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Scott Creighton

The Birth of Osiris?

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Hi UM,

The origins of Osiris, the AE god of rebirth/regeneration is shrouded in the dark veil of antiquity. No one truly knows who Osiris was or even if he actually existed at some time in the ancient past. And yet, somehow, by the end of the 5th dynasty, Osiris rose from relative obscurity to become one of ancient Egypt's most important gods and remained so for the remainder of ancient Egyptian history.

The few references we have about the Origins of Osiris have been passed down to us for thousands of years in the 'Pyramid Texts' and in the 'Myth of Osiris and Isis'. But where did it all begin and why was Osiris so revered by the ancient Egyptians of later times?

One of the few clues we have as to who (or what) Osiris actually was comes to us from the Pyramids Texts:

"This pyramid... is Osiris. This construction... is Osiris" - PT 1657

It seems then from the PTs that Osiris was a pyramid construction, or perhaps the construction of a series of pyramids. We learn also from the 'Myth of Osiris and Isis' that the body of Osiris had been cut into 14 pieces (some version say 16 pieces) and scattered across Egypt. Could it be then that the first 16 pyramids that were built by the ancient Egyptians came to represent the 'body of Osiris' in a similar way that modern Christian churches are collectively described as the 'Body of Christ'?

If we then consider the locations of the first 16 or so pyramids the ancient Egyptians built might it in some way resemble the classic 'Body of Osiris' (see image 1 below) that we are so accustomed to seeing in ancient Egyptian art?

Image 1:

Slide10.jpg

I will say right away that what I am about to present here is something of a stretch but it is possible that such might be the case; that the first pyramids represent the 'body of Osiris' (well, the 'backbone' of Osiris).

Let us first of all consider the arrangement of the first 17 pyramids built by the ancient Egyptians. (I use 17 because 3 of these first pyramids were never completed which might perhaps explain why the 'Myth of Osiris and Isis' refers to 14 pieces of Osiris).

Image 2:

Slide1.JPG

The image above shows the following pyramids constructed on the high plateaus along the Nile:

Djoser (Saqqara)

Sekhemkhet (Saqqara - Unfinished)

Khaba (Zawiyet al-Aryan - Unfinished)

Sneferu (Meidum - furthest south)

Sneferu (Dahshur - Bent)

Sneferu (Dahshur - Red)

Khufu (Giza)

Djedefre (Abu Rawash - furthest north)

Khafre (Giza)

Nebka (Zawiyet al-Aryan - Unfinished)

Menkaure (Giza)

In addition to the above, Mark Lehner lists in his 'The Complete Pyramids', we also have the 6 so-called Queens’ pyramids at Giza, giving a total of 17 pyramids.

Looking at image 2 above, there is little immediate correlation with the classic Osiris figure we see in image 1. If we look a bit closer, however, and apply our imagination in the same way astronomers do with star asterisms whereby all manner of creatures are conjured up, it is possible (admittedly with a stretch) to depict the 'bare bones' of an Osiris outline. Let us see:

Image 3:

Slide2.JPG

Image 4:

Slide4.JPG

Image 5:

Slide5.JPG

Image 6:

Slide6.JPG

Image 7:

Slide7.JPG

Image 8:

Slide8.JPG

Image 9:

Slide9.JPG

With each pyramid within the 'Body of Osiris' serving as a 'Recovery Vault' (securing seed - wheat, barley etc and other vital recovery goods - see the Recovery Vault Theory), it is little wonder then that later ancient Egyptians during the Festival of Khoiak would create small effigies of Osiris known as 'corn mummies' and pack them full with grain, perhaps in remembrance of the original purpose of the pyramids - the 'Body of Osiris' - as Recovery Vaults. These grain stuffed 'Osiris bodies' would then be placed in a small wooden or stone box and buried in a mound of earth. Given that the 'seed of life' would come forth from 'the Body of Osiris' (the early, giant pyramids), it is easy to understand how Osiris, having secured the 'rebirth' of the kingdom would, in time, become venerated, leading ultimately to his status as a god in later dynasties and paving the way for the Osirian burials of later Egyptian kings.

Food for thought.........

SC

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Questions :

1. How many Pyramids are there in Egypt?

2. But you are considering only 11 Pyramids for your Osiris representation using the pyramid location.

3. Why haven't you not considered the other pyramids also in your graphical representation?

4. Why are you not considering Mastabas? There are many pharaos who have been entombed in mastabas.

5. is there any Dynasty related criteria for the selection of these pyramids? Upto which dynasty have you considered?

6. If the Pyramids are considered based on dyansties that have built them, are there any pyramids or mastabas(belonging to pharaos) that havent beein considered for your graphical representation?

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Questions :

Hi Spartan,

Spartan: 1. How many Pyramids are there in Egypt?

SC: I believe there are 138 pyramids presently known in Egypt.

Spartan: 2. But you are considering only 11 Pyramids for your Osiris representation using the pyramid location.

SC: I am considering the FIRST 14 pyramids the AEs built (plus a few unfinished ones) as this corresponds to the 'Myth of Osiris' whose body was cut into 14 pieces (some versions of the myth say more which may be a reference to the unfinished pyramids).

Spartan: 3. Why haven't you not considered the other pyramids also in your graphical representation?

SC: For the reason given above - the Myth of Osiris states the 'Body of Osiris' was cut into 14 pieces (slightly more in other versions of the myth).

Spartan: 4. Why are you not considering Mastabas? There are many pharaos who have been entombed in mastabas.

SC: Because the Pyramid Texts state the PYRAMID is Osiris (not the mastaba).

Spartan: 5. is there any Dynasty related criteria for the selection of these pyramids? Upto which dynasty have you considered?

SC: Not really--just the first 14 completed pyramids as per the Myth of Osiris.

6. If the Pyramids are considered based on dyansties that have built them, are there any pyramids or mastabas(belonging to pharaos) that havent beein considered for your graphical representation?

SC: 'Dynasties' are simply an arbitrary means of dividing the AE kings, devised by Manetho. Only Dynasties 3 and 4 are represented in the presentation.

