I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chapter 3: Religion of the Pharaohs, Part A

Phenomenology - Religion of the Pharaohs 

Chapter 3, Part A- Religion and Culture ©

To discuss Egypt’s religious history one must look at its overall history, for religion has been an intricate part of Egypt’s every day life since the forming of its magnificent ancient empire. The Greek Historian marveled at the Egyptian’s religious devotion and loyalty to his family and traditions. As Will Durant explains so well concerning the wonders of Egypt discovered through texts, tomb paintings, tablets and monument inscriptions in his book Our Oriental Heritage [1] 
The recovery of Egypt is one of the most brilliant chapters in archaeology. The Middle Ages knew of Egypt as a Roman colony and a Christian settlement; the Renaissance presumed that civilization had begun with Greece; even the Enlightenment, though it concerned itself intelligently with China and India, knew nothing of Egypt beyond the Pyramids. Egyptology was a by-product of Napoleonic imperialism. When the great Corsican led a French expedition to Egypt in 1798 he took with him a number of draughtsmen and engineers to explore and map the terrain, and made place also for certain scholars absurdly interested in Egypt for the sake of a better understanding of history. It was this corps of men who first revealed the temples of Luxor and Karnak to the modern world; and the elaborate Description de L'Egypte (1809-13) which they prepared for the French Academy was the first milestone in the scientific study of this forgotten civilization.

Egyptian religion in ancient history is probably the most well-known of all the ancient religions because of the fantastic and mysterious archaeological discoveries that one can see in a museum. There is a rich background and history with a vast inventory of deities, like the Greek and Roman civilizations in the ancient world, for example. Egyptian civilization is one of the oldest that stretches back through time forty centuries. Egyptology, along with archaeology and paleontology has been one of my main interests since I was about ten years old. At the age of 12, I thought I would be experiencing a career in archaeology, and some say I missed that calling, and perhaps they are correct.
agora-setpicArchaeology, as mentioned, has brought to us a glimpse of what it may have been to be a citizen of these cultures, like in ancient Egypt. Any reference by Greek historians of the Egyptian civilization was helpful, but when tombs were opened and manuscripts were found in the form of tomb inscriptions and clay tablets, it helped piece it together. The ancient written language, to include spoken language of ancient Egypt had long been lost to history until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone[1] where the tablet had a message written in three languages, so it helped decipher the Egyptian written language known as hieroglyphics. Today, archaeologists and linguists continue their endeavor to keep alive the ancient Egyptian language. It is also a bit of interesting history in regards to the move from ancient Egyptian writing/language (hieroglyphics) to the beautiful scriptive writing of Arabic. Most interesting is its linguistic history and the evolvement of the two.
Scholarly histories were written in manuscripts like that written by the Greek historianHerodotus[2] The Roman historian, Livy[3] wrote many descriptions of the religious rites of ancient Egypt. The Greek biographic of Plutarch [4] wrote De Iside et Osiride   [5] still remains the best description of ancient Egypt’s religion and the cult of the dead.
The Hebrew biblical scriptures are a good source for some knowledge of Egypt and the Middle East, written in the Hebrew language and preserved because the Jews were the historians of the ancient world. Of course, much is from the view of the people of Israel and Judah, known as Jews and sometimes referred to as Hebrew, but nevertheless it is a recording of a history, fantastic stories included in the trials and tribulations of “God’s chosen people.” Some of these historical events recorded have been verified or found in Egyptian sources, like: the Wisdom of Amenemope, first published in 1923 in English from translations, which parallels Proverbs 22:17 and Proverbs 24:22 so closely that it began a field of comparative study of ancient Middle Eastern religions and culture. [6] Despite the archaeological evidence of past civilizations and the story of their cultures, classical written material, historical manuscripts, and engravings are the most important source of knowledge of ancient religions.
Before Egypt became a central power, religion was characterized by numerous deities having both animal and human form; much like the rest of the ancient world. These deities became national and religion more organized as the central government began to form and the cult of the living king evolved for whom the name was given as pharaoh. Egypt as a civilization was older than the Hebrews and when the Alexandrian Age came to be in the Greek empire, Egypt became an important part of those histories as well. By the time Rome entered its golden era, Egypt had become not much more than a satellite state and by the time Christianity took root, the ancient Egyptian pharaonic traditional religion had already been in decline.
The first great person of Egyptian recorded history, and who later became a deity, was not a king but an architect, a scientist, a physician, and the chief advisor of the Egyptian King Djoser around 3150 BC. His name was Imhotep. He contributed greatly to the development of Egyptian medical practices and became worshiped as the god of knowledge and the founder of the principles of architectural abilities. He had planned the pyramids which became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – the Step Pyramid of Sakkara, which for centuries set the style of pyramids built later for the great pharaohs. [7] Kings would also become living deities and they were represented by the falcon deity Horus, the son of gods and god-king of the universe.
 National cults also brought about several theological ideas which helped to explain the world of the ancient Egyptian. The main concept of these theological ideas was Ma'at, who signified the correct order of the world given to humans by the gods. This concept included the idea of truth, justice, and correct social behavior. In the tombs of pharaohs, among the beautiful artistic scenes painted on its walls, the king is shown presenting the Ma’at to the gods, thus showing he properly maintained and administered doctrine of the Ma’at in behalf of the gods.
As the various cults began to develop and multiply there would be a doctrinal contradiction between them. For example, in the Memphis cult, Ptah was the creator god, while Atum created the world in the Heloppolitan cult. In this way, as the Egyptian became more nationalized, the views were clarified by associating different deities and combining the gist the cult doctrines into one that was recognizable no matter what part of Egypt one visited, with the pharaoh being the living representative of all gods and goddesses. This would later be absorbed by conquering civilizations [8] which often occurred through a series of invasions. The native or common people would unite more readily with something they could relate or compare to when it came to religion. In this way, as is shown in comparative studies of religion, different ideas and cultures became combined into philosophies and religious backgrounds that was accepted by the various cults, often forming a new cult. [9]

