A Tough, but Excellent Read, July 29, 2009

By Jason A. Voss “Ptah” (Santa Fe, NM United States)


“EGYPT: Image of Heaven” is divided into two parts. The first part argues convincingly that ancient peoples, especially the Egyptians and Sumerians, systematically associated their maps of the heavens with places on the Earth. In other words, its as if a god projected light through the celestial sphere onto the surface of the earth. Willem H. Zitman, the author, provides ample evidence of his theory. He demonstrates that the ancient Egyptians believed that the Nile and the Delta corresponded with the constellation scorpio/Osiris. Zitman believes that Robert Bauval is correct that the 3 main pyramids of Giza correspond to Orion’s belt. But he goes further and shows that the ancient Egyptinas laid our their entire pyramid field in accordance with the constellation Orion/Horus. Zitman also provides evidence that the pyramid served a number of other functions for the ancient Egyptians as well. Rather than spoiling it for other readers I will not go into the details.

While mapping the star patterns on the earth’s surface is interesting, Zitman connects up legends from original sources, as well as ancient artifacts (a Sumerian planisphere) to show the likely source of ancient Egyptian and Sumerian culture. This conclusion relies very strongly on two sources of absolute precision: 1) That the Egyptians and Sumerians were unbelievably anal retentive in laying down their system of latitude and longitude, and more importantly 2) That the ancient Sumerian planisphere is absolutely perfectly proportioned such that it points accurately to the source of both cultures. I do not have the necessary technical background to evalute the strength of either of these two critical assumptions. However, as a critical thinker, Zitman has met, and exceeded, my threshold of skepticism. In other words, I believe he is right. The final critical assumption of Part I is that Zitman has interpreted all of the evidence effectively and objectively. I am an amateur egyptologist and am familiar with almost all of the source materials and feel that he is not grasping or reaching unnecessarily.

Part II of the book discusses some of the archaeological and geological findings that support Zitman’s placement of the source culture of the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians. Additionally, he backs up this portion of the book with further original source quotes from both cultures. Eventually, Zitman traces the root culture off of the coast of Africa and into the ocean.

I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. The first half is written for an audience of Egyptological non-believers and so drags through many tedious proofs. While dull, I absolutely appreciate Zitman’s need to prove his points. However, I did have to read and re-read certain sections. Ultimately though, every shred of evidence proves necessary for his thesis. That is, there is nothing extraneous and pointless in his data.

Of the 50+ books I have read about ancient Egypt, this book ranks among my top 5 favorites. I look forward to seeing Zitman’s theories explored by other authors and archaeological explorers.