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The Giza1 Pyramid2s and Halley’s Comet3 by Gilbert de Jong

Is there any relation between the appearances of Edmund Halley4’s Comet and the
construction of the famous Pyramids5 on the Giza Plateau?
The answer might be: Yes, indeed. The perception of comets6 has always been linked to
natural disasters and to the mythical deaths of kings as long as the art of writing exist
and probably even further back in time. Comets with their sometimes mysterious furious
and bright appearance in the morning or evening have frightened millions of people
throughout the ages and all around the world. Records of appearances of Halley’s Comet,
which take place at the present time between 75 and 79 years, exist from before 240 BC
and have been recorded by Chinese astronomers7. But also the Olmecs89, the Maya’s1011,
the Incas12, the Aztec13, The Nasca14 and other Peruvian coast cultures1, the Babylonians,
the Greece, and the Romans showed interest in apparitions of the King of Heavens15. So
is there any proof the Egyptians observed the arrival of Halley’s Comet too?

Inside the Great Pyramid


Rudolph Gantenbrink a German engineer explored in the first half of the nineties of the
past century the so-called ‘airshafts’ that have been found in the Queen’s Chamber and
the King’s Chamber in the Great pyramid16 (The pyramid of Khufu). Using a small robot
he was able to explore the shafts.
These airshafts, two pointing south and two pointing north, served probably only a
religious purpose17 although it’s true function still remains uncertain. Gantenbrink noticed
that the southern shaft starting in the King’s chamber couldn’t have pointed to a certain
star because there where no important stars in the direction where the shaft was
pointing at. The theory that the airshafts where in fact star shafts has been proposed by
Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert in ‘the Orion Mystery’.18 The shafts in the King’s
Chamber are the only ones who pierce through the outer blocks. The southern shaft
pointed, according Bauval and Gilbert, at the stars in Orion’s Belt. This theory has not
been generally accepted by scholars19.
However the Djoser’s20 step pyramid showed the importance of the polestar21 (called the
“imperishable" or "undying” in pyramid texts), Thuban22 at that time, for the eyes of the

1
Giza on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giza
2
Pyramid on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramids
3
Halley’s Comet on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Halley
4
Edmund Halley on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Halley
5
Giza Pyramid Complex on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giza_pyramid_complex
6
Comet on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comets
7
Comet Misconceptions: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~kaisler/articles/event_horizon/cometmisc.html
8
Olmecs on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olmecs
9
I have done research myself some research on the development of Peruvian cultures and I have noticed that
from the time of the oldest city in Peru (Caral,see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caral) until the destruction of
the Inca-empire by the Spanish invaders the appearances of Halley’s Comet have been responsible for the rise
and fall of Peruvian (Peru, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peru) cultures. A parallel with the Egyptian culture
and religion, which appears to have been based on the same astronomical phenomenon, can be detected. In
fact the Maya calendar and the Pharaonic Egyptian calendar date to the same starting date: see footnote 7!
10
Maya’s on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayas
11
The Maya Calendar Piedras Negras Halley’s Comet: http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi75.htm
12
Inca empire on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incas
13
Aztec empire on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztecs
14
Nazca culture on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazca_culture

15
King of Heavens on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Heavens
16
Great Pyramid on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza
17
Rudolph Gantenbrink on www.cheops.org
18
Robert Bauval on Wikipedia.org : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bauval
19
See for instance: The Orion Correlation Theory and Ed Krupp: http://members.cox.net/fbajus1/:
20
Djoser on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djoser
21
Polestar on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polestar

22
Thuban on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuban
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statue23 of the Pharaoh Djoser where fixed on this polestar. Thuban represents the head
of the ancient constellation of Draco24 (Dragon).

