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The Inventory Stela

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jdean (152.163.188.68)
Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 01:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Has this stela been discussed on this board?

Jack
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jdean (152.163.188.68)
Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 01:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The picture I have of the stela indicates there are four registers. The picture I have is not very good. In the first register, I see a figure of Min on the far right. Min was a deity dating from the archaic period. Behind Min appear several standards with animals perched on them. The animals appear to be jackals, a hawk and possibly a heron on the far left example.

Scholars date this stela to the 26th dynasty (664-524 BC) based on its form and style of inscription (Jordan, _Riddles of the Sphinx_, 94).

What about the form and style of the inscriptions convinced scholars to date it to the Late Period?

Jack
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jd degreef (213.177.158.103)
Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 03:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jack,
Such stelae or naoi with representations of the statues and sacred objects in the temple, and indications of size and material, are typical of the Late Period.
The deities on the first register (Min, the double Upuaut, the falcon / Onuris -I don't have a good plate either- and the ibis are taken from the Abydos circle of gods, implying a fusion of Osiris and Khentimentiu which as far as we know only dates from the FIP / MK.
One also notes the presence of a portable bark-shrine on the second register, an object not attested before the Middle Kingdom, AFAIK. The name of the bark, wTs-nfr.w, is the same as that of Hathor at Dendera.
The representations of Isis with Hathoric horns on the second register isn't Old Kingdom either.
As to the text, I can barely make it out, so I won't comment on it.

JD
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Janine (66.26.43.93)
Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jack:
-See pp 156,157 of Pyramids and Temples of Giza, by Petrie. (On the net). Petre found the cartouche of Petukhanu (2lst Dyn), and the gods on the stele were never found in that assemblage in the Old Kingdom.

-In my view, this intent of this rough intaglio stele, at whatever date it was set into the temple, may have been to indicate the position of buildings which were disappearing or already had - perhaps covered with sand. Otherwise, why give the position of structures that all can see?

- It does not not bother to give the location of the very visible pyramids.
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Charly (62.4.140.71)
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All,

This is one of the "controversial" passages of the stela:
Live the Horus: Mezer, King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Khufu, who is given life. He found the house of Isis, Mistress of the Pyramid, beside the house of the Sphinx of [Harmakhis] on the north-west of the house of Osiris, Lord of Rosta. He built his pyramid beside the temple of this goddess, and he built a pyramid for the king's-daughter Henutsen beside this temple. [Ancient Records of Egypt, p. 85]

The following part is most interesting:
…the Sphinx of [Harmakhis] on the north-west of the house of Osiris…

This "house of Osiris" is often connected with the "well" in the GP (the reason for this eludes me), never with the Osiris-tomb (re)discovered by Hawass, which is IMHO very strange since he discovered in this tomb an inscription "pr wsr", which means "house of Osiris". Even I. Lawton doesn't make the connection in "Giza the Truth". Any thoughts on this strange matter?

Charly
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jd degreef (80.236.134.230)
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 03:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Charly,
The way I understand this text is :
1. "Khufu built his pyramid and that of Henutsen alongside a pre-existing temple of Isis" : now we know that this temple results from the transformation of the chapel of pyramid G I c (attributed here to Henutsen). So the statement on the stela is an anachronism.

2. The location of the temple of Isis is given as "alongside (r gs) the House of the Sphinx [...]", which can be a general indication : in the area of the Sphinx. And the text continues : "on the NW of (r mH.t jmnt.t n) the House of Osiris Lord of Ro-setau". Looking at a map of Giza, the Isis temple lies north or NE of the 26th dyn. shaft. The only area it lies NW of is that of the Sphinx. Was there a Late Period Osiris temple there ?

JD
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jdean (152.163.188.68)
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 07:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,

The Inventory Stela may be nothing more than reflecting what 26th dynasty priests believed about the 4th dynasty.

Here is the another translation from Jordan, _Riddles of the Sphinx_, p. 94:

Long live...the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khufu, given life...He found the House of Isis, Mistress of the Pyramid, by the side of the hollow of Hwran [the Sphinx]...and he built his pyramid beside the temple of this goddess and he built a pyramid for the King's daughter Henutsen beside this temple. The place of Hwran Horemkhet is on the south side of the House of Isis, Mistress of the Pyramid.... He restored the statue, all covered in painting, of the Guardian of the Atmosphere, who guides the winds with his gaze. He replaced the back part of the nemes head-dress which was missing with gilded stone.... The figure of this god, cut in stone, is solid and will last to eternity, keeping its face always to the east.

Was the Sphinx gilded or painted in the 26th dynasty?

Is the House of Isis situated close to one of the satellite pyramids next to the Great Pyramid or closer to the Sphinx?

Just to the left of the Min statue in the 1st register is Sed, the jackal god on the standard with a protuberance /SdSd/ at the foot. Sed appears on the Palermo Stone III, 11.

You wrote: "One also notes the presence of a portable bark-shrine on the second register, an object not attested before the Middle Kingdom, AFAIK. "

The stela of Ikhernofret alludes to the an early bark shrine, but he was repairing it in his day. It's unclear how much earlier it may have been in use. A djed and tyet-girdle amulet have been found in grave goods dating to the 1st dynasty at Helwan. Couldn't some of the boats on the Palermo Stone be portable boat shrines?

Hi Janine,

I don't have the book you reference, can you offer any more information? Do you mean some of the gods on the stela were not known during the Old Kingdom? Why would a particular assemblage of gods be important?

Jack
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jd degreef (213.177.133.37)
Posted on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 11:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jack,
>The Inventory Stela may be nothing more than reflecting what 26th dynasty priests believed about the 4th dynasty.<
That seems to be the consensus indeed (except with Fringe people).

The temple of Isis is the expanded chapel of the southernmost queen's pyramid alongside the GP, so it touches this small pyramid. The Sphinx lies a few hundred meters SE of this.
The jackal on the stela is the Upuaut, or one of the two jackals also known from the Abydos standards accompanying the sacred bark of Khentimentiu (these standards already occur on the Bull's Palette). Sed (Sedi, "He of the Jubilee" ?) is probably but a name of the god. Min, the Falcon, the Ibis, Onuris accompany the two Jackals in Abydos.
We don't have a single representation of a portable bark shrine before the Middle Kingdom, although "navigations" in the PTs seem to allude to processions between various sites of the cult ritual. The oldest possible representation of a sacred bark, AFAIK, is a hypothetical part of the prow of Amon's boat on a sculpture fragment from Mentuhotep II's temple at Deir el-Bahari. As you rightly mention, the 12th dyn. official Ikhernefert mentions the sacred bark of Osiris Khentimentiu at Abydos.

JD
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jdean (64.12.96.43)
Posted on Saturday, September 07, 2002 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,

A couple comments about late Egyptian beliefs about their earlier history. The Inventory Stela offers a glimpse of Egyptian beliefs that the:

1) Sphinx predated the Great Pyramid,
2) a temple of Isis existed prior to the construction of the Great Pyramid.

While this latter indication may be an anachronism, it suggests that a cult of Isis existed prior to the 4th dynasty. We know it was an Egyptian habit of building stone temples over the foundations or sacred areas of older brick or more perishable material temples. An 11th dynasty mud-brick temple built by Sankhkare Mentuhotep was built on top of a peak known as Thoth Hill in western Thebes on the same site as an earlier stone temple built in Archaic times (Wilkinson, _The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt_, p. 37). Both structures were aligned to a star Sirius (Sothis), which is associated mythologically with Isis. Another temple site at Medamud had a preformal temple dating to c. 2500 BC, with a later temple on the same site dating to Tuthmosis III, c. 1450 BC (Kemp, _Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization_, p 66). An early shrine at Elephantine is preserved beneath the pavement of the 18th dynasty temple of the goddess Satis (Kemp, p. 70). Is it known if the temple of Isis built at Giza stands on top of an earlier sacred space devoted to Isis?

This isn't the only revealing belief of the Egyptians about their earlier history. The notion that King Djer's tomb was the site of Osiris' tomb is another example.

