Go to the Egyptian Dreams shop
Egyptian Dreams
Ancient Egypt Discussion Board
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

How does tomb robbery fit with their religion?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Mythology and Religion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sirethar
Citizen
Citizen


Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Turin ( Italy )

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:

The tomb of the architect, Kha and his wife Meryet was intact, and I reckon that there are many more out there to be found.


I saw it at the Egyptian Museum of Turin, Very very interesting. It gives a good idea of an egyptian tomb.

About Tomb Robbery: I think that the possibility of Easy money was considered more important than religion.
And, Criminals had always existed. And unfortunately they will exist even in the future
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Daughter_Of_SETI
Divine Adoratrice


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 2563
Location: Hull, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sirethar wrote:
I saw it at the Egyptian Museum of Turin, Very very interesting. It gives a good idea of an egyptian tomb.

That must be a truely amazing sight, I'd love to see Kha's tomb...I didn't even know it was in Turin until you said. Wink
_________________


In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this - Terry Pratchett.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
... there is a song in it that was sung at one pharoh's funeral and it is full of religious skepticism- i can't remember exactly what it said but something about where is the tomb of the architect imhotep and about not being able to take stuff to the afterlife.


I believe you're talking about the text known as The Admonitions of Ipuwer. This is part of the body of works known as the Pessimistic Literature and old Ipuwer is one of the most famous examples of it. Most of this stuff was probably written around the time of the Middle Kingdom and recopied many times over starting in the New Kingdom, as was the case with Ipuwer's lament.

The Admonitions of Ipuwer and other stories like it probably describe the First Intermediate Period or the very end of the Old Kingdom, when Egypt was going to pot. It's believed that the story of Ipuwer has him man addressing the aged Pepy II near the end of that king's reign, when Egypt was slipping fast. It's full of regrets over the turns fate had been taking and the loss of a glorious age. You can imagine what the Egyptians must have felt as they suffered through the droughts and famines and poverty of the First Intermediate Period, when so recently their land had been mighty and prosperous.

One of the most famous lines is the first one in the second chapter, which states: "Indeed, poor men have become owners of wealth, and he who could not make sandals for himself is now a possessor of riches." It expresses the sad state of affairs over the loss of the powerful Egyptian administration and the growing meekness of the nobility, while poor men were free to exist by any means necassary--including tomb robbing. It was rampant in the First Intermediate Period.

It's certainly not a happy tale but it's one of my favorites from ancient Egypt.

Wink

Quote:
Apparantly pharaohs (the govornment) even robbed their ancestors tombs to melt down the gold and put it back into circulation in times of financial hardship! I find this amazing- personally it seems to me the only people who believed in the religion was the rich and the govornment...


Dynasty 21 was especially famous for "pharaoh-sponsored" tomb robbing. Daughter_Of_SETI's quote seems to be expressing the sorry conditions at the end of the New Kingdom, but by Dynasty 21 things were even worse. Egypt was fractured and the Libyans ruled from the north. In the south, the high priests of Thebes ruled as pharaohs unto themselves and sent out their agents to the tombs of nobles and royals to strip away every last bit of valuable material. The mummies were removed, as described in Daughter_Of_SETI's post, and relocated in several caches in the Theban necropolis. The most famous cache is DB320 where the mummies of many of the most famous royals were eventually found (e.g., Ahmose-Nefertari, Amenhotep I, Tuthmosis III, Ramesses II). Below is a link that will provide more info on the DB320 mummies:

http://euler.slu.edu/Dept/Faculty/bart/egyptianhtml/mummycaches/DB320%20Cache.htm

In short, when times were desperate, even the rulers themselves weren't above robbing their predecessors to maintain their militaries and treasuries.

The final part of what I quoted from you above brings up a very good point. People tend to have this notion that all of the ancient Egyptians were a bunch of chanting, zealously religious worshipers. The fact is, we don't know for certain what the poorest of the poor may have believed about the afterlife. As you intimated, so much of what we understand of the ancient Egyptian afterlife comes from the funerary texts and equipment of the wealthy, the elite, the nobles, and the royals. Does their view of the afterlife adequately express what the poor believed? That's hard to say. We know the poor would steal coffins or place their own loved ones in old tombs because they could afford none of this for themselves, so to a point they must have desired the same things the people in power did.

