Positive Progress Through The Benevolent Use Of Knowledge

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


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New Light on the Shepherd Kings of Egypt; Discoveries Which Promise to Reveal the Identity of the Pharaohs of the Biblical Record.

April 29, 1906, Sunday
Section: Second Magazine Section, Page X6, 2021 words

A FEW days ago came the news from Egypt that Prof. W.M. Flinders-Petrie, the most noted of living explorers in the archaeological remains of the East, had unearthed, about eighteen miles north of Cairo, the Temple of Onias, the fugitive nephew of the High Priest of Jerusalem, and that the Hyksos Cemetery, containing scarabs of the Hyksos age, together with the great fort of Hkysos, had also been laid bare.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Pyramid and the Body

Pictured below is the wooden door of Hesire, a Third Dynasty high level official. When his height (measured to the hairline) is divided into 18 even segments it is observed that the figure's proportions conform to those determined by the classic canon. His navel in particular is exactly where one would expect to find it according to the canon. This figure, being of earlier design than Khufu's pyramid and also containing the classic proportions, is then an apt one to use when making a comparison of the human proportions and those of the substructure of Khufu's pyramid.

Hesire, Third Dynasty Physician and Dentist (roll mouse over to compare with the pyramid's layout)
The vertical line that passes through the King's chamber marks the east-west centreline of the pyramid, the whole passage system being offset to the east of the centre-line by almost 24 feet.
The proportional relationship between the height of the King's chamber ceiling and the height of the pyramid's entrance is shown above to be 18:11. This is the same relationship that exists between a figure's height (reduced to the hairline) and the height of his navel as determined by the classic proportions utilised by artists as early as the Third Dynasty.
The Entrance to the Pyramid The Navel of Osiris
After his body has entered the pyramid, the King undergoes a transitional phase in which he is reborn. The role that the navel plays in this process is most significant. For the child in the womb, the navel is the entrance to it's body, which is connected, via the umbilical cord, to the source of the child's sustenance. The 'navel of Osiris' is mentioned in the texts in relation to the King's food supply. In utterance 204 of the Pyramid Texts, for example, it is written:
"The finger of Unas, the small one, draws out that which is in the navel of Osiris. Unas is not thirsty, he is not hungry..."
Of a papyrus detailing stories of Khufu's life, Budge writes:
"In the Westcar Papyrus we are told that when the three sons of Redjedef were born, the four Meskhenit goddesses who were present at their birth washed in turn each child, cut off his umbilical cord, and placed it in a four-sided cloth which was laid in a stone box. From the fact that the goddesses preserved the cord and wrapped it up in cloth and laid it in a box we are justified in assuming that they attached great importance to it, and that they intended to preserve it. Now Osiris was a king form his birth, and the three sons of Redjedef were destined to become Kings, and it is therefore clear that under the Ancient Empire, and long before, the Egyptians were in the habit of preserving the umbilical cords of Kings and great personages. What they did with them the texts do not say, but the customs of Uganda and Unyoro throw some light on the matter, for the Baganda and Banyoro have been in the habit of preserving the umbilical cords of kings for untold generations. Thus Speke tells us:
'The umbilical cords are preserved from birth, and, at death,those of men are placed within the door-frame.' 1
Such significance placed on the preservation of the umbilical cords of Kings and its association with the door-frame at the time of death shows a remarkable similarity to what is illustrated by the sub-structure of Khufu's pyramid, as seen in the picture above. The application of the artist's canon indicates that the body of Khufu entered the pyramid through the navel of the internal 'statue' of Osiris. The entrance passages of many pyramids were intentionally aimed in the direction of the north celestial pole, the navel of the Night Sky, the centre around which the stars appear to rotate.
The Four Sons of Horus and the Celestial Pole
The Ancient Egyptians associated the Four Sons of Horus with the four organs of the deceased, the lids of the canopic jars in which the organs were individually kept were fashioned in the shape of the four son's heads.
The Four Sons of Horus
These Gods later became equated with the four cardinal directions, or more precisely, the four pillars upon which the heavens rested. Perhaps this association stemmed from the fact that the alignment of the four sides of the pyramid with the four cardinal points was ascertained by observing the stars in the northern polar region of the sky as described in the 'Stretching of the Cord' ritual. The four sons of Horus are described in the texts as being related to this group of stars:
"Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef, and Qebehsenuef,it is these who are behind the Constellation of the Thigh in the northern sky." 2
The Ancient Egyptian word for 'Thigh' is Khepesh and is the word used to denote the collection of stars commonly known today as the 'Big Dipper'. They form the constellation of Ursa Major, which closely circles the north celestial pole, the region of the sky targeted by the descending passage of the pyramid.
Ursa Major
This connection of the Four Sons of Horus with the constellation Ursa Major has been discussed by Egyptologist John Gee. His entire masters thesis was on the Four Sons of Horus, in which he noted that they were originally equated with the four stars of the 'bowl' of the Big Dipper. 3
Bernard Mathieu confirmed the same in his paper 'Theology and Astronomy Investigations in the Pyramid Texts'.4
The celestial Four Sons of Horus could, then, be viewed as cranking the wheel of the cosmos, which is centered on the north celestial pole, the focus of the pyramid's entrance - the navel of the Osiris-Djed. This clockwork-like mechanism would provide the Sun, and therefore the dead King, with the force that will lift him up to be reborn in the eastern horizon after having descended into the depths of the Duat. The Pyramid Texts speak of the Four Sons of Horus lifting the King into the sky together with the morning Sun:
"These four gods Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef, and Qebehsenuef, the children of Horus, they tie the rope-ladder for this King they cause the King to mount up to Khepri when he comes into being " - PT 688.
The pyramid's statue of Osiris-Djed is connected to this powerful cosmic centre via an invisible umbilical cord, formed by the line of sight through the descending passage and out through the pyramid's entrance.
The North Wind
It might be interesting to note the importance of Ursa Major and the energy emanating from North celestial pole to practitioners of ancient Chinese Medicine. They called this the 'Universal Force' which, after being drawn into the body and then combined with the 'Earth Force' absorbed through the feet, is then circulated around the navel. The Chinese view the navel as being a door through which wind is drawn into and expelled from the body. Sometimes medicine is given to small children through the navel rather than the mouth, this is done by grinding the herbs and applying them directly onto the navel. Traditional Chinese medicine affirms that the navel is connected to all the organs of the body. 5 The acupuncture point on the backbone at the height of the navel is called the "Door of Life".
The Ancient Egyptian texts similarly refer to the life-giving properties of the North wind. In the following text the reborn king is given the North Wind:
"I have given the sweet breath of the North wind to Osiris Wennefer as when he went forth from the womb of her who bore him..." - Book of the Dead, chapter 182.6
In the Pyramid Texts the rejuvenating North Wind is brought into the tomb:
"This is this cavern of yours, the Broad Hall, O Osiris this King, which brings the wind that it may strengthen the north-wind and lift you up as Osiris this King."- Pyramid Texts 581.
The North wind enters the pyramid through the opening of the descending passage located on the northern face of the pyramid. Before the entrance to the pyramid was finally sealed, the North wind with its reviving powers entered Khufu's tomb through the navel of the internal 'statue' of Osiris, just as the baby in the womb receives it's life-giving sustenance through the navel. Once the baby is born the umbilical cord connecting him to his source of food, that is his Mother, is severed closing off this entrance to the body. The mouth is then opened and the airway cleared so that the newly born child can breath. The mouth has now become the opening through which the body takes in sustenance in the form of air, food and drink. The child's transition from the womb into the new world was emulated in a ritual called the 'Opening of the Mouth' in which the umbilical cord of the statue or mummy was ceremonially cut with a knife called the Pesesh-Kef. 7 Another tool used in the 'Opening of the Mouth' was called Meskhetiu, a word denoting aspects of 'birth' by the usage of the 'ms' ideogram, Gardiner's F31. This tool was fashioned in the shape of the bull's thigh or the 'Constellation of the Thigh' and the same word Meskhetiu is used in the texts as a reference to this constellation in the northern sky, which in this case, is the focus of the Osiris-Djed's navel. 8
Marie Parsons, who wrote an article on the 'Opening of the Mouth' ceremony in Tour Egypt, explains that it was not only carried out on the mummified body of the king but also on ka statues and even entire temples:
"The ritual that would re-animate the deceased was called The Opening of the Mouth ceremony. It was an important ritual in both funerary and in temple practice. The Opening of the Mouth originated as a ritual to endow statues with the capacity to support the living ka, and to receive offerings. It was performed on cult statues of gods, kings, and private individuals, as well as on the mummies of both humans and Apis bulls. It was even performed on the individual rooms of temples and on the entire temple structure
The effect of the ritual was to animate the recipient (or, in the case of a deceased individual, to re-animate it).
The ritual allowed the mummy, statue, or temple, to eat, breathe, see, hear and enjoy the offerings and provisions performed by the priests and officiants, thus to sustain the ka."
"The earliest Old Kingdom textual references to the ceremony date to the early 4th dynasty, to the Palermo stone and the decoration of the tomb of the royal official Metjen. At this time, the ritual seems to have been performed solely to animate statues, rather than to re-animate the deceased."
The King's Chamber The 'House of the Coffer'
Neb-Sokar, meaning: 'Lord of the Coffer' is a title of Osiris and the name of the figure placed in the tomb. 9 A slight variation of this word is Neb-Sokar-t, which means 'House of the Coffer'. The 'House' determinative hieroglyph in this word replaces that of 'God'. The 'House of the Coffer' later became the place in which the Djed pillar was worshipped. 10 According to tradition, Neb-Sokar-t was located in the portion of Djedu where the Jaws of Osiris were preserved. 11 Once the depiction of Osiris-Djed is realised in the Great Pyramid's internal chamber system, it can be observed that the figure's jaws are located in the western half of the King's chamber - the very position of the granite coffer.

