Posted by d on October 07, 2002 at 14:17:39:
It was some time back that Manuel O. mentioned the connection betwen “Sakkara” and the English word “secret”.
This curious provenance is of geat interest, in that it is a good example of the incredible longevity of Egyptian vocabulary and symbolism.
The principal god of that time was “Amen”; who, as is sometimes pointed out, is even now evoked by some when they pray.
Amen, it is said, was the “hidden” god; or, perhaps, god of what is “hidden”.
As I thought of Manuel’s mentioning of Sakkara, it reminded me of an ancient puzzle which is unsolved to this day:
What is the meaning of the “plan” (elevation, actually) of the three chambers of the Great Pyramid?
In particular, many have wondered at the fact that the rooms were empty, and devoid of ornament; if they had significance, it must be understood in some other way.
This is , certainly, a common obsession; but sometimes, the common is significant.
If one wishes to avoid the all too numerous, and cult-like, spiritual explanations which bedevil Egyptologists to this day, it might be useful to see if the arrangement of the chambers was rather a kind of logical array, symbolic of something practical, political or philosophic.
It is noted, in some treatises, that the three chambers lie in the same transervse plane, as though taken directly from, or alluding to, a “map” or diagram.
Is it reasonable to ask, given the paucity of non-esoteric explanations, whether the plan of these chambers were not a map of the Nile Delta, arranged vertcally for religious reasons?
Here is a series of evidences:
(1) The Delta, through prehistory, and with the advent of surveying, presents an uncanny symmetry where it terminates in the ports of Alexandria, Rosetta, Damietta, and Said.
An interest in the triangular area from earliest times would be natural; and we know that by the middle dynasties, the Delta was roughly divided between three or so Pharaonic clans.
(2) Taking the lowest chamber first, one may assume it was to symbolise the province of the Western Desert, perhaps the domain of Set, god of disorder. As such, the chamber would be left roughly uncarved, as it is in fact.
(3) The Middle, or “Queens Chamber” will then represent some middle area of the Delta, perhaps
(4)The Uppermost Chamber, known as the “King’s Chamber”, is thus to be understood as the Easternmost area of the Delta.
And this is a most important part of the interpretation: for, one of the most difficult
challenges among the questions about the Great Pyramid concerns the “relieving” chambers or vaults surmounting the King’s room.
It is generally held that the builders understood that the chamber needed to be protected from the huge weight of the stone- work above; however, there is some dispute, first of all, whether there is sufficient weight in the smaller upper courses of the
structure to necessitate the contruction, and secondly, whether the concept of “redistributing” the weight was understood in Khufu’s time .
But these questions are partially neutralised, in this interpretation, by the asumption that the Relieving Chambers are primarily a symbolic feature, not an engineering necessity.
Again, referring to the map of the Mediteranean coast, it is thought that a n important area of trade, in Old Kingdom Egypt, was with Palestine; the trade followed the caravan route known as the “Ways of Horus” towards the East ( in contrast to the largely barren land of Set, to the West).
A most important function of the Old Kingdom rulers, therefore , was to protect that flank of the Delta. This was accompished eventually, by a series of fortifications along the Sinai coastline.
Symbolically , then, the uppermost chamber, the “King’s Chamber” (representing the Pharaoh’s duty to the his nation’s wealth) is protected from the pressure from above (representing threats of invasion or interference) by the several stacked assemblies of
massive stones (representing the fortifications known, in later dynasties, as the “Walls of the Ruler”.)
(5) Then, there is the curious “descending passage” connecting the
entrance to the Grand Gallery to the Subterranean Chamber.
Could this represent some proposed canal, never built, though the Pharaohs are known to have built others?
(6) Finally, (for the moment): there is the secret entrance , discovered only in modern times, located more or less where it would, by this theory, represent the Nile’s “entrance” to the Delta- Sakkara, or “Secret”.....
But why would the Egyptians have chosen a map, and then rotated it through 90 degrees to provide the elevation for constructing one of the world’s most ambitious buildings?
More to say about this......
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