Then again, it was the people in power who dictated what the afterlife was all about. Personally I doubt that the poorest Egyptians (who constituted a significant percentage of the population, after all) fully bought into or participated in the version of religion as promoted by the state. In many ways they could not afford to, so are we to imagine that all of these poor people just shrugged and said to themselves: "Well, I can't afford a decent mummification or a good coffin, so no chance for an afterlife for me."

I seriously doubt it, but that's just my opinion.

Quote:
It's a joke really all the robbery in AE, no ancient chinese would dare touch the chinese emperor's tombs so why did the AE think it's ok to burn a pharoh's mummy?!


I can't say anything about ancient China because I've studied very little of it, but there were probably a couple of reasons for tomb robbers to have burned the mummy of a royal or noble:

1) Pure contempt and envy, for the soft and privileged life the deceased had led.

2) For more susperstitious reasons (also plausible, given the Egyptians' magico-religious society), in that the destruction of the body would cause the demise of the soul, so that the deceased could not return to curse the robbers.

Very good points you brought up, Chrismackint. Smile
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chrismackint
Account Suspended


Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 809

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

quote"

The Song of King Inyotef

This lyric, recorded in the New Kingdom document known as the Harris Papyrus, was sung at the funerary feast of one King Inyotef, a name borne by a number of Eleventh and Seventeenth dynasty pharaohs.

It is one of the few examples of something approaching religious skepticism in AE literature:

“Song which is in the chapel of
Inyotef, justified, which is in front of
the singer with the harp.

He is flourishing, this prince.

Good is fate; it is good to perish.

A generation passes, another
endures, since the time of the
ancestors.

The gods who lived before rest in
their pyramids.

The transformed dead likewise are
buried in their pyramids.

The builders of chapels, their places
no longer exist.

What has been done with them?

I have heard the words of Imhotep
and Hordjedef.

Their sayings are widely quoted.

Where are their places?

Their walls are abandoned.

Their places no longer exist, as if
they had never been.

Nobody returns from there,
that he may tell of their state,
that he may tell of their things,
that he may clam our hearts,
until we go to the place that they
have gone.

[Refrain:]

Have a good time. Do not grow tired
of it.

Look, there is nobody allowed to take
his property with him.

Look, there is nobody who is gone
and returns back."

"unquote
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
isisinacrisis
Pharaoh
Pharaoh


Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 2228
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, this is an interesting and debatable topic.

I totally agree that in times of crisis, or extreme poverty, even just the lust for riches, greed would have taken the place of religious belief and tombs would get robbed.
But I'm not sure the idea of 'atheist' or 'agnostic' AE people though...I too was also of the view that all AEs were pretty zealous-not 'fundamentalist', but very pious to their gods. All the evidence seems to point to this, and the examples of doubting or wondering if the gods are turning their backs on the people seem to come in times of crisis. But in times of peace, there doesn't seem to be very much evidence saying that most people didn't believe in the gods (I could be wrong though) though but then again, you know what they say about lack of evidence and all that...and the poor people didn't know how to write so we have, like, 95% of Egyptian life we don't know much about because of illiteracy in the lower classes. But, I dunno, but atheist Egyptians doesn't seem right in a time in history when all people had their beliefs, in a time before modern rational thinking...I always thought such doubting thoughts were pretty 'modern' and would have been seriously frowned on or scorned in AE times. Look at how the people viewed the heretical beliefs of Akhenaten...and most, if not all, viewed the destruction of their physical body at death as the worst thing that happened (for themselves that is. They may not have cared if other people's mummies were mutilated...)
My view is that people might not have believed in SOME gods but worshipped others-like they might not conform to royal belief in Amun but did worship Bes. People chose what to believe in, within the huge pantheon of Egyptian gods.
Is doubting belief in AE times something that's been brought up in academic circles?

I don't know about this but would there have been 'rules' about what to believe and not to believe in AE? Would people be 'punished' for not believing in the gods? If there were non-believers at the time, would they simply be too scared to admit their ideas without getting punished? If so, it seems pretty tyrannical and totalitarian to the extreme, but somehow I don't think this happened in AE. It seems a little too extreme and brutal for what seems like a very civilised people-ok, the pharaoh may have been a 'mild' dictator (ie he wasn't as extreme in his ideas and ways like modern dictators) and they had their rules and laws and the punishments that went with them, but I'm not sure if the rules went that far.
_________________
High-Priestess of Isis, Hereditary Princess, Lady of Philae, Favourite of Osiris, the Lord of Abydos, Daughter of Horus, Chantress of Bastet, Superior of the Kitty Litter Wink
<---Check out my av-I made it myself Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gerard
Scribe
Scribe


Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 106
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When people are starving, stealing from tombs will not bring food. Robbers need to be part of an organisation to sell what they steal.
Look at the world around us, it has not changed in that respect.

