The Pyramids

by Prof. Derek K Hitchins


Looking at the Pyramids

TheBa, theKaand theAkh

Fourth Dynasty Solar Theology

Annual Rebirth Enactment


What we see…

Looking at the Pyramids, What do we see?

  • Many (Pyram)idiotic ideas about the Pyramids. Simply, they were...
  • Protection for the dead Pharaoh's body throughout Eternity, or...
  • ...possibly a Cenotaph
  • earlier Pharaohs had 2, even 3 pyramids, and burial chambers at Abydos, holy place of Osiris
  • Magnificent mausoleum most likely
  • Yet, could there be more...?

TheBa, theKaand theAkh

  • Each person had (at least) two "souls" - theBaand theKa
  • Ba- bird with human head wandered the Earth by day, returned to (mummified) body at night
  • Ka- spiritual duplicate in human form, travelled back and forth between the earth and the "other world" - imperishable stars, Duat...?
  • Kasurvived so long as body remained -Kamade occasional revisits -reunited withBaand mummy

If theKamight be considered as "life force" then theBaexisted between worlds. There was a third state, theAkh.

  • Variously translated as "intelligence", "shining", "illumination", "irradiation", "the shining one" or "the shining form",
  • it seems that theKa, in successfully passing through many stages / trials in the afterlife, eventually graduated to this final stage, theAkh,
  • signified unification withRa.

So, the eventual goal in the afterlife seems to have been to become celestial entity, living among the stars as a shining light.

Fourth Dynasty Solar Theology

  • Rasailed across the heavens by day, and sailed under the world by night
  • A dead Pharaoh may also sail by day and by night, necessitating two boats
    • Mandjet by day
    • Mesektet by night
  • Other boats would enable hisBa/Kato sail around Egypt, especially to Abydos, dedicated to Osiris

Funerary Boat, British Museum

Bauval and Gilbert, in their bookThe Orion Mystery, propose that the Pharaohs of the 3rd and 4th Dynasties were creating a replica of the Heavens on Earth, at and around Giza.
In particular, the three Pyramids at Giza - Khufu's, Khafre's and Menkaure's, are suggested as representing the three stars in Orion's Belt, with the Nile representing the Milky Way.

Bauval and Gilbert also make a make a cogent case that the purpose of the four so-called ventilation shafts, found only in Khufu's Pyramid, was to serve as star-shafts, pointing to particular stars.

  • Each of the shafts pointed, around 2,500 years BC, at a different star, at different times of the year.
  • Precession means that, today, the alignment does not hold.
  • Each star was associated with Osirian Mythology, and therefore with the annual renewal of Egypt implicit in the Nile Inundation.

Winding back the clock to c.2500 BC, allowing for precession and proper motion

  • 4 stars culminate directly over each shaft on different days of the, then, year
    • 2 of them, Alnitak and Sirius correspond to Osiris and Isis in Egyptian myth
    • Thuban was the, then, pole star
    • Kocab is in adze-shaped Ursa Minor

Khufu's Pyramid star-shaft Alignments

Khufu's Great Pyramid and the "Starshaft" Alignments.

  • Note that the 4 shafts didnotpoint at their respective stars all at the same time.
  • These different dates could suggest:
    • alternative dates for Great Pyramid construction, or...
    • Uncharacteristically sloppy building, or...
    • The shafts were set to celebrate events in the, then, future, or...
    • Nothing at all
  • Note also that, although the shafts from the upper King's Chamber reach out to the surface
    of the Pyramid, those from the lower Queen's Chamber do not.
  • Looking carefully at the picture, it can be seen that the shafts start off horizontally,
    before turning upwards at their respective elevation angles. None of the shafts could
    have been used for sighting stars
  • Taken together, these various factors may cast some doubts on the validity of
    the interpretation of the shafts as "starshafts" (click for adifferent interpretationaltogether)

Annual Rebirth Enactment

Running with the idea of the shafts as pointing at stars, at least for the moment, we can suggest what significance the pointing dates might have had:-

  • When Sirius/Isis culminates = full womanhood
  • Sirius then over Southern Shaft in "Queen's" Chamber, 12th September, due South.
  • Osiris/Orion "inseminates" Sirius/Isis

Dawn Culmination of Sirius,
2450BC, Sep 12th, 5.25am. Az 180, El 39.3 = QC, Southern Shaft

Using theRedshiftastronomy program

  • Culmination, or transit, is the point at which a star reaches its highest point in the sky.
  • By definition, this occurs when the star is either due South or due North.
  • Culmination coincides with dawn only under very specific circumstances, pinpointing a particular time, day, year and location

Heliacal rising of Sirius/Isis - 5th July - 9 months later:-

  • Coincides with Nile Inundation.
  • Rebirth of Sirius/Isis coincides with rebirth of Egypt
  • Inundation was the start of ancient Egyptian New Year

Khufu's Pyramid Chambers,
with Shaft Alignments and Dates

Note that this figure shows the shaft slope angles, and the dates when dawn culminations occurred. It does not signify that each shaft pointed precisely at each star on the dates given.Accurate pointing would occur only for the years shown for each shaft on the pyramid diagram above.

Nonetheless, it is possible that the dawn culmination dates were noted by, and were important to, the ancient Egyptians. One interpretation of the significance of the various dates in respect of their annual celebration of annual Osirian fertility rites, is tabulated below:-

Timetable of Stellar-synchronous Events
C = culmination, R = (heliacal) rising
KC = King's Chamber, QC = Queen's Chamber


  • Bauval and Gilbert make an eloquent case for Heaven by the Nile, but:-
    • not all 4th Dynasty pyramids fit (7 out of 9)
    • nothing on ground for Sirius/Isis
  • Remarkable correlation - Giza with Orion's belt - but is the correlation real, or could there be some other explanation?
  • And 3 of the 4 shafts pointed at the stars with which they are said to be associated only some considerable time after the Great Pyramid was built

What We See...

  • Remnants of an extensive "cathedral"
    • To maintain Egypt for all time, for all its people
  • Permanent gateway to and from the stars
  • Focus for annual rebirth cycle, new year festivals?
  • Focus, too, for (occasional) Pharaonic interment and legitimization of new Pharaoh as Horus
  • Product of comprehensive economic, research, experiment, education and management systems
    • Truly remarkable creativity from an essentially Stone Age culture!

D K Hitchins 2015