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GP a theory by Lloyd and Brian Babineau


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1 hour ago, Thanos5150 said:

If so I believe it would be the "House of the Horus" and not any individual Dynasty. 

"House of Horus" - sounds good.

SC

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30 minutes ago, Scott Creighton said:

"House of Horus" - sounds good.

SC

That could actually be a thing. I'm thinking of the brief period in the Second Dynasty when Horus is replaced by Set sitting on top of the serekh. There could be an element of the serekh proclaiming down the ages that king XYZ was a follower of Horus, not Set. If so, it could almost be like the Chi-Ro sign for Christians, though expressed for all by the king. That's probably overthinking it though.

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1 hour ago, Scott Creighton said:

"House of Horus" - sounds good.

SC

Horus, "Horus of Nekhen", is the patron god of Hierakonpolis/Nekhen, "City of the Hawk", from at least Naqada III which going back to Naqada II there is significant Mesopotamian influence corresponding with the 1st Uruk expansion. At Nekhen is also substantial palace facade architecture dating to the beginnings of the Dynastic Period, perhaps dating to the window of the 2nd Uruk expansion whose influence is also found in Egypt beginning in Naqada III. What it means as of yet we are left wanting but it all seems hardly coincidence.   

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On 12/26/2020 at 10:41 PM, Thanos5150 said:

The false door is commonly portrayed in the palace facade style including at times as a larger vignette as part of the serekh building and are inextricable linked. The false door is thought to be the "threshold between the worlds of the living and the dead" or the like so it stands to reason the serekh building would be a part of this scheme which to enter this door one is effectively entering the serekh building, or "Great House".

According to Lehner: 

"Like later false doors, which were abbreviated versions of niched facades, the broader niches of the [1st Dynasty serekh] mastabas were contact points between this world and the Netherworld.... "

Is a belief in a Netherworld religious? Nah. I'm sure its just a political statement. 

He also makes this very interesting comment:

"The focus of any tomb, including the king's, was the offering place and the false door-the entrance to the Netherworld...."

"In elite tombs the arrival at the sepulcher is labelled "landing at the Tjephet ("Cavern") of the Great Palace [or Great House i.e. the serekh building]". 

Which within this sepulcher, this "landing at the cavern of the Great House", sure enough we find...the Great House: 

742d13034ec4b03fcad4eab365bf5f1f.jpg

Yawn. 

 

Edited by Thanos5150
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1 hour ago, Thanos5150 said:

According to Lehner: 

"Like later false doors, which were abbreviated versions of niched facades, the broader niches of the [1st Dynasty serekh] mastabas were contact points between this world and the Netherworld.... "

Is a belief in a Netherworld religious? Nah. I'm sure its just a political statement. 

He also makes this very interesting comment:

"The focus of any tomb, including the king's, was the offering place and the false door-the entrance to the Netherworld...."

"In elite tombs the arrival at the sepulcher is labelled "landing at the Tjephet ("Cavern") of the Great Palace [or Great House i.e. the serekh building]". 

Which within this sepulcher, this "landing at the cavern of the Great House", sure enough we find...the Great House: 

742d13034ec4b03fcad4eab365bf5f1f.jpg

Yawn. 

 

Yet I have posted that the false door is stylistically derived from the palace facade design. I have in this and other threads said that use of the palace facade design in tombs gives the deceased a palace to "live in" when dead as they lived in a palace in life. The sarcophagus you show has a false door, fine, just like the coffin you showed, and I have no problem with that, or with it having a religious function as the false door clearly is religious, and I have stated so more than once. So I'm not certain what you trying to proove with this picture as there is nothing here that contradicts anything I have said, or believe.

The second quote you use from Lehner I have no issue with at all as it does not contradict me. With the first quote I will need reference to the work and page so I can see the full flow of narrative, as I needed to do when you quoted Romer.

Edited by Wepwawet
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Thread cleaned

Keep it civil please, don't make things personal.

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11 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

8d84b6724856178ae24fd306ca7357eb--graham

 

I've been meaning to get to this point, but one of the elements that distinguish this as clearly a building and not a "gate" is the use of the "covetto cornice" which is the horizontal pattern of vertical lines running along the top of the building. Some examples use this feature as the lid itself:

OIP.noMalBLTcL9tqo2hoIx19AHaHa?pid=Api&r

Menkaure2.jpg

 

This is a "decorative trim (molding) located at the meeting point between the walls and a roof or celling". It protects the walls but also hides the exposed edge of the roof/wall junction giving a clean finished look. In Egyptian design, the vertical lines represent reed walls being bent over by the weight of the roof. 