I'm still curious if some of the boats on the Palermo Stone could be portable boat shrines. There is a relief block from the Step Pyramid complex of Netjerikhet showing a king dragging a boat, but that's not a portable boat shrine (Wilkinson, _Early Dynastic Egypt_, p. 302). Portable tent shrines probably did exist though.

Jack
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jd degreef (213.177.133.92)
Posted on Sunday, September 08, 2002 - 01:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jack,
Isis is linked with Osiris and the Delta. An archaic temple of Isis in Giza would be rather unexpected ! As for so many temples, the Late Period priests will have wanted to stress its great antiquity, presenting things as if it antedated the Great Pyramid. We don't hear of Osiris, Lord of Rosetau, or of Isis, during the OK. If their temples had already existed, we would have found plenty of priests of theirs, given the number of tombs preserved at Giza !
There certainly was at least one archaic model boat : Zokar's henu bark ! It appears in the name of a 2d dyn. woman Nes-Henu (Lyon, Musée Saint-Pierre)*, on a funerary stela ; then indeed on a fragment of a wooden box found in one of the underground passages of Djoser's step pyramid**. I'm sending you a scan, but don't expect to see much...

JD

*L'Egypte des millénaires obscurs (exhib. catal.), Hatier & Musées de Marseille, Paris, 1990, p. 89.
**FIRTH & QUIBELL, Step Pyramid II, 1935, Plates, pl. 109.
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jdean (152.163.188.68)
Posted on Sunday, September 08, 2002 - 01:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,
Thanks for the scan. That's a valuable piece of pictorial information.

I just don't get this: "We don't hear of Osiris, Lord of Rosetau, or of Isis, during the OK." The Pyramid Texts date to the Old Kingdom (late 5th dynasty-6th dynasty). "It is believed that the religion of Osiris, Isis' husband, was not well established until the second half of the Sixth Dynasty" (Lesko, _The Great Goddesses of Egypt_, p. 159). Two amulets (one associated with Isis and one associated with Osiris) were found in a 1st dynasty cemetery at Helwan near Cairo. That's not to say their cults were firmly established in the area of Giza, but it doesn't rule ir out as a possibility. I do agree with Barbara Lesko and undoubtedly others when she said, "Although Pyramid Texts predated the pyramids, they reflect developments and adaptations over a long period" (p. 158).

The earliest sakhu-ritual which is attested extremely often and appears in the same order already in the pyramids, PT Utt. 213-219 and 220-222, is recognized as the oldest mortuary liturgy and it remained the most popular into the Late Period (Assman, 'Egyptian Mortuary Liturgies' in _Studies in Egyptology: Presented to Miriam Lichtheim_, vol. I, p. 14). King Unas had it inscribed on the south wall of his sarcophagus chamber (Ossing, 'Zur Disposition der Pyramidtexte des Unas' in _MDIK_ 42, 1987, pp. 131-144). Osiris and Isis are both mentioned in PT Utt. 217. I don't know if internal references would allow us to accurately date this liturgy to a period earlier than the late 5th dynasty, but it's structure indicates the Heliopolitan priests had already worked out its salient features.

You wrote: " If their temples had already existed, we would have found plenty of priests of theirs, given the number of tombs preserved at Giza !"

I'm at a loss to explain this. Have you got some scanned examples of doors or walls from 4th dynasty tombs to establish this point? I have one fairly decent picture of the tomb entrance to the tomb of Merib at Giza (G2100 Annex) from the early 5th dynasty, c. 2500 BC. In the two register offering formula on the lintel (?), I don't read Osiris or Isis' name mentioned. A number of festivals are mentioned and boats are depicted in both registers. Turning to the mastaba of the vizier Mehu at Saqqara, early 6th dynasty, c. 2330 BC, an excellent picture shows Osiris' name mentioned in the second of three registers of offering formulas across the top of the false door. The 1st register connects Wepawet with Heliopolis, and the second register connects Osiris with Djedu (Busiris) in the delta. I'm unconvinced that Merib wouldn't have known about Isis and Osiris given the level of consistency in the sakhu-ritual cited above.

Sincerely,
Jack
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Charly (62.4.142.111)
Posted on Sunday, September 08, 2002 - 02:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jack, I posted most of this text under another thread but it seemed appropriate to post it here considering your questions about the origin of Osiris and Isis. I hope this is usefull in some way.

Some researchers suggest that the events of the second dynasty, Horus-kings against Seth-kings, influenced the later "Osiris-myth". This seems to be confirmed by the fact that Weneg, another second dynasty king, appears as an obscure god in the pyramid texts. This brings us to one of the most controversial subjects concerning AE religion; the origin of Osiris.
Most researchers think the Osiris-figure emerged and evolved during the fifth dynasty, to be incorporated in the Pyramid Texts at the end of this dynasty.
H. Altenmuller claims Osiris (together with Isis and Nephthys) were originally figures connected with the mummification ritual and became gradually gods during the fifth dynasty. IMHO the period suggested to hold the origin and evolution of these gods is simply to short. I tend to agree with those researchers who place the origin of the
Osiris-figure in the second-dynasty or even earlier. I think the process started in predynastic times with the influence of the Gilgamesh-figure (found in a royal tomb in
Hiëraconpolis). The Gilgamesh story represents the desire to become immortal (a god). During the second dynasty the figure of the deceased king (already considered to be a half-god?) became connected with gods like Khentiamentiu and probably also with Ra (and Atum?). At the end of the second, beginning of the third dynasty the
"Osiris-myth" (a first version) was probably formed as a legitimisation myth ( to ensure the continuation of the royal bloodline) in order to prevent the emergence of future "rebel-kings". In the complex of Neterikhet a cartouche of the kings name was found; on both sides the cartouche was supported by a hybrid form of a Djed-pillar
and a Tijet-knot ("later" the symbols of Osiris and Isis). Could this mean: Horus (the king) protected by his divine parents Osiris and Isis (his father, the previous king and his mother)? The combination of a Djed-pillar and a Tijet-knot was already present under Khasekhemui. At the end of the dynasty we find with the anonymous mummy
of Meidum mastaba nr. 17 further evidence for the existence of an "Osiris-myth"; the mummy had "suffered" the same mutilations as the three kings from the Osiris-myth.
The eyes were gauged out and replaced by paste balls (Horus); limbs and head were cut of and bandaged separate (Osiris), sexual organs were cut of and bandaged separate (Seth) (Altenmullers theory fails to explain the origin of these ritual
mutilations).
Often the existence of Djed-pillars alone is used as an indication for an Osiris-cult before Dyn. 5; this is however is an incorrect deduction because Djed-pillars were also the symbols of gods like Sokar and Ptah.
The god Osiris evolved from the cult in honour of the deceased king and always retained a "human" aspect. Until the late OK the "Osiris-cult" was only connected with the funerary cult of the king; only then seperate temples for this god are emerging.


Some feedback:
· linguistic evidence for a second dynasty Osiris: J. Seidler, "Zur Etymologie des Gottesnamens Osiris", in SAK (28), 2000, p. 309-316.
· Ritual mutilation of mummies A. J. Spencer, "Death in Ancient Egypt", 1982, p. 39-43.
· Origin of Isis and Nephthys H. Altenmuller, "Zum Ursprung von Isis und Nephthys", in SAK (27), 1999, p. 1-26.
· Djoser cartouche R.T. Rundle Clarck, "Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt", p. 236-237.
* Recent: T. Wilkinson, "Early Dynastic Egypt"
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Janine (66.26.43.93)
Posted on Sunday, September 08, 2002 - 07:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

jdean: Sorry I missed your post earlier when attached to JD's, (Aug. 26)..for Petrie's comments on the inventory stele go to:

http://members.optushome.com.au/fmetrol/petrie/
c17.html

Scroll to Sect. 118, Petukhanus Tablet. P.156

The entire book can probably be reached by linking back through this URL. However, if not -the full book can be reached through

Google: Pyramids and Temples of Giza, "Petrie" - then go to:
>Pyramids, Guardian's Egypt (2nd one), scroll to P.& T of Giza, >Historical Notes. >Sect. 118,(includes p156.)

