Giulio Magli and Luisa Ferro with the Politecnico of Milan claim in a paper published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology that new evidence they’ve uncovered shows that the ancient city of Alexandria in Egypt was built to align with the sun on the date that Alexander the Great was born. Instead of running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea, they say, the city’s main thoroughfare Canopic Road aligns nearly perfectly with the rising sun as it would have appeared July 20, 356 BC by the Julian calendar.
Historians and archeologists have been studying Alexandria in an attempt to locate the Macedonian king’s tomb which is believed to be in the city in a gold casket inside of a glass sarcophagus. This new research, the authors write, may help with that search.
Suspecting that Alexandria may have been built around a solar event occurring during Alexander’s lifetime, the researchers used simulation software to plot the rise of the sun for the day he was born. Doing so revealed that it rose less than half of a degree off the route of the city’s main course. They also found that the “King’s Star” Regulus, located in the head of the constellation Leo, rose in a similar alignment.
The researchers note that it was a common practice in ancient times to base architectural designs on astronomical events, pointing out that the Great Pyramid at Giza has been found to be aligned along compass points. Via Archaeoastronomers claim Alexandria was built to align with Alexander the Great’s birth date.