I agree with you, Akhenaten’s heretical beliefs is a modern view. The word heresy comes from christian Latin haeresis, itself comming from greek hairesi for ‘choice’, ‘particular view’. The word heretic has no meaning for the egyptians (see on the web J.Assmann, 2001 Theological Responses to Amarna p.1 [D.Redford’s Festscrift, Penn University] ).

Regarding academic circles , look at works from Assmann, Morenz, Hornung, etc. In particular Assmann, The search for God in Ancient Egypt which may answer some of your questions.

Have also a look at : DUNAND Françoise & ZIVIE-COCHE Christiane, Gods and Men in Egypt, Cornell University Press (2004)

For the place of Aten in the N.K. Assmann 1995 Egyptian Solar Religion in the New Kingdom, Kegan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Osiris II
Vizier
Vizier


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 1752

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stealing from tombs may not have bought food, but the aquired gold and prescious items, including oils and jewelry, could certainly be bartered for food. As a rule, most tomb robbers did not belong to any organization that sold the wealth, rather individuals, banding in small groups, who would rob the tombs and "divvy" up the spoils among themselves. As a matter of fact, at that time there was no selling of the items, but only bartering would have been used. It's not until quite late in Egyptian history that coinage and selling became popular.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gerard
Scribe
Scribe


Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 106
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For an Egyptian, time a crisis came from low Nil or war. In both case food is scarce and gold, etc. will not help. One will rather steal food itself which is easier to find.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to agree with both of you, Gerard and Osiris II, to one degree or another. From the confessions we have of tomb robbers we know they could be quite organized, working in bands that often included family members, first to raid a tomb and then to disperse the stolen goods. This might involve bribing necropolis guards--or enlisting them in the endeavor.

But stealing the goods from the tomb was only one part of the process. As Gerard wrote: "Robbers need to be part of an organisation to sell what they steal." This means they would need the aid of merchants or other such types who could pay for stolen goods based on their value in items the robbers did personally need: grain, meat, beer, bread, textiles, and the like. Afterward, the merchant would have to transform the stolen goods so that he could benefit from them, melting down the gold or removing inlays of precious stones so that the original stolen item could no longer be traced to the tomb.

Though they were criminals, it seems the tomb robbers stuck to a rigid code of sorts to ensure that everyone was evenly paid. All items of value were carefully weighed to determine their value. Any breach of the system could be dangerous because a disgruntled member of the band could just as easily let word slip that this or that fellow was stealing from tombs, thereby bringing down the whole organization.

Of course, when one had been thus implicated and was being tortured, it never took long for the prisoner to give up the names of his accomplices.

Tomb robbing is an interesting topic. I'd recommend Pascal Vernus's Affairs and Scandlas in Ancient Egypt, Joyce Tyldesley's Judgement of the Pharaoh, and Leonard Lesko's Pharaoh's Workers, among others.

isisinacrisis wrote:
Quote:
But in times of peace, there doesn't seem to be very much evidence saying that most people didn't believe in the gods...


I would never say that most people didn't believe in the gods; what I had stressed in my earlier post was the nature of what the poor may have believed, or not believed. The theme of this thread is more or less why people would steal from tombs in such a religion-focused society. But I am caused to wonder exactly what the poor thought of the afterlife because what we know of the ancient Egyptian hereafter comes chiefly from those who could afford mummification, decorated coffins, texts like the Book of the Dead, and so on.

The average laborer or herdsman or farmer from ancient Egypt could afford little to none of this, yet we are told by the evidence of the ruling class that this must be obtained to reach paradise successfully. I simply find it illogical that the poor would give up and decide there was no afterlife for them just because they could not have what the wealthy had for their burials. Unfortunately we have very little substantive evidence of what the poor truly thought.

As I mentioned earlier the poor would on occasion steal coffins or reuse old tombs, but there are countless more who were wrapped in mats and placed in shallow pit graves, with a few meager possessions to take with them. The fact that these burials were prepared does indeed tell us even the poorest believed there was something to await them after death...but did they believe in the necessity of preservation, the Hall of Truth with the scales, the Field of Reeds, and the daily regeneration with Osiris?

