Robert Bauval Graham Hancock 1996

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Chapter 16

Message in a Bottle?
'We have reached this fascinating point in
our evolution. . . we have reached the time
when we know we can talk to each other
across the distances between the stars. . . '
Dr John Billingham, NASA Ames Research Center, 1995

"Together with the ancient texts and rituals that are linked to them, could the vast monuments of the Giza necropolis have been designed to transmit a message from one culture to another - a message not across space, but across time?
Egyptologists reply to such questions by rolling their eyes and hooting derisively, Indeed they would not be 'Egyptologists' (or at any rate they could not long remain within that profession) if they reacted with anything other than scorn and disbelief to suggestions that the necropolis might be more than a cemetery, that the Great Sphinx might significantly predate the epoch of 2500 BC, and that the Pyramids might not be just 'royal tombs'. By the same token, no self- respecting Egyptologist would be prepared to consider, even for a moment, the outlandish possibility that some sort of mysterious 'message' might have been encoded into the monuments.
So whom should we turn to for advice when confronted by what we suspect may be a message from a civilization so far distant from us in time as to be almost unknowable?


The only scientists actively working on such problems today are those involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - SETI for

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short. They endlessly sweep the heavens for messages from distant civilizations and they have therefore naturally had to give some thought to what might happen if they ever did identify such a message. According to Dr Philip Morisson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
To begin with we would know very little about it. If we received it we would not understand what we're getting. But we would have an unmistakable signal, full of structure, full of challenge. The best people would try to decode it, and it will be easy to do because those who have constructed it would have made it easy to decode, otherwise there's no point. This is anti-cryptography: 'I want to make a message for you, who never got in touch with any symbols of mine, no key no clue, nevertheless you'll be able to read it . . .' I would have to fill it full of clues and unmistakable clever devices. . .1
In his book, Cosmos, Professor Carl Sagan of Cornell University makes much the same point - and does so, curiously enough, with reference to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic system. He explains that the 'Egyptian hieroglyphics are, in significant part, a simple substitution cipher. But not every hieroglyph is a letter or syllable. Some are pictographs. . .' When it came to translation, this 'mix of letters and pictographs caused some grief for interpreters. . .' In the early nineteenth century, however, a breakthrough was made by the French scholar Champollion who deciphered the famous 'Rosetta Stone', a slab of black basalt bearing identical inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphics and in Greek. Since Champollion could read the Greek, all he needed was some kind of 'key' to relate specific hieroglyphs to specific Greek words or letters. This key was provided by the constant repetition in the Greek text of the name of Pharaoh Ptolemy V and an equal number of repetitions in the Egyptian text of a distinctive oblong enclosure - known as a cartouche - containing a repeated group of hieroglyphs. As Sagan comments:
The cartouches were the key. . . almost as though the Pharaohs of Egypt had circled their own names to make the going easier for Egyptologists two thousand years in the future. . . What a joy it must have been [for Champollion] to open this one-way communication channel with another civilization, to permit a culture that had been

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mute for millennia to speak of its history, magic, medicine, religion, politics and philosophy.2
Professor Sagan then offers a comparison that is highly apposite to our present inquiry. 'Today,' he says:
we are again seeking messages from an ancient and exotic civilization, this time hidden from us not only in time, but in space. If we should receive a radio message from an extraterrestrial civilization, how could it possibly be understood? Extraterrestrial intelligence will be elegant, complex, internally consistent and utterly alien. Extraterrestrials would, of course, wish to make a message sent to us as comprehensible as possible. But how could they? Is there in any sense an interstellar Rosetta Stone? We believe there is a common language that all technical civilizations, no matter how different, must have. That common language is science and mathematics. The laws of Nature are the same everywhere.3
It seems to us that if there is indeed a very ancient 'message' at Giza then it is likely to be expressed in the language of science and mathematics that Sagan identifies - and for the same reason. Moreover, given its need to continue 'transmitting' coherently across thousands of years (and chasms of cultural change), we think that the composer of such a message would be likely to make use of the Precession of the Equinoxes, the one particular 'law of Nature' that can be said to govern, and measure - and identify - long periods of terrestrial time.

