Astronomy in Ancient Egypt



In the Egyptian civilization, astronomy played an important role. Observing the celestial vault allows the ancient Egyptians to define the first calendars and sundials that allow you to organize agricultural activities and predict the floods of the Nile River.


Astronomy in Ancient Egypt

For the definition of calendars, the ancient Egyptians studied, in particular, the position of the Sun and the Moon. The Egyptian calendar is made up of 360 days divided into three seasons. 

In Egypt, there are several proto-astronomic structures. For example, the megaliths of Nabta Playa (The World's First Astronomical Site) allow the ancient Egyptians to calculate the solstice when the Sun and the stars occupy a particular position concerning the stone structures.

These are monoliths arranged in a circle that allows us to measure the position of the Sun at the moment of sunrise and sunset, the zenith, the solstices, the equinoxes, etc. The circular structure of Nabta Playa dates back to the 3rd century B.C and is very similar to that of Stonehenge but is much older, about a thousand years old.

Egyptian astronomy and religion:

Egyptian astronomy also has purposes other than purely practical ones and is strongly linked to the Egyptian religion and the cult of the dead. Constellations are often portrayed in the sarcophagi and sacred scriptures of the second millennium B.C.

The ancient Egyptians also begin to note the position of the stars in the sky, grouped in the form of constellations, laying the foundations of astronomy and astronomical study.

 

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