Senenmut's calendar

Senenmut's calendar

Senenmut's calendar shows twelve month-wheels in season groups. Below them the moon suite shows the half-year division in Ox respective Scorpio. That means the calendar was current ca 3100 Bc to 1159 BC when Ramesses IV's calendar took over

Goddess of birth-giving, Ur-hill of inundation, Farmer's ritual year, ritual astronomy, New Year or Ramadan, epigone, Harem feast, oracles, sibyl, Great Bull

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These three sections show in short the Egyptian calendar and Farmer's year from 3100 BC to Roman time. Ramesses IV made a star calendar reform like that we know from Julius Caesar more than a millennium later. The precession had made the star calendar out of date so they choose four new cardinal asterism for the year see below Ramesses níght sky.

The Egyptians followed the moon Toth during the summer and the evening sun Atum in the winter. The Europeans adapted much from Egypt and I had to sort out in short what it is about. For instance we se many suites of seven in Scandinavian rock-carvings. Their split year was not in 2 x 6 months or by solstices or equinoxes. The season for Toth was seven moons and the other moons was those of Hathor the cow that was pregnant during the inundation.

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They say that this picture is from a papyrus from about 1500 BC.

In the tomb of Senenmut is a painting very much alike this and in the tomb of Seti I is the same theme on a black background.

Senenmut was Hatshepsut's chancellor and one of those making his own history to be remembered. Not everyone gets an eternal life. To be a king makes it easier, but also we remember ingenious people and still they are alive in intellectual sense.

From the grave of vizier Chentikas in Saqqara from 6th dynasty 2300 to 2150 we know that the system with three seasons and twelve moons were in use then. That is a man-made fact and a convention, because the seasons have been for at least since the history we are discussing now.

Observe the entire Nile from Sudan to the Mediterranean is about 1545 kilometre/960 miles. That makes it difficult to generalise to an overlook, when some facts are tied to climates. There are also the changes in climates since Bronze Age.

From the papyrus we learn that they divided the year in twelve times thirty days and set in five to six days as a holiday. We understand the synchronisation of the sun year and the moon loops in the symbolism as a whole.

The origins of the constellations in the Senenmut calendar are perhaps from about 2700 BC. It is depending on which star is the exact used in the constellation of either Ox or Scorpio.

The black headgears in the rows are originally dark red and are surely moons. The fifth from right have a star symbol in the name and a dog-head. Compared to the Sumerian Dog it maybe was to be synchronised with a star.

Understanding the middle of the picture is easy since we see the stars of equinoxes on top of the obelisk. The falcon-headed Ra is the sun rising in eclipse with a specified star in Ox. Above is a symbol of Scorpio and below that the moon goddess inferring that it is happening simultaneously. If the fix-star is Aldebaran, it was actual about 2800 BC and if Ox lambda 2200 BC.

Auriga, Orion, Ox and Hare overshadow each other and it might be a matter of local tradition, which they used. That means they could have used Ox from about 3600 BC and we see it also in pot paintings. The Bull became a symbol of the pharaoh as the defender of the feed-trough symbolised as a threat. This is surely a very old symbol from the time the feeding was based on animals.

Farmer's year

This is a normal picture from graves or from papyruses telling about a farmer's year.

Once again " Thank you Egyptians, You still are alive, without You telling us, we would not know anything about your normal year and day."

Egypt was not true to itself if we always seek a logic Ariadne thread. We do not know their intentions when we see their compositions with no order. Much of the mystery lies in the chaotic picture. So we can only explain bit by bit. The upper row is a typical short mix of vegetative and animal resurrection and the sitting figures are "on the other side".

The Goddesses of birth-giving bless them. All three shows a wholeness with a hare, a snake, a cow meaning animal life overall. Animal birth in the womb and crops in earth are animated. A little boat carries the "coming one or little one". Sometimes is a small child in the boat. A falcon is the store to come and the pillar has a lotus flower as symbol of fertility supposed to be spring off from the corpse.

The wife is often assisting at harvest and the man threshes with cows. A heron stands on the Ur-hill symbol of inundation here and the man is guarding the store shown by the ruler's staff.

Normally they used cows in front of the plough and in other pictures the wife is sowing.

Next is a very clear structure showing what happens in the soil. Half the cargo stands in the soil and become fertiliser with time. The other one has oars towards the very small port, meaning "grow or not grow" towards the sun. There was a saying "Osiris and Re unite" ... which in plain text is "The corn and the sun unites" and give a plant. They show the upper life in another picture.

We can understand all that without knowing anything about the glyphs with explaining text. Another part at right is difficult to understand without the text. Naturally we understand that the lotus flower suggests growth. The falcon with perhaps the sun as headgear is time but in a mummy dress as a wish for resurrection or a new good afterlife. The cows were important to this family and we see they needed much of the food.

In this connection we can look at the ritual year again for resurrection se that and the pictures

Farmer's ritual year

One source tells that achet the inundation began in August and ended in October. The other periods followed with peret "coming forth" November to February a cool period. The dry period schemu with harvest is till from Mars to August.

In explaining the ritual astronomy talking about a virtual year with three seasons with four months each would be best. Still, I try to compare with our time and set New Year and beginning of achet 21st July. Some text is telling Re raises the vault the first day in the second period of peret. That must be 21st December and we can count back. Then it is from the rituals in Thebe.

New Year or Ramadan is when inundation begins about 21st July. They had a uag-feast but of a different kind maybe, because the third of the epigone days was the birthday of Seth. In the official tales he was the evil, however at many place they worshipped him as the superior.