One of the two temples described in this stele was found in 1957 (don't remember which). The other has never been found, AFAIK. (Possibly destroyed). I don't know if they searched for it BECAUSE of the location/description of temples on the stele - or found it accidentally.

The scratchy intaglio of this stele, gave me the impression of a 'here-lies-memoriam' - put there by one, not a skilled hieroglypic carver, who wanted to permanently record the locations of temples no longer visible - possibly covered by sand.

-If it is a copy, one wonders from what and when was it copied? How old is the temple already found? When did sand first encroach after that? If a copy, one would guess that the first (unfound) record would date from that period...

-And why the (overkill) assemblage of mixed gods not normally found together? (Perhaps to convince others of its' truth and importance, no matter which gods were accepted at the time?)

Ah...these are ruminations...but it was not the mention of Khufu that got me. It was the intaglio.

-Why is it an odd 'squeek' always wakes you up - but never the ordinary? :)
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jd degreef (213.177.158.40)
Posted on Monday, September 09, 2002 - 09:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jack and Charly,
The OK absence of Osiris and Isis which I stated was meant locally, at Giza, and the lack concerned "Osiris, Lord of Ro-setau" (who had thus usurped Zokar's fiefdom, but at the LP Zokar had fused with Ptah and Osiris : Ptah-Zokar-Osiris). If there had been OK temples of Osiris and Isis there, we would have attestations of their gods-servants, especially since we have a vast necropolis used for generations.
There are very, very few mentions of Osiris and Isis before the late 5th dynasty (if you see an OK false door with Osiris mentioned in the offering formula, you can adopt your most serious look and state "this is a 6th dyn. monument" : it never fails to impress people :-)!). Apart from the instance you quoted (and which I didn't know : do you have a primary reference or pics ?), there's a seal dating from Aha which seems to name one zA-st, but I prefer a reading zA-Hp, "son of the Apis" instead of "son of Isis" (or even "son of the Throne"). The oldest certain mentions are in Unas' Pyramid Texts. But there had just been a religious change, during the preceding reign, that of Djedkare-Izezi :
-no more solar temples
-reappearance of the niches room in the layout of the pyramid
-appearance of new words, thought to represent a Lower Egyptian dialect.
So it seems that a new group of people became prominent at the Residence, and that they also imported the cult of Osiris. The matter with the niches room, which had existed from Snefru onwards, makes me wonder whether Osiris or an Osiris-like deity hadn't been present before the interlude of the 5th dyn. solar kings*. His incorporation into the Heliopolitan Ennead must be pretty old too ! One wonders what the PTs were like, two generations before Unas !
As to the original nature of Osiris : this is one of the most complex Egyptian gods, and who is to say what his original nature was ? The way I tried to ascertain this is to look at the religions of neighboring countries, and there are deities there resembling Osiris. I once posted this in a string called Origins of AE religion or something like that.
I'm extremely defiant of "political" explanations of AE religion, such as the Horite against the Sethan kings during the 2d dynasty : AFAIK there's absolutely no proof of this !
I like Charly's speculation about the meaning of the Djed & possibly Tit symbols on the pedestal of Djoser's statue from the entrance colonnade / chapel. One would need to link this djed with the other occurrences in the complex (subterranean granary-shrines ; putative granary-shrines sticking out of the platform near the S. Mastaba ; djed-window in "temple T"…). The combination of a djed and a knot already occurs on one of Ninetjer's seals (early 2d dyn.), an anonymous goddess holding an ankh and a wAD turning her back to it. The funerary corn symbolism is very ancient : grains of corn on bodies at Merimde, mat with corn in 2d dyn. tombs ! Is the link of corn and the djed with the Memphite god Zokar or with the NE Delta god Osiris ?
As to ritual dismemberment (treating the corpse as corn, with the hope that it will live again as apparently dead corn seeds do), it's well attested in the Ghassulian culture of Canaan, contemporary with the Egyptian early pre-dynastic. AFAIK the dismemberment doesn't appear in Upper Egypt before the Gerzean, i.e. at a date when there had been contacts with the North. The Old Kingdom examples would indicate the funerary role of corn gods, but again : Osiris or Zokar ?

JD

*indirectly, since from my reconstruction of the ritual in the PTs, the niches room was linked with the nwn, not with Osiris.
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Monday, September 09, 2002 - 06:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Charly,

Thanks for posting this information. I have reviewed the Clark and Wilkinson references since I have them at hand. The others I don't have.

You wrote: "H. Altenmuller claims Osiris (together with Isis and Nephthys) were originally figures connected with the mummification ritual and became gradually gods during the fifth dynasty. IMHO the period suggested to hold the origin and evolution of these gods is simply to short."

Likewise, I think a longer evolutionary cycle is required. It perplexes me though that offering formulas of the 6th dynasty include Osiris, but of the mid-5th dynasty exclude Osiris. I mentioned the Pyramid Text sakhu-ritual because it mentions Osiris and Isis and also a 'float' for raising the dead-king to the stellar firmament. That is one of the primitive conveyances used in the Pyramid Texts. Sakhu-rituals from the Coffin Texts, although they date from the Middle Kingdom, often portray elements that are older. One older sakhu-ritual includes CT Spells 1-26. CT 20 mentions straightening bent knees or legs (I, 56) and coffins (I, 57). The earliest burial practices involved pot burials with the corpse in a flexed position, it was replaced by short coffin burial with the corpse in a flexed position, and thirdly, a long coffin with the corpse laid out extended. The reference in CT Spell 20 might refer to this second stage of burials where the deceased was placed in a short coffin in a flexed position. When you date the instances of the short coffins to the Archaic period, it suggests this sakhu-ritual may date to that time as well.

I've drifted away from the center of interest, the Inventory Stela, which is dated to the 26th dynasty. I'm questioning can we be certain that an Isis Temple did not sit on the site near the Great Pyramid given the habit of the Egyptians of constructing later temples on earlier sacred space. JD is right when he points out that evidence of Osiris and Isis prior to the 6th dynasty is indirect. I haven't seen many 4th dynasty mastaba tombs, so I would like to see the evidence when I get a chance.

You wrote, "I think the process started in predynastic times with the influence of the Gilgamesh-figure (found in a royal tomb in Hiëraconpolis). The Gilgamesh story represents the desire to become immortal (a god)."

What figure are you referring to?

You wrote, "At the end of the dynasty we find with the anonymous mummy of Meidum mastaba nr. 17 further evidence for the existence of an "Osiris-myth"; the mummy had "suffered" the same mutilations as the three kings from the Osiris-myth. The eyes were gauged out and replaced by paste balls (Horus); limbs and head were cut of and bandaged separate (Osiris), sexual organs were cut of and bandaged separate (Seth) (Altenmullers theory fails to explain the origin of these ritual mutilations)."

So at the end of dynasty 2? or 3, an anonymous, non-king (prince?), had suffered the same mutilations as kings. I had thought an Osirian mortuary liturgy was the special property of the king, which might have explained why it was absent in a nobleman's mastaba tombs at Giza until the 6th dynasty. It was to equip the king to ascend to the starry sky. Is democratization of the Afterlife hiding Osiris and Isis from the archaeological record for the earlier 4th dynasty period?

Sincerely,
Jack
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jdean (64.12.96.43)
Posted on Monday, September 09, 2002 - 08:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Janine,

Thanks for the link. I placed it in my favorites to go back and take a closer look at later. I did read sect. 118 though. It's probably best to separate the posts, since I scan the summary and only follow some threads.

You wrote, "-And why the (overkill) assemblage of mixed gods not normally found together? (Perhaps to convince others of its' truth and importance, no matter which gods were accepted at the time?)"

That is unusual, but why the pious fraud? Who benefits from a fabrication?

I know Min was an important deity that dated from predynastic times and enjoyed national significance from an early period of the state. The 'thunderbolt' symbol of Min is attested from the Predynastic period and occurs on the Scorpion Macehead. The cult of Min was still flourishing and honored with royal patronage at the end of the 2nd dynasty (Wilkinson, 1999, 291). How long did it flourish after that? Did it fall into obscurity? My understanding was that he was incorporated into the Amun cult and also worshipped in some areas as Min-Horus. If the Amun cult came to dominate the religious landscape of the New Kingdom, how was the scribe who carved the Inventory Stele even aware of this particular iconography?

