10 THE GREAT STAR-CLOCK OF THE EPOCHS

We know on the authority of Moses that longer ago than 6000 years the world did not exist …

— Martin Luther

The world was created on 22 October, 4004BC at six o’clock in the evening

— James Ussher, Annals of the World, 1650

… man was created on 23 October 4004BC at nine o’clock in the morning …

— Dr John Lightfoot, 1859, the year Charles Darwin presented his work

I The ‘First Time’ in Ancient Egypt

To know the truth about Egypt’s past, we should perhaps heed the words of the wise vizier, Ptahhotep, who lived in the Fifth Dynasty during the Pyramid Age:

Great is the Truth, enduring is its effectiveness, for it has not been disturbed since the Time of Osiris …1

Every civilisation has looked far into its mythical past and provided itself with a divine pedigree. For the Greeks this was the Olympian epoch, when the gods fraternised with mortals, as Homer described in the Iliad and the Odyssey. For the Hebrews it was the time of Genesis and the Patriarchs, expounded in the Old Testament. For the Egyptians, whose civilisation preceded the Greeks and the Hebrews, the first golden age, when gods fraternised with humans, was called Tep Zepi, which translates loosely as the First Time.2

They believed that the system of cosmic order and its transference to the land of Egypt had been established a long time before by the gods. Egypt had been ruled by a race of gods for many millennia before it was entrusted to the mortal yet divine line of pharaohs. The pharaohs were the sacerdotal connection with the gods and, by extension, represented the link with the First Time; they were the custodians of its established laws and wisdom. Everything they did, every action, every move, every decree had to be justified in terms of the First Time, which served as a sort of covenant of kingship, to abide by and to explain their actions and deeds. This was true not only for the king and his court but applied to all natural events: the movement of the celestial bodies, the unexplained phenomena of nature and the ebbing and rising waters of the Nile. It would not be an exaggeration to say that everything a pharaoh did was connected with the First Time; hence, the careful re-enactment of mythical events which could be either cosmic or secular or both combined in a duality by the power of symbols and rituals. It is not surprising that this blissful First Time was invariably referred to as the Time of Osiris.3

The rule of Osiris on earth was seen as Egypt’s happiest and most noble epoch and was believed to have been in the distant abyss of time, long before that which Egyptologists are willing to accept as realistic. When the Egyptians built the pyramids, they were thinking of an important event that related to the First Time; whatever that might have been, we now know it had something to do with the stars and, more particularly, the stars of Orion and the star Sirius — the cosmic lands of the souls.

What makes the First Time so interesting is not just that the Egyptians were adamant about its real existence but would pride themselves on being able to compute its epoch, and indeed any epoch in their past. To do that they would need to be aware of precession.

II The Priest-Astronomers of Heliopolis

There had been a tendency to think of the Pyramid Age, and thus the great pyramids, as being of one epoch, one specific dynasty, with a specific group of kings. Yet the enterprise attests something far more grandiose and developed than a temporary surge of creative power during the Fourth Dynasty. All evidence suggests a great plan to freeze time in stone or, better still, to make the stones themselves ‘tell the First Time’.

An analogy may clarify the point. A religious monument is often not the expression of its epoch but that the epoch was technically and artistically capable of expressing the origins of a past golden age. When Sir Christopher Wren built St Paul’s Cathedral in London in the late seventeenth century, he used modern technology and art in architectural countenance and symbolism which had Christianity as its source. It would be preposterous to suggest that the religion was created by the epoch when the cathedral was built. The same applies to the Vatican Basilica of St Peter’s and other monuments. Christianity had its golden age when Jesus roamed the land, and the cathedral is a later epoch’s expression of it in the new-found material ability to build such edifices. The religious expression of Wren’s or Michelangelo’s prowess draws on ideas formulated in the first to the fifth century AD. How old, then, were the religious ideas expressed in the architecture of the Great Pyramid? Centuries, millennia or more? When was the First Time?

We have seen that Gaston Maspero, who discovered the Pyramid Texts, believed that the religious ideas they expressed were several thousands of years older than the version he found in Unas’s pyramid.4 We have seen too that many philologists agree that much of their content is derived from sources going back to pre-dynastic times. Maspero proposed an antiquity of at least 7000 years,5 but most Egyptologists today find this difficult to accept, claiming that it does not fit the archaeological evidence. Archaeological evidence, however, has proved notoriously faulty, as in the abandonment theory for the Queen’s Chamber.6

What did the Egyptians feel about the age of their religion? And what did the Greeks, for instance, believe about Egypt’s ancient origins?

