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Alchemy, as a philosophical occult tradition, combined the philosophical theorem with practical methods for personal improvement and to conquer Wisdom and Immortality.
Contrary to chemistry, that deals only with natural matter and energy, Alchemy studies the use of the “ethereal” energy with purpose to analyze matter on a quantum level. At the same time, Alchemists would give a spiritual dimension in their quests (the quest for the Philosopher`s Stone and the elixir of life symbolized the transcendence from decay, sickness and death to the eternal life of the body and spirit).
Alchemy was for Carl Jung, the forgotten element that would fill the void in the puzzle of historic continuum from the ancient Gnosticism to the appearance and evolution of psychology in his times. When alchemists speak of symbols of metals, they mean the true transmutation of their energy to the human soul. Diamond: This rock, thanks to its ability to refract light, was connected to the consciousness, clarity and acute perception resulting to the travel of the human soul to the higher truth and spiritual enlightment. Antimony: This chemical element was connected to man`s animal nature, the wild spirit within that is depicted in other folklore by the symbol of wolf. Tattoo Box is a content curation platform with a mission to help you discover tattoo ideas that match your personal style. Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society.
The beliefs and rituals now referred to as "Ancient Egyptian religion" existed within every aspect of Egyptian culture. The Egyptians believed that the phenomena of nature were divine forces in and of themselves. The depictions of the gods in art were not meant as literal representations of how the gods might appear if they were visible, as the gods' true natures were believed to be mysterious.
Many gods were associated with particular regions in Egypt where their cults were most important. The Egyptian gods had complex interrelationships, which partly reflected the interaction of the forces they represented.
The relationships between deities could also be expressed in the process of syncretism, in which two or more different gods were linked to form a composite deity. Many deities could be given epithets that seem to indicate that they were greater than any other god, suggesting some kind of unity beyond the multitude of natural forces.
Because of theological statements like this, many past Egyptologists, such as Siegfried Morenz, believed that beneath the polytheistic traditions of Egyptian religion there was an increasing belief in a unity of the divine, moving toward monotheism. However, in 1971 Erik Hornung pointed out that the traits of an apparently supreme being could be attributed to many different gods, even in periods when other gods were preeminent, and further argued that references to an unspecified "god" are meant to refer flexibly to any deity.
The Egyptians did have an aberrant period of some form of monotheism during the New Kingdom, in which the pharaoh Akhenaten abolished the official worship of other gods in favor of the sun-disk Aten. Atenism, or the Amarna heresy, refers to the religious changes associated with the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, better known under his adopted name, Akhenaten. The Aten - the god of Atenism - first appears in texts dating to the 12th dynasty, in the Story of Sinuhe. Although each line of kings prior to the reign of Akhenaten had previously adopted one deity as the royal patron and supreme state god, there had never been an attempt to exclude other deities, and the multitude of gods had been tolerated and worshipped at all times. Amenhotep IV initially introduced Atenism in Year 5 of his reign (1348-1346 BC), raising the Aten to the status of supreme god, after initially permitting the continued worship of the traditional gods.
Year 5 is believed to mark the beginning of Amenhotep IV's construction of a new capital, Akhetaten (Horizon of the Aten), at the site known today as Amarna.
The move separated the Pharaoh and his court from the influence of the priesthood and from the traditional centres of worship, but his decree had deeper religious significance too - taken in conjunction with his name change, it is possible that the move to Amarna was also meant as a signal of Akhenaten's symbolic death and rebirth. In Year 9 (1344-1342 BC), Akhenaten strengthened the Atenist regime, declaring the Aten to be not merely the supreme god, but the only god, a universal deity, and forbidding worship of all others, including the veneration of idols, even privately in people's homes - an arena the Egyptian state had previously not touched in religious terms. Akhenaten staged the ritual regicide of the old supreme god Amun, and ordered the defacing of Amun's temples throughout Egypt, and of all the old gods.
The impact of Akhenaten's religious reform, albeit introduced in steps, is hard to overstate.
The context appears to have been an Egypt hit by catastrophe, seemingly abandoned by the old gods: a series of pandemics is known to have occurred throughout the Near East of this period, and some speculate that it could coincide with the eruption of the volcano of Thera, which would have covered much of Egypt in a layer of destructive ash, killing crops and livestock. In this context, Akhenaten carried out a radical program of religious reform which, for a period of about twenty years, largely supplanted the age-old beliefs and practices of the Egyptian state religion, and deposed its religious hierarchy, headed by the powerful priesthood of Amun at Thebes.
The pinnacle of this religious hierarchy was the Pharaoh, who was both king and living god, and the administration of the Egyptian kingdom was thus inextricably bound up with, and largely controlled by, the power and influence of the priests and scribes.
Initially, Akhenaten presented Aten to the Egyptian people as a variant of the familiar supreme deity Amun-Ra (itself the result of an earlier rise to prominence of the cult of Amun, resulting in Amun becoming merged with the sun god Ra), in an attempt to put his ideas in a familiar religious context. However in the ninth year of his reign Akhenaten declared a more radical version of his new religion by declaring Aten not merely the supreme god, but the only god, and that he, Akhenaten, was the only intermediary between the Aten and his people. Although idols were banned - even in people's homes - these were typically replaced by functionally equivalent representations of Akhenaten and his family venerating the Aten, and receiving the ankh (breath of life) from him.
The early stage of Atenism appears a kind of henotheism familiar in Egyptian religion, but the later form suggests a proto-monotheism. Styles of art that flourished during this short period are markedly different from other Egyptian art, bearing a variety of affectations, from elongated heads to protruding stomachs, exaggerated ugliness and the beauty of Nefertiti. Images of Akhenaten and Nefertiti usually depict the Aten prominently above that pair, with the hands of the Aten closest to each offering Ankhs. Artistic representations of Akhenaten usually give him a strikingly feminine appearance, with slender limbs, a protruding belly and wide hips. Crucial evidence about the latter stages of Akhenaten's reign was furnished by discovery of the so-called Amarna Letters. With Akhenaten's death, the Aten cult he had founded almost immediately fell out of favor due to pressures from the Priesthood of Amun. Because of the monotheistic character of Atenism, a link to Judaism (and subsequently the monotheistic religions springing from it) has been suggested by various writers. The Egyptian conception of the universe centered on Ma'at, a word that encompasses several concepts in English, including "truth," "justice," and "order." It was the fixed, eternal order of the universe, both in the cosmos and in human society. On the human level this meant that all members of society should cooperate and coexist; on the cosmic level it meant that all of the forces of nature - the gods - should continue to function in balance. The most important part of the Egyptian view of the cosmos was the conception of time, which was greatly concerned with the maintenance of Ma'at. When envisioning the shape of the cosmos, the Egyptians saw the earth as a flat expanse of land, personified by the god Geb, over which arched the sky goddess Nut. Originally, however, the Egyptians believed that only the pharaoh had a ba, and only he could become one with the gods; dead commoners passed into a dark, bleak realm that represented the opposite of life.
Egyptian myths were metaphorical stories intended to illustrate and explain the gods' actions and roles in nature. Knowledge of Egyptian mythology, therefore, is derived mostly from hymns that detail the roles of specific deities, from ritual and magical texts which describe actions related to mythic events, and from funerary texts which mention the roles of many deities in the afterlife. The procedures for religious rituals were frequently written on papyri, which were used as instructions for those performing the ritual.
Most are structured according to a set literary formula, designed to expound on the nature, aspects, and mythological functions of a given deity. Egyptian religion produced the temples and tombs which are ancient Egypt's most enduring monuments, but it also left many influences on other cultures. In late antiquity, the Christian conception of Hell was most likely influenced by some of the imagery of the Duat, and the iconography of Mary may have been influenced by that of Isis. Traces of ancient beliefs remained in Egyptian folk traditions into modern times, but its impact on modern societies greatly increased with the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria in 1798. Based on stylistic comparisons such as striations inside body contours and the presentation of horns in twisted perspective, several Paleolithic art experts, including the first curator of the Chauvet Cave, Jean Clottes, have accredited the Portuguese friezes to the early Solutrean of about 20,000 years ago3. In Portugal, the government did the opposite a€“ plunging ahead with a project destined to destroy the nationa€™s oldest cultural heritage by completing a 300-million-dollar dam whose reservoir will flood a valley packed with dozens of art sites spread over at least 17 kilometers. Yet construction continues - even on holidays - and the water is about to rise another hundred meters. A male ibex with his head shown in two positions, as if he were turning to watch the female behind him. As we drove up to a sentry box perched on the lip of a road into the vast, unnatural gashing of mountains at Foz CA?a, it was hard to tell if the young guard blocking us in a crisp red and gray uniform represented a well-heeled security service or an elite military unit - but it was plain that bluff and sweet talk wouldn't get us far. The next time the car eased over the knuckles of a road crisscrossed by up-ended strata, past empty huts built just of stacked slabs, and jostled between overhanging and plunging cliffs until an avalanche of tailings from an old quarry almost blocked the path.