2081.jpg?v=1485680535

The use of the covetto cornice in stone appears to be a development of the mid 4th Dynasty (?) which another style used going back to at least the 2nd Dynasty and long has rounded or flat sides and a vaulted ceiling/roof line:

article-1280801-09B7987B000005DC-119_634 

 

 

4548.jpg?v=1599389104

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12 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Some people get fancy boxes and others don't always was always will be.

 

jmccr8

Yes, it's a matter of style and what you can afford. Even the demolisher of the "democratization of death" theory, Harold Hays, puts a degree of what we see in the tomb down to choice in decorative style and what you can afford, with the important religious functions occuring in the actual rituals and recitations that took place at burial, and for offering at the false door subsequently. The decoration of the coffin before the 6th Dynasty is essentially of no discernible  religious importance whatsoever, unless proof can be given, and until we get to Thutmose III, it could be argued that decoration within the tomb is of no serious  intrinsic religious value, except I would say the coffin as from the MK it is overflowing with religious symbolism and magic spells, and by the time of the NK nests of royal coffins and shrines it represents eternal rebirth and a recreation of the temple. But to trace backwards from this ultimate in coffins we can only go as far as the sixth Dynasty and the appearance of the eyes. Further back we just have a box that may or may not be decorated.

Why mention the tomb of Thutmose III, because this first appearance of the Amduat shows very serious theological thought in a coherent form. Royal tombs in the MK do not even have the PT in the burial chamber, showing that it may not have been as important as we think, except for those parts enacted and recited during the burial ceremony, and that the mummy and it's coffin were the most important element within the tomb, though the most important element of the entire burial, as described above, being the rituals performed by the lector and others, which are of course ephemeral. The mouth of the mummy is opened only once, and then delving beyond the veil, judgement takes place only once, so even if shown on a tomb wall, it is only decoration, and the same can be said for the PT, no matter now much significance we put on them. I'd better stop here as I see a never ending rabbit hole before me filled with the shrieks and howls of demons, and the merits of Hay's work would need a thread devoted to it as there is room for argument about whether his conclusions are too harsh, which IMO, they are, hence my occassional use, against up to date orthodoxy, of the term "democratization of death".

Edit: I don't say that the PT themselves were not important in the MK, but that as they do not appear in the tombs of MK kings does show without doubt that they were not required in the tomb, and so had no importance within the tomb as decoration. The importance being with the recitations and spells performed during the burial, with the spoken word of course leaving no trace.

Edited by Wepwawet
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Hi Thanos/Wepwawet,

On some Mesopotamian reliefs I see gods sitting on thrones which serekh facade. Just as an example please see below.

Giants Slide-Show: | Mesopotamian Gods & Kings

On some reliefs from old kingdom, the kings are sitting on thrones that has a symbol of Sema Tawi, but some have also serekh... 

Ancientstartech: Lord Kelvin's Sema-Tawy

Just wanted to ask if you see any connection between serekh and sema tawi?

PS: this image of sema tawi below particularly comes across to me as a serekh... Not sure, may be after reading so many of your posts on this subject here, my perception is screwed). Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this subject here.

Thanks 

 

See the source image

 

Thanks

 

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On 12/15/2020 at 8:41 PM, Wepwawet said:

Which is a very clear statement that while the pyramid may represent the primordial mound, this function is not further replicated within the internal structure of the pyramid, ie, the burial chamber. There is nothing that I can see in either the PT, or any subsequent works, that indicate that the burial chamber had any function in representing the primordial mound.

Then it can be argued that the pyramid only supports a representation of the primordial mound in the form of the pyramidion, and that the body of the pyramid, external and internal, has other functions beyond housing the body of the dead. The pyramidion, representing the benben stone, forming a link with Heliopolis, and possibly a manifestation of Atum protecting the pyramid and the dead. Recitation 600, from the pyramid of Pepy II, associates Atum with actually being the benben, and I'll quote this line from Allen:

"Atum Beetle! You became high, as the hill; you rose as the benben in the Benben Compound in Heliopolis...."

and:

"Ho, Atum! May you extend protection over me, over this my pyramid and this my work...."

and:

"Let there be none of you who will turn his back to Atum as he tends me, as he tends this my pyramid...."

 

 

A bit of a digression to the NK, yes, groan moan...

In reference to Atum we have the Sphinx temple of Amunhotep II. The tome by Lehner and Hawass states on page 471, with a photo, that:

The inner limestone doorway to the Amunhotep II temple sanctuary frames the head of the Sphinx. The axis of the temple is orientated northeast to southwest, so that the winter solstice sun sets along the curve of the Sphinx's nemes headress

But that is not the entire story. I cannot find in that book, or any others I have, or online, the fact that this temple is perfectly aligned along it's axis with the obelisk of Senwosret I standing at the site of the temple for Atum at Heliopolis. I don't say that nobody has ever noticed this before as they must have, it's just that I cannot yet find a reference.