Epigone was the five days of holiday they set in to even the year before New Year. The Greek word means "born afterwards" when 5 days was added to 12 x 30 = 360 to even a year. The Sumerians had also holidays and we call them "seven sleepers days".

They called the first period achet and in the picture it is the upper row at right and read from left. The battle between Horus and Seth began about 26th September and lasted more than a month. At the Bend of Nile in Karnak, Luxor and Thebe they celebrated the harem feast Opet for a month. They thought that as the pregnancy time and they had plenty of food after the harvest.

Below are the four wheels of peret "coming forth" and time for sowing. The first day in the second period of peret 21st December then Re, the Sun raises the vault of heaven. In plain English that means that the sun turns from the winter solstice ... I found the beginning of the yearly ritual at the Law Haugsbyn in exactly the same words.

On the 12th day began the Osiris rites for the growing season. They made a mummy of corn and sand in a basin and wrapped with rush. The djed-pillar was set to slanting position. It was watered daily until 21st and was then set in the sun and perhaps on a journey until 25th of the month and they buried it in a cist. The last period was a feast until 30th when they raised the djed-pillar to vertical. At that time the pharaoh celebrated the journey to the valley. That means valley temples or tombs maybe as a search for afterlife for the death. We do not know how popular this was among people and if they also went to Underworld ceremonies.

The 12th in third peret they tell Toth the moon take over after Atum the evening sun. That means approximately Candlemas. That means that the moon takes over after the evening sun. They connected the moon to fertility and growth. They also said that Ra the Sun and Osiris made the plants, as the child of Osiris became the new plant.

The sequence is right but about the days I am not surer than my sources.

The four at left are schemu. It is time for harvest and the hot time of lions. Around Thebe the period began and ended with a feast.

From the papyrus we learn that they divided the year in twelve times thirty days and set in five to six days as a holiday. We understand the synchronisation of the sun year and the moon loops in the symbolism as a whole.

Night sky of Ramesses IV

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The picture shows only part of the ceiling in Ramesses IV's tomb. In the middle is the cut-out 23 figures in lower row and three moon-boats above

The tomb of Ramesses IV is in very bad condition and the paintings in the ceilings drip down. For my purpose of interpreting scenes in Scandinavian rock-carvings I need to sort out what we can understand in Egyptian symbolism and in Scandinavian early calendars. In both cases they are mixed with the Sumerian and Babylonian astronomy and symbolism. This is important not only for understanding the rock-carvings but also some of our megalith monuments are arranged as tools for following stars and planets like Sun, Moon and Venus. Let us look into details.

The crook in stern is surely the new moon or generally signs on moon boats.

In front of Shu is a falcon-head or symbol for time. On the upper bigger boat is Shu in the stem. Looks like good old Thot in the stern and this time as the moon and behind him a falcon-head too. On the boat there are symbols for other followers and a bundle of tools too. This is surely the achet-period and in some calendar they call the first period Thot. In the lower part picture they "catch" half the full moon at its lowest and within limits.

The roof painting in the tomb is very long and in bad condition. In few decades we have only the pictures left. Here we look at one half in suitable sections. The other half is seemingly about their speculations in the underworld of the night skies so to speak.

There are tools on all three boats and surely they were used to decide time.

On this model seeing the tools is easier. In Egypt the only way to look at the moon is in south and then follows the extreme in southwest as a limit.

The moon follows the ecliptic within five degrees and it is nearly vertical in east and west following it is not easy. The texts say that Thot take over from the evening-sun Atum. We do not know if there is any following of the sun for this shift in time.

However we know from establishment for instance in England that in some places they followed the lowest moon in the end of summer. They simply place a stone in water to south or southwest. Then the full moon seemed to roll on the stone when in its extreme orbit.

The astronomers synchronised this with a certain star "the Dog". On this part it is in front of seven nearly identical boats. On the Senenmut calendar it is surely the sext idol from right with dog-head and a star above his name. The logic in Egypt is not easy to cope with. In this case it can be the Canis Major, the Sirius dog. However, then it was opposite to the Sumerian dog Rahu.

On the same row as the seven boats is a section with 19 moon-year symbols, which can indicate that they calculated with the long cycle of the moon.

Maybe we from here get an explanation to how they followed the star round in spite of that their year began in December. It was a quarter of a year before the beginning of year painted to begin with Gemini. They may have used another observation time to decide the ritual year.

The lower row is the beginning of that ending in the opposite dog.

We see a moon symbol in the stern and remember that Thot took over. It means they observed the moon in south and then probably full moon as counter. That is then surely from the beginning of February for seven moons ahead until the low August moon.

In the upper row we see the fix-stars of the four seasons. From left it is perhaps an owl with Amun-feathers and then above Capricorn. The next is Khnum the Egyptian Aries followed by a Bird on a Pillar for Cancer. The odd pair may be Sachmet and Neith, which are the same as Archer and Libra. These four constellations in pair opposite crosswise became order in 1159 BC in Egypt.

That suggests that they left the bull as symbol and in fact for Khnum. The ram was symbol for Amun and the leading temples since the sun king Akhenaten. Anyhow the spring equinox received the constellation about that time since we do not know which stars they included in their Khnum. In some temples they surely follow this star the entire year as we se the concept Four Khnums in many places. Later the Apis bull became the symbol and it has perhaps its origin in Thebe 3000 years earlier.