Based on the material in , let us present a short story of the Petosiris zodiacs, how they were discovered and analyzed.
The Petosiris zodiacs were excavated in the Egyptian oasis of Dahla — the largest oasis in the "Northern desert" of Nile. It is located about 350 km North from Luxor (see , p. 95). The zodiacs were painted on the ceilings inside of an old crypt, which was carved in a rocky hill-side (see Figure 8.16). It is believed that there was buried a man with the name Petosiris (see ). The tomb was composed of two chambers — one connected to the passage leading outside the tomb, which we call the outside room, and another one, which we call the inside room (see Figure 8.15). The zodiacs were painted in color and they were well preserved. Each of them contained a horoscope (see Figures 8.16 — 8.19).
In 1973, the Petosiris zodiacs were brought into attention of Egyptologist by the Egyptian archaeologist Ahmed Fakhry, who showed their photographs to the prestigious experts in the ancient Egyptian astronomy: O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree. He requested from them to analyze these two zodiacs (see , p. 96). In 1982, these three authors published an elaborated article devoted to the Petosiris zodiacs (see ). The article contained a detailed descriptions and many photographs of the zodiacs. Let us state it clearly that O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree presented in  a complete decoding of these zodiacs, including the identification of all the planets on each of them. As it was confirmed by our analysis (see below), their decoding was correct.
The unique identification of all the planetary symbols on these zodiacs can be done in a routine way without any problem. As a consequence, O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree were clearly in a position to complete the proper astronomical dating of the Petosiris zodiacs. For this purpose, it would suffice to identify the planetary locations and to make the appropriate astronomical computations. By using special programs for astronomical computations, or even, with a help of professional astronomers, these tasks could be easily accomplished. Unfortunately, O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree were not interested in carrying out any attempt to date these two zodiacs astronomically. On the contrary, right in the beginning they exclude any idea of the astronomical dating by saying that: "The positions of the planets seems to be inspired by Mithraism8." That means, they simply assumed that the zodiacs were just imaginary pictures inspired by primitive believes related to the worship of Mithra. Of course, by assuming fictitiousness of the zodiacs, the astronomical dating became completely pointless for them. Instead of astronomical computations, they plunge into an obscure deliberation of the religious symbolism of these zodiacs. For example, they claimed that Venus and Saturn represent "generative forces in the two spheres" and etc. For Neugebauer, Parker, and Pingree, the fact that Venus and Saturn are shown in specific locations on the Petosiris zodiacs, has no astronomical but only a Mithraic meaning9.
Was this article helpful?
The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.