> This method of finding true north, and some other
> methods, make the unsupported assumption that the
> objective of the AE builders was in fact to find
> true north to align their buildings.
> But there is lots of evidence to suggest that the
> objective was to align to stars that rotated
> around the celestial pole.
> Even your linked article mentions that The
> Stretching of the Cord Ceremony, used over
> centuries by the AE to commence work on the
> buildings, started by looking at the stars of the
> Big Dipper.
> An alignment method, to be worthy of
> consideration, needs evidence and relevant
> cultural context.
Dash doesn't actually describe how to get true north. The two methods he describes only find true east and west.
How did the AE know there was such a thing as cardinal points in the first place, let alone how they knew the sun could be used to determine them?
Since the Sun comes and goes at different locations on the horizon each day, why would the AE be interested in only that one cardinal direction with such precision?
Regarding the equinoctial method, how would the AE know what day the equinox was, and how would they know that such a day could be used to determine true east or west unless they knew about the geometry of Earth and the Sun?
Dash's contentions regarding the correlation of the precision of cardinal alignment with pyramid size and alleged pyramid sequence is speculation. For example, he asserts that there is a correlation between greater accuracy and "greater care" in establishing the cardinal point, and also with whether different accuracies were "required". He doesn't seem to consider whether higher accuracy was possible based on the limit of measurement method at the time each pyramid allegedly was constructed during those centuries in the 3rd millennium BC.
Dash's assertion about using a level platform uses a curious circular logic. On one hand he claims the AE needed a level platform to "extend the line" in order to encompass the entire pyramid perimeter, but then proceeds to say "Such a platform would have been available, however, as the platform around the Great Pyramid is leveled to within a few centimeters over its entire 920-meter periphery" without presenting the method they used to achieve such horizontal accuracy in that foundation.
Finally, the title of Dash's paper is misleading since it implies the pyramids were indeed aligned to the cardinal points using this method. And yet he is very clear in pointing out in the Conclusion:
- "...the Egyptians, unfortunately, left us few clues."
No 'engineering documents or architectural plans have been found that give technical explanations demonstrating how the ancient Egyptians aligned any of their temples or pyramids.'
'No Egyptian compasses have ever been discovered...'
'...nor has any other type of sophisticated survey equipment' [been discovered]
"The records that do survive consist primarily of descriptions of foundation ceremonies for important buildings. However, it is unclear as to what extent these descirptions describe technical details as opposed to the ceremonies themselves."
So then why does he believe they did that work at all?
He asserts his preference for the equinoctial solar method simply on the basis of it having a "certain appeal" because it is simple and might be able to achieve such accuracy on a pyramid scale, but doesn't specify in that paper how an extrapolation method would achieve similar accuracy on that larger scale.
He does include a citation to his 2014 paper which proposes a hypothetical method for extending the line beyond a given gnomon's range. In that paper, he first presents Isler's proposal that the "Stretching the Cord" ceremony (cf. Temple of Edfu) might be a reference to such a surveying practice. However, that proposal depends on speculation and doesn't address important technical challenges (e.g., the alignment poles must be exactly vertical and exactly the same width, the Edfu inscription only shows two end poles and no intervening alignment pole, then there's the weight of the rope, the effect of air currents on rope stability, etc.).
As an alternative to Isler's model, Dash attempts to relate his method to chain surveying, but chain surveying is more accurate in smaller plane areas, and the error does indeed accumulate as the number of chains increases to describe a larger foundation. Unfortunately, Dash does not provide any data regarding the effect of extrapolation through chaining on the accumulation of errors, and we have no evidence that the AE had any access to a compass or telescopic optics typically used in surveying to improve accuracy beyond the capability of the naked eye.
As Dash fully acknowledges the difficulty of invoking the Stretching of the Cord method, he alternatively proposes an "artificial star" method. However, this method still is subject to accumulation errors incurred by, e.g., the ability of the naked eye to resolve such slight arc errors within the sighting gap, the thickness of the sighting gap, the distance of separation between the sighting gap and the light source as well as and the sighting gap and the observer.
There is no evidence that the AE actually used any of these methods to achieve such civil engineering objectives, and Dash doesn't address the real problem of accumulation of error in such an extrapolation method. And although his own short-range testing of the equinoctial method produced an accuracy within what is observed for the OK pyramids, he does not present data that includes chaining, and such extrapolation would likely incur the accumulation of errors that would result in an alignment error that exceeds what we see today in the pyramid alignment with the cardinal points. Dash doesn't address any of these problems.
How can any of us ever know, when all we can do is think?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 31-Jan-17 04:34 by Origyptian.