Talk at NYU about ancient Egyptian Milky Way

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Description of Activity

The Milky Way and the Ancient Egyptian Goddess of the Sky

The ancient Egyptians left us some of the earliest records of the night sky, where they noted the Sun, Moon, planets, and several constellations. Many of these objects are associated with - or personified by - certain gods (such as Re and the Sun). Yet how the Egyptians conceptualized the sky remains unclear. In a recent paper, I study this question by combining astronomical simulations of the Egyptian night sky, readings of ancient Egyptian religious texts (the Pyramid Texts, Coffin Texts, and the Book of Nut), and anthropological studies of Milky Way creation stories from around the world. I find some evidence to associate the Milky Way with the Egyptian sky-goddess Nut and argue that the Milky Way was used to illuminate Nut's presence as the sky.
Period10 Apr 2024
Held atNew York University, United States, New York