Colossal pharaoh statues of Amenhotep III found in Egypt’s temple city Luxor

Tourists and journalists walk past a newly-displayed statue of pharaoh Amenhotep III in E

Tourists and journalists walk past a newly-displayed statue of pharaoh Amenhotep III in Egypt’s temple city of Luxor.Source: AFP

Egyptian archaeological workers stand next to a newly-displayed alabaster head from an Am

Egyptian archaeological workers stand next to a newly-displayed alabaster head from an Amenhotep III statue in Egypt’s temple city of Luxor.Source: AFP

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have unveiled two colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in Egypt’s famed temple city of Luxor, adding to an existing pair of world-renowned tourist attractions.

The two monoliths in red quartzite were raised at what European and Egyptian archaeologists said were their original sites in the funerary temple of the king, on the west bank of the Nile.

The temple is already famous for its existing 3400-year-old Memnon colossi — twin statues of Amenhotep III whose reign archaeologists say marked the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilisation.

“The world until now knew two Memnon colossi, but from today it will know four colossi of Amenhotep III,” said German-Armenian archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian, who heads the project to conserve the Amenhotep III temple.

The existing two statues, both showing the pharaoh seated, are known across the globe.

The two restored additions have weathered severe damage for centuries, Ms Sourouzian said.

“The statues had lain in pieces for centuries in the fields, damaged by destructive forces of nature like earthquake, and later by irrigation water, salt, encroachment and vandalism,” she said, as behind her excavators and local villagers washed pieces of artefacts and statues unearthed over the past months.

“This beautiful temple still has enough for us to study and conserve.”

One of the “new” statues — its body weighing 250 tonnes — again depicts the pharaoh seated, hands resting on his knees.

It is 11.5 metres tall, with a base 1.5 metres high and 3.6 metres wide.

Archaeologists said with its now missing double crown, the original statue would have reached a height of 13.5 metres and weighed 450 tonnes.

The king is depicted wearing a royal pleated kilt held at the waist by a large belt decorated with zigzag lines.

AFP

….

Taken from:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/colossal-pharaoh-statues-of-amenhotep-iii-found-in-egypts-temple-city-luxor/story-e6frg6so-1226862911031

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Moses and Solomon: Laws and Myths About

 

For complete article, see:

The Lost Cultural Foundations of Western Civilisation

http://westerncivilisationamaic.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/lost-cultural-foundations-west.html

….

 

Law and Government

 

Moses

The great Lawgiver in the Bible, and hence in Hebrew history, was Moses, substantially the author of the ‘Torah’ (Law). But the history books tell us that the ‘Torah’ was probably dependent upon the law code issued by the Babylonian king, Hammurabi (dated to the first half of the C18th BC). I shall discuss this further on. For Egyptian identifications of Moses, see our:

 

Connecting the Biblical Patriarchs to Ancient Egypt

 

http://moseseditor.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/connecting-biblical-patriarchs-to.html

 

The Egyptians may have corrupted the legend of the baby Moses in the bulrushes so that now it became the goddess Isis who drew the baby Horus from the Nile and had him suckled by Hathor (the goddess in the form of a cow – the Egyptian personification of wisdom). In the original story, of course, baby Moses was drawn from the water by an Egyptian princess, not a goddess, and was weaned by Moses’ own mother (Exodus 2:5-9).

Anyway, Moses became for the Egyptians Hor-mes, meaning ‘son of Hathor’, which legendary person the Greeks eventually absorbed into their own pantheon as Hermes, the winged messenger god. [The Roman version of Hermes is Mercury].

But could both the account of the rescue of the baby Moses in the Book of Exodus, and the Egyptian version of it, be actually based upon a Mesopotamian original, as the textbooks say; based upon the story of king Sargon of Akkad in Mesopotamia? Sargon tells, “in terms reminiscent of Moses, Krishna and other great men”, that [as quoted by G. Roux, Ancient Iraq, Penguin Books, 1964, p. 152]:

 

.… My changeling mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose not over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me ….

 

Given that Sargon is conventionally dated to the C24th BC, and Moses about a millennium later, it would seem inevitable that the Hebrew version, and the Egyptian one, must be imitations of the Mesopotamian one. Such is what the ‘history’ books say, at least, despite the fact that the extant Sargon legend is very late (C7th BC); though thought to have been based upon an earlier Mesopotamian original.

But when the revision of history is applied to this scenario, Sargon of Akkad is found to have lived somewhat later than Moses. D. Hickman [“The Dating of Hammurabi”, Proceedings of the Third Seminar of Catastrophism and Ancient History (Uni. of Toronto, 1985, ed. M. Luckerman, pp. 13-28] has, for example, revised Sargon down to at least the 1300’s BC, shortly after the death of Moses’ successor Joshua.

We would accept Hickman’s revised dater as a rough estimation – {we suspect that Sargon should be dated even later than this} – and hence would argue that the Mesopotamians later picked up the story of Moses’s infancy from the Israelites who were to become their subjects in captivity. By no means was the Exodus account of Moses dependent upon the legend of Sargon.

Far more accurately and convincingly we think has Dean Hickman re-dated Hammurabi to the time of Solomon (mid-C10th BC), re-identifying Hammurabi’s older contemporary, Shamsi-Adad I, as king David’s Syrian foe, Hadadazer (2 Samuel 10:16). We have taken all this much further since, by identifying Hammurabi as King Solomon himself as ruler also of Babylon, in the apostate phase of Solomon’s reign.

See our:

 

Hammurabi the Great King of Babylon was King Solomon

 

http://www.academia.edu/3579091/Hammurabi_the_Great_King_of_Babylon_was_King_Solomon

 

According to this new scenario, neither Sargon nor Hammurabi could have influenced Moses.

 

(a) Greek and Phoenician ‘Moses-like Myths’

Astour believes that Moses, a hero of the Hebrew scriptures, shares “some cognate features” with Danaos (or Danaus), hero of Greek legend. He gives his parallels as follows [op. cit., p. 99]:

“Moses grows up at the court of the Egyptian king as a member of the royal family, and subsequently flees from Egypt after having slain an Egyptian – as Danaos, a member of the Egyptian ruling house, flees from the same country after the slaying of the Aigyptiads which he had arranged. The same number of generations separates Moses from Leah the “wild cow” and Danaos from the cow Io.”

Comment: The above parallel might even account for how the Greeks managed to confuse the land of Ionia (Io) with the land of Israel in the case of the earliest philosophers (refer back to the Philosophy section). Astour continues [ibid., pp. 99-100]:

“Still more characteristic is that both Moses and Danaos find and create springs in a waterless region; the story of how Poseidon, on the request of the Danaide Amymona, struck out with his trident springs from the Lerna rock, particularly resembles Moses producing a spring from the rock by the stroke of his staff.”

A `cow’ features also in the legend of Cadmus, son of Agenor, king of Tyre upon the disappearance of his sister Europa, who was sent by his father together with his brothers Cilix and Phoenix to seek her with instructions not to return without her. Seeking the advice of the oracle at Delphi, Cadmus was told to settle at the point where a cow, which he would meet leaving the temple, would lie down. The cow led him to the site of Thebes (remember the two cities by that name). There he built the citadel of Cadmeia. Cadmus married Harmonia, the daughter of Ares, god of war, and Aphrodite and, according to the legend, was the founder of the House of Oedipus]

Astour believes that “even more similar features” may be discovered if one links these accounts to the Ugaritic (Phoenicio-Canaanite) poem of Danel, which he had previously identified as “the prototype of the Danaos myth” [ibid., p. 100]:

The name of Aqht, the son of Danel, returns as Qehat, the grandfather of Moses. The name of the locality Mrrt, where Aqht was killed, figures in the gentilic form Merarî as the brother of Qehat in the Levite genealogy. The name of P?t, the daughter of Danel and the devoted sister of Aqht, is met in the Moses story as Pû’ã, a midwife who saved the life of the new-born Moses. The very name of Moses, in the feminine form Mšt, is, in the Ugaritic poem, the first half of Danel’s wife’s name, while the second half of her name, Dnty, corresponds to the name of Levi’s sister Dinah.

