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Pyramid Texts for Astral Travel


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#46    cladking

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:13 AM

View Postsocrates.junior, on 11 May 2010 - 10:26 PM, said:

I think you're rating most people's opinion of their own store of knowledge a little highly. And even if they do have unfounded faith in their own intellect, it doesn't matter anwyay lol.

I really should state this better.  Most people are smart enough
to know that they themselves don't know everything but they do be-
lieve that for every fact and bit of knowledge that there is someone.
Everything is known whether they know it or not.

Most people, in fact, have a little self doubt since it seems there
are so many who know so much more than themselves.

Quote

   If you're interested in accurate, verifiable-beyond-any-doubt-at-all predictions, I don't think ancient history is the right field haha.

Of course.  But then again the other fields aren't really any better.  
Even math and philosophy make a lot of assumptions.  

In real life we just have to settle for "state of the art".  Ramps
and tombs ain't it any longer in my opinion.  A launch pad seems a
better fit even though I doubt the Pyramid Texts are a count down
manual.

Men fear the pyramid, time fears man.

#47    kmt_sesh

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:50 AM

View PostQwasz, on 11 May 2010 - 11:10 PM, said:

...

Of course, the "experts" are trying to keep their careers and keep the grant money flowing, so they're not exactly doing real science either.

And that's pretty much why it's a mystery.

I agree with your argument against the sort of nonsense spewed by Dunn, but I disagree with your perspective on the experts. The fact is, a myriad of modern sciences are applied in Egyptology every day, including at Giza. Review some of the work being conducted by the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, as one example. To date, the theories and research of orthodox historians and scientists have presented us a very solid understanding of ancient Egypt and its many monuments. The Egyptians built over 100 pyramids from the Early Dynastic Period through the Middle Kingdom, including a final one at the start of the New Kingdom, and every single one is a powerful pronouncement of funerary architecture.

The ancient Egyptians themselves left no room for doubt on this. The pyramids have to be viewed in their proper context and as the ancient Egyptians saw them, not as some modern person with no understanding of ancient Egypt might think he or she sees them. Nonsense from modern people spews forth from every direction, including from Christopher Dunn, including from the author of the ill-informed article that started this thread, and including from quite a number of misinformed people right here at UM. The nonsense will always spew forth, as it did in Petrie's day and as it does today, so long as people do not take the time to conduct proper studies based on the sciences and research potocols employed in Egyptology.

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#48    cladking

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:25 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 12 May 2010 - 12:50 AM, said:

... and every single one is a powerful pronouncement of funerary architecture.

This is art and an assumption.  

What is wrong with just figuring out how the pyramids were made?  
What is wrong with just doing the tests and studies that would lead
to an answer even if that answer might not be ramps.  

They're so afraid it won't be ramps that they won't even look at
anything else.  

Quote

The pyramids have to be viewed in their proper context and as the ancient Egyptians saw them, not as some modern person with no understanding of ancient Egypt might think he or she sees them.

The nonsense will always spew forth, as it did in Petrie's day and as it does today, so long as people do not take the time to conduct proper studies based on the sciences and research potocols employed in Egyptology.

Their "proper context" is dependent on understanding the builders and
this may be dependent on knowing how they were built.

Without answers to the basic questions then everything is assumption
and might be nonsense.  In 150 years of scientific reseaerch one would
think they'd be able to determine how it was made.  Indeed, it seems
six months of 21st century science could answer this yet ten years has
gone by and it appears we are no closer.  What have they done ten years?
They've found the workmen's village probably and established it couldn't
possibly hold enbough men to drag the pyramid up ramps yet they are still
trying to prove ramps to the exclusion of all other enquiry.  

It's way past time for moere answers and fewer mysteries or at the very
least an explanation for why no answers are forthcoming.  

I'd be interested in knowing what they pulled out of there the other night
for instance.  How about a daily update until we have some answers.  Of
course every day it would read the same thing; "Still No Ramps".

Men fear the pyramid, time fears man.

