Τhe astronomical orientation of the lion of the Amphipolis tomb
"The hope is that an understanding of Alexandria's astronomical layout will give researchers a better idea of where Alexander's tomb might be"(Giulio Magli, livescience, October 15, 2012).
The ancient Greek architects were using the effects of light on building
design due to aesthetic, religious and symbolic reasons.
Strong sunlight to emphasizing the statues; light-and-shade contrasts
for the temples. During the Hellenitic period, both architecture and city
planning became more elaborate and theatrical.
Dinocrates designed the plan of the city of Alexandria, orientated to the rising sun, on the day of birth of Alexander the Great (Magli 2011).
On the Winter Solstice, the Sun, an essential element of life, has the
lowest annual path across the sky. For three days it seems like if it goes
to the south and the winter season officially starts. After, it starts up
again around the north and stays longer during the day, thus shortening
the night. Since man began to notice and study the universe, the two
equinoxes and the two solstices are always the measure and reference
points for the beginning of each season and the solar year.
The Winter Solstice is the "birth" or "resurrection" of the Sun/God,
the victory of light over darkness. There were special celebrations in
organized societies and in every corner of the world. The priests of
various religions prayed to the Sun, asking not to be lost definitively
below the horizon; comparing the movement of the Sun to the life of
a man who was born during the Winter Solstice, and grew gradually
as the sunlight increased until the Spring Equinox, when night and day
are nearly exactly the same length. On this day, the Sun defeats darkness,
thus symbolizing the rebirth of nature through the matrix of the Earth.
It is depicted on a fiery chariot, crossing the sky and throwing its light on the Earth every morning. It also coincides with Phoebus Apollo, the god of light. The Sun was worshiped as God; so many religions placed the birth of the gods in this period. In ancient Greece, the Winter Solstice celebrated the birth of Dionysus, son of Zeus and the virgin Semele. They called him "savior" and "divine child". He was the "good shepherd", the priest who kept the pastoral rod, as did Osiris. In winter, they mourned the killing of Dionysus by the Titans, but after the Winter Solstice, they celebrated regeneration. The priestesses then climbed on top of a sacred mountain and holding a baby cried "Dionysus is reborn." The celebration was passed on to ancient Rome, where they celebrated Saturnalia, in honor of the god Saturn and the goddess Demeter, when they sacrificed pigs for the fertility of the Earth. It was one of the major festivals and was called "the day of the invincible sun". On December 25th, the Egyptians celebrated the birth of the sun god Ra, Aten or Osiris. The Babylonians called the sun god, Samach, Baal, Mardounak or Nergal. The Persians worshiped the birth of the invincible sun god Mithras, while the Brahmans celebrated the birth of Brahma.
Τhe orientation of the lion
The orientation of the Amphipolis lion is Northeast (NE) and aligns to the rising sun on the day of the winter solstice (21/22 Dec).
At the winter solstice, the sun illuminate the Southwest (SW) side of the lion. So, during the shortest period of daylight, the big marble statue shining bright, as we looking in front of the entrance.
In my hypothesis the azimuth complies totally with the results of the Michaelis Lefantzis work. Moreover, there is a strong indication: the spiral decoration symbol found in the ceiling of the tomb chamber. The spiral is coming from the prehistoric era (probably the oldest known symbol) and we find it all over the word, describing the cycle of rebirth or resurrection and the Sun's path (equinoxes, solstices) in a solar year (Cossard 1994).
For the astronomical simulation I chose as a reference date the second half of the 4th century BC and approximately the period of the construction of the tomb . The exact date doesn't matter that much anyway. The declination of the sun due to the variation in the obliquity of the Ecliptic is almost negligible and we still can see the rising sun nowadays. In the present work due to the interposed mountain, azimuth/altitude (Az/Alt) and geomagnetic declination (MagVar) are also calculated.
Τhe software time correction (algorithm of Δt) is Espenak and Meeus (is used for the NASA / Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1900 to +3000) and the dates are in Julian Date (JD).