs shows that some of the details, which at the first glance may seem to be unimportant, in fact are crucial for the correct decoding of the zodiac's astronomical meaning. Therefore, the astronomical dating should be done based on the most accurate and detailed pictures of the zodiacs.

The most valuable are the large and detailed color photographs, but unfortunately we are not able to find many of them. It turned out that acquiring good photographs of some, even very famous Egyptian zodiacs, was an extremely difficult task. On one hand Egyptologists profess that all these zodiacs are nothing else than pure fantasies, and on the other hand, only very few detailed images of these zodiacs, which are good for astronomical dating, were ever published. In many cases, when such photographs are available, they are either of a very low quality or shows only a part of a zodiac making decoding impossible. There are some exceptions but they are very unique. See for example Figure 2.26, where there are visible only the symbols of the constellations while the planets may be hidden in shadow. It is difficult to avoid an impression that the specialists in Egyptian history seek to hide these evidence which could contradict their version of the Egyptian chronology. Up to the beginning of the twentieth century, when it was still unclear what are the dates behind Egyptian zodiacs, there were many publications containing high quality and detailed images of such zodiacs. For example, the Napoleonic Album (see [2]) contains several large beautiful pictures of Egyptian zodiacs14. As the reader can find out from this book, most of the pictures of Egyptian zodiacs, which are usable for the astronomical dating, were taken from old publications. For our purposes we also used several photographs of the Round Denderah zodiac, which were taken in 2000 in the Louvre museum by Prof. Y.V. Tatarinov. These photos were very helpful in our work and we are grateful for it to Prof. Tatarinov.

In June 2002, one of the authors — Gleb V. Nosovskiy, joint the expedition to Egypt, organized by the producers of the Russian TV series "Unknown Planet." He had a rare opportunity to take several photographs of the Long Denderah zodiac, the copy of the Round Denderah zodiac, the Big Esna zodiac, in their

Egyptian Coffin Zodiac
Figure 2.26: Photo of an Egyptian zodiac painted on a cover of a coffin. Planets are not visible. (Taken from [115], page 117)

present condition. Additional photographs, on the request of the authors, were taken by the professional photografer Y.L. Maslaev, who accompagnied the expedition. All the details of these zodiac were documented and compared with the drawings from the Napolenonic Album.

Drawings Egyptian Goddesses

Figure 2.27: "Goddess Nut" in the Napoleonic Album and on an actual photo.

Regarding the drawings of Egyptian zodiacs included in the Napoleonic Album [2], we have to make few remarks. Notice, that the artists who prepared this album took a lot of care to achieve a very high quality and exactness in every detail by producing the pictures of almost photographic accuracy. We have to admit that in the most cases they were able to reach this goal, however, in the same time, occasionally, they tried to improve the figures by making them more beautiful than the originals, in style of the 18th century art. Therefore, we should not trust these pictures and treat them equally to photographs. In particular, these pictures do not reveal the real spirit of the Egyptian art.

Figure 2.27: "Goddess Nut" in the Napoleonic Album and on an actual photo.

Figure 2.28: The same fragment of the Round zodiac in the Napoleonic Album and on a photo.
Figure 2.29: Fragment of the Long Denderah zodiac. Photograph taken by G.V. Nosovskiy in 2002

Figure 2.30: Another fragment of the Long Denderah zodiac. Photograph taken by G.V. Nosovskiy in 2002

After comparing them with the actual photographs we discover that the originals are more crude and plain than these drawing. On Figure 2.27 we compare two images of the "Goddess Nut" from the Round Denderah zodiac, one from the Napoleonic Album, another being a recent photo. It is evident that in the Napoleonic drawing this female figure is looking much like an 18th century beauty, but in the same time, her pose and position are displayed very accurately. Let us notice that on the original relief, the "Goddess Nut" is naked while on the Napoleonic drawing she appears dressed in a transparent attire, which however was made to be imperceptible as

Figure 2.31: Example of some exceptional mistakes in the Napoleonic picture of the Round Denderah zodiac. On the left modern drawing based on a photograph, in the middle and on the right two drawings from the Napoleonic Album
Figure 2.32: Photograph of a fragment of the Round Denderah zodiac. (Taken from [9], p.165)

much as possible. Nevertheless, her face is most probably a pure fantasy of the artist who made this drawing. On the original there is only a contour of a completely unrecognizable face.

On Figure 2.28, we compare the same fragment of the Round Denderah zodiac on a modern photograph with the drawing from the Napoleonic Album. Notice that the drawing is highly precise, nonetheless the figures on the drawing are clearly improved. For example, the faces of the figures on the drawing exhibit more details than they really have on the original. No doubt that they were made more beautiful.

We would like to point out that there are some errors in the Napoleonic Album, which at the first glance, may seem to be inessential but in fact can be crucial for the correct decoding of the zodiac. On Figure 2.31, we present a fragment of the Round Denderah Zodiac on three different pictures. On the left, there is a precise modern drawing, made based on a photograph, followed by two pictures of the same fragment from the Napoleonic Album. Notice that the male figure with a walking stick in the center of the picture should touch with his feet the top of the spike held in the hand of Virgo. This detail is very important for the exact understanding of the astronomical meaning of the whole composition.

On Figure 2.32, we present a photograph of the same fragment from which one can see its exact appearance on the Round Denderah zodiac. In Figure 2.31, the modern drawing15, shown on the left, seems to be very precise. Therefore, we have decided to conduct our analysis based mostly on this drawing. However, we also verified all the details on the photographs made by Prof. Y.V. Tatarinov.

