Positive Progress Through The Benevolent Use Of Knowledge

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The New Age Pyramid

The Old Granary
Philip Coppens

“The New Pyramid Age” established that across the world, the pyramid shape came with its specific pyramid mythology, which in the book was linked with a “new age”, in which the fires of the previous era were put out, and new fires lit. This “new fire” ceremony normally involved the king or tribal leader performing various rituals that united this world with the “afterworld”, as well as proving his fitness to rule.


It was outside the scope of the book to query where this “pyramid template” developed from, though we did note that because of its worldwide nature, it would likely date back to the earliest origins of Mankind.
Despite not including it in the book, there are clear indications that the “pyramid template” developed from tribal shamanic lore. And for that, we turn to the Dogon and their creation mythology. Anthropologists Marcel Griaule’s visits and experiences with the Dogon were at the basis of Robert Temple’s “The Sirius Mystery” and its speculation that the Dogon possessed knowledge that was outside the “normal realm” of this Mali tribe, specifically focusing on the existence of a companion star to Sirius, namely Sirius B. But amidst all this – often unfounded – speculation, perhaps a more important lesson from the Dogon was missed: a likely explanation of how the concept of the pyramid was born, and what it represented.

In Griaule’s “Conversations with Ogotemmeli”, Griaule recounts his discussions with this Dogon elder, who was selected to explain to the anthropologist the world view of the Dogon. During a series of discussions, Ogotemmeli tackled the tribe’s creation myth, stating that the unformed universe was the Creator God Amma’s egg, and had known two creations: one visible, one invisible. As with the Egyptian creator deity Atum, the initial act was one of self-creation, with Amma forming a perfect twin, which the Dogon call the Nummo or Nommo.
As the complex story of creation unfolds, eight ancestors, who lived eternally, are introduced into the narrative. At one point, these ancestor deities saw the Earth, whereby Nummo decided he would try to redeem Mankind. All were concerned about the effect of contact between spiritual beings and ordinary beings; the consequences, it seems, were hard if not impossible to predict. Hence, the eight ancestors were taken to heaven with the Nummo to learn the skills of civilisation. Later, each was given one of the eight grains of heaven, with which they returned to live with men, civilising them. They thus became the “civilising deities”, the Dogon equivalent of the Apkallu, or Seven Sages.
Indeed, this legend has the same ingredients as many other legends – whether in surrounding African cultures, or further afield. And the story of the civilising deities that descended from heaven was, of course, the primary breeding ground for the Dogon ancient astronaut theory, which was argued in “The Sirius Mystery”.

Rather than speak of extraterrestrial beings amongst men, Ogotemmeli’s narration of Amma’s cult provided an insight into a shamanic, tribal expression of “the pyramid template”. One aspect of this creation myth speaks of “the granary”, a term that also lay at the foundation of another classic on ancient mythology, Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend’s “Hamlet’s Mill”.
“When the first ancestor came down from heaven, he was standing on a square piece of heaven shaped like the first granary. The first granary was shaped like a woven basket turned upside down. It was round at the bottom, square and flat at the top, with stairways with ten steps up the middle of each of the four sides, which faced the cardinal points. The door of the granary was a sixth step of the north side.”
Inside, there were eight chambers, divided over two levels of four chambers each. The compartments met in a cup-shaped depression in the earth, large enough to hold a round jar, which was seen as the centre of the whole construction. It was said that the granary, like the Earth, represented a woman lying on her back with her arms and legs spread – the jar symbolised her womb.

There are clear references to a pyramid here, whereby the ground plan is not yet square, but circular. Despite this non-conformance to the eventual “pyramid template”, all the ingredients of this template are nevertheless present.
Furthermore, in the Dogon mythology, the granary (or proto-pyramid) was already linked to astronomy. Ogotemmeli explained how the round base represented the sun. The square roof represented the sky. A circle in the centre of the roof represented the moon. The rise of each step was male; the tread was female. The combined total of forty steps represented the eighty offspring of the eight ancestors. Furthermore, the northern staircase, was linked with the Pleiades, men and fish; the southern staircase with Orion’s Belt, and domesticated animals; the eastern, with Venus and birds; the western, with the long-tailed star and animals, vegetables and insects.

The reference to the pyramid as a granary should also shed new light on what is related in the popular biblical story of Joseph, in which the pyramids are sometimes taken to be the granaries he built. The man responsible for launching this “theory” was Benjamin of Toledo, who was of the opinion that the Pharaoh had stored a great quantity of wheat inside, in case of famine. Though he was wrong in the literal sense, mythologically speaking, he may not have been far off the mark – and more on the mark than some more “scientific” theories.

The Dogon granary thus represented the new system of the world, the symbol of a new age. This concept of a “new age” is also at the core of the “pyramid template”. And it is where the connection with the pyramid template is confirmed, for with the Dogon, there are also specific references to “the New Fire Ceremony”.
Assembled on the flat roof of the granary were the tools of a forge: the hammer, the anvil, etc. It was said that there would be no grain to store without the fire of the smithy. Hence, we can wonder whether the Greek name “pyramid”, and its specific reference to fire, is another reminder of the symbolic meaning of the pyramid. Some of the early “pyramid experts” may have, by labelling them Houses of Fire or Granaries, known more than we would assume. And rather than be “historically wrong”, they may have been “mythologically right”.

