Researchers Find Earliest Depiction of Egyptian Pharaoh

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Yale University researchers studying a long forgotten rock art panel northwest of Aswan in Egypt believe they may have discovered the earliest known depiction of an Egyptian ruler. At the center of a panel with several well-executed drawings of crescent-shaped royal flotillas hovers a figure wearing the typical “White Crown” of Upper Egypt and carrying a long staff or scepter in his hand. Standing behind him is a fan bearer, while in front are two attendants who carry royal standards. Originally spotted in the late 19th century but only recently rediscovered, the panel is believed to date between 3200 and 3100 B.C.E. and most likely depicts the Egyptian king’s royal tour and procession along the Nile River (the so-called “Following of Horus”) that occurred every two years.

Photo courtesy Yale University.

 

Read more about this early example of Egyptian royal art.

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  1. Paul says

    Interestingly, we have here what may have been a photo-op of of the first ruler to unify Egypt, King Narmer; at what would become the southernmost border of Egypt at Aswan. To the south was the A-Group culture of Lower Nubia that had cultural and genetic affinities with southern Upper Egypt to the north. In a cemetery at Qustul there is evidence a wealthy elite ruling class with the same status symbols that would be employed by Egypt’s Early Dynasty.
    “Luxury raw materials, such as ivory, ebony, incense, and exotic animal skins, all greatly desired in Egypt in Dynastic times, largely came from further south in Africa, passing through Nubia, Some A-Groups chiefs must, therefore, have benefited economically from from the trade in raw materials” (The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt by Ian Shaw, p.67).
    After the unification of Egypt under King Narmer, however, Lower Nubia was depopulated.
    “From Pre-Dynastic times down to the New Kingdom when Egypt actually occupied the land, Lower Nubia remained a region of few social and economic distinctions and comparatively low population density, The reason for her tendency to lag behind her rich northern neighbor has sometimes been explained in terms of racial inferiority. But in physical affinity the peoples of this region cannot be differentiated consistantly from those of southern Upper Egypt. An enviromental explanation is more accurate, since Lower Nubia possessed only limited amounts of tillable land But the biggest single factor inhibiting political and economic growth was, ironically, the precocious develpment of Egypt which, in achieving first regional and then national political unity, managed to control effectively the Nile and access to the markets that it served” (Egypt Before the Pharaohs by Michael Hoffman,p.256).