Concept of an Afterlife

Another significant belief in ancient Egyptian religion was the concept of life after death. Death did not destroy an individual, but only gave that person a different form and association with the gods. The concept of a soul (Ka) was highly developed in the Egyptian religion and the practice of embalming or mummifying the remains of the deceased became a practice in the concept of having a receptacle for the soul to return to after being judged by the afterlife/underworld deity. In the beginning only kings were perform this transfer after life had ended, but later it was available to all citizens who would enter the place of gods by means of a special ritual in another form and live in eternal happiness as can be viewed today with tomb paintings. This major change in the early Egyptian religion gave the every day Egyptian the incentive to live by rules set up for social and civil conduct in order to make him a pious person in the eyes of the Egyptian religious society and when it came time for judgment or the weighing of the soul.
The Pyramid Texts, as what they have come to be called, were carved into the walls of the royal chamber within the pyramids of Saqqarah and were recited at the king’s burial, as well as performed during the funeral ritual at the pyramid site before sealing up the tomb. While King Unas  [10] was taken in preparation of his journey into the land of the gods, the following ritual was recited and is reproduced here: [11]
Re-Atum, this Unas comes to you.
A spirit indestructible
Who lays claim to the place of the four pillars.
Your son comes to you, this Unas comes to you.
May you cross the sky united in the dark.
May you rise in lightland, the place in which you shine!
Seth, Nephthys, go to proclaim to Upper Egypt’s gods, and their spirits.
This Unas comes, a spirit destructible.
If he wishes you to die, you will die.
If he wishes you to live, you will live!
Re-Atum, this Unas comes to you, a spirit indestructible,
Who claims to the place of the four pillars!
Your son comes to you, this Unas comes to you.
May you cross the sky united in the dark.
May you rise in lightland, the place in which you shine!
Osiris, Isis, go proclaim to 
Lower Egypt’s gods and their spirits.
This Unas comes, a spirit indestructible,
Like the morning star above Hapy,
Whom the water-spirits worship;
Whom he wishes to live will live,
Whom he wishes to die will die!
Re-Atum, this Unas comes to you, a spirit indestructible,
Who lays claim to the place of the four pillars!
Your son comes to you, this Unas comes to you.
May you cross the sky united in the dark.
May you rise in lightland, the place in which you shine!
Thoth, go proclaim to the gods of the West, and their spirits.
This Unas comes, a spirit indestructible.
Decked above the neck as Anubis,
Lord of the western height.
He will count hearts, he will claim hearts,
Whom he wishes to live will live,
Whom he wishes to die, will die!
Re-Atum, this Unas comes to you, a spirit indestructible,
Who lays claim to the place of the four pillars!
Your son comes to you, this Unas comes to you.
May you cross the sky united in the dark.
May you rise in lightland, the place in which you shine!
Horus, go proclaim to the powers of the east and their spirits.
This Unas comes to you.
Raise him to you, hold him in your arms.
He is your son, of your body, forever
Time was a cycle to the Egyptian and was based upon the association with the annual rejuvenation of the Nile River and the harvesting of the crops. Every thing had a specific purpose and time. After a living king had ruled for 30 years, the king ritually died and then was rejuvenated like the god Osiris. The concept of a cycle in life can be found in the Hebrew Scriptures, the biblical Old Testament, Book of Ecclesiastes, 3:1:
To every thing there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under heaven;
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace

Organized Religion – The Temple

During the periods of the long Egyptian history, the temple became the focal point of the community, and in the pharaonic periods and golden era, an important part of economical and political life. In the sanctuary of the temple the image of the local deity was kept where the common people were not allowed. The Egyptian commoner could worship the deities in their homes, at shrines, or chapels and most temples had areas at the rear walls where the general public could come to worship. Certain places within the temple were forbidden to the public and only priests who were ritually pure enough could enter.
The temple was a miniature model of the Egyptian cosmos. It represented the place where the universe was created. The ceilings were decorated with the stars and the pillars were in the form of lotus and papyrus plants, symbolic of the marsh formed at the time of creation. The temple during all periods of ancient Egyptian history was the focal point of Egyptian worship and as time went on and the Egyptian rulers and priests became more powerful and prosperous, in which time the temple became a major economic and political role. By the end of the New Kingdom the Temple of Amon-Re at Karnak became the chief political power in Upper Egypt. The king was the high priest for all the gods, and he appointed the lower priests to carry on the daily functions. Only the pure in ritual attended the daily requirements of the gods at the temples. During festivals the gods would be carried out of the temples on sacred bark so the population could view its greatness. But these archaeological and architectural artifacts of Egypt’s ancient religion is nothing if the information of the gods and goddesses are left out or what the Egyptian’s thought and feelings were on the subject of their religion. The majority of what we know of ancient Egypt comes from the tombs, but in the later dynasties, the Greek historians, like Herodotus who lived from 484 BC to 425 BC. His stay in Egypt during his lengthy traveling periods afforded him the opportunity to learn and observe the Egyptian every day life and was beneficial later in the study of Egyptology. Herodotus became known as the “Father of History.”
Scholars/historians, like Redfield in 1985 stated (unfairly) that Herodotus was more of a tourist rather than an historian, especially when he wrote about Egyptian culture, in which he wrote, in part, concerning his observations of Egyptians through the eyes of a Greek; it has provided people of many ages to get a glimpse of how people lived in ancient Egypt, and how some of their cultural traditions continued even when Egypt transcended from paganism to Christianity to Islam:
…but the Egyptians themselves in their manner and customs seem to have reversed the ordinary practices of mankind. For instance, women attend market and are employed in trade, while men stay at home and do the weaving … Men in Egypt carry loads on their heads, women on their shoulders; women pass water [urinate]standing up, men sitting down. To ease themselves [defecate] they go indoors, but eat outside in the streets, on the theory that what is unseemly but necessary should be done in private, but what is not unseemly should be done openly. No woman holds priestly office, either in the service of goddess or god; only men are priests in both cases. Sons are under no compulsion to support their parents if they do not wish to do so, but daughters must whether they wish it or not. Elsewhere priests grow their hair long; in Egypt they shave their heads. In other nations the deceased in time of mourning mark a death by letting their hair grow long, but the Egyptians, who shave at all other times, mark a death by letting the hair grow both on head and chin. They live with their animals – unlike the rest of the world, who live apart from them. Other men live on wheat and barley, but any Egyptian who does so is blamed for it, their bread being made from spelt, or Zea as they call it. Dough they knead with their feet, but clay with their hands – they even handle dung. They practice circumcision, while men of other nations – except those who have learnt from Egypt – leave their private parts as nature intended them.
Does this observation discount the historian’s consensus that the Jews were the first to practice circumcision? Could the practice have been learned by the Egyptians during the Jewish captivity?
Men in Egypt have two garments each, women one … In reading and writing, instead of going, like the Greeks, from left to right, the Egyptians go from right to left – and obstinately maintain that theirs is the dexterous manner, ours being left-handed and awkward. They have two sorts of writing, the sacred and the common. They are religious to excess, beyond any other nation in the world, and here are some of the customs that illustrate that fact; they drink from brazen cups which they scour each day – everyone, without exception. They wear linen clothes which they make a special point of continually washing.

