59 Supplementary Astronomical Symbols on Egyptian Zodiacs

On the Egyptian zodiacs, beside the symbols of the main and the partial horoscopes, constellations figures and the symbols of the solstice and equinox points, there are some-Figure 5.74: The fringe of figures surrounding the two Athribis times present other additional sym-zodiacs with other symbols made dim. bols or even symbolic scenes with definite astronomical meaning. In this section, we describe some of them, for which we were able to understand their meaning, at least partially. Let us point out that only few such symbols can be found on the Egyptian zodiacs and most of them do not contain any significant information for the dating, but there are some exceptions. Nevertheless, understanding the meaning of these symbols is important for the decoding process of the general astronomical chart shown on a zodiac.

It is intriguing that one particular astronomical event found a special place on the Egyptian zodiacs. This was the first spring full-moon. In the medieval Christian tradition the date of Easter was calculated using the concept of so-called paschal moon, which is the first full moon that occurs after the spring equinox. The same concept of the paschal moon, but with different rules, were used in the Jewish tradition to determine the date of Passover. According to the conventional chronology, the paschal moon has nothing to do with the ancient Egyptian tradition, however it is sometimes represented on the Egyptian zodiacs. Moreover, in some cases, this representation clearly indicates a strong link with the Christian Easter.

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