843 Planetary Symbols on the Petosiris Zodiacs

Let us present decodings of the planetary symbols on the Petosiris zodiacs that were described in the work [5] by O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree11. We do not have any objection regarding the correctness of this decoding. It is conformed to the general principles of the Egyptian astronomic symbolism, which were presented earlier in the previous chapters. However, we should point out that this decoding contains a small flaw leading to a possibly different planetary identification. We have to acknowledge that the authors of [5] were aware of this weakness of their decoding. From this perspective, it is necessary to consider additional decoding variants. Fortunately, there exists only

Figure 8.25: Murals from the Petubastis tomb.

mm few such variants combinations.

Figure 8.26: Fragment of murals inside the Petosiris tomb.

Figure 8.27: One Petosiris tomb.

two for each of the Petosiris zodiacs. All together, there are just four possible

For the convenience of using the citations from the work [5], we preserved on Figures 8.21 and 8.22 the annotations A, B, C, D, E, F, and M, made by O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree. They are placed on the zodiacs right next to the planetary figures represented by human busts. Notice that the same letters indicate very similar figures on both Petosiris zodiacs. For example, the letter A stands by the busts of a bearded man in the center of the zodiacs, and the letter B is placed near the busts of a woman. We will use these annotations in order to present several citations form [5].

With respect to the zodiac (P1), which was located in the outer chamber of the Petosiris tomb, O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree writes the following (see Figures 8.21 and 8.22):

A: Bust of bearded male, wearing a tunic (probably Saturn, ...).

B: Bust of female, therefore Venus, wearing a cloak (palla, ...).

C: Bust of male, only upper part of head preserved (probably Jupiter).

D: Probably a double-faced male bust, with only the part facing right preserved (Mercury).

E: Nothing preserved of Mars.

F: Moon — Bust of female in Greek style, long hair falling over shoulders, Egyptian garment, 'fS-et/e on head, crescent below.1"2

Regarding the zodiac (P2) from the inner room, the authors of [5] make a correct connection between the same or similar planetary symbols on the zodiac (P2). Let us quote from [5]:

Figure 8.27: One Petosiris tomb.

more fragment of murals inside the more fragment of murals inside the

A: Similar to A in outer room but without beard and mustache and with the toga closed in front, dark garment, in central area (Saturn, ...).

B: Similar to outer room figure, in central area (Venus, ..).

C: Bust of male, apparently the same as in the outer room, wearing a toga, above Leo (Jupiter, ...). D: Bust, two-faced, bearded male (on right) and female (on left), above Taurus (Mercury). E: Bust of male, wearing a scarf knotted under the chin and above a crest with tail, shoulders protected by armor under garment(?), with spear, above Aries (Mars). F: Moon — As in outer room but without ^ -eye.13

If we compare the above identifications of Venus, Mercury, Moon and Mars, with their representations in the tables of the Egyptian astronomical symbols in section 5.4, then we have to conclude that O. Neugebauer, R.A. Parker, and D. Pingree identified these planets correctly. Indeed:

Venus — the only "female" planet except Moon. It can be easily recognized on both Petosiris zodiacs. Since the female bust with a crescent below can be conclusively identified as Moon, the only remaining female bust is definitely Venus.

Mercury — it can be easily recognized by its two-faced head.

Mars — on the zodiac (P2), it is shown as a warrior with a spear and helmet. It fits perfectly the role of Mars as the god of war. On the zodiac (P1), figure of Mars is missing — it was probably located in the destroyed fragment of the zodiac.

With respect to the above identifications of Jupiter and Saturn, it is not possible to know, without carrying out astronomical computations, which of the remaining busts exactly symbolize these planets. The authors of [5] are not completely sure about their identification either. In the case of Jupiter and Saturn on the zodiac (P1) they consider their identifications only as probable.14 Indeed, the male busts of Jupiter and Saturn are almost identical on the both Petosiris zodiacs (see Figures 8.21 and 8.22). No specific particularity or attribute exists in those busts which could help to distinguish their essential differences. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the both variants of identification of those planets for each of the zodiacs (P1) and (P2).

However, the authors of [5] didn't bother to consider other variants of identification of Saturn and Jupiter. They simply arbitrarily choose only one variant for their identification on each of the zodiacs and reject the other possibilities. In fact, while talking about the inner Petosiris zodiac, they simply make identification of Saturn and Jupiter without mentioning that it is only probable. They do not support their claims with any additional information.

In order to avoid the unnecessary preassumptions, in our research we did consider all the possible combinations for the identification of Saturn and Jupiter on each of the Petosiris zodiacs. As it is easy to check, there are exactly four variants of identifications for these planets.

The only remaining planet on the Petosiris zodiacs, that has not been yet identified, is the Sun. On the inner zodiac (P2), it is clearly symbolized by a disk located on the head of a boy M standing in the middle of the Central Circle (see Figure 8.22). The boy clenches two snakes in both hands. Very similar pictures appear on other Egyptian monuments, where they obviously symbolize the Sun. Let us notice that the two vertical snakes in the boy's hands clearly symbolize Mercury (see subsection 5.4.10). With respect to the two crocodiles under his feet, we have seen similar symbols on other Egyptian zodiacs (for example the Thebes and Brugsch's zodiacs) in connection to Venus. This whole scene has a very clear meaning: the boy-Sun is surrounded by two always close to him planets — Venus and Mercury. Each of those planets has double nature related to their morning or evening visibility, what is indicated here by two copies of each of the related symbols (i.e. two snakes and two crocodiles). Consequently, besides the Sun, we can recognize here a minimal partial horoscope. We will see it in a moment that this is a partial horoscope of the spring equinox.

In this way we can conclude that on the inner Petosiris zodiac (P2) the Sun is shown inside the Central Circle.

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