Then there's Sed with the shedshed, how often do you see that after the early period? How did that scribe so late in Egypt's history even know about it? It's like dating the Shabaka Stone: Once it was thought to be a stone copy of an earlier perishable copy because of the statement about an original written on papyrus or leather that was found worm-eaten, and the language was archaic and resembled the Pyramid Texts (see Lichtheim, _AEL_, I, p. 51). Now the Memphite Theology is dated closer to the 25th dynasty (c. 710 BC) based on counter evidence that it's an archaizing composition (F. Junge, _MDAIK_ 29 (1973) 195-204). What's a person to believe: Junge or Lichtheim?

The escalation of the archaizing tendency in the eighth and seventh centuries 'probably' owes something to the aim of foreign rulers to be accepted by Egyptians according to John Taylor in 'The Third Intermediate Period', in _The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt_, p. 357. Would foisting a fabrication on the Egyptians have promoted the foreign king's aim in the instance of the Shabako Stone and did the priests just not know any better in the case of the Inventory Stela? For the time, the Egyptian priests had at their disposal some excellent records in their temple libraries. They apparently thought the Sphinx predated the Great Pyramid.

Sincerely,
Jack
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jd degreef (80.236.134.171)
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 08:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jack,
The presence of Min in the temple of Isis could be due to the god's incorporation among the Abydos gods, at the beginning of the 1st dynasty at the latest (Bull's Palette). During the FIP Osiris assimilated the Abydene god Khentimentiu (with his associated gods Min, the Upuaut, Horus, Thot etc.: see Abydos standards). So we shouldn't be astonished to finds these gods in a shrine of Isis.
BTW the Upuaut with his shedshed standard is common at all periods. If you visit Ptolemaic temples, you'll see reliefs of the king going in procession towards the temple, preceded by the standards, among whom the Upuaut wolf. There's also a vignette of the BoD with the Abydos standard (head of Osiris) and the two canine standards (not sure one of them features the shedshed though).

JD
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Charly (62.4.201.99)
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 01:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jack,

About the Gilgamesh-figure: there are two examples where such a figure appears; a wall-painting in a Gerzean tomb (nr. 100) in Hiëraconpolis and the knife-handle of Gebel-El-Arak. A Mesopotamian type of hero subdues two lions (this is called the Gilgamesh-motif).
See: C. Aldred, "Egypt to the end of the Old Kingdom", (library of the early civilisations, ed. S. Piggot), 1965 (1988), London, p. 32-36.
Or: B.J. Kemp, "Ancient Egypt", London, 1989, p. 48, fig. 14.

"The fullest version of the Epic of Gilgamesh (legendary king of Uruk) was produced in the early second millennium BC. It combined earlier legends to create a myth whose basic theme concerned human beings' attempts to avoid death." The secret of eternal life was to obtain the "plant of life" (Djed-pillar in AE!).
From: M. Roaf, "Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the ancient Near East", New York, 1990, p. 84.

IMHO the appearance of the Gilgamesh-figure lays at the origin of the "Osiris-evolution". Apparently there was a desire to create a "divine prototype" of the deceased king (importance of the ancestral spirits). This prototype of the deceased king became connected with several gods (in different places and at different times); for example: Khentiamentiu in Abydos in the first dynasty?; Sokar (and other solar deities?) in Saqqara in the second dynasty? And so on…
It is difficult to say when this "divine prototype of the deceased king" became Osiris because no religious texts older then the Pyramid Texts have been found (yet).

About the mummy of Mastaba nr. 17: Indeed, most researchers think it belonged to a royal prince, Swelim suggested it could have been the mummy of king Nebkara but there is no real evidence for this.

"Is democratisation of the Afterlife hiding Osiris and Isis from the archaeological record for the earlier 4th dynasty period?" IMHO, yes.

You wrote: "I've drifted away from the centre of interest, the Inventory Stela, which is dated to the 26th dynasty. I'm questioning can we be certain that an Isis Temple did not sit on the site near the Great Pyramid given the habit of the Egyptians of constructing later temples on earlier sacred space."
I don't know if you're familiar with the theory of Colin Reader who suggests that the Sphinx and other structures on the Giza plateau may be part of a second dynasty solar cult. I've been toying with the idea that the location of the Isis temple should be sought more close to the other structures mentioned on the stela; the Sphinx, Sphinx-temple and the "House of Osiris" (rediscovered by Hawass). The writers of the texts on the stela could have been confused by the location of the Isis-temple founded in the 21st dyn. The Isis-temple and the "House of Osiris" could have been part of this solar-cult since both gods have a connection with Ra (although this is not accepted for the second dynasty). Could the Isis-temple have been Khafre's mortuary temple (Khafre's mortuary temple is one of the other structures Reader considers to be of Second Dynasty origin)? An independent Isis- or Osiris temple prior to Khufu seems unlikely since we know the development of these must be situated in the late Old Kingdom.

About the "House of Osiris" (also called Osiris-tomb): I think it's possible that this tomb which Hawass believes was build in the New Kingdom (or Late Period?) is in fact much older. I think Amenhotep II discovered this tomb when he restored the Sphinx (and built the small temple). The so-called "Osiris-shaft" mentioned by Hawass can also be found in the tomb of Amenhotep II. He was the first king who installed a deep pit filled with water in his tomb. Some scholars see in this shaft a link with Osiris and call it an "Osiris-shaft" (that's probably where Hawass got the name!) I believe it's likely that Amenhotep II, inspired by the discovery of the "Osiris-shaft" leading to the Osiris-tomb, had one installed in his tomb. How old the "House of Osiris" really is, is difficult to say (the Late Period objects can be explained as a restoration; one of the many on the Giza plateau) but IMHO it's older than the New Kingdom.


Charly
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,

You are right about this: "There are very, very few mentions of Osiris and Isis before the late 5th dynasty (if you see an OK false door with Osiris mentioned in the offering formula, you can adopt your most serious look and state "this is a 6th dyn. monument" : it never fails to impress people :-)!)."

My evidence is indirect and textual based on some allusions that could be interpreted differently. Dating OK tombs is based on additional features other than the mention of Osiris and Isis. The two pictures I cited from the 5th dynasty for the tomb of Merib and the 6th dynasty for the tomb of the vizier Mehu both can be found in 'Daily Life in Eternity - The Mastabas and Rock-Cut Tombs of Officials' by Hartwig Altenmüller in _Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs_. They do support your point. My son scanned the picture of the tomb entrance of Merib so you can see what might be portable boats (?). A 4th dynasty slab stela of Iunu from Giza (G 4150) apparently shows no mention of Osiris and Isis; he was an overseer during the construction of Khufu's pyramid (p. 81). Another false door of the royal daughter, Wenshet, from Giza (G 4840) lacks the usual offering formula altogether, although she is described as a priestess of Hathor and Neith (p. 82). So of these two examples, from the 4th dynasty, no mention is found of Isis or Osiris.

You wrote "His (ie Osiris) incorporation into the Heliopolitan Ennead must be pretty old too !"

I certainly think so. Which utterances of the Pyramid Texts are the oldest? Do you find Osiris and Isis in those utterances? I have no explanation for why there seems to be PT Utterances that might pre-date the 5th dynasty and yet the Heliopolitan ennead is largely absent in the 4th dynasty elite tombs. Ulrich Luft suggests in "A Different World _ Religious Conceptions' in _Egypt: The World of the Pharoahs_, p. 421 that the linguistic form of the collection of spells in the Pyramid Texts 'may date back as far as the Pre- and Protodynastic Periods'. While I'm skeptical they date that far back, I could envision them dating to the beginning of the Old Kingdom.

Sincerely,
Jack
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Charly,

I'd like to respond...tomorrow.