There is another important detail which was altered in the Napoleonic Album. Look at Figure 2.33 showing a part of the same fragment as in Figure 2.31 taken from the Napoleonic Album. The figure in the center with a walking stick represents a planet. Over it's head there is star and above it there is a curved snake.

However, on the original zodiac in that place there is no symbol of a snake, but instead, there are three hieroglyphs (see Figure 2.34).

The meaning of the three hieroglyphs16 is in fact the name "SBK" standing for "Sebek", which according to Brugsch is the Egyptian name of Mercury17. Notice that in ancient Egyptian hieroglyph-ical writing there were no vowels. We didn't have access to many modern photos of other Egyptian zodiacs, but fortunately their composition is less complicated than the Round zodiac and we trust that the Napoleonic pictures are reliable copies. For example, the Long Zodiac on the Napoleonic picture seems to be very precise, however, some minuscule differences still can be identified. On Figure 2.35, we compare a fragment of the Long zodiac with its representations taken from the Napoleonic Album. From this figure we can conclude that in general the Napoleonic picture of the Long zodiac is highly precise. Nevertheless, it's possible to list several minor differences:

Figure 2.33: Fragment of the Round zodiac from the Napoleonic Album.

Figure 2.34: Fragment of the Round zodiac. (Taken from

Figure 2.34: Fragment of the Round zodiac. (Taken from

Figure 2.35: A fragment of the Long Denderah zodiac on a modern photo (taken from [10], p.37) and the picture from the Napoleonic Album (taken from [2], A. Vol. IV, Plate 20)

• Over the head of the first female figure, standing on the right from the sign of PISCES there is a rectangular frame. Inside this frame on the original, there is a falcon head which is missing in the Napoleonic picture.

• Over the head of the female figure, standing on the left from PISCES there is a symbol of a star. This symbol, which is not so clear, was omitted on the Napoleonic picture. Maybe the artist was not able to recognize this symbol.

• In the rectangular frame above the head of the male figure with a walking stick (on the right from PISCES) there is a symbol of a falcon, but on the Napoleonic picture there is a bird definitely different than falcon.

• The same male figure is holding in his right hand an Egyptian cross with handle. This cross is also omitted on the Napoleonic picture.

Zodiac Esna
Figure 2.36: A photograph of a zodiac from the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. (Taken from [32], p. 128-129)

Figure 2.37: Corrected drawing of the Big Esna zodiacs. The changes were made based on recent photos of the zodiac.

Drawings of the both Esna zodiacs were included in the Napoleonic Album. In 2001, when for the time we were dating the Esna zodiacs, we were not able to find other pictures or photographs of these zodiacs, and we were forced to trust the drawings from the Napoleonic Album. After comparing them to the photos taken by G.V. Nosovskiy, several differences were discovered. However, they did not result in changing the final date for this zodiac that had been established earlier. In fact, with the new details available, we were able to reconfirm the accuracy of the obtained earlier solution (see 7.5) and clarify some ambiguities related to the earlier decoding of the Big zodiac.

The corrected drawing of the Big Esna zodiac, based on the picture from the Napoleonic Album, is shown on Figure 2.37.

Let us discuss briefly the imperfections of the Napoleonic drawings of the Big Esna zodiac.

• Virgo on the Napoleonic drawings clearly touches the tail of the lioness with a human head (see Figure 2.38). The way it is shown here is missleading, because on some other Egyptian zodiacs Virgo is touching Leo's tail. But, the lioness' symbol is not related to Leo — it belongs to a partial horoscope. The photographs of this fragment of the zodiac revealed that these two symbols were clearly apart.

• Male figure holding a knive over his head, located in a horizontal position over the constellation of Leo. In the other hand of this figure one can see a mace on the Napoleonic drawing, but on the photo (see Figure 2.39) there is a bow and arrows.

• On the Napoleonic drawing, between Aries and Taurus, there is shown a human figure (see Figure 2.40), while on the photos there is nothing between these two constellations. This fragment of the zodiac was hidden behind a column inside the temple, which could explain the mistake made by the Napoleonic artist.

• On the Napoleonic drawing, there is a sitting female figure on the right side from Pisces. This figure look differently on the photo (see Figure 2.43).

• On the Napoleonic drawing, there is a sitting male figure on the right from Aquarius. However, the photographs of this fragment of the Big zodiac clearly indicate that this figure should be female (see Figure 2.41).

• Male figure standing on the right from Pisces is shown on the Napoleonic drawing without planetary walking stick, which should be there (see Figure 2.43).

In summary, let us reiterate that in principle the Napoleonic pictures are sufficiently precise for our purpose of astronomical dating. Of course, one should keep in mind that these drawing are not originals but only copies which are excellent but still not flawless. As we indicated, some small and hardly noticeable details may be altered or omitted on these copies, but clearly the artist did not contribute new symbols out of his own imagination.

Another problem is the modern restoration of Egyptian zodiacs. Sometimes such "restoration" turns out to be not vert precise — it changes some details. On Figure 2.42, we show the same fragment of Ramses VI zodiac presented on two photographs, which were made in different years. Second photo (on the right) is more recent. The first

Figure 2.37: Corrected drawing of the Big Esna zodiacs. The changes were made based on recent photos of the zodiac.

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