 

Astour had already explained how the biblical story of the Rape of Dinah (Genesis 34) was “analogous to the myth of the bloody wedding of her namesakes, the Danaides”.

He continues on here with his fascinating Greco-Israelite parallels:

 

Dân, the root of the names Dnel, Dnty (and also Dinah and Danaos), was the name of a tribe whose priests claimed to descend directly from Moses (Jud. 18:30); and compare the serpent emblem of the tribe of Dan with the serpent staff of Moses and the bronze serpent he erected. …Under the same name – Danaë – another Argive heroine of the Danaid stock is thrown into the sea in a chest with her new-born son – as Moses in his ark (tébã) – and lands on the serpent-island of Seriphos (Heb. šãrâph, applied i.a. to the bronze serpent made by Moses). Moses, like Danel, is a healer, a prophet, a miracle-worker – cf. Danel’s staff (mt) which he extends while pronouncing curses against towns and localities, quite like Moses in Egypt; and especially, like Danel, he is a judge….

(b) Roman ‘Moses-like Myth’

The Romans further corrupted the story of the infant Moses, following on probably from the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Phoenicians and Greeks. I refer to the account of Romulus (originally Rhomus) and Remus, thought to have founded the city of Rome in 753 BC. Both the founders and the date are quite mythical. The Romans apparently took the Egyptian name for Moses, Musare, and turned it into Rhomus and Remus (MUSA-RE = RE-MUS), with the formerly one child (Moses) now being doubled into two babies (twins). According to this legend, the twins were put into a basket by some kind servants and floated in the Tiber River, from which they were eventually rescued by a she-wolf. Thus the Romans more pragmatically opted for a she-wolf as the suckler instead of a cow goddess, or a lion goddess, Sekhmet (the fierce alter ego of Hathor).

The Romans took yet another slice from the Pentateuch when they had the founder of the city of Rome, Romulus, involved in a fratricide (killing Remus); just as Cain, the founder of the world’s first city, had killed his own brother, Abel (cf. Genesis 4:8 and 4:17).

More significant Roman borrowings from the Bible (in this case the New Testament) will be discussed later in the Revelation section.

 

(c) Mohammed: Arabian `Moses-like Myths’Islam’s Issa

An Islamic lecturer, Ahmed Deedat [“What the Bible Says About Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) the Prophet of Islam” (www.islamworld.net/Muhammad.in.Bible.html)], told of an interview he once had with a dominee of the Dutch Reformed Church in Transvaal, van Heerden, on the question: “What does the Bible say about Muhummed?” Deedat had in mind the Holy Qur’an verse 46:10, according to which “a witness among the children of Israel bore witness of one like him…”. This was in turn a reference to Deuteronomy 18:18’s “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” The Moslems of course interpret the “one like him [i.e. Moses]” as being Mohammed himself.

Faced with the dominee’s emphatic response that the Bible has “nothing” to say about Mohammed – and that the Deuteronomic prophecy ultimately pertained to Jesus Christ, as did “thousands” of other prophecies – Deedat set out to prove him wrong. We have taken up this argument in more detail in our:

 

The Serious Historical Dislocation of the Prophet Mohammed (Muhammad)

 

http://www.academia.edu/6035995/The_Serious_Historical_Dislocation_of_the_Prophet_Mohammed_Muhammad_

 

in which we have now identified the prophet Mohammed with a composite biblical character – but essentially with Nehemiah, from whose name arose the Arabic version of the name, Muhammad. Thus we have concluded that the original Mohammed did figure in the Bible, but as a great Israelite Prophet. Certainly, in that sense, he was Moses-like (as Islam holds), as all of the great prophets of Israel would have followed, and emulated, Moses.

But he was not Arabic.

Some Conclusions regarding Mohammed (c. 570-632 AD, conventional dating)

Whilst Mohammed, actually an Israelite, as we have argued, came much later than Moses, there nevertheless do seem to be Arabic borrowings of the Moses story itself (and even appropriations of certain very specific aspects of the life of Jesus, as we shall read later) in the legends about Mohammed, who especially resembles Moses in

 

(i) the latter’s visit to Mount Horeb (modern Har Karkom) with its cave atop, its Burning Bush, and angel (Exodus 3:1-2), possibly equating to Mohammed’s “Mountain of Light” (Jabal-an-Nur), and ‘cave of research’ (`Ghar-i-Hira’), and angel Gabriel;

(ii) at the very same age of forty (Acts 7:23-29), and

(iii) there receiving a divine revelation, leading to his

(iv) becoming a prophet of God and a Lawgiver.

Mohammed as a Lawgiver is a direct pinch I believe from the Hebrew Pentateuch and from the era of Jeremiah. Consider the following [O’Hair, M., “Mohammed”, A text of American Atheist Radio Series program No. 65, first broadcast on August 25, 1969. (www.atheists.org/Islam.Mohammed.html)]:

“Now the Kaaba or Holy Stone at Mecca was the scene of an annual pilgrimage, and during this pilgrimage in 621 Mohammed was able to get six persons from Medina to bind themselves to him. They did so by taking the following oath.

 

Not consider anyone equal to Allah;

Not to steal;

Not to be unchaste;

Not to kill their children;

Not willfully to calumniate”.

 

This is simply the Mosaïc Decalogue, with the following Islamic addition [ibid.]:

“To obey the prophet’s orders in equitable matters.

In return Mohammed assured these six novitiates of paradise. The place where these first vows were taken is now called the first Akaba”.

 

“The mission of Mohammed”, perfectly reminiscent of that of Moses, and later of Nehemiah (who is the proper matrix for Mohammed), was “to restore the worship of the One True God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, as taught by Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham] and all Prophets of God, and complete the laws of moral, ethical, legal, and social conduct and all other matters of significance for the humanity at large.” [ibid.]

 

The above-mentioned Burning Bush incident occurred whilst Moses

 

(a)    was living in exile (Exodus 2:15)

(b)   amongst the Midianite tribe of Jethro, in the Paran desert.

(c)    Moses had married Jethro’s daughter, Zipporah (v. 21).

 

Likewise Mohammed (also partly applicable to Jeremiah, to Nehemiah)

 

(a)    experienced exile;

(b)   to Medina, a name which may easily have become confused with the similar sounding, Midian, and

(c)    he had only the one wife at the time, Khadija. Also

(d)   Moses, like Mohammed, was terrified by what God had commanded of him, protesting that he was “slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10). To which God replied: “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be your mouth and teach you what you are to speak’ (vv. 11-12).

 

Now this episode, seemingly coupled with Moses’s (with Jeremiah’s) call, has come distorted into the Koran as Mohammed’s being terrified by what God was asking of him, protesting that he was not learned. To which God supposedly replied that he had ‘created man from a clot of congealed blood, and had taught man the use of the pen, and that which he knew not, and that man does not speak ought of his own desire but by inspiration sent down to him’.

Ironically, whilst Moses the writer complained about his lack of verbal eloquence, Mohammed, ‘unlettered and unlearned’, who therefore could not write, is supposed to have been told that God taught man to use the pen (?). But Mohammed apparently never learned to write, because he is supposed only to have spoken God’s utterances. Though his words, like those of Moses (who however did write, e.g. Exodus 34:27), were written down in various formats by his secretary, Zaid (roughly equating to the biblical Joshua, a writer, Joshua 8:32, or to Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch).

 

This is generally how the Koran is said to have arisen.

 

But Mohammed also resembles Moses in his childhood (and Tobit also) in the fact that, after his infancy, he was raised by a foster-parent (Exodus 2:10). And there is the inevitable weaning legend [Zahoor, A. and Haq, Z., “Biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)”, (http://cyberistan.org/islamic/muhammad.html), 1998.]: “All biographers state that the infant prophet sucked only one breast of his foster-mother, leaving the other for the sustenance of his foster-brother”.