Neb-Sokar the 'Lord of the Coffer'= Title of Osiris and the body in the tomb

Neb-Sokar-t the 'House of the Coffer'= Place associated with the Jaws of Osiris
Khufu's Sarcophagus Chamber & the Mouth of Osiris
In this particular case, Neb-Sekert or 'House of the Coffer' is indeed the location of the Jaws of the Osiris. Here, in the most sacred part of the pyramid, the ritual of the 'Opening of the Mouth' may have been performed inside the mouth of the colossal statue. This action would endow the entire tomb sub-structure,which forms this gigantic cult statue of the king, with the capacity to receive offerings and in turn support his living ka. Like the umbilical chord, the Jaw bones played a significant role in the funerary customs of early Egyptian Kings. In African burials, it was customary to remove the lower jaw before burial. The jawbone was preserved with honor in a house built especially for it. With the development of the cult of Osiris, however, all the parts of the body had to be reunited for the King to be reborn. 12 This reconstitution of his jaws and mouth enabled him to eat and drink the offerings that were presented to him after death. In the Pyramid Texts of Unas we find the phrase:
"O King, I fasten for you your jaws which were divided - pesesh-kef" - PT 37.
In chapter 99 of the Book of the Dead the deceased says that the god (Osiris) is equipped, that he is equipped; that the god (Osiris) is provided with jawbones, and that he is provided with jawbones. Khufu's body is united with the jaws of the colossal figure of Osiris that stands inside his pyramid. His body is placed in the sarcophagus, directly into the mouth of Osiris. The mummified body of the king could have served as the food (kau) that would sustain his Ka in the tomb. 13
"In the case of a very great man such a figure is placed in the middle of the town or village, in order that the living may benefit by consultation with the Ka when it visits is there was such an image twelve feet high in the centre of a circle of Elephant's tusks and the natives were in the habit of making offerings of Palm oil and goats blood to it. Not only was it necessary to provide a figure for the King to dwell in, but if it was not to perish of cold, hunger and thirst, offerings of meat and drink, clothing, etc., must be placed in the tomb so that the ka might eat and drink..." 14
"In most villages (in Lower Niger) will be found a low hut, sometimes not larger than a dog-kennel, in which, among all tribes, are hung charms, or by which is a growing plant. In some tribes a rudely carved human figure stands in that hut as an idol. That idol, charm, or plant, as the case may be, is believed for the time to be the residence of a spirit, which is to be placated by offerings of food of some kind - a dish of boiled plantains or a plate of fish. This food is not generally removed till it spoils. Sometimes, where the gift is a large one, a feast is made; people and spirit are supposed to join in the festival, and nothing is left to spoil. That it is of use to the spirit is fully believed, and some say that the 'life', or essence of the food has been eaten by the spirit, only the material form remaining to be removed." 15
The Queen's Chamber The 'Chamber of Offerings'
The so-called 'Queen's chamber' was named such by the first Arab explorers who's custom it was of burying women in tombs with gabled ceilings. Arab men were, in contrast, buried in tombs with flat ceilings hence the sarcophagus chamber in Khufu's pyramid is to this day known as the 'King's Chamber'. It has been accepted in recent years that the three chambers of the Great Pyramid were not the result of a continuing change of plans, as previously proposed by Borchardt and others. The tenet that the three main chambers were intentionally planned from the outset is presently upheld by a number of Egyptologists, including Mark Lehner who argues that three chambers appear to have been the rule for Old Kingdom pyramids. 16 Prior to the violation of the pyramid, the passage leading to the Queen's chamber was originally sealed by a floor stone at the bottom end of the Grand Gallery. The Queen's chamber has the familiar characteristics of the serdab - a chamber built especially to house a statue, in which the King's ka would continue his existence. The Queen's chamber has a niche built into the eastern wall which, it has been theorised, held the Ka-statue of Khufu. 17 Although unsupported by hard evidence, Arab accounts claim that a statue made of green stone was found in the niche in the east wall of Queen's chamber. Caliph Al Mamoon, the first man to successfully break into the pyramid in 820 AD, is likewise reported as having found a statue of a man made of green stone standing inside the niche. This statue was said to have been seen later at the palace at Cairo in 511 A.H. 18
Eastern view of the Queen's chamber as a Serdab containing a Ka statue
Offerings were traditionally made by priests or relatives of the deceased to the King's ka, which took up residence in the statue after death. Often two holes were made in one of the walls of the serdab so that the ka could see out. The only holes in the walls of the Queen's chamber are the two 'air shafts' in the north and south walls made famous by that little German robot called Upuaut II, the 'Opener of the Ways'. As these 8 by 8 inch outlets are at eye level they could be interpreted, symbolically at least, as eye holes for the Ka-statue.
Another more popular explanation is that these shafts were designed for the ba & ka to enter and leave the tomb through. Similar shafts in the burial chamber would also allow his ba & ka to visit his body at leisure but due to their small size would not allow the living to pass in and out of the chambers. The upper ends of the Queen's chamber shafts stop short of the sides of the pyramid preventing any exit from the building and to further complicate matters, the lower ends were originally left sealed with only about five inches of limestone preventing entry to the chamber via the shafts. The purpose of the shafts is still being debated and even the possible future opening of the closure stone found behind 'Gantenbrink's Door' in the upper end of the Queens' chamber southern shaft may not give us any more of an idea of their intended function.
The King's Chamber & the Queen's Chambercompared with the Body's digestive system
We have seen that the position of the King's chamber, in relation to the figure of Osiris inside the pyramid, is representative of his head. The Queen's chamber, on the other hand, is positioned lower, around the middle area of the torso. By applying the artist's canon of proportions, the apex of the gabled roof is found to be equal to the position of the Solar Plexus. The whole chamber occupies the area of the Stomach and the Liver.