It has been common sport to pit the Ancient Egyptians against the philosophical ‘genius’ of the Greeks. Egyptian sages are said to have been but poor relatives to Solon, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. As for the sciences of mathematics and astronomy, experts such as Parker and Neugebauer felt that the mathematics was rudimentary calculations children of ten could tackle, and the astronomy simply quaint observation of the stars to interpet superstitious beliefs and the doings of the gods. Whatever skills the Egyptians might have possessed, say these experts, their astronomy was less developed than that of the Babylonians and the Greeks.7 Yet such views are at odds with what the Ancient Greeks said of the Egyptian sages they made contact with in the early part of the first millennium BC.

Most Ancient Greek and Roman authors believed emphatically that Pythagoras, Plato and even Homer received their philosophy from the Ancient Egyptians.8 Diodorus (first century BC) tells us: ‘The most educated of Greeks have an ambition to visit Egypt to study the laws and principles of a most remarkable nature. Although this country was closed to strangers, those among the ancients known to have visited Egypt: Orpheus, Homer, Pythagoras and Solon …’9

The great Strabo (64BC–AD25) had this to say:

The Egyptian priests are supreme in the science of the sky. Mysterious and reluctant to communicate, they eventually let themselves be persuaded, after much soliciting, to impart some of their precepts; although they conceal the greater part. They revealed to the Greeks the secrets of the full year, whom the latter ignored as with many other things …10

In his famous Histories, Herodotus (c. 485–425BC), tells us:

It is at Heliopolis that the most learned of the Egyptians are to be found … all agree in saying that the Egyptians by their study of astronomy discovered the solar year and were the first to divide it into twelve parts, and in my opinion their method of calculation is better than the Greeks … The name of nearly all the gods came to Greece from Egypt …11

Dion Chrystomenos (AD30) also pointed out: ‘The Egyptian priests much mocked the Greeks because, on many things, they have never known the truth …’

What seems to be clear is that the Egyptian priests were regarded by the Greeks as the keepers of great astronomical wisdom which it was not easy to persuade them to divulge to strangers, whom they regarded as unworthy of their high levels of culture. Indeed, strangers entered Egypt only with great difficulty in ancient times — and presumably even greater in the Pyramid Age. In the days of the Fourth Dynasty the primitive Greeks would have appeared as barbarians and other Europeans as no more than cave men to the sophisticated and technologically advanced Egyptians who built the great pyramids. It was not until the Saite Period (c. 663BC) that foreigners were allowed to enter Egypt freely,12 and learn its mysteries.

Schwaller de Lubicz, the modern philosopher, spent most of his life showing that Ancient Egypt was the true repository of philosophy and astronomy (which he termed ‘sacred science’). He was convinced that modern scholars are simply not reading the ancients right and that ‘there are many revisions to be brought to our judgements regarding ancient peoples of whom only traces remain’.13

However, in a letter I got from a prominent Egyptologist working in Cairo, I was told

We have not the slightest proof that they [the pyramid builders] had any theoretical or systematic knowledge of mathematics. They [had a] really cute [sic] method of doing arithmetical operations … I imagine they took the yearly [Nile] inundation for granted … In my opinion it’s in vain that we look for any mystery in the pyramids, for any secret message left in their texts …14

To us it is obvious that there is a great mystery here, and that it is time to brave the barrier of experts and try to discern its meaning and message.

III Who Speaks for Ancient Egypt?

Schwaller de Lubicz pointed out that ‘there has never been a greater distance between consciousnesses than there is in our time between Western mentality and the mentality of the Ancient Egyptian sages.’15 Kurt Mendelssohn, who had studied the Egyptian pyramids for many years, put it this way:

The main difficulty which Egyptologists face today is … the state of mind of human society 5000 years ago … although man’s spiritual world-picture has changed beyond recognition, the laws of physics remain unaltered … the knowledge that these same laws were operative and had to be obeyed 5000 years ago … provides a reliable link between the pyramid builders and ourselves.16

One of the laws of physics that could be most useful in the understanding of the past is, of course, the Precessional motion of our planet and its effect on the apparent position of the stars.