Jack
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jd degreef (213.177.133.71)
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 - 01:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Jack,
>Dating OK tombs is based on additional features other than the mention of Osiris and Isis.<
Of course ! Do you know Nadine CHERPION's work in this domain ? But the presence of Osiris instead of Anubis (generally) is an easy criterion for an attribution to the extreme end of the 5th dyn. at the earliest, generally such a tomb is 6th dyn.

>...tomb entrance of Merib so you can see what might be portable boats (?)<
From memory, the tomb of Merib has been dated by the CHERPION criteria to the 4th dyn., maybe even Khufu's reign.
The boats mentioned are real ones, for example a dwA-tA.wj bark in the upper inscription here, at the end of the Anubis offering formula, in the title sDAw.tj dwA-tA.wj, "Sealer of the Dua-tawi". See "Anubis at the Head of the Tent" on the top line, extreme right (where the Htp-dj-njswt indication has been cut off when taking the picture).
A dwA-tA.wj boat of 16 ribs is mentioned in Snefru's reign on the Palermo Stone, and the year after one of 100 cubits !

As to which PT utterances are the oldest... Some that look recent may result from slight modifications of old ones. For example mentions of Re may have been mentions to the Ombite, Seth, initially. So "recent" solar spells may be old. And some of the Osiris spells may be transformed Haroeris of Qus spells (i.e. related to the Ombite's Antagonist in his own nome).
Concerning these gods of the Ombite nome, did you notice, BTW, that the new Saharan inscription of Djedefre indicates that the falcon in the title generally read as "Golden Horus" is in fact to be read nTr, "deity". There's a graphical play on Snefru's gilded canopy from the tomb of Hetep-her-es, where the falcon holds a large Maat-feather, clearly alluding to the king's "Horus" name : in both we have the nTr-falcon, then the nb, "lord" sign or the (w)nb-necklace / plant, then the Maat-sign. This shows that the falcon on the necklace and that on the serekh are to be pronounced the same, i.e. nTr. Both allude to the king's regeneration : in the New Year see-through booth, and being born out of the wnb-plant as the young solar god (Seth, later Re).

JD
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 - 05:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Charly,

You wrote, "I don't know if you're familiar with the theory of Colin Reader who suggests that the Sphinx and other structures on the Giza plateau may be part of a second dynasty solar cult."

I've never read about this. I have read about Stadelmann's theory of placing the Sphinx a little earlier during the reign of King Khufu. A separate example of a sphinx dates to the reign of Djedefre, the immediate predecessor of Khafre. Some reasons Stadelmann offers for a slightly earlier date for the Sphinx are stylistic. Borrowing from Francesco's wording in an
earlier posting:

"There are many reasons to believe this, mainly stylistic ones (face features, proportions, form of ears, eyes -open wide as in some Khufu reign reserve heads-, eyebrows, nemes and Uraeus type, lack of beard); also the earliest depiction (NK)of the Sphinx with pyramids seemed to link it with Khufu's pyramid rather than with Khaefra's one: on an earlier monument than the Inventory stela, a ramessid stela of the scribe Montu-Hr, the picture presents Khufu's pyramid behind the Sphinx and Khaefra's on the left. (I ve no picture). The attribution in Thutmosis' IV Dreamstela could also be avoided as for the one in the stela of the predecessor Amenhotep II; it's not a determining one. The quarry in which the monument is situated was exploited by Khufu's pyramid builders. The course of Khaefra's causeway might have been built at such a heavily southward shifted angle, just to meet the preexisting (?) monument of his father by which to build Sphinx- and Valley- temples."

The article I have is Stadelmann, "Royal Tombs from the Age of the Pyramids", pp. 47-77, in _Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs_. The line drawing from the stela of Mentu-Hor (after Selim Hassan) shows the Great Pyramid directly behind the Sphinx (_Riddles of the Sphinx_, p.109). If the Sphinx had been built first, albeit in the same reign of Khufu, the cultural memory of the Sphinx predating the GP on the Inventory Stela could be basically correct. The situation regarding the memory of the Isis temple dating to the 4th dynasty is a toss-up. JD is right from what I can see of 4th dynasty mastaba tombs of the elite and the absence of mentions of priestesses of her temple; but the Pyramid texts show signs of earlier dating. Papyrus copies of the Pyramid Text utterances is not out of the question since blank papyrus has been found in a 1st dynasty tomb at Saqarra.
In my view there are reasons not to place the carving of the Sphinx earlier than the 4th dynasty.
Sincerely,
Jack
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jd degreef (80.236.134.69)
Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2002 - 07:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All,
To come back to the Inventory Stela, what we have is :
1. a stela in the Late Period Style, with a list of statues (and sometimes their size and what they're made of). Thus no copy of an older monument. There are walls at Karnak where the king is shown standing in front of Amon and offering obelisks, chapels, vases, barks etc. (see wall of Thutmosis IV's court, now in Open Air Museum ; wall of Thutmosis III near bark shrine of Philippos Arrhidaios...), but no stelae featuring this kind of scene, or representing the inventory of a shrine, AFAIK.
2. a stela featuring the gods associated with Khentimentiu, the prestigious Abydos form of Anubis. What are these doing on a monument from the "Temple of Isis" ? Actually Khentimentiu was assimilated with Osiris during the SIP / Middle Kingdom. So the presence of his companion deities on a stela linked with Isis (and Osiris) can only result from this assimilation and be Middle Kingdom at the earliest (but from point 1. is probably much more recent !).
3. the same can be said about the presence of a portable bark shrine.
4. archaeological evidence shows that the Temple of Isis results from the enlargement and transformation of the cult chapel of Khufu's third queen's pyramid. So pretending, as the stela does, that Khufu built his pyramid and that of queen Henutsen near the Temple of Isis is somewhat preposterous. The priests have evidently sought to give their temple a greater antiquity and prestige than it deserved.
5. the PTs (§ 445) associate Ro-setau with Zokar, not with Osiris.

JD
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,
Your asked, "Do you know Nadine CHERPION's work in this domain ? " No I haven't read this, is it English? I checked through a couple of my bibliographies, but couldn't find a mention. Can you describe the criterion for dating the mastaba tombs? (I really appreciate Francesco taking his time to address the pre-dynastic questions I had posed.)

You wrote, "From memory, the tomb of Merib has been dated by the CHERPION criteria to
the 4th dyn., maybe even Khufu's reign. The boats mentioned are real ones, for example a dwA-tA.wj bark in the upper inscription here, at the end of the Anubis offering formula, in the title sDAw.tj dwA-tA.wj, "Sealer of the Dua-tawi". See "Anubis at the Head of the
Tent" on the top line, extreme right (where the Htp-dj-njswt indication has
been cut off when taking the picture). A dwA-tA.wj boat of 16 ribs is mentioned in Snefru's reign on the Palermo Stone, and the year after one of 100 cubits ! "

Sorry about part of the picture being cut off. The caption states this offering formula consists of a spell that was repeated in this - or similar - form in almost every tomb. This painted limestone wall is presently in Berlin SPMK, Ägyptisches Museum. I can't understand why these boats would be real boats (?). I see /Htp-dj-(n)swt/ 'an offering which the king gives' with a /t/ (?) below the /Htp/ sign. Then, /jnpw xnty zH-nTr/ 'Anubis, Foremost of the divine tent. The Palermo Stone picture and Merib's tomb entrance is pictured in the same book, which I cited earlier. I've looked at /dwA-tA.wj/ on the Palermo Stone, which is formed by the hand [D47] /d/, lasso [V4] /wA/, with two strips of land [N16] /tA.wy/ in one vertical column on the Palermo Stone VI.3. The Merib word is formed by a 5 pointed star [N14] /sbA/ or /dwA/, Allen shows it as a [S19] 'seal on a necklace' , then two [N16]'s. I see something like 'divine is the star sealing the two lands'. If it is 'Sealer of the Dua-tawi', the spelling is different! How can we be sure if it is the boat that is being 'sealed' or it is the two lands? Are you saying the list of festivals in the second line which contains a request for invocation offerings is followed by a real boat?