The specific creation myth that Ogotemmeli related was the creation of the Third World – ours. It spoke of a celestial society that was heading for disorder (similar to the biblical Fall). The new generation of Nummo proceeded to break the paradigm and thereby overthrew their destiny.
God had given the eight ancestors a collection of eight different grains intended for their food. Of the eight, the last grain was Digitaria, which had been publicly rejected by the fist ancestor when it was given to him, on the pretext that it was so small and so difficult to prepare. There came, however, a period when all the grains had been nearly exhausted except the last. (Should we see references here to a great famine, such as those involving the biblical Joseph?) When they ate that food, despite having taken oaths not to, it was the confirmation of the breach of the order – similar to the eating of the apple of the biblical story of the Garden of Eden. The two ancestors became unclean – Adam and Eve fell.
They therefore had to quit the heavenly region, as they were unclean, and the other ancestors decided to join them. The first ancestor too began to make preparations for his own departure – perhaps references to that biblical archangel Lucifer?

Some anthropologists have argued that sections of the Dogon mythology are a collection of various mythologies, and that some aspects were influenced by Griaule himself. Which specific details stem from where, is hard to identify, more than half a century after they were recorded. Furthermore, mythology constantly evolves, and adapts. But at its core, it retains a basic message, which is universal and everlasting; it is why the story of Jesus overlaps with that of Osiris and Odin, and other deities, as well as modern oeuvres such as the character Neo in the film The Matrix, or Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.

What the “pyramid template” is able to offer, is a common framework that explains why pyramids were constructed and for what they were used. What the Dogon creation myth is able to show, is that this pyramid template did not develop out of nothing, but was itself a “new phase” in an older design, which nevertheless contained the same basic ingredients. The “old granary” was a pyramid for those cultures who had not yet, or would never make, the step into a Pyramid Age.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kemetic Children of the Sun: Afrikan King T'ang of China

Kemetic Sankofa writes......

King T'ang is the oldest documented ruler of China. African descent.

-"Kemetic Chilren Of The Sun"-
It appears that the entire continent of Asia was originally the home of many black races. They were the pioneers of in establishing, the civilization that has flourished through-out this vast region.
Reports of major kingdoms ruled by blacks are frequent in chinese documents.
The Anu are the same people who occupied Egypt thousands of years. It is recorded to have large migrations to the Asian continent. Taking thousands of years of Afro-Egyptian knowledge and influence.
Em- Hotep*
Know Thyself

The first dynasty founded by King Tang or Ta, the earliest documented rulers of China was the Shang (or Chiang) Dynasty. (1500 - 1000 BCE) This dynasty was credited with bringing together the elements of China's earliest civilisation. Shang was given the name Nakhi (Na- black, Khi- man).

Under this black dynasty, the black Chinese established the basic forms of graceful calligraphy that has lasted to the present day. The first Chinese Emperor, the legendary Fu-Hsi (2953 - 2838 BC) was a woolly haired black man. He and his African brothers and sisters are credited with establishing a government originating from, social, cultural, institutions and scientific technological inventions. 2300 BCE, An African King rules Mesopotamia, King Patesi of Lagash, more generally known as Gudea.

There is strong evidence to suggest that there is an African element in the Japanese population, particularly the population of south Japan. The African element in Japan is clearly recognisable by certain inhabitants with dark and often blackish skin, wide flat nose and frizzy to curly hair. African racial type skulls have been found in the island of Formosa and traces of this African element in the island of Liu-Kiu to the south of Japan, Les-Negritos Dela Chine. Batchelor points out, in his book Ainu Lite and Core, that 'the oldest known inhabitants of Japan are the 'Ainus'.

Significant too, is the fact that Ainu traditions tell of a race of dwarfs or Koropokquiri, inhabited Japan before the coming of the Ainu. The original Ainu are black people, and their beliefs and rituals correspond to those of ancient Egypt (Book sign and symbols or primordial man). There is mention of black military commander Sakanouya Tamuramaro, in the very early stages of Japanese history. (Runoko Rashidi, 'Presence in Asian Antiquity, Nile Valley Civilisation. According to a Japanese proverb: 'For a Samurai to be brave, he must have a bit of black blood: Cheikh Anti Diop 'Origin of Civilisation' (Myth of Reality).

In year 2004 AD, scientists have found skeletons of a hobbit-like species of human that grew no larger than a three-year-old modern child. The tiny humans, who had skulls about the size of grapefruits, lived with pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons on a remote island in Indonesia 18,000 years ago.

Australian and Indonesian researchers discovered bones of the miniature humans in a cave on Flores, an island east of Bali and midway between Asia and Australia.Scientists have determined that the first skeleton they found belongs to a species of human completely new to science. Named Homo floresiensis, after the island on which it was found. Are the Koropokquiri The Hobbit Homo Floresiesis?

Know Thyself
Kemetic Children Of The Sun*

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Queens of Africa

Spirit of Sankofa writes........

