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Where do false doors lead in ancient Egyptian tombs, and who could pass through them

Where do false doors lead in ancient Egyptian tombs, and who could pass through them 86

These “doors” are called false because they do not lead anywhere and cannot be passed through. True, this is true only for an ordinary, living person. Because, according to the ideas of the ancient Egyptians, the false door performed very important functions, and its presence in some rooms was absolutely necessary – otherwise, you would expect trouble. Only some could walk through such a door.

Who and where started making false doors

False doors are a typical architectural element of ancient Egyptian burial structures. It is believed that they were created back in Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BC, then the tradition came – possibly brought by the builders – to Egypt.

False door, Egypt, XXV century BC
False door, Egypt, XXV century BC

Even before the construction of the first pyramids, the Egyptians built tombs called mastabas for their dead. Outside, they were truncated pyramids, and inside there were several rooms with underground burial chambers. In addition to the mummy, the embalmed body, one or more statues depicting the deceased were placed in them. 

Of course, this concerned only the rich and noble deceased – to equip the burial rooms according to all the rules required serious investments. The first false doors began to appear in Egyptian tombs in the XXVII-XXVI centuries. BC, during the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

False door in an Egyptian tomb
False door in an Egyptian tomb

Nothing in ancient Egyptian architecture appeared just by chance. Each architectural element was associated with a system of beliefs in the structure of the world, both the world of the living and the world of the dead, which, according to the ideas of the ancient Egyptians, were closely related.

Death did not become an event that puts an end to human existence, the very process of arranging tombs was dictated by the need to organize the afterlife of the deceased. In particular, faith in Ka, one of several “souls” of the deceased, played an important role in all these preparations. For him, for Ka, offerings, food and drinks were left in the tomb.

False Door Offering Plate, Giza
False Door Offering Plate, Giza

Portal between worlds

Sometimes the false door looked like a rectangular image on a flat wall, but more often it was made in the form of a niche, reminiscent of a real doorway, only closed tightly. The purpose of this “passage” was to connect the world of the living with the world of the dead. Usually the false door was located on the western wall of the cell room in which the offerings were left.

The West was not chosen for such an organization of the interior by chance – this side of the world was generally associated by the Egyptians with the land of the dead, because it was in the west that they saw the sun leaving in the evening. The false door, like the walls of the cell, was made of limestone, after which it was usually painted red. 

The cornices and lintels, as well as the “jambs” of the door, created the illusion of volume and depth, sometimes a statue was placed in a niche, which seemed to be moving through the passage. Sometimes the false door was made of wood, hung with a wicker cane mat – this was also used in real doorways in the homes of the Egyptians.

The door was decorated with hieroglyphs telling about the deceased
The door was decorated with hieroglyphs telling about the deceased

Around the “door” they left information about the deceased: hieroglyphs telling about his titles, life achievements; there were written down wishes to the one who was leaving for another world, sometimes curses appeared against those who caused harm to the deceased. In family tombs, several false doors were provided for each of the deceased. This was done, for example, at the burials of married couples. In front of the false door, a “table” was set up, a plate for offering, where it was required to bring gifts for Ka.

Appearing more than four and a half thousand years ago in Egypt, this architectural element has become a common component of ancient tombs – first mastabs, and then pyramids. The alternation of protrusions and recesses created a special effect, a play of light on the surfaces of the stone; in later structures, an ornament in the form of plants or images of the deceased appeared.

Sometimes a statue was installed in the opening of such a door.
Sometimes a statue was installed in the opening of such a door.

By the way, sometimes a separate room in the tomb, called a serdab, was provided for Ka’s “dwelling”, he moved into the statue of the deceased. Often this room did not have passages, it was closed inside the tomb, but holes were left for Ka’s eyes so that he could watch how the relatives of the deceased made offerings to him.

It was assumed that everything that happens in the tomb is watched by spirits and various hypostases of the soul of the deceased.
It was assumed that everything that happens in the tomb is watched by spirits and various hypostases of the soul of the deceased.

False doors in other cultures

This architectural tradition did not remain an exclusive feature of Egypt; it was borrowed by other ancient civilizations. False doors were found in the tombs of the island of Sardinia, the Ocieri culture left behind stone burial chambers carved into the rocks, and there, on the walls, one could see the same “passages” leading to nowhere. They, like the walls of the tomb, and indeed, like the deceased himself, were painted with ocher – the color of the Sun.