Northern view of the Pyramid's internal structure (roll mouse over to see corresponding organs)
The digestive system formed by the mouth, stomach and connecting esophagus is the anatomical architecture designed for extracting the energy from food (kau).
For the chamber where offerings were made to the ka to be positioned such that it corresponds precisely with the figure's stomach is fitting indeed. Such an arrangement enables the food to be placed directly inside the stomach, that part of the body that is responsible for storing, breaking down and digesting food. The result of this process is the production of energy to be used by the body and by the ka. The small ka statue in its house could have functioned as a simulacrum or a surrogate for the much larger 'statue' of Osiris-Djed, formed by the pyramid's entire substructure. This enormous statue would then be seen as benefiting from the food offerings that were made to the smaller statue.
James Allen shows that in Utterance 205 of the Pyramid Texts the dead king establishes himself as the source of his own food-supply. 19 Khufu's mummified body is placed inside his sarcophagus, its position corresponding with the mouth. His ka resided in a ka statue in the chamber situated at the location of the stomach.
In this arrangement his own body lying in the mouth of the figure of Osiris would serve as food (kau) for his ka.
The correlation of the Ka chamber, with the body's largest organ, the liver is also very intriguing. Like the stomach, the liver is capable of producing energy from digested food. The liver converts glucose to a form of stored energy called glycogen, and can also produce glucose from sugars, starches, and proteins.
Thirty per cent of the blood pumped through the heart in one minute passes through the liver where it is detoxified. The only part of the body that receives more blood than the liver is the brain.
Chinese medicine regards the liver as the seat of the personality. The structure of the nervous system is considered to be like a potted plant which sprouts from the liver. Doctors teach that the smooth flow of Chi (body energy) can only occur if the liver is healthy.
In Ancient Egypt the canopic jar containing the liver was in the shape of the human-headed son of Horus, Imsety. The authority of Imsety over the other organs that were contained in animal-headed jars is reflected in the way in which he is described as the 'Leader of his Brethren'. In comparison, the Chinese call the liver the 'General of the Army'.
The choice of a human head for the god presiding over the liver may also reflect an ancient Egyptian view of the liver as the container of the personality. The word 'personality' has been suggested by both Faulkner and Gardiner as an appropriate definition of the ka. In this sense, a connection can be made between the Ka statue and the Liver considering that both may be seen as containers of the Ka.
The present hypothesis held by Egyptologists that the 'Queens' chamber possesses the familiar characteristics of a Ka chamber or serdab, is strengthened by the fact that its location within the pyramid correlates with the position of the liver inside the body, the organic container of the personality, or ka.
Locked so accurately onto the four pillars of heaven, the foundations of the pyramid are earthed with enduring stability. Its long narrow entrance passage built with fine precision is rooted deep in the Earth underneath the pyramid but is aimed at the centre of the Heavens. The innovative arrangement of the tomb's substructure to portray the figure of the resurrected God with his legs buried in the earth like the roots of a tree enabled this connection with the Heavens to be interpreted as the umbilical cord of Osiris connected with the belly of the sky goddess Nut, his mother.
The hollow statue of Osiris formed by the chamber system inside the pyramid meant that Khufu's ba, when visiting the the tomb to receive sustenance, would further emulate the sun god Re's journey into the Duat where he is regenerated by his union with Osiris.
The same themes of rebirth and renewal conveyed in the Pyramid Texts are expressed in the substructure of Khufu's pyramid. Its original name of Akhet denotes the pyramid as the place of manifestation of Khufu's akh and describes it appropriately as his own House of Going Forth By Day.
"O Re-Atum, this King comes to you, an Imperishable Spirit,Lord of the affairs of the place of the Four Pillars;your Son comes to you, this King comes to you.
May you traverse the sky, being united in the darkness;may you rise in the Akhet,in the place where it is well for you."

Friday, November 21, 2008


Bee, Bees - Dream Symbols
Bees have amazing symbolic history--both in waking and in dream life. Dating as far back as 5 B.C. cultures have used the bee to symbolize everything from industry and productivity to the Goddess as the Great Mother archetype. Ancient Egyptians thought the bee a symbol of wisdom, regeneration, and obedience. Bees also became symbolic of royalty. Many of the long-haired Merovingian monarchs were buried with gold bees placed in their tombs. Napoleon's robes were known for their embroidered bees because Napoleon saw the bee as symbolic of immortality and resurrection. Today, Freemasons use the bee and the beehive as one of its symbols denoting industry. Additionally, we use the bee to illustrate human characteristics such as "busy as a bee" or "queen bee." We also use the bee to denote certain activities such as the spelling bee or a quilting bee. It is obvious that bees have a firm place in our collective unconscious so they are not an unusual dream symbol. In fact, it is not only the bee which may turn up in dreams but those things associated with them such as the beehive, honey, or the honey comb. Below are some ideas about what these symbols may mean. HoneyHoney is a natural sweetener, the product of the bees' industry. Honey originated in pollen which bees collect and bring back to their hive. Dreaming of honey can therefore be a symbol of transformation or of some form of alchemy--taking something--a relationship, a project, a career goal, or even a dream and revolutionizing it until is becomes something more satisfying than it currently is. Honey may also symbolize a reward for work performed or it may be a play on words for feeling as if you are 'living the sweet life'. Bee StingIf you dream of being stung, it could represent stinging feelings in waking life or in your unconscious. You may feel as though something--a relationship or, since the bee is oftentimes symbolic of industry, a work situation has left you feeling 'stung'. Sometimes people dream of bees stinging them on the hand. This could represent an act (hands being symbolic of action) that might end in hurt feelings. Sacrificial BeeWhile a bee sting may be painful, the bee has a lot more to complain about as it dies when it stings. In this capacity, the bee might represent sacrificing yourself for something you hold dear and treasure. Worker BeeAs we have seen, the bee often represents work and industry. Bees are in fact, very busy little creatures. Dreaming of bees working may symbolize productivity and getting things accomplished. However, you should check the dream and your life carefully because this symbol might also represent an inability to remain calm, or may indicate a need for rest from working so much.CommunicationBees are also symbols of communication. The saying 'tell it to the bees' meant using bees to transmit wishes and desires out to God/dess. Bees work in complete cooperation, communicating with each other so that their hive remains intact and productive. Bees in a dream may indicate a need for communication either with a group or with a significant other.

