Egypt is the “gift of the Nile”: a desert land, refreshed and vivified by the river Nile only. The climate is arid, but the land is fertile due to the soil brought by the river during its annual flooding. A unified state formed in Egypt around 3 200 BC. The subsequent history of Egypt has traditionally been divided into three “Kingdoms” each divided in “dynasties” of rulers; the first period of splendour, the so-called Old Kingdom, corresponds to dynasties 3-6. The King – we call him Pharaoh – was identified with a living God, Horus. He was considered the keeper of the cosmic order, or Maat. Maat was identified with the regularity of the natural cycles, the calendar, the inundations of the Nile. Inundation is a gradual phenomenon but usually starts in the second half of June, roughly in correspondence with the Heliacal rising of Sirius at those times and with the summer solstice, which were therefore identified as main calendrical events. Of course, today inundation is regulated by the Assuan dam. The ideology associated with kingship designated the king as intermediary between gods and humanity, and – as a consequence – the doctrine of power in Egypt was deeply connected with the celestial cycles. This connection can be seen in the Pyramid Texts written in many burial chambers of the pyramids, the tombs of the Pharaohs. From these texts it is clear that the king has a celestial afterlife. The Pharaoh has several seats reserved in various places of the sky. First of all, there is the region of stars which are defined as imperishable and described as follows: "I will cross to that side on which are the Imperishable Stars, that I may be among them". In particular, among these stars there was something called Meskhetyu, usually represented as a bull’s foreleg. This was the constellation we call Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, made up of seven brilliant stars. But why was the Big Dipper imperishable? At the latitudes of Egypt in the third millennium BC, this constellation was circumpolar, it was visible the whole night, every night of the year. Other circumpolar stars, besides Meskhetyu, were those of the constellations we call Ursa Minor and Draco. Draco was particularly important because at that time – due to precession – it hosted the north celestial pole. The Egyptians saw in Draco a female hippopotamus. Both Ursa Minor and Ursa Major were also related to another image, that of an adze. These adzes were used in the Opening of the Mouth ritual. In this ritual, performed on a statue of the death Pharaoh in a specially prepared room, the so-called Serdab, the priest touched the mouth and the eyes of the subject magically enabling him to receive food, breath and see. Sometimes these instruments are described as made of iron. Of course there was no mined iron in Egypt at those times, it was however available in small quantities fallen to Earth in the form of iron meteorites: a further connection with the sky. Besides the circumpolar stars, a second important area of the sky was that of Sirius and Orion. And indeed the king, as a star, was doomed to rise and set also there: "You will regularly ascend with Orion from the eastern region of the sky, you will regularly descend with Orion into the western region of the sky...Sirius will guide both of you". Thus Orion, Sah for the Egyptians, was depicted as a celestial dimension of Osiris, God of the Afterworld, and Sirius was identified with his sister Isis. Finally, but no less important, there is the solar component of rebirth. The king has indeed a reserved seat on the boat of the Sun God Ra: "May you traverse the sky, being united in the darkness; may you rise in the horizon, in the place where it is well with you".