Marianne Luban
Senenmut's Ceiling
Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:34
67.150.125.87 (XFF: 81.106.124.212)

This is not the most comprehensive overview of the astronomical ceiling of Senenmut but it does cite the date I have seen before, calculated according to the "southern sky"--1534 BC.

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0801/0801.1331v1.pdf

My guess is, given that it was Senenmut's own tomb, that this was supposed to reflect the heavens on the day of his birth. Horoscope, so to speak. If that's so, then the following must be taken into consideration. The tomb of Senenmut on the summit of the hill Sheikh abd-el Gurneh was not begun until "Year 7". This tomb and the other one, with the ceiling, in the environs of Deir el Bahri, are not mutually exclusive. The first was probably intended as a mortuary chapel and the one with the ceiling was Senenmut's intended place of burial. It was the "secret one", although Dorman, for one, believes it had royal sanction. According to portraits on ostraca, Senenmut was far from being a youngster by Year 7. This is the year in the reign of Thutmose III that is traditionally accepted as the year of the usurpation of royal titles by Hatshepsut--and also the start of her mortuary temple, Djeser-djeseru. If one surmises that Senenmut was born in 1534 BC, he may have been as old as 50 by Year 7. Anyway, the man is portrayed with a lot of wrinkles. That would put Year 7 at 1484. Well,it's as useful as anything else discussed here for chronological purposes. Alternatively, if 1534 is Year 7, then some of T III's own astronomical data must be checked.

    • Re: Senenmut's CeilingChris Bennett, Thu Feb 14 10:00
      Marianne -- Before going too far out on a limb with von Spaeth's dating of the Senenmut ceiling you should read Christian Leitz' rebuttal "Remarks about the Appearance of Mars in the Tomb of Senenmut ... more
      • Re: Senenmut's CeilingMarianne Luban, Fri Feb 15 19:24
        CB: Before going too far out on a limb with von Spaeth's dating of the Senenmut ceiling you should read Christian Leitz' rebuttal "Remarks about the Appearance of Mars in the Tomb of Senenmut in... more
        • Re: Senenmut's CeilingCHris, Fri Feb 15 19:50
          Basically, he gives a number of reasons why von Spaeth's claimed identification of Mars cannot be right. This is of course a different matter from whether Leitz' own dating is right. They can't both... more
    • Re: Senenmut's CeilingGeorge R., Wed Feb 13 19:56
      Interesting, Marianne. Here's another Website on Senenmut's astronomical ceiling: http://www.anistor.gr/english/enback/v021.htm . I don't see the connection you're making between "year 7" and the... more
    • Re: Senenmut's CeilingMarianne Luban, Wed Feb 13 19:47
      Nope. 1534 BC is probably the year of the birth of Hatshepsut, herself, if that southern sky has been correctly interpreted. It can work out. Look: 1534 Year of the birth of Hatshepsut 1534 minus 16... more
      • Re: Senenmut's CeilingGeorge R., Thu Feb 14 10:39
        Hi, Marianne. You wrote: 1534 BC is probably the year of the birth of Hatshepsut, herself, if that southern sky has been correctly interpreted. It can work out. Look: 1534 Year of the birth of... more
        • Re: Senenmut's CeilingMarianne Luban, Fri Feb 15 20:14
          GR: Thanks for that explanation. You begin with the hypothesis that "1534 [is the] Year of the birth of Hatshepsut." I still don't see why Senenmut would construct an astronomical ceiling in one of... more
      • All Roads Lead to 1570 BCMarianne Luban, Wed Feb 13 23:55
        In his "Chronicle of the Pharaohs", Peter Clayton has the 18th Dynasty starting like this: Ahmose I 1570-1546 24 yrs [Josephus gives 25 yrs, 4 mos.] Amenhotep I 1551-1524 27 years [Clayton doesn't... more
        • Re: All Roads Lead to 1570 BCTory, Thu Feb 14 02:28
          We have the eruption of Thera in 1613 BCE, an inscription from the reign of Ahmose I seemingly recording its after effects, and Theran pumice in 18th dynasty strata. If the ceiling is a snapshot of... more
          • Re: All Roads Lead to 1570 BCMarianne Luban, Thu Feb 14 09:05
            Not everyone is in agreement that the "Tempest Stela" of Ahmose I records the eruption of the Theran volcano. [See Allen] I used to argue for that, but I'm not so sure now. And you know where Bietak... more
            • Re: All Roads Lead to 1570 BCTory, Thu Feb 14 09:53
              Good points. I guess if Senenmut had to consult records, as opposed to being an eyewitness of the "event" in 1534, the value of the astronomical ceiling is diminished. For the "snapshot" could be of... more
              • Re: All Roads Lead to 1570 BCGeorge R., Thu Feb 14 10:52
                Hi Tory. You quote some interesting dates for Thutmose III. I'm using this reference for the "Annals of Thutmose III": "The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East," Prof. Charles F. Horne. New ... more
                • Re: All Roads Lead to 1570 BCTory, Thu Feb 14 11:05
                  Hi George, My mistake. Not III-Shemu 9, but I-Shemu 4. This is from an inscription on the 7th pylon, Karnak. Regards, Tory
                  • Hatshepsut's Heb-sedMarianne Luban, Thu Feb 14 13:42
                    I wrote: 1534 BC is probably the year of the birth of Hatshepsut, herself, if that southern sky has been correctly interpreted. It can work out. Look: 1534 Year of the birth of Hatshepsut 1534 minus... more
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