Creation, Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

Early Egyptians tombs began with small pits in pre-dynastic eras and then developed into a variety of structures from small excavated cave tombs and then progressed to the massive pyramids seen today. Each was resting places for the body that contained the soul. Major tombs were gathered together near the king in the Old Kingdom. If they were associated with the king then safe passage to the netherworld could be achieved more easily. Later, individuals obtained entrance to the netherworld through elaborate rituals and magic incantations.The Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead[13] which provided spells to purify the deceased, protected him or her from evil creatures, and provided passwords and spells to enter the netherworld. Later when political instability caused the rise of the individual cult there seems to have been an increase in the use of magic. The Egyptians began to believe that they could control more of their mystical environment. Scarabs (dung beetle), wadjet eyes, and other symbols began to show up in the New Kingdom period as a means of protection. It is interesting that this concept was retained by the Arabs and Turks, where the blue-eye symbol wards off evil, yet rural folk still perceive that a blue-eyed stranger is met with suspicion, and must never be allowed to gaze upon a newborn infant until the child is old enough to walk.
The most important part of Egyptian religion was its unification of the Egyptian culture, even though there didn’t appear to be a centralized system to follow. In the beginning, according to ancient Egyptians, there was the sky; and to the end of this and the Nile remained the chief divinities. The heavenly bodies were gods who controlled their complex movements. [14] The sky itself was a vault, across which a great cow stood, who was the goddess Hathor. The earth lay beneath the cow’s feet and her belly was covered with ten thousand stars. Constellations and stars might be gods, and each god had a history, a purpose, and a power over certain things or other powers of the universe. [15]
There were 42 major and minor gods throughout the history of Egyptian religion. It transcended from totemism to theology and influenced literature, government, art and the daily life of the Egyptian. In order to understand the religion of the ancient Egyptian, one must study the many deities. [16] Herodotus, in his extensive description of every day life in Egypt wrote in detail concerning Egyptian religion, stating that they were “religious to excess, far beyond any other race of men.” But when it came to identifying the Egyptian deities he gives them Greek names. Many deities were depicted as part human and part animal. To list them all and write a description for each, to include their origin, would be a book in itself, so the list is brief in this chapter.
The major gods and goddesses were:

Amon(AmenAmumAmmonAmunAmoun) King of the gods, god of Thebes shown as human; patron deity of the pharaohs; identified with the sun god Re as Amon-Re and in Hermopolis he was depicted as the creation deity. Amon’s principle sanctuary was originally in Khnum and then later in Thebes. Amon was the husband of Mut and a member of the Theban triad of deities. He was a male figure with a ram’s head or a ram wearing the triple crowns of Egypt. While he was the god of pharaoh and prominent in Upper Egypt, he was also popular among the common people, until politics caused him to slowly disappear. Starting in the reign of Thutmose IV, (18th Dynasty) a movement began in the royal house of pharaoh to pay homage to a purer form of the sun, which is the god Aten. During the reign of Akhenaton, he moved the capital of Egypt away from Thebes to Akhenaton where he and his followers could worship Aten (description follows) - the sole god. Akhenaton began removing the name of Amon from public view in Egypt and following his death his successor Tutankhamen moved the capital back to Thebes and restored the old gods, I am sure under the influence of the politically powerful priests of the time. Amon never regained his former following and the pharaohs and the people of Egypt focused their religious devotion to the gods of the Osirian family of gods and goddesses.

Anubis: (Anpu) God of the dead, seen depicted on tombs with scenes concerning the funeral cult and the care of the dead. His principal sanctuary was in Cynopolis and was the son of Osiris by Nephthys. He was a male figure with the head of a jackal  and was a familiar character on tomb paintings. In the tomb of Tutankhamen (King Tut) two statues of Anubis guarded the entrance to the interior portion of the tomb where the boy king’s mummy was found. Worship of Anubis goes back to early ancient Egypt and was most likely older than Osiris. In the text of Unas, line 70, he is associated with the Eye of Horus, another famous symbol found in tombs. His main duty was to be the guide of the dead to the Underworld on their way to meet Osiris. Anubis is mentioned in connection with the gods Horus, Set, Thoth, Sep and Khent-an-maati. The localities where Anubis was worshiped were Abt, the Papyrus Swamps, Sep, Re-au, Heru-ti, Ta-hetchet, Lycopolis (Saint), Sekhem (Letopolis), et cetera. He plays an important part in the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead, primarily connected with the judgment and the embalmed body of Osiris and showed swathing linen woven by Isis and Nephthys in preparation for the journey to the Underworld. The origin of this jackal-god probably was because jackals would hunt at the edges of the desert, near a necropolis and cemeteries throughout Egypt and it was known they carcass over hunting down live prey, leftovers from other predators, if available and the smell of death in a necropolis or cemetery would certainly attract them. As an added interest, software is available, entitled The Myth and Legend of Osiris that includes tutorial that teaches the phonetics of hieroglyphics, as well as teaching recognition of the gods and goddesses and the story of Isis in Roman lettering and hieroglyphics.

Aten: (Aton) Represented the sun. Later, for a short period during religious reformation, Aten was considered the only and only god, with the exception of the pharaoh, of course. Aton’s principal sanctuary was at Akhetaton[17] He was depicted as a red or golden solar disk with rays terminating into hands.

Atum: (“The Completed One”) Creator of the gods, men, and the divine order; founder of the Heloppolitan Ennead and represented the setting sun. His principal sanctuary was located at Heliopolis and was an old, bearded man wearing the double crown of Egypt and carrying an ankh. Sometimes Atum was depicted as a male figure with the head of a mongoose or sometimes an eel. [18]

Bast: Also called Bastet. Goddess of music and dance; originally, this female goddess symbolized the fertilizing warmth of the sun, but during the New Kingdom she became a lioness war goddess. Bast’s principal sanctuary was Bubastis in the eastern Delta of Egypt. Daughter of Re, the sun god and wife of Ptah and a member of the Memphis Triad deities, she had the head of a cat and held in her hand either a sistrum or sesheshet[19] Herodotus, the Greek historian, described the annual festival held for Bast in The History:
When the Egyptians travel to Bubastis, they do so in this manner: men and women sail together, and in each boat there are many persons of both sexes. Some of the women shake their rattles and some of the men blow their pipes during the whole journey, while others sing and clap their hands. If they pass a town on the way, some of the women land and shout and jeer at the local women, while others dance and create a disturbance. They do this at every town on the Nile. When they arrive at Bubastis, they begin the festival with great sacrifices, and on this occasion, more wine is consumed than during the whole rest of the year.