Here was one of the places of grandeur where our ancestors had first grasped visions and then concretized them by hewing - and sometimes painting - images into rock panels. As I pushed forward and the river grew shallower, turtles became so numerous that their stacks toppled like circus acts from the brinks of submerged cliffs. As a draftsman, I could feel empathy for the beast flowing into the hands that had etched her. This first frieze stood at a fitting point, practically where the reservoir yielded to the original rapids and long pools of the virgin river.
Far away across the moonscape of rutted ramps, knots of men stood before tunnels as fleets of dump trucks, made so tiny by distance that they only gave away their magnitude by over-sized wheels, eased to the brink of platforms, and added avalanches to tailings.
Above us, the titanium-white cleanliness of the cement plant's towers stood in bold contrast to the devastation, like a phalanx of gigantic chess-rooks bunched for the kill.
According to press articles, the dam-builders had recognized him as the true discoverer of Portugal's first reported Paleolithic engravings, at nearby Mazouco, even though the doctoral student's mentor, Professor Vitor Oliviera Jorge, had stolen his thunder.7 They had given Rebanda a job as their obligatory salvage archaeologist when the new doctor somehow couldn't get a position on a faculty. In return, all he'd had to do was wait till their concrete curtain had gone up and its reservoir had risen into a sea so voluminous and costly that its drainage would have been unthinkable.
My goateed interlocutor smirked as he told me I could try looking for the doctor at the complex built for the previous dam, 15A kilometers downstream.
But I'd hit pay dirt: the fact that I might hear Rebanda's mea culpa was more than Ia€™d hoped for.
Sebastian elected to wait outside and embarked on Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth as I knocked at the locked door. Still, I complimented her on her English, sympathized with them for having to put up with this hierarchical bother, and kept spinning innocuous questions, while she kept waiting for me to go. When Rebanda's secretary came out again, to see if she could get either me a€“ or her boss - to give up as the wait grew embarrassingly long, I asked her what the round silos with tipped roofs on the hills had been used for.
But the next time, after they had gotten used to my rounds, I stepped inside and admired a sequence of two eight-foot-tall maps full of pins. Something was wrong: in addition to the constellations of pins extending for 17 kilometers upstream from the construction site, there were dozens downstream, along the reservoir behind the dam just outside!
Finally, so many hours had passed, and she'd informed the doctor so many times that I was still hanging around, that I was forced by the sheer need for new scenery to vary my route, and drifted through empty rooms.
The only thing the reports agreed on was that Rebanda had somehow discovered the flooded portion of Canada do Inferno by the previous autumn22 a€“ asking the EDP to lower the Pocinho reservoir by just 3 meters in November 1994 so he could study the engravings.23 a€?They told me it was too expensive,a€? Rebanda had told the New York Times.
So who had shot these photographs, which looked like they had been taken when the sites were dry vegetated hillsides instead of among the muck and bare banks below a fallen waterline? I realized that the photos of the dry sites might have been taken before the Pocinho Dam, which had flooded them, had even been completed a€“ over 12 years before! UNESCO had suggested Clottes, who, in an uncanny convergence of good and bad karma, was taken on a whirlwind tour of the tip of the iceberg at Canada do Inferno, then immediately whisked to a press conference in Vila Nova do Foz CA?a on Dec 16th, 199428 a€“ just two days before the discovery of the Chauvet Cave that catapulted him, as its first interpreter and protector, from the summit of the French archaeological establishment to world fame. But Clottesa€™ judgement was mixed, confirming that the art could be dated on stylistic grounds to the early Solutrean or even late Gravettian of twenty to twenty-four thousand years ago while suggesting that flooding the valley might be the best way of protecting it, since Portugal was ill-equipped to protect such widely dispersed panels from vandals!29 a€?There is no easy solution,a€? he told a reporter.
What the press forgot to emphasize with quite as much fervor was the fact that Clottes had prefaced his Solomonic verdict by saying, a€?Whatever happens, the engravings must be preserved and not be damaged.a€? Clottes might have felt that he could safely pass the buck because no art conservationist could honestly guarantee the engravingsa€™ fate once they were subjected to currents carrying abrasives, burial under the petrifying alluvia that accumulates behind dams,33 and the worlda€™s most destructive solvent a€“ water, which would dissolve pigments and destabilize rock that had proven its resistance to aerial conditions over tens of millennia.
While chatting up the gaunt fellow traveller at the construction site, Ia€™d pretended to make small talk by asking engineering questions, including one about the depth of the sediment that had accumulated behind the Pocinho dam. The irony of it was that Clottesa€™ efforts to be honest without irritating his hosts had been the spark that the French diplomats had dreaded. Despite the fact that the great prehistoriana€™s reputation would remain largely intact, and with good reason, in much of the rest of the world,34 the Portuguese intelligentsia began to shun him.
A€ propos of CA?a, two Portuguese rock art researchers, who couldna€™t stomach Clottes after his press conference, ironically echoed him by telling me, confidentially, that flooding the engravings could still be a blessing since it would save them from graffiti and those boogeymen of archaeologistsa€™ dreams, prowling collectors. My guess is that he was so beleaguered by advisers that he was just trying to get out of an awkward situation as quickly, judiciously and diplomatically as possible.
I mentioned to Rebanda that I had just attended the lecture on Chauvet, that I even had a videotape of it right there in my camera. So it's true, I thought, drowning the site was Rebanda's solution to the problem of ownership of photographic rights. But then, what about Rebanda's self-serving talk of photo credits, not to mention the engravings already submerged by the dam at the doorstep a€“ and his belief that the engravings were doomed to be flooded? Strangely enough, I could again see it being both ways, since the roots of tragedy are self-deception and entwined motives. He must have realized that I was rooting for him to pull himself out of his tailspin, because suddenly he decided. Upon leaving, Sebastian asked to check out the Pocinho dam, so I drove round an interchange into an empty parking lot with planters. As the sun slanted over the plateau into the wilderness of the CA?a valley, I decided to sneak into a side-valley to the north of our campsite that Rebanda's map had cluttered with pins. Then, after breaching a wall of rushes, we broke to the reservoir's edge - and were met by a horned skull stuck on a stake. Suddenly, I remembered what Rebanda had said about the engravings' association with witchcraft. Being obstinate (or perhaps because of the prehistoric setting), I started whittling stone, knapping a microlithic surgeon's kit, and then bent single-mindedly to my task - failing till I was disgusted with myself and worried for my victim (which I had bizarrely associated with Rebanda).
This time there were two guards behind an overhanging military fence crested by barbed wire.
The guard who beckoned us in was rearing a guard-dog puppy, which scampered around, tumbling over ledges and using its chin to lever itself over steps.
Our guide was a decent young man who couldn't help feeling uneasy blocking access to these bold masterpieces at the source of all our arts. Still, these guards were actually tame as the locals poured down to catch a glimpse of the animals through the fence.
After he'd hastened to take up his time-clock again, I wandered if there might not be even more testimonials of man's attraction to this classical Eden with its islets and fords in the flowery river, and browsed through a plowed orchard, along a contour which I judged would have been the valley floor half a million years ago. We knew the next dawn would be our last, so we broke camp in blue light to explore the teeming side-valley beyond the first auroch. Not Portugal's - OURS - because this art is so old, despite its elegance, that we share the blood and genius of those distant ancestors who awoke to the universe, whether our cavalcade of ancestors migrated around the Old World or came across the Bering Straits 14,000 years ago. Footnotes have been added to the internet version of the article to provide historical perspective and more detail about sources than the versions that were published & distributed in 1995.
1 The three discoverers of the Chauvet Cave were Eliette Brunel Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, and Jean-Marie Chauvet.