The view now among Egyptologists — and indeed among all students of history — is that dynastic Egypt began c. 3100BC. Before this epoch everything is referred to as pre-dynastic, and, as far as general textbooks are concerned, Egypt may as well have not have existed before then. We are told that the first king of Egypt was Menes who unified Egypt in about 3100BC and set up his capital at Memphis. But the concept of dynasties was unknown to the Ancient Egyptians; as they saw it, there had always been, from the First Time, a line of divine kings, the Horus-kings, rightful heirs to the kingdom established by Osiris. The epoch of the First Time was always perceived as going back well beyond the reign of Menes.

From the beginning of scientific Egyptology, which is considered to have begun with Champollion’s deciphering of the hieroglyphs in 1822, there was confusion as to when Menes’s reign had begun, let alone the age of religious ideas. Champollion placed the epoch of the First Dynasty at c. 5867BC, and we have listed the refinements which brought it to 4400BC. Brugsch’s system of chronology, based on three generations per century, was again drastically ‘refined’ to c. 3400BC; the date has finally settled around c.3100BCin most of today’s textbooks. The technical reasons for all this hopping about since Champollion’s estimates are too tedious to review here. They were a mélange of textual analysis, astronomical calculations, carbon dating and a strong dash of personal guesses. The modern experts would not let the Ancient Egyptians speak for themselves.

The Egyptian source most commonly used was from a native priest named Manetho, probably highly educated, a high priest perhaps, who spoke Greek and lived in Lower Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadephus (347–285BC). Manetho’s work has not survived; we have only the commentaries on it by Sextus Africanus (c. AD221) and Eusebius of Caesarea (c.AD 264–340). We have therefore to assume that Manetho’s royal chronology was derived from reliable native sources. Manetho grouped the pharaohs into thirty houses or dynasties; he also provided the Greek versions of pharaonic names: Khufu became Cheops, Khafra became Chephren, Menkaura Mycerinos and so on. Until the late nineteenth century, Manetho’s so-called King’s List17 was the only dipstick to test Ancient Egyptian chronology. Other sources used later were the Abydos List from the Nineteenth Dynasty, the Saqqara List also from the Nineteenth Dynasty, the Turin Papyrus from the Seventeenth and the mysterious Palermo Stone, which gives the annals of the kings of the first five dynasties.18 It is Manetho, however, who has most influenced modern chronologists.

Manetho ascribed great antiquity to pharaonic Egypt, and speaks of an epoch long before Menes which is quite mysterious. Sextus Africanus, who commented on Manetho’s work, was the first Christian historian who devoted his time to producing a ‘universal chronology’, most of which is compiled in his Chronographiai, which covers the time of ‘creation’ to AD221. Africanus naturally relied on the Bible as the foundation of his dating, and attempted to synchronise the chronologies of ancient Egypt, Chaldea, Greek mythologies and Judaic history with the new visions of Christianity. The chronological cocktail he produced, thickly laced with bias, can hardly be imagined. Eusebius of Caesarea was the personal chronicler of Constantine the Great, champion and founder of Roman Christianity, so perhaps a little bias is involved there too. Eusebius was more concerned with the formulation of a theory to make history conform with the Christian views of Constantine and prove the validity of the deification of Constantine as Christianity’s first imperial saint. In short, both Sextus Africanus and Eusebius were biased towards biblical and especially Roman Christian views of history.

According to Eusebius, Manetho’s chronology showed three distinct epochs before Menes: the rule of demigods followed by the Horus-kings, together lasting 15,150 years; then a pre-dynastic line of kings lasting a further 13,777 years: this meant 28,927 years before Menes. Such great antiquity, and thus wisdom, bothered Eusebius. He therefore concluded: ‘The “year” I take however to be a lunar one consisting of thirty days: what we now call a month the Egyptians used to style a year.’19 In this way, Eusebius compressed 28,927 years into ‘lunar years’ and reduced those before Menes to 2206. Diodorus of Sicily, on the other hand, gave a total of 33,000 years before Menes.20 But perhaps more significant are the comments in the Turin Papyrus, an original Egyptian document dating from the Seventeenth Dynasty (c. 1400BC). It was found in Egypt in the early nineteenth century, and was sold to the Turin Museum in Italy. The third epoch before Menes cannot be deciphered due to damage where the period is given; the two other epochs are listed as of 13,420 years and 23,200 years, a total of 36,620.21 Egyptologists dismiss much of this as reference not to historical but to mythical epochs. So, were the Ancient Egyptians and later the Greeks wrong about the antiquity of Egyptian civilisation?