The Tale of Sinuhe

I was a henchman who followed his lord, a servant of the Royal harim attending on the hereditary princess, the highly-praised Royal Consort of Sesostris in the pyramid-town of Khnem-esut, the Royal Daughter of Amenemmes in the Pyramid-town of Ka-nofru, even Nofru, the revered.
Ammenemmes: Amenemhet I (Sehetepibre) (1991-1962)Sesostris: Senusret I (Kheperkare) (1962-1917) henchman: attendant (according to M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. One)
In year 30, third month of Inundation, day 7, the god attained his horizon, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Sehetepebre. He flew to heaven and was united with the sun's disk; the flesh of the god was merged in him, who made him. Then was the Residence hushed; hearts were filled with mourning; the Great Portals were closed; the courtiers crouched head on lap; the people grieved. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
attained his horizon: set like the sun, i.e. diedHe flew to heaven: The akh did, cf. Body and Soulgrieved: on Mourning and burial

Temhi: Tjemeh, Nubians living west of the Nile, southern branch of a Libyan peoplecaptain thereof: The army was generally led by the pharaoh himself or his heir.Tehenu: Tjehenu, people of the western desert, LibyansNot a moment did he wait: There may well have been legitimacy issues,
i.e. the accession of Senusret was being challenged.Falcon: Horus, i.e. the Pharaoh, Senusretmy heart became distraught ......: It is unclear why the knowledge of the king's death should have frightened Sinuhe that much.
crossed the waters of Mewoti hard by the Sycamore, and arrived in Island-of-Snofru: passed the Truth canal near Giza and Hathor's great sycamore tree and shrine (J. Rabinowitz)Mewoti: Maaty (Lichtheim)
Red Mountain: Mountain northeast of MemphisWall of the Prince: A string of fortifications in the isthmus of SuezSandfarers: Beduins
Petni: PetenKemwer: lit. the Great Black, region of the Bitter Lakesmen of the Setiu: Asiatics (Lichtheim)Land gave me to land: One land sent me on to another (Breasted)Byblos: City state in the Lebanon of today with close Egyptian connections.I set forth to Byblos: I loosed for Suan (Breasted)Kedme: Kedem, east of the Jordan and the Dead SeaEnshi son of Amu: Ammunenshi (Lichtheim)Upper Retenu: Canaan(...): As if a Delta-man saw himself in Yebu, a marsh-man in Nubia (Lichtheim) - Yebu: Elephantine, near the Egyptian-Nubian border.

Sakhmet: Lion goddessHeadlong is he when he falls upon the Easterners; his joy is to plunder the Ro-pedtiu: Eager at the sight of combat, Joyful when he works his bow. (Lichtheim)Pedtiu: Bowmen (Lichtheim)

eldest daughter: sAt wrt [2], according to S. Allam "adoptive daughter". M. Lichtheim's translation agrees with Gardiner's.Yaa: Unknown region in CanaanPlentiful was its honey ... milk prepared in every way: In the Hebrew tradition Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3: 8). In Egypt milk and milk products were considered delicacies and offered to the gods, but probably of minor economic importance.olives: oil (Breasted, Lichtheim)Wheat: Barley (Breasted, Lichtheim)
I spent many years, and my children grew up as mighty men, each one controlling his tribe. The messenger who fared north, or south to the Residence, tarried with me, for I caused all men to tarry. I gave water to the thirsty, and set upon the road him who was strayed; I rescued him who was plundered. When the Setiu waxed insolent to oppose the chieftains of the deserts, I counselled their movements; for this prince of Retenu caused me to pass many years as commander of his host. Every country against which I marched, when I made my assault it was driven from its pastures and wells. I spoiled its cattle, I made captive its inhabitants, I took away their food, I slew people in it; by my strong arm, by my bow, by my movements and by my excellent counsels. I found favour in his heart and he loved me, he marked my bravery and placed me even before his children, when he had seen that my hands prevailed.
Residence: The Egyptian royal courtI caused all men to tarry: I let everyone stay with me (Lichtheim)chieftains of the deserts: Rulers of Hill-Countries (Lichtheim)I counselled their movements: I opposed their movements (Lichtheim)country: people or rather what we would call tribe.
There was no central authority in Canaan at the time.
champion without a peer: In tribal wars outstanding individuals were of greater importance than they were in great armies. Cf. the later bible stories of Samson and Goliath.There is no Pedti: No Asiatic (M.Lichtheim)
Paths-of-Horus: Horusways (Lichtheim), Horus Road connecting Egypt and Canaan through northern Sinaicommander who was there: During times of strong central rule the frontiers were defended and the influx of migrants controlled. (Cf. the Journal of a frontier official)
Thy servant will hand over the viziership which thy servant hath held in this place: This servant will hand over to the brood which this servant begot in this place. (Lichtheim)
Ithtoue: Itj-tawy (Lichtheim) - Lisht, capital of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom.Companions: courtiers (Lichtheim)I stretched myself on my belly: the pharaoh was greeted by prostration. During the New Kingdom Canaanite princes such as Yapahu of Geezer wrote: At the two feet of the king, my lord, the sun in the sky, seven times and seven times I prostrate myself both upon the belly and heart was not in my body: My ba was gone (Lichtheim)
thou hast trodden the deserts, thou hast traversed the wastes: having roamed foreign lands. Flight has taken its toll of you (Lichtheim)

Royal Children: here: royal daughters (Lichtheim) Setiu-folk: nomads (Lichtheim)
Nub: Gold (Lichtheim) Let the goddess of Upper Egypt fare north, and the goddess of Lower Egypt fare south: Southcrown fared north, northcrown south (Lichtheim)Uraeus: the royal cobra, often worn as uraeus or even triple double. (cf. Divine and royal hed dresses) grant us our goodly guerdon in the person of this sheikh Si-mehyt, the Pedti born in Ti-muri: Give us our good gift on this good day, Grant us the son of northwind, Bowman born in Egypt (Lichtheim)Ti-muri: Ta-mery, "Beloved land", Egypt
I was shaved: Asiatic men - unlike Egyptians - were bearded