So while various structures, and the entire site at Giza, are subjected to an array of lines and squares and circles imposed on them, all supposedly having some deep meaning and pointing here there and everywhere, this particular alignment is ignored, which leads to the NK as those who like imposing their diagrammes on Giza will not countenance anything beyond the 4th Dynasty, and even that is far too late for many of them. Certainly it is important to look at the site as it was originaly built, of that there can be no doubt, but to disregard any later additions is short sighted.

There is this thread running through all these dicussions that by the time of the NK just about everything to do with Giza had been forgotten, and that in the NK they just "made things up" to suit themselves, say those of the fringe who certainly make things up to suit themselves. The "Dream Stela" is used to say that it is only a device to legitimize the murky way that Thutmose IV became king, and I'm sure it does have that as one of it's functions, but in such a discussion, the temple of his father is left out, why, because it doesn't fit a narrative that shows that the Sphinx was in fact very important to them beyond political statements.

In the NK they named the Sphinx Horemakhet. What it was called before that we have zero idea, but with no evidence for or against, it could just as well be the original name, nobody knows. The Gizamids have both solar and stelar attributes, and the solar aspects link them to the main temple of Atum at Heliopolis, though as first built it will be by line of sight. The PT, in the lines I quote above, link the pyramid to Atum by religious belief, and then the Amunhotep II temple in what may to them have been a "physical" connection to the Sphinx. This connection would be "magical" and unseen of course. So we have a manifestation of Atum sitting on top of the pyramid, all pyramids, and a "magical connection" from Atum at Heliopolis to the Sphinx, a representation of a king as the sungod, and I'm sure those in the NK knew what was being represented in it's original concept.

This puts Giza as primarily a solar necropolis, and that's not quite the right description,  with Ra-Atum as the main god represented both in the design of the pyramid, on top of the pyramid, and as the Sphinx, though with the head of a man, perhaps the only "megalomanical" element to the entire site, and I very much doubt if putting a king's head on a representation of the sungod was the act of a "megalomaniac". We should not forget that while Ra was depicted with the head of a falcon, except in the Duat, Atum was a fully human god in form.

Whither goest thou Anubis, except to guard the western borders of the necropolis, far from the Sphinx.

Edited by Wepwawet
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11 hours ago, kborissov said:

Hi Thanos/Wepwawet,

On some Mesopotamian reliefs I see gods sitting on thrones which serekh facade. Just as an example please see below.

Giants Slide-Show: | Mesopotamian Gods & Kings

On some reliefs from old kingdom, the kings are sitting on thrones that has a symbol of Sema Tawi, but some have also serekh... 

Ancientstartech: Lord Kelvin's Sema-Tawy

Just wanted to ask if you see any connection between serekh and sema tawi?

PS: this image of sema tawi below particularly comes across to me as a serekh... Not sure, may be after reading so many of your posts on this subject here, my perception is screwed). Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this subject here.

Thanks 

 

See the source image

 

Thanks

 

They are of course both devices used by a king, and so are connected via their use by a king, but I don't see any direct connection between the two devices. The serekh as a device to hold the king's name comes from the design of the palace they lived in, and as such is a symbol of royal authority, but the sema-tawy represents an historical/mythical/religious event using human anatomy and plants to represent the outcome of this event, the joining of the Two Lands, Upper and Lower Egypt, and so is not connected to a wall design.

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17 hours ago, kborissov said:

Hi Thanos/Wepwawet,

Just wanted to ask if you see any connection between serekh and sema tawi?

The Sema Tawy is a variation of the tied lotus flower symbol which as spoken of previously is an integral part of the serekh building iconography:

1st Dynasty, Djet:

djedstserekh.jpg

OK:

5-3768b05874.jpg

 

Which also has direct parallels in Mesopotamia, Tell Billa late Uruk Period c. 3,400-3,100BC. 

76952f7763bb306b3097db669886ed03.jpg

Implying a common meaning and origin. 

The question to ask is what did the tied lotus flower and Sema Tawy symbolize at these times and what is their connection. The Sema Tawy was not a representation of the serekh building, but there is a connection between the Sema Tawy and the tied lotus flower motif. Both are said to supposedly symbolizes unity between Upper and Lower Egypt but obviously this is not what it meant to the Mesopotamians in Mesopotamia at the time and doubtful the the Dynastic Egyptians either. Seems apparent the meaning was shared. The lotus flower is a religious icon long associated with death and rebirth so this may be part of the religious belief of being buried within the serekh building.   

