The Alleged Alignment of the Giza Pyramids with the Constellation Orion
This past weekend I spent some time revisiting Stuart Robbins’ excellent Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast. On of his May 2012 episodes was on the alleged “Orion Correlation” promoted in print and online by Robert Bauval. The basic idea is that the three Giza pyramids were deliberately planned and constructed so that their orientation matches the constellation Orion. Bauval published a book entitled The Orion Mystery back in 1984 that popularized the idea. Graham Hancock later got on the bandwagon, supplementing the idea with his own unique brand of paleobabble.
Stuart’s podcast on the alleged correlation is short (about 20) minutes and is basically devoted to the fact that the “perfect alignment” of the pyramids and the belt stars of Orion is far from perfect. You can listen to the episode here.
One of the links Stuart provides for further research is a summary by John Legon of his peer-reviewed article (in the Journal Discussions in Egyptology) that refutes the correlation. 1 That’s important because Bauval first proposed his theory in a published article in the same journal. (Hint: this is how peer-review works – ideas are submitted for review, published, and then exposed to scholars – not put on the internet along with claims of how persecuted you are for your views).
Bauval therefore began his journey the right way. He’s since ignored a lot of the criticism from reviewers. Legon’s work (and Stuart’s) are just samples.