2 The IPPAR announced the existence of the valleya€™s engravings on November 19, 1994 but a video was made of them in 1993. 10 Bahn 1995 for a re-capitulation of the same accusations against the IPPAR & Rebanda. 33 Bednarik & Jaffe have been the most outspoken spokesmen about delusions concerning the protective qualities of reservoirs a€“ which not only inundate art panels with water but deep alluvial deposits that make their later recovery dangerous and impractical.
34 Interestingly, a few years after this appeal was written, Clottes came under fierce attack and even ridicule by many representatives of the French intelligentsia, including some of the countrya€™s most prominent prehistorians, after he and David Lewis-Williams published a€?The Shamans of Prehistory: Trance and magic in the painted cavesa€? in 1996. As soon as their results indicating that the art might be only 3,000 to 6,500 years old (if not even younger) were announced a€“ which actually made the engravings even more astonishing, potentially rewriting the history of rock art or even making Portugal the last bastion of the Paleolithic tradition a€“ the most important Portuguese right-wing weekly screamed that the direct-dating results proved that stylistic daters like Clottes had perpetrated a a€?FRAUDa€? (O Independente, 7 July 1995).
It should also be noted that the individuals who participated in the debate were often somewhat unwittingly drawn into playing secondary or tertiary roles in a struggle between the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Industry.
40 In November 1995 - six months after this call-toa€“arms was published and circulated to Prehistoric Art Emergencya€™s volunteers (who Ia€™m glad to report included a young actor, Yann Montelle, who went on to earn a doctorate in prehistory) - a book edited by Jorge called a€?Dossier CA?aa€? appeared with 20 contributions by him or his wife. 44 After writing this article in May 1995, it occurred to me that I might have missed one of the main reasons for eliminating Rebanda from Portugala€™s archaeological milieu a€“ the fact that he was so effective at finding rock art that drew international attention, first to Mazouco, then to CA?a. 49 When I wrote the article, I assumed that the two young men were Rebandaa€™s subordinates and referred to them as a€?draftsmena€?. 50 After initially denigrating both the art and the idea of extracting it, the EDP later adopted the idea as one of its three strategies for overcoming opposition to the dam project. Currency, will receive a copy of PILGRIMS' SONGS, together with THE CIRCULAR, for one year from Dec. Symbols of the occult, used by philosophical or theosophical traditions during the past centuries. The alchemists` practical method evolved to be the basics of modern day chemistry, as they created analysis, identification and substance separation techniques, which led to the creation of the first utensils form used even in modern labs.
Alchemists` most important goals were to transform common metals to gold or silver and to create the elixir of life (Panacea), which would heal all the illnesses and prolong lifespan infinitely. Alchemy was often banned by the regimes in those times so the alchemists were force to use cryptography and “symbols” instead of words. In his essay «The Psychology of the Transference» that is a research of the alchemical symbolism, he recognizes Alchemy as "the submission of a deep knowledge of love`s psychological mechanism through the process of harmonizing all the opposites, a process that is emotional, mental, normal and paranormal". The four elements, are connected to the Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Material level of the human existence.
It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with a multitude of deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces and elements of nature. The details of religious belief changed over time as the importance of particular gods rose and declined, and their intricate relationships shifted. Indeed, their language possessed no single term corresponding to the modern European concept of religion. Instead, these depictions gave recognizable forms to the abstract deities by using symbolic imagery to indicate each god's role in nature.
However, these associations changed over time, and they did not necessarily mean that the god associated with a place had originated there. This process was a recognition of the presence of one god "in" another when the second god took on a role belonging to the first.
In particular, this is true of a few gods who, at various times in history, rose to supreme importance in Egyptian religion. Instances in Egyptian literature where "god" is mentioned without reference to any specific deity would seem to give this view added weight. He therefore argued that, while some individuals may have henotheistically chosen one god to worship, Egyptian religion as a whole had no notion of a divine being beyond the immediate multitude of deities. This is often seen as the first instance of true monotheism in history, although the details of Atenist theology are still unclear.
In the 14th century BC Atenism was Egypt's state religion for around 20 years, before subsequent rulers returned to the traditional gods and the Pharaohs associated with Atenism were erased from Egyptian records. During the reign of Thutmosis IV it was identified as a distinct solar god, and his son Amenhotep III established and promoted a separate cult for the Aten.
To emphasize the change, Aten's name was written in the cartouche form normally reserved for Pharaohs, an innovation of Atenism. Evidence of this appears on three of the boundary stelae used to mark the boundaries of this new capital. The word for `gods' (plural) was proscribed, and inscriptions have been found in which even the hieroglyph of the word for "mother" has been excised and re-written in alphabetic signs, because it had the same sound in ancient Egyptian as the sound of name of the Theban goddess Mut.
It is a measure both of Pharaoh's great power, and of the extraordinary circumstances of the time that an equally shocking tone and dramatic transformation was achieved even temporarily, for about twenty years. Certainly, Amenhotep III's construction of over 700 statues to the god of destruction, Set, suggests Atenism as being more than merely the personal whim of Akhenaten, but at least in part a desperate measure on the part of a Pharaoh responsible for the well-being of his kingdom, above all by ensuring a good relationship with the gods. For fifteen centuries the Egyptians had worshiped an extended family of gods and goddesses, each of which had its own elaborate system of priests, temples, shrines and rituals. Akhenaten's reforms cut away both the philosophical and economic bases of priestly power, abolishing the cults of all other deities, and with them the large and lucrative industry of sacrifices and tributes that the priests controlled. Aten is the name given to the solar disc, whereas the full title of Akhenaten's god was Ra-Horus, who rejoices in the horizon in his name of the light which is in the sun disc. He even staged the ritual regicide of Amun, and ordered the defacing of Amun's temples throughout Egypt. The radicalisation of Year 9 (including spelling Aten phonetically instead of using the rayed solar disc) may be due to a determination on the part of Akhenaten to enforce a probable misconception among the common people that Aten was really a type of sun god like Ra. Significantly, and for the only time in the history of Egyptian royal art, Akhenaten's family was depicted in a decidedly naturalistic manner, and they are clearly shown displaying affection for each other.
Unusually for new-kingdom art the Pharaoh and his Great Royal Wife are depicted as approximately equal in size, which together with Nefertiti's image used to decorate the lesser Aten temple at Amarna may suggest she also had a prominent official role in Aten worship. Other leading figures of the Amarna period, both royal and otherwise, are also shown with some of these features, suggesting a possible religious connotation, especially as some sources suggest that private representations of Akhenaten, as opposed to official art, show him as quite normal.
Believed to have been thrown away by scribes after being transferred to papyrus, the letters comprise a priceless cache of incoming clay message tablets sent from imperial outposts and foreign allies.
Tutankhaten, who succeeded him at age 8 (with Akhenaten's old vizier, Ay, as regent) changed his name to Tutankhamun in year 3 of his reign (1348 BC or 1331 BC) and abandoned Akhetaten, the city falling into ruin. For example, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud assumed Akhenaten to be the pioneer of monotheistic religion and Moses as Akhenaten's follower in his book Moses and Monotheism. It had existed since the creation of the world, and without it the world would lose its cohesion. Throughout the linear passage of time, a cyclical pattern recurred, in which Ma'at was renewed by periodic events which echoed the original creation. One was the gods; another was the spirits of deceased humans, who existed in the divine realm and possessed many of the gods' abilities. He was identified directly with Horus, who represented kingship itself, and he was seen as the son of Ra, who ruled and regulated nature as the pharaoh ruled and regulated society. They believed that humans possessed a ka, or life-force, which left the body at the point of death.


The nobles received tombs and the resources for their upkeep as gifts from the king, and their ability to enter the afterlife was believed to be dependent on these royal favors. 2181-2055 BC), the Egyptians gradually came to believe that possession of a ba and the possibility of a paradisiacal afterlife extended to everyone. Often the dead were said to dwell in the realm of Osiris, a lush and pleasant land in the underworld. The details of the events they recounted could change to convey different symbolic perspectives on the mysterious divine events they described, so many myths exist in different and conflicting versions. According to these stories, the world emerged as a dry space in the primordial ocean of chaos.
It tells of the divine ruler Osiris, who was murdered by his jealous brother Set, a god often associated with chaos. In the course of this journey, Ra met with Osiris, who again acted as an agent of regeneration, so that his life was renewed. Hymns and prayers follow a similar structure and are distinguished mainly by the purposes they serve.
They tend to speak more explicitly about fundamental theology than other Egyptian religious writings, and became particularly important in the New Kingdom, a period of particularly active theological discourse.