 Bes: Patron of the home, childbirth, infants, humor, song and dance and originally the protector of the royal house, later playing more of a role as the god of recreation. Bes originated in the Sudan and was later adopted by Egyptians, thus the reason why he did not look like an Egyptian. Bes was the husband of Taurt and was represented as a dwarf with comical features of a large head, big eyes, tongue protruding, bowed legs, and a bushy tail. Often he was depicted holding a rattle (sesheshet). If a baby laughed or smiled for no apparent reason, it was believed that Bes was somewhere in the room making funny faces. Bes also drove off demons, protecting children at their cradle. Many Egyptian homes had a statue of Bes near the door to keep demons away from households.

Buto/Wadjet(Wadjet is correct name) Often mistakenly named after the principal sanctuary, this goddess of Lower Egypt; defender of the King, was called Wadjet by ancient Egyptians. Her principal sanctuary was, as stated, in the ancient city of Buto that was actually two cities merged together like Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy, which in turn it was renamed Per-Wadjet, and thus the name of the goddess. It was/is also thought that Buto was the name of the nurse of the infant god Horus. Often shown this unfamiliar goddess was depicted as a rearing cobra, but represented as a female figure wearing a uraeus [20] of Lower Egypt or a uraeus wrapped around a papyrus tem or as part of the King’s diadem (literally a crown) that represented upper-lower Egypt symbolism of the unified Egyptian kingdom. Those familiar with Dungeon and Dragon™ games and fantasy-role-playing software games are familiar with the wadjet as a snake-like creature with extraordinary powers that attacks adventurers in dungeons, caves and other places of fantasy adventures.
The photo below shows the diadem depicting Upper and Lower Egypt, with the wadjet signifying Lower Egypt.

GebGod of the earth; physical support of the world. [21] Son of Shu and Tefnut, twin brother of Nut, husband of Nut, father of Osiris and IsisSethNephthys. When represented as a man he is wearing either the white crown or the Atef crown or a goose. The Goose was his sacred animal and symbol. He played an important part in the Book of the Dead and watched the weighing of the heart of the deceased in the Judgment Hall of Osiris. The wicked were held on earth by Geb. In Ptolemaic times, Geb became identified with the Greek god Kronos.

Hathor: (also Het-Hert & Hetheru), originally the personification of the sky at Dandarah; also known as Lady of Heaven. Goddess of festivity and love; protectress of women and at Thebes a patroness of the region of the dead, later Hathor was identified with the tree, lion, or as a cow goddess. Her principal sanctuary was in Dandarah, but also at OmbusEdfu, and western Thebes. She was the daughter of Nut and Re, represented by a cow, cow-headed goddess, or a goddess with a human head adorned with horns or cow’s ears. Specifically in later periods she was the goddess of joy, motherhood and love and protectress of pregnant women and a midwife. As the goddess of music and dance, you could see her holding her symbol of a sistrum. Hathor was the fertility goddess and was associated with the annual flooding of the Nile that enriched the soil for good crops. In the legend of Ra and Hathor, she is known as the “Eye of Ra.” When the Osiris cults gained popularity, her role changed. She welcomed the arrival of the deceased to the Underworld, providing water for the souls of the dead, giving them sustenance during their mummification. In the Late Period, dead women identified themselves with Hathor, as men identified with Osiris.

Horus: Originally the god of Lower Egypt; later identified with the reigning king (pharaoh) and the opponent of Seth (god of war). His principal sanctuary was at NekhenEdfu, and later all of Egypt. Son of Osiris and Isis and represented as a falcon-headed male figure. His figure was common in the tombs of pharaohs and the upper class. The name Horus comes from the Egyptian word Hor, which translates as “face.” The sun and moon often represented his eyes. In the pre-dynastic period, Horus came with invaders and was known as a warlord. He then became part of the state religion and was associated with the sun god, Ra. Sometimes pharaohs took on the name Horus who considered themselves human manifestations of the god. He was the avenger of his father’s murder and the model of a dutiful son to the eyes of the Egyptian people. Stories were passed down about his battles with his uncle, Seth. Other names he was known as during the history of ancient Egypt: Haroeris(Horus the Elder), Horus BehudetyRa-Harakhte (Horus of the two horizons), Harmakhet (Horus in the Horizon), Harsiesis (Horus son of Isis), Harpokrates (The infant Horus, as a child), Harendotes (Horus the avenger of his father), and Har-pa-Neb-Taui (Horus Lord of the Two Lands – Upper and Lower Egypt). The symbol of the Eye of Horus (see symbol above figure above) was the symbol of protection, because he was a protector to the pharaoh and the people of Egypt.

Isis (left) and Ramses
Isis: Was venerated in certain cities, but worshiped all over Egypt. From a list of titles of the goddess collected by Dr. Brugsch, Isis was called Usert, in Thebes; Aat, in Heliopolis, Menkhat in Memphis; God-Mother in Coptos; Hert in Letopolis; and Hent (Queen) in every home. The queen of all gods, female version of Ra and Horus, lady of the House of fire, and lady of words of power, first in Egypt and then later spread to the Near East and the entire ancient classical world in famous places like Ephesus (where Antony built a Temple of Isis for Cleopatra) and Pergamum. She was represented as a female figure with both a vulture headdress and a throne flanked by a cow or ram’s head. From passages of ancient texts from different periods, to include Herodotus’ The History, Isis possessed great skills in working magic. She was the patron goddess of Cleopatra, where she learned her magic to seduce and sway men with her charms. In the Hymn to Osiris it is said that Isis was well skilled in the use of words of power, and it was by means of these that she restored her husband to life, and obtained from him an heir. The actual words are not mentioned, only as being obtained from Thoth, the “lord of divine words,” and it was to him that she asked for help to restore Horus to life after he had been stung to death by a scorpion. In theTheban Recension of the Book of the Dead there is a chapter which was composed for the purpose of bestowing upon the deceased some of the magical power of the goddess. The chapter was intended to be recited over an amulet called thet, made of carnelian, which had to be steamed in water of ankhami flowers, and set in a sycamore plinth, and if this were laid on the neck of a dead person it would place him under the protection of the words of power of Isis, and he would be able to go wherever he pleased in the Underworld. The words of the chapter were:
 Let the blood of Isis, and the magical powers of Isis, and the words of power of Isis, be mighty to protect and keep safely this great god, and to guard him from him that would do unto him anything which he abominate.
The symbol of Isis in the heavens was the star Sirius (Sept), which was greatly beloved by the Egyptians because it appeared only at the beginning of a new year and announced the advance of the Inundation of the Nile, which brought wealth and prosperity to the desert nation of Egypt. Isis was the companion of Osiris, whose soul dwelt in the star Sah (Orion), and she was said to have brought the destruction of the fiend Apep and his hosts of darkness by the use of her words of power. At a very early period in Egyptian history, Isis had the attributes of all the great primitive goddesses [22] and identified as the female counterpart of the primeval abyss of water from which sprang all life, according to the Egyptian creation story. [23] From what is read from ancient texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia and Anatolia, Isis had no limitations for she possessed the powers of a water goddess, an earth goddess, a corn goddess, a star goddess, queen of the Underworld, and a woman all united to make her Queen of the Gods.

