Skip to main content


Showing posts from January 20, 2011

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…

the Osirion , the Flower of Life & the greek graffiti

At the rear of Seti I temple at Abydos is a very strange structure called the Osirion that holds a number of mysteries.
The Osirion was originally meant to be entered from the Transverse passageway leading from the back of Seti's temple, but at the moment this passageway is not open to the public, and visitors must exit Seti's temple at the rear and approach the Osirion from above at modern ground level. The first thing of note is the enormous size of the red granite  blocks used in its construction, similar to Old Kingdom mega structures, like the Valley Temple, and the Sphinx Temple at Giza. The similarities are inescapable - the stark and simple megalithic design, the lack of  inscriptions, and the fact that some of the larger stone blocks weigh up to 100 tons. This suggests that the Osirion pre-dates the temple, dated to around 1300 bc, by at least a thousand years.
Inscribed on some of these blocks and visible from the metal staircase can be seen a numbe…


In one of the corridors to the rear of the temple is the famous king list of Abydos. This is one of three known king lists and has helped Egyptologists confirm the reigns of the various kings from the predynastic period. Not all monarchs are shown in this list the particular omissions being all of the rulers from the Armana period, which included both Akhenaten as well as Tutankamen.

The list is not by any means complete and it heavily favours the Memphite kings. During the First Intermediate Period there were three rival kingdoms, Memphis, Thebes, and Herakleopolis. None of the Herakleopolitan kings are included in the Abydos list and it is only after the Memphite line ceased to exist and Montuhotep I reunited Egypt that the Theban kings are included.
Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), Tutankhamun and Ay are all omitted because of their association with the Aten (Akhenaten´s semi-monotheistic cult). Hatshepsut and Meryneith are both omitted from the list, but Neterkare is often conside…