Just a friendly thought, but regarding your post you picture a Sumerian relief, c. 2100BC, a statue from Egypt c. 2600BC, and a wall relief from Egypt c.1300BC. Among other reasons, a circuitous route to make meaningful connections.  

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8 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

A bit of a digression to the NK, yes, groan moan...

In reference to Atum we have the Sphinx temple of Amunhotep II. The tome by Lehner and Hawass states on page 471, with a photo, that:

The inner limestone doorway to the Amunhotep II temple sanctuary frames the head of the Sphinx. The axis of the temple is orientated northeast to southwest, so that the winter solstice sun sets along the curve of the Sphinx's nemes headress

But that is not the entire story. I cannot find in that book, or any others I have, or online, the fact that this temple is perfectly aligned along it's axis with the obelisk of Senwosret I standing at the site of the temple for Atum at Heliopolis. I don't say that nobody has ever noticed this before as they must have, it's just that I cannot yet find a reference.

So while various structures, and the entire site at Giza, are subjected to an array of lines and squares and circles imposed on them, all supposedly having some deep meaning and pointing here there and everywhere, this particular alignment is ignored, which leads to the NK as those who like imposing their diagrammes on Giza will not countenance anything beyond the 4th Dynasty, and even that is far too late for many of them. Certainly it is important to look at the site as it was originaly built, of that there can be no doubt, but to disregard any later additions is short sighted.

There is this thread running through all these dicussions that by the time of the NK just about everything to do with Giza had been forgotten, and that in the NK they just "made things up" to suit themselves, say those of the fringe who certainly make things up to suit themselves. The "Dream Stela" is used to say that it is only a device to legitimize the murky way that Thutmose IV became king, and I'm sure it does have that as one of it's functions, but in such a discussion, the temple of his father is left out, why, because it doesn't fit a narrative that shows that the Sphinx was in fact very important to them beyond political statements.

In the NK they named the Sphinx Horemakhet. What it was called before that we have zero idea, but with no evidence for or against, it could just as well be the original name, nobody knows. The Gizamids have both solar and stelar attributes, and the solar aspects link them to the main temple of Atum at Heliopolis, though as first built it will be by line of sight. The PT, in the lines I quote above, link the pyramid to Atum by religious belief, and then the Amunhotep II temple in what may to them have been a "physical" connection to the Sphinx. This connection would be "magical" and unseen of course. So we have a manifestation of Atum sitting on top of the pyramid, all pyramids, and a "magical connection" from Atum at Heliopolis to the Sphinx, a representation of a king as the sungod, and I'm sure those in the NK knew what was being represented in it's original concept.

This puts Giza as primarily a solar necropolis, and that's not quite the right description,  with Ra-Atum as the main god represented both in the design of the pyramid, on top of the pyramid, and as the Sphinx, though with the head of a man, perhaps the only "megalomanical" element to the entire site, and I very much doubt if putting a king's head on a representation of the sungod was the act of a "megalomaniac". We should not forget that while Ra was depicted with the head of a falcon, except in the Duat, Atum was a fully human god in form.

Whither goest thou Anubis, except to guard the western borders of the necropolis, far from the Sphinx.

I confess I like the idea of Atum's overt representation on the royal plateau, for cosmological reasons and his association with kingship; he is after all the ultimate royal ancestor.  It seems to 'fit' nicely.  Though, the nemes headdress would have to be explained, since there is (as far as I know) no representation of Atum wearing it, rather he wears the double crown. 

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6 minutes ago, The Wistman said:

I confess I like the idea of Atum's overt representation on the royal plateau, for cosmological reasons and his association with kingship; he is after all the ultimate royal ancestor.  It seems to 'fit' nicely.  Though, the nemes headdress would have to be explained, since there is (as far as I know) no representation of Atum wearing it, rather he wears the double crown. 

The nemes would indeed be a problem as Atum wears either a tri-partitte wig or, as you point out, the double crown, and there are some instances of something like the wig but without the lapets, almost like long hair swept back and braided. What I think is happening with the Sphinx is that it is at base level the sungod, but as this is not a solar temple, though it is tempting to see Giza as a type of solar temple, but a necropolis and place of rebirth of the king now joined with the sungod, this is what is depicted. I'm sure the features are meant to show those of it's builder, that's only human nature, but that it also represents all kings, as despite the modern accusations of megalomania, I see no sign of this in the necropolis at any era, and only on the fringes of the necropolis with the huge NK mortuary temples. It's this, IMO, representative of all aspect, that I believe was seen in the NK when they gave it the first name we know of, Horemakhet, not Khafre or Khufu, whose names they would know, and know that G1 and G2 were their pyramids. neither of course did they attempt to take the Sphinx for themselves, with Thutmose IV only using it to place his piece of propaganda in front of.