Sincerely,
Jack
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jd degreef (213.177.133.241)
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Jack,
Nadine CHERPION's work is : "Mastabas et hypogées d'Ancien Empire. Le problème de la datation", Connaissance de l'Egypte Ancienne, Brussels, 1989. She used about sixty iconographical criteria to date OK tombs (shape of seats, of wigs etc.). Although the proof that Merib's tomb indeed belongs to the 4th dyn. isn't absolute, she thinks it is older than the date commonly mentioned, i.e. the Fifth Dynasty (p. 123 note 257).
On the Merib inscription (I used the pic p. 80 of the well-known KÖNEMANN Verl. book) :
-upper horizontal line : "A boon which the king gives to Anubis at the head of the Chapel, that (he gives) a burial (in the) Western Mountain / Desert (to) the lord and imakhu with the Great God, (and) a very good old age to the god's sealer of the bark bA-nTr.w ('Power of the Gods'), the king's son Mer-ib".
-lower horizontal line : "(May there) come out at the invocation bread and beer, at the Thot festival, the wag festival, the sAD festival, the wax festival, the Procession of Min festival, the festival of the month and of the half-month, the Great Festival, every festival and every day, (for) the god's sealer of the dwA-tA.wj ('Adoration by the Double Country') bark, the lord and imakhu beloved of his Lord, Mer-ib".
-in front of left standing figure : "the god's sealer of the bark bA-nTr.w, the god's sealer of the bark nb rxjjt ('Lord of the Rekhyt- populace'), the god's sealer of the bark dwA-tA.wj, Mer-ib".
-in front of right standing figure : "god's sealer of bA-nTr.w".
-on the drum : "the king's son of his body, god's sealer of the barks bA-nTr.w, dwA-tA.wj, [can't make out the rest]".
-in front of the left son : "his son of his body, the royal acquaintance, Khufu-mery-netjeru"
-in front of right son : "his son of his body, the eldest, the royal acquaintance, Mer-ib"
The title "god's sealer" was also that of people leading expeditions etc., so that it may only imply a job of controlling the supplies for the bark or I don't know what. It doesn't necessarily mean that he had to seal the bark itself.
You have noticed two different ways of writing dwA-tA.wj, once with d + lasso, once with the dwA star.
The three bark names are interesting : 'Lord of the Rekhyt' seems to mean that the king is meant, so that he would then also be the one "worshipped by Egypt" and "bA-soul of the gods" ? The latter will no doubt interest you most !

JD
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,

In your point 1 of your summation of the Inventory Stela, I think you are right that this is not a copy of an older monument. In the case of the Shabako Stone, that specific claim is made; here it is not. When it comes to a late period style, I'm uncertain. Part of the characterization of that style is an archaizing tendency. The grouping of particular gods may be important, but I can't understand why. I'm inclined to be more persuaded by whether there is evidence of each particular god depicted in that style present in the archaeological record from the Old Kingdom or the Archaic period. Min and Sed are known from the Archaic Period. Isis is uncertain. The portable boat shrine is not known in that style although the presence of navigations in the Pyramid Texts and boats with elongated bases can be found. Portable boat shrines were used during festivals in the NK period, the boats in Merib's tomb is mentioned immediately after requests for invocation offerings at various /Abd/ 'monthly' and /mDdjwnt/ 'half-monthly' festvals /zH-hb wr zH-hb nb-ra nb/. So, I'm still unclear if that is a real boat or a processional one. Looking at your translation, when you got to the columns with the bark beneath, you read sideways instead of column wise in the 2nd register. I think you are justified in this reading because to the left of the door vertically above the three barks is the star and two strips of land. I don't know what a 'divine sealer' is. I know there are variations in the way one of the sons of Horus' name was written in the NK. Duamutef sometimes shows a star, and sometimes with a man with hands raised in adoration, and again sometimes with a man spearing something. If this is why you chose 'dwA' as a reading, I would think that /sbA/ is just as good. The Egyptians thought of their gods residing in the starry firmament, those would be the actual stars. I guess I'd like to see what a 'sealer' really is; does it have any connection with festivals?

In your point 2, what are these particular gods doing in a temple of Isis? If a process of assimilation was taking place between a lower Egyptian Osiris of Busiris in the Delta and the Upper Egyptian gods of Khentiamentiu, Anubis, Sed, Wepawet, then placing them on the same stela might be understandable within that context. A Late Period priest who was just picking out a collection of deities might not even be interested in that particular collection of gods. From the 19th dynasty when one of Ramesses II's sons, Khaemwese, had an antiquarian interest, we know some priests and intellectuals of that day were taking an active interest in their own history, preserving some of the tombs of their past, trying to uncover ancient wisdom buried there. It's not impossible, but not necessarily so, that priests may have uncovered information they thought was from the 4th dynasty and enshrined it in a later period temple. Is there any other mention that is known that attributes one of the satellite pyramids next to the GP to Henutsen? Not that I know of.

You wrote, "Actually Khentimentiu was assimilated with Osiris during the SIP / Middle Kingdom. "

Do you mean First Intermediate Period?

The early 6th dynasty tomb of the vizier, Mehu, has the 1st line of the offering formula with Anubis, /Htp-dj-nsw Htp-dj-jnpw xnt(y) nTr jmy-wt/ and the 2nd line of the offering formula with Osiris, /Htp-dj-nsw dj-wsjr xnt Ddw/, both combined with cultic acts of the king. I mistakenly called /jmy-wt/ by the name /jwnw/ on Sep. 8. Anubis and Osiris are placed in symmetry, one under the other. It suggests Anubis is the foremost god of /wt/, a place or town, by the inclusion of [O49], ideogram for /nwt/ 'town'. I can't find the pillar-like object in Allen. Right below, it suggests Osiris is the foremost of Busiris in the delta. The use of this sign /xnt/ in both formulas remind me of Khenti-amentiu, what would they mean to you?

The first dynasty seals (one found in 1986 in the tomb of Den and the other found in 1996 at the tomb of Qaa) shows the presence of Khentiamentiu among several deceased 1st dynasty kings. Whether you agree with Gunter Dreyer's proposal that the presence of Khentiamentiu on the seal represents a deceased king for which there was no funeral cult active, or it identifies these kings as Khenti-amentiu, the association between deceased kings and Khentiamentiu was already present in the 1st dynasty. This doesn't connect Khenti-amentiu to Osiris, but Mehu's tomb in the 6th dynasty does that. The recumbent dog in the offering formula of Mehu is the same as in the two 1st dynasty seals. Since they practised ancestor cults in the 1st dynasty and ancestor worship was further developed and elaborated upon into the Old Kingdom period with domains and towns built for that sole purpose and dead kings had been associated with Khenti-amentiu, I would suggest the assimilation had already begun when Mehu's tomb was built and decorated.
In your point 4, you write "So pretending, as the stela does, that Khufu built his pyramid and that of queen Henutsen near the Temple of Isis is somewhat preposterous. The priests have evidently sought to give their temple a greater antiquity and prestige than it deserved."
The motivation behind this is unclear. The area where Khufu built his pyramid tomb and cult was a sacred space. The area was a sacred area during the 4th dynasty by the mere fact the king would harnass so much manpower to construct such a monument. Maybe it is preposterous. I'm not certain that the 'Memphite Theology' wasn't what it said it was, a copy of an earlier worm-eaten document. The Turin Canon has survived to this day in quite fragmentary condition, what is that 3000 years? A worm-eaten document from the Old Kingdom (2500 BC) to the 25th dynasty (700 BC) is not completely out of the question. There are experts like Junge who have good reasons for arguing as they do. Your last statement about giving a temple more prestige than it deserved casts a cloud of suspicion over the priests.Why did the priests do that?
In your point 5, Rostau is associated with Sokar instead of Osiris. Where is Rostau? We touched on a 3rd dynasty king pulling possibly a henu-bark. Sokar's festival apparently is mentioned on the Palermo Stone, I don't think Osiris is mentioned there. Shaw and Nicholson in _The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt_ may be incorrect when they write, "By the Old Kingdom (2686BC-2182BC) he (Sokar) was identified with the god of the dead, Osiris, who, according to legend, was slain by the evil god Seth at Abydos, thus extending the domain of Sokar into Upper Egypt" (p. 274). They cite three works in support of their statements, but I don't have any of them: 1) Gaballa and Kitchen, 'The Festival of Sokar' in _Orientalia_ 38 (1969), 1-76, 2) Raven, 'Papyrus-sheaths and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris statues' in _OMRO_ 59-60 (1978-9), 251-96, and 3) Bresciani, 'Sokar', _Lexikon der Ägyptologie V_ ed. Helck, Otto and Westendorf (Wiesbaden, 1984) 1055-74. Sokar was associated with the Memphite necropolis and Ptah was associated with Memphis. When did the identification of Osiris and Sokar take place?
Also, thanks for the title of Nadine Cherpion's work. I can't read french, that's an advantage you and Christine have over me.
Sincerely,
Jack
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jd degreef (213.177.133.241)
Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Jack,
-On the gods of the upper register of the Inventory Stela : this isn't a haphazard association of deities, but they're the gods specifically accompanying the bark of Khentimentiu in Sethy I's temple at Abydos. The same series already appears on the Bull's Palette and partim on the Battlefield Palette (with Anhur), almost at the opposite end of Egyptian history. What are they doing on a stela from an Isis temple ? The only reason I can see is that Isis is the wife of Osiris, and that Osiris and Khentimentiu had fused during the FIP (not SIP, as you noted !) / Middle Kingdom. The Abydene cycle of gods had thus been annexed by Osiris. So this stela couldn't be a copy of an Old Kingdom document !
-On the boats from Merib's door : in tombs belonging to people holding other jobs, it is these duties that would be mentioned at the end of the Htp-dj-njswt or the pr.t-xrw formulae. But Merib was responsible for three ships which apparently transported Khufu himself (many books give him the title of "admiral"). This is the only reason why these boats are mentioned. The readings of the star as sbA or dwA would be equally plausible if we didn't have the word written out alphabetically on the Palermo Stone, d + w !
-The word xnt appears frequently in names and titles of gods, meaning "foremost (of)".
-Ro-setau : somewhere in the Memphite necropolis, some say in Giza. Zokar's main site seems to have been Pedju-she, said to be Abusir. I didn't know he had been identified with Osiris as early as the Old Kingdom. I'll check the LÄ article tomorrow.

