May 6, 2012

Astronomical Correctness, 1834

Astronomical Correctness, 1834
Hon. W.E. Fitzmaurice

Great Pyramid Of Khufu Picture
On the 16th went again to the Pyramids, and was as much pleased as with our former excursion. As a singular and extraordinary proof of the astronomical correctness with which these stupendous piles are constructed, the polar star is visible on the night of 21st of March, when looking from the lower chamber, through the angular passage by which the Pyramid is entered.

The north star, at this period, when on the meridian, would bear due north. An evidence is thus given of the exact direction of the other three sides of the quadrangle north, east, south and west; and the comers consequently give the other divisions north-east, south-west, south-east, and north-west.

The exactness of these points, in a structure which there is every reason to believe was built even before the invention of the hieroglyphics (for the sarcophagus in the chamber within being without any characters of this description lead to this supposition) naturally gives rise to a very elevated idea of the knowledge the ancient Egyptians must have possessed of the heavenly bodies; notwithstanding that the Dendera and Esneh planispheres or zodiacs are supposed to be of the time of the Roman Empire.

One can no longer climb to the summit of the Pyramids. For travelers in the past this was one of the pinnacles of a journey in Egypt.

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