In pharaonic times many of its symbols, such as the sphinx and winged solar disk, spread widely across the Mediterranean and Near East, as did some of its deities, such as Bes. Egyptian beliefs also influenced or gave rise to several esoteric belief systems developed by Greeks and Romans who saw Egypt as a source of mystic wisdom. As a result of it, Westerners began to study Egyptian beliefs firsthand, and Egyptian religious motifs were adopted into Western art.
Not only were frescoes of rhinos, horses and lions over 30,000 years old found in a cave in the Ardeche on Dec. Although theya€™re probably right, ita€™s worth noting that these same specialists used similar criteria to ascribe the animals of Chauvet to the same period - until carbon 14 results pushed their age back over 10,000 years, shattering the notion that prehistoric art had evolved linearly, like technologies.
In France, the Ministry of Culture placed its new treasure under the most draconian protection, despite the fact that the country already has the lion's share of Paleolithic art. Standing right in front of some of the most spectacular engravings, the Secretary of State for Culture dismissed them as being nothing more than a€?childrena€™s doodlesa€? a€“ whereupon the students from Foz CA?aa€™s high school turned the official into a laughing-stock by presenting him with a schist slab covered with their own scribblings4. It's now or never, the author of the following article decided in April 1995, as he set out to evaluate the engravings, find out the truth, and propose solutions.
My 13-year old son and I had flown to Porto in Portugal and driven far up the Douro valley into the northeastern mountains, prepared to maneuver around obstructions whether by negotiation or hiking through the back door. Still, here was our first encounter with the powers that be, so I took this opportunity to probe, and get a first step up the hierarchical ladder. So I explained how Sebastian and I had come so far to see the Paleolithic glories that Portugal would be displaying with pride, spoke of credentials, and placed us (and our pen) in his hands. Still, we had our bearings, and drove off into the late afternoon to penetrate the heart of the forbidden zone. We were getting closer, very close now, and could spy loops of a trail among the folds of a distant ridge. And here too was the arena where one of the greatest feuds between discoverers and custodians of the past had exploded since the conflict between Othniel Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope over the fossils of extinct giants in Sioux territory during Custer's battles. With swifts swirling in up-drafts around our heads, we scrambled and picked our way among sheer precipices and ledges.
Its tight horseshoe of cliffs and rubble made the perfect hiding place for our car and tent from the gray guards roaming the surrounding crests with binoculars. Sebastian snuggled tighter into his sleeping bag, so I set out to reconnoiter alone, systematically working quadrants and contours between our quarry at Fariseu and Piscos brook.
Somewhere among the jumble of a thousand rock faces would be an ancient image - perhaps masked by lichen or so faint one had to trace its parts before seeing it whole. The numbed waters suddenly spangled upstream with glitter and so many flowery white tresses of water plants that the currents looked like sudsy pastures. After all the noisy demonstrations against the dam in Lisbon, how were they to know how much clout a nosy prehistorian might have? Whatever was going to happen to him afterwards in the backwater of Portuguese archaeology had surely been inconsequential, since experience proved that nobody made much fuss over sites that were out-of-sight and out-of-mind - especially with archaeologists beholding to dam-builders and political appointees for access and records. According to the insinuations, he could have continued his documentation right up to the headwaters as his masters worked their way upstream step by step. I sensed that this crowd felt their doctor deserved to be the one to tell fellow archaeologists that they might as well ask to visit Atlantis. Sure enough, there was the 12 year-old Pocinho dam sweeping the valley with a clean curtain.14 But the silos of this former construction site's cement plant were speckled with rust, the ranks of its offices and dormitories were deserted and almost every window was broken. Fortunately, Sebastian was becoming ever more engrossed in Verne's book, spelunking towards the planet's core, so I began to gravitate down halls for exercise and companionship, coming to the door of the room where the secretary was braiding the blind's cord while two laconic draftsmen labored over tracings of horses, ibexes and aurochs.
It has been insinuated that Rebanda probably discovered Rock 1 at Canada do Inferno as early as November 1991.18 In Dec. So, quixotically, he had proposed building a dry-dock around the outcropping, and, failing that, underwater exploration. If so, the power utility may have known of incredibly rich sites years before the first blueprint for the new dam!
Clottes was the worlda€™s reigning prehistorian a€“ the man who had risen to the pinnacle of the French archaeological establishment and held the only keys to the holy grail of art caves - the unbelievably strong and ancient Grotte Chauvet.
After inspecting the 15% of the art that remained above water at the site in the rising dama€™s shadow, because the EDP had hardly felt it necessary to lower the water for the visit of the foreigner sent by the now antagonistic IPPAR, Clottes stepped before a highly polarized press corps. The dam-builders and their government backers felt vindicated while much of Portuguese public was crestfallen or furious.
The dam had become a poisonous political issue in a national election with the President and his fellow Socialists attacking the center-right Prime Minister for its willingness to sacrifice both the nationa€™s patrimony and vineyards to a flaky building scheme. As if the owners of villas built around the new lake would really allow it to be drained 100 meters to its bottom - where almost all of the known panels would soon be drowned a€“ once every decade! Suddenly, the Portuguese public felt that the dam-builders were not only destroying the nationa€™s most ancient claim to world grandeur and civilization, but that they were in league with a man who would never have been so cavalier with Paleolithic masterpieces in his own country! When I later asked Portuguese archaeologists if they were going to attend an up-coming conference organized by Clottes, they recoiled.
First, because Clottesa€™ retinue of hosts, diplomats and reporters was rushing him and putting him in a bind a€“ even if his stature, pride, and role as UNESCOa€™s expert on rock art had led him into it. They even echoed his faith in getting dam operators to regularly empty the vast lake a€“ despite the glaring evidence of the EDPa€™s behavior at CA?a itself. No sooner had Clottes triggered a public outcry, than he began to explain away his tepid defense of the CA?aa€™s importance by saying that he had not been shown enough art to form a true idea of the valleya€™s richness.35 But the truth is, he was shown Rebandaa€™s trove of drawings from submerged sections and sites upstream36 and could have been more demanding.
After all it was a lot of money, the government was inflexible, the controversy had become a campaign issue a€“ which meant that his advice would seem like foreign meddling - and the elections were still far off. When, in fact, the long-term rights for the cave in France would belong to its Ministry of Culture a€“ which was already attacking its discoverer, Chauvet, for the pittance hea€™d received for his pictures.
But I could hardly hold my tongue: why on earth had he invited people from this caste of academics back into his life - and the valley - when at least one of them had apparently abused him?
The picture was compelling: SimAµes and her husband angelically insisting that the world must be told, while the hireling screamed demonically over the fire, accusing university archaeologists of trying to hog the credit yet again. If Rebanda had known SimAµes and Jaffe were going to paint him into a corner, wouldn't he have raced for the exit? Both Rebanda and SimAµes de Abreu could have been traitors and saviors at once, and as long as I was with this archaeologist, I felt bound to encourage the savior in him. It must have seemed like an insult to him after all his efforts, so with an anarchic gesture, he announced, what the hell, he'd photocopy their fax when it came, so we could enter a second.
Huge black derricks hulked atop the dam beside a row of gate-lifting pistons that looked like Big Berthas.
We bagged the warning or omen, caught and released a giant water beetle - the kind that injects deliquescing enzymes into living frogs, then sucks out their juice - and worked our way along what was actually the upper tier of a disappearing cliff.
When art panels are located in the CA?aa€™s side valleys, they are apparently concentrated on northern slopes.
I was a willing guide as we skewered corn kernels on hooks, lashed lines around a log and threw the lethal leashes into the dark. They were a hundred yards apart, making perpetual rounds as they kept time clocks happy by cranking them every few paces with keys chained to the fence. It was probably his first job after military service, but he was intelligent enough to realize that hea€™d been hired as a pawn in a vast conspiracy to keep Portugal's greatest cultural wonders out of sight and out of mind, till they could be obliterated. One, because any plan to remove the friezes not only meant assigning a value to them, but keeping the controversy alive.
The mountainous dirt road forked, meandered and even skirted an imposing castle,51 but several classes of children were making the long dusty pilgrimage on foot while carloads of adults in their Sunday best made the excursion to see the only engravings to have escaped the censors - either because the site at Penascosa was so far from Lima Montiero's spyglass or because the valley was gentler here and had always been farmed.
