A pioneering "digital archaeologist" has used cutting-edge computer technology to determine that a monument commissioned by Augustus Caesar is aligned to the sun on the birthday of a particular aspect of Apollo-Helios.
Bernie Frischer, an Indiana University "archaeo-informaticist," says his discovery will cause history books to be rewritten.
Until now, archaeologists believed an obelisk cast a shadow on Rome's Ara Pacis, "Altar of Peace," on September 23, Augustus's birthday. But Frischer says his calculations show a very different date, pointing to a very different, very divine birthday.
The Ara Pacis sits in front of the 71-foot high Obelisk of Montecitorio.
After creating 3D models of the two monuments using the game engine Unity and studying the sun's position, Frischer and his team believe the real date is October 9 ... when the sun would would pass directly over the top of the obelisk.
"Inscriptions on the obelisk show that Augustus explicitly dedicated the obelisk to his favorite deity, Apollo, the Sun god," Frischer says.
"And the most lavish new temple Augustus built, the Temple of Palatine Apollo, was dedicated to his patron god and built right next to Augustus' own home," he adds.
"So the new date of the alignment, Oct. 9, is actually what we know to be the annual birthday festival of the Temple of Palatine Apollo," he says. "No other date on the Roman religious calendar would have been as appropriate as this."
Frischer is well known among Antinoologists for his newly unveiled 3D interactive VIRTUAL HADRIAN'S VILLA and also proving the SUN ALIGNS WITH THE ANTINOEION mortuary temple of Antinous during the Egyptian festival of the Inundation of the Nile ... the drought-ending flood which was the first miracle of Antinous.
Frischer's work is made possible in part by ephemerides, or tables that give the position of celestial bodies at different points in time. Ephemerides were once actual tables written on paper, but now they're software programs, like NASA's Horizons system that can generate the position of an object in the sky at any time in history.