Before Zep Tepi

“…in the time before these men they said that gods were the rulers in Egypt, not mingling with men, and that of these always one had power at a time; and the last of them who was king over Egypt was Oros the son of Osiris, whom the Hellenes call Apollo…” – Herodotus, II, 144.

“They said also that the first man who became king of Egypt was Min [Menes]…” – Herodotus II, 4.

Thirty years ago Robert Bauval proposed that the three great pyramids in Giza were the terrestrial representation of the three stars in Orion’s Belt, This idea led to an even more revolutionary proposal a few years later with Graham Hancock that the pyramids together with Sphinx formed a pattern on the ground that matched that of the heavens circa 10,500 BCE, a time known as Zep Tepi thought to be the true beginning of the Egyptian civilization.

In the last post, we discussed the possibility that certain ancient sites in Greece were not built by the Greeks but by a previous civilization long since forgotten. This article presents new evidence suggesting the Egyptian civilization began tens of thousands of years before Zep Tepi.

The Alignment of Ancient Egyptian Sites

Understanding the alignment of ancient Egyptian pyramids, temples, and other structures is a subject of great interest. Where most (but not all) pyramids are aligned to the cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west, sometimes with uncanny precision as those on the Giza plateau, the orientation of Egyptian temples has remained somewhat of a mystery. In his highly controversial book, The Dawn of Astronomy, Norman Lockyer was the first to propose that the ancient Egyptians aligned their temples to the sun and stars. Using knowledge of precessional motion he estimated that the Temple at Edfu and several other temples were built in alignment with Ursa Major around 6400 BCE. Taking into account changes in Earth’s axial tilt or obliquity he estimated that the Temple of Karnak at Luxor, which is aligned in the direction of the winter solstice sunrise, was established in 3700 BCE.

In their paper “Astronomy, Landscape, and Symbolism: A Study of the Orientation of Ancient Egyptian Temples” Belmonte, Shaltout, and Fekri propose that astronomy and geography were important factors in the alignment of ancient sites and that the “terrestrial landscape, dominated by the Nile, and the celestial landscape, dominated by the sun and the stars, combine in order to permit the establishment of Ma’at, the Cosmic Order, on Earth.”

Even after taking other contextual factors into account such as landscape, many unanswered questions remain regarding the alignment of many Egyptian archaeological sites. For example, why is the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, east of the Nile River, astronomically aligned, while “Temples of the Millions of Years” across the Nile in West Luxor dedicated to Amenhotep III, Seti I, Thutmosis III, and Ramesses II are not? The Osireion is perhaps one of the most enigmatic megalithic structures in all of Egypt. Why is the temple of Seti I in Abydos aligned in the same direction as the Osireion, a direction that is neither astronomical nor geographical?

Alternative Frames of Reference

In his 1958 book, The Earth’s Shifting Crust Charles Hapgood proposes that displacements of Earth’s crust over the mantle and resulting shifts of the geographic pole could explain ice ages and other patterns of climate change. Before Atlantis explores the idea of using pole shifts as a method for dating ancient sites aligned to former poles. According to Hapgood’s pole shift timeline, sites aligned to the Hudson Bay pole are at least 12,000 to 18,000 years old. Those that face Greenland could be 50,000 years old. Sites aligned to even earlier poles could be 75,000 to 125,000 years old or more.

The effect of a pole shift is to shift and rotate the reference frame of the observer. Sites once aligned to the sun or moon are no longer oriented in those directions after a pole shift.

A new paper “Toward a New Understanding of the Alignment of Ancient Egyptian Sites” considers the possibility that when the Osireion, the “Temples of the Millions of Years” and other enigmatic places in Egypt were first established they were aligned relative to earlier poles. The paper lists 60 sites that could have been astronomically aligned to former poles: 19 to the Hudson Bay pole, 35 to the Greenland pole, and 8 each to the Norwegian Sea and Bering Sea poles. As a result of subsequent pole shifts, these sites are not today aligned in any meaningful way and so have been difficult to understand using conventional models/reference frames.

If Hapgood’s theory is correct, based on their alignment with former poles, these sites could have been first established tens of thousands of years ago. Over time as sites fell into ruin, some structures were rebuilt and others added over and around the original foundations sometimes preserving original alignments to the older poles. What exists today is a mixture of site alignments that reference both current and past pole locations.