Regards,

SC

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Some more questions

  1. When did the AE first start worshipping Osiris?
  2. Did the AE worship Osiris as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead, from the beginning or he evolved in the Egyptian Pantheon into the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead

Now considering my layman knowledge,

The AE started worshipping Osiris as the God of earth and vegetation. He was associated with/known as Khenti-Amentiu "The foremost of the westerners". This title was ascribed to Osiris from the 1st Dynasty onwards.

The worship of Osiris as the God of the Afterlife, the underworld and The Dead can be attributed to the 5th Dynasty.

Please correct me if i am wrong. Kmt, i need your advice too.

So, Scott, as per your post above, you are considering only those Pyramids that were built under the 3rd and the 4th Dynasty.

If Osiris was worshipped as a god from the 1st Dynasty, why don't you consider any structures/landmarks belong ing to the 1st and 2nd dynasty in your graphical representation?

Why nit pick and show only those Landmarks/Structures that suit the image of Osiris?

Would the image change if you consider older landmarks/structures?

these are genuine doubts i have.

Please try to clarify.

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Spartan: these are genuine doubts i have.

SC: Don’t concern yourself. It’s only a hypothesis and I have plenty of doubt about it myself.

Spartan: When did the AE first start worshipping Osiris?

SC: No one really knows. There are, however, a number of scholarly authorities who believe Osiris existed (in whatever capacity) long before he was first attested in written form in the 5th dynasty.

Spartan: Did the AE worship Osiris as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead, from the beginning or he evolved in the Egyptian Pantheon into the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead.

SC: No one can say for sure but it does seem to have been an evolution (of sorts). Certainly Osiris became a god (eventually), no one can question that. But, as J. G. Griffiths points out, in his earliest form, it seems that Osiris was in no way associated with rebirth (spiritual or corporeal) but only with vegetation/agriculture. What brought Osiris to such an eminent position in AE religious philosophy? Surely as an icon or metaphor for continual rebirth the sun god, Re, would have been more appropriately conferred with such an important role, especially when the rebirth of vegetation is itself dependent upon the rebirth of the sun.

Griffiths makes a subtle but important distinction of the 'Osirian Rebirth' doctrine i.e. that it was regarded by the AEs as a 'corporeal recovery' that would occur in this realm rather than a 'spiritual rebirth' in the realm hereafter. Such a doctrine equates much better and easier with the notion of the pyramids as 'Recovery' instruments of the kingdom (ensuring a physical recovery of the kingdom) as opposed to 'Resurrection' instruments of the king (i.e. to bring about a spiritual resurrection of the king, although, it's entirely possible, if not probable, that such an idea may have evolved much later).

We have to ask ourselves what was at the root of such religious practices? As stated, an 'Osirian Resurrection' was not something that the AEs believed would occur in what we today would call 'heaven'. They believed that this 'rebirth' was a truly corporeal event that would occur in this side of heaven; a ‘preservation’ leading to a ‘reawakening’ (as opposed to a spiritual or metaphysical resurrection of the dead); an ‘injury’ leading to a ‘recovery’ as opposed to a fatal wound resulting in death. Such a concept is more in keeping with recovery after 'injury' as opposed to spiritual resurrection after death and as such, better fits the Recovery Vault Theory (RVT) than it does the Pyramid Tomb Theory (PTT).

"If Osiris and his cult cannot be claimed to have originated the belief in life after death, it may properly be asked whether his cult made any distinctive contribution to Egyptian thought on the matter. The three passages quoted above make it clear that there was something different in the Osirian conception of immortality. First, it was a corporeal conception. Whereas the other religious systems involved the ascent of the deceased to heaven or his temporary transformation into another form, the Osirian system is clearly concerned with the body of the dead king and desiderates continued life for his body. Death indeed is not usually admitted. As Osiris, the tired god, was able to revive from his sleep, so the king will awake and stand… Death is really only a sleep, then, a phase of tiredness; and the firm denial of it in other references shows that it is denied both as a state and as an occurrence.”

"O king, thou hast not gone away dead; though hast gone away alive. Sit on the throne of Osiris." (Pyr. 134a)

Here then is a doctrine of continued life rather than of resurrection or resuscitation after death. In view of the pretence or euphemism involved one should possibly not object to the common use of the term resurrection as a description of the doctrine, although it is not precisely correct; it is the non-Osirian doctrine, in various forms, which amounts to a belief in resurrection [i.e. a spiritual life after a corporeal death].

J. G. Griffiths , The Origins of Osiris and His Cult, p.66-67

‘… when the dead king came to be regarded as Osiris the ceremony of washing his corpse was retained as an episode in the Rite of Embalmment, being performed when the corpse was taken out of the salt-bath.’ He goes on: ‘But the view now held was, not that the dead king was reborn as a result of this lustration, but that his body, like that of Osiris, was revivified.’ These remarks involve a recognition that embalming was essentially an Osirian rite.

That the ceremony of Opening of the Mouth, which was the climax of the rite of embalming, was a means of imparting life and energy is shown by its extension to images and heart-scarabs. A further more interesting extension is the ‘Opening of the Mouth’ of a Temple which is recorded in the Ptolemaic texts from the temple of Edfu, and which aimed at making the temple as a whole alive and active, and also, as Blackman and Fairman have shown, at animating its reliefs, figures and vessels. [Just as the opening of the mouth (entrance) of the Recovery Vaults (the ‘body’ of Osiris) to gain access to its cache of life-supporting recovery goods would originally have done].

Ibid, p.74

Spartan: Now considering my layman knowledge,

The AE started worshipping Osiris as the God of earth and vegetation.

SC: Indeed. It is believed that this was the original association of Osiris hence why the images that are passed down to us show Osiris with a green face (colour of vegetation) or black face (colour of fertile Nile silt).

Spartan: He was associated with/known as Khenti-Amentiu "The foremost of the westerners".
”Khentiamentiu (or Khentyamentw) was an ancient god of the necropolis at Abydos. It is thought that his temple at Abydos, founded in the late Predynastic period, was the first to be built there. The sun set (died) in the west and rose (was reborn) in the east so the name, which means "foremost of the westerners", refers to the dead, not a geographical location. He was depicted as a man swathed in bandages (like the mumiform Osiris) wearing the crown of upper (southern) Egypt.