#49    kmt_sesh

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:43 AM

View Postcladking, on 10 May 2010 - 07:53 PM, said:

It's actually quite apparent that Allen was influenced by the coffin
texts and even the book of the dead in his translations.  He speaks of
many concepts that don't arise for hundreds and even thousands of years
after the Pyramid Texts were first written.

This is another form of assuming the conclusion.  

I honestly have no idea where you get this from. Deep down I think you say these things because modern translations don't gibe with your personal opinions and speculations, but always remind yourself before writing something like this: I, cladking, do not know how to translate; I do not understand the ancient religion; I am not familiar with the research guidelines and protocols observed by modern historians. If you bear these things in mind, you will perhaps save some face.

To date you're the only one still making far-flung assumptions.

Allen writes in his introduction: "The translations are meant to reflect as closely as possible the language and style of the texts themselves" (2005: 13). When working on a translation, that's History 101. Why on earth would he pull from corpuses of spells occurring hundreds of years later, much less a millennium later? That doesn't even make sense. The Book of the Dead grew out of the Coffin Texts which themselves grew out of the Pyramid Texts, so if you're translating the source material, you translate only the source material. Allen's translations have nothing to do with the later afterlife texts, a fact that is obvious to any well-read student.

I have demonstrated this with my own translations in past discussions, as well as with practice translations I have done for my own benefit. My own results, as based on my own training from modern Egyptologists, closely gibes with Allen's. I am no expert, a fact I must stress, but when an amateur historian such as I arrives at such similar results, it shows the modern expert is correct. That said, please stop making up arguments. It just looks bad, and I'm not going to let this tactic go unanswered.

Quote

When it appeaers that I'm commenting on the heiroglyphs it will usually
actually be a comment on the consistency of the translation or the accur-
acy as judged by how true it is to the concept of water.  In very few cases
have I actually looked at the hieroglyphs and seen glaring errors.

I was trying to stress the fact that you do not know how to translate hieroglyphs, period, so you are not in a position to critique one translation from another. It is utterly and completely irrelevant how you might think something sounds when it comes out in English. "This sounds better for my argument" is a tacitly poor tactic.

Quote

That they are spells and in some regular order are Allen's contentions and
these are based partly on later works like the coffin texts...You have to not only look at what
the Pyramid Texts are but what they were when the great pyramids were being
built.  Much of this is supposition but it is based on a literal understand-
ing of the meaning.  There are things which become apparent when these are
seen in this light that are not visible otherwise.


Here again you are tipping your hand. Please, for your own benefit, look into these things before inventing arguments. That the Texts were meant to be read in a specific order was known long before James Allen published his translations. Alexander Piankoff published a translation of Unis' Texts in 1968 and observed that there was a natural order and he attempted to clarify it in his studies. He didn't nail it and got some of the spells out of sequence, but Piankoff was quite aware of this feature. Neither Sethe nor Mercer were, which is why you see in their translations headings like "Texts of Miscellaneous Contents." It was probably obvious to both how silly this was of them, but they didn't understand the order in which the spells were meant to be read. It's quite humorous even to entertain the notion that the ancient Egyptian priests who maintained these writings would toss in "Miscellaneous Contents."

You yourself do not have a solid understanding of the ancient Egyptian religion, so you yourself don't even understand what the "literal understanding" of the Texts is. As odd as it is to assume that some spells could be lumped into "Miscellaneous Contents," it's much stranger to assume that they preserve a hydrology construction manual.

Quote

Yes, there probably was an order to these poems before our earliest copy
and this order might be partially preserved and properly reported by Allen.  
It seems more than merely problematical to simply invent a new numbering sys-
tem and casting off the old.  There's no evidence these are even properly un-
derstood at all so how does anyone get off suggesting only his way is right? ...

It's not that his way is "right," it's that Allen's method is the most reliable. There's no need to chunk whole sections of spells into "Miscellaneous Contents" when the proper order is observed. When the proper order is observed, the entire corpus of the Texts flows better and makes more sense. Maybe no to you, but it probably never will make sense to you as long as you go on forcing the evidence to fit your argument.