The Great pyramid is believed to have been constructed over a 20 year period concluding
around 2560 BC. Although C14 radiocarbon dating has been done on samples taken from
the interior of the pyramid the exact age of this masterpiece remains uncertain due to
the fact that Egyptians re-used parts of wood.25

We might divide the building of this pyramid in steps if we accept that some remarkable
event, the death of a king, initiated in the planning and construction of this pyramid.

The calculated perihelion’s of Halley’s Comet


Let us first take a look to the calculated perihelion26’s of Halley’s Comet between 2650 BC
and 2340 BC.

Halley’s Comet appeared five times27:

- In 2647 BC Halley’s Comet had it’s perihelion on April 19,


- In 2572 BC Halley’s Comet had it’s perihelion on June 26, (902 months later)
- In 2497 BC Halley’s Comet had it’s perihelion on November 1, (904 months later)
- In 2423 BC Halley’s Comet had it’s perihelion on September 18, (898 months later)
- In 2347 BC Halley’s Comet had it’s perihelion on July 21 (910 months later)

Although it is not known how long the Comet could have been watched on these
particular returns but it seems appropriate to look at reported observations in later years
just to have an indication:

- The Comet had a perihelion on April 18 in 1145 AD and was reported seen for 65 days,
- The Comet had a perihelion on June 28 in 451 AD and was reported visible for 68 days,
- The Comet had a perihelion on November 8 in 1577 (Gregorian Calendar) and was reported
visible for 67 days,
- The Comet had a perihelion on September 15 in 1682 AD (Greg Calendar) and was
reported visible for 41 days28

From this source it becomes clear that Halley’s Comet might have been watched for
several weeks after the perihelion.

Turn back time


We turn back time to 2647 BC, April 19, on the calculated perihelion of Halley’s Comet
with the aid of astronomy software and see if the Egyptians became inspired by the
return of Halley’s Comet. We are looking due west 19 minutes (17.47) before just before
sunset (18.06).

Our eyes watch a breathtaking astronomical situation that is absolutely unique. Jupiter,
Saturn and Regulus29 can be seen in the zenith while, in the mean time Halley’s Comet
might have been seen somewhere between the setting sun and this conjunction in the
constellation of Leo30.

23
See for a picture of Djoser’s statue: http://www.odysseyadventures.ca/articles/saqqara/djoser.jpg
24
Draco on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draco_%28constellation%29
25
How old are the pyramids? http://www.aeraweb.org/how_old.asp (Aera)
26
Apsis/Perihelion on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perihelion
27
Halley’s Comet: AD 1986 to 2647 BC. Joseph L. Brady, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of
California. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. Copyrighted by the British Astronomical
Association.
28
Source: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?great_comets. Great Comets in History by Donald K. Yeomans (April 1998).
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
29
Regulus on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulus
30
Leo on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_%28constellation%29

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Although the general outlay of the pyramids looked like the stars in Orion Belt31; this
picture shows probably the true origin of the lay-out of the Giza Plateau. Although the
exact date of April 18 is highly speculative (Egyptian’s where certainly not able to
calculate the perihelion of Halley’s Comet) it shows that towards the end of April 2647 BC
a remarkable astronomical event took place that might have inspired Egyptians to
develop a Divine Plan and to construct the Giza pyramids.

1 Close up of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the zenith just before sunset on
April 19 2647 BC. This event could have been seen for several weeks.

31
Orion’s Belt on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion%27s_belt

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2 Overview of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the zenith. The sun is setting in
the west. The tail of Halley’s Comet is pointing at the sun making the impression that the
soul of the king is ‘flying’ to the stars.

3 After sunset the conjunction is setting. The Milky Way is on the left side of this picture.

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Halley’s Comet return and the changing of the plan of the Great Pyramid
The general lay-out of the pyramids (and Sphinx32) on the Plateau of Giza has probably
been established after the conjunction33 of Saturn34 and Jupiter in Leo based on the
appearance of Halley’s Comet and it’s observation near the end of April 2647 BC.