Durable vehicles

The Pyramids and the Great Sphinx at Giza are, above all else, as elegant, as complex, as internally consistent and as utterly 'alien' as the extraterrestrial intelligence that Sagan envisages (alien in the sense of the tremendous, almost superhuman scale of these structures and of their uncanny - and in our terms apparently unnecessary - precision).
Moreover, returning briefly to Dr Philip Morisson's remarks quoted earlier, we think that the Giza necropolis also qualifies rather well for the description 'packed full of clues and unmistakable clever devices'.4 Indeed, it seems to us that a truly astonishing quantum of

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ingenuity was invested by the Pyramid builders to ensure that the four fundamental aspects of an 'unmistakable' message were thoroughly elaborated here:
the creation of durable, unequivocal markers which could serve as beacons to inflame the curiosity and engage the intelligence of future generations of seekers;
the use of the 'common language' of precessional astronomy;
the use of precessional co-ordinates to signal specific time- referents linking past to present and present to future;
Cunningly concealed store-rooms, or 'Halls of Records' that could only be found and entered by those who were fully initiated in the 'silent language' and thus could read and follow its clues.
In addition, though the monuments are enabled to 'speak' from the moment that their astronomical context is understood, we have also to consider the amazing profusion of funerary texts that have come down to us from all periods of Egyptian history - all apparently emanating from the same very few common sources.5 As we have seen, these texts operate like 'software' to the monuments' 'hardware', charting the route that the Horus-King (and all other future seekers) must follow.
We recall a remark made by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend in Hamlet's Mill to the effect that the great strength of myths as vehicles for specific technical information is that they are capable of transmitting that information independently of the knowledge of individual story-tellers.6 In other words as long as a myth continues to be told true, it will also continue to transmit any higher message that may be concealed within its structure - even if neither the teller nor the hearer understands that message.
So, too, we suspect, with the ancient Egyptian funerary texts. We would be surprised if the owners of many of the coffins and tomb walls onto which they were copied had even the faintest inkling that specific astronomical observations and directions were being dupli- cated at their expense. What motivated them was precisely what the texts offered - the lure of immortal life. Yet by taking that lure did they not in fact guarantee a kind of immortality for the texts themselves? Did they not ensure that so many faithful copies would

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be made that some at least would be bound to survive for many thousands of years?
We think that there were always people who understood the true 'science of immortality' connected to the texts, and who were able to read the astronomical allegories in which deeper secrets, not granted to the common herd, lay concealed. We presume that these people were once called the 'Followers of Horus', that they operated as an invisible college behind the scenes in Egyptian prehistory and history, that their primary cult centre was at Giza-Heliopolis, and that they were responsible for the initiation of kings and the realization of blueprints. We also think that the timetables they worked to - and almost everything of significance that they did - was in one way or another written in the stars.

Hints and memories

The powerfully astronomical character of the Giza necropolis, although ignored by Egyptologists, has been recognized by open- minded and intuitive researchers throughout history. The Hermetic Neoplatonists of Alexandria, for example, appear to have been acutely sensitive to the possibility of a 'message' and were quick to discern the strong astral qualities of the textual material and the monuments.' 7 The scholar Proclus (fifth century AD) also acknowledged that the Great Pyramid was astronomically designed - and with certain specific stars in mind. Indeed, in his commentary on Plato's Timaeus (which deals with the story of the lost civilization of 'Atlantis'), Proclus reported strangely that 'the Great Pyramid was used as an observation for Sirius'.8
Vague memories of an astronomically constructed 'message' at Giza appear to have filtered down to the Middle Ages. At any rate the Arab chroniclers in this period spoke of the Great Pyramid as 'a temple to the stars' and frequently connected it to the Biblical 'Flood' which they dated to circa 10,300 BC.9 Also of relevance is a report written by the Arab geographer Yakut al Hamawi (eleventh century AD) to the effect that the star-worshippers of Harran, the Sabians (whose 'holy books' were supposedly the writings ofThoth-Hermes) came at that time on special pilgrimages to the Pyramids at Giza.10 It