I hadn't passed the first olive tree when I happened upon a well-knapped hand-axe, and then another! On-line commentary entitled a€?Some corrections about the CA?a petroglyphsa€? in TRACCE no. While Chauveta€™s name was given to the cave itself, the names of his co-discoverers were given to two of its large chambers.
Mila SimAµes de Abreu and Ludwig Jaffe were the founders of the APAAR (AssociaA§ao Portuguesa de Arte e Arqueologia Rupestre), which has been a member of IFRAO (International Federation of Rock Art Organisations) since Sept. In an on-line commentary, Jaffe denounced what he perceived as a continuation of the scandal under new management: a€?In December 1994 IPPAR passed the responsibility for the rock art in the Coa valley to Mario Varela Gomes and Antonio Martinho Baptista. Their critics often subscribe to the doctrine that modern ethnographic evidence cannot be used to interpret ancient cultures. Although Bednarik was one of the earliest crusaders for CA?a - calling for the EDP to stop building the dam in Nov.
The leftist press and Portuguese archaeological milieu reacted with just as much reflection, ignoring both Bednarika€™s qualifiers and his pioneering role in organizing the world campaign to fight for the whole valleya€™s salvation (see Dossier CA?a p. Of the 66 contributions written by individuals, not one is by Nelson Rebanda, whose ghost a€“ to anyone interested in intellectual property a€“ haunts every line. After the CA?a scandal served its purpose as an electoral issue that helped the Socialists to win power, the new government kept its campaign promise by protecting the CA?a Valley but used the goodwill engendered by the decision to blunt criticism while flooding other huge assemblages of rock art.
3; Catherine Vincent, writing in Le Monde on March 11, 1995, goes into much more detail about one particular vineyard, Ervamoira, that would have been lost, along with its exceptional Port wine. The first was to prove that the engravings were not Paleolithic a€“ an effort that entrapped researchers who wanted to apply experimental direct-dating techniques. TattooBox makes a short reference to the Alchemy tradition including everything that could help you decide if alchemy tattoos would fit your personality. Transforming metals to silver or gold, could be achieved by the use of a catalyst to transmute the metals, a universal dissolver that would reset all complex matter back to the basic substance that come from, the symbolic Gold or the Pure Catholic Matter.
The myths about these gods were meant to explain the origins and behavior of the forces they represented. He acted as the intermediary between his people and the gods, and was obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain order in the universe.
At various times certain gods became preeminent over the others, including the sun god Ra, the creator god Amun, and the mother goddess Isis. Ancient Egyptian religion was not a monolithic institution, but consisted of a vast and varying set of beliefs and practices, linked by their common focus on the interaction between the world of humans and the world of the divine. The Egyptians believed in a pantheon of gods, which were involved in all aspects of nature and human society. Thus, for example, the funerary god Anubis was portrayed as a jackal, a creature whose scavenging habits threatened the preservation of the body, in an effort to counter this threat and employ it for protection.
Some groups of deities were of indeterminate size, and were linked by their similar functions. These links between deities were fluid, and did not represent the permanent merging of two gods into one; therefore, some gods could develop multiple syncretic connections. The exclusion of all but one god was a radical departure from Egyptian tradition and some see Akhenaten as a practitioner of monolatry rather than monotheism, as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshipping any but the Aten. Although there are indications that the Aten was becoming slightly more important in the eighteenth dynasty period - notably Amenhotep III's naming of his royal barge as Spirit of the Aten - it was Amenhotep IV who introduced the Atenist revolution, in a series of steps culminating in the official installment of the Aten as Egypt's sole god.
This religious reformation appears to coincide with the proclamation of a Sed festival, a sort of royal jubilee intended to reinforce the Pharaoh's divine powers of kingship. At this time, Amenhotep IV officially changed his name to Akhenaten (Agreeable to Aten) as evidence of his new worship. In addition to constructing a new capital in honor of Aten, Akhenaten also oversaw the construction of some of the most massive temple complexes in ancient Egypt, including one at Karnak and one at Thebes, close to the old temple of Amun. Aten was addressed by Akhenaten in prayers, such as the Great Hymn to the Aten: "O Sole God beside whom there is none". Aten's name is also written differently after Year 9, to emphasize the radicalism of the new regime. A key feature of these cults was the veneration of images and statues of the gods, which were worshipped in the dark confines of the temples. Key features of Atenism included a ban on idols and other images of the Aten, with the exception of a rayed solar disc, in which the rays (commonly depicted ending in hands) appear to represent the unseen spirit of Aten. Instead, the idea was reinforced that such representations were representations above all of concepts - of Aten's universal presence - not of physical beings or things. However, according to some controversial theories[who?], the strikingly unusual representations may have been due to non-religious factors - Akhenaten may actually been a woman masquerading as a man, which had been known to happen in Egyptian politics at least once before, or he may have had some intersex condition.
The letters suggest that Akhenaten was obsessed with his new religion, and that his neglect of matters of state was causing disorder across the massive Egyptian empire.
In Egyptian belief, Ma'at was constantly under threat from the forces of disorder, so all of society was required to maintain it. The Egyptians sought to maintain Ma'at in the cosmos by sustaining the gods through offerings and by performing rituals which staved off disorder and perpetuated the cycles of nature. Among these events were the annual Nile flood and the succession from one king to another, but the most important was the daily journey of the sun god Ra.
Beneath the earth lay a parallel underworld and undersky, and beyond the skies lay the infinite expanse of Nu, the chaos that had existed before creation. Living humans were the third category, and the most important among them was the pharaoh, who bridged the human and divine realms. Therefore, although the Egyptians recognized that the pharaoh was human and subject to human weakness, they simultaneously viewed him as a god, because the divine power of kingship was incarnate in him. In life, the ka received its sustenance from food and drink, so it was believed that, to endure after death, the ka must continue to receive offerings of food, whose spiritual essence it could still consume.
In early times the deceased pharaoh was believed to ascend to the sky and dwell among the stars. In the fully developed afterlife beliefs of the New Kingdom, the soul had to avoid a variety of supernatural dangers in the Duat, before undergoing a final judgment known as the "Weighing of the Heart".
The solar vision of the afterlife, in which the deceased soul traveled with Ra on his daily journey, was still primarily associated with royalty, but could extend to other people as well.
Finally, Greeks and Romans such as Plutarch recorded some of the extant myths late in Egyptian history. Because the sun is essential to life on earth, the first rising of Ra marked the moment of this emergence.
Set's association with chaos, and the identification of Osiris and Horus as the rightful rulers, provided a rationale for pharaonic succession and portrayed the pharaohs as the upholders of order.
Prayers follow the same general pattern as hymns, but address the relevant god in a more personal way, asking for blessings, help, or forgiveness for wrongdoing. Hermeticism, for instance, derived from the tradition of secret magical knowledge associated with Thoth.
18th1, but Europea€™s biggest open-air gallery of Paleolithic animals was reported just a month earlier in the CA?a Valley of northeastern Portugal2. Regardless of how old the CA?aa€™s art turns out to be, it is unique in its richness above ground and astonishing in its illustrations of movement - with animals tossing their heads with the same stop-action dynamism found at Chauvet and only millennia later in photography and Futurist painting. The Chauvet Cavea€™s prehistoric bestiary was proudly splashed across magazines around the world. Soon, the guard turned into a regular lad, wrote down the chief engineer's name and pointed beyond the ramp-laced moonscape - into the wilderness. In this walled garden, the conflicting passions of archaeologists had exploded around a campfire, set a president and prime minister against each other, and cowed the emissaries of UNESCO. Lizards skidded into fissures, a rusty blade wedged in a nook beside a sliver of cliff garden spoke of an emigrant who had never returned, but the walls seemed barren. Over and over again, the scene seemed set, the rock stretched, but its lines were just fractals.