He is referred to in the necropolis seals of Den, and was often mentioned during the Old Kingdom. However, as time progressed his position as the guardian of the Abydos necropolis and his role as the deity representing the dead king was absorbed by Osiris, and his funerary role was to some degree absorbed by Anubis. His later appearances are largely as the combined deity Asir-Khentyamentiu.

Khentyamentiu may have himself replaced an older god, Wepwawet ("the opener of the ways") who was also syncretised with Osiris.” Source

Spartan: This title was ascribed to Osiris from the 1st Dynasty onwards.

SC: It is virtually impossible to say with any certainty when Osiris absorbed/usurped the role of other deities.

Spartan: The worship of Osiris as the God of the Afterlife, the underworld and The Dead can be attributed to the 5th Dynasty.

SC: His ‘god status’ is certainly attested in written form for the first time in the Pyramid Texts found within the pyramid of Unas.

Spartan: So, Scott, as per your post above, you are considering only those Pyramids that were built under the 3rd and the 4th Dynasty. If Osiris was worshipped as a god from the 1st Dynasty, why don't you consider any structures/landmarks belong ing to the 1st and 2nd dynasty in your graphical representation?

SC: First of all, we do not know if Osiris was worshiped as a god in the 1st dynasty. Secondly, I consider only PYRAMIDS as opposed to “structures/landmarks” because the Pyramid Texts clearly tell us: “This PYRAMID… is Osiris. This construction… is Osiris.” (emphasis mine).

Spartan: Why nit pick and show only those Landmarks/Structures that suit the image of Osiris?

SC:There is no nit picking. I have selected only the FIRST 14 completed pyramids that the ancient Egyptians actually built--14 as per the Myth of Osiris, some versions of which tell us that his body was cut into 14 pieces. I’m suggesting these 14 pieces of Osiris' body may represent (metaphorically of course) these first 14 pyramids (i.e. the early, giant pyramids) the AEs built i.e. the ‘body of Osiris’ as per the Pyramid Texts “this pyramid… is Osiris”. Just like the modern Christian church, the various churches around the world are collectively regarded as the ‘body of Christ’. Similar idea.

Spartan: Would the image change if you consider older landmarks/structures?

SC: I’m sure it would but, as far as we presently know, there are no older pyramids.

Regards,

SC

Edited by Scott Creighton

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Oh scott, you are suffering from mental pareidolia, do try and be objective.

Dear boy.

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There's a lot of ground to cover here and any number of interesting points to discuss, but time is limited tonight so I'm going to concentrate only on the spell from the Pyramid Texts quoted in the OP:

"This pyramid... is Osiris. This construction... is Osiris" - PT 1657

This is one line of a spell from Utterance 600 in the Pyramid Texts. First, Scott, I have to ask why you used the ellipses and redacted information from this line? No single line from the Pyramid Texts is going to make sense unto itself if it's pulled from its appropriate context.

Below is a chart showing Kurt Sethe's line drawings of Spell 600:1657. The Pyramid Texts are often in a fragmentary state in any single pyramid, so it's common practice to consider the spells from more than one pyramid in order to understand the whole. Here, Sethe has used inscriptions from the pyramids of Merenre and Pepi II (Neferkare). Sethe published a translation of the Pyramid Texts in German in 1908. His translations are still useful but are now considered outdated, but his line drawings of the inscriptions are invaluable. One can view them online here (my image below is adapted from the online resource).

PT-Utter600_1657.jpg

Transliterating and translating excerpts from the Pyramid Texts is good practice for a student of hieroglyphs, and doing so is helpful in understanding the language and intent of the spells. My work is as follows (I'm providing first the transliteration and then the translation for each line, so that interested parties can fact-check my work; I'm using the texts from the pyramid of Pepi II):

1657a: hA Hr wsir pw (Pepi Neferkare) pn

O, Horus, this (Pepi Neferkare) is Osiris

1657b: wsir pw mr pn n (Pepi Neferkare) kAt.f tn

This pyramid of (Pepi Neferkare) and this his construction are Osiris

1657c: ims.kw r.f

Go yourself to him

1657d: (t)mn Hr ir.f m rn.f n(.f) mr

Do not be far from his identity of the pyramid

Numerous spells from the Pyramid Texts have given me pause when I try to translate them, but this one is pretty straight forward. To check the accuracy of my translation I first consulted Raymond Faulkner's results. Faulkner's translations of the Pyramid Texts supplanted Sethe's long ago and were the standard for many years. Here is how he translated the same lines (Faulkner 2007 ed: 247):

O Horus, this King is Osiris, this pyramid of the King is Osiris, this construction of his is

Osiris; betake yourself to it, do not be far from it in its name of 'Pyramid.'

Next, I checked my work against James Allen's translations of the same lines. Allen published his translations of the Pyramid Texts in 2005 and contributed the most comprehensive and accurate translations to date. Egyptologists specializing in the linguistics of the ancient civilization now consider his translations to be the standard. Here is Allen's take on it (Allen 2005: 269):

Ho, Horus! This Pepi Neferkare is Osiris, this pyramid of Pepi Neferkare and this work are

Osiris. Betake yourself to him and don't be far from him in his identity of the pyramid.

My work is not as polished as either Faulkner's or Allen's, of course, but I think my results match theirs well enough. I was aware that ims.kw is typically translated as "betake yourself," but frankly that word "betake" sounds antiquated to me so I prefer a simple "go."

These lines, by the way, are part of a wider set of spells for protection of the pyramid, and are found on the east wall of the burial chamber.

The point is, Scott's redacted version of 1657b in his OP leaves out the essential reference to the king who was buried in the pyramid and for whom that series of spells were inscribed. It is the king to whom the lines of 1657 refer. Secondarily, the pyramid is associated with Osiris but only through the king. This makes sense. The spells were devised to aid the king's soul in its ascension to the heavens. Without the king, the pyramid is just an anonymous and expensive pile of stones.