Tombs in Sardinia were called "Domus de Janas", or "House of witches"
Tombs in Sardinia were called “Domus de Janas”, or “House of witches”

The Etruscans also practiced decorating burial rooms with false doors. The Etruscans approached the organization of the interior of these rooms in the same way as the design of a residential building. 

There are different versions regarding the purpose of the Etruscan false doors: these elements could, as in Ancient Egypt, designate a portal to another world, or had a purely practical meaning: in the event of the expansion of the tomb in the future, the false door showed the builders a place where a passage could be made.

Tomb of the augurs of the Etruscan necropolis of Monterozzi in Tarquinia
Tomb of the augurs of the Etruscan necropolis of Monterozzi in Tarquinia

The tradition took root in Rome, and sometimes they receded from mythology, depicting false doors only for aesthetic purposes – not only in tombs, but also in villas. This technique made it possible to give symmetry to the room – false doors were created in a pair with real ones. In addition, such recessed niches visually increased the space.

Images of false doors can be found in the villas of Pompeii
Images of false doors can be found in the villas of Pompeii

It is not easy to understand the wanderings of the soul of an ancient Egyptian, if only because he had more than one such soul. 

Ancient

The remains of a previous civilization must be sought at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean

The remains of a previous civilization must be sought at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean 99

The legends and myths of many European peoples and ancient Russian pre-Christian tales and epics tell about the northern ancestral home of people of the white race. Now more and more ruins of ancient megalithic structures of immigrants from the Arctic continent are being discovered not only on the Kola Peninsula and in Karelia, but also in the Urals and Siberia. The artifacts of the most highly developed arctic civilization are now absorbed by the waters of the Arctic Ocean.

The remains of a previous civilization must be sought at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean 100

Esoteric sources and ancient myths speak about this. More and more modern independent researchers who have discovered in our “official history” a large number of “inconsistencies” and outright falsifications come to a similar conclusion. 

That is why the mass of myths and legends concerning Hyperborea persistently tells us that the ancient inhabitants of this continent freely moved not only over the planet’s air ocean, but were the true masters of space. The ancient Greeks, describing the life of the Hyperboreans, largely told the truth about them. Indeed, the inhabitants of the legendary northern land, possessing gigantic cosmic knowledge, were, from the point of view of the ancient Hellenes, almost immortal.

G. Sidorov

Knowledge of the laws of the Universe and the experience of higher magic allowed them, even after a global cataclysm that brought the earth’s axis to the center of Oriana, to preserve in high latitudes under the Pole Star an oasis of life, which collapsed only after another thermonuclear strike. The ancient Greeks rightly called the inhabitants of Oriana Hyperboreans, or Hyperboreans, that is, those living behind the domains of the northern wind of Boreas.

In fact, warm Hyperborea, surrounded on all sides by regions where winter temperatures (70 – 10 thousand years BC) were often set to -80C and even -100C, as indicated by the many-meter permafrost of northern Asia and America , as well as entirely frozen mammoth animals found in the fossil ice of Siberia, confuses most climatologists in Europe and around the world with its climatic phenomenon. Indeed, according to science, the climate of the Arctic, despite the fact that fierce winters were raging in Europe, Asia and North America, and the soil was frozen tens of meters, was soft and warm. If you believe the data of paleobotanical analysis, then another 15 – 10 thousand years BC. cypresses, chestnuts and plane trees grew in the Arctic islands and the north of Scotland, grapes grew in full swing. According to science, only in the 8th – 6th millennium BC. the water area of ​​the Arctic Ocean has turned into an icy lifeless desert. “

Another Russian scientist N. Pavlischeva, based on Wegener’s lithospheric theory of earthly catastrophes, writes in her book the following:

“One of the major shortcomings of modern historical thinking is a complete conviction in the progressive development of mankind. What are we taught in school? At first they were completely wild, then they learned to make rough stone products and bones, then small, learned to speak, work the land, raise livestock, fight … and off we go … to the very “Shuttles” and “Worlds”.