Ma’at: Unlike Hathor and Nephthys, Ma’at seemed to be of an actual goddess and her name in Egyptian was literally the word “truth.” She was truth, order, balance, and justice combined; which gave her the power of harmony and represented the way humanity should be. It was thought that without Ma’at, the universe would once again become chaos. The Egyptians believed that the universe was above everything else – an ordered and rational place. It functioned with predictability and regularity with cycles always remaining constant; as well as in the moral sphere where purity was rewarded and sin punished. Thus, she kept balance in both the moral and physical universe. The Egyptians knew that the universe worked in a pattern, just as later the Greeks would describe the universe as logos, which means order. Logos also meant word – according to biblical scholars, and in the New Testament we find the scripture of John (1:1) –
In the beginning was the logos, and the logus was with God and the logus was God.
This text was translated from the Greek using Logus as “Word” and another name for Jesus:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
Egypt was nothing without Ma’at, because she was reality. The universe itself and the entire world around them, was sacred in the ancient view. Wrote the Egyptian:
 How can a flower be false or ethical? It just is. How can the universe be ethical or moral, right or wrong? It simply is. That is Ma’at.
Despite being a winged goddess (like Nephthys), she was the judge at the Egyptian Underworld at the Halls of Ma’ati. The dead person’s heart was placed on a scale, balanced by the Feather of Ma’at (her symbol that she wore on her head was an ostrich feather). Thoth (god of writing and scribes) weighed the heart and if the deceased was found to not have followed the concept of Ma’at during his life his heart was devoured by a demon [24] waiting in the background and the deceased died the final death. If the heart weighed the same as the Feather of Ma’at, the deceased was allowed to go on to the afterlife. In life, it was the pharaoh’s duty to uphold the philosophy of Ma’at and was often referred to as being the “beloved of Ma’at.” Akhenaton, the ruler who had attempted to rid Egypt of all other deities except one also followed the philosophy of Ma’at and insisted this be put on his monuments before his religious reformation acts of removing all, but Ra in public view. The priests of the time then went against the pharaoh because Akhenaton has gone against Ma’at laws of the universe and the result was feared to be chaos. Ma’at was the justice that was issued in ancient Egyptian courts of law. Priests of Ma’at made judicial decisions as well as serving the goddess of justice. In the ruins of Karnak there is a small temple dedicated to Ma’at. The temple is inside Precinct of Montu, the smallest of three enclosures at Karnak. The temple is believed to have been built by Hatsheput  and then reconstructed by Thutmose III. A computer reconstruction of Ma’at’s temple can be found at:

Ma’at did not exist until Ra rose from the waters of Nun. She was known as a Neter goddess and was described as being the daughter of Ra. Without Ma’at, Egyptians believed that Nun would reclaim the universe. She was also thought to be the wife of Thoth, moon god and god of wisdom. While not as famous as others that have come to us from antiquity, Ma’at was the most important deity of them all – including Ra and Isis.

Min: Personification of the force of nature; god of fertility and harvest; protector of the desert traveler and god of the road; one of the oldest gods that was worshiped from the pre-dynastic period. The earliest form of this god was his fetish that was a barbed arrow or a thunderbolt, which later became the first hieroglyph above the standard in his name. Another early representation was found at El Amrah (near Abydos) and was an ivory statuette of Min that stood with legs together, his arms at his sides, and an erect penis. The pre-dynastic ruler, known as the Scorpion King, was believed to have worshiped both Min and SetGebtu (Koptos) was Min’s cult center from the earliest Egyptian period. Later it was associated with Akhmim (Panopolis). But however he was depicted; Min was always a god of fertility and sexuality, depicted with an erect penis. He was usually bearded, standing with legs together and an arm was raised holding his symbol or a flail and wearing the low crown with twin plumes as Amen did. During the New Kingdom period he was sometimes shown as a white bull, an animal sacred to the fertility god. Hymn to Min:
You are the Great Male, the owner of all females.
The Bull who unites with those of the sweet love, of beautiful face and of painted eyes,
Victorious sovereign among the Gods who inspires fear in the Ennead.
The goddesses are glad, seeing your perfection.
Min was associated with the Egyptian cos lettuce, an aphrodisiac to the ancient Egyptians because the lettuce was tall, straight and secreted a milky substance when pressed. As with Osiris, Min was an agricultural god at Medinet HabuRamses III is shown cutting a sheaf of wheat with a scythe for the Festival of Min. Poetically, a virgin was referred to as an “unplowed field.” Min was also a god of the Eastern Desert, as suggested by descriptions in the Pyramid Texts – the one who raises his arm in the east – referring to Min, who offered protection to travelers and traders, such as the caravan route that went from Gebtu eastward to the Red Sea. At Wadi Hammamat, an ancient trade rout, prayers and thanks to the god Min was found. Min was also worshiped by the men who worked the mines and the men who quarried the stone at Hammamat. Mentuhotep IV traveled on an expedition toHammamat:
Year two, second month of the inundation, day 15 of the reign of Horus, lord of the two lands, two ladies lord of two lands, divine gold, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Nebtawyra, son of Ra, Mentuhotep, living forever.
Gebtu was the cult center for both Min and Isis, and in that city, Min became the husband of Isis and father of Horus because of his powers of fertility. In later periods he was placed in the triad to the Syrian love goddess, Qedeshet (KadeshQeteshQudshu) and the Syrian god of war and thunder, Reshef (ReshepReshpu). Min was a fertility god, despite being a god of the desert, and wasn’t painted red, like the desert god Seth, but was painted black to represent the fertile soil along the Nile River. Min was also a moon god because lunar gods related to moisture and fertility. In this way, lunar deity Min was entered into the Egyptian calendar on the last day of the lunar month consecrated to the deity and that day was known as “The Exit of Min.” [25]

Mut:  A vulture goddess of Thebes and one of the mother goddesses. She was the wife of Amon-Re and was represented by a female figure whose head or headdress was in the form of a vulture or she wore a heavy wig with a double crown. The translated word “Mut” means “mother.” She was referred to as the grandmother of Isis, who was the mother figure of the world. Her son was the mood god Khonsu. Amun, Mut and Khonsu were worshiped as a trinity in Luxor.

