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More on Dr. Kate Spence's Article in Nature Concerning The Stars and The Great Pyramid (Vol. 408, 16 November 2000)

By Robert Bauval, November 2000

On the question of whether Kate Spence was aware of my work before she submitted her article to nature, I would like to present further evidence of where and when I presented my ideas about using circumpolar stars in Ursa Major and Minor to infer a precise construciton date for the Great Pyramid.

Some of you may recall that in February 1994 the BBC 2 broadcasted "The Great Pyramid: Gateway to the Star" based on my book The Orion Mystery. The producer was Chris Mann. The programme was also shown on the A & E Channel in the USA in 1995, and on many other channels around the word.

Following is an extract from this programme. The subject matter concerns the Great Pyramid and the alignment of the northern shafts from the King's Chamber and Queen's Chamber towards the circumpolar stars.

[Scene showing Robert Bauval working on his computer]

NARRATOR: Bauval uses his computer to examine the northern stars as they would have appeared at the time of the 4th Dynasty about four and a half thousand years ago. It seems that the ancient Egyptians saw the northern stars, particularly the Big and Little Bear, as the overseers of the sky.

[Scene showing computer simulation of circumpolar constellations Ursa Minor and Ursa Major (the Big and Little Bears) rotating around the north pole in c. 2450 BC, the estimated age of the Great Pyramid. Then the view moves to the eastern horizon showing the heliacal rising of Zeta Orionis in Orion's belt taking place at the same time]

NARRATOR: "This was the dawn rising, or heliacal rising as it is called, of that star. It was 'born'. The Egyptians knew this day of 'birth from their calendar and by looking at the northern sky, observing the position of the perpetually visible Great and Little Bears, almost as if they were the handles of a giant star-clock."

Note: In c. 2450 BC from the latitude of Giza, the heliacal rising of Zeta Orionis takes place simultaneously when, in the north meridian, the star Kochab (in Ursa Minor, Little Bear) and the star Mizar (in Ursa Major, Big Bear) are passing over the meridian i.e. when an 'invisible vertical line' passes through Kochab, the celestial north pole and Mizar. This idea, which is made explicit in the BBC prgramme, is explained with notes and diagrams in my book The Orion Mystery (see Heinemann Hardback edition fig. 15a and p. 279).

Here is the quote p.279: " In a previous article by R. Bauval (DE 28 1994), it was shown how the rising of the star Zeta Orionis in the east coincided with the meridian passage of the star Kochab in Ursa Minor... It follows, therefore, that for the heliacal rising i.e. rebirth, of Zeta Orionis, the ancient builders could predict this all important event --the 'rebirth' of the star-- by observing... the upper culmination of Kochab. This would strongly suggest that the heliacal risings of stars were not merely determined by waiting patiently for their rising at dawn --which could be frustrated by haze over the horizon, clouds and excessive refraction-- but by cleverly using the circumpolar stars as markers on a sort of 'star clock', with a given meridian upper or lower culmination of specific circumpolar stars 'marking', as it were, the time of heliacal rising of another, non-circumpolar star."

From the diagram 15a (shown below) it can be seen, without any shadow of a doubt, that the specific circumpolar stars are KOCHAB and MIZAR, and the non-circumpolar star is ZETA ORIONIS.

North sky and east horizon

The follow diagram 1 shows the simultaneous observation of these three stars in. c. 2450 BC (+- 25 years), with KOCHAB and MIZAR forming a vertical line with the celestial north pole, and Zeta Orionis rising in the east. This, according to my thesis shown on the BBC and explained in The Orion Mystery, is the "star-clock" of the Great Pyramid and the 4th Dynasty Pyramid builders. It is this "star-clock" that Kate Spence claims to have 'discovered' by trial and error and used to 'anchor the chronologies' of the Pyramid Builders.

An observer at Giza c. 2450 BC

It remains, therefore, to be ascertained whether Kate Spence was aware of BBC2 'The Great Pyramid' programme (shown in 1994 and 1995 in the UK , the USA, Australia and Europe) and/or my book The Orion Mystery (published in the UK and twenty other countries and languages) in 1994 in Hardback and 1995 in paperback.

Some facts: After the BBC 2 'The Great Pyramid' was made, the producer Chris Mann 'recruited' Kate Spence to work as a narrator for several BBC documentaries, including The Mysteries of the Taj Mahal and another on Noah's Ark. Kate Spence also appeared, of course, on the BBC2 Horizon 'Atlantis Reborn' programme discussing and criticising The Orion Mystery. Furthermore, Ms Spence herself has informed me personally during a visit to Cambridge that not only she had read my book, but at one time she intended to present a critical review of my ideas on the star-correlation theory and the Great Pyramid as part of a thesis for her course work at Cambridge.

Robert G. Bauval

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