Astronomically Aligned Temple in Siwa Oasis is Ancient Calendar Device
From the Timasirayn ruins location, the discoverers went back and forth taking pictures and measurements, and observing the sunrise. “[At first] I made a prediction that turned out to be incorrect. Based on my compass, I predicted that the sun would rise over Shali (the old town), but that was because we couldn’t see Aghurmi. At 12 kilometers (the distance between both temples), it’s too far; you can’t see [Aghurmi] until the sun is behind it on the equinox.”
After several visits, myriad calculations and hundreds of pictures, the discoverers came to the solid conclusion that the sun rising directly behind the Aghurmi mound when viewed from Timasirayn temple at the equinoxes is far beyond a matter of coincidence.
Spectators at the ruins site of Timasirayn temple. Credit: Enas El Masry
Ancient Calendar Revealed at Timasirayn Temple
“The Timasirayn Temple shows something for Siwa that no one had ever found – an astronomically aligned building that’s clearly a calendar device on the ground and therefore showcasing the year itself,” Donaldson explains.
While it may seem trivial to some people, Donaldson stresses the importance of identifying the year and its procession for ancient civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptian. “The year itself means life because within the year, you must know when to plant, when the seasons will change, when it will become hot and when it will become cold. Knowing precisely where you are in the yearly cycle also allows you to plan for the future. All of these things are involved in successful self- preservation.”
"These days so many people have estranged themselves from the natural environment, and therefore have stopped thinking about the observational, sky-based mechanics of the old systems of knowledge,” Donaldson adds. “However, regardless of the fact that it is now your phone and not the sun in line with a temple that tells you when to get out your sweaters, the cosmology-based natural system is eternal, and understanding it is therefore perpetually crucial to our survival should modern technology fail for whatever reason.”
Hoping to spread the knowledge about their discovery, Donaldson and Iwata have arranged two public viewings in 2014 and 2015 for the event which were attended by local Siwis, Egyptians and foreigners, including Abdelaziz al-Dumeiry, director of Siwa Antiquities. Both viewings were preceded by a thorough explanation of the event.
Dustin chats with Abdelaziz al-Dumeiry, director of Siwa Antiquities. Credit: Enas El Masry
Despite the grave importance of such happening, the Ministry of Antiquities has not yet accredited the discovery. Nonetheless, after reviewing the research and experiencing the event firsthand, al-Dumeiry has in fact stated that the happening is “not a coincidence,” as reported by Cairo Post .
Top image: Temple of Amun, Siwa Oasis, Egypt ( public domain )