Robert Bauval has long claimed to be the originator of what has become known as the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT). The central premise of this theory
is that the ancient Egyptians intentionally represented the Orion Belt stars upon the ground at Giza in the form of the three main Giza Pyramids. This
simple association is the nub, the kernal, the very essence of the OCT. Without this connection of stars and pyramids, there would have been no
Bauval presented this idea to the world in a paper published in Discussions in Egyptology (Vol.13), 1987. Later, in 1994, he would publish his book
(with Adrian Gilbert) 'The Orion Mystery'.
But was Bauval the first person to make an association between the main Giza Pyramids and the Orion Belt stars--the essential element of the OCT? I
suggest he was not.
In 1949, the Grench poet, film maker, writer and philiospher, Jean Cocteau, wrote the following (highlighted in blue):
(Jean Cocteau, Maalesh, 1949, p.65-66)
Translation: "In the sky lies the unharnessed Wain, shafts pointing upwards. Strange stopping place! The Three Wise Men have struck
their tents of stone, stretched from base to point, one side in the shadow and the other three smoothed by the moon. They sleep while their dog lies
awake. Their watch dog is the Sphinx".
'The Three Wise' men is one of the aliases for 'Orion's Belt' as is 'The Three Kings' ('Les Trois Rois'). Bauval in his paper
disputes this interpretation, saying:
"It is almost certain that Cocteau was thinking of the Nativity Kings of the Matthew Gospel. Cocteau was surely aware that in some early
European folklore the “Three Kings” were sometimes identified to Orion’s Belt. Today this stellar asterism, however, is better known in France
as Le Baudrier d’Orion. On the other hand Cocteau may have just been thinking of the murals of Gospel scenes he had painted in various chapels in
France and England viz. The Lady of France’ chapel in London. Also less likely but not impossible is that Cocteau may simply have wanted to compare
the “Three Kings”with the three pharaohs/kings who built the three Giza pyramids." - Robert Bauval, May 2015.
If, as Bauval states, "Cocteau was surely aware that in some early European folklore the 'Thre Kings' were sometimes identified to Orion's
, then there is clearly the possibility that this is indeed what Cocteau was referring to in his passage. Bauval then states that "Today
this stellar asterism, however, is better known in France as Le Baudrier d’Orion"
. Well, that is the case in most western countries "today". Few
people today on this very board refer to these three stars as 'The Three Kings' or 'Three Wise Men'. We all know them and refer to them "today" as
Bauval them attempts to infer that Cocteau may have been referring to the 'Three Wise Men' of the Nativity. This is highly doubtful. The context of
Cocteau's piece clearly commences "In the sky..." and then goes on to mention a common name or alias for the star asterism "the... Wain"; a star
asterism we know as 'The Big Dipper' or the Plough (in the constellation Ursa Major). Cocteau's piece commences "In the sky..." describing stars in
the northern sky using a common alias for those particular stars. The piece then immediately jumps to 'The Three Kings" a common alias for the Orion's
Belt star asterism in the southern sky. Note that Cocteau capitalises 'The Three Kings' i.e. it is a proper noun, the name of something. If it were
the Three Kings of the Nativity, Cocteau had in mind, then he would most likely have written 'Les Rois Mages' (The Magi).
Bauval then offers another possible explanation for Cocteau's 'Les Trois Rois', suggesting (though less likely) that the three kings who built the
Giza pyramids may have been what Cocteau was referring to. Alas, these three pharaohs were never known as 'The Three Kings' (capitalised). Indeed,
Cocteau, had he been refering to these kings would probably have written "les trois pharons" (the three pharaohs, uncapitalised as they are not a
Cocteau, as Bauval suggests in his paper, may have been referring to the Three Kings of the Nativity. But that is an assumption and entirely ignores
the starry, heavenly realm that Cocteau's piece is invoking with his opening stream of thought. Bauval would have us believe that Cocteau starts in
the skies, describing one group of stars and then his thought process, rather than logically and seamlessly moving to describe another group of stars
(i.e. 'The Three Kings' of Orion), makes a mental leap to an entirely different thought process that invokes the Three Kings of the Nativity. What is
the more likely?
Cocteau starts in the northern sky describing one group of stars and, keeping that stellar thought process, then introduces a second group of stars
('The Three Kings' - Orions Belt) from the southern sky. This is a more consistent, logical and natural flow of thought and is why it remains my
opinion that Cocteau is clearly connecting Orion's Belt with the Giza Pyramids.
But to remove any doubt that Cocteau was indeed connecting the Giza pyramids to Orion's Belt, let us now consider Cocteau's prose as interpreted by
Mary C. Hoek (highlighted in yellow):
(Margaret Crosland, 'Cocteau's World', (1972), p.250)
The key point in the above page from 'Cocteau's World' is the footnote which reads:
*Translator's note: In English we refer to these three stars as 'Orion's Belt' but that would spoil the whole word-picture."
So, here we have in 1972--some 17 years before Bauval published his own paper--a clear connection being made between the Giza Pyramids and Orion's
Belt. Whether we credit Cocteau's original 1949 text or the 1972 translation the point is surely that the connection was clearly established before
1989, before Bauval published. Had Bauval read this passage (the original or Hoek's English translation) in the desert in 1983 as he puzzled over the
offset and smaller size of G3, the answer may well have come to him, he may well have decided to investigate the properties of the Orion's Belt
asterism and discovered further evidence to corroborate what Cocteau had written.
Of course, as Bauval rightly points out, Cocteau's simple concordance between stars and pyramids is not the OCT. With this basic realisation
(independently) by Bauval, however, the OCT was born. This simple connection causes us to ask the question, 'why'. Assuming the concordance is
deliberate, why would the ancient Egyptians have done this? That question then triggers an investigation which may then uncover further supporting
evidence to support the central premise. But it is 'supporting' evidence to the central premise and that central premise was first observed and
recorded by Jean Cocteau in 1949 (clarified in 1972). This is to say that the the OCT hinges on this central premise, this simple observation. The
Orion Correlation Theory (OCT) is built around Cocteau's Giza-Orion Concordance (GOC) and is done so regardless of whether Bauval himself knew of
Cocteau's earlier work. Prority here must surely rest with Cocteau.
edit on 1/6/2015 by Scott Creighton because: (no reason given)