The Ancient Egyptian Discovery of Algol’s Period Confirmed
RESEARCH ARTICLE (open access)
December 17, 2015 • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144140
The Ancient Egyptians wrote Calendars of Lucky and Unlucky Days that assigned astronomically influenced prognoses for each day of the year. The best preserved of these calendars is the Cairo Calendar (hereafter CC) dated to 1244–1163 B.C. We have presented evidence that the 2.85 days period in the lucky prognoses of CC is equal to that of the eclipsing binary Algol during this historical era. We wanted to find out the vocabulary that represents Algol in the mythological texts of CC. Here we show that Algol was represented as Horus and thus signified both divinity and kingship. The texts describing the actions of Horus are consistent with the course of events witnessed by any naked eye observer of Algol. These descriptions support our claim that CC is the oldest preserved historical document of the discovery of a variable star. The period of the Moon, 29.6 days, has also been discovered in CC. We show that the actions of Seth were connected to this period, which also strongly regulated the times described as lucky for Heaven and for Earth. Now, for the first time, periodicity is discovered in the descriptions of the days in CC. Unlike many previous attempts to uncover the reasoning behind the myths of individual days, we discover the actual rules in the appearance and behaviour of deities during the whole year.
- provided by
Text of Cairo Calendar page rto VIII; inside the superimposed rectangle is the hieratic writing for the word Horus. A passage in this document dates it to the reign of Ramses II in the Nineteenth Dynasty.
Image credit: Jetsu L. / Porceddu S., doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144140.s001.
- provided by