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has also been pointed out that the very name of the Sabians - in Arabic Sa' Ba - almost certainly derived from the ancient Egyptian word for star, i.e. Sba..11 And the reader will recall from Part I that as far back as the early second millennium BC - i.e. almost three thousand years before Yakut al Hamawi left us his report connecting the Sabians to the Pyramids - pilgrims from Harran are known to have visited the Sphinx which they worshipped as a god under the name Hwl.12
In the seventeenth century, the British mathematician Sir Isaac Newton became deeply interested in the Great Pyramid and wrote a dissertation on its mathematical and geodetic qualities based on data that had been gathered at Giza by Dr John Greaves, the Savillian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford.13 Later, in 1865 the Astronomer Royal of Scotland, Charles Piazzi Smyth, launched an investigation into the Great Pyramid which he was convinced was an instrument of prophecy that incorporated a Messianic 'message'. It was Piazzi Smyth who first accurately measured and demonstrated the intense polar and meridional alignments of the monument, the precision of which he assigned to sightings of the ancient Pole star, Alpha Draconis.14
In the first half of the twentieth century, a succession of eminent astronomers - such as Richard Proctor, Eugene Antoniadi, Jean Baptiste Biot and Norman Lockyer - made persistent attempts to draw attention to the astronomical qualities of the Giza monuments. Their efforts, however, had little impact on professional Egyptolo-gists who by this time felt that they had got the whole intellectual business of the necropolis 'wrapped up' (it was a cemetery), did not understand astronomy at all (and claimed that the ancient Egyptians didn't either), and routinely ganged up to debunk, deride or simply ignore any astronomical 'theories' which diverged from their consensus.
Despite this hostile intellectual climate, we are of the opinion at the end of our own research that the big question is no longer whether the monuments of Giza were designed to express key astronomical and mathematical principles, but why.
Once again, the clue may lie in the narrow star-shafts of the Great Pyramid.

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The language of the stars

The first major breakthrough in understanding the function of the Great Pyramid's shafts was made in. the summer of 1963 by the American astronomer Virginia Trimble and the Egyptologist-archi-tect, Dr Alexander Badawy. It came about because they decided to follow up Badawy's 'hunch' that the shafts might not be 'ventilation channels' as Egyptologists supposed, 15 but might instead prove to have a symbolic function related to the astral rituals of the Pyramid builders. Virginia Trimble was able to buttress her colleague's intuition by showing that the shafts from the King's Chamber had pointed, in the epoch of 2500 BC, to major star systems that were of crucial importance to the Pyramid builders. As readers will recall from Part I, the northern shaft had been targeted on Alpha Draconis - the Pole Star in the Pyramid Age - and the southern shaft had been targeted on Orion's belt.16
Today Virginia Trimble is a senior professor of astronomy at UCLA and the University of Maryland and is also the Vice-President of the American Astronomical Society. Her views, as well as being enlightened by a comprehensive grasp of astronomy, accord fully with common sense:
Which constellations the Egyptians saw in the sky is still something of a mystery. . . but they had one constellation that was an erect standing man, Osiris, the god. And the one constellation that looks like a standing man to everyone is Orion, and the identification between a deceased Pharaoh and the god Osiris made Orion immediately a candidate for a shaft whose sole purpose was to enable the soul of the Pharaoh to communicate between earth and sky. . .17
When we met Virginia Trimble we immediately realized we were in the presence of an acute and formidable thinker. Alexander Badawy had passed away in the late 1980s yet she remained undaunted. She had concluded that the shafts were astronomically aligned, she said, and that they had an astronomical function, because logic and evidence dictated that this was the case.
Trimble's views have won general acceptance amongst senior astronomers. To give one recent example, Dr Mary Bruck of Edinburgh, writing in the Journal of the British Astronomical

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Association in 1995, had this to say about the shafts: 'Their alignments are ... compatible with the hypothesis that they indicate the culmination of certain important stars around the 25th century BC . . . The addition of a Sirius shaft [southern shaft of the Queen's Chamber] to the Orion one strongly supports the claim that they have an astronomical significance.' 18


We suggest that one of the major objectives of the unseen academy, whose members were known as the 'Followers of Horus', was to 'fix' the epoch of 2500 BC (i.e. 4500 years before the present) by using the Great Pyramid, its precisely angled shafts, and the stars of Orion's belt. We suggest that they envisaged those stars rather like the gauge of a gigantic sliding scale set across the south meridian. Once this 'thought-tool' was in place all they needed to do in order to determine a date either in the past or in the future was mentally to 'slide' the belt up or down the meridian from the 'zero point' targeted by the southern shaft of the King's Chamber.
We also suggest that a second and somewhat similar 'thought-tool' was attached to the ecliptic (the apparent annual path of the sun through the twelve constellations of the zodiac). Here the gauge was the vernal point. By mentally sliding it to the left (east) or to the right (west) of a 'fixed' marker on the ecliptic the 'Followers of Horus' would once again have been able to determine and denominate either a past date or a date in the future. . .
In our own epoch, circa AD 2000, the vernal point is poised to enter the sign or 'Age' of Aquarius. For a little over 2000 years it has been passing through Pisces (160 BC to AD 2000) and before that it was in Aries (2320 BC to 160 BC).ln the Pyramid Age the vernal point slowly swept through Taurus (4480 BC to 2320 BC). Going further back we reach the 'Ages' of Gemini (6640 BC to 4480 BC) and then Cancer (8800 BC to 6640 BC). After six 'Great Months' we reach the Age of Leo (10,960BC to 8800 BC).
Now imagine that we find an ancient document at Giza which states that it was composed when the vernal point was in the sign of the Ram - i.e. when the sun on the spring equinox rose against the