The Lotus And The Nile

The blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) belongs to the Nymphaeaceae (Water-Lily) family. The blue lotus has several common names including: Egyptian lotus, blue water lily, and sacred lily of the Nile. It should not be confused with the "blue lily" or Agapanthus africanus, a plant of an entirely different genus (Anonymous, 1999). Be careful also not to confuse it with the Nymphaea lotus, which is the "white lotus". Fossils of this plant have been dated back to the Jurassic period, about 160 million years ago. Amazingly, the fossils suggest that the blue lotus has not changed much. Other records indicate wide dispersal of this flower before the Ice Age (Edwards, 1998).
It is important to first explain a few things about the nature of the blue lotus. The blue lotus or water-lily, is a floating aquatic plant that is known for it's colorful and aromatic flowers. The leaves are waxy, leathery and dark green with a reddish-purple color underneath (Edwards, 1998). The genus Nymphaea includes both tropical and hardy (cold-tolerant) species. There are also night-bloomers and day-bloomers. The tropical day- bloomers are the lotus that was used by the Egyptians (Edwards, 1998). The flowers of many species of lotus have the shocking habit of folding their petals and sinking beneath the water's surface during the night and resurfacing the next day to bloom again (Philbrick and Les, 1996).
Many ancient cultures found the blue lotus to be of great use and of esteemed status. In Asia and Africa, the blue lotus symbolized immortality in recognition of the plant's ability to survive and resprout after long droughts, and the seed's ability to remain viable for many years (Edwards, 1998). In China it was regarded as a religious symbol, and a symbol of feminine beauty. Similarly in India, it was compared with the human female form, and in their legends they believe that Brahma, their creator of the universe, sprang from a lotus-like blossom (Edwards, 1998).
The Japanese saw a representation of purity and the juxtaposition of good and evil, and the Buddhist's have a prayer mentioning the lotus, "Omi! Mani padme hum!" which is interpreted as, "Oh!, the jewel in the lotus flower!" (Edwards, 1998). The Greeks also admired the blue lotus. They associated the flowers with the mythical nymphs and beautiful maidens thought to inhabit the forests and mountains (Edwards, 1998).
The people of Ancient Egypt (Kemet), used the blue lotus extensively in their art and in their everyday uses. The name (Kemet), which means "the land of the black", is the original name of Ancient Egypt given by the people who once inhabited the land (Kwesi, 1996). When the blue lotus was used in their artwork it was triangular shaped when viewed from the side. Flowers occur frequently in their art, with the blue lotus and papyrus being the most common. There were also drawings of people smelling the lotus flower, which some believe was used to induce stimulation or a state of utopia (Anonymous, 1999). The idea of the blue lotus flower was also associated with cups and bowls. They usually designed their Chalices and wine glasses as the lotus, which is still in common use today, as the champagne glass (Morenz, 1973).
The primary reason for the use of the blue lotus as a symbol by the Ancient Egyptians was because it symbolized the origin of life, According to Watterson (1984), they equated the Creator-god with the blue lotus, which is believed to have emerged at some point in time from the primeval ocean, Nun. Ra their primary god, was believed to have first appeared as a beautiful child floating on a great blue lotus (Watterson, 1984).
To the Ancient Egyptians, the blue lotus was the most perfect type of flower. The blue lotus, which had a delightful perfume, suggested to the Ancient Egyptians the perfume of Ra's sweat, the divine essence (Morenz, 1973). The evolution of life was associated with the origin of solid matter. They paralleled biogony with cosmogony. Kemetic religion was a fusion of spirituality and science (Amen, 1997).
The Ancient Egyptians used the blue lotus as a symbol of the origin of life, but they also used the shape of the Nile River and its tributaries to symbolize the origin of life also (Kwesi, 1996). The blue lotus is shaped the same as the Nile and its tributaries, when viewed from above. The Ancient Egyptians believe the Nile Valley area is the birthplace of human civilization, which is why the Nile Rivers are shaped like fallopian tubes, symbolizing birth of mankind (Kwesi, 1996).
The blue lotus had a variety of meanings and uses. The blue lotus was used in various areas such as: medicine, food, and funerary ceremonies. The Ancient Egyptians have made tonics from the blue lotus for ailments such as liver disease (Morenz, 1973). The blue lotus can also be used to make bread. First, they extract the seeds, then they allow for them to dry in the sun, then they pound them to flour, add milk then bake (Edwards, 1998). The root was also eaten, similar to the cassava, except it was sweet and round and about the size of an apple.
Other uses of the blue lotus were for funerary ceremonies. There are several adornments placed within the sarcophagi on the bodies. Some are adorned with gold, amulets of various meanings, flowers including the lotus, and numerous other items (Morenz, 1973). Records from the Ancient Egyptian pyramids show that the flowers were also heaped upon the honored dead and the floral fragrance was thought to dispel the stench of death (Edwards, 1998).
The blue lotus had a wide variety of uses and meanings to various cultures. They were used for artistic purposes, for symbols, to make bread, to make perfume, to make medicine and for funerary purposes. The blue lotus has had a profound impact on human society, and human civilization, including: the Ancient Egyptians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the people of India, the Buddhists, the Greeks and numerous other cultures around the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Discovery of the Cheops' Solar Boat

The Solar Boat Pictures, Images and Photos

The following story is from the Mena House Oberoi book written by Nina Nelson and relates the story told to her by Kamal el Mallakh who discovered Cheops' Solar Boat. Kaamal el Mallakh was born in Assuit, Egypt on October 26, 1918. He was a dedicated scholar of Egyptology and culture and remained a bachelor until his death in October of 1987.
The most fascinating visit I have had at the pyramids was when Kamal el Mallakh took me to see the solar boat he discovered in 1954. What Cheops mighty pyramid was to do for the pharaoh's body, the boat was to do for his Ka, or soul.
The boat is most beautiful. Stretching almost 150 feet in length, some of the boat's timbers are made from whole cedars of Lebanon. The prow sweeps upward, with a papyrus end, while the bow curves inward and is tipped with a magnificently carved papyrus blossom. There are hand carved oars and ropes that might have been made today. The boat's state of preservation is remarkable. It must be the most fantastic find since Tutankhamen's tomb.
The story of the solar boat's discovery is scarcely less fascinating than the find itself.
In April 1950, close by the side of the Great Pyramid that faces the Sphinx, a road was being made for the convenience of tourists. Kamal kept an eye on the digging. His excitement was great when his men dug down to limestone powder, not the kind that capped Chephren's pyramid close by, but of the type found in the Makattam Hills on the other side of Cairo. As the men continued to dig they came upon pink cement which in turn revealed great slabs. The men uncovered either a large flat base or a great roof. Kamal thought the latter. But it was difficult to be sure and often, great finds seem on the brink and end in disappointment. Perhaps the slabs formed part of the foundation of Cheop's Pyramid. Kamal had been working on the Giza site for fourteen years and it was the first time he felt Cheops' Solar Boat might be uncovered. But boat pits by the lesser pyramids had yielded nothing, and even if it was a boat it might have been robbed in antiquity. Kamal felt he would be satisfied if only some vestiges of a Solar Boat were found. All boat pits could not be empty. But of one thing he was certain. He could not rest until he knew the answer.
Together with a team of men he cleared an area large enough to see that the great slabs might indeed form a roof. He then began to scrape down between two blocks that seemed less sturdy than the others. He made a deep chink between the two. On May 26th, 1954, he began digging in earnest. He kept on until the hole was large enough for him to be lowered into it head first. He was armed with cutting and probing instruments and continued scraping.
He paused for a time and glanced up along his body to the sky above and could see a black shadow lying along the apex of Cheops' Pyramid. Yet he could see no clouds. The sky was the color of lapis lazuli. He felt it was a momentous occasion, and for this reason his heart beat against his rib cage.
Khufu (Cheop's) Solar Boat Giza Pictures, Images and Photos

