Orion-Giza Theory Takes Another Hit—Pyramid Shaft Aligments To Stars Now Doubted

by Dr. Greg Little

The Orion at Giza theory proposes that the three main pyramids at Giza were constructed to mimic the three stars of the Belt of Orion. It was initially based on two major visual observations. First, that the three pyramids show a general visual similarity to Orion's Belt (if it is turned upside down) and secondly, that there is a shaft within the Great Pyramid that has been assumed to target Orion. While the idea, first proposed by Robert Bauval, has been widely embraced by many people interested in alternative interpretations of Egyptian history, it has come under wide criticism. Opponents to the theory have pointed out that the idea requires that either the sky or Egypt has to be turned upside down to make the two formations fit. The initial claims about this alignment were that there was a perfect correspondence between the three pyramids and Orion but that has been found to not be the case. Neither of these two problems have been adequately explained by the proponents of the Orion theory. The important fact is this: The three stars do not actually fit onto the pyramids. Specifically, when the suggested upside down alignment is tried, the third star of Orion's Belt does not even touch the third, smaller pyramid at Giza unless the star is greatly enlarged by time-lapse photos. And that one star-pryamid mismatch is the critical one that shows that the pyramids were not built to mimic Orion—unless the ancient Egyptians were unable to measure stellar angles. In essence, either the Egyptians were not capable of building a set of structures to mimic the star pattern of Orion's Belt, or that was never their intention.

Furthermore, in a 2006 and 2007 book, The Cygnus Mystery, science writer Andrew Collins showed how the three crossbar stars of the northern constellation of Cygnus actually fit the three pyramids better than Orion's Belt. In fact, the fitting of Cygnus onto the three pyramids doesn't require turning either the sky or the world upside down (as the Orion idea requires), and Cygnus is a near-perfect match with the pyramids. Collins has also shown that key stars of Cygnus were actually visible above the three large pyramids when viewed from the southeast from the sacred mound of Gebel Ghibli. If the Cygnus alignment had been proposed before the Orion idea, the Cygnus alignment at Giza would have been the accepted one. In short, Collins has shown that the Cygnus Constellation may well have been the key astonomical alignment intended by the builders of the complex at Giza. In addition, Collins has convincingly shown that ancient Egyptian astronomy incorporated Cygnus into several key mythologies.

The Shafts

One consistent counter response to Collins' idea has been that the shafts inside the Great Pyramid show an alignment to Orion's Belt. But now, even that idea has been shown to probably be false. In a May 2007 article in the Journal For The History of Astronomy, John Wall points out the flaws in the shaft alignment theory and leaves little doubt that Orion wasn't involved. On a posting on the Graham Hancock message board, Bauval summarized the arguments against the shaft alignments to Orion as having five key elements, but provided no real counter response other than relating that the shafts has a symbolic importance to Orion. But the arguments against the shaft alignments are these: First, the northern shafts are not straight but are actually bent around the Grand Gallery. Second, the shafts begin as horizontal tunnels and then bend upward. That is, these shafts change direction within the pyramid. Third, the shafts in the Queen's Chamber are closed, symbolically "shutting the door" on the idea that the shafts were utilized to propell the soul to the stars. How can the idea that these shafts were targeting a specific star be even considered since they terminate within the pyramid? Fourth, the existence of the shafts show some sort of internal geometric purpose, perhaps leading to important chambers in the pyramid. Finally, the movement of the shafts through the pyramid varies and changes, showing that their symbolic use as a means to propell the soul is doubtful. In brief, the idea that the shafts were ever intended as portals targeting stars is untenable.

In his comments regarding the criticisms, Bauval admits that the construction of the Giza complex incorporated the means to focus on Northern constellations, but he, of course, remains adament that Orion's Belt, to the south and SW, is the most important alignment. However, with all the newly emerging information, that assertion is now, sadly, baseless. And the fact that he admits the Northern Constellations were important aims directly at Cygnus, which was a Northern Constellation in 2600 BC.

One quite interesting thing that has emerged from the debate between the importance of Cygnus versus Orion at Giza has been the generation of many variations on the Orion theory. Supporters who have sensed the weaknesses in the theory have proposed a host of other possible alignments to Orion using numerous areas and structures at Giza. These have varied from the absurd to what might be an intriguing discovery.

Scott Creighton, author of The Giza Codex, has generated a remarkable idea that may well have merit, although the mainstream cannot accept it because of the "impossible" dates Creighton suggests. Creighton begins his theory with the assumption that Orion's Belt was the model from which the three main pyramids were constructed, but interestingly, even if that assumption is wrong, as it appears to be, his theory still has much merit. The reason is that the key elements to Creighton's idea are the Precession of Orion's Belt over 13,000 years and the correspondence of Orion's movement with the two sets of three small pyramids, located on the far southern side of the smallest pyramid and the eastern side of the Great Pyramid, respectively. These two sets of three small pyramids are known as the "Cult" and Queen's Pyramids" and they have generally been ignored in stellar alignment theories. In fact, in Creighton's Theory, the three main pyramids at Giza seemingly only provide an axis (a circular wheel) delineating the placement of the 6 smaller ones. In brief, Creighton proposes that the Giza complex shows where the three stars of Orion's Belt were starting in 10,550 BC, known as The First Time. This alignment is to the southwest. The precession wheel cycle ends in AD 2400 when Orion's Belt will be in the East, mimicked by the three small pyramids off the Great Pyramid. Creighton has prepared an impressive Flash presentation of the theory.

While the idea that three large pyramids at Giza were built to mimic Orion's Belt should be discarded, Creighton's idea certainly deserves more study. But since his theory incorporates two dates, both of which will be impossible for many people to consider, it probably won't be given much attention. But this brings up an interesting possibility. Was Giza erected to incorporate both Cygnus and Orion? Cygnus was apparently seen as the origin and destination of souls, but Orion could have been used to mark specific dates. The figure below shows the important aspects to this intriguing theory. Could that possibly be the answer to one of the most enigmatic complexes in the world?