Nabta Playa: Mapping distances to the stars?



Doesn’t look like much–maybe a bunch of ancient children were playing with stones. But it turns out to be a three layer representation of the cosmos–a stone calendar circle on top, an enigmatic “cow sculpture” buried in the sediments below that, and then a bedrock sculpture that is nothing less than a representation of our universe.

But let’s start with the top and least controversial layer–the stone circle. (More on the lower layers later.) Yet again, alignments can tell us a lot about dating. Here we have Orion’s Belt depicted as it was from 6400 BCE to about 4940 BCE.


Radio carbon dating agrees with these astronomical dates, so we can be confident about them.

To put these dates in context, this is the time of pre-pre-dynastic and pre-dynastic Egypt (5500-2700 BCE). About 500 miles or 805 kilometers to the north, Egypt was 1800-3300 years away from the first documented Pharaoh.  Robert Schoch conservatively dates the Sphinx enclosure to this time. And remember there is evidence that the bases on which the dynastic Egyptian pyramids were later constructed may have been mapped out in the figure of Orion’s belt by this time.

Due to Precession of the equinoxes, our view of how the constellation of Orion rises in the night sky shifts–the angle changes.  Here is a picture of how Orion looked in 16,500 BCE as mapped out in the stone circle.


So both extremes of Orion’s “tilt” are recorded at this site. Of course, one wonders how these primitive people knew this–someone must have studied and mapped this particular constellation at this site for 11,600 years. Longer, in fact, to know both extremes.

But there is one correlations that is, well, even more surprising.


There are “long baseline megalithic sight-lines” that also align to the main stars of Orion. The strange thing about these megaliths is that they appear arbitrary–there is no symmetry to them. They appear awkward in their placement. Until one measures the distances from the circle to these stones, as Thomas Brophy did.

The distances to the site-line stones correlate to the distance from the Earth to the star represented on a scale of 1 meter = 0.799 light years. Not only that, but the velocities of the star systems are also recorded.  A million years of naked-eye observation would never tell you that.

For the source, go to:


And, finally, there is a YouTube for that:

3 thoughts on “Nabta Playa: Mapping distances to the stars?

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