Monday, October 10, 2005

Origin of the Cult of Horus - Page 4

The Origin of the Cult of Horus
in Predynastic Egypt - page 4

The falcon is the fastest animal of the entire animal kingdom[7] and this surely did not escape the attention of the ancients. The falcon is something quite special. However, did this mean that the falcon served as the ancient guardian of the celestial pole?

There were only two possibilities: either my falcon identification at the Extern Stones was wrong or the falcon had once had a Pole Star function which it had later lost. This would be possible, for example, as an astronomical result of precession (the shift of the pole star position over time). Could this be proven?

Problem 2. The constellation Draco, the Dragon, in modern times extends to the star Thuban, which lies below present Ursa Minor.

An additional problem with our interpretation was the fact that the constellation Draco has been extended in modern times to include the star Thuban, directly under the star Kochab in Ursa Minor. However, no ancient sources confirm that Thuban was counted to Draco in ancient days. Rather, the connection of the word Thuban with the dragon of heaven arises linguistically due to the false equation of Arabic Al Dhib "wolf" (Thuban, Adib) with the Greek Drakon "dragon" used by Ptolemy.[8] In fact, the Arabic word Al Tinnin means "dragon". We will explain later where this confusion of the heavenly dragon with the wolf originally started. Thuban may have been viewed as the pole star ca. 2800-2600 B.C. by the ancients, but we have no evidence of this in available sources. In any case, it is clear that Kochab, Pherkad and the other stars of Ursa Minor were anciently viewed as a falcon. Can evidence be produced that the star Thuban ("wolf") originally did not belong to constellation Draco?

This is a difficult task, as mainstream astronomers negate the existence of such ancient constellations. Nevertheless, I have found further ancient proof that Thuban was originally not a part of Draco. This possibility was suggested by ancient Greek astronomy where Ursa Minor was seen to form the wings of Draco.[9] We also find such a - thus far puzzling - winged dragon in the "Descent from the Cross Relief" at the Extern Stones, the largest such ancient relief sculpture north of the Alps.[10]

[7] Because other birds are afraid of falcons due to their great speed, falcons are even used today to guard airports by keeping other birds away. See Cameron Walker, Falconry Used to Secure North American Airports, National Geographic News, March 25, 2003. See
also Falconry.
[8] See also Smith’s Bible Dictionary which writes under Dragon:"The translators of the Authorized Version [of the Bible] … have rendered by the same word "dragon" the two Hebrew words tan and tannin…. The syriac renders it by a word which, according to Pococke, means a 'jackal.'"
[9] For the origin of the constellation Draco see e.g. Draco (constellation).
[10] 200 Jahre Streit um die Externsteine.

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