He breathed deeply, closed his eyes to accustom them to the gloom of his digging and then opened them slowly. With a steady hand he began to cut again. He worked quickly as the casing gave way and crumbled. He made the hole deep enough to twist his body in a different position downward and worked only a few inches away from his head. He kept on cutting and cutting. Time meant nothing. He was not conscious of being tired, or of lying in a perpendicular position. He probed. He cut. Suddenly and miraculously his hands were through into nothingness. He lay as if in a trance. He closed his eyes. An almost imperceptible smell crept into his nostrils. He could not define what it was. It was almost sweet. It could not be incense. Or was it? Was it perhaps the very smell of history? Then he knew. It was cedar wood! His eyes were still unopened. He drew a deep breath and determined that it was indeed cedar wood. He felt a sense of fulfillment such as he had never known before. Happiness tingled through him. His eyes were still closed. He whispered a prayer of thanks to God. His questioning mind began to function again. If indeed he smelt cedar wood from a Solar Boat below it did not mean that the white ant had not been busy. Perhaps the precious wood had been eaten through by hordes of white ants.
He shouted up to his men to hand him his mirror. It was a small, shaving variety. He reached up with one arm as far as he could and the mirror was lowered to him. He brought his hand down gently and gradually twisted into a new position so that he could plunge his arm down as far as possible in the aperture. The smell of cedar wood was now unmistakable but he could see nothing. He pushed his head against the jagged stonework and tried to turn his body so that the sunlight would slant down his back into the opening. He rocked his hand to and fro. Suddenly he caught sunrays on the mirror. He manipulated it slowly so that the light reflected downward. He saw something - something silver and bright. What could it be?
He carefully moved the mirror once more and then he suddenly saw the perfect reflection of the plate tip of an oar. His hand began to shake. He felt a great strength surge through his whole body.
"It is the boat!" he shouted. "It is the boat!"
Willing, trembling hands pulled him upward. His men were beside themselves with joy. "Congratulations, congratulations," they cried, tears streaming down their smiling faces.
Kamal held his hand to his forehead. It was shaking and his forehead felt hot and sticky. He looked at his palm. It was covered in blood. "Your head! Your poor head," said one man holding a handkerchief solicitously. Kamal had shoved his head so far into the stone he had not only cut his forehead but pushed into the bone!
As Kamal el Mallakh finished telling me the tale of how he had found Cheops' Solar Boat in its air-tight pit, I glanced at his forehead. An indented white mark showed up against his tanned skin. "I suppose one might call it an honorable scar," he smiled. "Let us go back to Mena House and have tea!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Khnum, Potter God of the Inundation Silt and Creation