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On 12/17/2020 at 5:39 PM, Thanos5150 said:

The Development of the Egyptian Coffin 

This author does not distinguish between a "coffin" and a "sarcophagus", which the coffin was often placed within, yet they both in principle served the same religious and symbolic function.  The argument I make is that this was not any 'ol "dwelling" but rather a specific building, the serekh building, which I would hope is pretty obvious by now. Again, this practice of emulating the serekh building began in at least the 2nd Dynasty and continued though the 3rd and were made of wood. Though the earliest stone sarcophagi were not decorated (3rd Dynasty/beginnings of the 4th), the first of their kind which few from this period have been found with G1 being one of them, it is clear that beginning around the time of Djedefre's reign such emulation of the serekh building became the norm which regardless of decoration or not still held the same meaning. It is obvious the sarcophagus was paramount to AE funerary beliefs long before the MK, not just as a "receptacle for the body so it's not just "laying about"", but as a symbolic representation of a belief.  

A “box coffin” from the 6th Dynasty:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/ancientpeople/806/full/ 

(Note that some of IDU’s titles include “Royal Chamberlain of the Great House” and “Overseer of the House of Cedar”. )

It is the later rectangular box coffin as linked above that is being referred to here, and while of course it can be used by itself, in the funerary scheme of the Old Kingdom, if one could afford it, it was meant to be placed inside either a stone or wood sarcophagus, the latter being commonly referred to as the “outer coffin”. While early box coffins may have been without decoration obviously the sarcophagus/outer coffins were not.     

The precursor to wood coffins were made of bundled or woven reed mats, furs, clay etc and begin appearing along with status burials in predynastic times. As true in any age, the greater the status and/or wealth of the individual the finer the burial. The first coffins made of planks of wood did not appear until the 1st Dynasty, used on their bottoms with the sides and top formed of bundled reeds or sticks. The more common type was a woven reed "basket coffin": http://factsanddetails.com/archives/003/201811/5be9e24957434.jpg

With few exceptions, it was not until the Old Kingdom that burials were made with the body outstretched whereas prior the tradition was to be in a contracted "fetal" position. This affected the shape of coffins, necessitating the use of the box coffin, and also perhaps represents a change/evolution of beliefs.

While the “sarcophagus” is differentiated from the “coffin” as being made of stone, it is clear their wood counterparts that suddenly appear as the norm in the 2nd Dynasty marks not only a more sophisticated trend in "dead body receptacle" technology, but also the first inclusion of religious decoration displayed on the coffin in the form of the exterior of the serekh building:  

coffin.jpg

 

tarkhancoffin.gif

While these are referred to as “house coffins”, this is not the architecture of an Egyptian house nor were AE houses made in the palace façade style. And odd position for Egyptologists to take considering that despite not appearing archeologically, we know this was not the case from the numerous clay models of houses the AE entombed with themselves for over 1000yrs which none are depicted this way. It is therefore apparent they are representations of the serekh building, a tradition that continued for the next several hundred years. So while from the beginnings of the 1st Dynasty to the end, the mastaba was built to emulate the serekh building, its religious purpose at the least to serve as the eternal home of the dead in the afterlife and also as the conduit between the world of the living and the dead, in the 2nd Dynasty there is a shift towards the coffin taking this role which also coincides with apparent instability and economic decline of the state which also saw the end of the massive elaborate tombs as seen in the 1st Dynasty. So while on the surface this may appear to be a religious shift it also can be one further explained by the economics of the time. 

Also here in the 2nd Dynasty are the beginnings a the “two tiered” burial system of an inner coffin and outer coffin which began as simply wrapping the body in linens or mats. These early wood sarcophagi were made for bodies in the contracted position-a tradition that continued into the 3rd Dynasty as did the serekh building design which is also found into the 4th.  

It was not until the 3rd Dynasty, however, that the 1st stone sarcophagi appear (which is also the time when the transition from contracted to straight body position begins), and only a few examples have been found at that, which the first "modern" stone sarcophagus appearing in the early 4th Dynasty with the oldest (presumably) being found at Medium, mastaba 17:  

10_meidum_mastaba_m17_inside.jpg

While this is thought to have been unfinished, despite the lack of decoration of a serekh building on its exterior, as was the norm directly before and just decades later, it is clear by the shape of the lid it is made to be a roof of a building-a continuation of a long established which continued long after.