However, if we recall the natural disasters in only one European part of Russia, then we can understand that the people who lived on it had to periodically slide almost to their starting positions due to changes in living conditions … Why did nature treat its children so cruelly, exposing their such tests? And in general, what happened in unthinkable ancient times, however, which affected the development and even survival of all people on planet Earth? …

All the ancient religions of the world and the legends of most people mention this catastrophe. They have been passed down from generation to generation as precious information that should not be lost. Unfortunately, the descendants of the “enlightened” centuries did not treat it too attentively, but it would be worth listening. All sources say one thing: earthquakes, fire (volcanoes), black clouds, terrible waves, flood, lack of light for a long time and … the sun went mad, which began to rise and set differently than it did until then.

The past and terrible catastrophe has been told more than once in many legends and tales. The fact that the east has become north and the earth turned upside down is reported by the Egyptian papyri “The Magic Papyrus of Harris”, “The Ipuvera Papyrus” and “The Hermitage Papyrus”. There are legends in which everything is conveyed poetically, there are very figurative stories – the Greek myth of Phaethon and the myths of many people, edifying – in the “Avesta” the coming to Earth of the devil Ahriman. There are also completely business-like descriptions of the cataclysm.

And in all of them there is something that is of particular interest to us now: the strange, if not crazy, behavior of the Sun! According to numerous testimonies of the ancients, it either disappeared for a while, or simply “rushed” across the firmament, as if not daring to move anywhere, and then changed the direction of its movement. Now it rose in the east and set in the west. The polar constellations have also changed …

If once the main directions of the Indians were northwest – southeast, and now it is north and south, then the continents turned counterclockwise? Yes, and thoroughly moved out of their positions? Then it turns out for sure that the region of the Arctic Ocean simply crawled to the place of the pole, and the huge ice fields of the North Pole covered the north and west of Eurasia …

Let me remind you: if during such a lithospheric shift, Eurasia “entered” under the ice of the Arctic Ocean, then under them there were also huge territories, previously inhabited by people. That is, North Atlantis was simply buried under the ice. Its civilization is accordingly buried.

Of course, it is difficult to judge what it was, but it is quite possible that it was very, very developed. That is, if you follow this theory, then the Arctic territories now (they, by the way, were not islands at all, there the land stretched far, far beyond the current edge of the Arctic Ocean, all geologists agree with this statement) from their wonderful almost tropical climate suddenly appeared in the ice, and not even in the ice, but under them.

Hyperborea



And what, people just now guessed about it? No, once again we can state that humanity has already gone through everything in its history and is now only repeating. If only it still remembered the past and learned more attentively to the words of previous generations! But, having made all possible mistakes, it made the most important thing – it never learned anything from these mistakes.

If all these estimates are correct, then the remains of the previous civilization (whatever you call it) should really be looked for at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.”

So, space and air travel, the use of alternative cheap energy, climate control were just a few of the technologies available and used by the inhabitants of the legendary Arctic civilization. Perhaps, not by chance, despite the denial of official structures, in recent years there has been a real hunt for artifacts and technologies of this highly developed civilization.

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Ancient

How Nefertiti’s husband fought with the gods, the traditional role of the pharaoh and the canon in art: 20 years of Akhenaten’s rebellion

How Nefertiti's husband fought with the gods, the traditional role of the pharaoh and the canon in art: 20 years of Akhenaten's rebellion 101

A reformer pharaoh, a seer, a guest from the past, or … an alien? The identity of the mysterious ruler of Egypt, the husband of the beautiful Nefertiti, is surrounded by many fantastic rumors. If you cut off the most incredible, there will be a story of a man who went against millennial traditions – in politics, religion and art. He rejected all canons, rejected all gods except one, and ruled Egypt along with a mysterious woman!

Portraits of Akhenaten in his youth and heyday.
Portraits of Akhenaten in his youth and heyday.

Akhenaten is best known for his religious reform – a monotheist pharaoh who challenged numerous priests. However, there are many more revolutions on his account than it seems.

Akhenaten initially turned out to be not the pharaoh whom the priests would like to see – it was all about his mother. Akhenaten (at birth he received the name Amenhotep) was the second son of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and Queen Tiya, which in itself reduced his chances of succession to the throne. 

However, Amenhotep’s eldest son died too early. In addition, Tia was the beloved wife of Amenhotep – and this caused the displeasure of the priests. Tia was not of royal origin, some researchers suggest that she has Semitic roots. She was distinguished by a sharp mind, irrepressible energy – and sufficiently ignored the traditional role of women in the life of the court. 

