Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East, mythology, goddesses, monsters, etc.

I am only a lay student in these areas, so take what I say with a grain of salt!

I am also ikhet-sekhmet.livejournal.com. My reverse harem can be found at aegyopoisoned.tumblr.com.

 

Meanwhile in tomb KV9 (and the Eleventh Division of the Book of Gates), Apophis is chained to stakes by the Children of Horus, who also gash him with their knives.

Meanwhile in tomb KV9 (and the Eleventh Division of the Book of Gates), Apophis is chained to stakes by the Children of Horus, who also gash him with their knives.

From the Book of Gates (Fourth Division), the goddesses of the hours and the serpent Hereret, as seen in the tomb of Ramesses IV (KV2).

From the Book of Gates (Fourth Division), the goddesses of the hours and the serpent Hereret, as seen in the tomb of Ramesses IV (KV2).

(Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Ed Emshwiller’s eerie and beautiful CGI short, Sunstone (1979).

(Source: youtube.com)

Ancient Greek statue of a sphinx at the Met. Missing limbs and head, it’s become beautiful abstract curves.

Ancient Greek statue of a sphinx at the Met. Missing limbs and head, it’s become beautiful abstract curves.

(Source: metmuseum.org)

I have a confession to make. Eight months ago - eight months! - theasigma provided me with the answer to one of the longest-standing mysteries in my #puzzle tag - the identity of this bizarre Halloween-costume-ghost figure in Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead. (My excuse is that we were moving house at the time, and I forgot all about it!)

Anyway, apparently, this dude is called Medjed, “the Smiter” - and that’s everything we know about him. BD 17 says: “I know the name of that Smiter among them, who belongs to the House of Osiris, who shoots with his eye, yet is unseen.”

At top is Medjed in the Greenfield Papyrus (the Book of the Dead of Nestanebtasheru) and at bottom, there he is again in a different papyrus, as seen in Geraldine Pinch’s Egyptian Magic. Now the latter book mistakenly identifies this as the Greenfield Papyrus too, but as you can see, they’re quite different. So now I have another puzzle to solve: whose Book of the Dead is this one? Wait - I had this backwards! Pinch is right (of course) - the lower image above is from the Greenfield Papyrus. So it’s the top image I have to track down.

In Hathor’s temple at Dendera, the winged sun disc of Horus of Behdet, and a winged scarab pushing along the sun. (Presumably the vulture beneath them, wearing the white crown, is Nekhbet.)

In Hathor’s temple at Dendera, the winged sun disc of Horus of Behdet, and a winged scarab pushing along the sun. (Presumably the vulture beneath them, wearing the white crown, is Nekhbet.)

(Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

A still-vibrant painting from the mortuary temple of Ramesses III at  Medinet Habu, depicting the symbol of Horus of Behdet, the winged sun disc.

A still-vibrant painting from the mortuary temple of Ramesses III at  Medinet Habu, depicting the symbol of Horus of Behdet, the winged sun disc.

(Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

I’m pretty sure the idea that the Egyptians called themselves “the Blacks” and their country “the land of the Blacks” originates with scholar Cheikh Anta Diop’s challenging paper “The Origins of Ancient Egypt”. He wrote, “The Egyptians had only one term* to designate themselves: [see hieroglyphs above] = the negroes (literally).” Egyptologists counter that the term Professor Diop translated as “negroes” - that is, “Black people” - should actually be translated “people of the Black (Land)”.
I’ve got two questions about this. Firstly: did Professor Diop himself continue to put forward the argument that the Egyptians called themselves “the Black people”? I’ve just been searching through his books on Google Books, and I can’t find either “kemet” or “kmt”.
Secondly - first, some background. In “The Origins of Ancient Egypt” Prof. Diop says that kmt meant “the whole people of Pharaonic Egypt as a black people”. According to conventional Egyptology, kmt refers not to the people, but to the country**: “black (land)”, began as a name for the flat, cultivated Nile valley, referring to the dark fertile silt deposited by the river, by contrast with dšrt, “red (land)”, the hilly deserts to the east and west. kmt later became a name for the whole of Egypt, and dšrt for the countries to the east and west (the “Asiatics” and “Libyans” respectively.)
kmt, black, and dšrt, red, are often paired together, in expressions such as “overseer of the black place, overseer of every red place”, “chieftain of the black places and the red places”, and (one of Ptolemy II’s titles) “King of the Black Land and the Red Land”.
OK, here’s my question: if these conventional translations are wrong, and the hieroglyphs should be read (for example) “overseer of the black people, overseer of the red people”, then who are the red people? Libyans and Asiatics aren’t portrayed as red in Egyptian art***. Or if the colour red is only symbolic, then why isn’t the colour black? It’s odd that the two colours would be paired together like this, but have totally different meanings.
I mean these questions seriously - I’ll be grateful for any pointers to the answers!
* That isn’t quite correct; with the self-centredness of many languages, they also called themselves “the people" (or just "people”) and “the people of the Two Lands”, and their country “The Two Lands” and “The Beloved Land”.
** kmt is definitely used as a place name (“Egypt”), rather than as a collective noun (“Egyptians), at least sometimes - there are several examples in the tale of Sinuhe which use the “place name” determinative.
*** For that matter, in Ancient Egyptian art, only Nubians are portrayed as black - with some exceptions, Egyptian men and gods are coloured a reddish-brown, and women and goddesses are yellow.
(ETA: Terence DuQuesne points out in Black and Gold God that the men-darker women-lighter thing only starts around Dynasty V, and isn’t followed during the Amarna period, which shows that it’s an artistic convention rather than a representation of reality.)