This is one of the rare opportunities to post information not commonly known.
Often times, when we hear of queens of Africa, only a few comes to mind. Cleopatra, Nefertiti, Hatshephat and maybe Nefartari.
Their bloodline was important to show their right to heritage. Which is a matter of importance to any culture of people today.
Know Thyself

The First Queens

Predynastic Period: No name known.

1st Dynasty: Nithotep, Bener-ib, Herneith, Merneith, Betrest.

2nd Dynasty: Nemaathap.

These names to us are not more than names indicating that once there was a woman behind it. Nothing of their personal life or belongings, except for Merneith, has come down to us, an no knowledge is availabe of how they lived, how their station i life was carried out, how many children they had or how long they lived. In most cases not even their tombs are left. Yet we know that they were of some importance as wifes to kings and rather likely they were also mothers to kings. Already at this early period, the bloodline was important to show the right to heritage of the kingship and descent on the female side was what counted. The naming of the Royal Mothers have helped to throw some light over the first dynasties though when it comes to individual lifes we are left to speculations, perhaps with the background knowledge from later periods of woman and her conditions in ancient Egypt.

1st Dynasty:

Nithotep (Neithotep)
This is the name of the wife of King Aha or Narmer. Once a lady of importance - perhaps the first queen of a united Egypt to ever have come down through history. The name Nithotep is spelled in various ways: NeithHotep, N-th-t-p, Nithetep - all of them indicating Nit as the aim of the devotions.

Her tomb, originally thought to belong to the mythical Menes, but later acknowledged as belonging to the mother of Aha, was found at Naqada. There has been some speculations if she was from Lower Egypt, as indicated by the name, Nit being a deity from there, and married Narmer for political reasons. Nothing has been found to support this theory. As she most likely buried at Naqada, it might be that she originated from there and that Narmer married her to secure an alliance with this important location in Upper Egypt.

All we know of this lady is that on the Cairo Annals Stone*, she is said to be the mother of Djer.

The form of the name Bener-ib is somewhat uncertain but a fragment of ivory from a box links her with King Aha, the first king of the 1st Dynasty, c 3100 BC. That is all we know about her.

Herneith stands out a little due to her immense tomb at Saqqara, which show some special architectural features. Also, differing from other royal and noble burials at this period, there were no sacrificial burials alongside of her. Only her dog was found lying across the threshold. It was of the same breed which later in history followed kings and leaders of Egypt. Herneith is believed to have been the wife of King Djer, c3000 BC.

Nakhtneith is only known form a stela from the funerary complex of Djer at Umm-el-Qaab.

MerNeith - First Female Ruler?

Queen MeritNit deserves a bit of attention. The spelling of her name varies; MerytNeith, MerNeith. She must have been a significant woman in Dynasty 1, c 2950 b.c., as she was given a funerary structure at the Royal funerary enclosure at Abedjou as well as funerary monument at Sakkara. She is also the very first woman in the history of ancient Egypt recorded as regent.

MeritNit or MerNeith, meaning Beloved of Nit , (Gr: Neith) was probably, though not proven, daughter to King Djer, the second king of the 1st Dynasty. She was also the Great Royal Wife ( that is queen, though that word does not exist in ancient Egyptian) of King Djet and the mother of King Den.

After the death of Djet, whose rule seems to have been short, it is believed that MeritNit reigned for a period while her son Den was too young.

The tomb of MeritNit was first excavated by William Petrie in 1900, who believed he had found the tomb of a king. Two large funerary stelae with the name of MeritNit (MerNeith) in raised relief, though not within a serekh were found nearby, and its structure corresponded to the other royal tombs in the enclosure. It consisted of a central burial chamber surrounded by eight store rooms. Around this structure over 40 subsidiary tombs were found. Many of those buried there seem to have been in her service, due to the content. Her shipmaker, her vasemaker and her artists were among those found here.

Though her name was first thought to be that of a king´s, it was later found engraved on a clay sealing in the tomb of Den as "King´s Mother MerNeit" (MwtNiswt). The seal states the kings from Narmer to Den and confirmes her status. It is somehow uncertain if she ruled in actual fact, since her name is not found on another clay seal listing of early rulers, which was found in the tomb of Qa´a, who reigned several kings later. The King´s Mother was an important position already in this early period, and brought a great deal of influence.

It was customary for the early dynastic rulers to have two funerary monuments, one for the actual tomb, the other one functioning as a cenotaph. MeritNit is sofar the only woman to have been commemorated in this way. At her funerary monument at Saqqara there were burials of various craftsmen intended to work for her in the Afterlife, as well as a solar boat to enable her to travel with the Sungod in the Afterlife. This last was normally exclusively the right of the King and it indicates that she may very well have been a regent or co-regent. At the least, she must have been a very influential and powerful woman.

Apart from this, evidence of MeritNit outside of Abydos is scarce except for at Saqqara. One explanation for this could be that all documents from her period of regency bore the name of the king, which in this case was her young son, Den. But there exists an unprovenanced alabaster cylinder vessel with her name in relief, and one small ivory vessel from Saqqara, also bearing her name. From same area are also three other named vessel fragments. Her name, MeritNit, meaning Beloved of Nit, indicates that she must have had some power in Lower Egypt, where the cult center of Nit was located at Sais. Here Nit was a deity of great importance ever since Predynastic times, with a dominant influence at court since several royal names from these periods are formed in combination with the deity´s.

Another name which is uncertain, though she is thought to have been the wife of King Anedjib, c 2925 BC., the next to last king of the 1st Dynasty, and the mother of King Semerkhet, with whom the 1st Dynasty ended.

Her names is on a stela from a tomb in the funerary complex of Den at Umm-el-Qaab.

Same thing here, Semat is only known from a stela in a tomb at the funerary complex of Den at Umm-el-Qaab.

Same thing again, known from a stela in a tomb at the funerary complex of Den at Umm-el-Qaab.

Batirytes is named on the Cairo Annals Stone as the mother of king Semerkhet.

2nd Dynasty: Nemaathap

Nemaathap is thought to be both the daughter and the wife of Khasekhemwy, c. 2686 BC. as she is named on several sealings from his funerary complex at Abydos and also from a tomb at Beit Khallaf. Titled 'Mother of the King´s Children', she was the mother of Djoser Netjerikhet in the 3rd Dynasty. A cult in her honor was still maintained during Sneferu and was referred to in the tomb of Metjen at Saqqara.

Cairo Annals Stone: Belongs to the collection of inscribed, stone fragments known as the royal annals and which is divided between museums in Palermo, Cairo and London.

Sources: Early Dynastic Egypt - Toby A.H. Wilkinson
Chronicles of The Pharaohs - Peter A. Clayton
Daughters of Isis - Joyce Tyldesley
Who´s Who in Ancient Egypt - Michael Rice
Aegypten, die Welt der Pharaonen - Stephan Seidlmeyer (article)

Historic Overview

This site is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kemetic Artistry Egyptian Art & Jewelry

Spirit of Sankofa writes......

Kemetic Artistry - in jewelery and wall paintings, shows us that the color of Black isn't dark or dismal. Nor does it represent death, witch craft or is it evil.
On the contrary, Black carried the cannotation of "fertility" (rebirth) as well as "Regeneration".
In Kemetic Culture the ancient Egyptians viewed, Osiris as...."The Black One". In ancient KMT they would line graves with the color black in hopes to evoke Osiris regenerating qualities.
The color of a painting or wall drawing had great significance. In many cases it had a message behind it's artistry.
Many wall painting of Ancient Kemet clearly show the darkness of the skin of the Khemet people.

There is much more to find,
When we keep our nose to the grind!
Keep in search of truth!

Em-hotep= Welcome in Peace

Color in Egyptian Art and Jewelry

The Egyptians considered the color of an object to be an integral part of its nature or being. The word iwen was used to signify the concept of color, and could also mean external appearance, nature, being, character, or even disposition.

Not every color and variation has symbolic significance of course. When groups of objects were being depicted, colors were varied to distinguish one object from another. So rows of people or chariot horses may be alternated as light and dark. And color was often enjoyed for its own sake.

Names and uses of colors

Old Egyptian had four basic color terms:

km , or black, hence, Kmt, or "Black Land". The color black carried connotations of fertility and regeneration, and was also the color of the underworld, where the sun regenerated every night. The god Osiris , king of the Underworld, was sometimes referred to as kmj, "the black one." Black stones were used in statuary, and black backgrounds used in some coffins, to evoke those regenerative qualities of Osiris and the Underworld.

khdj , or white, was also used from prehistoric times. Chalk and gypsum provided the white pigment used.

White was associated with cleanliness, ritual purity and sacredness and so, was the color of the clothes worn by ritual priests. The Instructions of Merikare speaks of service as a priest in terms of the wearing of white sandals. The floors of temples were made of white calcite. White alabaster was used to make ritual objects such as small bowls to the massive embalming table of the Apis bulls mummification. Many sacred animals such as the Great White baboon were also of that color.

Khdj also meant the metal "silver" and could incorporate the notion of "light": for example, in some texts, the sun was said to "whiten" the land at dawn. White was also used to denote the metal silver, and with gold, then symbolized the moon and sun.

W3d , where the "3" actually stands for the "a" that is not our letter A, had its focus in "green", as the term for the mineral malachite. The color green was symbolic of growing things and of life itself. To do "green things" was a euphemism for positive life-producing behavior in contrast to doing "red things."

The hieroglyph that represented w3d was a green papyrus stem and frond, carrying connotations of fresh vegetation and vigor and regeneration. Osiris was often shown with green skin to signify his resurrection, and in the 26 th dynasty , coffin faces were often painted green to identify the deceased with Osiris and to guarantee rebirth. Chapters 159 and 160 of the Book of the Dead give instructions for making an amulet of green feldspar, (though a variety of materials, ranging in color from green to blue, were used) The common amulet of the "Eye of Horus" or the Wedjat is usually green because of the connotations as an expression of the aspects of healing and well-being. Wadjet was the green one, the protective serpent goddess of Lower Egypt (though the color of that royal crown was red.)

Turquoise, or mfk3t, was the most valued of the green stones. Mined in Sinai , it was connected to the deity Hathor , who was called Lady of Turquoise, and as well as to the sun at dawn, whose rays and disk were described as turquoise, and whose rising was said to flood the land with turquoise. Thus, turquoise was also associated with rebirth, and faience figurines in this color were often used in funerary equipment.

Although blue pigment appears on paintings, the Egyptian language had no basic color term in Old Egyptian for "blue." Blue, or irtiu and khshdj , could represent the heavens as well as the primeval flood, and in both it functioned as a symbol of life and rebirth. Blue could also represent the Nile and its offerings, crops and fertility. The phoenix, or benu-heron , an ancient symbol of the inundation, was often painted in bright blue (the actual bird had light gray-blue plumage.) The sacred baboon was also depicted as being blue.

Blue pigment was introduced at about 2550 BCE, based on grinding lapis lazuli, a deep blue stone flecked with golden impurities. Lapis lazuli was the blue stone that figures prominently in much jewelry, but could only be acquired by import. It was called khshdj , and the term was extended to also mean blue. The stone and the color were associated with the night sky and the primordial waters. The rising sun was sometimes called the "child of lapis lazuli."

Blue pigment could also was manufactured by combining oxides of copper and iron with silica and calcium.

dshr , meant "red", hence, "Deshret", the "Red Land", the name given to the desert areas on each side of the fertile Nile Valley. Red pigments were derived from naturally occurring oxidized iron and red ocher.

Red was considered a very potent color, hot and dangerous, but also life-giving and protective. It is both the color of blood, relating to life ad death, and of fire, which could be beneficial or destructive. Expressions such as dshr ib , "red of heart" or "furious" are formed from this basic word.

Red is also a color given to the sun, red at its rising and its setting. In papyrus texts, red pigments or "rubrics" were often used to emphasize headings, but also used to write the names of dangerous entities and unlucky days.

Royal statuary was often made of rose or golden quartzite and red granite, which were used to invoke the regenerative properties of the solar cycle and the connection between the kingship and the sun. The obelisk of Senussret at Heliopolis was made of red granite.

khenet , or yellow, was symbolic of all that is eternal and imperishable. Anubis , often shown with black skin as a jackal, when depicted as a jackal-headed human male, had a black head with gold limbs and torso.

The color yellow was often associated with the sun disk and with gold, or nbw . Gold was not only associated with the sun, it was also the flesh of the gods, and the divine snake in the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor was also gold.

Color in Art

In paintings deities were not often colored to indicate gold flesh. Most male deities were represented with reddish-brown skin, and female with yellow skin. But other colors, as green and blue were indicated above for Osiris, were used. The fertility deities Min and Amun-Re-Kamutef were shown with black skin. Amun-Re was depicted as blue-skinned from the 18 th Dynasty onward, emphasizing his status at that time as king of the gods. The jackal that represented Anubis and Wepwawet was colored black, although most jackals were actually sandy-colored, to signify their funerary role and connection with the underworld.

Kings were often shown painted in different contexts with different colored skin. For example, the eleventh dynasty king Nebhepetre Montuhotep I was shown regularly with reddish-brown skin at his mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri . But one statue found ritually buried shows him with black skin to symbolize his renewal in the afterlife. In addition, some faces on nonroyal coffins during some periods were also painted black for the same reason. But the most common color for coffin faces, apart from natural red for males and yellow for females, was gold, linking the deceased with the sun god and showing the deceased successfully transformed into a divine being.

Certain colors were often set side by side as well, to signify completeness. For example, red and white, or its alternate hue yellow, find completion together in the colors of man and woman, and the red and white crowns. Green and black are also often used in the same way as the symbolic opposites of life and death.

Some colors were interchangeable. While hair was often shown as black, it was sometimes depicted as blue for the gods. However, they too could also be shown with black hair. The converse could also be true, as illustrated in the example where the god Anubis is shown as blue, as is the mummy. In the pectoral of Tut , Ptah is shown with black hair, the Blue Crown is colored black. In the same way, light blue and green could be interchanged. In that Tut pectoral, the god Ptah, often shown with green skin, is shown here as light-blue skinned.

The heavens may be colored black, though blue is more commonly used. Yellow gold, the color of sun and stars, could also represent the heavens, though its use for such is relatively rare. Black also represented Egypt itself, the fertile Nile soil, but the color green also signified earth as opposed to heaven or the sea.

Horemheb and Ramesses I both used a blue-gray background on the walls of their tombs, perhaps to represent the entrance of the deceased King into the underworld or the heavens. Since the underworld was described in some texts as the field of malachite (a green stone) green could also represent the underworld as well.

Earlier it was stated that male figures, whether divine or human, were given reddish-brown skin tones. Women were given yellow-gold skin tones. A poem from the Papyrus Chester Beatty I describes a female object of affection with "bright skin," arms more "brilliant than gold," and "white-breasted."