In closing, I must emphasize that the Pyramid Texts as we are able to read them have no association with any pyramid, including Khufu's, before the end of Dynasty 5. To date no evidence for the texts has been found in any context predating the end of Dynasty 5. Consensus is nearly universal that the Pyramid Texts are a hell of a lot older than late Dynasty 5, and in fact may date back to burial rituals from at least late prehistory (at which early time they had nothing to do with pyramids, of course), but this is only theoretical. We do not know what the Pyramid Texts read like, what spells might have been added, or what spells might have been deleted before they first appeared inside the pyramid of Unis.

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KMS: Here is how he translated the same lines (Faulkner 2007 ed: 247):

O Horus, this King is Osiris, this pyramid of the King is Osiris, this construction of his is Osiris;

The point is, Scott's redacted version of 1657b in his OP leaves out the essential reference to the king who was buried in the pyramid and for whom that series of spells were inscribed. It is the king to whom the lines of 1657 refer.

SC: My use of lacunae in no way alters the essential meaning and message that the pyramid itself is considered as Osiris: the King is Osiris, the pyramid is Osiris and the construction is Osiris. That is what PT 1657b tells us. The pyramid itself is personified as Osiris.

This makes perfect sense. Osiris as an actual physical person is equated with the physical person of the King. The first 14 pyramids the AEs built could have been considered as the allegorical ‘body of Osiris’ (the personified body of Osiris) hence why PT 1657b tells us that the pyramid construction itself is also Osiris.

It would be no surprise that later dynasties would then regard the pyramid construction itself as the allegorical ‘body of Osiris’ (the personified body) whilst the king then becomes equated with the physical body of Osiris.

KMS: Secondarily, the pyramid is associated with Osiris but only through the king. This makes sense.

SC: It does not make sense. The pyramid itself is clearly and separately identified as a personification of Osiris.

KMS: Without the king, the pyramid is just an anonymous and expensive pile of stones.

SC: In later times perhaps, but not the original pyramids (the original 14 pyramids, the 'body of Osiris') whose function without the king was to store something much more precious in order to help secure a rebirth of the kingdom (not the king).

SC

Edited by Scott Creighton

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Howdy Kmt & Scott

What happens when osiris faces to the west?

Where did this image of Osiris come from?

What is the earliest representation of Osiris in AE art?

As I understand it the pyramids are built near habitations, so that would mean the habitations were located prior to this AE desire to put points on the terrain?

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Hello Hans,

Hans: As I understand it the pyramids are built near habitations, so that would mean the habitations were located prior to this AE desire to put points on the terrain?

SC: You misunderstand what I am suggesting. The priority for the pyramids was to make them as visible as possible. That entails building them big but also building them on the high plateaus of the land. And that is where we find these pyramids have been built. Obviously then, the high plateaus existed before Osiris (before humans in fact). I am suggesting that the Myth of Osiris which tells us that the body of Osiris was divided into 14 pieces may be in reference to the first 14 pyramids the AEs built; the early, giant pyramids of the 3rd and 4th dynasties. This myth would probably have been developed only AFTER the construction of these pyramids and may, in fact, have been created to represent an allegorical tale of what the pyramids actually (originally) were—pyramids that held within them, the ‘seed of Osiris’. I am suggesting that this idea may be backed up by the Pyramid Texts which tell us the “pyramid… is Osiris…”. Through the agency of Osiris, (i.e. the 14 pyramids as the allegorical body containing his seed), the kingdom could be reborn. This idea of the pyramids as the ‘body of Osiris’ containing seed and other recovery items explains why later ancient Egyptians would create small figurines of Osiris (‘corn mummies’), pack them full with grain and bury them in a small wooden or stone box under a mound of earth.

Together with this Myth of Osiris indicating to us (in allegorical terms) that these 14 ‘body parts’ (14 pyramids) contained seed (and other recovery items), it is possible that a ‘mnemonic map’ of the pyramid locations (relative to each other) was also created, thus a figurine of Osiris may have been created after the pyramids were completed for this purpose. The pyramid locations were identified first, then the pyramids were built, then the allegorical myth and the ‘mnemonic map’ were created when the pyramids were completed (or possibly earlier when the pyramid sites had been identified).

SC

Edited by Scott Creighton

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SC: My use of lacunae in no way alters the essential meaning and message that the pyramid itself is considered as Osiris: the King is Osiris, the pyramid is Osiris and the construction is Osiris. That is what PT 1657b tells us. The pyramid itself is personified as Osiris.

This makes perfect sense. Osiris as an actual physical person is equated with the physical person of the King. The first 14 pyramids the AEs built could have been considered as the allegorical ‘body of Osiris’ (the personified body of Osiris) hence why PT 1657b tells us that the pyramid construction itself is also Osiris.

I fully agree. The pyramid is Osiris but even more importantly the pyramid is the dead king as well.

These are the only lines in the PT that calls the pyramid Osiris but many say it is the dead king.

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In closing, I must emphasize that the Pyramid Texts as we are able to read them have no association with any pyramid, including Khufu's, before the end of Dynasty 5. To date no evidence for the texts has been found in any context predating the end of Dynasty 5. Consensus is nearly universal that the Pyramid Texts are a hell of a lot older than late Dynasty 5, and in fact may date back to burial rituals from at least late prehistory (at which early time they had nothing to do with pyramids, of course), but this is only theoretical. We do not know what the Pyramid Texts read like, what spells might have been added, or what spells might have been deleted before they first appeared inside the pyramid of Unis.

This is illogical though it is the mainstream opinion. It is known to have existed in the

great pyramid building age but since it might have changed before our version it isn't

legitimate to study it and apply it to the builders. Yet Egyptology bases their entire un-

derstanding of the builders based on an understanding of this work in terms of the book

of the dead.

Meanwhile nothing survives from the great pyramid building age so we either fill it with

the "culture" (book of the dead) or we have nothing to understand the people. This is

such convoluted logic it's difficult to even type it out.