I’m pretty sure the idea that the Egyptians called themselves “the Blacks” and their country “the land of the Blacks” originates with scholar Cheikh Anta Diop’s challenging paper “The Origins of Ancient Egypt”. He wrote, “The Egyptians had only one term* to designate themselves: [see hieroglyphs above] = the negroes (literally).” Egyptologists counter that the term Professor Diop translated as “negroes” - that is, “Black people” - should actually be translated “people of the Black (Land)”.

I’ve got two questions about this. Firstly: did Professor Diop himself continue to put forward the argument that the Egyptians called themselves “the Black people”? I’ve just been searching through his books on Google Books, and I can’t find either “kemet” or “kmt”.

Secondly - first, some background. In “The Origins of Ancient Egypt” Prof. Diop says that kmt meant “the whole people of Pharaonic Egypt as a black people”. According to conventional Egyptology, kmt refers not to the people, but to the country**: “black (land)”, began as a name for the flat, cultivated Nile valley, referring to the dark fertile silt deposited by the river, by contrast with dšrt, “red (land)”, the hilly deserts to the east and west. kmt later became a name for the whole of Egypt, and dšrt for the countries to the east and west (the “Asiatics” and “Libyans” respectively.)

kmt, black, and dšrt, red, are often paired together, in expressions such as “overseer of the black place, overseer of every red place”, “chieftain of the black places and the red places”, and (one of Ptolemy II’s titles) “King of the Black Land and the Red Land”.

OK, here’s my question: if these conventional translations are wrong, and the hieroglyphs should be read (for example) “overseer of the black people, overseer of the red people”, then who are the red people? Libyans and Asiatics aren’t portrayed as red in Egyptian art***. Or if the colour red is only symbolic, then why isn’t the colour black? It’s odd that the two colours would be paired together like this, but have totally different meanings.

I mean these questions seriously - I’ll be grateful for any pointers to the answers!

* That isn’t quite correct; with the self-centredness of many languages, they also called themselves “the people" (or just "people”) and “the people of the Two Lands”, and their country “The Two Lands” and “The Beloved Land”.

** kmt is definitely used as a place name (“Egypt”), rather than as a collective noun (“Egyptians), at least sometimes - there are several examples in the tale of Sinuhe which use the “place name” determinative.

*** For that matter, in Ancient Egyptian art, only Nubians are portrayed as black - with some exceptions, Egyptian men and gods are coloured a reddish-brown, and women and goddesses are yellow.

(ETA: Terence DuQuesne points out in Black and Gold God that the men-darker women-lighter thing only starts around Dynasty V, and isn’t followed during the Amarna period, which shows that it’s an artistic convention rather than a representation of reality.)

One of Bernard Picart’s engravings for the 1723 Cérémonies et Coutumes Religieuses de Tous les Peuples du Monde (published in English as Ceremonies and Religious Customs of the Various Nations of the Known World), the first ever book of comparative religion, showing Shiva (I presume) and Ganesh. (My guess is these illustrations were based on written or verbal descriptions!)

One of Bernard Picart’s engravings for the 1723 Cérémonies et Coutumes Religieuses de Tous les Peuples du Monde (published in English as Ceremonies and Religious Customs of the Various Nations of the Known World), the first ever book of comparative religion, showing Shiva (I presume) and Ganesh. (My guess is these illustrations were based on written or verbal descriptions!)

feministbatwoman:

potter-merlin:

petrichoriousparalian:

youfightthosefaries:

9 Problems with Women’s Clothing

And the worst part is that clothing companies do it because they know we’ll still buy their products.  But do we have much other choice?

and if you’re fat multiply these difficulties by 9000%

My boyfriend nearly fainted when he tried on my (pretty decent) winter coat.

"THIS HAS NO LINING!"
"well, yes, that would mess up the line of the coat. And that would be the Worst Thing Ever."
"BUT… WINTER!"
"… yeah."
"WHERE ARE THE POCKETS? THE INSIDE POCKETS?"
"you’re adorable"
"PLUS THERE’S NO ROOM IN THESE OUTER POCKETS!"
"I mean, I can fit half my hand in there!"
"AAARDSGSDPTEHSDLSKLAL:AJ"

Replay this conversation every time we go shopping for women’s clothing.

It was only in recent years I discovered the term “gender non-conforming”, which describes me well. I’m a ciswoman, but happily unfeminine. I mostly wear men’s clothes - hell, except on special occasions, I mostly wear jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. I rarely shop for clothes (though I will raid any op shop for long-sleeved tees) but when I do, it’s mostly for men’s clothes. For example, jeans shops don’t stock women’s jeans that fit me, so I wear men’s jeans with the legs shortened. I know very little about fashion, and dressing like a sixteen year old boy is not for everyone, but I’ll bet a mixture of men’s clothes and feminine accessories could look great. tl;dr Shop in the men’s section. :)

tysolna:

…gods the gifset alone makes me tear up again.

This has transgender implications, doesn’t it?

(Source: ri3gs)