The Great Pyramid and the North Pole of the Ecliptic
By Richard E. Ford
Of all the celestial observations that ancient peoples may have been capable of performing, that of the north pole of the ecliptic (NPOE) has to be the most problematic and unlikely. The NPOE is not marked by any major stars, and even if it were, locating it precisely would require careful and detailed observations of the north pole of the celestial sphere (NPOCS) over many thousands of years to detect the fact that the celestial pole was slowly moving and circling this singular and enigmatic spot in the heavens. Surely there was no way that they could have accumulated such data, but even if they had, it seems highly unlikely that they could have located the NPOE with any degree of precision. Or had they, and if so what is the evidence for it? The Great Pyramid of Giza provides definitive proof that they were not only well aware of the precise location of the NPOE, but of its relationship to the cosmos and Earth's movements as well.
There are at least two connections between the Great Pyramid and the NPOE; one direct and the other indirect. The first is embodied in the legendary terrestrial globe that can be generated from the internal structures of the Pyramid and the second derives from the Pyramid's location at the 30th parallel of latitude. Both of these connections have ties to the deepest and most sacred symbols and religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.
The Terrestrial Globe
Arab and Jewish historians of the Middle Ages wrote that the Great Pyramid was built by an ante-diluvian king, who saw in a dream that the Earth would be destroyed in a tremendous cataclysm in the solar system. When he awoke, he sought the advice of his learned men who told him that it was true. Afterwards, the king used the time remaining before the cataclysm to build a pyramid and to place within it all of the knowledge of his time considered worth preserving. He also placed a terrestrial globe in it.
These stories were considered little more than fanciful legends, because there was no proof of any of them. However, there is compelling evidence that they may be entirely accurate as I have detailed in a book that I have recently published, Lord of Eternity; Divine Order and the Great Pyramid. This evidence includes a remarkably accurate terrestrial globe, which is relevant to our discussion. The globe is not an actual, physical object, but a mathematical model that can be readily generated from the shape and certain internal structures of the Pyramid.
The derivation of the terrestrial globe starts with the djed column, with its distinctive four bars or rings mounted atop a column or pillar. The djed was undoubtedly one of the most sacred symbols of ancient Egypt's religion and the raising of the djed at the annual Osirian rites signified the rebirth of the god Osiris and was part of the dramatic conclusion of these rites. This symbol is incorporated in an internal structure of the Great Pyramid that is located above the king's chamber, where there are four chambers, each covered with a flat roof composed of immense beams of granite blocks, set with remarkable precision. (A fifth chamber lies above these four, but it is structurally different in that it has a pented roof of limestone beams, designed to protect the underlying structures from the immense weight of the Pyramid's mass located above them, thus it is not functionally related to them.) These four chambers are the equivalent of the four lines or rings on the djed column and can properly be called the djed structure of the Pyramid; it is from this structure that the terrestrial globe is derived.
From a view of the eastern side-profile aspect of the Pyramid, with its internal structures marked out, the terrestrial globe begins with a circle drawn around the Pyramid, using its height as the radius of the circle. Next, a vertical line is laid off from the base of the Pyramid and parallel to its centerline, running up through the center of the King's Chamber, thence up and through the djed structure above it, and continuing from there up and through the exterior of the Pyramid. Next, two perpendicular lines are laid off from the previous line. The first begins at the ceiling of the fourth or uppermost chamber of the djed structure, and runs parallel to the baseline until it exits the Pyramid on both sides and continues on to the surrounding circle. The second begins at the spot where the vertical line that was previously laid off exits the exterior of the Pyramid and from there runs in both directions to the surrounding circle.
The angular measure of the two lines from the Pyramid's baseline shows that they are approximately 24° and 66°, respectively, as detailed in the foregoing line drawing. (Actual measurements from Petrie's and Maragiolio and Rinaldi's survey data are approximately 24.2° and 65.8°, uncorrected for any margins of error in the data.) If a mirror image of the Pyramid is drawn, two similar lines can be laid off on the bottom half of the circle. Only a moment's reflection is necessary to realize that these four lines are clearly the two tropics and the two polar circles of the Earth, which are of very great significance for the orientation of the Earth in the solar system and for its movements about the Sun and the heavens above. This is the legendary terrestrial globe.
The appearance of the tropics on this globe is interesting, but not overly surprising. If the ancient peoples had determined that the earth was a sphere, simple observations of the Sun's movements over time would have disclosed to them that the Sun moved regularly and continuously between set boundaries that surrounded the Earth. These two lines would represent the tropos or turning points of the Sun, and the two Tropics could readily be drawn from this information on a depiction of the Earth. What is noteworthy in this regard, however, is the inescapable fact that the ancient Egyptians apparently knew this information many thousands of years before the Greeks, who have long been credited with its discovery. Similarly, based on the evidence presented by the Pyramid's terrestrial globe, the discovery of the two polar circles should also be attributed to the Egyptians and not the Greeks.
The appearance of the polar circles on the Pyramid's terrestrial globe, though, is truly remarkable, as the only way that these lines could have been drawn is for the designers of the globe to have had direct and detailed knowledge of the NPOE, because the polar circle derives from the fact that the NPOE defines its apparent movement about the Earth along this path. (Once this knowledge had been arrived at, the existence of the south pole of the ecliptic could readily be inferred and a similar line drawn in the southern hemisphere of the terrestrial globe.) As previously noted, knowledge of the NPOE could only have been acquired through long and very precise observations and measurements of the movements of the NPOCS, a very painstaking and exacting process, requiring discipline and dedication over many thousands of years. Apparently, though, this is exactly what the ancient Egyptians did, as is evidenced by the appearance of the polar circles on the terrestrial globe in the Pyramid. There don't appear to be other plausible conclusions that can be drawn for this.