What it really boils down to is that Egyptologists believe you have to accept their opin-

ion or you're wrong before you start.

I don't believe it's possible to understand these lines until you understand the entire ut-

terance.

Suffice to say in this case I believe SC's interpretation is closer than KS's.

But this is probably exactly true;

The point is, Scott's redacted version of 1657b in his OP leaves out the essential reference to the king who was buried in the pyramid and for whom that series of spells were inscribed. It is the king to whom the lines of 1657 refer. Secondarily, the pyramid is associated with Osiris but only through the king. This makes sense. The spells were devised to aid the king's soul in its ascension to the heavens. Without the king, the pyramid is just an anonymous and expensive pile of stones.

...except there are no spells in the PT

Edited by cladking

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Meanwhile nothing survives from the great pyramid building age so we either fill it with

the "culture" (book of the dead) or we have nothing to understand the people.

hello cladking,

perhaps the benben stone is none other that the rejected stone of the builders, i use the word perhaps.

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This is illogical though it is the mainstream opinion. It is known to have existed in the

great pyramid building age ...

"It is known" is perhaps something of an exaggeration. It is not really known, in the sense of facts that one can check and analyze. It is surmised or believed, yes, based on the language in the texts. But as no version of the Pyramid Texts exists prior to Dynasty 5, we can't know anything with certainty about what might have come before.

Yet Egyptology bases their entire un-

derstanding of the builders based on an understanding of this work in terms of the book

of the dead.

The Pyramid Texts tell us practically nothing about the realities of the workers. Much more significant and revealing are the excavations of the several workmen's villages that existed at Giza, especially the one to the south of the pyramid field. This includes the burials of many of the higher-status workmen, such as foremen. The material culture recovered from the workmen's villages tells us a great deal about how they were supplied and fed and cared for. The Pyramid Texts do not mention any of this—that is, information of a practical and real-world nature.

Meanwhile nothing survives from the great pyramid building age so we either fill it with

the "culture" (book of the dead) or we have nothing to understand the people. This is

such convoluted logic it's difficult to even type it out.

You've been disproved repeatedly on this "nothing survives" error, and continuing to repeat it will not make it any more correct. Moreover, the Book of the Dead has nothing to do with modern translations and analysis of the Pyramid Texts. The sum total of the Pyramid Texts provides a complete corpus of material, so there is plenty of source material to work with. The spells in the Pyramid Texts are written in hieroglyphs, and they speak for themselves. I did not, for example, even consider the Book of the Dead when I translated the passages above, nor have I ever done so in those passages I translated in past debates with you. There's no reason to do so.

What it really boils down to is that Egyptologists believe you have to accept their opin-

ion or you're wrong before you start.

Not quite. It boils down to the ability of an alternative writer to prove a case in point, to the extent that the alternative explanation survives scrutiny and supplants the standard orthodox explanation. Has this ever happened? Can you cite an example? No, of course you cannot.

What must be emphasized is the fringe writer's responsibility to do this. It is not up to any Egyptologist to prove an alternative writer's concept.

Suffice to say in this case I believe SC's interpretation is closer than KS's.

Demonstrate this with a linguistic and translational argument. The hieroglyphs speak for themselves, and the Egyptians preserved their religious beliefs through their hieroglyphs.

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KMS: Not quite. It boils down to the ability of an alternative writer to prove a case in point, to the extent that the alternative explanation survives scrutiny and supplants the standard orthodox explanation. Has this ever happened? Can you cite an example? No, of course you cannot.

SC: Paradigm-changing theories will NEVER be accepted through evolution. They will succeed only through revolution. If you seriously think the old guard of consensus Egyptology will welcome paradigm-changing ideas that will effectively overturn much of what they hold dear, you are deluding yourself.

KMS: What must be emphasized is the fringe writer's responsibility to do this. It is not up to any Egyptologist to prove an alternative writer's concept.

SC: Indeed. Consensus Egyptology has a hard enough time trying to prove its own theories let alone anyone else's. Alternative theories need only be proven to the extent that consensus Egyptology can prove its own theories. And, as I have said on many occasions, the Recovery Vault Theory (RVT) with regard to the early, giant pyramids of ancient Egypt is better supported by the extant evidence than the Pyramid Tomb Theory (PTT). But I don't expect you to accept that.

CK: Suffice to say in this case I believe SC's interpretation is closer than KS's.

KMS: Demonstrate this with a linguistic and translational argument. The hieroglyphs speak for themselves, and the Egyptians preserved their religious beliefs through their hieroglyphs.

SC: Yes, the hieroglyphs DO speak for themselves and they tell us, unequivocally, that the pyramid construction itself was personified as Osiris.

SC

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Scott..stop beating around the bushes and try to answer.

All your posts looks like a with too much hot air and nothing in them. i dont get any facts from them at all. its as i have to curl my hand around my head to touch my nose when i can touch it directly.

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Scott..stop beating around the bushes and try to answer.

All your posts looks like a with too much hot air and nothing in them. i dont get any facts from them at all. its as i have to curl my hand around my head to touch my nose when i can touch it directly.

SC: With respect, looking back through this thread I see that you raised 6 initial questions followed by a number of supplementary questions all of which I answered. I don't quite see what it is of yours that I have not answered??

SC

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"It is known" is perhaps something of an exaggeration. It is not really known, in the sense of facts that one can check and analyze. It is surmised or believed, yes, based on the language in the texts. But as no version of the Pyramid Texts exists prior to Dynasty 5, we can't know anything with certainty about what might have come before.

Granted. It is merely obviously older than when it was found. It's possible the author

intended that it appear older and even wrote some in archaic language. It is not established

fact that it is older.

The Pyramid Texts tell us practically nothing about the realities of the workers.

If this were true then why do Egyptologists tell us that the people had superstitious tend-

encies and expended unheard of effort to build a tomb for a king who lived forever. Egypt-

ology bases everything on the PT whether they are aware of it or not. It is based on their

understanding or interpretation of the words whose meaning can only be circumscribed.