 

There is even a kind of Islamic version of the Exodus. Compare the following account of the Qoreish persecution and subsequent pursuit of the fleeing Moslems with the persecution and later pursuit of the fleeing Israelites by Pharaoh (Exodus 1 and 4:5-7) [O’Hair, op. cit., ibid.]:

 

When the persecution became unbearable for most Muslims, the Prophet advised them in the fifth year of his mission (615 CE) to emigrate to Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) where Ashabah (Negus, a Christian) was the ruler. Eighty people, not counting the small children, emigrated in small groups to avoid detection. No sooner had they left the Arabian coastline [substitute Egyptian borders], the leaders of Quraish discovered their flight. They decided to not leave these Muslims in peace, and immediately sent two of their envoys to Negus to bring all of them back.

 

The Koran of Islam is basically just the Arabic version of the Hebrew Bible with all its same famous patriarchs and leading characters. That is apparent from what the Moslems themselves admit. For example [ibid.]:

 

The Qur’an also mentions four previously revealed Scriptures: Suhoof (Pages) of Ibrahim (Abraham), Taurat (‘Torah’) as revealed to Prophet Moses, Zuboor (‘Psalms’) as revealed to Prophet David, and Injeel (‘Evangel’) as revealed to Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Islam requires belief in all prophets and revealed scriptures (original, non-corrupted) as part of the Articles of Faith.

 

Mohammed is now for Islam the last and greatest of the prophets. Thus, “in the Al-Israa, Gabriel (as) took the Prophet from the sacred Mosque near Ka’bah to the furthest (al-Aqsa) mosque in Jerusalem in a very short time in the latter part of a night. Here, Prophet Muhammad met with previous Prophets (Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others) and he led them in prayer” [ibid.].

Thus Mohammed supposedly led Jesus in prayer.

The reputation of Ibn Ishaq (ca 704-767), a main authority on the life and times of the Prophet varied considerably among the early Moslem critics: some found him very sound, while others regarded him as a liar in relation to Hadith (Mohammed’s sayings and deeds). His Sira is not extant in its original form, but is present in two recensions done in 833 and 814-15, and these texts vary from one another. Fourteen others have recorded his lectures, but their versions differ [ibid.]:

 

It was the storytellers who created the tradition: the sound historical traditions to which they are supposed to have added their fables simply did not exist. . . . Nobody remembered anything to the contrary either. . . . There was no continuous transmission. Ibn Ishaq, al-Waqidi, and others were cut off from the past: like the modern scholar, they could not get behind their sources…. Finally, it has to be realized that the tradition as a whole, not just parts of it as some have thought, is tendentious, and that that tendentiousness arises from allegiance to Islam itself. The complete unreliability of the Muslim tradition as far as dates are concerned has been demonstrated by Lawrence Conrad. After close examination of the sources in an effort to find the most likely birth date for Muhammad–traditionally `Am al-fil, the Year of the Elephant, 570 C.E.–Conrad remarks that [“What Historians have Deduced about the Historical Mohammed.

(http://jeromekhan123.tripod.com/enlightenment/id11.html; – currently not online)

See also Barnes, T. D. “The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East II: Land Use and Settlement Patterns, ed. Averil Cameron and G. R. D.; King [Papers of the Second Workshop on Late Antiquity and Early Islam. Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam 1], volume II (Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1994)” (1996-1997), IX: 191-199.; “The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East III: States, Resources and Armies, ed. Averil Cameron [Papers of the Third Workshop on Late Antiquity and Early Islam. Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam 1], volume III (Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1995)” (1996-1997), IX: 191-199.; “Albrecht Noth’s The Early Arabic Historical tradition. A Source-Critical Study, trans. Michael Bonner, in collaboration with Lawrence I. Conrad [Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam 3] (Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1994)”, (1996-1997), IX: 191-199.]:

“‘Well into the second century A.H. [A.H. is the muslim time reckoning and means `Asahhus-siyar’.] scholarly opinion on the birth date of the Prophet displayed a range of variance of eighty-five years. .. . . . Muhammad, as Prophet and mouthpiece for the universal deity Allah, is an invention of the ulama of the second and third centuries A.H”.

Our own estimation of the historical dislocation of the Prophet Mphammed would involve far more than a mere “variance of eighty-five years”. The fact is that we now have a ‘Mohammed’ who is a semi-legendary version of the original Prophet. Mohammed, a composite figure, seems to have likenesses even to pre-Mosaïc patriarchs, and to Jesus in the New Testament. Thus Mohammed, at Badr, successfully led a force of 300+ men (the number varies from 300-318) against an enemy far superior in number, as did Abraham (Genesis 14:14); and, like Jacob (Genesis 30, 31), he used a ruse to get a wife (in Jacob’s case, wives). And like Jesus, the greatest of all God’s prophets, Mohammed is said to have ascended into heaven from Jerusalem.

 

(d) Modern Myths about Moses

From the above it can now be seen that it was not only the Greeks and Romans who have been guilty of appropriation into their own folklore of famous figures of Israel. Even the Moslems have done it and are still doing it. A modern-day Islamic author from Cairo, Ahmed Osman, has – in line with psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s view that Moses was actually an Egyptian, whose Yahwism was derived from pharaoh Akhnaton’s supposed monotheism [Out of Egypt. The Roots of Christianity Revealed (Century, 1998)] – identified all the major biblical Israelites, from the patriarch Joseph to the Holy Family of Nazareth, as 18th dynasty Egyptian characters. Thus Joseph = Yuya; Moses = Akhnaton; David = Thutmose III; Solomon = Amenhotep III; Jesus = Tutankhamun; St. Joseph = Ay; Mary = Nefertiti.

 

This is mass appropriation! Not to mention chronological madness!

 

I was asked by Dr. Norman Simms of the University of Waikato (N.Z.) to write a critique of Osman’s book, a copy of which he had posted to me. This was a rather easy task as the book leaves itself wide open to criticism. Anyway, the result of Dr. Simms’ request was my “Osman’s ‘Osmosis’ of Moses” article [The Glozel Newsletter, 5:1 (ns) 1999 (Hamilton, N.Z), pp. 1-17], in which I argued that, because Osman is using the faulty textbook history of Egypt, he is always obliged to give the chronological precedence to Egypt, when the influence has actually come from Israel over to Egypt. [This article can now be read at: http://www.academia.edu/3690035/Osmans_Osmosis_of_Moses]. The way that Egyptian chronology is structured at present [Thanks largely to E. Meyer’s now approximately one century-old Ägyptische Chronologie, Philosophische und historische Abhandlungen der Königlich preussischen Akad. der Wissenschaften, Berlin (Akad. der Wiss., 1904).] could easily give rise to Osman’s precedence in favour of Egypt view (though this is no excuse for Osman’s own chronological mish-mash). One finds, for example, in pharaoh Hatshepsut’s inscriptions such similarities to king David’s Psalms that it is only natural to think that she, the woman-pharaoh – dated to the C15th BC, 500 years earlier than David – must have influenced the great king of Israel. Or that pharaoh Akhnaton’s Hymn to the Sun, so like David’s Psalm 104, had inspired David many centuries later. Only a revision of Egyptian history brings forth the right perspective, and shows that the Israelites actually had the chronological precedence in these as in many other cases.

It gets worse from a conventional point of view.

The ‘doyen of Israeli archaeologists’, Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University, frequently interviewed by Beirut hostage victim John McCarthy on the provocative TV program “It Ain’t Necessarily So”, is, together with his colleagues, virtually writing ancient Israel right off the historical map, along with all of its major biblical characters. On this, see our:

 

Rescuing King Solomon from the Archaeologists

 

http://www.specialtyinterests.net/rescuing_solomon_from_archaeologists.html

 

and

 

Israel Finkelstein has not archaeologically “destroyed Solomon”, as he thinks. He has completely missed Solomon

 

http://www.academia.edu/3689852/Israel_Finkelstein_has_not_archaeologically_destroyed_Solomon_as_he_thinks._He_has_completely_missed_Solomon

 

This horrible mess is an inevitable consequence of the faulty Sothic chronology with which these archaeologists seem to be mesmerized. With friends like Finkelstein and co., why would Israel need any enemies!

