Early Pharaonic Egyptian Calendar Reform
Pharaonic Calendar Reform
in 2638 BC
In the reign of Khasekhemwy,
analysis shows that
calendric calibration of great importance
made and recorded on his monument.
statue records a date
years and 120 days,
the tropical year
in the 480th year ater 3117 BC
we insert leap years every 4 years).
conjunction of the
Sun, Moon, and Jupiter
at the crossing of the ecliptic
and the celestial equator.
the greatest of all astronomers
noted that the ancient Pharaohs
first to introduce
a solar 365-day year.
Duncan Steel, in Marking
John Wiley & Sons, N.Y., 2000,
writes at p. 39
that the Egyptians
"abandoned the lunar months
in their 365-day calendar.
had twelve months,
each of 30 days precisely,
and at the end of every
or epagomenal, days
In Latin this design was called
the annus vagus,
or "wandering year,"
because the solar year
wandered relative to the Moon."
The Pharaohs were
in 3117 BC, however,
not yet aware of the true 365.2422-day
length of the true tropical year,
which even today we generally round
to 365.25 days
for leap year intercalation every 4 years.
their 365-day calender,
the Pharaohs would soon have noticed
Seasons did not keep time
with this 365-day figure
and that a calendric
had to be made as the centuries passed.
This correction was
in the 480th year of the reign of Khasekhemwy.
is that it was the Pharaoh Khasekhemwy
during whose reign the astronomical ceremony
of pedj shes
(stretching the cord)
is first attested on a granite block in Egypt.
method relied on astronomical sightings
of the Great Bear
and Orion ...
using an "instrument of knowing" (merkhet),
which was similar in function to an astrolabe,
made from the central rib of a palm leaf,
the foundations of the pyramids
and sun temples with the cardinal
Dictionary of Ancient Egypt,
and astrology", p. 42.
Pharaoh Khasekhemwy (Chase-Sechemui)
Below is our enlargement of the script at his feet.
is our even greater enlargement
of the number 479
written in "stick
FOUR long sticks,
SEVEN middle sticks
and NINE short sticks
i.e. 479 years.
"sticks" are e.g. symbols of papyrus, etc.,
but only in
later dynasties of fixed ordinal importance.
See the Pharaonic Numbers
and the Heb-Sed feast.
The two circular whorls are later "hundreds"
in the counting system but here are "sixties"
as in the sexagesimal system.
Here they mean 120 "days".
thinks their confused reading of 47209
for the above number
allegedly is the number of dead
in wars waged by Khasekhemwy
inscribed around the foot of the stone statue.
interpretation is preposterous.
Even in the modern age,
a Napoleon came to Africa
with only 50,000 men
as his entire army.
As many a military historian
has pointed out,
were far fewer people
and smaller armies in ancient times.
men shown on the statue
are the dead years of the past,
479 of them, plus 120 days.
misread the numbers.
Egyptologists erroneously read
the four notches as ten-thousands,
the number "Seven"
as grouped in "3 and 4" as thousands,
which may be
correct for much later dynasties
but not here in the Old Kingdom.
this early stage of writing,
(enlarged graph below)
the ordinal decimal positions of the
were not fixed as later,
but only dependent
upon the RELATIVE
POSITION of the symbol
with respect to the other symbols.
We find a
in the Egyptologists' erroneous reading
of the Narmer
preceding the number 479
read GADU SAINI
"year bunches, i.e. year sums, years".
To commemorate his
Khasekhemwy then created a shrine
incorporating the four cardinal points
at the South End of the shrine
and the lunar cycles
of alternating 29 and 30 days
(20 rooms per side
plus 9 + 1 rooms in the middle)
at the North End of the shrine.
Included also were apparently
the 33-year cycle,
which was also applicable
to seasonal cycles of the Sun and Moon
- as in Muslim calendration -
where "the months regress through
all the seasons every 32 1/2 years".
See here also the
stone of the 33 year cycle
The British Museum
Dictionary of Ancient Egypt
writes as follows under Khasekhemwy, p. 150:
"His tomb, nearly 70 m in
is not only the last royal tomb
in cemetery B at Umm el-Qa'ab
but also the largest and most unusual.
The substructure consists of a
flanked by thirty-three storerooms
for funerary offerings,
to a stone-lined burial chamber
which is then followed by a
of the corridor flanked by ten further magazines."
Khasekhemwy`s gigantic temple
is like tombs of the Ancient Britain
at about the same comparable historical period.
We also find this trapezoid form
in Wayland's Smithy
in the Vale of the White Horse,
as also at Nazca,
in all cases involving the measurement of
stars, Moon and/or Sun in some manner.
one takes the length of rule - 253 -
assigned by Manetho
as the "sum"
of the first dynasty,
then the 479th year and April 18, 2638, BC
of the reign of the Pharaoh Neferkeris.
And only here does
the Turin Canon of Kings
first BEGIN to give a length of rule to its kings,
lengths of rule
which greatly depart
from Manetho's "star" reigns
but which follow the
of the rest of the Old Kingdom pharaohs,
the end of the Old Kingdom ca. 2156 BC.
list clearly lists star realms
after that juncture.
When we follow
why is the Turin Canon (Papyrus) different?
lengths of "stellar" rule further,
they place the end of the
Old Kingdom at 1657 BC,
i.e. 1460 years (a Sothic Year)
later than 3116
(With Nitokris this will be 1645 BC)
The so-called "lengths of rule"
the Turin Canon
add up to the next 480-year period.
given a "lifetime"
of 70 years on the Turin Papyrus
and a rule of 25
years up to the 480th year.
If we take that difference of 45 years
add those 45 years
to remaining "lengths of rule"
of the remaining
of the Old Kingdom,
their sum is then 481.
The figures are
45 + 8 + 11 + 27 + 19 + 19 + 6
+ 6 + 24 + 24 +23 + 8 +18 + 4
+ 2 +7 + 12 + 7 + 30 + 8 + 28
+ 30 + 20 + 4 + 90 + 1 = 481
a break in the dynasty at Nitokris.
according to this analysis,
it could be argued that the Old
began on December 25, 3117 BC
and ended "480 + 480 years"
i.e. on ca. December 25, 2156 BC
(the graphic below
shows December 21, 2156 BC,
i.e. -2155 by Astronomy, Julian Date 934298.
that would mean
- after Khasekhemwy -
that only the kings
"length of rule"
on the Turin Papyrus
served as pharaohs,
remainder of kings
on Manetho's list
representing "calendric star
who were given a stellar realm
but who did not serve as
thus perhaps being persons
of the royal family.
as far as the true
not 960 years.
See for that Narmer.
Kings after Khasekhemwy
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