Sirius and the Flooding of the African Nile

Posted by AfricanByNature 27/05/2018 0 Comment(s)

Sirius and the Flooding of the African Nile

The Kamites (ancient Egyptians) viewed the Helical rising of Sirius (sometimes called the Dog Star) as the bringer of new life. This was because Sirius was newly visible in the sky at the time of the flooding of the Nile River, the life-giving inundation which yearly fertilized their crops.


The first signs of the inundation were seen at Aswan by the end of June, reaching its swelling to its fullest at Cairo by September. The flood would then decrease in size around two weeks later, leaving behind a deposit of rich, black soil. The amount of black soil left behind due to the height of the Nile determined the amount of crops that the Kamites (ancient Egyptians) could grow - if the inundation was too low, it would be a year of famine.


The Goddess Sopdet (Greeks, thousands of years later, called her Sothis) was the personification of this star, represented as a woman with a star as her headdress, or as a seated cow with a plant between her horns (just as Seshat's hieroglyph might have been a flower or a star.) Her star was the most important of the stars to the Kamites (ancient Egyptians), and the rising of this star came at the time of the Kemetic new year.


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