I yanked myself up to a platform less than a step wide and a ten-foot long cow - an auroch! By holding the animal's form and movement vividly in mind, the maker had poured himself into its body and experienced a power beyond abstraction, beyond even tool-making, to thrill to the new power of passing through the looking-glass into another being. A stream, running pure as its springs over crisp cresses between alternating bull rushes and crags, almost made it to the river unaltered, but met it just below the threshold and sank into an estuary. We had arrived at Pandemonium and would try to insinuate ourselves into an audience with the Chief Engineer himself. Only one was so spotless and redolent of perks, though, with its rolled lawn incongruous in the desert, that we knew right where to head among forking roads. I was hardly surprised when these well-fed pros passed the buck to the only gaunt and partially toothless fellow traveler among them. So they decided to play it safe by dumping me on their pet nemesis, the organizationa€™s own archaeological a€?hirelinga€?, Dr. He could have added to his hoard of exclusive photos and measurements, imposed interpretations, and generally lorded it over his peers - for who could have naysayed him with his treasures locked a hundred meters deep in so many great watery safes?10 And to think that all the dam-builders' pet archaeologist and his accommodating superiors at the Portuguese Institute for Architectural and Archaeological Heritage (IPPAR)11 in Lisbon - to whom Rebanda had reported his discoveries at least twice12 - had had to do to pull off this economically patriotic (not to say mutually beneficial) stunt was keep their mouths shut!
After having suffered at the hands of his mentor, Professor Jorge, why had Rebanda put himself at the mercy of two similar academics and representatives of an international body to boot - Mila SimAµes de Abreu and her archaeologist husband, Ludwig Jaffe, who represented the International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO)? At least such nuisances would keep him from getting up to more mischief by turning up new discoveries.
But, finally, a secretary answered my summons and let me into a vestibule empty except for a display of postcard-sized photographs of some of the engravings, and a cartoon caricaturing the scandal - which I reckoned had been knowingly posted to co-opt criticism. I couldn't quite make out the man's features through the crack, but it was obvious he was gushing recriminations - and no wonder: the entire archaeological profession had ganged up on the pariah.
We all knew I had crossed a threshold, but, after all, I had paid my dues, and in any case, I padded off to the foyer again.
Yet they'd prattled to the press that they had found the art a year ago, and then more like two years ago, and now, word had it, a€?onlya€? three years ago25 - when it was always somehow too late to stop the process leading up to construction, which had only started in September a€™94.26 The gall! Instantly, I whipped out paper and scribbled the fastest copy of the main map that my hand could draw. After SimAµes de Abreu and Jaffe had unleashed the scandal by revealing the conspiracy to flood Europea€™s richest assemblage of open-air Paleolithic art, the IPPAR and Portuguese Ministry of Culture had scrambled to get their own expert witness a€“ and, in a further twist, had asked UNESCO to recommend an expert to challenge the power companya€™s growing efforts to prove the art wasna€™t Paleolithic but recent27 a€“ in which case, the EDP seemed to think that the public would drop the subject as being the relatively recent work of peasants drawing their cows. For all their heightened sensitivity to having CA?aa€™s fate evaluated by a foreigner, the Portuguese press viewed Clottes as a referee and expected a verdict. Then, as fate would have it, Clottes was back in the headlines within the week, announcing drastic measures to protect Francea€™s new crown jewel, Chauvet. And as if anyone could even find new art during the two weeks a lake might be emptied (every hundred years) while everything was coated with algae and grime! Opposition editorialists had a field day with Clottesa€™ apparent hypocrisy and dismissiveness towards Portugal - and demonstrators flooded the streets.
Two, because people are often driven to produce their greatest work and worst mistakes by similar drives.
Rebanda was even fooling himself on this score, I thought - after all, the Foz CA?a photographs would probably end up belonging to Portugala€™s own ministry or even the EDP. Scientists - like lawyers - ply an adversarial trade, but the chance to put Portugal into the archaeological heavens a€“ and to boost their own reputations with it - had given many researchers more ulterior motives than usual.
Personally, I couldn't see anybody bedding down for the night and traipsing out the next morning with people who had announced that they were going to expose him. In essence, my heart a€“ if not my mind - had taken his side for the moment; he was the underdog, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and I was concerned that he might even attempt suicide.
If I didn't mind coming back at 9 the next morning, he apologized, the approval should be there.
But basically the dam was a streamlined machine without much need for local intervention or maintenance. My unequivocal certification of their global importance only made him uneasier, as he didn't know whether to feel flattered or upset. We peered into a dovecot, a squat white tower lined inside with empty compartments like a city after a plague.
Suddenly, a deeply hammered auroch on the rock stood out boldly as a road sign - alerting us to an entire herd. The geology, erosion, & silica skins protecting engravings all seem similar on both slopes, so I theorize that this positioning is not simply a taphonomic illusion created by the disappearance of engravings on the southern slopes. I wasn't expecting anything when I ambled down at dawn, but there it was: a big mound under the bank!
From what I could tell, even his draftsmen had decided to take the day off 49, once they realized the coast was clear.
By God, I thought, if the flooders don't save them, I hope the townspeople storm the valley!
If the guards hadn't been under strict orders not to sell admissions, they'd have made a killing; but then any financial association with the art is anathema to the dammers: the next thing they knew, they'd have a revolt on their hands! And like the first guard, when he realized that I had somehow gotten authorization despite my evident opposition to the reservoir, he let out his pent-up indignation - for we were insiders. As we passed the threshold between the deadened depths and virgin current with its billowing water-foliage, we had to skirt and climb over a sheer wall blocking the side-valleya€™s entrance.


The intertwined couple, spanning the length of a single real horse, was still necking in Eden after twenty millennia.
Rock Art and the CA?a Valley Archaeological Park: A case study in the preservation of Portugal's prehistoric parietal heritage.
Although it is true that one must be extremely circumspect about doing so, such evidence often opens new perspectives that have more in common with the subsistence systems of ancient cultures than does our own, and the two authors showed considerable originality and courage in exploring it.
1994 - most Portuguese archaeologists with access to the CA?a sites now shun him as thoroughly as they do Clottes and Rebanda. 539, for a resolution, written in defense of CA?a, by Bednarik, in a book filled with vitriole against him). These retractions confirmed that some of ZilhA?oa€™s criticisms of the direct dating attempts were well founded, but dona€™t necessarily reflect on other matters raised in his disputes with Bednarik and Jaffe.
In the English sections, Jorge generously credits numerous associates and generations of Portuguese prehistorians by full name, while studiously avoiding any mention of Rebanda except where it is unavoidable, and then only with his last name between brackets. The second was to make casts of panels for a museum a€“ which may have damaged some panels. The practices of Egyptian religion were efforts to provide for the gods and gain their favor. Therefore, the state dedicated enormous resources to the performance of these rituals and to the construction of the temples where they were carried out. For a brief period, in the aberrant theology promulgated by the pharaoh Akhenaten, a single god, the Aten, replaced the traditional pantheon.
The characteristics of the gods who populated the divine realm were inextricably linked to the Egyptians' understanding of the properties of the world in which they lived. Their religious practices were efforts to sustain and placate these phenomena and turn them to human advantage.
His black skin was symbolic of the color of mummified flesh and the fertile black soil that Egyptians saw as a symbol of resurrection.
Over the course of the Middle Kingdom, however, he was displaced in that role by Amun, who may have arisen elsewhere.
Allen have since asserted that the Egyptians did to some degree recognize a single divine force.
Under Akhenaten's successors Egypt reverted to its traditional religion, and Akhenaten himself came to be reviled as a heretic. Amenhotep III) neglected the other gods or attempted to promote the Aten as an exclusive deity. Traditionally held in the thirtieth year of the Pharaoh's reign, this possibly was a festival in honor of Amenhotep III, whom some Egyptologists think had a coregency with his son Amenhotep IV of two to twelve years. The Egyptian people were to worship Akhenaten; only Akhenaten and Nefertiti could worship Aten. No longer is the Aten written using the symbol of a rayed solar disc, but instead it is spelled phonetically.
New temples were constructed, in which the Aten was worshipped in the open sunlight, rather than in dark temple enclosures, as the old gods had been.
It is also suggested by Bob Brier, in his book "The Murder of Tutankhamen", that the family suffered from Marfan's syndrome, which is known to cause elongated features, and that this may explain Akhenaten's appearance.
The governors and kings of subject domains wrote to beg for gold, and also complained of being snubbed and cheated.
The priests threatened the unstable rulership of the child king and forced him to take various drastic actions which corrupted the written record of Egyptian succession and history, deleting the Amarna Revolution and Atenism. The Egyptians also believed in a place called the Duat, a mysterious region associated with death and rebirth, that may have lain in the underworld or in the sky. In this judgment, the gods compared the actions of the deceased while alive (symbolized by the heart) to Ma'at, to determine whether he or she had behaved in accordance with Ma'at. Over the course of the Middle and New Kingdoms, the notion that the akh could also travel in the world of the living, and to some degree magically affect events there, became increasingly prevalent. Different forms of the myth describe the process of creation in various ways: a transformation of the primordial god Atum into the elements that form the world, as the creative speech of the intellectual god Ptah, and as an act of the hidden power of Amun.
