The term "astronomical diagram" is used on this site to describe a particular type of ancient Egyptian decoration, found on temple and tomb ceilings and on the outer surface of water clocks. A key feature of astronomical diagrams is the inclusion of decans.  Diagrams may or may not contain other elements, such as diagonal star tables, Ramesside star clock tables, and transit star clock tables, which are or will be described in detail in this database. Each astronomical diagram is unique, with variations found even when one diagram is a direct copy of another.

The extant diagrams fall into two groups, which in this database we will refer to as "astronomical representations" and "astronomical processions", with astronomical representations being the older and more long-lived variety.  The rationale and definitions for this classification system is contained in Symons (2015b).  The colours and letter codes in the tables are used in the schematic drawings of the more complete astronomical representations.  Areas of damage will be indicated by grey shading.

Features of Astronomical Representations

The distinctive features of astronomical representations are the inclusion of all the following elements:

C Circumpolar group of constellations Figures including a bovine foreleg (sometimes represented as a complete ox), a mooring post, and a hippo. A selection of additional figures may also be present.
A Attendant circumpolar deities Two processions of anthropomorphic deities one to each side of the circumpolar group.
D Decans Representations of decan stars. Both ordinary and triangle decans are included, with the triangle decans separated from the ordinary decans by the intervention of the superior planets. The decans can be represented by one or more of the following elements:
    Decan names.
    Decanal stars: a number of star or dot symbols.
    Depictions of decanal constellations.
    Cluster numbers of some decanal constellations.
    The names of related decanal deities.
    Figures of the decanal deities.
    Personifications of the decans in human form (rare).
P Planets Representations of the superior planets Jupiter, Saturn, and (sometimes omitted) Mars as falcon-headed deities. The two inferior planets are depicted after the triangle decans: Mercury (usually represented by name alone, sometimes with an accompanying deity name) and Venus (usually represented by name, a figure, and a deity name).

One or more additional astronomical elements from the following lists may also be present on astronomical representations:

M Calendrical ("month") elements Civil months as text.
Lunar months as figures or circles and/or labels.
Ramesside star clock tables.
The orientations of the Foreleg throughout the year.
N The sky-goddess Nut The figure of the goddess may be included either as an enclosing border or as a central figure.
X Other elements A baboon sitting on a djed-pillar.
The Sun and Moon personified.
  Damaged area 
List of Astronomical Representations

For more details of an astronomical representation, click on its title.  The table below divides the representations by time period.  It also lists the name given to each in EAT3, the decan list family from EAT3, and the decan list used in this database.  Clicking on the title of an astronomical representation will open the details of that text.

Middle Kingdom
TitleLocationEAT3 Number & NameEAT 3 Decan List FamilyDecan List Family
Asyut tombs (now destroyed) - - AR1 or  AR3?
Coffin of Heny (now destroyed) 1 Heny ? ?
New Kingdom - 18th Dynasty
TitleLocationEAT3 Number & NameEAT 3 Decan List FamilyDecan List Family
Tomb of Senenmut TT 353, Deir el-Bahari 2 Senmut Senmut AR1
Water clock (Amenhotep III) Found at Karnak; now in Egyptian Museum, Cairo 3 Amenhotep III Senmut AR1
New Kingdom - 19th Dynasty
TitleLocationEAT3 Number & NameEAT 3 Decan List FamilyDecan List Family
Tomb of Sety I Burial Chamber J, KV 17, Valley of the Kings 6 Seti I C Seti I C AR2
Temple of Sety I at Abydos Abydos 7 Seti I D Seti I C AR2
Ramesseum (Second Hypostyle Hall) West Bank, Thebes

