Magazine article Geographical

Pyramid Puzzle Solved by Stargazing

Magazine article Geographical

Pyramid Puzzle Solved by Stargazing

Article excerpt

A British Egyptologist believes she may have found the answer to the pyramid puzzle that has baffled experts for centuries. Cambridge academic Kate Spence, of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, believes the position of the stars is crucial in telling us the age of these great wonders.

The Giza Pyramids are said to have been built around the middle of the third millennium BC. Previous attempts to estimate their age have been based on surviving lists of kings and the length of their reign, but due to inconsistencies and errors they have only been accurate to the nearest 100 years. Spence claims that with her theory there is only a five year margin of error.

Claiming that the Giza pyramid (the largest of them all) was built facing north seems reasonable to the modern scientist, but Spence worked on the fact that in the days the pyramids were built there was no fixed pole star. The reason for this is because the Earth's axis of rotation is not fixed, but moves in a conical motion known as precession. …

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