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Interpretation of Ancient Egyptian Astronomy :Questions of Method and Reliability of Results

Prof. Rolf Krauss
Egyptian Museum Berlin

November 15th, 2016


The seminar addresses three main topics : (1) Interpretation of astronomical content in funerary texts of the 3rd millenium BC, suggesting a division of the starry sky in a southern and northern part, divided by a canal. – (2) Comparison of two theories of the Egyptian year, i.e. the traditional theory of the Egyptian 365 day vague year as deduced from observation of the heliacal risings of Sirius and Otto Neugebauer’s alternative theory of an averaged Nile year. – (3) The absolute chronology of the 8th century B.C. on the basis of dates for a specific cultic feast and introductions of the Apis bull, both events being fixed within the lunar month. These points are basic for understanding Egyptian worldview and chronology.