Siwa claims solar alignment at ancient temples on spring equinox
Photo by Hanan Fayed
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CAIRO: The spring equinox was witnessed Monday by a number of tourists and Egyptians at the Timasirayn Temple in Siwa Oasis, from which spectators were able to see a claimed rediscovery of a solar alignment with the said temple and the Amun Oracle Temple, 12 kilometers to the west in a straight line.

If officially recognized by the Antiquities Ministry, locals hope this solar alignment in the oasis in the far west of Egypt could become as well-known as the Abu Simbel biannual solar alignment in Aswan, southern Egypt.

The phenomenon is “not a coincidence,” as it occurs at an axis of two temples and not regular structures, and the distance between them is long enough to rule out hypothesis, proactive director Dustin Thomas Donaldson, who says has delivered lectured  on ancient symbolism to university professors in San Francisco Bay Area for 12 years, told The Cairo Post.

Photo by Hanan Fayed

Photo by Hanan Fayed

The equinox occurs biannually, on March 20-21 and Sept. 22-23, depending on whether it is a leap year, marking the only two days a year where the day and night are equal.

Although the phenomenon has not yet been recognized by the Antiquities Ministry, head of the Siwa Antiquities Authority Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Dumeiry, who attended the spring equinox on site, told The Cairo Post he recognizes the discovery and that it is “not a coincidence.”

American-Canadian Donaldson, who has lived in Egypt for 3.5 years, and creative director Robynn Iwata “discovered” the alignment and claim they, along with Siwans who saw the phenomenon with them in the past few occurrences, are the first to observe it in 2,000 years.

The Amun Oracle Temple belongs to the 26th Dynasty, 664 BC-525 BC, while the precise history of Timasirayn Temple, also known as Ma’aser Temple, is disputed; inspector at the Siwa Antiquities Authority Omar Hamza told The Cairo Post it belongs to the Roman era in Egypt.

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