 

The Lawgiver Solon

Whilst the great Lawgiver for the Hebrews was Moses, and for the Babylonians, Hammurabi, and for the Moslems, Mohammed, the Lawgiver in Greek folklore was Solon of Athens, the wisest of the wise, greatest of the Seven Sages.

Though Solon is estimated to have lived in the C6th BC, his name and many of his activities are so close to king Solomon’s (supposedly 4 centuries earlier) that we need once again to question whether the Greeks may have been involved in appropriation. And, if so, how did this come about? It may in some cases simply be a memory thing, just as according to Plato’s Timaeus one of the very aged Egyptian priests supposedly told Solon [Plato’s Timaeus, trans. B. Jowett (The Liberal Arts Press, NY, 1949), 6 (22) and /or Desmond Lee’s translation, Penguin Classics, p. 34]:

 

“O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes [Greeks] are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you. Solon in return asked him what he meant. I mean to say, he replied, that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age. …”

 

Perhaps what the author of the Timaeus really needed to have put into the mouth of the aged Egyptian priest was that the Greeks had largely forgotten who Solomon was, and had created their own fictional character, “Solon”, from their vague recall of the great king Solomon who “excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom” (1 Kings 10:23). Solon resembles Solomon especially in roughly the last decade of the latter’s reign, when Solomon, turning away from Yahwism, became fully involved with his mercantile ventures, his fleet, travel, and building temples for his foreign wives, especially in Egypt (10:26-29; 11:1-8).

Now, it is to be expected that the pagan Greeks would remember this more ‘rationalist’ aspect of Solomon (as Solon) rather than his wisdom-infused, philosophical, earlier years when he was a devout Jew and servant of Yahweh (4:29-34). And Jewish Solon apparently was! Edwin Yamauchi has studied the laws of Solon in depth and found them to be quite Jewish in nature, most reminiscent of the laws of Nehemiah (c. 450 BC) [“Two reformers compared: Solon of Athens and Nehemiah of Jerusalem,” Bible world. New York: KTAV, 1980. pp. 269-292].

That date of 450 BC may perhaps be some sort of clue as to approximately when the Greeks first began to create their fictional Solon.

Solomon was, as I have argued in my “Solomon and Sheba” article [“Solomon and Sheba”, SIS C and C Review, 1997:1, pp. 4-15], the most influential Senenmut of Egyptian history, Hatshepsut’s mentor; whilst Hatshepsut herself was the biblical Queen [of] Sheba. This article can now be read at:

 

Solomon and Sheba

 

http://www.academia.edu/3660164/Solomon_and_Sheba

 

I have since learned of, and have embraced, E. Metzler’s thesis in “Conflict of Laws in the Israelite Dynasty of Egypt”, Archives for Mosaical Metrology and Mosaistics, Vol. II, No.1 (Jewish History Ring Online, Undated), 1-26, that Solomon was also pharaoh Thutmose II; with king David, his father, being Thutmose I. Hatshepsut was even more than that, as we learn from Metzler, op. cit. She was Solomon’s actual wife. (None of this, however, cancels out Solomon’s also being Senenmut).

I have also identified Hatshepsut/Sheba as the biblical Abishag, who comforted the aged David (I Kings 1-4), and the beautiful virgin daughter of David, Tamar. See:

 

The Rape of Tamar

 

http://www.academia.edu/3665245/The_Rape_of_Tamar

 

Professor Henry Breasted had made a point relevant to my theme of Greek appropriation – and in connection too with the Solomonic era (revised). Hatshepsut’s marvellous temple structure at Deir el-Bahri, he said, was “a sure witness to the fact that the Egyptians had developed architectural styles for which the Greeks later would be credited as the originators” [Breasted, H., A History of Egypt, 2nd ed., NY (Scribner, 1924), p. 274].

One need not necessarily perhaps always accuse the Greeks of a malicious corruption of earlier traditions, but perhaps rather of a ‘collective amnaesia’, to use a Velikovskian term; the sort of forgetfulness by the Greek nation as alluded to in Plato’s Timaeus.

There is also to be considered that the Phoenicians and/or Jews had migrated to Greece. In 1 Maccabees 12:21 [Areios king of the Spartans, to Onias the high priest, greetings: “A document has been found stating that the Spartans and the Jews are brothers; both nations descended from Abraham.” Areus, der König zu Sparta, entbietet Onias, dem Hohenpriester, seinen Gruß. “Wir finden in unsern alten Schriften, daß die von Sparta und die Juden Brüder sind, dieweil beide Völker von Abraham herkommen.” 1. Macc. 12:20, 21, The New American Bible, 1970], for instance, the Spartans claim to have been, like the Jews, descendants of Abraham. By this late stage the earlier histories would already have been well and truly corrupted. The Abrahamic emigrants would naturally have carried their folklore – not to mention their architectural expertise – to the Greek archipelago where it would inevitably have undergone local adaptation.

Solomon’s Influence

Now, if Hammurabi were a contemporary of king Solomon’s as Hickman has argued – was in fact king Solomon as ruler of Babylon as we have argued – then, far from Hammurabi’s laws having influenced the Mosaïc Torah – Hammurabi would have been he from whom the many kings of the earth who had imbibed the Solomonic wisdom (including Solomon’s Jewish laws) (I Kings 10:24), and had presumably emulated them. That, I suggest, is how there arose the apparent similarity between the Torah and Hammurabi’s law code: the Mosaïc-influenced king Solomon transmitting ancient Hebrew laws.

The female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, was truly influenced by the Solomonic wisdom and writings; and she was influenced also by the Psalms of Solomon’s father, David. Though conventionally dated to the C15th BC, half a millennium before Solomon, Hatshepsut (in revised history) was actually Solomon’s younger contemporary (his very wife).

….

Does the Name ‘Senenmut’ Reflect the Hebrew ‘Solomon’?

 

 by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 

 

 

Because, according to my historical reconstruction, Senenmut of

18th Dynasty Egypt was King Solomon.

 

 http://www.academia.edu/3660164/Solomon_and_Sheba

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Senenmut in hieroglyphs

 

 

 

The name ‘Senenmut’ has variations (www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/senenmut.html):

“Senenmut (literally “mother’s brother” sometimes transliterated as Senemut or Senmut) was one of the most powerful and famous (or infamous) officials of ancient Egypt. At the height of his power he was the Chief Steward of Amun, Tutor to the Princess Neferure and confidant (and possibly lover ) of the pharaoh Hatshepsut. However, both his early career and the circumstances surrounding his death and burial are obscure”.

 [End of quote]

In “The House of David” article (www.specialtyinterests.net/david_abishag.html) I wrote concerning the name and possibly also an Egyptianised King Solomon:

“…. Peter James and David Rohl, British revisionists, have each proposed that an ivory found at Megiddo, one of Solomon’s forts in Israel, “showing a monarch holding court” [see picture above], may actually be a depiction of Solomon himself and his queen in Egyptian guise.

Megiddo it should be noted was one of Solomon’s great forts in northern Israel, where Solomon had, writes James [2010], built a “monumental palace compound” (1.Kings 9:15). And it was at the site of Megiddo that the “material culture of Palestine at the end of the Late Bronze Age [Solomon’s era by the revision] is best seen”. The ivory plaque, says James:

… is of particular interest. [The monarch] is seated on a throne decorated with sphinxes. If it was intended to represent a specific rather than an idealized ruler, would it be too much to imagine that in this ivory we actually have a depiction of the Egyptianized King Solomon?

Now Rohl (who has apparently fallen out so badly with James that they no longer refer to each other’s writings) gives his descriptive account of this amazing item [2020], arriving at the same sort of conclusion as had James:

To the right the king arrives in his chariot, driving before him Shasu captives; in the center is an intimate cameo of the same ruler, seated upon his throne with his queen and lyre player standing before him; to the left, behind the king, two courtiers attend to the royal couple’s needs. Now let us pick out what might be interpreted as Egyptian elements in the scene. First, above the chariot horses is a winged sun-disk; second, the queen offers a lotus flower to her husband; and third the king is seated upon a throne, the sides of which are guarded by winged sphinxes (i.e. human-headed lions). Surrounding the monarch we see three doves – a well known motif of peace, Solomon married an Egyptian princess; he had ‘a great ivory throne’ made for him which was protected by ‘lions’ on either side [1.Kings 10:18-20]; his traditional name means ‘peaceful’.

