"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Nomes and Star Constellations of Ancient Egypt : The Neolithic Northern Arabia Camel Site : Are They Related by Ancient Astronomy?

The Celestial River: Identifying the Ancient Egyptian Constellations, Sino-Platonic Papers, 253 (December 2014), Victor H. Mair, Editor, Dept. of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-6305 USA, vmair@sas.upenn.edu, www.sino-platonic.org

authored by Alessandro Berio

-- as posted by Magdi Saleh at Academia.edu --

presents astronomical analysis that bears significantly upon our recent postings about the Northern Arabia "Camel Site", which we have -- allegedly --- deciphered as Neolithic astronomy, and which, in our opinion maps the stars of the starry night ca. 4800 B.C.

... with "the legs of the Camel" standing on the Celestial Equator at the Vernal Equinox, the left side of the camel marking the Summer Solstice and the right side of the camel marking the Winter Solstice, with the stars in the heavens being marked by carved figures and cupules (holes viz. indentations carved into stone).

We thank here the website Academia.edu for alerting us to the respective link to the article by Berio as found at https://www.academia.edu/23910738/The_Celestial_River_Identifying_the_Ancient_Egyptian_Constellations.

We are sympathetic to Berio's approach, but our present posting does not engage in individual analysis -- pro or contra -- of the ancient Egyptian Constellations identified in Berio's publication or the system of rising and setting stars that is said there to explain some of the hieroglyphs (viz. "emblems") of the nomes. Each reader can evaluate the material on their own starting at the above link.

Given our own knowledge and understanding of the use of rising and setting stars in ancient astronomy and given our own writings about MUL.APIN : Decipherment as Astronomy (see there for a start), we find that Berio has definitely produced a remarkable and highly interesting analysis which deserves our attention. See in this regard also our year 2004 postings on the astronomical and hermetic significance ("as above, so below") of the nomes of Egypt at:

What interests us here as a general matter is the star placement comparison of:


  • with Berio's Classical star map with Ptolemaic constellations compared to nome emblems overlaid on a map of the sky circa 3100 BC as seen from Memphis (30.57° N).
  • Classical Star Map with Ptolemaic Stellar Constellations and
    Nome Emblems Overlaid on a Sky Map ca. 3100 B.C.
    according to Alessandro Berio


    Our decipherment placement of starry night stars at the Camel Site finds numerous comparables in depiction on the above map of Ancient Egyptian stellar constellations as represented by Berio, though we do not agree on all of them, but that latter is not the issue here. Some DO agree, and that is what is important.

    Moreover, in terms of researching the importance of the Ancient Egyptian nomes as hermetic astronomy ("as above, so below"), perhaps marking rising and setting stars, take a look at our Camel Site decipherment finding that the dog, Anubis, is there at the position of the stars of Libra, which stellar location was a mystery to us initially, but which makes sense as a placement given the rising and setting star analysis for nome emblems by Berio, who writes as follows:

    "Sirius, the brightest star of Canis Major, was identified with the goddess Isis-Sothis, the Egyptian mother goddess. Diodorus explains that the ritual procession of the Festival of Isis was led by dogs, an association illustrated in a passage by Diodorus:

    On the stele of Isis it runs: “I am Isis, the queen of every land… I am she who riseth in the star that is in the Constellation of the Dog; by me was the city of Bubastus built.”

    The capital of the 18th nome of Upper Egypt ... was a place for the worship of Anubis, the dog-headed god, as the city was known as the “House of Anubis.” This nome corresponded to the time at which Canis Major’s star, Aludra, known as the “Virgins” to early Arab astronomers, was in its lower culmination, and Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, the virgin, was setting ...."

    It would seem, therefore, as a possibility, that the astronomy deciphered by us at the Neolithic Camel Site in Northern Arabia may be a precursor to the hermetic ("as above, so below") astronomy of the later Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. 

    Obviously, the historical ramifications are substantial if the chronological dates in question -- starting with around 4800 B.C. -- are correct. And it also may raise the question of whether the creators of the Camel Site were indigenous inhabitants, or more distant nomads, or, indeed, especially because of the "megalithic" style of portrayal, were perhaps even more distant ancient surveyors, stargazers and/or navigators from elsewhere who first carved the astronomical figures in Northern Arabia.

    See in this wider connection our previous postings at: