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Showing posts from January, 2011

Gebel Silsila

Gebel Silsila is the name given to a rocky gorge between Kom Ombo and Edfu where the River Nile narrows and high sandstone cliffs come right down to the water’s edge. There was probably a series of rapids here in ancient times, dangerous to navigate, which naturally formed a frontier between the regions of Elephantine (Aswan) and Edfu. In Pharaonic times the river here was known as Khennui, the ‘place of rowing’. On the West bank there is a tall column of rock which has been dubbed ‘The Capstan’ because of a local legend which claims there was once a chain (Silsila in Arabic) which ran from the East to the West Banks. Arthur Weigall in his ‘Antiquities of Egypt’ states that the name Silsileh, is a Roman corruption of the original Egyptian name for the town, Khol-Khol, meaning a barrier or frontier.
It is hardly surprising that by Dynasty XVIII, travellers had developed the custom of carving small shrines into the cliffs here, dedicating them to a variety of Nile gods and to th…

American Drugs in Egyptian Mummies

Offering pipes at Dendera: The following pictures are from Dendera and are described as 'offering's'.
The importance of these 'offerings' is evident in their presence, perhaps they were used as a means of communicating with the higher self... It is clear from the images that these 'offerings' were being inhaled, which opens a topic of conversation rarely covered in archaeological text books, namely that several Egyptian mummies have been found to contain traces of cocaine. The sanctity and importance of such a place as the temple of Hathor at Denderra suggests that this practice of inhaling such 'offerings' may have been an important part of the priesthood rituals. Although this by no means proves that this is what we are looking at here, we are offered a possibly valuable insight into the mind of the Egyptian priest…

the temple of Dendera

Ta-ynt-netert  means 'She of the Divine Pillar', or Tentyra (Greek for Dendera.) It was once the capital of the 6th Nome (Pharaonic province) of Upper Egypt, also named Nikentori or Nitentori, which signifies willow wood or willow earth. Others give the derivation from the sky and fertility goddess Hathor, also associated with the Greek Aphrodite, who was specially worshiped there. The crocodile is recognized as the deity of the city and was also venerated as such in the other Egyptian cities, which caused many quarrels, notably with Ombos

 To the right of the temple is the location of the sacred lake, in which trees presently grow.   There is a large cemetery from pharaonic times in the desert behind the temple.
Het-Hert's main temple at Dendera included

The Zodiac of DENDERA

it shows the stars and planets in the positions they would have been seen at that date. it is the only complete map that we have of an ancient sky"has been conjectured to represent the basis on which later astronomy systems were based. It is now on display at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

The vault of heaven is represented by a disc, held up by four women assisted by falcon-headed spirits. Thirty-six spirits or "decans" around the circumference symbolize the 360 days of the Egyptian year. The constellations shown inside the circle include the signs of the zodiac, most of which are represented almost as they are today. Aries, Taurus, Scorpio, and Capricorn, for example, are easily recognizable, whereas others correspond to a more Egyptian iconography: Aquarius is represented as Hapy, the god of the Nile flood, pouring water from two vases. The constellations of the northern sky, featured in the center, include the Great Bear (Ursa Major) in the form of a bull'…

Did the Ancient Egyptians understand electricity?

The Dendera Lightbulb  in the crypt of Dendera temple (crypts were used as storage space for cult statues, which were probably made of gold, as well as other items used at certain festivals during the year, except at the New Year Festival when all cult statues were removed and placed in the appropriate room in the main temple.  Apart from storage facilities the crypts also served a symbolic purpose and it appears the crypts were used as a refuge at times of external threat. The crypts were identified with the "underworld".  When the cult-statues were, in practical terms, being stored in the crypts during the non-festival periods, the statues were considered to be "life-less" and the "body" of the deity now rested as a "corpse" in the underworld.    In this context it is interesting to consider the caches of statuary discovered buried in Luxor and Karnak Temples. The "corpse", once brought out of the crypt had to be brought back to life…