At the same time, Osiris' death and rebirth were related to the Egyptian agricultural cycle, in which crops grew in the wake of the Nile inundation, and provided a template for the resurrection of human souls after death.
The defeat of Apep and the meeting with Osiris ensured the rising of the sun the next morning, an event that represented rebirth and the victory of order over chaos.
Unlike the ritual papyri, these inscriptions were not intended as instructions, but were meant to symbolically perpetuate the rituals even if, in reality, people ceased to perform them. Like ritual texts, they were written on papyri and on temple walls, and they were probably recited as part of the rituals they accompany in temple inscriptions.
Such prayers are rare before the New Kingdom, indicating that in earlier periods such direct personal interaction with a deity was not believed possible, or at least was less likely to be expressed in writing. Due to continued interest in Egyptian belief, in the late 20th century several new religious groups formed based on different reconstructions of ancient Egyptian religion.
While the paintings in the French cave, which became known as the Grotte Chauvet, often have engraved contours, the Portuguese menagerie may also have been painted, but, being outdoors, their pigments have usually weathered away. As shadows welled from the valley, we turned from the scarps and trundled downwards into the cleavage, till the road turned into a path to the water through a profusion of poppies. Finally, I discerned a flock ambling down through dry brush, then a shirt flashed a white dot, and we converged within hailing distance on opposite banks. Even ideal panels on either side of a fig tree bulging titanically from a small cave were barren.
A stand of poplar trees crackled like Chinese New Year with small birds, abundant as leaves. It was a good thing we had his name, Lima Monteiro, because the Securitas guard on this side meant business.
Our compact car slid in among Mercedes and I stepped into glare, drawing cool stares from fleshy faces. My interlocutor explained that the Chief Engineer was powerless to help me, so he couldn't be bothered to give me an audience.
Of course, the stories went, the honorable witnesses had refused to become accomplices and had immediately denounced the whole plot a€“ writing open letters to the Portuguese President, Vice President and Director of IPPAR - with carbon copies for the press.13 If only his employers had known that Rebanda was so naive! She announced that it was no use disturbing the doctor, who I could see through a jarred door talking to someone over the phone with peevish vehemence. Finally, I suggested that she didn't need to keep me company while I waited for the good doctor to get off the phone. That's strange, I thought as I wandered off again, mulling over a mental photograph of the site distribution. And here were others, even closer to the construction site, at "RA?go de Vide", which had been submerged by the same old dam! Still, she caught me; whereupon I went on elaborating it, asking questions, and then padded back to the foyer again to continue my vigil. After all, the archaeologists and reporters had allowed the Tagus petrogylphs to be drowned with hardly a whimper.
Not only did the contrast with his actions in Portugal now smack of a double standard, but there was a piquant irony. With stakes this high, both parties unleashed their opinion-making machines, making hash of Clottesa€™ carefully weighed words as quickly as theya€™d vilified Rebanda. Clottesa€™ words may have been earnest, but with stakes this high and politicized they were about as reasonable as Pontius Pilatea€™s attempts to keep the peace. I prefer to think the latter, and that his only mistake was thinking that people on both sides were lucid and reflective enough to interpret his verdict correctly. In Rebanda's place, I'd have calmed down and let the traitors fall to sleep, but then I'd have snuck away - trekking fast through the dark, picking myself up when I fell, but getting out - bloody knees and all - and calling that alarm first! Furthermore, I had no doubt - whatever pacts he'd struck - that he would make up for them if only approached constructively. After we'd faxed it, I was sorry to see him having to still recall and refax, as he nudged the request repeatedly through the unyielding bureaucracy. Sebastian and I scrambled and tacked among the carious cliffs, till there was nothing left but rock overhanging the water itself. But a huge horse, leaning over the depths, was both more graceful and cryptic, for someone had wedged a rusty horseshoe into a crack between its hooves. No sooner had I chipped the thin device and steadily shoved each curve straight, than the hook slipped smoothly free.
Only Rebanda's long-suffering secretary had to keep her post and occupied herself by taking up the relay of calling and faxing. These red and gray devices were not only customized to match the guards' uniforms, but showed off the latest in high-tech materials and molding. As we wound our way down towards the reservoir among towering red cliffs, he took quiet pride in pointing out the hidden elements of scattered engravings. But then Piscos Brook ran between trees, pastures and cane-groves, with cliffs full of shelters and stone panels at each bend.
La Pintura, The Official Newsletter of the American Rock Art Research Association (Member of IFRAO) Volume 21, Number 3, Winter. In the same book, which Jorge compiled to record the campaign he was spear-heading to save CA?a a€“ a laudatory effort, if there ever was one, that made Jorge synonymous with yet another of Rebandaa€™s finds - Bednarik is repeatedly dismissed as a a€?charlatana€? (pp.
Jaffe accused the trio, who had taken over responsibility for the archaeological resources of the valley, of endangering art panels and refusing to allow qualified foreign researchers or even Dr.
Whatever the case may be, the problem of rock art conservation is still as far from resolution in Portugal as it is in most other places in the world. Individuals could also interact with the gods for their own purposes, appealing for their help through prayer or compelling them to act through magic. Yet the overall system endured, even through several periods of foreign rule, until the coming of Christianity in the early centuries AD.
This polytheistic system was very complex, as some deities were believed to exist in many different manifestations, and some had multiple mythological roles. However, this iconography was not fixed, and many of the gods could be depicted in more than one form. Other combinations linked independent deities based on the symbolic meaning of numbers in Egyptian mythology; for instance, pairs of deities usually represent the duality of opposite phenomena.
At other times it joined gods with very different natures, as when Amun, the god of hidden power, was linked with Ra, the god of the sun. In Allen's view, the notion of an underlying unity of the divine coexisted inclusively with the polytheistic tradition. In Year 7 of his reign (1346-1344 BC ) the capital was moved from Thebes to Akhetaten (near modern Amarna), though construction of the city seems to have continued for two more years. Also discovered were reports that a major plague pandemic was spreading across the ancient Near East. Temples Akhenaten had built, including the temple at Thebes, were disassembled, reused as a source of building materials and decorations for their own temples, and inscriptions to Aten defaced.
Each day, Ra traveled over the earth across the underside of the sky, and at night he passed through the Duat to be reborn at dawn.
He was key to upholding Ma'at, both by maintaining justice and harmony in human society and by sustaining the gods with temples and offerings. In this state, he was directly identified with Ra, and was also associated with Osiris, god of death and rebirth and the mythological father of Horus.
2686-2181 BC), however, he came to be more closely associated with the daily rebirth of the sun god Ra and with the underworld ruler Osiris as those deities grew more important. Regardless of these variations, the act of creation represented the initial establishment of maat and the pattern for the subsequent cycles of time. Magical texts likewise describe rituals, although these rituals were part of the spells used for specific goals in everyday life. They are known mainly from inscriptions on statues and stelae left in sacred sites as votive offerings.
All that remains, where jagged outcroppings of schist jut from brushy slopes - exposing terminal facets perfect for murals - are hauntingly sinuous outlines of deer, horses, ibexes, and wild cattle called aurochs. The first flurry of press articles had mentioned that many of the engravings were already submerged by the cofferdam holding the river back for the more monstrous wall rising downstream from it.
I sent greetings and the shepherd expostulated and gestured animatedly upstream towards towering slabs. For me, all of mankind's later accomplishments, all our later experience of good and evil only become possible after such art. The irrelevant exchange had sparked sympathy as we both waited - and waited, in similar irrelevance to someone too consumed to give us heed. I would have to go to Lisbon, and no, it wouldn't do any good for him to fax; he didn't have an iota of authority.
Despite all the insinuations about Rebanda and IPPAR, they were actually the first to try blocking the philistines with the clout of an institution as important as UNESCO. About thirty years before, Francea€™s equivalent to the EDP had taken the entire Ardeche Gorge, where the Chauvet Cave had just been found, from its entrance at Sauze to a rainbow-huge, natural arch - Vallon Pont da€™Arc, next to Chauvet - by eminent domain, to build a dam.