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stellar background of the constellation of Aries. Armed with this information all that we can do is roughly bracket the document's date as being somewhere between 2320 BC and 160 BC. What we need in order to arrive at a more precise chronology is some means to 'fine-tune' the vernal point. It is here that the specific utility of the sliding scale at the meridian becomes apparent because if the ancient document not only stated which zodiacal sign housed the vernal point but also advised that the lowest star of Orion's belt crossed the meridian at an altitude of 50 degrees above the horizon then we would be able, using precession, to calculate with great accuracy that the date in question must be very near 1400 BC.19
The Pyramid Age occurred when the vernal point was in Taurus and, as we have seen, the fine-tuning permitted by the 45-degree angle of the Great Pyramid's 'Orion shaft' draws particular attention to the date of 2500 BC. With this date, 4500 years before the present, we can use precession to calculate the exact position of the vernal point - which, as the reader will recall, was near the head of the Hyades-Taurus at that time, close to the right (i.e. west) bank of the Milky Way.
The reader will also not have forgotten that this is the 'address' given in the Pyramid Texts as the starting point for the cosmic journey of the solar Horus-King. It is here that he receives his instructions to board the solar-bark and 'sail' across the Milky Way towards the 'horizon' to meet up with Horakhti. His direction of travel is, therefore, eastwards, i.e. to the left of the vernal point. In terms of the chronology of the 'Great Year' of precession (as distinct from the solar year), this means that the Horus-King is now poised to travel back in time towards the age of Leo-Horakhti and to a specific spot on the ecliptic path - 'The Splendid Place of the "First Time" ', . . . 'the place more noble than any place'.20
But where is that place? How is the Horus-King (initiate, seeker) to find it in the 2160-year, 30-degree swathe that the constellation of Leo occupies on the ecliptic?
The answer is that he would have to use the gauge of Orion's belt at the meridian to fine-tune the exact place of the vernal point and hence also to arrive at an exact date. In his mind's eye he would have to slide

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the belt 'down' the meridian to its 'First Time' and then see how far to the east that operation had 'pushed' the vernal point along the ecliptic.
Wherever that place was would be the celestial destination that the 'Followers of Horus' were urging him to reach.
And it would, of course, have its counterpart on the ground at Giza, in the vicinity of the lion-bodied Sphinx. "














The Zed Aliz Zed the scribe and attendant number of penumbraed shadows cross the shortest distance between two points.

Margaret A. Murray 1951

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"... Manetho begins his history with dynasties of gods and demi-gods who reigned for a fabulous length of time. The copies of his history by Syncellus and Eusebius give 86,525 years as the duration of Egyptian history from the beginning of the first dynasty of the gods till the end of the thirtieth historic dynasty; "which number of years, resolved and divided into its constituent parts, that is to say, 25 times 14-61 years, shows that it is related to the fabled periodical revolution of the Zodiac among the Egyptians and Greeks; that is, its revolution from a particular point to the same again, which point is the first minute of the first degree of that equinoctial sign which they call the Ram, as it is explained in the Genesis of Hermes and in the Cyrannian Books..."


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"In many countries the Divine King was allowed to reign for a term of years only, usually
or nine
or multiples of those numbers".
Line from song
Graham Hancock 1995  

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Chapter 41

 "Conscious of being alone, this blessed and immortal being contrived to create two divine offspring, Shu, god of the air and dryness, and Tefnut the goddess of moisture: ' I thrust my phallus into my closed hand. I made my seed to enter my hand. I poured it into my own mouth. I evacuated under the form of Shu, I passed water under the form of Tefnut.' 7 "

Wilbur Smith 1993

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"...Out of the chaos and darkness of Nun rose Ammon-Ra, He- Who- Creates-Himself. I watched Ammon-Ra stroke his generative member, masturbating and spurting out his seminal seed in mighty waves that left the silver smear that we know as the Milky Way across the dark void. From this seed were generated Geb and Nut, the earth and the heaven. '
'Bak-her!' a single voice broke the tremulous silence of the temple. 'Bak-her! Amen!' The old abbot had not been able to contain himself, and now he endorsed my vision of the creation. I was so astonished by his change of heart that I almost forgot my next line. After all, he had been my sternest critic up to that time. I had won him over completely, and my voice soared in triumph.
'Geb and Nut coupled and copulated, as man and women do, and from their dreadful union were born the gods Osiris and Seth, and the goddesses Isis and Nephthys.'..."

