Archive | February, 2017

The Influence of the Gods D.17.02.28

28 Feb

The stories of the gods and their families influenced nature.
The story of Osiris continues as being torn into pieces and Isis goes searching for him. She searches all over Egypt, she can find every single piece of him except one which is significantly enough – his penis. She puts him all together except for the missing part and then he becomes the king of the Underworld.
He could not be brought back to life but he could rule in the underworld, which was enormously important in Egyptian thought and thus Osiris becomes one of the most powerful gods paradoxically, by being dead.
Horus’ son avenged him. Horus was represented with the head of a falcon or a hawk. He was associated with the pharaoh wearing the pharaoh’s crown. He defeated Seth, avenging his father and he is thought to be connected with earthly rulership.
He was the son god, s-o-n, he’s the son of the older gods, and so he’s more connected to humans. The Pharaoh was often thought to be an incarnation of Seth.
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Seth, the God D.17.02.27

27 Feb

Seth was the troublesome god of disorder. He was a god of chaos and the desert. The story goes he tricked Osiris into a coffin. He says I have this wonderful coffin, I wonder who could fit in this? And Osiris, perhaps somewhat foolishly, says, oh, I bet I could and climbed into the coffin.
Seth sealed the coffin, killing Osiris.
He dismembers him, tears him into a million pieces so that he can never be reincarnated. Isis is intensely sad about this.
Isis mourned Osiris and her tears are thought to have caused the Nile flood.
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The Godly Collection D.17.02.26

26 Feb

The Egyptian religion was made up of gods that blended into each other, and one god could be a manifestation of another god. It is a complicated system which had evolved over 3,000 years and was remarkably consistent over that period of time.
The central family group of Egyptian mythology was Osiris, Isis, and their son Horus.
Osiris was the god of the underworld and next was Isis, who was the ideal wife and mother of the gods. She represented nature and magic. She was a very powerful figure in her own right.
Iris worship actually spread way out of Egypt and was very popular in the Roman Empire and was actually a rival religion to Christianity in the early years of the Christian era.
There was Osiris, Isis, and their son Horus and he grew to be one of the most powerful gods in the Egyptian pantheon. He was the sky god who was associated with the pharaoh.
The interesting twist to this tale is that Isis and Osiris were brother and sister but this was common in ancient mythologies. There was an incestuous structure where gods could only marry other gods. This was reflected in the way that the pharaohs arranged their affairs as well with their brother and sister, and children of the earth and sky. This combined the elements of ancient human life.
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Religion in Egypt D.17.02.25

25 Feb

Egyptian religion was very complex and complicated. Some of the important points, the first being Egyptian religion was like all ancient religions it was polytheistic – meaning there were many gods.
Each god represented different parts of life, nature, or the universe. The god Ra was the sun god, and creator god. He often merged with other gods. He was seen with the head of a hawk, which is often the sign of the god Horus – another god.
Ra the sun god was represented sitting with Amentit, who was the goddess of those who were buried in the west and may be a manifestation of Isis.
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Queen Hatshepsut’s Expedition D.17.02.24

24 Feb

Queen Hatshepsut had an expedition to the land of Punt. Punt was an area to the South of Egypt in the horn of Africa, in what is now Ethiopia, Yemen. No one’s exactly sure what the full extent of the land of Punt was. It was obviously somewhere in that area, but whether it crossed the Red Sea or not from Egypt, we don’t know.
Queen Hatshepsut sent a large trading delegation there, and traded in Punt to get gold, resin, ebony, ivory, and wild animals.
Products came from further South in Africa, and also from the East and from Arabia and from India. The New Kingdom developed and Egypt was well connected with the rest of the world and although they were self sufficient for some things in the Nile Valley. They were able to get luxury goods and major commodities like wood from around the world and this is part of how we measure the influence of their civilization.
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Sea Farers D.17.02.23

23 Feb

The sea-faring nations, the Greeks and the Phoenicians carried goods by sea. This is evident from the tombs of Egyptian labourers carrying wine in Amphorae. Amphorae are jugs. These are Greek style jugs used throughout the Mediterranean.
Wine was something the Egyptians had to import. It was a luxury import. The wealthy in Egypt drank wine except wine could not be grown in Egypt. The conditions are not good for growing. Beer was easily produced in Egypt, but not wine. Wine was imported from the Greek world, and the Egyptians actually referred to it as the beer from the mountains.
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The Nile Boats D.17.02.22

22 Feb

From an Egyptian tomb was uncovered a funerary model of an Egyptian boat. It allows us to get some idea of what the Nile boats would’ve looked like. Travel up and down the Nile was often done by boat. It was easier to travel on the Nile using the water than to walk along the side of the Nile or to ride alongside the Nile on a camel.
Boats were used for long periods in Egyptian history, but what the Egyptians were not particularly skilled at themselves was sea travel. It took a long time for Egypt to become interested in having the kinds of boats that could sail in the Mediterranean, or on the Red Seas.
Boat travel for the Egyptians was mostly up and down the Nile. It would be much later when there were other sea faring nations such as the Greeks and Phoenicians.
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The Sea Road D.17.02.21

21 Feb

There is an ancient trade route called the Via Maris, the sea road, and it begins in Memphis. It goes along the coast through Gaza, Jaffa, what is now Tel Aviv, up to Tyre, Sidon, Beirut, and Byblos. It goes overland to Damascus in Syria, a very old and wealthy city. This allowed for various kinds of trade.
Egypt by these routes was connected with Mesopotamia. It connected with Arabia and going up south on the Nile connected with sub-Saharan Africa. There were connections between Egypt and India, mostly indirect connections where Indian goods would get to Mesopotamia and then Egyptians would be able to buy them and bring them back to Egypt using either the Via Reggia or the Via Maris.
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Levant D.17.02.20

20 Feb

Antiquity had some trade routes which allowed for merchandise to be exchanged in trade. One of the trade routes in the ancient period was the Levantine trade routes.
Levant was the name often used for an area of the Eastern Mediterranean. It means, it’s related to the word for the rising sun. We use the word levitate when something rises. Levant was a trade route.
There were two main trade routes and this will be about the first one. The first was a land trade route known as the King’s Highway under the Romans and was called the Via Reggia which is Latin for Kings Highway. And it started in Memphis, in the Nile Valley, and went across to Akaba, across the Sinai Peninsula. And then up on the Eastern coast, the Eastern bank of the Jordan River to Damascus and Syria, and then across the desert to the Euphrates at Resafa. The land route linked Egypt with the Kingdoms of Mesopotamia and passed through the Kingdoms of the Levant, of Palestine, what is today known as Israel.
The main way of transporting things along the King’s Highway was by donkey or camel. These were the main beasts of burden, not horses or cattle but donkeys and camels. These were sturdy beasts that could survive harsh conditions and carry heavy loads, and so donkeys and camels were used.
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Egyptian Burial Practices D.17.02.19

19 Feb

Pine resin and resin from various trees, which is used in the embalming process was in great demand in ancient Egypt.
Both wood and resin are necessary for Egyptian burial practices. Egyptian burial practices were important in antiquity and from this created many by products. The Egyptians were very ceremonious about their burials and therefore having the necessary implements for these occasions was important.
Resin played an important part in the ancient Egyptian world, unlike today the burial practices have taken on a more modern approach.
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