Beginning in the mid-4th Dynasty, as shown many times, the serekh building motif becomes the typical style of noble stone sarcophagus including at least one king, Menkaure. This tradition lasted through the MK, for example, an interesting serekh building sarcophagus found in the "Black Pyramid" dated to the MK reign of Amenemhet III:

001_zpsqiychyba.jpg

While religious decoration of the box coffin itself may have not begun until the late 5th/6thDynasties, it is misleading and inaccurate to make it seem as if this is where the practice all of a sudden began which in reality was merely a continuation of what had already been established centuries before found not only on sarcophagi, but the outer coffin as well.

4th Dynasty:

d3b32cd737a07d10f50f4f3dc28d0219.jpg

4th Dynasty (inscriptions on sides of serekh building):

800px-MeresankhII-Sarcophagus_MuseumOfFi

4th Dynasty (lid): 

f96350a886856743d498ae98ff14a74c--egypti

4th Dynasty:

8d84b6724856178ae24fd306ca7357eb.jpg

5th Dynasty. 

Giza wood coffin, outer coffin and inner coffin, with inscriptions, false door and tied lotus flower motif (probably 4th/early5th Dynasty):

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/objects/11754/full/

Late 4th Dynasty serekh coffin:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/drawings/50763/full/

Serekh building sarcophagus with inscription 4th Dynasty, Werirni:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/objects/55184/full/

Sarcophagus with serekh facade and inscriptions:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/photos/68372/full/

Another:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/objects/55483/full/

Another:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/photos/68369/full/

Another:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/ancientpeople/705/full/

Late 5th Dynasty, wood coffin with inner wood coffin-out coffin roof lid style:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/objects/23843/full/

So no, while religious decoration/dedication of the box coffin may not have begun until the 6th Dynasty, this was merely a continuation of what had already been going on for centuries with the sarcophagus and outer coffins with the only novel addition in principle occurring in the 6th Dynasty being the supplementary inclusion of the Wadjet eyes. I would note the shift to decorating the wood box coffin also coincided with a precipitous decline in Egyptian wealth and stability of the state which shortly after began the "dark age" of the 1st Intermediate Period. Stone sarcophagi and elaborate outer coffins are expensive, made even more so by their ornate inscribed decoration. Instead of representing some kind of religious shift to where now all of a sudden the coffin had "religious meaning", something directly contradicting by what had already been established centuries before regardless, the transition to the less expensive painted decoration of the wood box coffin would appear to be one of economics which the period also saw among other things a notable decline in elaborate tombs as well as the manufacture of not just stone sarcophagi but outer coffins as well. 

For more reference as to how important the serekh building was to their funerary religious beliefs: 

Serekh façade mastaba chapel early 5th Dynasty and SF wood sarcophagus:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/sites/536/allphotos/

Another:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/photos/60586/full/

Another, interior:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/photos/58731/full/

Unusual mastabas with serekh corridor butted against another mastaba with casing:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/photos/47145/full/

Mastaba interior serekh facade:

http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/photos/17964/full/

On and on it goes. 

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14 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

With few exceptions, it was not until the Old Kingdom that burials were made with the body outstretched whereas prior the tradition was to be in a contracted "fetal" position. This affected the shape of coffins, necessitating the use of the box coffin, and also perhaps represents a change/evolution of beliefs.

 

So no, while religious decoration/dedication of the box coffin may not have begun until the 6th Dynasty, this was merely a continuation of what had already been going on for centuries with the sarcophagus and outer coffins with the only novel addition in principle occurring in the 6th Dynasty being the supplementary inclusion of the Wadjet eyes. I would note the shift to decorating the wood box coffin also coincided with a precipitous decline in Egyptian wealth and stability of the state which shortly after began the "dark age" of the 1st Intermediate Period. Stone sarcophagi and elaborate outer coffins are expensive, made even more so by their ornate inscribed decoration. Instead of representing some kind of religious shift to where now all of a sudden the coffin had "religious meaning", something directly contradicting by what had already been established centuries before regardless, the transition to the less expensive painted decoration of the wood box coffin would appear to be one of economics which the period also saw among other things a notable decline in elaborate tombs as well as the manufacture of not just stone sarcophagi but outer coffins as well. 

The change in position of the body would I believe have been necessitated by the adoption of mummification, it being far easier to mummify a body stretched out than one curled up. The fetal position may well have indicated the hope for re-birth, which with the "unwinding" of the body needed this to be expressed in a more sophisticated manner.