Much more significant and revealing are the excavations of the several workmen's villages that existed at Giza, especially the one to the south of the pyramid field. This includes the burials of many of the higher-status workmen, such as foremen. The material culture recovered from the workmen's villages tells us a great deal about how they were supplied and fed and cared for. The Pyramid Texts do not mention any of this—that is, information of a practical and real-world nature.

I agree except the PT tell us everything about the builders. They wrote it!!! These ideas

expressed in the PT are the ideas of the writers who are among the same people who built the pyramids. You see the PT and think they are superstitious bumpkins because you believe these are spells. Of course if the people are casting spells to get the king into heaven via the pyramid then this says everything that needs to be said.

But you are still wrong.

You've been disproved repeatedly on this "nothing survives" error, and continuing to repeat it will not make it any more correct.

No! You’ve had innumerable chances to come up with more ancient writing and best thing, the only thing, you’ve come up with is “Nefermaat is he who makes his writing in words that can not be erased”. This might not even be translated properly since it doesn’t make sense to the modern ear.

I’ve found some more stuff on my own but it still adds up to virtually nothing. In aggregate it is nothing.

Nothing survives from before the 5th dynasty. There is no “cultural context” except what has been extrapolated from later times. It is merely assumed that the nature of the Gods and the language never changed. With this assumption the book of the dead has been projected back to the beliefs of the pyramid builders.

Ask yourself a simple question; does the book of gates look anything at all like the PT. If you answer honestly you’ll see my point. There is no similarity to the earlier works. The coffin texts are very similar because they were written in the same language but the so called religion had changed dramatically. You and no one else can show these contentions are wrong because we are working with the exact same source material and we are simply interpreting it completely differently. There are no facts to show I’m wrong and no facts to show you are right. You’re interpreting the evidence to fit a paradigm composed of changeless superstitious people who dragged tombs up ramps. And you’re interpreting it in terms of later eras that are very well understood by Egyptology. You are doing this in a vacuum of evidence or you could simply cite some fact that proves me wrong (or even suggests I’m wrong). Simply stated the evidence does not exclude much of anything at all though ramps are still debunked. I don’t know what these structures were for but, quite frankly, I think it’s far more likely they were for grain storage than for final resting places for immortal kings. One caveat here though; It’s improbable that the primary function of each great pyramid was grain storage and it’s entirely possible that Djoser’s Pyramid really was a tomb. If it were a tomb it probably was not for Djoser. A safer bet would be Imhotep but this last is all speculation.

Moreover, the Book of the Dead has nothing to do with modern translations and analysis of the Pyramid Texts. The sum total of the Pyramid Texts provides a complete corpus of material, so there is plenty of source material to work with. The spells in the Pyramid Texts are written in hieroglyphs, and they speak for themselves. I did not, for example, even consider the Book of the Dead when I translated the passages above, nor have I ever done so in those passages I translated in past debates with you. There's no reason to do so.

Of course the book of the dead plays a primary role in all understanding of the PT. No Egyptologist (or anyone else) could possibly translate the PT without understanding the later words. The PT exists in a vacuum virtually with very few known words from BEFORE it was written. Even Maspero was familiar with the book of the dead the first time he translated it or he couldn’t have done it. Allen refers repeatedly to the book of the dead in his translation. But the problem more pernicious than merely using the same vocabulary or dictionary; you also use the same understandings. You never consider that the meaning of words like “Neter” changed over a thousand years. You know what Neter means so you simply insert the pagan concept of a god where you see “Neter”. This applies to every word. All these meanings changed and it is not obvious. They defined these terms because this work was meant to be complete in itself. B ut there are so many words that are misunderstood that it’s not obvious to modern people that they are defined and they do not mean the same things they meant a thousand years later. Rather than looking and seeing you are relying on current understanding.

Languages change. Thinking changes. Everything changes. The ancient Egyptians changed.

Not quite. It boils down to the ability of an alternative writer to prove a case in point, to the extent that the alternative explanation survives scrutiny and supplants the standard orthodox explanation. Has this ever happened? Can you cite an example? No, of course you cannot.

It always happens. It is nature for even paradigms to change and no paradigm will ever be static until there is no more human progress. Even if it’s proven G1 was a seed vault someday someone will come along and prove this is a very simplistic (and possibly wrong) understanding.

What must be emphasized is the fringe writer's responsibility to do this. It is not up to any Egyptologist to prove an alternative writer's concept.

I’m actually coming to agree with this! It’s sad really but orthodoxy everywhere is just an old boys club out to protect each other’s careers and stab colleagues in the back for advancement. It’s not so much about finding the truth as establishing oneself as high up in the pecking order as possible. Everything about science and nature takes a backseat to respect of ones’ peers and ability to get funding and stripends.

Demonstrate this with a linguistic and translational argument. The hieroglyphs speak for themselves, and the Egyptians preserved their religious beliefs through their hieroglyphs.

And when I do this people cry. They scream that the builders didn’t mean exactly what they said. Well, they said the pyramid was Osiris and I believe they meant it. I do agree with you that it was Osiris only secondary to being the dead king but, unlike you, I believe when they said the dead king was the pyramid that they meant it literally.

Edited by cladking

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Granted. It is merely obviously older than when it was found. It's possible the author

intended that it appear older and even wrote some in archaic language. It is not established

fact that it is older.

If this were true then why do Egyptologists tell us that the people had superstitious tend-

encies and expended unheard of effort to build a tomb for a king who lived forever. Egypt-

ology bases everything on the PT whether they are aware of it or not. It is based on their

understanding or interpretation of the words whose meaning can only be circumscribed.

I agree except the PT tell us everything about the builders. They wrote it!!! These ideas

expressed in the PT are the ideas of the writers who are among the same people who built the pyramids. You see the PT and think they are superstitious bumpkins because you believe these are spells. Of course if the people are casting spells to get the king into heaven via the pyramid then this says everything that needs to be said.

But you are still wrong.

No! You’ve had innumerable chances to come up with more ancient writing and best thing, the only thing, you’ve come up with is “Nefermaat is he who makes his writing in words that can not be erased”. This might not even be translated properly since it doesn’t make sense to the modern ear.