  2. Paul says

    “I have approached (?) the lapis-lazuli (sky?). I have followed the winds of the Company of the Gods. The Great God hath given me my head unto me. He who hath bound my head on my body for me is the Mighty One, with eyes of lapis-lazuli (?), namely Ari-en-ab-f (‘He doeth as he pleaseth’)”, from the Papyrus of Ani; The Book of the Dead by E. A. Wallis Budge, Gramercy Books, p. 642.
    In the movie “Dune”, based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, people who ingest the spice Melange have their eyes turn bright blue but in the book they are dark blue. A bit of trivia as I try to explain pre-Dynastic Egypt against the backdrop of the politcal and economic power balance of the Galactic Empire.
    Among the finds at a pre-Dynastic cemetery in Qustul is an incense burner carved with a depiction of a man seated in a boat with the White Crown of Upper Egypt. These are the A-Group of Lower Nubia, and are the middle-men between Egypt and the riches of Africa; the “Space Guild.”
    To the north in Lower Egypt just south of where the Nile brances off into the Delta is the site of Maadi, a merchantile city specializing in copper with access to a trade route into the Sinai and Negev deserts. Let’s say this is the “House of Atreidis.”
    The site of Naqada in Upper Egypt, whose elite ruling class aquired luxury goods as status symbols, for the sake of argument can represent the “House of Harkonnen.”
    Then of course you have “The Emperor”, King Narmer, who allied himself with the “Followers of Horus” from Hierakonopolis, and also Abydos; home of the cult of the funerary god Osiris; both towns in Upper Egypt.
    Among the oldest of Egypt’s gods is “Tem”, who was originally the local god of Annu (“On” of Genesis 41:45), or Heliopolis.
    “Tem was the first ‘living’ man-god known to the Egyptians, just as Osiris was the first ‘dead’ man-god, and as such was always represented in human form and with a human head. It is important to note this fact, for it indicates that those who formulated the existance of this god were on a higher level of civilization than those who depicted the oldest of all Egyptian gods, Horus, in the form of a hawk or in that of a hawk-headed body”, (The Gods of the Egyptians, vol. I, by E. A. Wallis Budge, p.349).
    The god Tem is associated with the west because it is from there that the Nile civilization was settled by people from the once-fertile Sahara desert. Their rock paintings have been found throughout the Sahara, with one area located in southern Algeria at the Tassili-n-Ajjer Plateau.
    “Here are the earliest known depictions of shamans with large numbers of grazing cattle. The shamans are dancing with fists full of mushrooms and also have mushrooms sprouting from their bodies. In one instance they are shown running joyfully, surrounded by the geometric structures of their hallucinations”, (Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna, p.70).
    At Gilf Kebir, a remote plateau in southwestern Egypt there a cave named Mesekawi that is “notable for the almost complete lack of any paintings resembling weapons for hunting or combat”, (Ancient Egypt, February/March 2007, p.22). Humans, some of whom appear to be floating, are depicted with domesticated giraffes and ostriches
    It is possible that this prehistoric epoch in time is alluded to in Genesis 2:4; “This is the story of the heaven and the earth when they were created, in the day when made the Lord God earth and heaven.”
    It’s the heaven that is first refered to which symbolizes the period of abundant rainfall which enabled the Sahara to flourish, and after the climate-change “earth” is mentioned before “heaven” since that where the subteranean blessing is.
    “And of Joseph he said: Blessed of the Lord be his land, with the bounty of dew from heaven, and of the deep that couches below” (Genesis 33:13).
    In the theology of Heliopolis, the god Tem is credited with creating great “Pesedjets” or the Ennead consisting of nine “neters,” or gods.
    “O great Ennead [psdj.t] of Neters which is in Heliopolis…which Tem put into the world through projection [pdj] of his heart” (Pyramid text 1655).
    “Tem, by the power or by the fire of his heart, projects his own self into ‘Nun’ for his own nativity into the world. By this same projection, he makes the great Ennead appear in ‘Nu.” ‘Projecting,’ here written with the hieroglyphic of the bow, in this text signifies ‘to make appear in the distance’ (or ‘to appear above’), in the milieu of the primordial water ‘Nu’” (Sacred Science by R.A. Schwaller De Lubicz, pp. 191-192).
    “‘Nu’ was frequently identified with the sky and with the heaven above it, though, strictly speaking, he represented the watery mass which was suppose to exist between the two” (Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, vol. I, p.284)
    It is written; “So Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a man with power both in his speech and his actions” {Acts 7:22}. The Samaritan tradition of Stephen differs from the Rabbinical tradition from the Pirke Aboth (Sayings of the Fathers) which states that Moses recieved (kabbalah) from Mount Sinai. Indeed, the nine neters of the Egyptian Ennead become the ten sefiroth of the Jewish Kabbalah, since one of the sefirah, called “Crown”, is hidden due to its affinity with infinity. It was revealed to Moses at Mount Horeb when God said, “I will be who I will be” (Exodus 3:14). Similarly, Elijah, after fleeing to Mount Horeb, heard “a still, small voice” only after the dissolution of the elements (1 Kings 19:12).
    In an article of the online newspaper, Haaretz entitled; “Researcher: Moses was Tripping at Mount Sinai,” a professor of cognitive psychology states, “Hypotheses have been around for twenty years connecting the beginning of religions with psychoactive materials,” Shanon says. He believes the Israelites used two plants in Sinai and the Negev; one of them is wild rue, a hallucinagen used by the Bedoin to this day, However ths plant is not identified with any plant mentioned in the bible. The other is the acacia tree.


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