8 Ramses II A &

9 Ramses II B

Senmut A AR1
Ramesseum (Third Hypostyle Hall) West Bank, Thebes 10 Ramses II C Seti I C AR2
Temple of Rameses II at Abydos Abydos 11 Ramses II D Seti I C AR2
Tomb of Merenptah Burial Chamber J, KV 8, Valley of the Kings 13 Merneptah B Seti I C AR2
Sarcophagus of Merenptah reused by Psusennes Egyptian Museum, Cairo 30 Psusennes Misc Misc
Tomb of Tausret/Sethnakht (Burial Chamber J1) Burial Chamber J1, KV 14, Valley of the Kings 14 Tausret A Seti I C AR2
Tomb of Tausret/Sethnakht (Burial Chamber J2) Burial Chamber J2, KV 14, Valley of the Kings 15 Tausret B Seti I C AR2
Tomb of Amenhotep, usurped by Therwes TT 232, Tombs of the Nobles, Thebes 16 Tharwas ? ?
New Kingdom - 20th Dynasty
TitleLocationEAT3 Number & NameEAT 3 Decan List FamilyDecan List Family
Medinet Habu Sanctuary of Osiris, Room 25, Medinet Habu, West Bank, Thebes 17 Ramses III A Senmut A AR1
Ceiling Block (Medinet Habu) Original location unknown, West Bank, Thebes 18 Ramses III B ? ?
Tomb of Rameses V/VI (Corridor B) Corridor B, KV 9, Valley of the Kings 21 Ramses VI A Seti I A A AR3
Tomb of Rameses V/VI (Corridor C) Corridor C, KV 9, Valley of the Kings 23 Ramses VI C Senmut B AR1 variant
Tomb of Rameses V/VI (Pillared Chamber F, South) Pillared Chamber F, KV 9, Valley of the Kings 22 Ramses VI B Seti I A A AR3
Tomb of Rameses V/VI (Pillared Chamber F, North) Pillared Chamber F, KV 9, Valley of the Kings 24 Ramses VI D Senmut B AR1 variant
Tomb of Rameses VII (Burial Chamber J, South) Burial Chamber J, KV 1, Valley of the Kings 26 Ramses VII A Seti I A A AR3
Tomb of Rameses VII (Burial Chamber J, North) Burial Chamber J, KV 1, Valley of the Kings 27 Ramses VII B Senmut B AR1 variant
Tomb of Rameses IX (Corridor C, South) Corridor C, KV 6, Valley of the Kings 28 Ramses IX A Seti I A A AR3
Tomb of Rameses IX (Corridor C, North) Corridor C, KV 6, Valley of the Kings 29 Ramses IX B Senmut B AR1 variant
Late Period
TitleLocationEAT3 Number & NameEAT 3 Decan List FamilyDecan List Family
Tomb of Petamenophis TT 33, Tombs of the Nobles, Asasif, Thebes 32 Pedamenope Senmut AR1
Tomb of Karakhamun TT 223, Tombs of the Nobles, Asasif, Thebes - - ?AR1
Tomb of Ibi TT 36, Tombs of the Nobles, Asasif, Thebes - - ?AR1
Tomb of Montuemhet TT 34, Tombs of the Nobles, Asasif, Thebes 33 Montemhet Senmut AR1
Water clock (Nekau II) JE 67096a,b,c, Egyptian Museum, Cairo 34 Necho Misc Misc
Ceiling Block (Roda) Stored near the Nilometer at Roda 36 Roda Senmut AR1
Sarcophagus of a bull JE 86723, Egyptian Museum, Cairo 37 Abu Yasin Senmut AR1
Sarcophagus of Ankhhapy CG 29301, Egyptian Museum, Cairo 38 Ankhhapy ?Senmut ?AR1
Sarcophagus of Nakhtnebef Berlin 39 Nekhtnebef Seti I A B AR3
Greco-Roman
TitleLocationEAT3 Number & NameEAT 3 Decan List FamilyDecan List Family
Tuna el-Gebel Gallery C (A-31) Central part of ceiling, Baboon Chamber G-C-A-31, Animal Necropolis, Tuna el-Gebel 40 Hermopolis A ?Senmut ?AR1
Tuna el-Gebel Gallery C (C-2) Baboon Chamber G-C-C-2, Animal Necropolis, Tuna el-Gebel 41 Hermopolis B Senmut AR1
Tuna el-Gebel Gallery C (A-28) Central part of ceiling, Baboon Chamber G-C-A-28, Animal Necropolis, Tuna el-Gebel 42 Hermopolis C ?Senmut ?AR1
Tuna el-Gebel Gallery C (B-2) Baboon Chamber G-C-B-2, Animal Necropolis, Tuna el-Gebel 43 Hermopolis D Senmut AR1
Water clock (Louvre and Thorvaldsens)

N 664 = AF 894, Louvre Museum, Paris

H351, Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen

44 Ptolemy II Senmut AR1
Water clock (OI) A7125, Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago - - ?AR1
Water clock (Florence) Inv. No. 12290, Museo Egizio, Florence 45 Florence Senmut AR1

Coffin of Hornedjitef

6678, British Museum, London 46 Harendotes Senmut AR1
Tomb of Petosiris (Chamber 1) (now destroyed) 48 Petosiris Seti I A A AR3
Tomb of Petosiris (Chamber 2) (now destroyed) - - ?AR3
Coffin of Heter (now destroyed) 71 Heter ? ?