The Ancient Epic of Gilgamesh and the Precession of the Equinox
Again the story, and its new interpretation, rings true; thus we find that the Egyptian zodiac had a bull’s thigh depicting what we would now call the constellation of Lynx. On this same planisphere it would appear that Ursa Major is depicted by a Great Hippopotamus, instead of the Great Bear; but since the norther tribes of Europe had never seen a hippopotamus, this change in spices is quite understandable.
The Zodiac of Dendera with original coloring. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Fig 4 The Zodiac of Dendera, thought to be from Ptolemaic Egypt. Note that the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear, was once a Great Hippopotamus.
It has been claimed that the zodiac of Dendera, being Ptolemaic, is based on Greek rather than earlier Egyptian concepts. Yet here is the evidence that the pictograms within the Dendera zodiac where known in ancient Sumer. It is quite possible that the modern zodiac does indeed have ancient Near/Middle Eastern roots, just as many have suspected.
In Egypt it is likely that it was Pharaoh Sheshi Mamaybra of the 14th dynasty who ushered in the new era of Aries, the first of the Hyksos Shepherd pharaohs. However, in Sumer it was King Lugulbanda, with assistance from the god Gilgamesh [Orion], who fought the Sumerian theological battle between the followers of Taurus and Aries, and became the first Sumerian Shepherd King. This, therefore, is most probably why the epic of Gilgamesh was written: it was not an epic tale of a great king, as such, but an ancient bi-millennial celebration of the movement of the stars.
© 1998 - 2013 R. Ellis has asserted his rights, in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
Featured image: Deriv; Stone statue of Gilgamesh (CC BY 2.0), nebula NGC 1788 Orion constellation (CC BY 4.0), Zodiac of Dendera (CC BY 3.0)
By Ralph Ellis