The Earth's Obliquity and Ancient Water Clocks

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The Earth's Obliquity and Ancient Water Clocks

Postby dragonsteeth » Sun 15 Jan 2017 11:45 pm

In Worlds in Collision, pp. 309-311, Velikovsky notes that if Borchardt's analysis and measurements of the seasonal hours for the water clock of Amenhotep III were correct, Egyptian Thebes must either have been closer to the equator, or the Earth's obliquity must have been lower when this clock was made in ancient Egypt.
In ancient Egypt the summer nights between sundown and sunrise were divided into twelve divisions. At the equinox the divisions of day and night would have been of equal length, but at the Summer Solstice when the nights were shorter the night hours were still marked off using twelve closer but equal divisions. This system of using seasonal hours is important because if we can estimate the difference between day and night on the clock it can provide a measure of the angle of obliquity. It provides a record of the obliquity of the Earth's axis around the time of Amenhotep III and his son Akhenaten.
Borchardt estimated that for the Summer Solstice the night hours lasted just 11hrs 12mins indicating the obliquity would have been about 14 degrees and not 23.5 degrees the present value.
If in ancient history the Earth's axis and obliquity was disturbed a change may have occurred in Egypt in the reign of Amenhotep I. We know that changes were made to the lunar calendar during this Pharoah's reign, and we also know from an inscription for his General Amenemhet, that the solstice ratios for water clocks were recalculated for some reason at this time.
John Fermor in 'Perceived Night Length Ratios in Ancient Egypt', June 2016, writes extensively on this record and proposes that the inscription relates to a 12: 14 ratio which would match the measures on the waterclock of Amenhotep III, and corresponds with an obliquity for the Earth's axis of 14 degrees.
There are numerous Bronze Age sites and temples that are claimed to have orientations, which focus on the rising sun at the Winter Solstice.
Of all the temples of antiquity for which we might look for a link with the rebirth of the Sun as it passes the turning of the year the most likely in many ways is the Great Temple of the Aten built in Akhenaten's new city at Amarna.
In The Egypt Code, Robert Bauval writes of driving to the ruins of Akhetaten to watch the sun rise not only with perfect alignment with this temple but also with perfect alignment with Akhenaten's ruined tomb in the hills beyond. The date was the 29th Oct but the critical point is that the obliquity of the sun on this date would have been very close to the obliquity suggested by the surviving water clock. So if the measurements by Borchardt are correct when Akhenaten built the Great Temple of the Aten at Amarna, both his temple and his tomb would have been aligned precisely with the sunrise of the Winter Solstice.
In the early Bronze Age when the 360 day calendar of Mul Apin was implemented the solstice ratio favoured in Babylon and Assyria was 2:1. If correct this indicates an obliquity of the axis of more than 30 degrees. Ancient records as Velikovsky noted repeatedly identify Ursa Major aka. the Wain, the Plough, and the Hoe as the north polar constellation, with Dubhe as the pole star. If the correct Early Bronze Age solstice ratio for Babylon was 2:1, then the expected ratio we would expect to find in use in India would be 3:2. This is exactly the solstice ratio we do find in early Indian astronomical and Vedic records.
Some writers including Edmund Halley, Velikovsky and later Paul Dunbavin have suggested that the position of our geographical pole might have changed, and that the North pole might have once been closer to Greenland. I have been unable to see any indication that there has been any significant change to the position of our North geographical pole at least in the last 5,000 yrs. All the indications from the solstice records, ancient astral records, and from the seasonal markings on Tutankhamun's grandfather's clock point to changes to the Earth's obliquity.
At the height of the debate and the denunciation of Velikosky's work in Worlds in Collision Assyriologists and astronomers were questioning why early Babylonian astronomers were using this 2:1 Solstice ratio. It was a key piece of evidence indicating that previously the Earth's obliquity had been much higher. But both Velikovsky and his critics turned a blind eye to this critical ratio. Elsewhere Velikovsky proposed that once the pole star had been in Ursa Major (or the Wain, Worlds in Collision p.212).
For the pole star to have once been in this constellation the Earth's obliquity must have been near to 36 degrees, precisely the obliquity required to produce a 2:1 solstice ratio recorded in ancient Babylon.
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