I’ve found some more stuff on my own but it still adds up to virtually nothing. In aggregate it is nothing.

Nothing survives from before the 5th dynasty. There is no “cultural context” except what has been extrapolated from later times. It is merely assumed that the nature of the Gods and the language never changed. With this assumption the book of the dead has been projected back to the beliefs of the pyramid builders.

Ask yourself a simple question; does the book of gates look anything at all like the PT. If you answer honestly you’ll see my point. There is no similarity to the earlier works. The coffin texts are very similar because they were written in the same language but the so called religion had changed dramatically. You and no one else can show these contentions are wrong because we are working with the exact same source material and we are simply interpreting it completely differently. There are no facts to show I’m wrong and no facts to show you are right. You’re interpreting the evidence to fit a paradigm composed of changeless superstitious people who dragged tombs up ramps. And you’re interpreting it in terms of later eras that are very well understood by Egyptology. You are doing this in a vacuum of evidence or you could simply cite some fact that proves me wrong (or even suggests I’m wrong). Simply stated the evidence does not exclude much of anything at all though ramps are still debunked. I don’t know what these structures were for but, quite frankly, I think it’s far more likely they were for grain storage than for final resting places for immortal kings. One caveat here though; It’s improbable that the primary function of each great pyramid was grain storage and it’s entirely possible that Djoser’s Pyramid really was a tomb. If it were a tomb it probably was not for Djoser. A safer bet would be Imhotep but this last is all speculation.

Of course the book of the dead plays a primary role in all understanding of the PT. No Egyptologist (or anyone else) could possibly translate the PT without understanding the later words. The PT exists in a vacuum virtually with very few known words from BEFORE it was written. Even Maspero was familiar with the book of the dead the first time he translated it or he couldn’t have done it. Allen refers repeatedly to the book of the dead in his translation. But the problem more pernicious than merely using the same vocabulary or dictionary; you also use the same understandings. You never consider that the meaning of words like “Neter” changed over a thousand years. You know what Neter means so you simply insert the pagan concept of a god where you see “Neter”. This applies to every word. All these meanings changed and it is not obvious. They defined these terms because this work was meant to be complete in itself. B ut there are so many words that are misunderstood that it’s not obvious to modern people that they are defined and they do not mean the same things they meant a thousand years later. Rather than looking and seeing you are relying on current understanding.

Languages change. Thinking changes. Everything changes. The ancient Egyptians changed.

It always happens. It is nature for even paradigms to change and no paradigm will ever be static until there is no more human progress. Even if it’s proven G1 was a seed vault someday someone will come along and prove this is a very simplistic (and possibly wrong) understanding.

I’m actually coming to agree with this! It’s sad really but orthodoxy everywhere is just an old boys club out to protect each other’s careers and stab colleagues in the back for advancement. It’s not so much about finding the truth as establishing oneself as high up in the pecking order as possible. Everything about science and nature takes a backseat to respect of ones’ peers and ability to get funding and stripends.

And when I do this people cry. They scream that the builders didn’t mean exactly what they said. Well, they said the pyramid was Osiris and I believe they meant it. I do agree with you that it was Osiris only secondary to being the dead king but, unlike you, I believe when they said the dead king was the pyramid that they meant it literally.

I've said it before, but it might be useful for others to remember: the Coffin Texts first appear late in the Old Kingdom, in provincial cemeteries dating to Dynasty 6. They're a direct adaptation of the Pyramid Texts and were being used at the same time as the Pyramid Texts. So there was no period of obscurity between the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts. Moreover, the earliest attested appearance of spells from the Book of the Dead are those on the coffin of a queen dating to Dynasty 13, and the spells are intermingled with those from the corpus of the Coffin Texts. Here, again, we see the evolution of an unbroken but changing litany of important funerary spells.

I've explained this I don't know how many times in past debates with you. Your decision to ignore me does not make your beliefs correct.

I've also explained the nature of hieroglyphs. Although there were certainly changes to them over the centuries, for the most part they remained as they had been in the Old Kingdom. Hieroglyphs no longer represented the every-day, spoken tongue even by the time of Khufu. They expressed religious concepts, not ordinary conversation. The every-day language is well preserved in the hieratic and demotic scripts (the former including many examples dating to centuries before the time of Khufu).

That said, nTr (netjer) is attested by its hieroglyphic sign long before the time of the Great Pyramid. This is well explained in Erik Hornung's The Conception of God in Ancient Egypt. You might enjoy this book (you can buy it at Amazon or get it from most any library). There are late-prehistoric attestations of this glyph in the contexts of burials and of early temples. Even before the time of Khufu the dead were referred to as the nTrw, the "divine ones." From the start there was an integral and inseparable relationship between the tomb (the dead) and the divine (the gods).

I don't expect you to appreciate or recognize the complexities of any of this. Although you possess more than sufficient intelligence to do so, you've wedded yourself so concretely to your theme that you simply cannot and will not accept or consider counter-arguments. I think you're probably more aware than you let on of some basic Egyptological concepts, but you choose to ignore them because they don't fit the mold you've created for yourself. In the other discussion about the Great Pyramid you mentioned you might be interested in learning hieroglyphs, which I've hoped you would all along, but in the end I suspect you won't tackle it. Not because of the work involved, but because if in some years' time you truly do acquire a working knowledge of hieroglyphs and how to analyze and understand the language itself, you'll see for yourself how terribly far from the mark you've been all along.

Your comment about Nefermaat and how the translation doesn't make sense to the "modern ear" tells me you might, perhaps, not be ready to tackle hieroglyphs. As long as you look at these things through a modern perspective and with the attitudes and sensibilities of a modern Western person, there is quite simply no possibility that you will honestly understand the ancient Egyptians on their own terms.

It's a pity you see the ancient Egyptians as "superstitious bumpkins." I have to imagine this is really your own assessment—what you truly feel inside—because in all my years you're the only one I've seen refer to them this way. You're trying to spin it, of course, and you've been asked repeatedly by many posters to stop this, because not only is it irritating but it rings of true absurdity. As for those of us who study ancient Egypt and understand them on their own terms—the only legitimate way to do so—we're in consensus that they were one of the most remarkable and sophisticated civilizations the world has ever known.