Since Egypt included people close to the Mediterranean as well as to sub-Sahara, its people showed many skin tones. But the men of Egypt had to be distinguished from non-Egyptians, from foreigners. Foreign peoples of different races were given appropriate skin colors by stylized characterizations. While Nubians and Kushite kings living to the south of Egypt were depicted as black in contrast to the red-brown skin hues of the Egyptian male, Libyans, Bedouin, Syrians and Hittites, living to the north, west, and closer to the Mediterranean were all shown with light yellow skin, as well as distinctive clothing and hair-styles.

Color in Hieroglyphics

Hieroglyphics illustrate the dual use of color, one, where objects are given the same hue they have in nature, and two, where objects are assigned colors to which they are symbolically linked. Each glyph had its own color or combination, which was faithfully kept whenever multiple colors were used. Sometimes difference in color was used to distinguish between two otherwise identical signs. Color was omitted in everyday writing, in order to save time or expense, but it was nevertheless viewed as a very real part of a complete sign.

Where the signs were not painted black or red, each sign received its own basic color or combination of colors. The colors assigned to the various signs are in most cases simply the colors of the objects themselves. So signs for leg, arm, hand, mouth, or other body parts, were usually in red, whereas reeds and other plants were green, water was blue, etc. Other objects had more symbolic coloration, for example, metal butcher knife was red, the sickle was green, and the bread loaf was blue.

The Painter’s Work

The paintings extant in the beautiful tomb of Nefertari are excellent examples of the symbolic and practical uses of color. After the outlines of the scenes were completed, color was applied with coarse brushes made from bundles of palm fibers, or pieces of fibrous wood chewed or beaten at one end.

Dry pigments were prepared by crushing various substances in a mortar or on a grinding palette with a stone pestle. These were then mixed with a water-soluble gum or egg white to bind them. Intermediate shades were derived by laying one pigment over another.

Many of the reliefs seen today in museums and even on the temple and tomb walls in Egypt itself have little of the tints originally placed upon them. But conservation is underway, and hopefully, as with Nefertari ’s tomb , the vibrancy of the Artist’s craft, part of the soul of ancient Egypt, will return.


From Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art by Richard Wilkinson
From Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt

To learn about the earliest civilization is to learn about ourselves.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HISTORY OF EASTER-when and how did easter begin?

Spirit of Sankofa writes...........

During this time of season, I oftened wondered if many fully understand the true origins of Easter. Also, the main reason why the egg as well as rabbits were incorporated as far as the day is celebrated. This day is celebrates the easter goddes at the spring equinox. (The goddess of spring). To describe what she represents are; the east, resurrection and rebirth.
The celebration alone would be labeled by the western world as pagan. The offering to the goddess was given during the vernal equinox. The ancient egyptians and other cultures, would take painted eggs, and place them at the grave site. This was a sign of rebirth.



When And How Did Easter Begin?

Whether you believe it or not Easter in the beginning was a pagan festival. During the spring, the Saxons celebrated the return of spring with a festival in which they commemorated their goddess of offspring of the springtime. This goddess was known as Ostara or Eostre. She was the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the East, Resurrection, and Rebirth. Our modern day Easter is derived from the name of Eostre and the celebrations that we join in are also associated with this pagan festival.

The Anglo-Saxons during the festival offered colored eggs to her at what was called the Vernal Equinox. They placed these multi-colored eggs at graves the Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites. This was a sign of re-birth. Through legends, the name of both Goddesses Ostara and Eostre played a part in the Easter that we know today. Eostre was said to have been a playful goddess that would rule over the earth beginning when the Sun King traveled across the sky in chariot marking the end of winter. Ostara came to earth after the Sun King rode and appeared as a beautiful maiden that carried with her a basket of colorful eggs. Ostara had a magical companion. A white rabbit that traveled with her to bring life back to dying plants and flowers and hiding colorful eggs in the fields.

There is one myth centered on Ostara that proclaims that she found a bird that was dying of the cold weather and she changed the bird into a rabbit so it would stay warm. Legend has it this is where the Easter bunny originated, but it also could have been from the magical companion of Ostara that traveled with her on her journey to bring life back to the earth.
When the Christian missionaries encountered the various tribes with their own beliefs and attempted to convert them to Christianity, they did so in a manner not to disturb their celebrations. If the Christians had tried to stop all pagan celebrations, it would have been certain death. To spread their Christian beliefs, they decided to allow them to celebrate their pagan festival in a somewhat Christian manner. Since, their pagan spring festival was during the same time that the Christians observed the Resurrection of Christ; it was easier to change this into a Christian celebration. The people were won over through time and endurance.
Easter, prior to A.D. 325 was celebrated on different days of the week. However, during the year of 325 AD, the council of the Nicaea issued the Easter Rule, which proclaims that Easter will be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon or after the vernal equinox. In essence, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Easter was not celebrated in America until after the Civil War.

