THE CYGNUS-GIZA CORRELATION - THE FACTS AND ALIGNMENTS IN PICTORIAL FORM
A Reply to Critics by Andrew Collins
The three main Giza pyramids,
as viewed from the edge of the Maadi Formation
I wrote THE CYGNUS MYSTERY, I knew that among the many incredible claims it would
make, one alone would court fierce criticism, and this was the apparent connection
between Giza and the Cygnus constellation. Over the years I have seen how other
new theories concerning the hidden mysteries of the plateau have been ripped to
shreds by detractors, and then dissected piece by piece until nothing is left
intact. It started with the theories contained in Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert's
seminal classic THE ORION MYSTERY back in 1994, and has continued ever since with
any theory that veers even slightly away from the straight and narrow path of
orthodoxy Egyptology. Yet strangely, it is not usually the Egyptologists who start
the carnage, but other researchers and writers in the fields of either revisionist
history or archaeoastronomy, neither of which are accepted as mainstream subjects.
Relative positions of the three 'belt' stars of Orion as overlaid upon the Giza pyramids as done by Rodney Hale in 1995, using both a photograph of the stars and as they appear in the Skyglobe program 3.5 (Pic credit: Rodney Hale)
They simply do not match, with the star corresponding to the Third Pyramid, Mintaka (delta Orionis), falling towards the southwest edge of the monument. Of course, the whole thing could simply have been a symbolic gesture on the part of the Ancient Egyptians, and thus was not meant to be precise. Yet still, it was a shame that the correlation was not exact. Even more despair came for Rodney, a technical engineer by trade, when he attempted to match the remaining stars of Orion with other pyramid fields, as is proposed by Bauval and Gilbert in THE ORION MYSTERY.
superimposed (upside down) on 1927 map of Cairo, showing
So now it seemed that for Rodney the 'wing' stars of Cygnus, linked to the plateau through its associations with the cult of Sokar - a falcon-headed god of the dead who presided over Rostau, ancient Giza, and was the earthly counterpart of the celestial sky falcon god dwn-'nwy - could be superimposed over the three main pyramids. Was this simply coincidence? Had it been by grand design, created by the great architect of the Great Pyramid, or was the cosmic joker at work here? The simple answer is that neither of us could be sure. However, I decided to publish these controversial findings in THE CYGNUS MYSTERY. Naturally, there was a certain amount of hesitation, but I wanted for the Cygnus-Giza ground-sky alignment to speak for itself.
Adriano Forgione the editor of Italy's HERA magazine told me that a while back
a young reader had written to the letters' page asking whether it was possible
that the stars of Cygnus created a better ground-sky match than those of Orion's
belt. Why exactly this person should have suggested this is unclear, and Adriano
is unable now to find his name. Still, it was a sign that I was doing something
The previous year, 1998, in my own book GODS OF EDEN, I had suggested that just such a Mound, or Island, of Creation once existed on or close to the plateau, since one is mentioned in the enigmatic Edfu Building Texts, which describe a primordial world that thrived in the vicinity of Memphis/Giza in pre-dynastic times. Since these texts also referred to a well-like structure as being on the 'Island', which led down into an underworld-duat realm (whether real or symbolic), I predicted that a significant well would also be found on this symbolic Mound of creation.
Just such a well structure was discovered by myself in May 2005 amid the modern Islamic cemetery just north of Gebel Ghibli. Known as Beer el-Samman, it is protected by sacred sycamore fig trees - descendants of those mentioned in the Inventory Stela and in the Ancient Egyptian story of Sinuhe. It is dedicated to a holy man named Hammad el-Samman, said to have once occupied the well in some bygone age. According to a little known tradition still held by the village elders of Nazlet el-Samman (named after the saint), Hammad el-Samman guarded the entrance to an underground city or palace located beneath Nazlet el-Samman, which is due east of the Great Sphinx (where Edgar Cayce predicted that the Egyptians Hall of Records would be found). Thus to find that the Cygnus star Albireo, the mouth or gullet or the celestial bird, fell nearby, albeit beyond the long linear stone structure known as the Wall of Crows (see below), was interesting indeed, and worthy of further investigation.
The Lepsius map of 1842 showing the Cygnus stars overlaid in red. Note the Deneb spot obscuring mastaba LG14 on the edge of the Western Cemetery (Pic credit: Nigel Skinner Simpson, with overlay courtesy of Rodney Hale).
Lepsius found the tomb to be devoid of any artefacts or inscriptions, and thus it was simply catalogued and forgotten about. Nothing more is currently known about LG14, and there is every chance that, if not pillaged in ancient times, it was built but never used. As such, no further light can be thrown on the Deneb spot, as we refer to it. Perhaps what we are looking for here is underground, or it is simply the position of a sight line overlooking the rest of the plateau. Either way, the Cygnus-Giza correlation should not be dismissed simply because Deneb does not hit anything obviously important, especially since Orion's own brightest stars, Rigel and Betelgeuse, fail themselves to mark any ancient monument.
