How Old the Pyramids?

The ancient pyramids of Egypt are some of the oldest free standing buildings on Earth. They have intrigued us for centuries and some still hold many secrets. The pyramids were built so perfectly that it has driven some nonscientists to wonder if humans could have done it at all, or whether there might have been some help from beyond Earth. In fact, there was help from beyond Earth, but not in the form of aliens, in the form of what we call the Big and Little Dippers.

Two mysteries that plagued early Egyptologists were how and why the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids so perfectly aligned north/south.

The answer to why they did it came first. The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with the afterlife and spent a good portion of their lives preparing for it. Death was even more important to the pharaohs. It was believed that when the pharaohs died they became stars in the northern sky. In fact, the stars of the Big dipper's bowl are called the sons of Horus, who was the earliest royal god who took the shape of a falcon. By aligning the pyramids in which the pharaohs were buried, was believed to give them deceased direct access to the northern sky to which they would travel.

The answer to how the pyramids were aligned would have to wait much longer for an answer but we have a very good theory which, with further study, could prove to be the answer. The ancient Egyptians did a lot of sky watching and much of their lives were governed by the stars. Could they have used the stars to help build the pyramids?

The first thing to do is to look at the night sky of ancient Egypt, because it looks quite different from the current night sky because of precession. The Earth rotates like a top, and the axis spins out a little circle in the sky, the result of which is that the axis does not always point to the same place in the sky. This means that while Polaris is our "north star" now because it is very close to our celestial north pole, Polaris was not the pole star in ancient Egypt. The little and big dippers did circle each other back then, but they were both about equidistance from the celestial north pole. But at a certain time, two stars, one in the little dipper and one in the big dipper, would be right on top of each other, aligned with the north pole. So, the pyramid builders could hold a plumb line straight through the two stars and the north pole, thus enabling them to align the pyramids to the north/south.

So what scientists had to do was figure out just when the stars would be in the correct position to allow that alignment. It was accepted that the pyramids are at least 4000 years old, so that could be used as a starting point to shorten the hunt. And indeed, it was found that around 2475BC, the Big and Little dippers were in the required position to allow a north/south alignment. The accepted error is plus or minus 25 years.

This theory, if correct would also explain the various inaccuracies in the alignments of the pyramids built before and after 2475BC. If the pyramid builders continued to use these two stars as a plumb line, and they likely did, precession would have changed the accuracy. This would make the alignments slightly off on other pyramids depending on just when it was built.

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Kathy Miles, Author, and Chuck Peters, Systems Administrator
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