Keep The Third Eye Clear*

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Star's That Know No Rest - Ancient Egypt Astrology

Spirit of Sankofa writes........
In order to fully decipher the mindset of ancient Egyptians is to look towards the Stars, the Universal perpective of the Ancients.
In this lies the hidden things, that the world at large get twisted some how. For the most part, the fact is, if one try's to understand a people by looking from western cultural or any other perpective, they will not gain who and what their true message or way of seeing the world with accuracy.
This knowledge will make clear to the reader that the Egyptian mindset was far beyond the stars. Ahead of their time or was the world behind them, so they had to resort to stealing their knowledge and taking credit for their achievements. Pretty much it seem the only way to get a boost in their libraries of science.
The ancients had a keen sense of the universe and the inhabitance that cover the galaxy.
ie. The pyramid were erected in relation to the star's.
Egyptian deities, are referred to the "star's that know no rest". Way before rome, europe or anywhere else knew there were planets. These "great thinkers" already were aware of Jupiter- Horus the moon-Horus the red. Mercury-Horus bull of the sky. Venus- the one who crosses or the god of the mourning. They were also the first to establish by use of merkhets.The division of north-south lines. Also theses intellectual giants, figured out the night time hours as stars crossed the sundial.
Know Thyself:
Astronomical worship

The Egyptian gods and goddesses were numerous and were pictured in many reliefs. Certain gods were seen in the constellations, and others were represented by actual astronomical bodies. The constellation Orion, for instance, represented Osiris, who was the god of death, rebirth, and the afterlife. The Milky Way represented the sky goddess Nut giving birth to the sun god Re. The stars in Egyptian mythology were represented by the goddess of writing, Seshat, whilst the Moon was either Thoth, the god of wisdom and writing, or Khons.

The horizon had great significance to the Egyptians, since it was here that the sun would both appear and disappear daily. The sun itself was represented by several gods, depending on its position within the sky. A rising morning sun was associated with Horus, the divine child of Osiris and Isis. The noon sun was Re because of its incredible strength. The evening sun became Atum, the creator god who lifted pharaohs from their tombs to the stars. The redness of the setting sun was considered to be the blood from the sun god as he "died" and became associated with Osiris, god of death and rebirth. In this way, night became to be associated with death, and the daytime with life or rebirth. This reflects the typical Egyptian idea of immortality.

Astronomy for use in daily life
The centre of Egyptian civilisation was the Nile. Flooding every year at the same time, it provided rich soil for agriculture. The Egyptian astronomers, who were actually priests, recognised that the flooding always occurred at the summer solstice, which also just happened to be when the bright star Sirius rose before the sun. By interpreting and using this information, the priests were subsequently able to predict the annual flooding, a skill which in turn rendered them considerable power. The year was divided into twelve 30 day months, followed by a five day feast period. Because the Egyptian calendar did not have leap years, it cycled through the seasons completely every 1460 years. The period that elapsed between these risings is known as the "sothic cycle" . Over ancient Egypt's history, the months completely rotated through the seasons at least twice due to this quarter day discrepancy.

Although the Egyptians knew of this quarter-day error, they still maintained their 365 day calendar for ceremonial reasons.

Many Egyptian buildings were built with an astronomical orientation. The temples and pyramids were constructed in relation to the stars, and in different towns throughout the country, buildings would have a different orientation based on the specific religion of the place. Temples were often built so that sunlight entered a room at only one precise time of the year.
Astronomy for use in dating
One of the hardest tasks of the modern Egyptologist is to attempt to tie together, in some sort of chronological order, the pieces of evidence from burials, tombs, temples, archaeological excavations and a range of other sources. The surviving records of observations of the "heliacal rising" of the dog star Sirius serve as the lynchpin of the Egyptian calendar and its essential link with Ancient Egyptian chronology as a whole.

The "Sothic rising" of Sirius coincided with the beginning of the solar year only once every 1456 - 1460 years ( because of precession of the equinoxes and proper motion of Sirius it was usually a few days earlier than the 1460 years that the ancients had predicted) . This rare event took place in AD 139 during the reign of the Roman emperor Antonius Pius, and was commemorated by the issue of a special coin at Alexandria. Earlier heliacal risings would have taken place in around 1321-1317 BC and 2781-2777 BC.

Relief showing the use of the "merkhet" to determine a true north-south line

Astrological terms and beliefs in ancient Egypt

Heliacal Rising

The term used to refer to the annual ten day period when Sirius the "dog star" would rise above the horizon at dawn.

Sopdet (Sirius)

The goddess Sopdet was the personification of the "dog star", known to the Greeks as Seirios (Sirius). Sopdet was the most important star to the Ancient Egyptians, and was known as a decon. Together with her husband Sah (Orion), and her son Soped, Sopdet formed part of a divine triad which paralleled that of Osiris, Isis and Horus.

Sah (Orion)

The god Sah was the personification of the constellation later known as Orion. Sah was described as "the glorious soul of Osiris" and formed a divine triad with the dog star Sopdet and their son Soped, god of the "eastern border".


The son of Sopdet and Sah, Soped was a hawk-god and personification of the eastern frontier of Egypt.

Imperishable Ones

Ancient Egyptian star-gods. Deities known as the "imperishable ones" personified the ever visible circumpolar stars in the north of the sky.