Idea
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chrismackint
Account Suspended


Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 809

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But I'm not sure the idea of 'atheist' or 'agnostic' AE people though...I too was also of the view that all AEs were pretty zealous-not 'fundamentalist', but very pious to their gods. All the evidence seems to point to this, and the examples of doubting or wondering if the gods are turning their backs on the people seem to come in times of crisis.


Quote:
but atheist Egyptians doesn't seem right in a time in history when all people had their beliefs, in a time before modern rational thinking...I always thought such doubting thoughts were pretty 'modern' and would have been seriously frowned on or scorned in AE times.



Yes but did not Akhenaten's failed belief in the gods of egypt happen during one of egypts most wealthiest times?This was not the act of a desperate man who thought the gods had turned their backs on him in a time of hardship-the complete opposite!

The fact that the leader of a country could believe in only one god, and that there was no afterlife(his tomb was in the land of the living not dead-showing he didn't see there was a continuation of life after death) "before modern rational thinking" , in a time when so much emphasis was put on the numerous gods and a definate continuation of life after death is evidence enough that some people in AE might have been atheist-you don't seem to realise but the amarna period simply shows those ideas were there but never allowed to make it into the offical mainstream views.

I don't understand why you would say people back then couldn't think outside the box because i am sure there were some, it's just they could not read or write and didn't have the power(and luck i might say), or wealth that Akhenaten had to bring their ideas to light.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yes but did not Akhenaten's failed belief in the gods of egypt happen during one of egypts most wealthiest times?This was not the act of a desperate man who thought the gods had turned their backs on him in a time of hardship-the complete opposite!


A good point, Chrismackint, although I don't know how much the Amarna Period should be used as a reflection on the general ancient Egyptian belief in gods and goddesses, given its departure from tradition. We cannot know for certain why Akhenaten instituted the sweeping religious reforms for which he is known (a subject for a lengthy debate unto itself), but it's certainly true that Akhenaten turned his back on many of the principal deities of the traditional belief system.

Quote:
The fact that the leader of a country could believe in only one god, and that there was no afterlife(his tomb was in the land of the living not dead-showing he didn't see there was a continuation of life after death) "before modern rational thinking"...


Akhenaten was definitely no monotheist in the sense that we know it but that, too, is the subject for another debate. I would challenge the idea, however, that Akhenaten didn't believe in an afterlife. The fact that the most notable Amarna tombs (including Akhenaten's) lay on the east side of the Nile, should not be taken to mean too much. Though almost all important necropoli through the dynastic period were located on the west side of the Nile, not everyone down through time was buried in the proverbial land of the dead. And as we already stated, Akhenaten's world and religious view was a notable departure from tradition.

In many ways his royal tomb in the wadi east of Akhetaten is quite conventional. A lot of the decorative plans in the tomb do of course strike one as different from the norm because of the focus on the Aten and the royal family as its holy intermediaries, but the plans express the same sort of notions as tombs before and after the Amarna Period.

And the mere fact that Akhenaten had an elaborate tomb constructed for himself and his family, speaks clearly of his belief in an afterlife. Why go through the expense to build and decorate such a tomb if there was no need to shelter and preserve the body, and commemorate the lives of the people who were meant to lay there for eternity? Burials possessing even slight ritualistic aspects, even if very simple in nature, express a clear belief that something comes after death.

Though the location of Akhenaten's body remains unknown, it is more than likely that he was mummified. I don't know that we yet have a clear understanding of how Akhenaten viewed the afterlife, and it's true that he discarded beliefs in the cult of Osiris and the other trappings of burial that had been the mainstay of Egyptian death rituals, but he was provided an elaborate sarcophagus for his body (my apologies for the crude graphic--I couldn't find a better one after my admittedly brief search). It's true that the decorative plan of the sarcophagus itself was a departure from the norm, but it served the same basic purpose as any other sarcophagus before or since.

Gone are the four tutelary goddesses at the corners of the sarcophagus, and in their places are four depictions of a winged Nefertiti clearly meant to guard the body of the Amarna king for all of time. Incidentally, this was one innovation brought to Egypt by the Amarna Period. The four goddesses (Isis, Nephthys, Neith, and Serqet) were usually found on the corners of the canopic chest but Akhenaten moved them to the corners of the sarcophagus (in the new guise of Nefertiti, as mentioned); other kings would go on to copy this scheme, though of course returning the tutelary goddesses to their former roles. And in place of entreaties to the Sons of Horus and various other spells usually found on the sides of the sarcophagus, we find the shining Aten glorifying Akhenaten. We know Akhenaten gave a lot of thought just to this sarcophagus because it had to have been started around year 9 of his reign--the cartouches bearing the names of the Aten were reinscribed to carry the new names Akhenaten gave to his god.