Quote

You are still treading on very thin ice by claiming that Allen is the final
word on the PT.  The simple fact is that while he eliminates many of the refer-
ences to water and the Land of Horus, those which remain are almost impossible
to interpret in any way other than a description of geysers.  He says that the
Gods are adorned with sky arcs for instance.  

I've never said Allen's translation were the "final word." I've tried to stress that his are the most comprehensive and current to date. Without a doubt future scholars will publish their translations. I was mistaken in stating that Allen provides a translation for all known Pyramid Texts, which was sloppy of me to say. He does not provide translations for those spells found within the pyramids of queens Iput II, Wedjebetni, and Ibi (ibid: 3). There is also the queen's pyramid found a year or two ago, subsequent to the publication of Allen's book, so no doubt the fragmented Texts in this queen's burial chamber will be published in the near future, too.

Not a single passage or even word in Allen's translation would refer to geysers. Instead of believing me, why not email him and ask? No one's stopping you but yourself, and you cannot use the excuse that he wouldn't know considering he's one of the leading linguists of ancient Egyptian in our day. You're in no more of a position to doubt him than I am, to be sure. Then again, not a single passage or even word in the translations of Sethe or other scholars refer to geysers, either. I know you don't see it this way, but you're forcing the evidence to fit your argument.

Quote

A lot of my distrust for this work is simply the mess that was made of yeast
gas. I'm always going to be dubious where words are translated in various ways
and the translator speaks of concepts that post date the work by centuries.

It's likely that he really is one of the most expert people on the Egyptian
language but that doesn't make him correct on any given translation.  I don't
even know enough to judge but I can read.


Nothing in Allen's translations would suggest anachronistic concepts. Provide a specific passage in which you think this takes place. The glyphs themselves are what Allen used.

You cannot work with the ancient language, so that's where your argument stops dead in its tracks. Unless you sufficiently equip yourself to translate hieroglyphs, your argument always will be dead in its tracks. Many times in other discussions I've linked people to the online resource for the hieroglyphs themselves (here and here), which is the same resource I use. The hieroglyphs speak for themselves. Without a sufficient understanding of how to translate them, no one is equipped to dispute a scholar's translation of them. There is no getting around this. You can read English perfectly well, but you can't read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, so you're still just spinning your wheels. And your tires are flat. ;)

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#50    cladking

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:19 AM

I can't copy and paste from his version of these poems so
will have to refer to page numbers.  

pg 6 2nd paragraph he refers to a middle kingdom copy!!!
pg 7 last paragraph (little confidence)
pg 7 1st para  ((remained same over Egyptian history)

This is pointless.  The entire introduction is just full of stuff
that doesn't appear in the PT and is pulled from other eras.  He ob-
viously uses translations and understandings from later eras as well.  

But again, this isn't really fatal to my understanding.  Some of Al-
len's translations even more clearly suggest water than Mercer's and
the others.  If you prove him right you're still stuck with rainbows.  

I'm sure you're not suggesting that if we just wait long enough they'll
be able to translate all of this right out of the PT.  It appears obvi-
ous that everyone knows where this ends up so are just trying to skip
all the way ahead to the book of the dead.  

I'm sure you have a hardcopy but for everyone else;

http://books.google....page&q=&f=false

Men fear the pyramid, time fears man.

#51    kmt_sesh

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:25 AM

View Postcladking, on 12 May 2010 - 01:25 AM, said:

This is art and an assumption.  

What is wrong with just figuring out how the pyramids were made?  
What is wrong with just doing the tests and studies that would lead
to an answer even if that answer might not be ramps.  

They're so afraid it won't be ramps that they won't even look at
anything else.  

You're evidently the only one in the world who suffers from some sort of ramp obsession. You've also closed your eyes to many decades of research, each subsequent year of which becomes more sophisticated and comprehensive than the last. Many scholars much smarter than you and I have been figuring out how the pyramids were built, and there is a vast body of literature out there to support their work. If you think Petrie's The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh and Lehner's The Complete Pyramids are enough to equip you with an understanding, be aware that you haven't even nicked the surface. You cannot blame the researchers and their solid work for the fact that nothing points to geysers or hydrology technology. Pretending their theories and results can be ignored will not get you anywhere.