Solomon’s Hebrew name, Shelomoh [שְׁלֹמֹה]- said to derive from shalom (‘peace’) – may indeed be said to mean ‘peaceful’. Dr. Metzler though, in his inimitable fashion, argues that Solomon is partly an Egyptian name, derived from she-El Amon (sounds like a bit of a hybrid).

So far, I have not successfully managed to find any sort of connection between the names Solomon and Senenmut (whom I have nonetheless identified as the one person). The name Senenmut, Egyptian sn-n-mwt …. means:

 “Brother of the mother.”

“Brother of the mother” is not a particularly helpful concept, and I can in no way adapt it to the name Solomon. (Although it may pertain to some other name of Solomon’s for he had apparently several names, e.g. he was also known as Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12:25). However, we saw in “Solomon and Sheba” that Senenmut liked to manipulate the Egyptian hieroglyphs, for example creating cryptograms in regard to Hatshepsut’s throne name, Makera (meaning “True is the Heart of Ra”). Perhaps he, as the crafty and intellectual Solomon, had adapted Egyptian names to Hebrew ones in Metzler-ian style. If so, the name Senenmut may be more cryptic than has so far been appreciated. …”.

 [End of quote]

However, I would like to reconsider some of this.

I want now to propose that the Egyptian name, Senenmut, especially in its form of Senemut, is very much like the Hebrew name Shelomoth (1 Chronicles 24:22), also derived from ‘peace’ (www.truthunity.net/texts/mbd/shelomoth), and therefore basically the same name as Shelomoh (‘Solomon’).

Shelomoth is also considered to be the same name as Shelomith (‘peaceful’); a name given to a grandchild of King Solomon (2 Chronicles 11:20).

The basic difference between the names Senemut and Shelomo[t]h, as far as transliteration goes, is that the first name has an ‘n’ where the second name has an ‘l’ (there is also the ‘S’ and ‘Sh’ difference, which is less significant, see e.g. Judges 12:6, since it can be a dialectical thing). But the letter ‘l’ does not occur in the Egyptian alphabet, for (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_language): “In Egyptian … Afroasiatic */l/ merged with Egyptian 〈n〉 …”. Charles W. Johnson has written on this, in his fascinating (http://earthmatrix.com/linguistic/nahuatl.htm):

 Linguistic Correspondence:
Nahuatl and Ancient Egyptian

“One very obvious characteristic of the nahuatl language is the extensive use of the letter “l” in most of the words, either as ending to the words or juxtaposed to consonants and vowels within the words. One of the very apparent characteristics of the ancient Egyptian language is the almost total absence of the use of the letter “l” within most of its word-concepts. The letter “l” appears as an ending of words only a handful of times in E.A. Wallis Budge’s work, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary. It would appear that this very dissimilar characteristic between these two languages would discourage anyone from considering a comparative analysis of possible linguistic correspondence between these two very apparently distinct idioms. …”.

 [End of quote]

Vizier Rekhmire Powerful Like Senenmut (= Solomon)

Taken from: http://www.luxoregypt.org/English/historical_sites/TOMBS_OF_NOBLES/TombsFrom

….

At the top of his career, Rekhmire was Vizier of Upper Egypt, Mayor of  Thebes, and possessor of over one hundred other important titles. His  great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle were also viziers, a position second  only to pharaoh in prestige and authority. Even though his father never rose  above the rank of Priest of Amen, this august lineage helped to ensure his own  rapid rise in the bureaucracy. Rekhmire boasted that “there was nothing of which  he was ignorant in heaven, on earth, or in any quarter of the underworld.” An  immodest bit of hyperbole to be sure, but he was one of the best-informed, most  powerful men in all Egypt.

Rekhmire held office during the last years of the reign of Thutmes III and the  early years of Amenhetep II. These were heady times in Egypt. After Hatshepsut  had departed the throne, Thutmes III undertook a series of military campaigns  that greatly increased Egypt’s power abroad and brought the country a degree of  wealth unknown in previous dynasties. The pharaoh launched huge building  programs and richly supported the arts and crafts. Egypt continued to thrive  under his successor, Amenhetep II, and the great projects  continued.

Nearly all these activities were supervised by Rekhmire. He  oversaw projects throughout Egypt, managed the vast royal estates, supervised  temples, judged court cases, checked irrigation schemes, attended official  ceremonies, chaired administrative meetings, managed the civil administration,  maintained state security, approved rates of taxation, and collected the taxes.  Rekhmire was fully aware of his talents as Egypt’s senior administrator, and he  proudly and at length quoted his pharaoh’s description of the vizier’s duties in  inscriptions on his own tomb walls:

‘Then his majesty said to him: “Look  you to this office of vizier. Be vigilant over [everything that] is done in it.  Behold, it is the support of the entire land. Behold, as to the vizierate,  behold, it is not sweet at all, behold, it is bitter as gall…Behold, it does  not mean giving attention (only) to himself and to his officials and councilors,  not (yet) making [dependents] out of everybody….Therefore, see to it for  yourself that all [things] are done according to that which conforms to law and  that all things are done in conformance to the precedent thereof in [setting  every man in] his just desserts. Behold, as for the official who is in public  view, the (very) winds and waters report all that he does; so, behold, his deeds  cannot be unknown….”

Rekhmire describes, with no false modesty, how  well he handled this difficult job: “I judged impartially between the pauper and  the wealthy. I rescued the weakling from the bully. I warded off the rage of the  bad-tempered and I repressed the acts of the covetous. I cooled down the temper  of the infuriated. I wiped away tears by satisfying  need. I appointed the son  and heir to the position of his father. I gave bread to the hungry, water to the  thirsty, meat, beer, and clothing to him who had none. I succored the old man by  giving him my staff and caused old women to say, ‘What a gracious  act!’”

He sounds like the ideal bureaucrat. But later in his career,  Rekhmire fell out of favor at court and may even have been stripped of his  titles. No offspring are known to have succeeded him to government office,  although he had at least five sons and several daughters. There is no evidence  that he was ever buried in TT 100, but there are indications that part of the  tomb decoration was deliberately mutilated and his name destroyed.

TT 100  was known to most nineteenth century explorers. Some of its scenes were  published by Frederic Caillaud in 1831, but the tomb was not cleared until 1889  and not completely published until 1943.

In plan, TT 100 looks like many  other cruciform-shaped tombs at Thebes, but in section it is unique. Beyond a  standard transverse corridor, an inner room extends nearly 25 meters (82 feet)  into the hillside of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qurna. At the entrance, the ceiling is 3  meters (10 feet) high. But the ceiling of the inner room slopes steeply upward,  reaching a height of over 8 meters (26 feet) at its western end. The result of  this strange design was to give Rekhmire’s tomb over 300 square meters (3200  square feet) of wall surface, all of which was decorated with painted scenes of  the highest quality. In the transverse hall, the scenes deal with personal and  business matters and contain lengthy texts describing the duties of the vizier,  the administration of temple holdings, and Rekhmire’s activities during the  reign of Amenhetep II. The inner room has scenes of arts and crafts, daily life,  funeral banquets, and burial rituals. The famed nineteenth century British  Egyptologist Sir John Gardner Wilkinson said in 1835 that the paintings of this  tomb shed more light on ancient Egyptian culture than any other source  known.

At the ENTRANCE to the tomb, prayers to Ra-Harakhty, Amen-Ra,  Thoth, Osiris, and other gods are accompanied by Rekhmire’s boastful claims of  having close relations with each.

On the right half of the front (east)  wall of the TRANSVERSE HALL, Rekhmire has included texts describing in some  detail his duties as vizier. The British Egyptologist Percy Newberry believed  that the accompanying scene was meant to show the actual audience hall in which  Rekhmire held court, and if you look closely you will see thin columns with palm  leaf capitals, walls that define a large chamber, and a raised dais on which  Rekhmire sits. Distributed around that chamber are numerous officials and  petitioners. The text accompanying the scene goes into considerable detail about  Rekhmire’s duties, even noting that in the audience hall he has to “sit on a  backed chair, a reed mat being on the ground, the chain of office on him, a skin  under his back, another under his feet, and a [canopy] of matting over him.”