These conscientious people know that theya€™re barely tolerated by the forces of Mammon - scraping crumbs from the tables of vast enterprises armed with dynamite and bulldozers - and make compacts all the time with them, telling themselves, for instance, that the alluvial strata that cement plants exploit are always too tumbled to contain intact Acheulian hearths. If only he'd announced the discovery, co-opted his employers, and splashed masterpieces across magazine covers while the art's existence was still fresh, he might have won honor, fame, a very small fortune (and maybe even kept his job). Within weeks, local academics had begun signing their names to Rebandaa€™s discoveries, tracings, and interpretations while forgetting to cite him.
I'd have been the one to announce the existence of the largest gathering of open-air Paleolithic engravings in Europe to the world. Slate slabs, thoughtfully laid into a wall as steps, led down through a canopy of fig trees into a cavernous wallow between cliffs. I woke Sebastian in time to see the beast lumber over the bank and glide away, and then it was high time we checked out our other line at the doctor's office. Noon passed as we still waited together like an old couple, talking about the doctor's misery, Australian rock art, translations; whatever. The guards stiffened as Sebastian and I had the gumption to breach a forbidden zone and stride blithely forward.
There were so many warblers piping and whistling, there must have been a dozen species with overlapping territories. Botha€? - Baptista and Gomes a€“ a€?were closely involved in the rationale to submerge the rock art (to 'protect it from vandals'); in fact, on 8 November Baptista spoke of how sedimentation behind dams should protect rock arta€? - my italics. After our departure, Bednarik and three other researchers (Alan Watchman from Canada, plus Fred Phillips and Ronald Dorn from the USA), who believed that they had found ways to date rock art directly, studied some of the CA?aa€™s engravings during separate visits. 1995 that was led by Mounir Bouchenaki, the IPPAR formed a scientific committee consisting of Antonio BeltrA?n, Emmanuel Anati and Jean Clottes, who came back for a second round.
These popular religious practices were distinct from, but closely linked with, the formal rituals and institutions. It left behind numerous religious writings and monuments, along with significant influences on cultures both ancient and modern. One of the more common combinations was a family triad consisting of a father, mother, and child, who were worshipped together. The resulting god, Amun-Ra, thus united the power that lay behind all things with the greatest and most visible force in nature. The theology of the period described in particular detail Amun's presence in and rule over all things, so that he, more than any other deity, embodied the all-encompassing power of the divine. It is possible that only the Egyptian theologians fully recognized this underlying unity, but it is also possible that ordinary Egyptians identified the single divine force with a single god in particular situations.
In shifting his court from the traditional ceremonial centres Akhenaten was signaling a dramatic transformation in the focus of religious and political power.
This pandemic appears to have claimed the life of Akhenaten's main wife (Nefertiti) and several of his six daughters, which may have contributed to a declining interest on the part of Akhenaten in governing effectively. Finally, Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay were removed from the official lists of Pharaohs, which instead reported that Amenhotep III was immediately succeeded by Horemheb. Egyptian funeral rituals were intended to release the ba from the body so that it could move freely, and to rejoin it with the ka so that it could live on as an akh. Despite their mundane purpose, many of these texts also originated in temple libraries and later became disseminated among the general populace. And so, forgive me, but in comparison to these ancient windows, cathedrals seem to have anti-climatic and overwrought power.
Except for the absence now of bigger species, this was how Solutreans had experienced the world - with whistling, mooing, barking, roaring and trumpeting not just on the Serengeti, but to the frozen north! So much will go unrecorded because of all this fuss.a€? a€“ So, Rebanda is resigned to the inevitability of the flooding, I thought.
If the dam had been built, a dozen known art caves would have been flooded or affected by rising water tables. So rather than condemn Clottes, perhaps the Portuguese should simply admit his diplomacy opened the debate, even if one might wish that hea€™d been a crusader.
From Chauveta€™s pinnacle, its gatekeeper was probably right to dismiss the scratchings, which I too thought could have been the kneading of bears, but the contrast between the levels of encouragement was striking. Although they granted him the discovery of Hella€™s Canyon (in footnotes), other sites that Rebanda had already noted were soon claimed by competitors as Rebanda was effectively silenced.
And Vitor and his wife, Susanaa€? - was it my imagination or did her name stick in his craw? Their stingy hypocrisy and philistinism revolted me: they wouldn't spend a penny on protecting such discoveries, but they'd drown the world up to its headwaters to keep driving Mercedes. Goldfinches sparked into the air, a crested hoopoo flashed orange and black, and the shaggy canes were a tumult of avian chatter. Jaffe was also the IFRAO representative of the SocietA  Cooperativa Archaeologica, Le Orme della€™Uomo, Italy (Bednarik 1994).
But not before signing controversial non-disclosure agreements with the EDP, which was hoping that their techniques would yield dates so recent that they could be used to ridicule stylistic daters who had identified the engravings as Paleolithic (Baptista & Fernandes 2007, p. The popular religious tradition grew more prominent in the course of Egyptian history as the status of the pharaoh declined.
The diverse pantheon ranged from gods with vital roles in the universe to minor deities or "demons" with very limited or localized functions.
However, the pharaoh's real-life influence and prestige could differ from that depicted in official writings and depictions, and beginning in the late New Kingdom his religious importance declined drastically. However, it was also important that the body of the deceased be preserved, as the Egyptians believed that the ba returned to its body each night to receive new life, before emerging in the morning as an akh. Intermittent splashes smacked echoes off the walls, a frog croaked and some beast keened a cry we had never heard. When I asked if they could intercede on our behalf, she said one had to apply in person, in Lisbon, and have connections. In fact, paw prints indicated that we had missed cornering another feral dog or fox in its lair. Surgically, it was a nightmare: I'd have to pry its head out, keep its neck extended, wedge open its powerful beak and finally thrust the treble barbs down its throat, so as to carefully extract their burr, without snagging them again!
Finally, they agreed that one of them would walk parallel to us, down the fence-line, to let us in the distant gate.
At our feet, frogs skipped like pebbles and painted turtles rowed earnestly in tangled water blossoms - all for the taking.
Unless you and I and all of us together add our voices to those of the Portuguese citizenry trekking down for a last look, and reclaim what is OURS!
The story of the denunciation is from Bednarik (1994) and Simons in the New York Times (1994). Another important aspect of the religion was the belief in the afterlife and funerary practices. It could include gods adopted from foreign cultures, and sometimes even humans: deceased pharaohs were believed to be divine, and occasionally, distinguished commoners such as Imhotep also became deified.
One such group, the Ennead, assembled nine deities into a theological system that was involved in the mythological areas of creation, kingship, and the afterlife.
Even the Chauvet Cave, which was unknown, might have been threatened by the changing water table!
Unfortunately, Bednarik, who is one of the worlda€™s most encyclopedically informed, accomplished, and bold prehistorians, walked right into the trap.
Jorgea€™s utter dismissal of Bednarik was clearly motivated by the lattera€™s implicit condemnation of the way that Jorge had appropriated Rebandaa€™s earlier discovery at Mazouco, instigating Rebandaa€™s secrecy that was one component of the CA?a a€?cover-upa€? (Bednarik 1994, p. The Egyptians made great efforts to ensure the survival of their souls after death, providing tombs, grave goods, and offerings to preserve the bodies and spirits of the deceased. Later, Bednarik spear-headed another campaign to save a Portuguese rock-art assemblage from inundation a€“ this time behind a dam in the Guadiana Valley - and noted that a€?None of this helps the rock art of the Guadiana, condemned to inundation under billions of tonnes of lake sediment as the reservoir silts up over the next 70 yearsa€? a€“ again, my italics. Do you think I'm such a fool as to invite the man who deprived me of the credit for my first discovery, to come see my greatest wonders if it wasn't because I needed all the allies I could get; if it wasn't because I even needed the universities to help save them.
Ironically, the mandarin in Porto would come out smelling like roses for his campaign while the roles of several well-meaning prehistorians, if I may insist upon the word, were simplified so as to make them better scapegoats.
First, because his dating system, which was based on determining the degree of micro-erosion undergone by a rock face, had been developed in Australia, where climate and geological conditions are different from Portugala€™s. This odd statement flies in the face of Bednarika€™s consistent defense of both the CA?aa€™s art and other assemblages, suggesting that it was a ploy to get the EDP to allow them to test their methods.
Even though both men concluded that their observations proved that the art was no older than the Neolithic, Bednarik did not repeat the notion, when announcing his results, that a relatively recent vintage diminished the arta€™s importance or the need to protect it a€“ quite the contrary.



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