Nut: Originally a mother goddess who had many children and the hieroglyph for her name is a water pot. As the legend goes, Nut and Geb are separated during the day, but each evening Nut comes down to meet Geb and this causes darkness. If storms came during the day, it was believed that Nut had slipped closer to Earth. Nut also played an important part in creation mythology. She was a sky goddess and stretched her body from horizon to horizon with only her toes and fingertips touching the ground. Geb is usually shown reclining beneath her. Nut was considered to be the mother of the sun and the moon, and in some cases she took the form of a great cow whose eyes represented the sun and the moon. Nut was the mother of Osiris and Isis, Seth, and Nephthys.

Pharaoh Chariot
Osiris: From the hieroglyphic text of all periods of the Egyptian dynastic history, Osiris was the god of the dead. Later Osiris would be called Un-nefer in religious and mythological texts, and priests tried to explain the name. The origin of the name is about as mysterious to us as it was to the Egyptians, for they knew little about its origin and history. 

But the oldest texts refer to him as the god of the dead and that he once was in human form and lived upon the Earth and had such powers that he overcame death and gave himself new and immortal life and ruled over the Underworld as a king. The worship of Osiris is much older than those views given to us by texts. The oldest authorities for the religious views of the ancient Egyptians are the Pyramid Texts, which are from the 4th, 5th, and 6th Dynasties and during those periods the priests of Annu had put together a system of theology which was supported by the authority of the king and his high officials, probably based upon an older system of religious thought and belief. The following is an excerpt from the Osiris narrative praising Osiris:
Hail to you, Osiris,
Lord of eternity, king of gods,
Of many names, of holy forms,
Of secret rites in temples!
Noble of ka he presides in Djedu,
He is rich in sustenance in Sekhem,
Lord of acclaim in Andjty,
Foremost in offerings in On.
Lord of remembrance in the Hall of Justice,
Secret ba of the lord of the cavern,
Holy in White-Wall,
Ba of Re, his very body,
Who reposes in Hnes?
Who is worshiped in the naret-tree -
That grew up to bear his ba?
Lord of the palace in Khmun,
Much revered in Shashotep,
Eternal lord who presides in Abydos,
Who dwells distant in the graveyard
Whose name endures in peoples’ mouth
  Most often Osiris is represented as wrapped in mummy linen, his hands holding the crook and flail and wearing the Atef crown on his head.

Ptah: God of fertility, creator of the universe, maker of things; patron of craftsmen and the fine arts. His sanctuary originated in Memphis, but later spread throughout Egypt. He was depicted as a mummified man with his head shaved; conical beard and his hands holding the djed symbol and a scepter. Sometimes he wore a skullcap crown and appears in the hieroglyph for Ma’at.

RaPersonification of the sun; king of the gods and father of humanity; protector of kings (pharaohs); chief state god. His sanctuary was in Heliopolis and was the father of Shu and Tefnut, and the son of Geb and Hut. He was represented as a falcon-headed man with a head crowned with a sun disk that was surrounded by the uraeus (pair of horns with a disk and a pair of plumes or feathers). The early Egyptians believed he created the world and the rising sun was the symbol of remembrance of the creation, which daily it symbolized renewal – a new day. His closest ally, as far as deities, was Ma’at, the goddess of order and truth. Re was closely connected to the Pharaoh and while the 
pharaoh ruled the Earth, Re was the master of the universe. It is interesting that up until the 2nd Dynasty, there isn’t any reference to Ra (Re) (that has been found), but he developed during the 2nd Dynasty and matured to what he has been depicted through the 5th Dynasty. By the 4th Dynasty, the son of Re was Horus. The merged symbol of a winged sun disk of Horus and Re remained depicted in temples and religious monuments until the end of Egyptian history. Kings (Pharaohs) erected pyramids that were aligned to the rising and setting sun, and also built solar temples in honor of Re. Re never had a sanctuary with a cult statue like other gods and goddesses. Instead, his image was the sun itself, so the sun temples were centered upon an Obelisk over which the sun rose, and before the obelisk there was an altar for worship. The 5th Dynasty rulers were also responsible for the first Pyramid Texts during the Old Kingdom, which is a collection of spells describing the journey of the dead pharaoh through the underworld. These texts were the first decorations inscribed in pyramids and important information about the sun god. Here is an example of the text:
Homage to thee, O thou who risest in the horizon as Ra,
thou restest upon law unchangeable and unalterable. Thou passest over the sky and every face watcheth thee and thy
course, for thou hast been hidden from their gaze. Thou dost show thyself at dawn and at eventide day by day. The Sektet boat, wherein is the Majesty, goeth forth with light; thy beams
are upon all faces; the [number] of red and yellow rays
cannot be known, nor can thy bright beams be told. The lands of the gods and the lands of Punt must be seen, ere that which
is hidden [in thee] may be measured. Alone and by thyself thou
dost manifest thyself when thou comest into being above Nu.
May I advance, even as thou dost advance; may I never cease to
go forward as thou never ceasest to go forward, even though it be
for a moment; for with strides thou dost in one little moment
pass over the spaces which would need millions and millions of
years [for men to pass over; this] thou doest and then thou dost
sink to rest. Thou puttest an end to the hours of the night, and
thou dost count them, even thou; thou endest them in thine
own appointed season, and the earth becometh light. Thou
settest thyself therefore before thy handiwork in the likeness of
Ra [when] thou risest on the horizon
Ra is the god that resurrects Osiris to rule over the dead. To the ancient Egyptian, Re and Osiris were not complete opposites but a link between life and death, believing in life after death. Re is perpetually resurrected in the mornings in the form of a scarab beetle called Kherpi, which means “Emerging One.” At sunset he is swallowed by the goddess Nut, who gives birth to him each morning again as Kherpi. By the Middle Kingdom (2055 to 1759 BC), Re’s character evolves and several hymns tell us that he created Earth solely for humans, who were made in his image. While in life, the king controls humans, rewarding the obedient and punishing the disobedient and evil ones; while in death, it is Re who takes over that role. Osiris was popular among the common Egyptians because previously they had been excluded from prior theological myths. Re and Osiris travel through the underworld together at night. It was probably a political move to combine or unite gods, especially those from different regions  to unify the state. Re was the prominent god in the north and later combined with another creator god, Amun of southern Egypt into what we know as Amun-Re. By the time the New Kingdom reached its peak (about 1539 BC to 1069 BC), Re’s could be seen in complex tomb paintings throughout the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of modern Luxor (ancient Thebes). There Re is depicted with the body of a human and the head of a ram. It also shows paintings of the scarab, which is Re at the time of his rebirth. We know much more about the theology of Re because of the New Kingdom because of Papyri that tells his myth. Some New Kingdom temples were built with an open courtyard with an altar for Re, where the priests and the pharaoh would recite one of the twelve poetic hymns predicting the victorious course of the sun each hour of the day. Also during this period, Re is identified with Amenhotep III, who called himself “the dazzling sun,” while Amenhotep IV, the heretic king who later changed his name to Akhenaton, created a semi-monotheistic cult of the solar disk called Aten. Akhenaton’s reformation was returned back to what it had been, but Amun-Re still remained the universal god that encompassed all in the sky, on Earth, gods and humans. Towards the end of the New Kingdom, Re-Horakhty-Atum became more closely associated with Osiris, a nocturnal form of Re, and by then Osiris had become the god of the people so that anyone could make the afterlife journey in Re’s bark - and it became more common for Egyptian citizens to be mummified and prepared for their afterlife journey. Re lived on in various forms on into the Greco-Roman period, but his worship gradually deteriorated by the first millennium.