Read less [-]

Rekhmire held office during the last years of the reign of Thutmes III and  the early years of Amenhetep II. These were heady times in Egypt. After  Hatshepsut had departed the throne, Thutmes III undertook a series of military  campaigns that greatly increased Egypt’s power abroad and brought the country a  degree of wealth unknown in previous dynasties. The pharaoh launched huge  building programs and richly supported the arts and crafts. Egypt continued to  thrive under his successor, Amenhetep II, and the great projects  continued.

Nearly all these activities were supervised by Rekhmire. He  oversaw projects throughout Egypt, managed the vast royal estates, supervised  temples, judged court cases, checked irrigation schemes, attended official  ceremonies, chaired administrative meetings, managed the civil administration,  maintained state security, approved rates of taxation, and collected the taxes.  Rekhmire was fully aware of his talents as Egypt’s senior administrator, and he  proudly and at length quoted his pharaoh’s description of the vizier’s duties in  inscriptions on his own tomb walls:

‘Then his majesty said to him: “Look  you to this office of vizier. Be vigilant over [everything that] is done in it.  Behold, it is the support of the entire land. Behold, as to the vizierate,  behold, it is not sweet at all, behold, it is bitter as gall…Behold, it does  not mean giving attention (only) to himself and to his officials and councilors,  not (yet) making [dependents] out of everybody….Therefore, see to it for  yourself that all [things] are done according to that which conforms to law and  that all things are done in conformance to the precedent thereof in [setting  every man in] his just desserts. Behold, as for the official who is in public  view, the (very) winds and waters report all that he does; so, behold, his deeds  cannot be unknown….”

Rekhmire describes, with no false modesty, how  well he handled this difficult job: “I judged impartially between the pauper and  the wealthy. I rescued the weakling from the bully. I warded off the rage of the  bad-tempered and I repressed the acts of the covetous. I cooled down the temper  of the infuriated. I wiped away tears by satisfying  need. I appointed the son  and heir to the position of his father. I gave bread to the hungry, water to the  thirsty, meat, beer, and clothing to him who had none. I succored the old man by  giving him my staff and caused old women to say, ‘What a gracious  act!’”

He sounds like the ideal bureaucrat. But later in his career,  Rekhmire fell out of favor at court and may even have been stripped of his  titles. No offspring are known to have succeeded him to government office,  although he had at least five sons and several daughters. There is no evidence  that he was ever buried in TT 100, but there are indications that part of the  tomb decoration was deliberately mutilated and his name destroyed.

TT 100  was known to most nineteenth century explorers. Some of its scenes were  published by Frederic Caillaud in 1831, but the tomb was not cleared until 1889  and not completely published until 1943.

In plan, TT 100 looks like many  other cruciform-shaped tombs at Thebes, but in section it is unique. Beyond a  standard transverse corridor, an inner room extends nearly 25 meters (82 feet)  into the hillside of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qurna. At the entrance, the ceiling is 3  meters (10 feet) high. But the ceiling of the inner room slopes steeply upward,  reaching a height of over 8 meters (26 feet) at its western end. The result of  this strange design was to give Rekhmire’s tomb over 300 square meters (3200  square feet) of wall surface, all of which was decorated with painted scenes of  the highest quality. In the transverse hall, the scenes deal with personal and  business matters and contain lengthy texts describing the duties of the vizier,  the administration of temple holdings, and Rekhmire’s activities during the  reign of Amenhetep II. The inner room has scenes of arts and crafts, daily life,  funeral banquets, and burial rituals. The famed nineteenth century British  Egyptologist Sir John Gardner Wilkinson said in 1835 that the paintings of this  tomb shed more light on ancient Egyptian culture than any other source  known.

At the ENTRANCE to the tomb, prayers to Ra-Harakhty, Amen-Ra,  Thoth, Osiris, and other gods are accompanied by Rekhmire’s boastful claims of  having close relations with each.

On the right half of the front (east)  wall of the TRANSVERSE HALL, Rekhmire has included texts describing in some  detail his duties as vizier. The British Egyptologist Percy Newberry believed  that the accompanying scene was meant to show the actual audience hall in which  Rekhmire held court, and if you look closely you will see thin columns with palm  leaf capitals, walls that define a large chamber, and a raised dais on which  Rekhmire sits. Distributed around that chamber are numerous officials and  petitioners. The text accompanying the scene goes into considerable detail about  Rekhmire’s duties, even noting that in the audience hall he has to “sit on a  backed chair, a reed mat being on the ground, the chain of office on him, a skin  under his back, another under his feet, and a [canopy] of matting over  him.”

The Duties of the Vizier is one of the most important documents to  come down from the New Kingdom, but some Egyptologists wonder what prompted  Rekhmire to write it. The British Egyptologist T. G. H. James says, “The very  act of composition suggests that all was not well; to find it necessary to set  down precepts for action which would have seemed self-evident in happy times,  incorporates a kind of condemnation of the moment of composition.” He suggests  that Rekhmire was being “hypocritical” by including the Duties in his tomb;  after all, his fall from grace may well have been the result of official  malfeasance.

To the right of the text, tax collectors are at work in  Upper Egypt, receiving deliveries of gold rings, cattle, monkeys, grain, honey,  pigeons, cloth, and beads. Surprisingly, there are no sheep or pigs, common  animals in ancient Egypt. Tax dodgers are led forth by guards armed with heavy  sticks. Between them and  a figure of Rekhmire, four mats lie on the floor of  the hall, covered with what Egyptologists believe to be rolls of leather. There  are ten rolls on each mat, and some scholars identify them as the forty sheshemu  or law books that Rekhmire would have consulted when adjudicating legal cases.  Others identify the objects as batons, symbols of authority awarded by the  vizier to local administrators.

Similar taxation scenes appear on the  left (north) half of this front (east) wall, recording deliveries from districts  in Middle Egypt. In the center of the wall, Rekhmire inspects rations and  furniture to be delivered to the temple of Amen at Karnak. Wooden statues of  Thutmes III are shown in the top register, and statues of stone in the register  below. The statues include one that stands with ducks hanging from his arm,  holding an offering slab, and another with his feet resting on a kneeling  Nubian. This latter scene is unique. More than thirty different kinds of temple  furnishings are shown at right, including shields, spears, quivers, necklaces,  axes, and pots.

On the left (south) side of the chamber’s rear (west)  wall, Rekhmire receives huge quantities of tribute on behalf of the king from  various foreign countries, proof that, as the accompanying text states, “Every  land is subject to His Majesty.”

In the upper register, ostrich feathers and  eggs, myrrh trees, ivory tusks, gold, leopards, cheetahs, monkeys, and baboons  are brought from the land of Punt, a country on the Red Sea coast in what is now  Eritrea.

In the register below, tribute comes from Keftiu, the island of  Crete, and includes silver, gold, bronze, and lapis lazuli. Note the dress of  the Cretan bearers, who wear phallus sheaths and high-topped laced  shoes.

Next come Nubians, bearing ebony, gold, leopard skins, ostrich  feathers and eggs, various semi-precious stones, and live animals including  hunting dogs, a leopard, a baboon, and an elegant giraffe with a small green  monkey climbing on its neck. A small herd of cattle is drawn with strangely  deformed horns.

The Retenu from Syria come next, and in the bottom  register, Nubian and Syrian captives. At the far left of the Syrian procession,  men bring a brown bear and an elephant as part of the tribute. In the bottom  register, note the women dressed in elaborate bell-shaped layers of cloth, some  with baskets on their backs held in place by a head straps, bearing their young  children.

On the right (north) half of the rear (west) wall, men press  grapes, gather birds and fish, clean them and preserve them in jars. These are  standard scenes, more fully described in the tombs of Menna and Nakht.