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"...At the rear of the stage, hanging from floor to ceiling, were tightly stretched sheets of linen on which the artists from the necropolis had painted marvellous landscapes. In the half-light of the dusk and the flicker of the torches in their brackets the effect was so realistic as to transport the beholder into a different world in a distant time.
There were other delights that I had prepared for Pharaoh's amuse- ment, from cages of animals, birds and butterflies that would be released to simulate the creation of the world by the great god Ammon-Ra, to flares and torches that I had doctored with chemicals to bum with brilliant flames of crimson and green, and flood the stage with eerie light and smoke-clouds, like those of the underworld where the gods live.
'Mamose, son of Ra, may you be granted eternal life! We your loyal subjects, the citizens of Thebes, beg you to draw nigh and give your divine attention to this poor play that we dedicate to Your Majesty.'
My Lord Intef concluded his address of welcome and resumed his seat. To a fanfare of hidden rams' horns, I stepped out from behind the pillar and faced the audience. They had endured discomfort and boredom on the hard flagstones, and by now were ripe for the entertainment to begin. A raucous cheer greeted my entrance and even Pharaoh smiled in anticipation.
I held up both hands for silence, and only when it was total did I begin to speak my overture.
'While I walked in the sunlight, young and filled with the vigour of youth, I heard the fatal music the reeds by the bank of the Nile. I did not recognize the sound of this harp, and I had no fear, for I was in the full bloom of my manhood and secure in the affection of my beloved.
'The music was of surpassing beauty. Joyously I went to find the musician, and could not know that he was Death and that he played his harp to summon me alone.' We Egyptians are fascinated by death, and I had at once touched a deep chord within my audience. They sighed and shuddered.
'Death seized me and bore me up in his skeletal arms towards Ammon-Ra, the sun god, and I was become one with the white light of his being. At a great distance I heard my beloved weep, but I could not see her and all the days of my life were as though they had never been.' This was the first public recitation of my prose, and I knew almost at once that I had them, their faces were fascinated and intent. There was not a sound in the temple.
'Then Death set me down in a high place from which I could see the world like a shining round shield in the blue sea of the heavens. I saw all

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men and all creatures who have ever lived. Like a mighty river, time ran backwards before mine eyes. For a hundred thousand years I watched their strivings and their deaths. I watched all men go from death and old age to infancy and birth. Time became more and more remote, going back until the birth of the first man and the first woman. I watched them at the moment of their birth and then before. At last there were no men upon the earth and only the gods existed.
'Yet still the river of time flowed back beyond the time of the gods into Nun, into the time of darkness and primordial chaos. The river of time could flow no further back and so reversed itself. Time began to run forward in the manner that was familiar to me from my days of life upon the earth, and I watched the passion of the gods played out before me.' My audience were all of them well versed in the theology of our pantheon, but none of them had ever heard the mysteries presented in such a novel fashion. They sat silent and enthralled as I went on.
'Out of the chaos and darkness of Nun rose Ammon-Ra, He- Who- Creates-Himself. I watched Ammon-Ra stroke his generative member, masturbating and spurting out his seminal seed in mighty waves that left the silver smear that we know as the Milky Way across the dark void. From this seed were generated Geb and Nut, the earth and the heaven. '
'Bak-her!' a single voice broke the tremulous silence of the temple. 'Bak-her! Amen!' The old abbot had not been able to contain himself, and now he endorsed my vision of the creation. I was so astonished by his change of heart that I almost forgot my next line. After all, he had been my sternest critic up to that time. I had won him over completely, and my voice soared in triumph.
'Geb and Nut coupled and copulated, as man and women do, and from their dreadful union were born the gods Osiris and Seth, and the goddesses Isis and Nephthys.'
I made a wide gesture and the linen curtains were drawn slowly aside to reveal the fantasy world that I had created. Nothing like this had ever been seen in Egypt before and the audience gasped with amazement. With measured tread I withdrew, and my place upon the stage was taken by the god Osiris. The audience recognized him instantly by the tall, bottle-shaped head-dress, by his arms crossed over his chest and by the crook and the flail he held before him. Every household kept his statuette in the family shrine.
A droning cry of reverence went up from every throat, and indeed the sedative that I had administered to Tod glittered weirdly in his eyes and gave him a strange, unearthly presence that was convincingly godlike. With the crook and the flail Osiris made mystical gestures and declaimed in sonorous tones, 'Behold Atur, the river!' ..."