During the construction of the Great pyramid there seems to have been a change in the
design that has led to the construction of a second burial chamber (The Kings room) and
the closing of the ‘air’ shafts in the Queens room.
The angle of the pyramid seems to have changed from 43 to 51 degrees during the
construction of the Great Pyramid35.

The changing of the plan of the pyramid can be explained by the sudden (re)appearance
of Halley’s Comet in the summer months of 2572 BC. The calculated perihelion of Halley’s
Comet was on June 26 but Halley’s Comet probably remained visible for the naked-eye
for several weeks.

The architect(s) of the Great Pyramid must have wondered how he could implant this
appearance of Halley’s Comet in the original design of the pyramid.

They managed to solve this problem by constructing a southern shaft in the King’s room.
The southern shaft has angles of 39.20˚(Block 2), 50.54˚(Block 3 and 4) and 45.00˚
(Block 5 to 25) 36

4 In the summer months of 2572 BC Jupiter could be seen in the southern sky in the time
Halley’s Comet was noticed. Causing the change in construction of the Great pyramid.

In the month June and July of 2572 BC Jupiter37, the King of the Planets, is in
Sagittarius38 and can be seen due south by an inclination of about 48˚33.500’ (as seen

32
Sphinx on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx
33
Conjunction on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_conjunction
34
Saturn on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn
35
Andrew Bayuk on www.guardians.net:
http://www.guardians.net/egypt/pyramids/A_New_Angle_on_the_Great_Pyramid_of_Khufu.htm
36
Rudolph Gantenbrink: www.cheops.org
37
Jupiter on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter
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from the ground).
The difference between the angle of 45.00˚found by Gantenbrink and the 48˚degrees
calculated by Starry Night Pro can probably be explained by the height of observation
allowing a lower angle (3˚) when the place of observation is higher (in the King’s room).

The north shaft in the Kings Room was intended to set at the direction and inclination of
Thuban, the “imperishable" or "undying”, polestar.
Starry Night Pro provides an inclination of 30˚50.150’ of Thuban around 2572 BC. One
would expect, a shaft angle that is about 3˚ lower instead of the 32.6023˚that has been
measured by Rudolph Gantenbrink
However the southern passage of Jupiter about the time Halley’s Comet must have been
noticed by the Priest-astronomers of the Giza pyramid project and probably caused the
change in the design of the Great Pyramid.

Halley’s Comet return and the banishing of Djedefre39 at Abu Rawash40


The next perihelion of Halley’s Comet took place on November 1 2497 BC. One would
expect a relation with the construction of Khafre’s Pyramid and the Great Sphinx. The
Chronology of the Rulers41 show a period of 2520-2494 BC.

On November 1 2497 BC Saturn is in Virgo42 near Spica43 and Venus rose heliacal at an
azimuth position of 99˚. I suggest that the start of the building of the second pyramid
started after this appearance of Halley’s Comet but the astronomical conditions were by
no means spectacular. In contradiction with the observations of the next appearances of
Halley’s Comet in the years 2423 BC and 2347 BC. This might be the reason why ‘king’
Djedefre, the first son Khufu was ‘banned’ to Abu Rawash, a place northwest of the Giza
Plateau. His appearance in 2497 BC was simply not important ‘divine’ enough and by no
means as noticeable as the astonishing appearance of 2347 BC.

There are some indications in the structure of Khafre’s pyramid that adjustments have
indeed been made:

“This discontinuity might indicate different building styles, perhaps even a hiatus and then
resumption of building. Alternatively, the core masonry may simply have been laid in a more
regular fashion towards the top in order to allow the builders greater control” and “This might
suggest that at this level the outer slope was cut into the blocks before they were laid, due to
reduced working space” and
“it has been suggested that the pyramid was originally intended to be larger, or that its north base
line was first planned to be 30 m (98 ft) further north, so that the lower passage, like the upper
one, would have been entirely within the body of the masonry”44.