To their left is an elaborate hunting scene (see also TT 56: Userhet).  Usually the Egyptians indicated chaos, discord, fear, and death by omitting the  ground line in scenes and randomly placing the figures. Here, multiple ground  lines meander across the surface and figures move in different directions. The  result is the same: the scene depicts chaos. Panic-stricken ostriches, gazelle,  and antelope try without success to flee the spears and arrows  of Rekhmire. At  middle left, a hyena tries to pull an arrow from its chest with its teeth. Blood  spurts from a wounded gazelle. Small mammals try to hide themselves beneath  desert shrubs. A rabbit, ears flapping, races toward a small bush. But there is  no escape.

The hunting ground is encircled by a fence of braided ropes.  The animals are trapped, and Rekhmire, as the saying goes, is shooting fish in a  barrel. (Such corralled hunts were practiced as recently as the 1930s by Egypt’s  last king, Farouk.)

In the upper register at right, the dead game lies in a  great pile, their numbers tallied by a scribe. The hunt is not sport but  provisioning for the afterlife.

The second room is called THE PASSAGE and  its scenes deal with two broad subjects. On the right (north) wall, Rekhmire  treats his activities as vizier and mayor and depicts various stages of his  funerary ritual. On the left (south) wall, he illustrates the many workshops  that he supervised for the Temple of Amen at Karnak. We will begin with the left  wall, rightly considered one of the most important in all Egypt for the study of  minor arts and crafts. Because the ceiling rises so dramatically, some registers  are nearly impossible to see without ladders or binoculars. But they are of such  interest that we will refer to them.

Near the beginning of the left wall,  a seated figure of Rekhmire faces the entrance. The scenes he views deal with  provisioning the storerooms of the Temple of Amen. In the top register, bags of  tiger nuts are dumped in great piles, measured, then ground in a mortar made  from the trunk of a tree. Tiger nuts (Cyperus esculentus), wah in ancient  Egyptian, habb al-’aziz in modern Arabic, are still eaten in Egypt. They have a  sweet flavor tasting like a cross between coconut and almond and are popular on  festive days in Luxor, eaten after being soaked in water. After mixing with  water, the resulting dough is placed in a three-legged kneading trough to which  pastry chefs add fat, then fried in a large pan.

Farther left, men blow  smoke into a cylindrical clay beehive and remove the combs of honey. A lone bee  hovers forlornly before them. The honey is packed into jars and sealed, and some  of it will probably be eaten with the tiger nut cakes. This is one of a few  scenes of beekeeping known from dynastic times, although honey was the principal  sweetener in ancient Egypt (they had no sugar), and it played a major role in  Egyptian cooking and medicine.

In the register below, between the  entrances to vaulted temple storerooms, piles of ostrich feathers, skin shields,  elephant tusks, baskets of grapes, sacks of nuts—the goods we saw in the first  chamber being received by Rekhmire as taxes from Upper Egyptian districts and as  tribute from foreign countries—await inventory. There are some light touches in  these otherwise formal scenes: at right, a man strains to carry a huge jug of  wine; nearby, monkeys scamper about the piles of dom, trying to steal the  sweet-tasting fruit.

The flat-topped building at left is called the  Double Treasury of Gold and Silver, and piles of precious metals stand ready to  be placed inside.

To the right of these activities, other groups of men  are engaged in various crafts. Bead makers, leather workers, carpenters, masons,  and sculptors work intently to complete projects for the temple. These are some  of the most accurate depictions of craftsmen from the New Kingdom and provide  unrivalled information on how they made these superb works.

In the  uppermost register, a bead maker uses a single bow to power three drills at  once, a feat that would have required considerable skill. Behind him, other men  string beads into necklaces and collars. Note how their long, curved fingers  suggest the delicacy of the work. Farther left, a man with a crank drill hollows  out stone vessels.

In the register below, leather workers prepare two  different styles of sandals, saddles, ropes, and leather rolls for writing  documents. One man stands next to an animal hide stretching or softening leather  on the three-legged post. At left, several men stretch a skin, then cut it to  the required shape. One man uses his teeth to pull a leather thong through a  hole he has punched in the sole of a sandal. Farther left, a skilled worker has  cut a piece of leather into a continuous spiral, to make leather strips, perhaps  to be used in the rigging of ships.

Below (at right), a craftsman  finishes gilding a statue of the king while another inspects the shrine that  will house it. The statue is of blackest ebony, and its color indicates its  intended association with Osiris. Two men at left sit beside a glue pot heating  it on a small fire. One of them applies adhesive to a piece of veneer. Behind  them, a cabinetmaker smoothes the surface of a box with an adze. Note the  carpenter’s square and the dovetail jig lying next to him. Below, a man saws  through a plank that has been lashed vertically to a post; a wedge has been  jammed into the cut to prevent the saw from binding. Such techniques are still  used today. Here, as elsewhere in this scene, the bare wood is carefully painted  to show its grain. A man uses a bow drill to make holes along the edge of a bed  through which rope will be passed to weave a mattress. The drill bit, made of  bronze, is held in place by a small cup in the man’s hand. Next, four men put  the finishing touches on a shrine elaborately crafted of fine woods. Nearby,  workmen carve chair legs with feet shaped like lion’s paws. Other craftsmen cut,  drill, saw, and sand pieces of wood. Good quality wood was a scarce and valuable  commodity in Egypt—nearly all of it was imported and came only in small  sizes—and it took considerable skill to create large objects from many small  pieces of ebony, cedar, and other woods.

In the next lower register,  metalworkers fashion elegant vases and ewers from gold (the yellow rings in this  scene), silver (the white rings), and bronze. At right, five rings of gold lie  in the balance pan, the precise equivalent of the weight shaped like a bull’s  head lying in the other pan. Two other weights, one with the shape of a  hippopotamus, lie beneath the scale. The top of the balance has the head of the  goddess Ma’at on it to ensure honesty and accuracy. The man at right distributes  gold and silver to the workmen and keeps track of its precise weight. That  weight will later be compared to the weight of the finished products, to help  prevent theft. The long-haired man at left, preceded by three workmen, may be  the master craftsman who has come to oversee the gold.

At left, a man  kneels before an anvil on which he has placed a gold ring. The ring lies beneath  a piece of material, probably to keep it from being scratched as the man beats  with a hammerstone. Slowly, he will turn the gold ring into a sheet of precious  metal thin enough to be shaped into vessels, or beaten further into paper-thin  gold leaf. In the two half-registers at the left, men fashion large vessels. Two  men at top work with hammers and strange-looking anvils to shape a vessel.  Nearby, a fire is used to soften the metal for soldering or chasing. At left, a  man with a hollow reed and a pair of tongs holds a piece of gold in an open  flame that crackles and spits as he blows air onto it. Below, four men engrave  and polish huge gold jars.

Three men carry ingots of Asiatic copper to  the workshop. Four hearths are operating there, each fueled with charcoal. At  right, a man dumps another basketful of charcoal on the floor, ready to be  shoveled into the hearths. The heat of the fires is made more intense by means  of foot-operated bellows made of wood and leather.

The men raise the springless bellows by lifting a foot and pulling the cord,  then depress it by pushing down with their foot. The reason that four hearths  are working simultaneously is because of the size of the object they are making.  It is a massive bronze doorway that is to be installed in Luxor Temple. The  molten metal must be poured rapidly to prevent a great drop in temperature, and  this requires that a supply be available without interruption to be poured  quickly into the mold. The mold has seventeen funnel-shaped vents in its top,  and two workmen deftly maneuver a large crucible with flexible sticks, pouring  molten metal into each vent in turn. It seems almost impossible to believe that  so large and heavy an object could be cast as a single piece, and it is true  that no such door has ever been found. But there are textual references to doors  of this size, and the two completed door leaves standing at the upper left of  the scene belie any alternative explanation.