Tests and studies have been going on without a stop of over a century, and you have to realize that nothing observed by people who've actually been there and studied the Plateau and its monuments, would tend to support your personal opinions. If you somehow have the tenacity to believe countless professional researchers are wrong and only you are right, you have no recourse but to prove you're right. You have not yet done so.

Mercer's online translations and internet photos of the Great Pyramid do not even put you in a position to begin to question orthodoxy. You're only possible recourse is to become expert in linguistics to prove the linguists wrong about the Pyramid Texts, and to spend a hell of a lot of time at Giza itself to prove geologically that geysers were there. Somehow you seem to think you can get around this. You cannot. Professional researchers are not going to be looking for something for which there is no evidence, so you're going to have to find it yourself.

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#52    cladking

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:40 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 12 May 2010 - 01:43 AM, said:

I honestly have no idea where you get this from. Deep down I think you say these things because modern translations don't gibe with your personal opinions and speculations, but always remind yourself before writing something like this: I, cladking, do not know how to translate; I do not understand the ancient religion; I am not familiar with the research guidelines and protocols observed by modern historians. If you bear these things in mind, you will perhaps save some face.

You're assuming you understand the Egyptians and I don't.  This assumption
is wholly dependent on your also being correct that the pyramids are tombs
built with ramps and the PT are spells.  We could both be wrong but we can't
both be right.  

Quote

I was trying to stress the fact that you do not know how to translate hieroglyphs, period, so you are not in a position to critique one translation from another. It is utterly and completely irrelevant how you might think something sounds when it comes out in English. "This sounds better for my argument" is a tacitly poor tactic.

What I said was I'm naturally going to be suspicious ANY time the same word
is translated in various ways to suit the translator's assumptions.  Mercer
admitted doing this with []gb (the violent inudation that causes abundance)
and Allen did it with I[].t-wt.t (yeast gas?). Neither is necessarily wrong
but I'm still suspicious and don't know why anyone wouldn't be.  I don't "ad-
just" things to fit my preconcieved ideas.  

Quote

That the Texts were meant to be read in a specific order was known long before James Allen published his translations.

I've suspected this from the beginning.  Most people give me grief over it.
I never said, implied, or suggested that Allen's order is necessarily wrong
merely that it's necessarily presumptuous to rewrite our version of it.  

Quote

You yourself do not have a solid understanding of the ancient Egyptian religion, so you yourself don't even understand what the "literal understanding" of the Texts is.

And again.  You need to prove this.  Somebody needs to show that the evidence
that the pyramids were built with water, not ramps, is irrelevent.  If they were
built with water than the PT were probably meant literally.  

Quote

Without a sufficient understanding of how to translate them, no one is equipped to dispute a scholar's translation of them. There is no getting around this. You can read English perfectly well, but you can't read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, so you're still just spinning your wheels. And your tires are flat. ;)

I am not disputing Allen's expertise.  I have little doubt it is vast.  This
doesn't mean he's correct in any particular.  It's even within the realm of
possibility that I'm right and his translation is best.  I am no scholar and
don't know this language and that will remain true even if I'm proven correct.  



I'm bowing out of this discussion in this thread because I don't believe it's
on topic but I'm sure the subject will come up again and look forward to it. I
would be interested in your response anyway.

Men fear the pyramid, time fears man.

#53    cladking

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:48 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 12 May 2010 - 02:25 AM, said:



Tests and studies have been going on without a stop of over a century, and you have to realize that nothing observed by people who've actually been there and studied the Plateau and its monuments, would tend to support your personal opinions. If you somehow have the tenacity to believe countless professional researchers are wrong and only you are right, you have no recourse but to prove you're right. You have not yet done so.



I believe it's equally true to say they have no recourse but
to show they are right. It is the egyptologists who have sole
access to the data and the sites yet have failed to prove even
their most basic assumptions in 150 years.  