Khnum (Khenmew, Khnemu, Khenmu, Chnum), from the Egyptian 'unite', 'join' or 'build', was an ancient deity of fertility, water and the great potter who created children and their ka at their conception. He was mentioned in the pyramid texts and the pyramid builder Khufu's name was actually 'Khnum-Khufu' meaning 'Khnum is his Protector'. His cult was popular before the cult of Re eclipsed it. The next pyramid builders were his son and grandson who added 'Re' to their names - Khafra and Menkaura. Khnum was possibly even a predynastic god. The Egyptians believed that he was the guardian of the source of the Nile who was originally a Nile god, but who became a helper of Hapi. His role changed from river god to the one who made sure that the right amount of silt was released into the water during the inundation. In working with the silt, the very soil that the ancient Egyptian potters used, he became the great potter who not only molded men and women, but who molded the gods themselves and the world.
He was depicted as a ram, ram-headed man or as a full male with the horns of a ram who wears a plumed white crown of Upper Egypt. In early times he was shown as the first domesticated ram, the Ovis longipes palaeoaegyptiacus, with long corkscrew horns growing horizontally outwards from his head. This species died out, though even so he was still depicted as that breed of sheep until much later in Egyptian history. Eventually he was shown as the Ovis platyra (the type of ram associated with Amun) with horns curving inward towards his face. Sometimes he was shown with four ram heads, aligning him with the sun god Re, the air god Shu, the earth god Geb and Osiris, lord of the dead. In his four headed form, he was known as Sheft-hat. The Egyptians believed that the ram was a very potent animal, and thus Khnum was linked to fertility.
Considered to be the ba of Re - this might be an Egyptian pun on the fact that the ram was also called ba - he helped Re travel through the underworld each night on the Solar Barque. In the pyramid texts (Utterance 300), the barque was referred to as the "Ikhet Barque which Khnum made", so not only did he defend the barque, but Khnum was thought to have created it as well. In this form he was often called Khnum-Ra and wears the sun disk of Re.
Originally a water god, Khnum was often pictured by the Egyptians as the source of the Nile. On temple walls, he was sometimes shown as holding a jar, with the precious water flowing out of it. He was also believed to be a guardian of the waters in the underworld. He is mentioned as a protective deity of the dead. Many heart scarabs have a similar versions of one of the spells from The Book of the Dead to protect the deceased against a negative judgement in the Halls of Ma'ati:
O my heart ...Do not stand up against me as a witness! Do not create opposition against me among the assessors!Do not tip the scales against me in the presence of the Keeper of the Balance!You are my soul which is in my body,The god Khnum who makes my limbs sound.When you go forth to the Hereafter,My name shall not stink to the courtiers who create people on his behalf.Do not tell lies about me in the presence of the Great God!
-- Heart scarab spell, translation by Thomas J. Logan
The ram-headed god was 'Lord of the Cataract' a god of the yearly inundation and the fertile black soil that came with the flood. Khnum was also seen as a fertility god because of his association with the fertile silt. Pottery was created out of the soil of the Nile, and it was believed that he created the first humans - and the gods - on his potter's wheel with this silt. In Iunyt (Esna) it was believed that it was he who molded the First Egg from which the sun hatched, and thus was a creator god who was 'Father of the Fathers of the Gods and Goddesses, Lord of Created Things from Himself, Maker of Heaven and Earth and the Duat and Water and the Mountains'.
The vast majority of the pottery was manufactured from either Nile silts or marl clays, the two primary raw materials used in Egyptian pottery making ... Marl clays and Nile silts were usually not used for the same pot types. For example, cooking pots, cups, platter bowls, ring stands, Tell el-Yehudiyah ware juglets, black and red polished juglets, beakers, and certain groups of jars were produced mostly from Nile silts ... platter bowls formed of marl clay were usually slipped red to provide the desired exterior look of a Nile silt; a carinated bowl manufactured from silt might be slipped white to resemble a marl clay.
-- Ethnicity, Pottery, and the Hyksos at Tell El-Maskhuta in the Egyptian Delta, Carol A. Redmount
The Famine Stele at Sehel island tells of a dream that Djoser supposedly had. Egypt had been going through a seven year drought and a temple had been built to Khnum in the hopes that the famine would end:
When I was asleep, my heart was in life and happiness. I found the god standing. I caused him pleasure by worshiping and adoring him. He made himself known to me and said: "I am Khnum, your creator, my arms are around you, to steady your body, to safeguard your limbs. I bestow on you ores with precious stones existing since antiquity that were not worked before to build temples, rebuild ruins, sculpt chapels for his master. I am master of creation. I have created myself, the great ocean which came into being in past times, according to whose pleasure the Nile rises. For I am the master who makes, I am he who makes himself exalted in Nun, who first came forth, Hapi who hurries at will; fashioner of everybody, guide of each man to their hour. I am Tatenen, father of Gods, the great Shu living on the shore. The two caves are in a trench below me. It is up to me to let loose the well. I know the Nile, urge him to the field, I urge him, life appears in every nose. As one urges to the field .......... I will make the Nile swell for you, without there being a year of lack and exhaustion in the whole land, so the plants will flourish, bending under their fruit. Renenutet is in all things everything will be brought forth by the million and everybody ...... in whose granary there had been dearth. The land of Egypt is beginning to stir again, the shores are shining wonderfully, and wealth and well-being dwell with them, as it had been before.
Then I awoke happy, my heart was decided and at ease. I decreed this order to the temple of my father Khnum. Royal sacrifice for Khnum-Re, lord of the cataract, first of Nubia, as reward for what you favour me with. I make you a gift of your western shore by the mountain of the dusk and your eastern shore by the mountain of dawn, from Elephantine to ...... with twelve auroras on the eastern and western shores, with the plants, with the harbours with the river and with every settlement on these auroras. -- Famine Stele at Sehel
As potter, he was thought to mould the body of a child, and it's ka before birth. He was called the 'Father of Fathers and the Mother of Mothers'. He was also the one who gave health to the child after it was born. In the story of Raddjedet's triplets, the birth related goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Meskhenet and Heqet disguised themselves as female musicians with Khnum as their porter. After each child was "rushed forth", the umbilical cord had been cut and the destiny had been pronounced, Khnum was the one who "gave health" to each child. So not only did Khnum create the child and its double, but he was thought to also give it health at birth.
Hatshepsut was one pharaoh who encouraged the belief that Khnum, at Amen's request, created her and her ka:
...Amen-Ra called for Khnum, the creator, the fashioner of the bodies of men.
"Fashion for me the body of my daughter and the body of her ka," said Amen-Ra, "A great queen shall I make of her, and honour and power shall be worthy of her dignity and glory."
"O Amen-Ra," answered Khnum, "It shall be done as you have said. The beauty of your daughter shall surpass that of the gods and shall be worthy of her dignity and glory."
So Khnum fashioned the body of Amen-Ra's daughter and the body of her ka, the two forms exactly alike and more beautiful than the daughters of men. He fashioned them of clay with the air of his potter's wheel and Heqet, goddess of birth, knelt by his side holding the sign of life towards the clay that the bodies of Hatshepsut and her ka might be filled with the breath of life.
-- Hatshepsut's Mortuary Temple
His cult was centered on the island of Abu (Elephantine) at Swentet (Aswan) where he had been worshiped since the Early Dynastic period. In the New Kingdom he was worshiped there as head of a triad with his wife Satet (a fertility goddess of the Nile and purifier of the dead) and daughter Anuket (a huntress goddess of the first cataract near Swentet, 'The Embracer'). There is a Greco-Roman temple for him at Iunyt (Esna) where he was given two consorts, Menhit (a lion headed war goddess, 'She Who Slaughters') and Nebtu (a local goddess of the oasis, 'The Guilded One') - one goddess became a form of the other - and a son called Hike (god of magic, 'He Who Activates the Ka'). He was also linked to the war-like creator goddess Neith at Iunyt (Esna). In Her-wer (Antinoe) he was thought to be the husband of Heqet, the frog goddess who gave the newly created being the breath of life before the child was placed to grow in the mother's womb.
Khnum was a ram god of the Nile, a god of silt, fertility and a potter god of creation. He was a god of the sun, a protector of the dead and protector of Re on the solar barque. This god was an ancient god, popular from early times through to the Greco-Roman period who was thought to have created the pharaoh's form and soul on his potters wheel. From a local god of the Nile to a deity connected with childbirth, Khnum was the 'Father of Fathers and the Mother of Mothers' of the pharaoh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Pyramid Found in Egypt: 4,300-Year-Old Queen's Tomb

Andrew Bossone in Cairofor National Geographic News
November 11, 2008
A new pyramid has been discovered deep beneath Egyptian sands, archaeologists announced today.
The 4,300-year-old monument is believed to be the tomb of Queen Sesheshet, the mother of Pharaoh Teti, the founder ancient Egypt's 6th dynasty.

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Once nearly five stories tall, the pyramid—or at least what remains of it—lay beneath 23 feet (7 meters) of sand.
The discovery is the third known subsidiary, or satellite, pyramid to the tomb of Teti. It's also the second pyramid found this year in Saqqara, an ancient royal burial complex near current-day Cairo.
(See "'Lost' Pyramid Found Buried in Egypt" [June 5, 2008].)
"I always say you never know what the sands of Egypt might hide," said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
"This might be the most complete subsidiary pyramid ever found at Saqqara," added Hawass, who is also a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)
Surprise in the Sand
Archaeologists also found remnants of a white limestone casing for the surviving, 16-foot-tall (5-meter-tall) pyramid base. The angle of the base helped them determine that the pyramid's walls stood at a 51-degree angle.
Based on that angle, the team determined that the pyramid was originally 46 feet (14 meters) tall and about 72 feet (22 meters) square at its base.
The researchers were somewhat surprised to find a pyramid at the Teti site, since they thought the area had been thoroughly searched. Archaeologists had already found subsidiary pyramids for Teti's two principal wives Iput I and Khuit, about a hundred years ago and in 1994, respectively.
Teams have been digging in the area for more than 20 years.

Tomb robbers, however, had known the pyramid was there—archaeologists found that a shaft had been created to allow access to Sesheshet's funerary chamber.
Due to those assumed tomb raids, archaeologists don't expect to find Sesheshet's mummy when they reach the burial chamber weeks from now. But they do anticipate finding inscriptions about the queen, whose name, perhaps coincidentally, evokes the goddess of history and writing, Seshat.
Mother Love
Starting from the 4th dynasty (2616 to 2494 B.C.), pharaohs often built pyramids for their wives and mothers.
"Mothers were revered in ancient Egypt," said Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, who was not involved in the discovery.
"Building pyramids for one's mother in her dead state … was fairly emphasized in the whole vision of kingship that the ancient Egyptians had," Ikram said.
"That was something that was instituted during [a pharaoh's] lifetime and was a very public way of expressing his debt to her, his connection to her, and her importance in Egypt politically and as a symbol for kingship."
Sesheshet's son Teti might have been more motivated than the average pharaoh to pay homage to his mother. Sesheshet had come from a powerful family and probably supported his ascendancy to the throne during turmoil at the end of the 5th dynasty.
"She's one of the important ladies at that time," said Hakim Haddad, general director of excavations in Egypt.
"At the end of the 5th dynasty and the beginning of the 6th dynasty, there was a conflict between two branches of the royal families."
The American University's Ikram added, "I assume Teti thought it would be a good plan to make his mother a pyramid."
Regardless of Teti's motivations, SCA director Hawass says the newfound pyramid is special because of its association with a female ruler.
"You can discover a tomb or a statue, but to discover a pyramid it makes you happy. And a pyramid of a queen—queens have magic."