What simple might have changed the design of the pyramid was the appearance of
Halley’s Comet with it’s perihelion on July 21 2347 BC. It was a re-appearance of Halley’s
Comet after the finishing of Menkaure45’s pyramid (Halley’s return on 2423 BC).

A special astronomical event might have been the reason to adjust the existing pyramid
to complete the Giza design probably with re-using of some of the stones. This would
explain the extra chamber that might be compared with the Queen’s chamber in the
Great Pyramid: A changing of the architecture made it useless. Djedefre has probably
been ritually reburied at Abu Rawash.

38
Sagittarius on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_%28constellation%29

39
Djedefre on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djedefre
40
Abu Rawash on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Rawash
41
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, The American University in Cairo
Press, 2005 p.8
42
Virgo on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgo_%28constellation%29
43
Spica on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spica
44
The Complete Pyramids, Mark Lehner, Thames and Hudson ltd, London, Reprinted 1998, p. 136
45
Menkaure on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menkaure
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The construction of a 4th pyramid on the Giza plateau, in order to maintain the pyramid
devoted to Djefedre and to honor the return of the King in 2347 BC, next to the three
existing pyramids was simply out of question: it would have disturbed the general lay-out
of the three Giza-pyramids that has been laid down in after the appearance in 2647 BC.

The sarcophagus46 of Djefedre was replaced from his pyramid and his period became the
famous pyramid of Khafre. This explains the two grave tombs in Khafre’s pyramid and
also makes it acceptable that the Sphinx was constructed after 2647 BC as we will see.

5 Halley’s Comet appeared near the summer solstice of 2347 BC probably in the
constellation of Leo. Venus and Sirius are visible in the morning sky.

46
Sarcophagus on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcophagus

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On July 14 of this year, only 7 days before the calculated perihelion of Halley’s Comet
return, the sun reached its summer solstice. Halley’s Comet might well be noticed a week
earlier in the morning sky, around the summer solstice, maybe in the constellation of
Leo. Of course this would make a special appearance of the king’s soul and so the idea of
a creating a Lion (Leo) with the face of a king (the Sphinx) can be explained by this
event. Astarte47 (Venus) has been mentioned on the Sphinx48 stele set up by Amenophis
II49 (Perhaps her first appearance in Egyptian texts).50

6 Position of Regulus near the summer solstice

Halley’s return and the architecture of Menkaure’s Pyramid


If we turn back to the original lay-out of the Giza pyramids we can see that the position
of Regulus matches the pyramid of Menkaure. This is maybe the reason why Menkaure’s
pyramid is smaller (Regulus means ‘Little King’ in Latin) and considered less important
than the pyramids that reflect the position of the planets Saturn (Khufu’s pyramid) and
Jupiter (Khafre’s pyramid).

In 2423 BC Halley’s Comet had it’s perihelion on September 18. Looking at the sky on
the morning of this day shows a remarkable event:

47
Astarte on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astarte
48
The Great Sphinx of Giza on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Sphinx_of_Giza
49
Amenhotep II on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amenhotep_II
50
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, The American University in Cairo
Press, 2005 p.139
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On the day of the perihelion of Halley’s Comet a conjunction of Mars and Jupiter take
place in the constellation of Leo that can be seen due east. At about the same time
Sirius51 crosses due South at an altitude of about 38˚50.450’Monday, March 05, 2007

A few days later on September 22 2423 BC the position of Jupiter, Regulus and Mars has
changed a bit:

‘Archaeological evidence suggests that building in stone ceased abruptly and the entire
temple was finished with mudbrick by Shepseskaf52 (2426-2419 BC53), Menkaure’s
successor54.’