A better argument can be made that these were made for astral
projection than that they were tombs.  This is why there is an
endless array of crackpot theories; orthodoxy is just another
theory.  At least with some of the other crackpot theories the
motivation of the builders rings true instead of sounding like
some sort of fairy tale.

Men fear the pyramid, time fears man.

#54    kmt_sesh

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:52 AM

View Postcladking, on 12 May 2010 - 02:19 AM, said:

...  

pg 6 2nd paragraph he refers to a middle kingdom copy!!!
pg 7 last paragraph (little confidence)
pg 7 1st para  ((remained same over Egyptian history)

...

I'm sure you have a hardcopy but for everyone else;

http://books.google....page&q=&f=false

Page 6: Actually it's in the third paragraph. When citing a page, the beginning paragraph, even if continued from the previous page, counts for the current page. I'm not trying to be picky, I just want to make sure other interested parties can find the segment. The paragraph begins "The Resurrection Ritual occupies..."

The sentence in question reads: "The title of this rite in a Middle Kingdom copy indicates that  it was performed after the offering rituals" (2005: 6). This has nothing to do with the spell in question, to which Allen is not referring. Few if any of the Pyramid Texts as they occur in the Old Kingdom had headings or titles, so how they were organized under headings later on helps to clarify the order in which the ritual in question was actually carried out. The spells themselves remain more or less the same, whether they were written in Dynasty 5 or Dynasty 12. This spell can be found in the burial chamber of the pyramid, its typical location.

This does nothing to help your argument.

Page 7: I'm not sure what you mean by "little confidence." I read the whole page and perhaps I missed something, but you'll have to elaborate.

Page 7: In the second paragraph, actually. It's the paragraph beginning "The Pyramid Texts are largely concerned...," under the heading "The Function of the Pyramid Texts." And, yes, the deceased in the Egyptians' minds shared a relationship with both Osiris and the sun (principally manifested as Re; ibid: 7). This is true from the late Old Kingdom on, and the Pyramid Texts corroborate the belief, although in the Texts it is only the king to whom we refer. The religion as revealed in the Pyramid Texts is a clear reflection of how funerary and afterlife beliefs were developing, and how they would eventually spread to the people at large.

This, too, does nothing to help your argument.

Quote

This is pointless.  The entire introduction is just full of stuff
that doesn't appear in the PT and is pulled from other eras.  He ob-
viously uses translations and understandings from later eras as well.  

I was hoping you would refer to the spells themselves, cladking. Not Allen's introduction. You're nitpicking and drawing out of context introductory material, but you're not bringing your argument into the translations themselves. You need to show where in the translations you believe he is doing this, nothing less. If you can cite a specific example, and if I feel it's worth my time, I'll perform one or two translations myself. I don't know if you want to do this, because as I've demonstrated in the past, Allen's translations are very faithful to the hieroglyphs. And that's all that matters.

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#55    Paracelse

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:34 AM

View PostQwasz, on 11 May 2010 - 12:02 AM, said:

While my own personal suspicion is that the pyramid was used as some type of conscience expanding, projecting, or altering device; but the author of the article is less than convincing.

Clearly the author knows very little about particle physics.  It sounds like they just read the "news" or saw a couple discovery channel shows and think they are onto something.

The only thing I'm convinced of is that it aint a TOMB!  That seems to be an idea created by people with a very narrow knowledge base (and people unable to say "I have no idea).  When you spend your life studying ancient tombs in Egypt (which there are many) and you take a look at the great pyramid, what else are you going to think it is?

When your only tool is hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Although in all honesty, I would think an Egyptian tomb expert would be the first in line shouting "that is nothing like an Egyptian tomb!".  Perhaps they would rather get published and secure tenure... /shrug

That said, the fringe guys suggesting it's a nuclear reactor or some device to speak with nibblers are just as out there as the "experts" and their tomb theories.

In all honestly, there is very little evidence to support ANY theory about what it's purpose was.  Of course, our lack of serious scientific investigation isnt helping.
You so right .....