"One hundred years ago they used to take sand and put it in unexcavated areas," Hawass said.
"The archaeologists in the past used this area as a location for the sand. No one could think there is anything here."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pyramids in Nigeria? A Civilization centrered on peace?

A few words from the "Spirit of Sankofa":
To discover that even in Nigeria pyramids were builded was bad our people knowledge of self expression has been waterdown and buried in the desert. This to me more than proves the point that Afrikan's were the original Pyramid were the Egyptians. Be sure to click the link to automatically go to the site where these precious pyramids can be viewed.

Nri KingdomThe Nri Kingdom (oldest kingdom in Nigeria) in the Awka area was founded in about 900 AD in Northern Igboland. It was a center of spirituality, learning, and commerce. They were agents of peace and harmony whose influence stretched beyond Igboland and their neighbours. The Nri people's influence in neighboring lands was especially in Southern Igalaland and Benin kingdom. As great travelers, they were also business people involved in the long distant Tran Saharan trade. Since they were against slaves and slavery, their power took a downturn when the slave trade was at its peak.
The Benin and Igala imperial slave raiding empires became the dominant influence in their relationship with Western and Northern Igbos.AgbajaAgbaja is an area located between Awka and Enugu in Northern Igboland. They are known for their iron work, pyramids, etc.

I dont have enough information on them yet. Look at these unheard of pyramids the Agbaja of Igboland built in the videos and pictures provided...Aro Confederacy:The Aro Confederacy was a large slave oligarchy centered in Arochukwu in Eastern Igboland. They formed in the mid 17nth century as agents of Ibini Ukpabi and slave businessmen. Their influence covered Southeastern Nigeria, Southern Igalaland, Western Niger Delta (Urhobo and Isoko areas) through exploiting their oracle Ibini Ukpabi for slave trade, alliance with their related warlike neighbors (Ohafia, Abam, Edda, Ezza, and other Cross River communities), and other business oligarchies like Awka and other towns. Another advantage was their location between the Igbo, Efik, and Ibibio. The Aro Confederacy's power ended in the mid 1800s.
The British officially ended the Aro Confederacy's economic power in the Anglo-Aro war in 1901-1902.OnitshaOnitsha is a town also located in Northern Igboland (west of Nri and Awka) and on the River Niger which formed in the 1500 by the Umu Eze Chima clan who were said to either be Benin immigrants, Igbos retreating from Bini conquest, or a Aro leader and his supporters. Either way the Onitsha kingdom like their Western Igbo neighbours who were said to have stoutly resisted the invading Binis but were highly influenced by the Benin empire's political organization. Onitsha kingdom became important during the slave trade and resisted Igala's lightining slave raids.

Look at the pictures and videos here:


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kerma - Black Africa's Oldest Civilization

Archaeologists in Sudan are unearthing one of the world’s oldest civilisations – an ancient kingdom which began to fourish 5,000 years ago, hundreds of miles to the south of ancient Egypt.
Top: Monumental stone decoration with sacred hippopotami from the entrance to a funerary temple at Kerma, 1600 B.C. Naturally mummified body of one of the archers whose job it was to protect Kerma 4,200 years ago. Above, clockwise from left: Excavated area showing post holes left by numerous huts built over several centuries some four millennia ago. In the background are the eroded remnants of ancient Kerma’s main temple built of mud brick around 2000 B.C. Six pots from Kerma 2000 B.C. Bucranias in front of a Kerma grave. Storage pits for wheat and barley from the very beginning of Kerma civilisation 3000 B.C.
Excavations – directed by Swiss archaeologists, Professor Charles Bonnet and Dr. Matthieu Honegger – have been revealing a royal palace, temples, extraordinary tombs and a massive ancient city on the banks of the Nile in Northern Sudan. Academics have been speculating over whether this long-lost civilisation may have been the precursor of the famous biblical Kingdom of Kush, which was alluded to in the Book of Genesis.
As a direct result of these and other excavations, Sudan is emerging as one of the most significant archaeological regions in the world. Due to the country’s superbly preserved archaeology, it has yielded evidence of early cattle domestication that pre-dates any in Egypt’s Nile Valley. What’s more, the earliest Sudanese civilisation – known as Ta-Sety (“the Land of the Archers’ Bow”) to the ancient Egyptians and Kerma to modern archaeologists – is the most ancient African urban culture outside the Land of the Pharaohs. It flourished as a totally independent political entity for at least 15 centuries – until finally, around 1500 B.C., it was conquered by the Pharaohs of Egypt.
This ancient Sudanese civilisation appears to have been ruled by a series of extraordinarily powerful kings – perhaps even emperors. Several of the royal tombs were spectacular man-made hills, 30 metres wide and up to 15 metres high. To underline their power in this life (and the next), the rulers of Kerma seem to have had the unsettling habit of taking all their retainers and many of their relatives with them to the afterlife! One tomb held 400 skeletons. Even before these kings began taking human escorts with them to eternity, their funerals had still been massive ritual events in which their imperial power over vast areas of territory was symbolically demonstrated. Indeed, excavations and subsequent scientific investigations over the last few years have revealed that some of the kings had themselves buried alongside the remains of literally thousands of cattle. In front of one royal grave, the king’s retainers had sacrificed 4,500 of the animals – arranging their skulls in a huge, horn-shaped crescent in front of the tomb. But of greatest significance was the chemical analysis of the horns, which revealed that the cattle had been reared in different environments and been brought to the funeral from the length and breadth of the kingdom.What’s clear is that Kerma’s civilisation emerged out of an ancient pastoral culture that had flourished in that part of Sudan since at least 7000 B.C. when the first settlements were established. Nearby Kerma archaeologists have discovered one of the two oldest cemeteries ever found in Africa – dating back to 7500 B.C. – and the oldest evidence of cattle domestication ever found in Sudan or, indeed, in the Egyptian Nile Valley. Around 3000 BC a town grew up not far from the Neolithic dwellings place.
The economic basis of both of the pre-urban and urban cultures of ancient Kerma was cattle. The people themselves seem to have come from two distinct areas and may originally have belonged to two tribal groups. Excavations last winter revealed how, for the first 100 years of Kerma’s existence, these two peoples continued to preserve their distinct cultural traditions while living in the same city. Although the distinctions may have been tribal in origin, they also reflected differences in wealth and possibly social status. Kerma was an extraordinarily prosperous empire. It was an advanced Black African state which established itself very successfully as a middle-man between sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt. It therefore supplied ancient Egypt with