We know that Cro-Magnon man, the earliest example of homo sapiens or modern man, came on the arena of species evolution about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. Scientific evidence suggests that the size and shape of Cro-Magnon man’s brain was similar to that of modern man. Yet only 134 years ago Charles Darwin was viciously ridiculed for his ‘heretical’ theory of evolution, and aroused anger from the experts and clerics who maintained that the world had begun with Genesis, in c. 4004BC.

‘I laughed … till my sides were sore’, wrote Adam Sedgwick, a British geologist, in a letter to Darwin intended to ridicule his theories. Samuel Wilberforce, bishop of Oxford, declared before the British Association of Science that Darwin’s theory was a ‘rotten fabric of guess and speculation’, and Louis Agassiz, a renowned Professor of Geology and Zoology at Harvard University, cried, ‘I trust I will outlive this mania’.22 How old then was Creation, according to some contemporaries of Darwin?

Dr John Lightfoot, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, wrote in 1859 that ‘man was created on 23 October 4004BC at nine o’clock in the morning’.23 A century later, scientists agreed that our planet was at least 4·5 billion years old and that hominids, the ancestors of humans, had lived over one million years ago. Then in 1979 the paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey found a footprint preserved in volcanic ash, believed to be the footprint of an early hominid, possibly an ancestor of humans, dating to 3.6 million years ago. Yet according to present archaeological evidence, we have moved from cave dwellers to space travellers in little more than 5000 years. Could archaeological evidence again be wrong and could Egyptian civilisation be much older than modern scholars concede?

We have already mentioned the bennu or phoenix bird, and how it provided the Ancient Egyptians with the notion of creation and cosmic cycles related to the stars.24 It seems it was the phoenix, returning after a long period of absence, who opened a new golden age. R. T. Rundle Clark mentions a period of 1460 years,25 and in his extensive study of the Egyptian phoenix, mentions this same date and also 12,954 years.26 Fourteen hundred and sixty years is the Sothic Cycle, which was based on the observation of the heliacal rising of Sirius and its shift of one day every four years in relation to the 365-day calendar, completing a full cycle in 4 × 365 = 1460 years.27 But what are we to make of the vast period of 12,954 years? What cycle was that? Did it also apply to Sirius? For those familiar with precession and its effects, 12,954 years is immediately familiar. It is a half-cycle of precession of about 26,000 years and, so far as visual effect is concerned, denotes the time for a star to reach its maximum and minimal range of altitude/declination change.

Let us take a hypothetical star and assume it started its upward precessional cycle of 13,000 years; imagine that it crossed the south meridian at, say, 12 degrees above the horizon. Every year it seems to have moved a fraction higher, at the rate of roughly 12 arcseconds per year. After a little more than two centuries it crosses the meridian at about 13 degrees altitude and so on. After about 13,000 years it reaches its maximum altitude of, say, 55 degrees above the horizon. It begins to go down at the same rate to reach its minimal altitude of 12 degrees in another 13,000 years, back to where it had started, ready to begin another cycle.

Sellers has demonstrated cogently that the ancients had not only divided the zodiac into twelve parts but were aware that it took the sun 2160 years to travel through each part or age.28 The result of 2160 × 12 = 25,920 years, the precessional cycle. This huge period of time, though divided into epochs or ages of 2160 years, and these in turn into 360 degrees or portions of 72 years (72 × 360 = 2160 years), was the fundamental basis of the belief in an Eternal Return of the first golden age. A thorough study led Sellers to make this forceful statement: ‘I am convinced that for ancient man, the numbers 72 … 2160, 25,920 all signified the concept of the Eternal Return.’29

The symbol of Eternal Return was, of course, the phoenix, the fabled bennu, and we have seen how in the Pyramid Age its relic or ‘seed’, the mysterious Benben Stone, was kept in the Temple of the Phoenix at Heliopolis. More importantly, the stylised replicas of the Benben Stone were placed on top of great pyramids. Could these pyramids — and more especially the great pyramids of Giza — be an omnipotent expression of the Eternal Return, the precessional return? The shafts in the Great Pyramid are a powerful indication that this approach is on the right track.

IV The Eternal Return of the ‘First Time’

We tend to think of time as something observed when we look at our wristwatches or clocks or a calendar. Take away these things and how are we to know what time it is? How do we know which year or epoch it is? Unless we are astronomers or keen navigators, most of us don’t have a clue.