In the Chronology of Rulers9 Menkaure reigned between 2490-2472 and was followed up
by Userkaf (2465-2458) and Sahure (2458-2446). When we look at the year Halley’s
Comet appeared (2423 BC) we will notice that this date matches the period of reign of

51
Sirius on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius

52
Shepseskaf on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepseskaf
53
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, The American University in Cairo
Press, 2005 p.8
54
The Complete Pyramids, Mark Lehner, Thames and Hudson ltd, London, Reprinted 1998, p. 136

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Shepseskaf. The appearance of Halley’s Comet in 2423 BC probably could have signified
the finishing of the Giza pyramid project. But the next appearance of the King in 2347 BC
made them certainly change their mind: this appearance caused the banishing of
Djedefre55 at Abu Rawash56 as I have argued before.

The Divine Plan completed


What has been achieved in the planning of the three Giza pyramids is really unbelievable
but it shows a strong relation with the returns of Halley’s Comet. It seems the Egyptians
knew Halley’s Comet would return. The first conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn near
Regulus has been used for the general lay-out of the pyramids of the Gizeh Plateau
based on the astronomical situation in April 2647 BC.

The next appearance of Halley’s Comet in June/July 2572 BC caused a change of plans
which can be seen in the construction of the first pyramid built: The Great Pyramid of
Khufu.
Maybe they have considered them lucky because at that time the planet Jupiter was
visible in the southern sky.

The next appearance of Halley’s Comet in November 2497 BC was not a spectacular one.
A pyramid was built but most probably changed when Halley’s Comet appeared very near
the summer solstice of 2347 BC. The tomb of Djefedre has been removed to Abu
Rawash.

The next appearance of Halley’s Comet in September 2423 BC completed the


construction of Menkaure’s pyramid by Shepseskaf after this date.

The next appearance of Halley’s Comet in July 2347 BC changed the pyramid of Djefedre
in the pyramid of Khafre. The Sphinx and the temples in honor of Astarte were
constructed after this date and not earlier.

Based on this knowledge we might conclude that the construction of the pyramids on the
Giza plateau took at least 300 years and shows the importance of the return of Halley’s
Comet throughout its construction.

Overview of the Divine Plan


Here once again Comet Halley’s returns and the progress of the Divine Plan
- 2647 BC. April. The General lay-out of the Giza pyramids has been established
after the return of the King.
- In 2572 BC. June. The return of the King causes the change of plans of the
construction of the Great Pyramid of Khufu.
- In 2497 BC. November. The return of the King leads to the construction of the
second pyramid on the Giza Plateau: the Pyramid of Djefedre;
- In 2423 BC. September. The return of the King leads to the construction of the
third pyramid on the Giza Plateau: the Pyramid of Menkaure;
- In 2347 BC. July, near the Summer solstice. The return of the King leads to the
construction of the Pyramid of Khafre. The sarcophagus of Djefedre has been
replaced to a new built pyramid at Abu Roash. The construction of the Sphinx and
the Valley temple in honor of Astarte commenced.
- After 2347 BC. The Divine plan: the construction of the three pyramids in honor of
the King’s soul based on the conjunction of Regulus, Jupiter and Saturn and the
appearance of Halley’s Comet in 2647 BC became fulfilled.

Part of a tradition
Religion in Egypt has probably always had a strong relation with the appearances of
Halley’s Comet. The roots of this religion might date back as far as the early Naqada57
periods in the pre-dynastic period58 which show a growing interest in the death cult and

55
Djedefre on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djedefre
56
Abu Rawash on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Rawash
57
Nagada on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naqada
58
Pre-dynastic Egypt on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predynastic_Egypt
11-3-2007 -Gilbert de Jong - Page 10 of 11
its ceremonies. Now we know what might have triggered the building of pyramids in
Egypt. Calculations of older perihelion’s of Halley’s Comet further back in time might
proof which perihelion’s caused the construction of older pyramids as well. Finally we
have found back the ancient and lost wisdom of the Egyptians that caused the expansion
of their empires and the development of their death cult throughout the ages.

Gilbert de Jong Loenen, Netherlands, ©2007

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