Andrew Collins answers further queries from Robert Bauval on the role of the falcon-headed deity dwn-'nwy in ancient Egyptian astronomy
Still holding his own, Andrew Collins
answers further queries from Robert Bauval, co-author of THE ORION
MYSTERY, on whether or not the falcon-headed deity dwn-'nwy is Cygnus,
following a new posting on the Graham Hancock message board (GHMB).
On 08 April 2007 Robert Bauval wrote on the GHMB:
> Hi Andy,
that dwn-nwy can be Cygnus, and
that there is every reason to consider this as possible.
You cannot make an acetate of the sky figures and overlay them on the constellations of the northern sky and get an accurate match. They were symbolic approximations only, meant only to inform the soul on its path into the afterlife.
I will not repeat them here, only to say that I have more confidence in the work of the visionary founders of archaeoastronomy than I do these modern interpreters.
AC: You keep invoking Locher, Maravellia, Belmonte, etc.
You yourself have questioned the reasoning of Maraveillia regarding her proposal that the mis alignment of the Great Pyramid being caused by geological shifts.
>This is a fatal mistake that
AC: Again, these are merely opinions, which you have chosen to accept. This does not make them correct.
AC: This connection in artistic form is not meant to be astronomically precise, only symbolically important.
We have also the Mooring Post to deal with, which probably is based on the pre-pyramid age role of Alpha Draconis as the pole star, swinging the bull/ox thigh around the celestial pole. All this shows that by the New Kingdom period the whole concept of what the meridian once represented was being lost.
By the time we come to astronomical ceilings in the Late Dynastic and Ptolemaic period, much confusion will have set in.
AC: Okay, I pre-empted what you were about to say here. As explained, the Mooring Post is the celestial pole. Yes, this could be seen as the meridian, but so was the cord between dwn-nwy and the ox thigh/bull. They were two forms of essentially the same thing, although featured for different purposes - one to show the north-south meridian and the other to express the nature of the northern celestial pole.
AC: Yes, dwn-nwy with the ox thigh floats around in relationship with the hippo, but always the falcon man is beneath the ox thigh and the hippo (Draco) is on the right, unless the whole thing is mirrored, which I disagree with you is not the original form of the sky-group.
Indeed, in some of the late ceilings the northern sky group appears twice, one with the hippo on the right and the other with the hippo on the left.
>as can be
AC: No, the arrangement of sky figures will never change.
AC: No error as I said.
> Here's the correctly precessed
and positioned sky map for 1300
> Finally, your argument that
'Mace Man' on the round zodiac of
AC: Again, your are welcome to your opinion in this respect.
AC: Certainly not when they are unable to see dwn-nwy as Cygnus. However, the position of mace man is clearly that of Cygnus as shown in 'The Cygnus Mystery' and in the above cited article by myself. Astrophysicist and arachaeoastronomer Eric Aubourg who has made a detailed study of the Dendera round zodiac in the Louvre agrees that mace man is Cygnus. I don't see any great controversy in this connection.
Thus if we go across to the rectangular zodiac and see that mace man here is replaced by dwn-nwy then surely this is evidence that the place occupied by both mace man and dwn-nwy corresponds with Cygnus. Again, I don't see what this should be controversial.
AC: Both are between Sagittarius and Capricorn.
AC: The concept of Cygnus being the vulva of the sky-goddes Nut as proposed by Dr Ronald Wells relates more generally to Nut's role as the swallower and mother of the sun-god, not to the astronomical ceilings showing the northern sky group. Nut appears separately on such ceilings.
The connection between her and mace man is the cosmic goose, gengen-wer, the avatar of Geb (and also Amun and Atum), which almost certainly derives from a different cult centre to star lore seeing the falcon-headed god as Cygnus. Mace man is almost certainly a form of Geb. That he stands on the goose seems to bear this out.
As you well know, different cult centres would have held differing views on the interpretation of asterisms, in the same way, for instance, that Native American tribes hold similar differing views on the identity of constellations.
Yet in ancient Egypt, such differing views will eventually have been adopted into amalgamated views of the cosmos, causing totally conflicting views, and even duplications on very late sky maps, such the Dendera zodiacs.
This is why Cygnus is shown as mace man in one version of the zodiac and a falcon-headed god in another.
>But both the figures
AC: As I have attempted to explain, by the time we get to the Ptolemaic period much of the ancient knowledge of star lore was being lost or confused causing duplications and reversals of figures. I don't see this as a problem to any theory.
I shall continue to refine my own findings, as I know you will yours,
In support of dwn-'nwy being Cygnus in ancient Egyptian astronomy, I show three further examples of the three major sky figures in relationship to each other:
The zodiac in the Ramesseum, c.
1200 BC, showing the bull as a floating torso, dwn'nwy as a horizontal
falcon-headed man with spear and the hippo on the right-hand side.
These three conform to the approximate positions in the night sky
of the key stars of Ursa Major, Cygnus and Draco.
Here are the same
three figures, this time from a zodiac of 800 BC reproduced by Brugsh
in his 'Recueil'. Since the figures can be shown either way around,
i.e. original and mirrored, I have mirrored this image so that the
hippo-croc hybrid is on the right hand-side. This clearly shows the
relationship between the three sky figures as Cygnus, Ursa Major and
from Biban el-Muluk (18th dynasty), taken from 'Description de l'Egypte.
Here we see the process of mirroring the sky group in one ceiling.
Above, the hippo is on the left-hand side and in the lower register
he is on the right. Although Robert Bauval believes it is the mirrored
form that was the original prototype for the northern sky group, I
argue it is the original form (as per Senmut's tomb) with the hippo
on the right.
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