The John Perring's 1837 map of the Giza plateau. The Cygnus stars are in red. Note also the 'well' (Beer el-Samman) and 'sycamores' marked between the Great Sphinx and Gebel Ghibli. Note also the proximity of the 'beak star' Albireo (beta Cygni). Pic credit: Nigel Skinner Simpson with the overlay courtesy of Rodney Hale).
PROPER MOTION OF STARS
When this data is translated on to a map of the Cygnus constellation, the following takes place over the 4,000 year period from 2000 BC to AD 2000:
proper motion of the principal stars of Cygnus over a period of 4,000 years,
Now all this might look confusing, but what it says is that, as Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock have said in connection with the 'belt' stars of Orion, there is no significant shift in the relative positions of the stars over this time. Only one star in Cygnus is moving faster than the rest, and this is Gienah (epsilon Cygni), which does shift slightly with respect to the Cygnus-Giza overlay, as is shown below.
The relative shift of the star Gienah (epsilon Cygni) with respect to its position in relation to the Third Pyramid over a period of 4,000 years (pic credit: Rodney Hale).
As is plain to see, the shift is minimal, and does in no way change anything regarding the original proposal of the Cygnus-Giza correlation. The other two Cygnus 'wing' stars, delta Cygni, corresponding with the Great Pyramid, and Sadr (gamma Cygni), corresponding with the Second Pyramid, move so little that it is unnoticeable on a small scale map of the pyramid field. We are, however, not leaving the matter here. Rodney Hale and I shall continue to examine other astronomical programs that provide the proper motion of stars, and check to see whether they correspond with the shifts in position offered here.
The variations of pyramid positions relative to the stars of both Cygnus (in red) and Orion (in green) using four different maps (Pic credit: Rodney Hale).
As we can see, there is very little difference in the positions of the pyramids from one map to the next, making no difference whatsoever to the relative positions of either the Cygnus or Orion stars when superimposed on the plateau. Without any question, the Cygnus stars align much better than those of Orion. Once again, such ground-sky correlations, if meaningful, might be symbolic alone, and not need to be actual, allowing still for the possibility that the three pyramids represent Orion and not Cygnus. However, visually Cygnus wins hands down. Rodney Hale and I will continue to consider other maps or photographs of the plateau with regards to the Cygnus-Giza correlation.
The well Beer el-Samman marked as a dot between two palm trees and two sycamore fig trees. On the left (south) we see the rock outcrop Gebel Ghibli (Arabic for 'southern hill'), and on the right the Great Sphinx. At the left-hand base is the end of the linear feature known as the Wall of the Crow (pic credit: Nigel Skinner Simpson).
There seems little question that this holy well would have played a function in Ancient Egyptian geomythics, especially since it falls inside the plateau, being placed as it is on the northside of the so-called Wall of the Crow, a linear stone feature made of cyclopean blocks which dates to the late Fourth Dynasty and is thought to be part of the plateau's southern boundary wall.
consider it possible that Beer el-Samman is the structure referred to in the Edfu
Building Texts as bw-hmn, which the Egyptologist EAE Reymond interpreted
as 'place of the well' (THE ORIGINS OF THE EGYPTIAN TEMPLE, 181,200). I suspect
it was in magical rites associated with Hathor, possibly a female patron of the
plateau, and possibly Nut, the sky-goddess, whom Dr Robin Wells identifies with
the Milky Way. It might equally have some connection with the cult of Sokar, who
was guardian of underworld realms, which were forever in darkness.
As to the present day existence of Beer el-Samman, this is proved by one of a number of photographs Sue Collins and I took of it in May 2005, after risking our freedom to enter the Islamic cemetery, which is strictly out of bounds to non-Muslims. As you can see it is a regular artesian well, stone lined, which taps into the water table beneath the plateau. I doubt very much whether it leads directly to a lost underworld domain, although it is interesting that the lowest level of the so-called 'Tomb of Osiris', discovered in the 1920s beneath the causeway to the Second Pyramid by Egyptologist Salim Hassan, possesses a pit thought to lead into an unexplored tunnel now beneath the present water table, this being high enough to fill the existing chamber to a depth of at least 1.5 metres. Could the story of the holy man Hamman el-Samman guarding the entrance to an underground palace or city be the memory of real passages that permeate the living rock beneath the plateau's water line?
el-Samman as it appears today in the Islamic cemetery, shaded by a sycamore fig
My thanks go out to Rodney Hale, Nigel Skinner Simpson, and Sue Collins who helped in the preparation of this article.
All Notes and References appertaining to this article are to be found in THE CYGNUS MYSTERY by Andrew Collins, which can be obtained by clicking here.