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Oracle

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:00 am    Post subject: Oracle Reply with quote

At the Meresamun exhibit is this statue of Horus.



The statue has a hole at the top of the head and a tube is said to run the length of the body. The idea was that a priest (hiding) could speak through a tube and pretend to answer questions posed to the god.

One hopes that the priest was in some trance and believed he was relaying a message from Horus and not just some cynic Shocked
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DaveB
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a really good description of how this works in Bob Briers new book:

Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians: by Bob Brier (Author), Hoyt Hobbs (Author)

Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ancient-Egyptians-Greenwood-Through-History/dp/0313353069/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1235637266&sr=8-1

I think the priests knew exactly what they were doing, they must have ordered this made for exactly that purpous. I imagine alot of bribery was involved in what was said by the statue. It was a very good way of controling large amounts of people. I think most deiputes where resolved this way...
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jessy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very interesting. I never knew that they did that. I assumed that there was some sort of "tricky" going on to keep the faith alive, I just never knew how they did it. Thanks for the post.

DaveB, that book looks very interesting. Would you recommend it? I'm always interested in the daily lives of the Egyptians.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it was common that priests "spoke" for the gods, similar to how priests moved statues of gods in particular ways to give answers to questions posed. People would come and ask the statue of a god something of importance, like "Did my sister steal my bread?" and depending on whether the statue swayed forwards and backwards or side to side stated if the answer was yes or no. I think priests speaking for the gods were also involved in matters at court, to find out if someone was guilty or not of a particular act.

I've never seen any of those statues before that were supposed to be voiced by the priests, though; very nice find, Anneke. Very Happy
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kylejustin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the most famous of these was the oracle of delphi. the priestess would go in a trance, and a priest would speak to her and she would relay the message to the person in front of her.

or something similar.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Oracle of Delphi was Greek, though; not Egyptian. Smile
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On of the prime examples of priestly "hanky-panky" was discovered when they excavated the Temple of Ammon, at Siwa. That was the site where Alexander heard the voice of the god confirming that he was a Son of God.
The chamber of the inner sanctum, in which Alexander "spoke" with the god, had a double roof, and a hidden stairway went up to the double roof. Cleverly concealed niches in the inner sanctum led to the hidden roof. A priest would be in the upper room, and his words--to be those of the god--were channeled down to the lower room, giving the impression that the god was "speaking".
It's amazing the devious-ness that man is capable of in relation to god, and it's also very sad that such sneakiness was thought to be necessary.
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kylejustin
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

apparently there was one at per wadjet, (buto) in the predynastic era.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a feeling the "sneakiness" of the priests was quite deliberate. Call me a cynic, but religion is an excellent means for controlling the masses--and this would've been especially true in an ancient culture where superstition was part and parcel of every-day life. Nevertheless, I'm certain plenty of people were very pious, and naturally turned to their deities for guidance. The priests "helped" them with this, one might say.

Oracles were very common among Near Eastern and Mediterranean societies in the ancient world. It was one way average people could interact with their gods. In that light, it makes sense how important oracles were in daily life, for everything from prayer to justice.

The example anneke shows in her photo is classic, although a bit higher status than the average person probably saw day to day. This statue of Horus is thought to have had a golden beak, to boot (the golden beak it now sports is a reproduction). Probably the Horus statue was mounted on a large box of some sort in which the priest hid, therein to deliver his voice--the pronouncement of the deity.

Is it much different from more recent times in Catholicism, where the word of the priest was meant to be absolute? Idea
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Mandi
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject: Are We Certain? Reply with quote

I am sure youa re all right but are we sure?

Maybe they just liked fourth grade science projects? Perhaps this wasn't so much a statue as one of them volcano things, where you poor in some silly chemicals or food products or whatever into a paper mache volcano and it kinda 'explodes' like lava? On a totally insane note are we certain they were talking and not holding a science fair?
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing The science project of some high priest's kid from 2,400 years ago. I love that idea. Maybe the lad kept some mysticism in it for the science fair judges and asked them to pose a question. If volcano-Horus liked the question, sweet-smelling incense would issue from the hole. If it was a stupid question, sewage would come spewing out.

Hmm, I wonder if the kid won?
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Mandi
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Yep a science project! Reply with quote

You should have seen their AI and build a car/go cart races things.... I met they even had a competition for who could invent the coolest new green technology.

Glad to amuse you Kmt. And sorry for making a joke out of something so very interesting but, i just can't help myself.

What was the tube made of? What evidence do they have beyond the hole/tube in the statue that it was used as the priest's loud speaker? Maybe it was a fountain in the temple? One that funnels blood all the way from Nubia's human sacrifices.... Or maybe it just sprayed water? Is there any reason exactly we are so sure it was the 'god's telephone'? (Prehistoric jesus phone the masses, to hell with ET?)
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