So all in all I think the evidence is overwhelming that Akhenaten believed in some sort of afterlife. There were numerous other remarkable tombs built in the wadis east of the city, such as those prepared for Meryre and Tutu. The beliefs had changed, but I doubt most had given up on any idea of the hereafter.

Quote:
I don't understand why you would say people back then couldn't think outside the box because i am sure there were some, it's just they could not read or write and didn't have the power(and luck i might say), or wealth that Akhenaten had to bring their ideas to light.


I couldn't agree more. It is human nature to seek and learn and question. The brains of people 3,400 years ago may have held different thoughts from the brains we possess today, but they functioned the same way. I don't think there's anything "modern" about atheism except perhaps for the word "atheism." It's true that most people must have believed in higher power(s) back then (just as most do today), but I don't doubt for a moment that among the believers were the occasional unbelievers.

Wink
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
isisinacrisis
Pharaoh
Pharaoh


Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 2228
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry if I offended anyone...please be gentle with me...I was a little cranky (just woke up, lack of coffee, yet again!) and I wrote a few things wrong. I'm not saying there were no unbelievers at all, but I'm unsure of whether they were the majority within the poorer classes or not. We have no hard evidence of people with beliefs that were not the norm (apart from Akhenaten) but we can't say for sure because of the illiteracy amongst the poorer people.

What I was also asking was whether there was a 'oppression' or 'restriction' of such unorthodox beliefs within the common folk, ie if they didn't believe in the gods, they would be too scared to say it just in case they get punished for their 'heretical' ideas? Or if they had such ideas, others may laugh it off but nothing more? I'm not sure how restrictive the Egyptian society was towards people who didn't believe what was 'supposed' to be believed...I can understand why they were so hard on Akhenaten because he was a king who tried to enforce his ideas on the people and was so obsessed with his Aten cult that Egypt's defences began to crumble, the nation got weaker. But what about the more common people?
_________________
High-Priestess of Isis, Hereditary Princess, Lady of Philae, Favourite of Osiris, the Lord of Abydos, Daughter of Horus, Chantress of Bastet, Superior of the Kitty Litter Wink
<---Check out my av-I made it myself Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm sorry if I offended anyone...please be gentle with me...I was a little cranky (just woke up, lack of coffee, yet again!)


You didn't offend anyone so please put your mind at rest about that. You just brought up some points that were worth further debate.

As for the coffee, you seem to be in perpetual shortage so we need to find you one of these systems!

Laughing

Strange, I never developed a taste for coffee. I guess I prefer my caffeine cold.

Quote:
What I was also asking was whether there was a 'oppression' or 'restriction' of such unorthodox beliefs within the common folk, ie if they didn't believe in the gods, they would be too scared to say it just in case they get punished for their 'heretical' ideas?


That's a good question, isisinacrisis. I don't know that we have evidence that this or that religious principle was ever forced on the common people, but I could be wrong (the Amarna Period being the exception, of course...as it is in so many ways). And I could be wrong when I say this, but I doubt that Pharaoh and his administrators really cared what most of their subjects believed or didn't believe, so long as they didn't break the law and continued to pay their taxes on time.

I tend to look at it this way: by the New Kingdom foreigners were regularly immigrating to Egypt, bringing their own deities and forms of worship with them. The population exploded up and down the Nile, which meant a greater workforce, a larger military, more merchants, and an overall increase in goverment revenues. I tend to think Egyptian officials would've been rather tolerant of other people's ideas--perhaps grudgingly so at times, but the much larger tax base would've made it worthwhile.

Quote:
I can understand why they were so hard on Akhenaten because he was a king who tried to enforce his ideas on the people and was so obsessed with his Aten cult that Egypt's defences began to crumble, the nation got weaker.


I've read theories that encompass both ends of the spectrum regarding how Akhenaten brought his form of worship to the masses. Some argue he was peaceful about it, while others maintain he was a cold tyrant who sent out his police to make certain people weren't worshiping prohibited deities in their homes. I highly doubt Akhenaten was a fully peaceful person, so to me it seems more logical that he fell somewhere in between. A certain amount of force was necessary, of course, but exactly how much force was used, I can't say. Maybe someone else could weigh in on that, but that would probably just get us too far off the topic of this thread.
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chrismackint
Account Suspended


Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 809

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen stela from the New Kingdom with foreign gods being worshipped beside egyptian gods so they seemed to readily accept new gods-they just had a big problem with the one god only concept-AE is so contradictory at times-apparantly they didn't care if their religion was contradictory(which it is) so who knows what an AE might think lol.