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#56    Paracelse

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:49 AM

View PostQwasz, on 11 May 2010 - 11:10 PM, said:

My point is that, as an engineer, he should be familiar with scientific method and should be approaching this problem as such.  I dont care if he's the world's leading nuclear physicist, without a scientific foundation for a claim, it's meaningless. (the leading nuclear physicist would know this of course)



"there may exist some technology which makes something we think is impossible, possible" is an argument you can make for any theory, hypothesis, or claim that you can imagine.  And it's a baseless argument.  It might be true, but without evidence and scientific method behind it, it's meaningless speculation.

Theory: "Ancient people actually created the planet earth from a can of playdoe".
Response: "That's physically impossible"
Baseless Argument: "Well they might have had a technology we dont understand"

Point is, to "believe" something, you should want some hard science behind it.  You want to be able to predict the behavior of things, using your "belief", and have it match the experimental result.

Personally I try very hard to remain in the "I have no idea" box on anything with limited evidence or limited experimental possibilities.

That's where I'm at with Giza.  I have no freaking idea what that thing is.  I'm pretty sure every theory I've ever heard is crap, and therefore, I have no idea.

Of course the problem is that we can really do much experimentation.  We need to dig and dismantle and reverse engineer the entire site, the entire country!  Without that, anything more than wild speculation is all we have, be it "tombs and spells", "nibblers", or "atomic reactors".


To properly test a theory like "atomic reactor" you would want to do a bunch of "it is physically possible" science with leaders in those fields and assemble first a scientific basis for your theory.  Then using that science you construct your DETAILED theory, exactly how is this nuclear reaction happening?  What would be the resulting changes to the structure itself?   Now perhaps you can ask some questions like "if it was a reactor, what would we expect to see if we test the rocks and dig into things and start really digging around in there?  Then you dig around, and see what you find.

Bottom line:  Dunn is not trying to prove a theory, he's trying to sell books.

Of course, the "experts" are trying to keep their careers and keep the grant money flowing, so they're not exactly doing real science either.

And that's pretty much why it's a mystery.
Wonder why a CIA sponsored research lab is doing at Giza.  (Standford Research Institute)

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#57    Paracelse

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:48 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 12 May 2010 - 02:52 AM, said:

Page 6: Actually it's in the third paragraph. When citing a page, the beginning paragraph, even if continued from the previous page, counts for the current page. I'm not trying to be picky, I just want to make sure other interested parties can find the segment. The paragraph begins "The Resurrection Ritual occupies..."

The sentence in question reads: "The title of this rite in a Middle Kingdom copy indicates that  it was performed after the offering rituals" (2005: 6). This has nothing to do with the spell in question, to which Allen is not referring. Few if any of the Pyramid Texts as they occur in the Old Kingdom had headings or titles, so how they were organized under headings later on helps to clarify the order in which the ritual in question was actually carried out. The spells themselves remain more or less the same, whether they were written in Dynasty 5 or Dynasty 12. This spell can be found in the burial chamber of the pyramid, its typical location.

This does nothing to help your argument.

Page 7: I'm not sure what you mean by "little confidence." I read the whole page and perhaps I missed something, but you'll have to elaborate.

Page 7: In the second paragraph, actually. It's the paragraph beginning "The Pyramid Texts are largely concerned...," under the heading "The Function of the Pyramid Texts." And, yes, the deceased in the Egyptians' minds shared a relationship with both Osiris and the sun (principally manifested as Re; ibid: 7). This is true from the late Old Kingdom on, and the Pyramid Texts corroborate the belief, although in the Texts it is only the king to whom we refer. The religion as revealed in the Pyramid Texts is a clear reflection of how funerary and afterlife beliefs were developing, and how they would eventually spread to the people at large.

This, too, does nothing to help your argument.



