A recently discovered inscription on an ancient Egyptian ointment jar mentions the heliacal rising of Sirius. In the time of the early Pharaohs, this specific astronomical event marked the beginning of the Egyptian New Year and originally the annual return of the Nile flood, making it of great ritual importance. Since the Egyptian civil calendar of 365 days permanently shifted one day in four years in comparison to the stars due to the lack of intercalation, the connection of a date from the Egyptian civil calendar with the heliacal rising of Sothis is vitally important for the reconstruction of chronology. The new Sothis date from the Old Kingdom (3rd–6th Dynasties) in combination with other astronomical data and radiocarbon dating re-calibrates the chronology of ancient Egypt and consequently the dating of the Pyramids. A chronological model for Dynasties 3 to 6 constructed on the basis of calculated astronomical data and contemporaneously documented year dates of Pharaohs is presented.
GüntherP. and R.Wellauer. Ägyptische Steingefässe der Sammlung Rudolph Schmidt (Solothurn). Ägyptologische Hefte des Orientalischen Seminars der Universität Zürich 2. Zürich: Orientalisches Seminar der Universität Zürich1988.
LuftU.“The Date of the Wagy Feast: Considerations on the Chronology of the Old Kingdom.” In Revolutions in Time: Studies in Ancient Egyptian CalendarsA.Spalinger ed. 39–43. San Antonio: Van Siclen Books1994.
NolanJ.F.“Cattle, Kings and Priests: Phyle Rotations and Old Kingdom Civil Dates.” In Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom: Perspectives on the Pyramid AgeP.Der Manuelian and T.Schneider eds. 337–365. Leiden: Brill2015.
ValloggiaM.“La descenderie de la pyramide de Radjedef à Abu Rawash.” In Études sur l’Ancien Empire et la nécropole de Saqqâra dédiées à Jean-Philippe Lauer. C.Berger and B.Mathieu eds. 417–428. Montpellier: Université Paul-Valéry1997.
VernerM.“The system of dating in the Old Kingdom.” In Chronology and archaeology in ancient Egypt (the third millennium B.C.)H.Vymazalová and M.Bárta eds. 23–43. Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology2008.