Sebek: Crocodile god identified with Re and Seth and regarded as the son of Neith. He symbolized the strength of the pharaohs. Sometimes Sebek was depicted as an evil deity. His sanctuaries were in Crocodilphius (naturally), Ombus, Thebes, and Lake Moeris.

Sekhmet: A war solar goddess whose principal sanctuaries were in Memphis and the Delta region. She was the wife of Ptah; mother of Nefertum; member of the Memphite triad and was represented as a lioness or woman with a lion’s head on which a solar disk and uraeus was mounted.

Seth: (also Set) - Lord of Upper Egypt. Early in Egyptian history, Seth is the god of wind and storms. It was Seth who protected the sun god Ra from the dangerous serpent god Apep. Yet, it is Seth who tricks and murders Osiris and becomes the antagonist of Horus. By the 26th Dynasty, Seth becomes evil and is depicted with red eyes and red hair. Ancient Egyptians regarded red as an evil color. His principal sanctuary was at Ombus. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew history revealed in Genesis (4:25) tells of a son born unto Adam and Eve named Seth after the death of Able by the hands of Cain.

Shu: God of light and air and supporter of the sky; later he was personified as divine intelligence. Principal sanctuaries were at Dandarah, Edfu, Apollinopolis, Magna, and Memphis. He was depicted as a male figure with an ostrich feather on his head and was the son of Re; husband and brother of Tefnut.

Thoth: Moon god; later the god of reckoning and learning; inventor of writing, scribe of the gods; lord of magic. His sanctuary was in Hermopolis and Magna and was the protector of Isis during her pregnancy; healer of her son Horus’ injury; husband to Ma’at. He was represented as a male figure with an ibis head on which the moon crescent and disk was placed. Thoth was believed to have written important religious texts such as The Book of the Dead. In this text he appears in the Hall of Ma’at as a scribe holding a writing reed and palette to record the results of the weighing of the deceased’s heart with the Feather of Ma’at. He invented the spoken and written language of the Egyptian people and is credited with inventing astronomy, geometry, and medicine. Thoth was the measurer of the Earth and the counter of the stars, the keeper and recorder of all knowledge. He was self conceived at the time of creation. Another name he is known by is Tehuti.


 Histories, Development, and the People

The ancient Egyptian was dedicated in religious and political affairs and was generally loyal to both, as Herodotus wrote in The History. This was helped by the social and cultural structure between religion, its priests, and the pharaoh. The pharaoh was a descendant from the lineage of gods, thus making loyalty a given.
Herodotus, Greek historian, was impressed with the dedication and incorporation of their religion in every day life as he describes the dedication of the Egyptian priests in The Histories:
They are religious to excess, far beyond any other race of men, and use the following ceremonies: They drink out of brazen cups, which they scour every day; there is no exception to this practice. They wear linen garments, which they are especially careful to have always fresh washed. They practice circumcision for the sake of cleanliness, considering it better to be cleanly than comely. The priests shave their whole body every other day that no lice or other impure thing may adhere to them when they are engaged in the service of the gods. Their dress is entirely of linen, and their shoes of the papyrus plant; it is not lawful for them to wear either dress or shoes of any other material. They bathe twice every day in cold water, and twice each night; besides which they observe, so to speak, thousands of ceremonies. They enjoy, however, not a few advantages. They consume none of their own property, and are at no expense for anything; but every day bread is baked for more of the sacred corn and a plentiful supply of beef and of goose flesh is assigned to each, and also a portion of wine made from the grape. Fish are not allowed to eat; and beans – which none of the Egyptians ever sow or eat, if they come up of their own accord, either raw or boiled – the priests will not even endure to look on, since they consider it an unclean kind of pulse. Instead of a single priest, each god has the attendance of a college, at the head of which is a chief priest; when one of these dies, his son is appointed in his room.
In the Egyptian creation myth, the Osirian story, there was order made from the chaos regeneration and life after death developed the Egyptian and helped him to control his life in order to gain access into the world after life. The Hellenists were fascinated with the Egyptian culture and religious teachings because of their mystical background and brighter outlook upon what lay in store for humans after death. Because of this interest, the Greeks recorded the mystical stories in the Greek language (later in Latin) and thus adopted the cults of Osiris, Isis, and Horus that became popular among the Greeks, as well as the Romans later. For example, as mentioned previously, the Temple of Isis in Ephesus was built under the orders of Antony of Rome for Cleopatra as a gift. Ephesus was the summer vacation city for the famous couple. [26]


The study of Egypt under the Pharaohs, known as Egyptology, began with scholars who were with Napoleon Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt (1798-1801) and published Description de’ Egypte (1809-1828), and provided a tremendous source of material for European scholars. Written Egyptian documents date back to 3350 BC, when the first pharaohs developedhieroglyphic script in Nubia (southern Upper Egypt). The documents of these kings and of their subjects were well preserved in the dry, desert climate and have provided priceless study material.
After the conquest of Rome around 31 BC, the knowledge of Egypt’s pharaohs was gradually lost as Hellenism became popular in Egyptian culture. The temples preserved pharaonic religion and the hieroglyphic script. Christianity was introduced by Saint Mark in the 1st century, and slowly pharaonic culture began to disappear from memory. By 250 AD, the Greek alphabet had replaced the cumbersome hieroglyphic script. The last known hieroglyphics were carved in 394 AD at Philae, where the worship of Isis survived until 570 AD. Such classical historians as Herodotus and Strabo passed this Egyptian culture into the Greco-Roman civilization. Manetho produced an outline of Egyptian history with a list of kings for Ptolemy I in Greek text. This kept the memory alive in Europe, as well as retaining culture of ancient Egypt after the conquest by Alexander the Great and his death.
With the Arabic (Moslem) conquest in 641 AD only the Christian Egyptians called the Copts, kept alive the ancient language (Coptic), written in Greek characters. In Europe, the Coptic texts which were taken from Egypt during the Renaissance renewed the interest in the Egyptian language. Athanasius Kircher, a German Jesuit, published a Coptic grammar book in 1643, and European travelers visiting Egypt returned with antiquities and stories of amazing ruins. It was during this period up to the Napoleon age that many artifacts were disturbed and taken from their original place. The first known scholar to use the scientific process in studying the ruins of Egypt was the 17th century John Greaves, who measured the pyramids of Giza.