I was hoping you would refer to the spells themselves, cladking. Not Allen's introduction. You're nitpicking and drawing out of context introductory material, but you're not bringing your argument into the translations themselves. You need to show where in the translations you believe he is doing this, nothing less. If you can cite a specific example, and if I feel it's worth my time, I'll perform one or two translations myself. I don't know if you want to do this, because as I've demonstrated in the past, Allen's translations are very faithful to the hieroglyphs. And that's all that matters.
You have to be a fantastic person to place yourself in the mind of 4500 years old writers.  I'm a translator, not Egyptian translator, modestly a English to French translator.  Often I have to use several dictionaries to understand what the English author meant by using one word rather than a synonym in order to avoid an error in translation.  I've practiced for many years, re-translating texts by other people in order to perceive their level of understanding one word vs another.
I've translated English version of Camus (one of my favorite authors) into French only find complete difference of perception and ultimately I got another text.  I've read Beckett's work (Samuel) who did his own translation of plays, some were originally in French translated in English, some vice-versa.  
I've even noticed people of the same origin, same class, same education who had a different understanding for the use of one word vs another.
I do not know Egyptian, therefore I will never promote one translation over another.  Yet I worked on several translation to found it's extremely difficult work.

As started, you have to be a fantastic individual because you have certainties I couldn't dream to have.

Actually at my age I have only one certainty: that of not knowing anything for certain.

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#58    over9millionyearsold

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:58 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 12 May 2010 - 02:25 AM, said:

You're evidently the only one in the world who suffers from some sort of ramp obsession. You've also closed your eyes to many decades of research, each subsequent year of which becomes more sophisticated and comprehensive than the last. Many scholars much smarter than you and I have been figuring out how the pyramids were built, and there is a vast body of literature out there to support their work. If you think Petrie's The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh and Lehner's The Complete Pyramids are enough to equip you with an understanding, be aware that you haven't even nicked the surface. You cannot blame the researchers and their solid work for the fact that nothing points to geysers or hydrology technology. Pretending their theories and results can be ignored will not get you anywhere.

Tests and studies have been going on without a stop of over a century, and you have to realize that nothing observed by people who've actually been there and studied the Plateau and its monuments, would tend to support your personal opinions. If you somehow have the tenacity to believe countless professional researchers are wrong and only you are right, you have no recourse but to prove you're right. You have not yet done so.

Mercer's online translations and internet photos of the Great Pyramid do not even put you in a position to begin to question orthodoxy. You're only possible recourse is to become expert in linguistics to prove the linguists wrong about the Pyramid Texts, and to spend a hell of a lot of time at Giza itself to prove geologically that geysers were there. Somehow you seem to think you can get around this. You cannot. Professional researchers are not going to be looking for something for which there is no evidence, so you're going to have to find it yourself.

Serriously, /thread.

kmt_sesh, it's good to see some common sense in here. Even though previous replies should have ended the thread.


#59    kmt_sesh

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 07:14 PM

View PostParacelse, on 12 May 2010 - 06:48 AM, said:

You have to be a fantastic person to place yourself in the mind of 4500 years old writers.  I'm a translator, not Egyptian translator, modestly a English to French translator.  Often I have to use several dictionaries to understand what the English author meant by using one word rather than a synonym in order to avoid an error in translation.  I've practiced for many years, re-translating texts by other people in order to perceive their level of understanding one word vs another.
I've translated English version of Camus (one of my favorite authors) into French only find complete difference of perception and ultimately I got another text.  I've read Beckett's work (Samuel) who did his own translation of plays, some were originally in French translated in English, some vice-versa.  
I've even noticed people of the same origin, same class, same education who had a different understanding for the use of one word vs another.
I do not know Egyptian, therefore I will never promote one translation over another.  Yet I worked on several translation to found it's extremely difficult work.

As started, you have to be a fantastic individual because you have certainties I couldn't dream to have.

Actually at my age I have only one certainty: that of not knowing anything for certain.

Anyone who seriously studies the ancient Egyptian civilization must learn to develop the ability to put aside attitudes and sensibilities of modern Western people. As you can see from the posts of many people at UM who do not understand this concept, the necessity of this is either ignored or not adequately appreciated. As such, the things many people write about ancient Egypt are basically anachronistic and nonsensical.