Have you considered that while the coffin has evolved over time, the driving force behind this evolution begins with the treatment of the actual body, not with external decoration, either of the coffin or the tomb. We can get carried away with discussing everything that surrounds the body, but not the most important element of the entire burial, the body itself. Of course with OK royal burials we are a bit short of bodies to discuss, only fragments, but, though I hear the moans, the NK can inform us of the direction we should be travelling when looking at a burial, and that is not by unwrapping layers from the outside, excavations excepted of course, but from the body outwards. The dead body itself, the khat, is transformed by the mummification process into the djet, and the wrappings further transform it into the sah. In the OK it would be better to refer to this wrapped body, an eternal god, as a tut, an image, refering to it being the image of a god, as the word sah seems to come later. This wrapped body is to be seen not just as a dead body wrapped up, but as a whole, an individual being, as it were. But this "expansion" of the body does not stop at the wrappings, and in the Sixth Dynasty we see it extended to the coffin itself. The eyes are not for the dead body to look out off, the coffin is now an integral part of the sah/tut, and those are literally the eyes of the deceased, not "portals". So while we do of course cut our cloth to suit our means, and fancy stone coffins may, for a time, become less fancy, or even disappear, what may seem a penny pinching retrograde move to a wooden coffin, is a natural evolution of "expanding" the sah/tut, which reaches it's final expression in the NK nests of coffin and stone sarcophagus, all of which were unified as the sah, so the dead Tutankhamun is not just a dessicated and hacked up corpse, but the entire assembly, perhaps in the case of a king even including the shrines, all is Tut, until we "peeled away his flesh" layer by layer in our curiosity and ignorance.

That was the fourth attempt at making this post, and by far the shortest, very very far, and I hope my argument is discernable here, even if disagreed with.

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23 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

The change in position of the body would I believe have been necessitated by the adoption of mummification, it being far easier to mummify a body stretched out than one curled up. The fetal position may well have indicated the hope for re-birth, which with the "unwinding" of the body needed this to be expressed in a more sophisticated manner.

This is not be the reason as the transition in body position is made prior to the adoption of mummification with none of the remains found in rectangular coffins in the early OK purposefully mummified. 

Contracted burials were oriented with bodies and head facing west. When this switched to outstretched they were oriented north south

Quote

Have you considered that while the coffin has evolved over time, the driving force behind this evolution begins with the treatment of the actual body, not with external decoration, either of the coffin or the tomb.

The first quote of me in your response says:

"With few exceptions, it was not until the Old Kingdom that burials were made with the body outstretched whereas prior the tradition was to be in a contracted "fetal" position. This affected the shape of coffins, necessitating the use of the box coffin, and also perhaps represents a change/evolution of beliefs."

....

Quote

We can get carried away with discussing everything that surrounds the body,

With good reason.

Quote

The eyes are not for the dead body to look out of [f], the coffin is now an integral part of the sah/tut, and those are literally the eyes of the deceased, not "portals". 

And yet in your response to me in post #38 you say:

"The eyes on the coffin are not "dwelling inside the serekh building", they allow the dead to see out of the coffin, a fact I am sure you know, so why give an incorrect meaning".

Oh, but "I'm" the one giving the "incorrect meaning" and up to some kind of non-existent chicanery? Come on man.  

And for clarity regarding your earlier comment, the dead do in fact dwell in the serekh building, we can see this for ourselves, which, of course, the eyes allow them to look outside which face the east to see the rising sun to know it is time for rebirth. 

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1 hour ago, Thanos5150 said:

This is not be the reason as the transition in body position is made prior to the adoption of mummification with none of the remains found in rectangular coffins in the early OK purposefully mummified. 

Contracted burials were oriented with bodies and head facing west. When this switched to outstretched they were oriented north south

The first quote of me in your response says:

"With few exceptions, it was not until the Old Kingdom that burials were made with the body outstretched whereas prior the tradition was to be in a contracted "fetal" position. This affected the shape of coffins, necessitating the use of the box coffin, and also perhaps represents a change/evolution of beliefs."

....

With good reason.

And yet in your response to me in post #38 you say:

"The eyes on the coffin are not "dwelling inside the serekh building", they allow the dead to see out of the coffin, a fact I am sure you know, so why give an incorrect meaning".

Oh, but "I'm" the one giving the "incorrect meaning" and up to some kind of non-existent chicanery? Come on man.  

And for clarity regarding your earlier comment, the dead do in fact dwell in the serekh building, we can see this for ourselves, which, of course, the eyes allow them to look outside which face the east to see the rising sun to know it is time for rebirth. 