She supervised the construction of temples and actively intervened in the political decisions of the pharaoh. Amenhotep consulted with her on every issue and kept a thorough correspondence in separation. Later, when Akhenaten ascended the throne,

Scribes.  An example of Amarna art - the role of the common man is growing.
Scribes. An example of Amarna art – the role of the common man is growing.

He began to rule in Thebes, the capital of Egypt, and at first nothing anticipated radical changes – except that the sun god was now paid more attention, but each pharaoh has his own quirks! The fact that the great sun deity Amon-Ra was replaced by some unknown god Aton, at first did not cause the alarm of the priests. 

Meanwhile, the divine service itself was no longer held in the temple – Amenhotep IV preferred to perform ceremonies in the open air, in public. In the fifth year of independent reign, the young pharaoh changed his name. The former meant “Amon is pleased”, and the new, Akhenaten, meant “Useful for Aton.” 

Pharaoh wanted to serve his god and was not going to stop for a second. He did not trust the priests and relied in his actions on the support of unborn “service people”.

On the right is a portrait of Nefertiti.
On the right is a portrait of Nefertiti.

At the same time, he began the accelerated construction of the city of Akhetatona. This was facilitated by the changed construction technology, instead of Cyclopean buildings from heavy blocks, temples are being erected from lighter slabs, which significantly speeds up construction and allows the main buildings of the new capital to be completed in record time. Pharaoh moves there with all his court, wife Nefertiti and children.

Now this territory is called Tel el-Amarna, and the period associated with the rule of Akhenaten in culture is Amarna.

Naturalistic images of plants and birds are evidence of the destruction of the canon.
Naturalistic images of plants and birds are evidence of the destruction of the canon.

The poorly preserved Amarna art demonstrates the incredible destruction of the ancient Egyptian canon. The images become softer, the plots – chamber, intimate. At the same time, realism increases.

 The sculptural portraits of Nefertiti look soulful, alive. Her joint pastime with Akhenaten was devoted to many works of Amarna art, and her figure was portrayed – again a violation of the canon! – the same size as the figure of a regal consort. This meant that the role of women at the court of the reformer pharaoh increased significantly.

Portrait of the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
Portrait of the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

Now they would say that Akhenaten was fighting “toxic masculinity.” He himself appears before the viewer not in the form of a conqueror, a demigod, a warrior, as befits a great ruler. 

Akhenaten in sculptures and paintings is a gentle father, a loving husband, not at all the governor of the gods on earth, but a mere mortal enjoying everyday pleasures. He rests with his family, plays with children, sometimes there are images of family prayers.

Prayer scenes.  Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
Prayer scenes. Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

What Akhenaten looks like also sparked heated discussions. His image seems strange, pathological, although not repulsive. No proud turn of the shoulders and a stern look. The sculptures show a man with a sickly, rickety physique, with a disproportionately elongated face and roundness atypical for men. 

However, the allegedly identified remains of Akhenaten in 2010 do not indicate any significant abnormalities in bone structure. Possibly, Akhenaten wanted the sculptures to depict him as somewhat androgynous, combining male and female features – the god Aton was just as bisexual. Probably, an attempt to get closer to the image of God was the mysterious co-government of Akhenaten with a woman named Neferneferuaten – this is either one of his wives (Nefertiti was not the only one!), or a daughter.

A family scene and a funny animal.  The character of the sculpture is becoming more and more secular.
A family scene and a funny animal. The character of the sculpture is becoming more and more secular.

At first, the cults of the old gods continued to exist along with the development of the cult of Aten, but in the ninth year of his reign, Akhenaten decided to ban them, which actually destroyed the priestly power. Moreover, Akhenaten changed the very concept of God in Ancient Egypt!

 Previously, the gods were presented as individuals with their own life stories, virtues and vices. But Aton was in everything and everywhere, everything that exists came from him. The god Aton did not even have a canonical image – his power was symbolized by a solar disk with widely diverging rays, which are often called “Old Testament”. 

In the religious environment there is an opinion – though not particularly popular – that the idea of ​​a single god of the Abrahamic religions arose under the influence of the cult of Aton.

Tutankhamun with his wife.
Tutankhamun with his wife.

After the death of Akhenaten, the cult of Aten was canceled, the young Tutankhamun returned to the faith of his grandfather and announced that he would inherit the power of Amenhotep III. 

Akhetaton was destroyed and forgotten, but today the progressiveness and courage of the reformer pharaoh excites researchers, and the masterpieces of Amarna art fascinate museum visitors.


