Esna lies 53 kilometers south of Luxor on the west bank of the Nile river, exactly at the place where Nile begins a big semicircle meander around a stony hills area. This was the burial place for Pharaohs and there is also located the famous Valley of the Kings. It is surrounded by many ancient Egyptian temples, structures and monuments. Denderah is located on the north side of this semicircular area, which is not so far from Esna. Let us point out that most of the ancient Egyptian zodiacs come from this region what may indicate their close relationship with the Egyptian tombs (see the map of the river Nile in Egypt on Figure 3.8).
As we've already mentioned, there were discovered in Esna two temples with zodiacs reliefs on their ceilings. Symbols on these zodiacs are in many aspects very similar to the symbols on the Denderah zodiacs, but there are some clear differences as well.
As far as we know, the first and the only attempt to decode and date the Esna zodiacs, using the astronomical methods, was undertaken by T.N. Fomenko in . She proposed a decoding variant for these zodiacs and calculated the dates based on it. Fomenko's decoding led to the following solution, which appears to be the only one in the whole historical time interval:
Figure 3.7: The D.V. Denon's drawing of the Long zodiac.
The Big Esna zodiac: May 1-2, 1641 AD. The Small Esna zodiac: May 2-3, 1570 AD. (T.N. Fomenko18)
Our analysis of the Esna zodiacs showed that, in fact, there are several admissible variants of decodings that should be considered for the Esna zodiacs. The additional astronomical information contained in these zodiacs allows to eliminate all the incorrect solutions, which are incompatible with this data. The details of our research related to the analysis of the Esna zodiacs will be presented in sections 7.4 and 7.5. In this moment, let us simply announce our final result:
The Big Esna zodiac:
March 31 April 3, 1394 AD.
The Small Esna zodiac:
This solution appears to be unique on the time interval from 500 B.C. until the present times. We should mention that our final decoding, which led to the above solution, is different from the one suggested by T.N. Fomenko in , so the resulting final dates are also different.
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