JD
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 08:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,

You wrote Aug 25, "The representations of Isis with Hathoric horns on the second register isn't Old Kingdom either."

When is this first seen?

Jack
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jd degreef (213.177.133.120)
Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 12:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jack,
That was a silly statement of mine, as there are no OK representations of Isis altogether (we don't have an Isis temple either, where such representations would be expected) ! But I don't think I've seen any with Hathoric horns and disk before the New Kingdom.

JD
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jdean (205.188.209.77)
Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 09:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

JD,

I don't think it was a silly statement. I was just curious when Isis was first depicted with Hathor horns. You answered the question. Thanks.

Jack
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J.D. Degreef
Senior Member
Username: jd_degreef

Post Number: 26
Registered: 02-2000
Posted From: 213.177.133.108
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 12:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aaargh, it seems that several postings have been erased here.

Jack, I still had the reply to your last two postings on my HD. Since they quote most of your posts before answering each item, I'm reposting them :

Sept. 23d posting :
>If this is a sphinx (the head is missing) and one of the heads of Djedefre (the body is missing) belongs to a sphinx, we could have two small statues representing sphinxes that date earlier than the reign of Khafre.<
The Saqqara Sphinx and accompanying Sekhmet statuette are believed to be Late Period, if I remember well. But one could say that the association here of Khufu with a sphinx may point at his association, in the Late Period people's mind, with the Sphinx. But there are other Old Kingdom Sphinxes, such as the one of Pepy I (JORDAN, Riddles of the Sphinx, p. 86) and of Merenre (L'Art égyptien au temps des pyramides, 1999, p. 346). Maybe these are only the scant remains of a (much) larger number of such sculptures, and then the probability of a link between Khufu and the great Sphinx decreases.

>The funerary boats in Neferefre's could be analogs to Re's morning and evening boats.<
Yes, possible. I don't think that the Khufu boats were, though. Apart from the model boat next to Niuserre's solar temple, none of the Old Kingdom boats looks like a typical solar bark, so maybe none of them were, and they were destined for the "navigations" = processions between the various sites of the cult ritual (even though these were now fused into a Valley- and a "Funerary" Temple).

>"during the Old Kingdom Isis and Hathor were so completely different that Hathor's bark would have had nothing to do in an Isis temple !"
How would you prove this point when the evidence of Isis is so scanty during the OK period? <

I would use the PTs, and here are the spells mentioning Hathor :

P466 Are you Horus, son of Osiris ? Are you the god, the eldest one, the son of Hathor ? Are you the seed of Geb ?
To my astonishment (and embarrassment) this spell could be interpreted as an assimilation of Isis, the spouse of Osiris, with Hathor. Unless what the spell means is :
1. are you the son of a god who is your own old form ?
2. are you the son (Haroeris) of your mother (then wife) Hathor ?
These could be two allusions to the divine cycle of a god : his young and old phases in point 1, his mode of regeneration (inside the body of his mother Hathor) in point 2. One may deem this farfetched, but the two "son" deities mentioned in PT466 aren't identical : Horus, son of Osiris is Horus son of Isis (Harsiese), who isn't the same as Horus the Elder, here the son of Hathor.

P546 How happy are those who see me adorned with my fillet from the brow of Re ! My kilt which is on me is (decorated) with a Hathor(-sporran), my plume is a falcon's plume, and indeed I will ascend to the sky among my brethren the gods.
The Egyptian SnDw.t=f Hr=f m Hw.t-Hr can be translated as "his kilt is on him as Hathor" or "with Hathor". I don't see that Hathor wears a kilt, so the second translation may be better, "with Hathor" = "with a Hathor" = with a Hathoric sporran, as one sees worn by the king on Narmer's Palette, verso.
BTW another small detail may be of interest : the mention of the sSd fillet, and of an ascension to the sky. The sSd, "fillet-chapel" is mentioned on the cone from Huni's small step pyramid at Elephantine, indeed an apt structure for an ascension.

P704-704 O Re ! O wAx.tj, wAx.tj ! O pnd.tj, pnd.tj !
I am you and you are I.
Rejoice at me and rejoice at my kA,
for if you shine in me, I will shine in you.
Make me hale and I will make you hale.
Make me flourish and I will make you flourish,
P705 for I am that Eye of yours which is on the horns of Hathor,
which turns back the years from me.
I spend the night and am conceived and born every day.

The king is identified and indeed fused with the sun, which is rejuvenated during his day / night cycle. Although this isn't explicitly said, the mention of Hathor here can hardly be justified by anything else than that she is the wife (conceive) and mother (born) of the sun, and thus of the king. This confirms the interpretation of P466 above, hinting at the cycle of the god, and possibly at two different cycles (Osiris -> Horus through Isis, one supposes ; two phases of Horus the Elder through Hathor).

Utt. 484 : Hw.t-Hrw is mentioned here as the Mansion of Horus in the sky, towards which the king ascends.
Again so in P1278 ...As for anyone who shall lay a finger on this pyramid and this temple which belong to me and to my kA,
he will have laid a finger on the Mansion of Horus (Hw.t-Hrw) in the firmament,
he will have offended (?) the Lady of the Mansion everywhere (?)...

Interestingly, the pyramid is here identified with Hathor as a building. This may appear astonishing if it weren't for the fact that we know of an Upper Egyptian animal-shaped chapel, very probably representing an elephant, which I interpret as a female deity, a celestial container inside which a god is regenerated at night during a kind of pregnancy. BTW this shrine is linked with Seth more than with Horus, and one still faintly sees in a spell such as this one the old religion where the solar god Seth of Ombos played the role which would later be that of Re. I posted long ago that one of the symbolisms contained in the notion of "pyramid" was that of a seasonal shrine (based on the pyramid shape of Min's hut or tent as shown by a model from the Kestner Museum, Hannover). The present spell would confirm this.