The ancient astronomer-priests of Heliopolis knew the secrets of time, because they observed and studied the apparent motion of the stars, the moon and the sun. If we did too for long enough, most of us would arrive at a variety of calendrical conclusions: the divisions of hours in a day, the number of days in a year, the number of lunar months in a year. Few would know, however, how to fix a year with a marker so that in, say, four or five centuries someone could use our marker and tell the epoch. The astronomer-priests of Heliopolis knew how to do this, and this was probably one of the great secrets they kept jealously for themselves and, later, from the Greeks. The secret was the awareness of the precession of stars and the ability to calculate the rate of change for those of Orion, the Hyades and Sirius.30

16. The Position of the constellation of Orion through the ages

It is customary to attribute the discovery of precessional motion to Hipparchus of Alexandria (c. 180–125BC), but many scholars, Zäba, Sellers31 and Schwaller de Lubicz32, for example have argued that the Ancient Egyptians had worked it out long before the Greeks and probably prior to the Pyramid Age. We have seen how the Greeks attributed their astronomical knowledge to the Egyptian priests of Heliopolis and Memphis and held that the sages of Heliopolis knew many of the mysteries of the stars. We have also seen how scholars of the Pyramid Texts agree that the stellar cult was an element in the liturgy which might predate the Pyramid Age by several centuries, perhaps several millennia. The Egyptians’ special interest was observing the rising of stars and their transit at the meridian, with particular reference to Sirius and the stars of Orion, so it was practically inevitable that they noticed the effects of precession on these stars. As a simple rule of thumb, precession causes a change in declination of just under half a degree per century for these stars. It would have taken a century, two at the most, for the Ancient Egyptians to notice the effects of precession. Taking Zeta Orionis (Al Nitak) to exemplify the case, calculations show that the change in rising point between, say, 3000BC and 2800BC would have been 1.3 degrees of arc as seen from Heliopolis:

3000BC: Azimuth

110.4 degrees

2800BC: Azimuth

109.1 degrees

Variation

1.3 degrees

This is nearly three times the apparent size of the full moon and impossible not to be noticed by stargazers who constantly recorded the rising of stars. If the observations were made at the meridian transit, the apparent variation in altitude over the horizon would have been:

3000BC: Altitude

42.5 degrees

2800BC: Altitude

43.5 degrees

Variation

1.0 degree

This gives one degree of change; again, noticeable to the naked eye. Thus if the Ancient Egyptians were aware of the fact that the stars shifted slowly and that this was easily measurable at meridian transit, the conclusion is inevitable: the architect who designed the southern shaft of the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid and intentionally directed it to Zeta Orionis, knew that this star would eventually change altitude and also knew that the star was ‘fixing’ a point (c. 2450BC) in the great cycle of time.

It seems reasonable to conclude that the architect also knew the rate of precessional change. The Table shows the changes in declination and altitude at the meridian transit of Al Nitak over 13,000 years.

Year

Declination

Altitude at Meridian

AD2550

−1° 50′

58° 11′

AD2500

−1° 50′

58° 11′

AD2000

−1° 54′

58° 07′

AD1000

−2° 59′

57° 02′

IBC

−5° 13′

54° 48′

1000BC

−8° 28′

51° 33′

2000BC

−12° 38′

47° 23′

2450BC

−15° 01′

45° 00′

10000BC

−48° 39′

11° 22′

10400BC

−48° 53′

11° 08′

10450BC

−48° 53′

11° 08′

[Source: SKYGLOBE 3·5]

   

Looking from Heliopolis, the lowest point marking the start date of that cycle is 10400BC, when Al Nitak had a declination of −48 degrees 53 minutes and it was 11 degrees 08 minutes over the southern horizon at its meridian transit. The highest point marking the end date of that cycle is about AD2550, when the star would stay for a few decades at a declination around −1 degree 50 minutes and at altitude 58 degrees 11 minutes over the south horizon at its meridian transit.33 But what now emerges from the visual picture of the southern sky at the epoch c. 10400BC is this:

The pattern of Orion’s Belt seen on the ‘west’ of the Milky Way matches, with uncanny precision, the pattern and alignments of the three Giza pyramids!

In c. 2450BC, when the Great Pyramid was built, the correlation was experienced when Orion’s Belt was seen in the east at the moment of heliacal rising of Sirius, the perfect ‘meridian to meridian’ patterns, i.e., when the two images superimpose in perfect match; this is when we see the First Time of Orion’s Belt in c. 10450BC.