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Ancient

Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon

Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 102
Illustration source / photo: Depositphotos

Another city hiding behind biblical history is Megiddo, also known as Armageddon.

Not everyone knows that behind the word Armageddon, which everyone has heard, hides the name of one of the most ancient cities in the world.

This ancient city, which was inhabited already in 7000 BC. e., is known for the numerous battles that were fought here. The Book of Revelation, which calls this place Armageddon, predicts that the last battle between the forces of good and evil, expected at the end of all time, will also take place here.

Armageddon is mentioned in the Bible dozens of times. This name comes from the Greek “Ἁρμαγεδών”.

Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 103

Visiting the ruins of this city today, the first thing you will see is a large embankment – tell, which was formed from many cultural layers that appeared here over several millennia of the existence of this city. Archaeologists know that inside this tell there are actually about 20 ancient cities, built one above the other: several civilizations gave way here to one another, the city was captured and rebuilt many times. We can say that Armageddon has already happened here many times – each time the end of the world for one culture and its beginning for another.

Many historical battles have taken place here. For example, the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III, nephew and heir to the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut, who became her successor and ruled in 1479-1425 BC. BC, defeated a coalition of cities at Megiddo and with this victory captured most of the eastern Mediterranean.

Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 104
Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 105
Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 106

The second important event occurred when the Jewish king Josiah was defeated near Megiddo during a battle with the Egyptian pharaoh Necho (reigned 610 – 595 BC). Josiah was greatly weakened and after a decade his kingdom was finally destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II.

Even in our times, significant battles took place near Megiddo. So, in 1918, during the First World War, the allied army, led by General Edmund Allebi, defeated the Ottoman army at Megiddo. The losses were so crushing that the Ottoman Empire was forced to resort to a truce.

It really made sense to fight for Megiddo, since the city was strategically located in the Jezreel Valley, which was the crossroads of several trade routes. It turned out that the one who controlled Megiddo controlled the trade route between Egypt, Europe and Mesopotamia. These trade routes and pompous battles have had the greatest impact on the city’s history and built it up as a biblical battlefield. Perhaps that is why Megiddo was identified as the place of the end of the world, as it was the epicenter of armed conflict throughout Israel’s history.
Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 107
Many archaeological finds have been made at Meggido, the most important by the University of Chicago expedition in the 1930s. The loudest discovery then was the discovery of a series of stables, which were believed to have been built by King Solomon. Today most archaeologists no longer think so. However, this is direct evidence that a large cavalry army was stationed in the city.

Another unusual find made by the Chicago Expedition is a variety of ivory items, about 382 items in total, that were found among the burials of people and animals. Some of these items bear Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions. So, on the case for the stylus it is said that it belongs to an Egyptian official named Nakht-Amon, who was the “emissary of the king” during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses III (1184-1153 BC). In addition, game boards, combs were found. and ivory boxes. such a large number of objects from this material in the burial place caused great confusion among scientists. The carvings on ivory are made using a mixture of Hittite, Mycenaean, Egyptian, Ugaritic, Canaanite and Assyrian motifs.

Not so long ago, in 2014, another very important find was made in Megiddo – this is the “Great Temple”, which dates back to 3000 BC. e. It is a large rectangular room with two small corridors behind it, and traces of rituals were also found here. This temple is the most monumental structure of that time in the eastern Mediterranean.

Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 108
Tel Megiddo: welcome to the biblical city of Armageddon 109

It is not surprising that Megiddo, as the site of numerous battles, had a massive fortification. The Chicago Expedition discovered a complex gate system that the researchers believe dated back to the time of King Solomon. These included two large towers in front, which housed archers, and a system of chambers inside which could house soldiers with spears and swords in case the enemy broke through the gate. The dating of the gate is currently controversial.

As in Bathsheba, a complex ancient tunnel water supply system was found here, which brought water to the city from a nearby source through underground tunnels located at a depth of 30 meters. Archaeologists consider this water delivery system to be Megiddo’s most impressive technological achievement. Thanks to its inhabitants, they had constant access to water, even when the city was under siege.

Archaeological work continues today and is led by archaeologists from Tel Aviv University in Israel. The ancient city attracts thousands of tourists every year, many of whom come here inspired by the prophecy of a battle at the end of time. Guides often greet their guests by saying, “Welcome to Armageddon.”

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