On mummification I'll quote Salima Ikram from Death and Burial in Ancient Egypt, page 50

.....Until recently, it had been thought that mummification started during the dynastic period.

However, the results of recent excavations at the sites of Hierakonpoils and Adaima in the south of Egypt have modified this view of the inception of mummification. At both sites, graves from the Naqada II period have shown attempts at the artificial preservation of the body, with the use of resin and bandages. It is also possible that evisceration might have been practiced on some of these bodies. These findings are forcing Egyptologists to re-evaluate their ideas about the origins of mummification, which seem to be much earlier than hitherto thought. The inspiration for the artificial preservation of the bodies might not lie in the practical examples of naturally desiccated corpses, but, rather, in Egyptian religious thought.

Note that final sentence about "Egyptian religious thought", which is what my post was about.

With the eyes you are just making an attack point on semantics. If in one post I say "looking out" and in another that the eyes are those of the dead, it is just me inadvertantly using terminology that I, and everybody else, has used for a long time. It's only recently that I have come to agree with the position that the coffins are also the sah, and therefore an integral part of what the deceased has become in physical form after death. Can you present a reasoned counter argument as to why the coffins are not part of the sah.

You may wish to call a coffin a "serekh building", but I'll continue to call it a coffin. If it were important that the coffin should be decorated in the palace facade design, why are some coffins not decorated in this style and are either un decorated or have only the name and titles of the deceased. When the eyes start to appear they are an example of a decorative element that we can see really is important, and is a feature that is continued all through their history. When the anthropoid coffin came into use the eyes where then the eyes on the face of the coffin, and tie in with the idea that the coffin has become part of the sah.

As you have not questioned me saying that the burial should be seen from the inside, the mummy, to the outside, that you agree with this. Though the reason I made the point is that by focussing on the design of the coffin, you are working from the outside to the inside, yet, as I have said, everything, the coffin, the burial chamber and any decoration it may contain, and the tomb itself, no matter it's external appearance, are all informed by the body of the deceased. An exception will be the pyramid, a "religious machine" and the layout of NK royal tombs attempting to create the Duat.

I don't question that the palace facade design comes from Mesopotamia, I have never questioned that, but I do not see that it's use, outside of forming the basis of the false door, has any great religious significance.

Btw, are you familiar with the pre-dynastic practice, not universal, of dismembering the dead, and in some instances burying parts of the body in different places. Osiris comes to mind, even though he does not appear in the record until hundreds of years later. The reason I mention this is that, and I'm ultra ultra cautious, we could have a reason for multiple tombs/pyramids for a single king, who is being buried in bits, like Osiris. Petrie is the originator of this line of thought.

Edit: The main reason that I am so cautious about even thinking about this idea from Petrie is that the "miracle" of Osiris is that he was put back together and then re-animated. Burying the body in parts may look like the disposal of the body parts of Osiris, but rather goes against the central theme of re-generation, but until we get to the PT, Osiris is nowhere to be seen, even though he must have been there a long time.

Edited by Wepwawet
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For reference to dismemberment of the dead in predynastic Egypt I used "Egypt at it's Origins - Studies in Memory of Barbara Adams" and the chapter written by David Wengrow and John Baines Images, human bodies and the ritual construction of memory in late predynastic Egypt and specifically the section, beginning on page 1097, titled Excursus: Pre-burial Dismemberment. I'll make the observation that while dismemberment and mummification seem at polar opposites in the desired outcome, the authors state that this is not necessarily the case, though I'm a bit skeptical, as I show in the edit to the post above. Though there is something going on in later times that maybe needs a rethink, and that is the Apis Bull. The two authors don't touch on this, but it's worth noting that when an Apis Bull died it was both dismembered and mummified, after part of it was eaten. Clearly there is a sharp divide between eating a bull and a person, though the bull is a god, but it is the fact of both treatments of the body taking place.

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20 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

If it were important that the coffin should be decorated in the palace facade design, why are some coffins not decorated in this style and are either un decorated or have only the name and titles of the deceased. When the eyes start to appear they are an example of a decorative element that we can see really is important, and is a feature that is continued all through their history.

This is very strange. It keeps happening. Can you explain post #92 back to us please? 

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50 minutes ago, Thanos5150 said:

This is very strange. It keeps happening. Can you explain post #92 back to us please? 

No. You tell me what you believe the religious significance of the palace facade design to be, outside of the false door. You keep presenting these slide shows, but never get into the fine detail of religious significance, only that this design is present. The design is a thing, it must be, but is it religious, political, or just decoration.

I presume that you accept the other points I have made about the treatment of the dead ?

Edited by Wepwawet
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