Who is at the origin of the constellations?
What people filled our sky of fantastic animals and elements of the Greek pantheon?
The Greeks themselves? The hypothesis seems logical but we meet figures of inspirations more former than their mythology.
Let us turn to the sky and let us try to understandits movements to try to find indications.
Every night, most of the stars get up in the East and go to bed on the West except those too close to the pole.
The Sun crosses in the sky an oblique circle of 23°27 with regard to the heavenly equator: the ecliptic.
The revolution of the sky seems to take place around a fixed point: the heavenly poles.
In the boreal hemisphere, stars close to the south pole are never visible and it would be necessary to settle down on the equator to discover over one year the completeness of the stars of both hemispheres.
Figure 1 The precession of the ground axis
We notice at once that a southern zone of the hemisphere was abandoned by the inventors of the constellations. it is filled by constellations in the almost too modern naming today: the pneumatic machine, the clock, the reticule, the sea bream, the male hydra...
A simple explanation: the radius of this region in degree is the latitude of the inventors of the constellations.
But this region is not circular; itis oval because of the pretransfer of the equinoxes. This phenomenon was discovered by Hipparcos in the IIth century BC by comparing its observations to that of Eudoxe de Cnide. This astronomer of the IVth century possessed a sphere probably brought back(probably reported) by his stay in Egypt. On this globe of stone or metal was put back the ecliptic, the equator, the main stars and the constellations. The works of Eudoxe were lost but a Macedonian poet of the IIIth century, Aratos, passed on the main elements of his work. Hipparcos wondered that in the poem of Aratos the constellations are missing. The history does not say if it was the key of the discovery of Hipparcos.
The heavenly poles describe a circle in 26000 years. The equinoxes, hurt where the equator cuts the ecliptic, also move. By etymology, they are the moments when the durations day and night are equal. The conical movement of the Earth on its axis is the pretransfer of the equinoxes. Hipparcos noticed that the position of stars with regard to the equinoxes slid during the centuries.
By taking into account this movement, the centre of the zone empty of constellations coincided with the South Pole 2500 years BC.
An astronomer of Vancouver Michel Ovenden also supposed that the constellations of the Zodiac served for remembering the configurations of the main stars to determine, for a moment of the year given, when was positioned the Sun at dawn, the hour of the rise. This allowed the sailors to connect the cap which they had followed at night from the Pole star and the cap which they followed in the daytime by following the journey(running) of the Sun. The constellations appearing from the horizon, the simplest supposition was that the figures of the constellations were directed according to the North-south axis. This configuration was verified for period about 2500 - 3100 years BC The constellations of the Zodiac were thus directed according to the equator in this period and not according to the ecliptic and these constellations went to bed in the same place at the various hours of the night.
Mr Ovenden also examined the poem of Aratos and concludes that he described a sky dating about 1800 - 3400 for a latitude of 36 °.
By examining statistically the poem of Aratos which speaks about numerous times of intersections between the constellations and the symbolic circles, the heavenly equator, about the Tropic of Cancer, about Tropic of Capricorn, we obtained the best result for 2000 BC
But why the sphere of Eudoxe, did base of the poem of Aratos represent a sky so former ? Had not there been interruption of the history, the break, between the manufacture and the discovery by Eudoxe?
Let us leave in search of people who would have been able to bequeath such an object.
The Cretan civilization developed only after 1900 and went on until its destruction by a natural disaster near 1450. The phenician civilization extended from 1500 to 500 and its mythology is not that of the constellations. The Egyptian civilization was too much in the South, the constellations around the Great Bear was the crocodile, the monkey and the hippopotamus. Of same Babylon was too much in the South; the Mesopotamians navigated in the Arabian Sea and the sea of Arabia. Besides, even if many of their constellations were common, on the place of the Swan, the Lyre and the Wagon, they used the forms of a panther, of one goat and of a bowl. All these hypotheses thus are to be rejected.
A more credible hypothesis is that of the people of islands Cyclades who, between 2300 and 1800, establishes counters on all the circumference is from the Mediterranean Sea by dashing on the sea on very hurt vessels, almost dugouts. A text of this said Ionien-Attique language previous to classic Greek, was found on a disc in a palace to Phaistos, in Crete. These people also seem to have passed on in the Greek tradition names translated by the Pharaohs of the end of third Millennium. We can call these primal Ionian people because Ionie indicated of the XIth in the Vth century the Greek colonies on the west coast of Turkey, Lydie covering the centre and the coast on the South.
But there are zones of shadows. For example, why the poems of Hésiode and Homère forget curiously the small She-bear, nevertheless essential for the navigation?
Homère, in the IXth century BC, speaking about the Great Bear, clarify that she is turned to Orion. Homère is a blind narrator whose stories dive into the roots of the Greek civilization. Now towards 2500, the North Pole was at the level of the star a of the Dragon and close to the star h of the Great Bear. Let us consider the hypothesis that this star was formerly baptized Orion, then the Great Bear, the wagon of Orion(?), looked at her effectively by turning around a nearby point, the North Pole in this time. The constellation of Orion with its shield could also be a late transcription of the constellation of Osiris of Egyptian represented by three pyramids of Gizeh, another another hypothesis.
Figure 2 the configuration of the pole here is 4500 years
The constellations would thus be the invention of these primal Ionian people. The Wagon, the original naming, became a She-bear for the Greeks and the name of Orion was transferred to a constellation of the southern hemisphere.
The babylonian knowledge was able to spread up to counters primal - Ionic on the coast of the Lebanon. The astronomy was born as science at the end of the third millennium by the meeting of the babylonian studies on planets, the Sun and the Moon, of Egyptian knowledge over the year and the duration, essential to foresee the floods of the Nile, and the knowledge of the sailors of Cyclades who studied the useful constellations for their navigation.
In the myths of these three peoples, the Earth is a disc surrounded by the Ocean. Below Tartare, world of the darkness, above, the sky of the constellations ...
Sources: Kadath chronicles disappeared civilizations n°83