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I've said it before, but it might be useful for others to remember: the Coffin Texts first appear late in the Old Kingdom, in provincial cemeteries dating to Dynasty 6. They're a direct adaptation of the Pyramid Texts and were being used at the same time as the Pyramid Texts. So there was no period of obscurity between the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts. Moreover, the earliest attested appearance of spells from the Book of the Dead are those on the coffin of a queen dating to Dynasty 13, and the spells are intermingled with those from the corpus of the Coffin Texts. Here, again, we see the evolution of an unbroken but changing litany of important funerary spells.

Again, this is exactly the trail of "logic" that is wrong. Obviously the book of the dead

derives from the PT and there is no doubt about this. But my speech derives from the

speech of Shakespeare but that don't make me no poet. More importantly nothing I

can say or do can ever have any effect of any sort on the 16th century. Shakespeare

and I are distinct and while his influence on me could be great or near total, my influ-

ence on him and the meaning and corpus of his writing is wholly nonexistent. I am

derived from the past but they are derived from me.

That said, nTr (netjer) is attested by its hieroglyphic sign long before the time of the Great Pyramid.

Yes! I believe the meaning of the word changed.

Your comment about Nefermaat and how the translation doesn't make sense to the "modern ear" tells me you might, perhaps, not be ready to tackle hieroglyphs. As long as you look at these things through a modern perspective and with the attitudes and sensibilities of a modern Western person, there is quite simply no possibility that you will honestly understand the ancient Egyptians on their own terms.

Maybe they would make sense if there were another interpretation.

I have a huge amount of respect for Egyptians in the past and in the present (we'll

just have to see about the future). It seems to me that few others have such respect

for the ancients. And I think there is something wrong with that.

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How in the world can it be possible to understand the meaning of the pyramids and the

birth of Osiris if we wholly misapprehend the nature of Osiris and the reasons they built

the pyramids at all? In the earliest corpus that exists they said in plain English that the

pyramid is Osiris.

It is our duty to understand the meaning of this or show that it has no meaning. The lat-

ter is difficult to proive but the orthodox contention that it has no meaning can't legitimately

be used as an argument for or against anything other than that the writers had ideas that

we consider unintelligible. It can't be used to show anything else. It is not legitimate to

couple concepts from the PT with ideas from later times to try to make anything. It is mere

assumption that there were no changes to a "religion" that isn't understood untl later in its

history.

Sorry, but there just isn't anything under the foundation except the assumptions.

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Sorry, but there just isn't anything under the foundation except the assumptions.

I tend to believe certain monuments on the ground are position at certain stars,

as in the old as above so below, to be position for the ancient egyptian king,

since i know Scott, i will just mention these locations and pyramids that Scott lists here

do not relate to the what i feel is the real key to the mystery of the pyramids.(as above - so below).

since the cenotaphs are a old idea, i come to the conclusion long ago it is possible khufu may of been buried elsewhere.

using my problem skills i determined what i feel the

most probable location of khufu burial site, if he wasnt buried in or under the gp...

its very possible the djedi team, may find some more clues, in the gp

if they are bright, they will look at further understanding what is going on.

based on what i understand, they have been pretty pitfull.

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How in the world can it be possible to understand the meaning of the pyramids and the

birth of Osiris if we wholly misapprehend the nature of Osiris and the reasons they built

the pyramids at all? In the earliest corpus that exists they said in plain English that the

pyramid is Osiris.

It is our duty to understand the meaning of this or show that it has no meaning. ...

SC:This is exactly right.

In Frank Cole Babbit's translation of Plutarch's "Isis and Osiris", we find this:

"The traditional result of Osiris's dismemberment is that there are many so‑called tombs of Osiris in Egypt; for Isis held a funeral for each part when she had found it ... all of them called the tomb of Osiris."

Again we find, through the actions of Isis, that the various pyramids become a personification of the body of Osiris.I do not consider it unreasonable then to consider that the early, giant pyramids, the first 14 or so pyramids the AEs built may have represented the allegorical 'body of Osiris'; the 14 dismembered body parts of Osiris, each containing the 'seed of Osiris' (recovery items) in order that, through the agency of Osiris (i.e. the 14 pyramids that represented his body), the kingdom might be revived (from injury)--a corporeal revivication in this realm (as per the Osirian doctrine) as opposed to a metaphysical ressurection in the realm hereafter.

Regards,

SC

Edited by Scott Creighton

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Again we find, through the actions of Isis, that the various pyramids become a personification of the body of Osiris.I do not consider it unreasonable then to consider that the early, giant pyramids, the first 14 or so pyramids the AEs built may have represented the allegorical 'body of Osiris'; the 14 dismembered body parts of Osiris, each containing the 'seed of Osiris' (recovery items) in order that, through the agency of Osiris (i.e. the 14 pyramids that represented his body), the kingdom might be revived (from injury)--a corporeal revivication in this realm (as per the Osirian doctrine) as opposed to a metaphysical ressurection in the realm hereafter.

cladking is referring to isis and the 14 shrines or tombs of osiris, no mention in the myth about pyramids.

no evidence to suggest isis built the first pyramids,

no evidence to suggest these 14 pyramids united were in the locations the ancient egyptians believed isis built tomb.

other than that, no harm in throwing it out there,

regards

Edited by samspade

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its very possible the djedi team, may find some more clues, in the gp

if they are bright, they will look at further understanding what is going on.

based on what i understand, they have been pretty pitfull.

John Anthony West believes 90% of current research is entirely misdirected. I believe he

might be underestimating the problem significantly. Of course the nuts and bolts of archae-

ology is all any of us have to arrive at hypotheses but rather than getting fodder for scientific

enquiry they are digging for ramps and looking for bumpkins. They are looking in all the wrong

places and failing at taking basic measurements and investigating anomalies.

I still believe they are afraid of what they'll find so they are simply seeking to confirm their beliefs.

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