In 1799 a French engineer found the Rosetta Stone, which was a triangular stela with Greek, hieroglyphic, and demotic texts, and with the knowledge of Coptic text, he was able to decipher the stone’s message. This work was completed in 1822 by Jean-Francois Champollion. He and an Italian scholar, Ippolito Rossellini, led an expedition to Egypt in 1828 and published their research in Monuments de l’Egypteet NubieKarl Richard Lepsius followed soon after with a Prussian expedition between 1842 and 1845. An Englishman, Sir John Gardner Wilkinson, spent 12 years (1821-1833) copying and collecting material in Egypt. Their work made copies of text and monument carvings available to European scholars. Muhammad Ali’s government (1805-1849) opened Egypt to Europeans and consulars. Adventurers soon followed and began collecting antiquities, but they were not professionals and did nothing more than plunder. But some pieces found there way to museums and soon the fervor in Europe to collect Egyptian artifacts (and artifacts elsewhere) began.
In 1850, Auguste Mariette began excavations at Memphis where he found the Serapium. He convinced Sa’id Pasha, viceroy of Egypt, to found the first Egyptian museum at Bülãq in 1858, which was later moved to Cairo in 1903. He was also the founder of the Service des Antiquitè in 1863 and became the first director.
The researches of Emmanuel de Rougè in France, Samuel Birch in England, and Heinrich Brugsch established Egyptology as an academic subject. In 1880, Flinders Petriebrought to Egypt his technique of controlled, scientifically recorded excavation procedures which revolutionized archaeology all over the world. He was able to establish the origin of Egyptian culture back to 4500 BC. In England, around 1882, the British Egypt Exploration Society was founded to promote Petrie’s principles of archaeology. In Germany,Adolph Erman and Hermann Grapow published Wöterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache in Berlin around 1882 which was a dictionary of hieroglyphic Egyptian. In America,James Henry Breasted founded the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and pioneered American Egyptology with his survey of Egypt and Nubia between 1895 and 1896. He also started the Epigraphic Survey in 1924 which recorded scientifically reliefs and paintings on monuments that would have deteriorated more rapidly. American museums opened Egyptian collections in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and participation in excavations in Egypt helped to enlarge these exhibits. The discovery of the Tutankhamen tomb in 1922 and Pierre Montet’s excavations of the royal tombs at Tanis made the public more aware of Egyptology. The extent of ancient Egyptian sites can be imagined if one realizes that through all this history of excavations and plundering there are still sites that remain to be completely explored. One example would be the 4,600-year-old ship found in the second of two chambers beside the Great Pyramid of Giza. The vessel was disassembled and closely resembles the one found in the first chamber in 1954. [27] Sites like these have helped to enlighten our knowledge of the Egyptian – his culture and historical religion. The vastness of tombs and ancient buildings that were built over several thousands of years in ancient Egypt are lying in the sands waiting to be discovered. The following brief discussion concerning the periods and dynasties are discussed to give the reader an understanding concerning the relationship of religion to the ancient Egyptian and its growth within the culture.

Phenomenology of Religions, its chapters, annexes and appendices are protected under US and international copyright laws - please respect that. Linked/Sourced excerpts may be used if author is identified and linked. No commercial reproduction may be produced without the express permission of the author. Unless otherwise identified, photographs/images are public domain or the property of Keith Allen Lehman.
 End Notes to Chapter 3

[1] On display in the British museum.

[2] 485 BC to 425 BC.
[3] 59 BC to 17 AD.
[5] Our Oriental Heritage; Will Durant; Simon & Schuster; 1935 & 1963; p. 144.
[6] Encyclopedia Britannica; 15th Edition, Volume 24; p. 61.
[7] 59 BC to 17 AD. Our Oriental Heritage; Will Durant; p. 417.
[8] The story of Isis and Osiris.
[9] Our Oriental Heritage; Will Durant; p. 417.
[10] Between the Egyptians and the conqueror, like Rome or Greece, and vice versus.
[11] Sacred Texts of the World; Smart, Ninian, Hect, & Richard; p. 18.
[12] Sacred Texts of the World; p. 18
[13] These books were derived from the Royal Texts.
[14] Dawn; Maspero; p. 639.
[15] Our Oriental Heritage; Will Durant; p. 198.
[16] Encyclopedia Britannica; Volume 24; p. 66.
[17] A modern map shows this as Tell el-Amarna.
[18] The name mongoose in ancient Egyptian was ichneumon.
[19] Sesheshet in ancient Egyptian language; a stick-like wooden or metal object with a frame and small metal disks that rattled, used as a musical accompaniment instrument. The head of Hathor was carved on the handle made from the horn of a cow. Initially it was associated with Hathor, but later period tombs depicted/associated with AnonBastet and Isis. Also see mummy of queen found.
[20] Red Crown.
[21] Egyptian version of the Greek god, Atlas.
[22] Such as Artemis of the Anatolian region (Turkey) considered the Cradle of Civilization; Nekhebet, Uatchet, Net, Bast, Hathor, et cetera. The mother goddess was popular in the ancient world going back into prehistory and found in much of the ancient world.
[23] It is worth noting that several centuries later, Charles Darwin, naturalist, would promote the idea of evolution and the creation concept of life originating from primordial waters and all creatures evolving from simple organisms. (Chapter 10)
[24] The soul-devouring demon was depicted as a dark female crocodile-headed deity called Ammut – Devouress of the Dead.
[25] An interesting note: Min is an historical Chinese surname still used today.
[26] American in Turkey, Volume II – Ephesus; Keith A. Lehman; Izmir, 1987; p. 9.
[27] Greeks referred Khufu as Cheops.

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