The Ancient Egyptians would divide night sky into 36 groups of star-gods or constellations. These groups were known as decons, and each specific decan rose above the horizon at dawn for a period of ten days every year. The brightest and most important of these was the dog star Sirius, otherwise known as the goddess Sopdet. The ceilings of many royal tombs depict the night sky as groups of star-gods or decons, moving across the sky in boats.

Star Clocks

The earliest detailed texts relating to astronomy are the "diagonal calendars" or star clocks. These were painted on the wooden coffin lids of the early Middle Kingdom, and also the Late Period. These calendars consisted of 36 columns which listed the 36 decons and detailed the rising period of each. This calendar system was flawed by its failure to take into account that the Egyptian year was always approximately six hours short. This would add up to a shortcoming of around ten days every 40 years.


From as early as the Middle Kingdom, the Egyptians recognised five of the planets: Jupiter ("Horus who limits two lands"), Mars ("Horus of the horizon", or "Horus the red"), Mercury (Sebegu, a god associated with Seth), Saturn ("Horus, bull of the sky") and Venus ("the one who crosses", or "god of the morning"). The Egyptians portrayed the planets as deities sailing across the heavens in barques, and they were known as the "stars that know no rest".


The belief that the stars could influence human destiny does not appear to have reached Egypt until the Ptolemaic period. By the 1st century AD the Babylonian zodiac had been adopted. This zodiac can be seen represented on the ceiling of the chapel of Osiris on the roof of the temple of Hathor at Dendera.


The "instrument of knowing" was a sighting tool made from the central rib of a palm leaf and was similar in function to an astrolobe. The merkhet was used for aligning the foundations of the pyramids and sun temples with the cardinal points, and was usually correct to within less than half a degree. It was developed around 600 BC. and uses a string with a weight on the end to accurately measure a straight vertical line, much like a plumb bob. A pair of merkhets were used to establish a north-south line by lining them up with the pole star. This allowed for the measurement of night-time hours as it measured when certain stars crossed a marked meridian on the sundial.

Pedj Shes

Literally meaning "the stretching of the cord", the Pedj Shes was a ceremony performed to work out the correct alignment for the building of temples and pyramids. It relied on the sightings of the constellations of Orion and Ursa Major (the great bear) and used the sighting instrument called a "merkhet" ("instrument of knowing").


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beauty of the Nile "UnMasked" Nefertiti hidden face

Spirit of Sankofa writes....

There is No denying the great history of africa's past. The most recent findings are, the stone corving of the statue differs from the external stucco face. It is a highly detailed sculpure of the queen. Nefertiti's bust became Egypt's Most valued treasured Artwork. A duplicate stone carving maybe the original some are sayinng. So8me changes were made to the sone replica yet, there are similarties.
If you have the time and means go see the exhibit.
CT scan reveals hidden face under Nefertiti bust

BERLIN (AP) — Researchers in Germany have used a modern medical procedure to uncover a secret within one of ancient Egypt's most treasured artworks — the bust of Nefertiti has two faces. A team led by Dr. Alexander Huppertz, director of the Imaging Science Institute at Berlin's Charite hospital and medical school, discovered a detailed stone carving that differs from the external stucco face when they performed a computed tomography, or CT, scan on the bust.

The findings, published Tuesday in the monthly journal Radiology, are the first to show that the stone core of the statue is a highly detailed sculpture of the queen, Huppertz said.

"Until we did this scan, how deep the stucco was and whether a second face was underneath it was unknown," he said. "The hypothesis was that the stone underneath was just a support."

The differences between the faces, though slight — creases at the corners of the mouth, a bump on the nose of the stone version — suggest to Huppertz that someone expressly ordered the adjustments between stone and stucco when royal sculptors immortalized the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten 3,300 years ago.

"Changes were made, but some of them are positive, others are negative," Huppertz said.

John H. Taylor, a curator for Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum in London, said the scan raises interesting questions about why the features were adjusted — but that answers will probably remain elusive.

"One could deduce that the final version was considered in some way more acceptable than the 'hidden' one, though caution is needed in attempting to explain the significance of these changes," Taylor wrote in an e-mail.

The bust underwent a similar CT scan in 1992. But the more primitive scanner used then only generated cross sections of the statue every 5 millimeters — not enough detail, Huppertz said, to reveal the subtlety of the carving hidden just 1-2 millimeters under the stucco.

Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust in 1912 and added it to Berlin's Egyptian collection on Museum Island, a cluster of five neoclassical art halls that make up one of the city's most familiar landmarks.

Currently on display at the Altes Museum, the bust will move next door when the Neues Museum reopens in October after a lengthy restoration by British architect David Chipperfield.

In 2007, Wildung denied a request from Egypt's antiquities chief to borrow the bust for an exhibition, saying it was too fragile to transport. Huppertz said the results of his scan added credence to that claim.

Taylor, the British Museum curator, said the better understanding of the bust's structure will also help preserve it.

"The findings are particularly significant for the information they shed on the constructional process and the subsurface condition of the bust, which will be of value in ensuring its long-term survival in good condition" Taylor said.

'Beauty of Nile' unmasked –
CT scan uncovers hidden face of Nefertiti

Photo 1 of 3

Click link to see pictures of the stone bust.