It cannot be coincidence that such a perfect arrangement of the terrestrial and celestial central portion of the Osirian Duat, Rostau, occurs at the start of the great precessional cycle at 10450BC. Why such a remote date? Why provide us with a precessional marker defined by the southern shaft, that is, the Belt of Orion shaft of the King’s Chamber? Why did the architect who designed this shaft and probably the whole pyramid want to draw attention to this remote First Time date of Osiris in c. 10450BC?

V The Timaeus: 10450BC

If a stargazer watched Orion’s Belt from the region of Heliopolis c. 10450BC, and then recorded or marked the altitude at the meridian or rising point on the horizon, he would unwittingly have fixed the First Time of Osiris. Is there any indication that this could have happened?

17. Positions of Rising and Culmination of Orion through the ages

18. At around 10400BC the pattern in the sky was mirrored on the ground by the pyramids

We recall that Strabo wrote in c. 20BC, about one hundred years after Hipparchus, that ‘the Egyptian priests are supreme in the science of the sky’ and that it was they who had ‘revealed to the Greeks the secrets of the full year [emphasis added], whom the latter ignored as with many other things …’34 Herodotus, writing c. 450BC, about three hundred years before Hipparchus, said that it was ‘at Heliopolis that the most learned of the Egyptians are to be found … all agree in saying that the Egyptians by their study of astronomy discovered the solar year and were the first to divide it into twelve parts …35

The question has to be asked: was the Giza Necropolis and, specifically, the Great Pyramid and its shafts, a great marker of time, a sort of star-clock to mark the epochs of Osiris and, more especially, his First Time?

We are, of course, aware that 10450BC is far too remote for archaeologists and Egyptologists to entertain, but these findings challenge them to explain — or dispute — the mounting astronomical evidence.

Readers of the Greek classics will undoubtedly bring to mind the Timaeus dialogues of Plato, where he revealed the tragic events of the lost civilisation of Atlantis. The story is reported to Plato by Critias, who said he got it from Solon when he visited the city of Sais in Lower Egypt.36 It had been told to Solon by Egyptian priests who said that mysterious people from a place called Atlantis had invaded much of the Mediterranean basin as well as Egypt some ‘nine thousand years’ ago, and that records of them still survived in Egypt. Another aspect of Plato’s Timaeus which has a connection to our thesis is his statement that the souls of humans are the stars and return to those stars when they die. Plato says that the demiurge made ‘souls in equal number with the stars and distributed them, each soul to its several star … and he who should live well for his due span of time should journey back to the habitation of his consort star …’.37

There are, too, the so-called Hermetic Texts, written in Egypt around AD200,38 which are said by scholars to draw heavily on Plato’s Timaeus.39 The unknown authors of the Hermetic Texts claimed, however, that their wisdom came from the ancient books of the Egyptians.40 In Asclepius III of the Hermetic Texts, Hermes (the Egyptian wisdom god Thoth)41 asks his pupil: ‘Did you not know, O Asclepius, that Egypt is made in the image of heaven …?’42 This question is intriguing, for Asclepius was associated by the Greeks with Imhotep, the legendary sage and astronomer-architect who designed the first step-pyramid at Saqqara. The Ancient Egyptians said Thoth was responsible for the writing of the sacred books kept at Heliopolis, several of which dealt with the secrets of the motion of the stars.43

Two researchers in pyramid studies, W. R. Fix and Mark Lehner, have been bold enough to say that the ‘Atlantis’ events in Egypt are likely to have happened in 10400BC.44 This deduction is fascinating, because neither author was using astronomy to deduce this remote date; both were alluding to the so-called ‘readings’ of Edgar Cayce, an American clairvoyant who died in 1945.45 Cayce46 insisted that the Great Pyramid was, at least in its design stage, started around 10400BC, and that the lost records of Atlantis would be rediscovered in a ‘hidden chamber’ in the last twenty years of this millennium.47 It would seem that Rudolf Gantenbrink is just in time!

Throughout this book we have tried to stay with the facts. But much as we try to resist such unscientific statements, the Edgar Cayce ‘readings’, seen from the vantage point of hind-sight, are eerie, when it is known that he died in 1945 and, as far as we know, never visited Egypt.

We need now to look into the myth of the phoenix and its egg, the sacred Benben of Heliopolis.

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