As we already explained, the ancient astronomers were able to determine by direct observations the positions of all the planets except the Sun. The position of the Sun was either calculated or roughly estimated. Consequently, the horoscopes on the old zodiacs could be created as a result
of direct observations. On the other hand, there was nothing to prevent the ancient astronomers from actually computing a horoscope. For this purpose, they needed a kind of astronomical theory, which would allowed them to roughly compute positions of all the planets, not only just the Sun's position. High precision of such a theory was not really important, a margin of an error from 5o to 6o would be completely sufficient for the computation of the planetary positions. This precision would be high enough to determine the locations of the planets with respect to the zodiacal constellations. For example, the geocentric theory of Ptolemy, which was presented in the presumable "ancient" Almagest, was more than sufficient for such purposes. Let us mention that it is believed that Almagest was written in Egypt, in Alexandria2
Let us recall that the Almagest was an astronomical and mathematical encyclopedia, which according to the conventional chronology was compiled about AD 140 by Ptolemy (Claudius Ptole-maeus of Alexandria) (see ). However, it was proved in the monograph  that this dating of the Almagest is wrong, and in fact it belongs to the epoch from the 7th to 14th century, with editorial modifications made up to the 17th century.
In this way, in any case, regardless if we trust or not Scaliger's chronology, we see that the Egyptian astronomers disposed of an astronomical theory completely sufficient to compute, and not only observe, the astronomical data for the horoscopes, which we find on the zodiacs.
This leads us to the following important statement:
A horoscope shown on an Egyptian zodiac does not necessarily refer to a date coinciding with the time of the creation of that zodiac.
For example, if a zodiac is a part of a ceiling in an old temple, then the encoded there horoscope date may be related to the time of the construction of the temple, but more likely it is the date of a significant event to which this temple was dedicated. In this case, it is most probable, that such a horoscope was computed at the time of the construction, based on the information about the commemorated event.
There is also another possibility. The "ancient" creators of the zodiacs, who, as we will see, possibly lived in the 15th or even 16th century A.D., could have access to the old books with astronomical records. These not existing anymore books could contain descriptions of astronomical observations from the 11th to 13th century, which were used by them to design zodiacs in these "ancient" Egyptian temples. They could also have an access to an earlier version of the Ptolemy's Almagest from the 11th to 14th century A.D. Today, we only have its European edition from the 17th century, which pretends to be the original version that survived till our present time from the ancient times. For more information, we refer the interested reader to the monograph "Astronomical Analysis of Chronology," by Fomenko, Kalashnikov and Nosovsky (see ). English translation of this book is available (see ).
On the other hand, a horoscope painted on a cover of an Egyptian sarcophagus or on a tomb, is most likely describing the date of death or birth of its occupant. So, in this case it would also be the approximate creation date of the sarcophagus or tomb. In such situations, a horoscope was probably determined by direct observations of the sky, with exception for the Sun, for which not many computations were needed in order to find its position. It was presumably the most likely way these horoscopes were made. However, we should not exclude the possibility that in a tomb of a prominent individual, there could also be a zodiac commemorating his or her date of birth or death, but another date of an important event related to this person. For example, it could be even an event in which predecessors of this individual took part. Therefore, a zodiac with a calculated horoscope could also be created for such a tomb. Clearly, such zodiacs referring to the long passed events couldn't be compiled using simple observations of the night sky only. This could be done only by qualified astronomers who were able to carry out the calculations for such a horoscope. Of course, the early chronologists could be mistaken in their ideas about the dates of the past events. Such mistakes were made before and are still done today, but it was always more likely that the
Was this article helpful?