These are all the PT spells naming Hathor, AFAIK. Now we should compare these to what is stated about Isis in these same texts. There are too many such spells as to quote them all. Most of these concern the role of Isis and Nephtys in the ritual (52 spells / 71).
The others state that Isis is the mother of Horus (1214, 556?+1375+1464) : she has conceived him (592+632+1635, 1154+1199), she has given birth to him (379?+1703), suckled him (707+734+1873+1964), Horus has seen Isis naked, as his mother (489).
Only two allusions may link her with a Hathoric goddess : her "sweat" in PT1263 could be the Nile flood ; Isis and Nephtys, the sn.tj "sisters" are equated with sn.tj chapels (1362).
Only on one occasion is giving an offering to Isis mentioned (1547), which leads one to think she didn't have much of a cult (one should compare with mentions concerning other deities, but I'm not going to do this today).

Sept. 24th posting :
>PT Utt. 437: "O earth, hear that which the gods have said! Re speaks, he makes a spirit (akh) of this king, who receives his spirit-form in front of the gods as Horus son of Osiris; he gives him his spirit which is among the Watchers of Pe, he ennobles him as a god who is among the Watchers of Nekhen"<
Among the watchers one has the main Horus and two children (see BoD). IMHO the dead king is equated with the main Horus (there are two Horuschildren in each group : it isn't stated that the king is a quadruple or sextuple deity, which would be a strange idea).

In the PTs, the Horuschildren (ms.w-Hrw : Imsti, Hapy, Duamutef, Qebehsenuf), the Bau Nekhen & Pe, the Guardians (wrS.w), the Servants of Horus (Sms.w-Hrw) play very similar roles. IMHO most of these are linked with true activities of the funerary ritual, of preparing the body, of actions during the funeral.
Thus the "guarding" alludes to the nightly "hour guard" of the deceased.
If I remember well there's also an allusion to the Horuschildren sacrificing a bull.
Your quotation >"The celestial portal to the horizon is opened to you, and the gods are joyful at meeting you; they take you to the sky with your soul, you having been endowed with a soul through them"< I understand as stating that :
1. "the gates of the sky are opened" : the deceased enters the Netherworld as the doors of the tomb are opened to enter the body, or depending upon the context "opening the doors of the sky" can mean opening a naos (I think I have an OK scene of the opening of a naos labelled with these words, if you're interested).
2. "the gods are joyful" is of course the hnw ritual of rejoicing.
3. "they take you to the sky" is their gesture of lifting the body and maybe also of entering it into the tomb / shrine. You remember that the servants lifting the king during the Heb Sed are mythologized as the bA.w nxn & p.
4. the king ensouled through them = thanks to their cultic actions during embalming.
As a side note, Isis and Nephtys also appear to be largely mythologisations of the role of women in the funerary ritual, which went beyond the traditional wailing : allusions to "finding" the deceased = observing the rise of a celestial body associated with him ?, to uniting his limbs, to purifying, to suckling...

> "O King, you are clad as a god, your face is that of a jackal as Osiris, this soul who is in Nedit, this Power who is in the Great City (PT. Utt. 690).<
Osiris doesn't have a jackal face, but Khentimentiu does : is this a sign of the beginning fusion of the two gods as early as the 6th dyn. ?

>The Followers of Horus bathe and cleanse Pepi in PT Utt. 471. The followers of Horus perform these lustrations for the king and recite spells for him<
These are mere cultic actions, apparently done by the Horuschildren, the Bau and the Shemsu. Wouldn't it be better to translate "followers" by "servants" here ?

>How can these 'Followers of Horus' be part of the census tour of the king<
The "Followers" are the servants of Horus / the king in cultic actions (you remember the "followers = servants of the Robing Room" on Niuserre's relief ?). The "Following of Horus" is the "Service" to the king during the census (is the censing itself the service or is the paying of the taxes ?). I don't see where the difficulty lies. The difficulty only appears when introducing the ancestor kings. These may have "served" Horus (if the falcon is indeed him) but I see no indication in the PTs of a link between them and the deities we're discussing.

JD
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Jack Dean
Member
Username: jdean

Post Number: 24
Registered: 08-1999
Posted From: 64.12.96.232
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,

Thanks for reposting the information. You are truly a wellspring of facts and information. I wanted to examine the assimilation between Isis and Hathor, but I'm not sure this is the proper string for that.

Isis displayed some Hathor-like characteristics. I'm not sure when this process took place. Reviewing Veronica ions' book _Egyptian Mythology_, I noticed she placed Isis as an independent and popular deity established in pre-dynastic times in the northern delta at Sebennytos. I have no idea why she would make that statement (p. 56), do you?

Sincerely,
Jack
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J.D. Degreef
Senior Member
Username: jd_degreef

Post Number: 47
Registered: 02-2000
Posted From: 213.177.158.106
Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2002 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Jack,
No, actually I don't know why Isis would have come from Sebennytos originally, but I don't know much about the theology of that city.
If asked point blank, this is what I can say. You mentioned Pr. ALTENMÜLLER's view that Osiris and Isis derive from the funerary ritual. Although one may infer this from a general overview of the PTs, I don't believe it's true. The main reason I doubt his views is that there are parallels between the theology of Osiris and that of Near Eastern gods. These parallels must already have been noted by the Egyptians themselves, for they placed an episode of Osiris' legend in Byblos or the Lebanon.
As you know, IMHO Osiris was a Near Eastern deity of the dry summer season, of death but also of the hope of regeneration after death (as for the moon and for corn). In Egypt the Nile flood occurs during the summer, so that Osiris became a fertility god, linked with the Nile flood (and Isis also, as Isis-Sothis, which brings her close to Hathor, but IMHO secondarily).
As to Isis, the fact that she's Horus' mother doesn't fit in very well with a possible origin from a ritual role. Since there are several forms of Horus, old ones and young ones and cyclic ones, I think Isis was the spouse of a self-regenerating god (hence the abnormal character of Horus' birth and his illegal claims to Osiris' succession). Isis played a role in the god's cycles (one sees Anat playing a similar role for Baal, but this is a Sethan deity). Since Osiris may have been a god linked with death, the moon and thus the night, Isis may have had a nocturnal aspect too. The place Akh-bit in the Delta (Iseum, Behbeit el-Haggar) is Horus' birth place (his mother's "bush", if I may say so), and would be a good place to look for Isis' origins ?

JD
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Jack Dean
Member
Username: jdean

Post Number: 26
Registered: 08-1999
Posted From: 64.12.96.232
Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2002 - 07:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi JD,

King Unas is shown nursing at the breast of an unidentified goddess in a relief from his mortuary temple at Saqqara. What are the possibilities for the identification of this goddess?

Sincerely,
Jack
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J.D. Degreef
Senior Member
Username: jd_degreef

Post Number: 52
Registered: 02-2000
Posted From: 213.177.133.161
Posted on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 01:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Jack,
From other scenes and from mentions in the PTs this would most likely be Nekhbet or Wadjet, or Smat-urt.
I don't think it could be Isis, even though her suckling the king is mentioned in the PTs. The scenes in the temples alongside the pyramids seem to have avoided alluding to the king's death. This is why I think one shouldn't allude to these as "funerary" complexes, but as cult complexes (for a living god) instead. One exception is a relief from Niuserre's complex which I've already mentioned, where Anubis hands over ankh signs to the king, tenderly held by Wadjet, and in the presence of the servants of the Djebat (Robing Room) and of the Great House. Thus the decking out of the king with his magical attributes (crowns, jewels, clothes) is represented, but Anubis' presence shows it to be a coded representation of mummification. But elsewhere the king appears in his temples as if he were alive. BTW the presence of the king's body inside the pyramid wasn't necessary for the temples to work, as seen by the fact that Snefru's complexes at Dahchur South and Meidum remained in activity even though the king was buried in the North Pyramid. So the pyramids are no "tombs", another word to be avoided, although they may contain the king's body. They are items playing a role in the eternal cult.
So I think a representation of Isis is unlikely here (although not impossible, given the case with Anubis).

JD

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