The Turin King List

The Temple of Hathor at Dendera is one of the sites that are aligned in the direction of a former pole. According to John Anthony West in The Traveler’s Guide to Ancient Egypt

“Like virtually all Egyptian temples, Dendera is built upon the site of a succession of earlier temples. An inscription over one of its subterranean crypts (this one not open to the public) declares the temple had been built ‘according to a plan written in ancient writing upon a goatskin scroll from the time of the ‘Companions of Horus.’ Thus, Ptolemaic architects from the first century B.C. were claiming that the architectural plan for the temple dated to the legendary prehistoric era when the ‘Companions of Horus’ ruled Egypt.”

Data that conflict with established timelines that begin with the rule of Menes, the first king of a unified Egypt circa 3000 BCE, are anathema to Egyptology. In particular, rulers before Menes listed in an important scroll known as the Turin King List are often ignored as having no historical basis. According to R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz in his book Sacred Science, the Companions of Horus or “Shemsu Hor” ruled Egypt from 16,820 BCE up to the dynastic period.  Earlier rulers known as the “Venerables of the North” and the “Venerables of Memphis” ruled Egypt after 40,020 BCE, up to the time the Shemsu Hor.

Refined Hapgood pole shift timeline with Egyptian dynastic (D), Shemsu Hor (SH), and pre-SH reigns indicated.

Correlating the Turin King List with our hypothesized pole shift timeline above shows that the earliest reigns correspond to the time when the North Pole was in Hudson Bay. The reign of the Shemsu Hor began after the Hudson Bay pole shift and continued up to the dynastic period.

Evidence of an Ancient Flood

Could “the great destruction of Deucalion” mentioned in Plato’s dialog Critias have been the result of the Hudson Bay pole shift? Rejected by most scientists as myth new data suggests that certain passages in another of Plato’s dialogs Timeus, widely thought to be little more than a story, might have a factual basis after all.

The following excerpt  is well known:

“There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. There is a story, which even you have preserved, that once upon a time Paethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father’s chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals…”

This passage could very well be describing a crustal displacement. A rapid shift of the poles would change the apparent motions of celestial objects. Continuing, the dialog goes on to describe the aftermath of a crustal shift

“…at such times those who live upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are more liable to destruction than those who dwell by rivers or on the seashore. And from this calamity the Nile, who is our never-failing saviour, delivers and preserves us. When, on the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of water, the survivors in your country are herdsmen and shepherds who dwell on the mountains, but those who, like you, live in cities are carried by the rivers into the sea. Whereas in this land, neither then nor at any other time, does the water come down from above on the fields, having always a tendency to come up from below; for which reason the traditions preserved here are the most ancient.”

The last part of this passage suggests that the impact of the last flood varied geographically. Those who survived in Greece (and Europe) lived in the mountains while others were swept into the sea. Although there is no mention of those who lived closer to the sea in Egypt (i.e., Lower Egypt), the implication of the last sentence is that those who lived in Upper Egypt survived the flood to tell about it.

Histogram of site alignments vs. latitude. There are more sites aligned to the current pole in Lower Egypt, but more sites aligned to previous poles in Upper Egypt.

A geographic analysis of the alignment statistics seems to support this idea. (see paper for details). Sites currently aligned to solstices and lunar standstills are distributed more or less uniformly from Upper to Lower Egypt. Overall most of the sites that are aligned to the current pole are in Lower Egypt. On the other hand, there are more sites in Upper Egypt aligned to older poles than there are in Lower Egypt. One possible explanation is that a flood following the last pole shift destroyed about 80% of the sites close to the Mediterranean Sea.

Based on these new findings perhaps the Zep Tepi of 10,500 BCE was not the “First Time” but only the beginning of the latest chapter in the long history of the Egyptian civilization.

3 Replies to “Before Zep Tepi”

  1. Zep Tepi, or beginning, may not be
    The First! Why? Pole Shifts through the ages. Could there be even earlier/older ancient civilizations that contributed amazing inventions to the world. All human beings were of color!
    Warriors were highly honored, and feared! Why are these findings not in our school books? Aha!


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