In the next register below,  men make bricks for a construction project at the Temple of Amen at Karnak. This  is an especially interesting scene: the brick-making methods shown here can be  found unchanged in almost any Egyptian village today, and the use of the bricks  for building the ramp shown here tells us how the ancient engineers were able to  construct huge temples. At left, men fill jars with water from a small  tree-lined lake. One man stands to his waist in the water, another dips from the  shoreline. The water will be added to mud and wheat chaff by workmen who use an  adze and their feet to obtain the proper mixture. Other men fill baskets with  the wet mud and carry it to masons who shape the bricks in molds, then place  them in the sun to dry. After two days, the finished bricks are then carried to  the building site. The text says the building is a sanctuary at Karnak, but we  do not know which one.

This scene is one of the best pieces of evidence  we have proving that ancient Egyptians used ramps in building constructions. And  it shows how huge structures—a hypostyle hall in this case—might have been  built. After the floor was laid, the first course of stone for walls or pillars  was put in place and the space between the stone blocks filled with mud brick  and rubble. A low ramp was built and stones for the second course were then  dragged into place atop the first. More brick was added and the ramp was raised.  A third course of stone was added, and the ramp raised again. When the building  was completed and its roof was in place, the entire structure was packed with  mud brick. As the brick was removed, artists stood on the brick, using it as a  descending platform, and smoothed and decorated walls and columns from the top  down.

The men working in the brickyard are unusual. They are referred to  in the accompanying text as “captives,” and they appear to be Syrians and  Nubians. The Syrians have stubble on their chins and their chests are covered  with blond hair, features foreign to Egyptians, who regularly shaved their  entire body. A few of the Syrians here are even shown with blue eyes.

At  right, ships bring more stone to the building site and men dress it, using  strings and pegs to ensure that the blocks are perfectly square. Below,  sculptors carve two colossal royal statues from red granite. Men work on  scaffolding surrounding the huge statues, and a scribe outlines an inscription  on the back of the right hand statue, which will later be carved. A limestone  sphinx and an offering table are smoothed and polished, and one workman  awkwardly bends down to correct a small imperfection on the table’s  base.

The remainder of this wall is given over to scenes of Rekhmire’s  burial ceremonies. The bottom three registers deal with the procession to the  tomb and food offerings, watched over by the Mistress of the West. The next  three are watched by Anubis and continue the procession. The top three, overseen  by Osiris, deal with offerings and purification rituals.

The scenes on the  right (north) wall are to be “read” from right to left, bottom to top.

At  far right, ships sail toward Thebes, and in the lower register, they moor there.  Rekhmire has returned from an audience with his pharaoh, Amenhetep II, and is  welcomed home by members of his family.

To the left are Rekhmire’s  funerary banquets, one for the women of his family, another for the men. The  women’s banquet is the more interesting, and the artist has shown the guests  dressed in tight-fitting robes, elaborately bejeweled and coifed. These are  static scenes, formal, unmoving and lacking emotion, with two exceptions. One is  the scene of servant girls. Note how their hair coyly falls and hides the girls’ faces. The other exception is the girl in the center of the scene who stands  with her back to us in a three-quarter view that is unique in Egyptian art. The  figure is almost erotic in contrast to the other, formal figures here and is  very well done, even though the artist erred in drawing her feet, which cross  each other in an anatomically impossible manner. Musicians play stringed  instruments, both in the women’s hall and in the men’s. Butchers prepare meat  for the meal and, unusually, care has been taken to show that the cuts of beef  are well-marbled.

Farther to the left, a statue of Rekhmire stands in a  shrine on a boat towed by priests across a pond in his garden. It is not clear  whether the garden is one in this life (in which case the building on the left  might be his home) or in the next life (in which case it might be his tomb). The  scene is charming in its execution, the trees drawn as if they lie on the ground  so that the artist could show them—date and dom palms and sycomore figs—in their  most recognizable form. Such bird’s-eye views are common in Egyptian art. The  garden is formally arranged, divided into several nesting rectangles that may  indicate terracing. A water carrier stands in the upper right corner, preparing  to irrigate the trees. At left, a priest offers up incense beside the pond. This  is a funerary scene, perhaps part of the Beautiful Festival of the  Valley.

The right (north) wall of the passage nearest the door deals with  the Opening of the Mouth ritual

From” The Illustrated Guide to Luxor” by  kent R.Weeks ,published by the American University in Cairo Press. Copyright © 2005 White Star S.p.a

Tomb of Rekhmire, Vizier of Thutmose III

Rekhmire was a governor of Thebes during the reigns of Tuthmosis III and his son Amenophis II. His tomb is one of more than 500 found in the Valley of the Nobles in ancient Thebes. Like most such tombs, Rekhmire’s featured a reverse T shape, with a shallow front chamber followed by a long inner corridor. His is one of the finest painted tombs in the Theban necropolis.
 


You begin facing east towards the door to the outside and the unseen entrance chamber (which forms the top of the T). After workmen finished carving this corridor, which slopes higher as one moves farther into the tomb, they prepared the wall surface with a mixture of earth and straw overlaid with a layer of plaster. Artists then painted scenes both from Rekhmire’s life and funeral procession, and of the craftsmen whose efforts he oversaw: carpenters, goldsmiths, sculptors, masons, and many others.


As you spin around, zoom in closer to examine the fine paintings. See if you can make out the painted pair of small funerary obelisks, which Egyptians of the 18th Dynasty often placed before their tombs in honor of the sun god. At the opposite (western) end of the tomb, notice the empty niche, where statues of Rekhmire and his wife likely once stood.

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Taken from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/egypt/explore/sansrekhmire.html

Velikovsky Identified biblical ‘Zerah the Ethiopian’ with pharaoh Amenhotep II

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In the chapter dealing with the sack of the Temple of Jerusalem, it was demonstrated that the biblical Shishak, its plunderer, was Thutmose III of the Eighteenth Dynasty, and the objects of his loot, depicted on the bas relief at Karnak, were identified as the vessels, utensils, and furniture of the Temple. His heir Amenhotep II was identified as the Biblical Zerah who invaded Palestine in the days of King Asa at the beginning of the ninth century. Thus they could not have been the Libyan kings Shoshenk and Osorkon. These Libyans reigned later ….

http://www.varchive.org/tac/seqdyn.htm

And: http://www.varchive.org/ce/theses.htm

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81. Amenhotep II lived not in the fifteenth but in the ninth century, and was the scriptural Zerah.

82. The theory that the Ethiopian Zerah came from Arabia is wrong; equally wrong is the theory that he is a mythological figure.

83. The battle of Ain-Reshet, referred to by Amenhotep II, is the battle of Mareshet-Gath, which was lost by Amenhotep II and won by Asa.

84. This intrusion of Amenhotep II-Zerah is also narrated in the poem of Keret found in Ras Shamra.

85. The theory that Terah of the Poem, who invaded the south of Palestine with millions of soldiers, is the father of Abraham, is wrong.

86. The Shemesh-Edom of the war-annals of Amenhotep II is the Edomite city of Shapesh (Shemesh) referred to in the Poem of Keret.

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Young Hatshepsut Was A Priestess

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Taken from: http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/biography/the-woman-who-would-be-king.php?page=all

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Like any other princess during the Eighteenth Dynasty, Hatshepsut was born into a royal world of social strictures and expectations. She was a king’s daughter, a king’s wife, and a king’s sister—critically, the only royal title she would lack in her lifetime was king’s mother, as she never bore a son. This failing was likely a bitter disappointment for Hatshepsut, but it was also a twist of fate that would pave the way for her inconceivable and serendipitous rise in fortune.

Hatshepsut’s first taste of power came when, just a young girl, she was appointed the god’s wife of Amun. In this hallowed position, she served as a priestess of the greatest importance. If the descriptions of Amun’s rituals of re-creation are to be believed, Hatshepsut was responsible for sexually exciting the god himself, presumably in his statue form. One of her priestess titles was actually “God’s Hand.” If we are to take the agenda of this title literally Hatshepsut was essentially responsible for facilitating the masturbatory act of the god in his holy shrine, instigating a sacred sexual release that allowed for the re-creation of the god, and his entire store of creative potential. As god’s wife, Hatshepsut used her feminine sexuality to enable the god’s continued renewal of the universe itself—it didn’t hurt that the position of god’s wife of Amun came with lands, servants, and palaces. It was a lot of power for a ten-year-old girl to take in.

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