Back in 1983, Robert Bauval, an Egypt-born engineer, was camping with family and friends in Saudi Arabia. One of his pals pointed out the Belt stars within the constellation of Orion, commenting how one of the three was slightly offset. Bauval looked at that roughly 38° angle and had a bit of an epiphany, noting in his mind’s eye that the alignment and spacing of the stars over his head matched those of the Egyptian pyramids at Giza. Six years later, he published a fleshed out version of his findings in journal called Discussions in Egyptology, and the Orion-Giza Correlation Theory was born.
The fundamental contention of Bauval’s work is that the alignment was purposeful, that the ancient builders of the Giza pyramids mimicked what they saw at a very specific point in time, some 12,000 years ago; that I n fact, they constructed them as a sort of star map. The concept has spawned other proponents and numerous books and studies by Bauval, his associates and contemporaries. The initial theory has been expanded upon considerably, going on to postulate that the Great Sphinx is representative of the constellation Leo, and that the overall alignment of the pyramids, Sphinx, and Nile River accurately maps Orion, Leo, and the Milky Way. According to the The Oxford Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, the Orion Constellation was associated with Osiris, the god of rebirth and afterlife, so some correlation between pyramid and constellation doesn’t seem outlandish on the surface of things.
Taking the concept several giant steps further, others have laid claim that the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico, and the Xi’an pyramids in China are all aligned similarly, and, when mapped out across the globe, align with each other in similar fashion yet again. There is broad and, frankly, fairly astounding speculation as to, “how these three ancient civilizations whom never had contact with each other managed to design, engineer and build these fascinating structures that (coincidentally) match the Star alignment in Orion’s Belt.”
Google any and all of this and you begin to see just how ingrained this ‘mystery’ has become in a little over thirty years. As with many of the so-called ancient astronaut theories, leading supporters of the Orion Correlation Theory, including Bauval and several of his co-authors, hint or even outright claim that this knowledge, this capability points inexorably at the presence of a progenitor civilization that imparted special knowledge upon the ancients before disappearing forever. Like the figures on the Nazca plains in Peru, these theorists claim that nothing less than inspiration from some superior intellect could have aligned these pyramids as they did.
Two Astronomers of note, Ed Krupp of the Griffith Observatory and Anthony Fairall of the University of Cape Town, were frustrated with what they heard and read. Using planetarium equipment to determine what they believed the actual alignment of Orion’s Belt would have been at the time the pyramids were built, they determined a distinctly sharper angle than the 38° claimed by Bauval and his flock – They presented a rebuttal of something in the neighborhood of a 47° to 50° offset at the time in question. This lead to a firestorm of charge and countercharge between the two parties that has yet to be resolved. Of course each party is convinced they’re right, and neither are likely to be swayed by competing debate.
Mainstream Egyptologists and Geologists tend to largely ignore such things as the Orion Correlation Theory; when pressed, they’ve referred to it as a, “pseudo-scientific and pseudo-archaeological hypothesis,” and worse yet, as this blog notes. Scientists require proof and empirical data to support claims writ this large. As with all things controversial, it’s worth a look at both sides of the issue before an opinion is formed; that said, this seems like a perfect opportunity for the principle of Occam’s razor to be applied.