In the Egyptian language the word "sky" is feminine. Thus for the Egyptians, unlike most other peoples, the sky was a goddess (Nut or Hathor) represented either as a cow with four hooves planted on Earth or as a woman whose body bends in an arc so that her toes and fingertips touch Earth. She gives birth every day to the Sun, which similarly has different names depending on whether it is the rising Sun (Khepri), the Sun at zenith (Ra), or the setting Sun (Atum). The Moon's various names, Aah, Thoth, and Khons, correspond with its depiction as a dog-headed ape, an ibis, and the left eye of a great celestial hawk. These identifications predate the development of hieroglyphic writing. The oldest megalithic site with an astronomical orientation was found in Nabta in 1998.
Related entries• Babylonian astronomy
• Chinese astronomy
• Indian astronomy
• Greek astronomy
• Arabian astronomy
Related category• HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY
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