Thanks for replying. Let's give this another shot. :)
Jeff: "In "DATING THE CEILING OF SENMUT" you emphasize an orientational aspect of one detail of the whole ceiling."
Yes. The impression given by it being cordoned off is that it is saying 'this is the Belt'. But that's not the only reason. It just so happens the 'overshot' tilt appears this way in relation to the 'Alpha Eclipse' information I'd posted in an earlier part of this series. At first glance it can be taken as an interesting observation, however when context begins to seep in it seems less and less a coincidence.
Jeff: "The ceiling as a whole seems to be a rather distorted representation of the sky, with what looks to me like some totally fictitious star groups."
Overall, yes, the ceiling comes across as not being anything in the way of an exact representation of the sky by any means. Bt 'fictitious'? What do you mean?
Jeff: "The detail of the three stars that you discus in your article might very well be a representation of Orion’s belt, but:
1. why would this group of stars be a realistic star-group-image, while the other groups are not?"
See above. As for the three stars 'maybe' being the Belt, we know it is, and that's an observation long since agreed on by the field of Egyptology.
Jeff: "2. why would the orientation of this group as a whole be interpreted as exact, while the "bend" within the group (an offset of about 3 degrees) is far from an exact representation of the real offset in the sky."
No, the bend is not exact. Quite right. But it's enough to say a sincere attempt was made to draw it exact - or maybe not. For example, you and I and others have seen the Belt in the real sky, and if we were to draw it freehand it wouldn't be exact now would it? In any case, what is more obvious is that the orientation of the three stars are exaggerated to the left. I mean, why draw it that way unless it was meant to be drawn that way? Say we revere a set of stars, and the way they look is quite common to us. It follows that when we draw them we make the effort (or it's possible the act is subliminal because the mind directs the hand to draw what it has seen) to get it right. Since there just 'happens' to be specific reasoning attached to such a tilt vis-à-vis the location near the equator there is good reason to consider having any doubts put aside.
What I also wanted to do was add more as this thread progressed, and I really didn't get the chance. I'll throw a couple of things out now. Remember I talked about context? Well here's something that does a great job in supporting my thoughts about Senmut's ceiling containing a reference to my 'Alpha Eclipse':
When a temple was built in ancient Egypt it had among its halls and walls the things most important to the builders, that is, specific offerings or a key event in the life of the builder. Most often the construction effort was carried out by a pharaoh, and as regards our current discussion we need to look at Hatshepsut and her famous temple at Deir el Bahari. This temple sports a few key areas where the type of expression I referred to appears.:
1. The Anubis chapel
2. The Hathor chapel
3. The 'Birth' colonnade
4. The 'Punt' colonnade
There is certainly much to relate with all of these areas of the temple, but for now let's look at the 'Punt' colonnade (PC). First, it should be more than interesting to find an entire section devoted to a journey into some 'unknown' land when a temple serves the purpose of worship. Exposés on the daily life of a pharaoh normally appear elsewhere, such as on stele, pylons, or city fixtures. Secondly, the journey itself is to the south, and for many years it has been suggested (and agreed) Punt lies in either present-day Somalia or Ethiopia, maybe even parts of Sudan. The search for this enigmatic and mysterious land is wrought with conflicting ideas, the result being no one being able to say for sure where it Punt lay. I believe the answer lies on the walls of Hatshepsut's temple.
And what do we find there? The scenes themselves do not show us anything of the journey itself, only the points when the travelers are docked, therefore making observations on what course the journey took *muddled*. But there is hope on this point. As regards the journey commissioned by Hatshepsut (there were others much earlier and some later – I’ll get to them further on) certain investigators believe the AE’s left Thebes heading downriver, out into the Mediterranean Sea, back south through some non-existent canal (unproven that is) to the Red Sea, then on to Punt, i.e. Somalia/Ethiopia. None of this makes any sense given the evidence, and it furthermore directly contradicts the observations made by the early explorers of Hatshepsut’s temple, namely one Gaston Maspero (and others). The latter gentleman took special note of the following scene:
He observed that these types of trees are found along river valleys, not abutted to seashores. Furthermore, Dümichen noted the structures – huts on ‘stilts’ with ‘ladders’ for steps – resemble toquls, a Sudanese-type abode. Both were right. Unfortunately, these (common sense) thoughts were not followed through on, thus we could say it was with them the southeasterly choice for Punt was born. A second detriment to the Somalia/Ethiopia theory is that in this same scene appear (along the bottom) very specific types of fish. Upon closer examination, one scholar was confused as to why a fish unique to the Nile River would be included here if the waters shown are supposed to be the Red Sea (and other environs connected to it). Putting two and two together it should be quite obvious the scene is of the Nile and not an easterly seafront. There is also a turtle which is indigenous to the Nile.
By adding the remainder of context so far presented we have the sincere makings of a solution to where Punt is/was. But I left out one key ingredient, one that almost nails it shut. Of course, there is more not mentioned here as far as context is concerned, but I can say that this piece of info really says it all. That is, what more convincing does one need after we answer the following question:
Who was it that Hatshepsut sent on this journey?
Why, our old friend Senmut. Oh, and did I mention? His tomb – the one with the ceiling in question – is immediately to the east of the Lower Court of Hatshepsut’s temple. I wonder what its orientation points to …
Lastly, there is something we need to think about, and that is when do we know Punt was at least first visited, and by whom?
R. Avry Wilson
"History is told by those who have hanged heroes"
 'Pharaohs Fellahs and Explorers', by Amelia Edwards. New York, Harper & Brothers, 1891. (First edition.) p.282.