This might sound stupid but perhaps the AE were a more relaxed people that we can gather from their art/artifacts. What i mean by this is if you look at ancient Japanese art, you get this impression of them being very peaceful people, the way their garmets and the style it' s self flows and is so relaxed you would be forgiven for thinking they are a very sedate/relaxed/open peoples. But from watching Japanese movies you see just how they move with that uptight robotic movement, with the constant bowing and no facial expressions they are very uptight and not open to people in their own culture but especially from outside-the complete opposite to their artwork.

It's just that we know the AE were not fighting people,very sedate-they didn't get adequate weaponary until the New Kingdom so maybe the AE are similar to the Japanese in that they behaved the complete opposite to their art- you see images of a woman spewing up with another holding back her hair after drinking a lot at a dinner party, so we know the AE liked to relax and that drinking beer was an important part of their culture so it might be the rigid depictions of them are just an ideal and not reality.

AE don't seem it from their artwork but they were sedate compared to other ancient cultures when it came to fighting and by the New Kingdom some of the stigma surrounding foreigners had worn away because Akhenaten had a few asiatics working in his govt-it seems once the foreigner was in egypt after a while they became accepted and could own property or what have you-so they were open/freindly people.

My point with all this is perhaps they were more relaxed about religion than we think?

Although i read some greek historian that traveled to egypt remarked on how they were "very religious beyond extreme."

LOL the funny thing about Akhenaten is on a scientific level he was right-if it wasn't for the sun we would not be here-technically it is the sun that gives us life everyday-for if it was not for exposure to sunlight we would die...deep sea creatures that live off chemicals like thermal vents are very undeveloped and primitive compared to life brought about by sunlight so i doubt without the sun life complex enough could have developed without it-it's a much more efficient energy source than chemical when it comes to sustaining complex life forms-on our planet anyway.

Anyway when Akhenaten said the sun distributed life evenly throughout the world-and that it even created egyptians and even foreighners is technically right, according to the big bang theory and the fact our planet has been exposed to sunlight for millions of years to allow life to flourish.lol funny isn't it?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kmt_sesh
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 7099
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This might sound stupid but perhaps the AE were a more relaxed people that we can gather from their art/artifacts. What i mean by this is if you look at ancient Japanese art, you get this impression of them being very peaceful people...


I really like your comparison with the Japanese, and it's not just in the feudal days of the samurai that we ought to picture them. Even up until 1941 the Japanese were considered by the Americans to be a soft and even cartoonish culture with their gaily painted gowns and rigid codes of etiquette, but then with the advent of World War II and our theater of war in the Pacific, they were found to be some of the fiercest and most determined warriors our soldiers had ever encountered.

Artwork doesn't always express reality, I would have to agree. There's no doubt that the ancient Egyptians were a very conservative society, but at the same time they seem to have been very accepting and cosmopolitan--as long as you were residing within Egypt. Nealry all foreigners were regarded as inferior, and we do have plenty of battle scenes in reliefs like those inscribed at Karnak where Egyptian soldiers are shown doing their thing. Granted such scenes were usually for the glorification of Pharaoh and Amun, but Egyptian soldiers were almost always shown as the overwhelming successors.

Quote:
...you see images of a woman spewing up with another holding back her hair after drinking a lot at a dinner party...


LOL Yes, that's a good example of the "lighter side" of Egypt. They definitely loved their parties and festivals. You know, I can picture that very scene of the upchucking woman but for the life of me I can't remember where it's from. I don't think it's from the erotic Turin papyrus, but I could be wrong. Do you remember where it's from, Chrismackint (or anyone else, for that matter)?

Quote:
Anyway when Akhenaten said the sun distributed life evenly throughout the world-and that it even created egyptians and even foreighners is technically right...


I've always liked that part of the Hymn to the Aten:

Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.
The countries of Syria and Nubia, the land of Egypt,
Thou settest every man in his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities:
Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned.
Their tongues are separate in speech,
And their natures as well;
Their skins are distinguished,
As thou distinguishest the foreign peoples.


I may be wrong, but this must be one of the first expressions in the ancient world of a god that created all peoples and creatures of the world. It's very poetic.
_________________


Visit my blog!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Mythology and Religion All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 2 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group