Oldest Astronomical Device In The World

If you drive about 100 kilometers into the western Egyptian desert from Abu Simbel in the south of the country you come to a very ancient settlement which began in about 9,000 B.C. There, the world's first star and sun clock was discovered in 1974.  The site is called Nabta Playa. Pre-historic cattle farmers used to come there when they knew it would rain and lakes would appear. How did they know when? They followed the Orion constellation and looked for the alignment of the three belt stars with the known orientation they had previously observed and recorded using stones.  They also followed the star Sirius and timed the sun's movement through the seasons.  They saw that when Orion and Sirius took up a certain position in the sky, it began to rain.  This meant to them these stars caused the rain to fall and so stars eventually became gods and these gods ended up becoming the most famous of the ancient Egyptian Pantheon thousands of years later when Egypt became the world's first organized state as far as recorded human history reaches back.

The stones were laid into a circle with markers for the four cardinal directions and for the three belt stars of Orion.  This is the now famous Nabta Playa Stone circle and I went to see it in the Aswan Nubian Museum today.

We did not make the trip into the Sahara because the circle was unfortunately moved from its original site in the desert and placed here in the Nubian Museum, although the orientation and alignment of the stone markers seemed correct when I measured it. There is no plaque or sign explaining what it was. I knew about this from Robert Bauval's book "Black Genesis" and from Carmen Bolter's Documentary  "The Pyramid Code".

At Nabta Playa we can see the most ancient and original roots of ancient Egyptian religion for Orion and Sirius were the astronomical inspirations for Osiris and Horus and watching them became ever so important because when they reappeared in the sky after some time of absence, the Nile would flood the dried out fields along its banks and renew the soil for another year of growing food and feeding the farm animals. This reappearance coincided with the beginning of the rainy season and this concurrence led to worship of these stars as gods.  Eventually, Orion and Sirius inspired the lay-out of temples and pyramids, and even their dimensions.  All of this had its cultural roots at Nabta Playa.

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