This necessary mindset also happens to include the translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs into English. Now, I fully understand that most people do not know how to do this, and I certainly don't begrudge them that. You have to be interested in learning to translate, and you have to be open to the idea of very hard and sustained work. As a translator yourself, you are fully aware of this, I have no doubt. What rubs me the wrong way is when people feel they are equipped to understand fully the ancient language in translation even when they have no idea how to work with the ancient language. There is too much of this phenomenon at UM and elsewhere, and all it leads to is unreliable and speculative assumptions without basis in fact.

I could not do what you yourself do, Paracelse. The only time I studied French was in high school a great many years ago, which means...I can't read or translate French. Even then I found French to be very difficult. I've had more success with German, which is sometimes necessary because a lot of Egyptological literature is written in German. You might find this odd to hear and it's something I've told many people over the years, but I honestly find ancient Egyptian easier than French.

I'll use the Pyramid Texts as an example because it's the subject cladking and I were debating. When I work on translations of the Texts, I use Faulkner's dictionary of ancient Egyptian as well as the seminal dictionary printed in German, the Wörtebuch. I principally refer to Allen's and Hoch's grammars on the language for matters of syntax. I then compare my results to Allen's translations of the Pyramid Texts and often to Mercer's, the latter of which are outdated but provide useful comparisons often enough. Faulkner's translations would be better than Mercer's but Faulkner's are out of print, not available on the internet like Mercer's are, and a copy of the book is ridiculously expensive. I used to borrow the copy we had in the docent's library at the Oriental Institute but it's been missing for a long time now, dammit.

As you know, translating is not an exact science. It's also not a great mystery, however. Ancient Egyptian possessed a considerably smaller vocabulary than did English or German or French, so this is why different English words might be used by translators. But the grammar and syntax of the ancient language are well understood. If I produce a translation that is nothing like Allen's or Mercer's or anyone else's, then I know my work is simply in error. Of course, this has happened to me on more than one occasion. It requires that I start over, and to date I have always been able to determine where my mistakes were. So, somewhat different vocabulary might be employed, but in the case of ancient Egyptian, if a completely different meaning is the end product, someone is simply in error (in the case of my own work, it would be me, naturally).

I am not a professional historian. I do not conduct translations for a living. At most I am an amateur historian, and I use my work in the Egyptian galleries of the two museums where I work. I've spent years translating the inscriptions in those two museums. In total I've spent over 20 years studying ancient Egypt and the Near East, and over ten years learning the ancient language. I feel pretty confident with the translations I do, but I am not an expert, and there is nothing fantastic about me. I have friends with whom I work in the museum setting who are much more polished translators than I am. We do this because of our love for ancient Egypt, and to hear the ancient voices speak. :)

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#60    Tama Nui Te Ra

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:54 PM

It is not possible to put aside our modern attitudes when trying to determine the worldview of an ancient race as much as it is possible to theorise on how a bumble bee flies.

History is littered with so called experts that said something was not possible only to find out that they were in fact wrong. In many cases, very wrong. Ask Galileo. Oh thats right, he was murdered by the Catholics in the 1600's saying something that disagreed with the then accepted world view.

The best we can do is read the theories and unproven translations of people that quite frankly would not tell us if there was anything in there that challenged the accepted view of modern society. (Probably because they do not wish to experience a similar fate to the previously mentioned person)We can be absolutely sure of that.

Nicola Tesla is another example. For those that know little about the man, he was single handedly responsible for the way in which we use AC electricity today. He invented the power generator (Powerstations), transformer, power line transport system, relays, street lights amongst other ground breaking technologies. However his most revolutionary invention was wireless electricity. He could send power through the air in the form of radio waves. Why do we still use cables?

Another example are the many documented accounts that say that over the last 200 or so years ancient giant skeletons were found and transferred to the Smithsonian Institute and then were mysteriously lost. Almost every single one. How does a discovery that may help answer questions regarding human development over the last 100,000 years get lost by the top archeological/historical institute in the world? And on more than one occasion?

What possible harm could a pile of oversized human bones do to us? Challenged accepted beliefs thats what.

Forgive me when i say that trust in the accepted views of history has waned to almost non existance for me.





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