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.
- Legon’s full article is available online for those who want more detail. ↩
So much to learn while at the same time quoting Yoda, “you must unlearn what you have learned.” Thanks for all the reminders and pointing all of us to the primary information. Hopefully moving forward while being firmly rooted in the Faith.
Thanks Dr. Heiser
I see a more interesting alignment of the Giza Pyramids with the star constellation Hydra, close to Orion with the Winter Triangle between them. I think Hydra more closely resembles the positions of the three stars compared to the pyramids than Orion’s Belt. Further, ancient cultures in the surrounding area and in the areas of other monumental structures with similar placements had several references to snakes and snake gods, snake people and Hydra is a snake constellation named after a multi-headed snake monster of mythology. However, the Hydra constellation is not nearly as popular or spectacular to view as Orion.