You are viewing ikhet_sekhmet

Inanna/Ishtar Bibliography

Dec. 30th, 2020 | 08:38 am

Last updated 15 February 2014.

Inanna/Ishtar BibliographyCollapse )

Link | Leave a comment {3} | Share

Sekhmet and related goddesses bibliography

Dec. 29th, 2020 | 11:05 am

Last updated 24 April 2014.

Sekhmet and related goddesses bibliographyCollapse )

Link | Leave a comment {8} | Share

Partial bibliography for this LJ

Feb. 12th, 2020 | 12:56 pm

Partial bibliography for this LJCollapse )

(Last updated 15 February 2014.)

Link | Leave a comment {4} | Share

Snippets from this and that

Dec. 12th, 2014 | 10:29 pm

  • J. Gwyn Griffiths. [review of] Elkab I. Les monuments religieux a I'entrie de l'ouady Hellal by Phillipe Derchain. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 59 (Aug., 1973), pp. 257-259.

    "In this region the desert landscape confronts huge formations of rock, and Derchain believes that a ritual attested in reliefs and inscriptions is that of welcome to the goddess who returns from Nubia in the manner of Hathor-Tefnut. Thus the central scene in the Ramesside chapel (pl. 33), fragmentary though it is, shows an object (now missing) being offered to Re-Harakhty; it is being presented by Nekhbet, who is followed by Onuris and Thoth. Derchain... argues that the missing object is a wedjat-eye... he suggests also that the scene is unique in representing the return of the 'distant goddess' who is here embodied in Nekhbet." Griffiths agrees that the object is a wedjat-eye, but thinks it, and not Nekhbet, represents the stray Eye of Re.

    "Derchain's notes are always instructive, and among the points of mythological interest are the assimilation of Nephthys and Tefnut (p. 38), an association of Nephthys and Thoth (p. 41), the designation of Cleopatra III as 'strong bull, female Horus' (p. 49) [...] On p. 63 Derchain seems intrigued by a mention of Sothis in a context where Nesert, the uraeus, is identified with Bastet. There is a good deal of evidence for an association of Sothis and Bastet and the eye of Re".

    [See the first comment about that "association between Nephthys and Thoth".]

  • Cauville, Sylvie. Le panthéon d'Edfou à Dendera. BIFAO 88 (1988), p. 7-23

    This includes an illustration of a snake-headed Nephthys and a lion-headed Isis, winged and brandishing ostrich feathers. The inscription calls her "Isis who protects her son with her wings".

    Wish I could get a higher-quality picture than this:

    leontocephale isis

  • Kákosy, László and Ahmed M. Moussa. A Horus Stela with Meret Goddesses. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Bd. 25 (1998), pp. 143-159.

    This is about a stela from Thebes, from the first half of the first millennium BCE, held in the Museum of Seized Antiquities in Cairo. Unusually, even though it's got Horus on the crocodiles, it's got a prayer to Amun, traditional enemy of crocs, with some great lines: "Amun is the triumph. The name of Amun is more powerful than millions. More forceful is Amun-Re(?) than every amulet and your own eye." But of course what attracted my attention was this part of the spell: "Your mouths are sealed by Re, your gullets are blocked by Sakhmet. A voice of lamentation (is heard) from the temple of Neith, a loud wailing from the mouth of the Cat. The gods (say): 'what is it, what is it' ... Re, did you not hear the loud sound in the night on that bank of Nedit and the long silence among all the gods and all the goddesses... There is a voice of lamentation in the temple of Neith, a wailing, a wailing (in) the mouth of the Cat because of those (things) which Mag has committed." Mag or Mega is a crocodile, the son of Seth, often the target of spells like this. But who is the Cat?

    ETA: Links!

    I'm reverse-engineering Mesopotamian hit songs

    Maya Blue Paint Recipe Deciphered

    Scholars Race to Recover a Lost Kingdom on the Nile (Kush; June 19, 2007)

    6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered (Trypillian culture)

    Ancient 'Egyptian blue' pigment points to new telecommunications, security ink technology

    Unmasking the gods (28 February 2002; "the remains of a ritual costume worn by an Egyptian priest some 2,500 years ago")

    Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History

    Massive 5,000-Year-Old Stone Monument Revealed in Israel

    Mysterious 'Spellbook' From Ancient Egypt Decoded

  • Link | Leave a comment {3} | Share

    Links August 2014

    Aug. 31st, 2014 | 06:37 pm

    Spiritual Power? 18th-Century Artifacts Unearthed in Caribbean

    The Archaeologist as Titan [review of Belzoni: The Giant Archaeologists Love to Hate]

    Remains of Long-Lost Temple Discovered in Iraq: "'One of the best results of my fieldwork is the uncovered column bases of the long-lost temple of the city of Musasir, which was dedicated to the god Haldi,' Marf Zamuatold Live Science in an email. Haldi was the supreme god of the kingdom of Urartu. His temple was so important that after the Assyrians looted it in 714 B.C., the Urartu king Rusa I was said to have ripped his crown off his head before killing himself."

    Oops! Etruscan Warrior Prince Really a Princess

    Archaeological cave dig unearths artefacts from 45,000 years ago (Australia)

    Bisexual Viking idol marks ancient circle (2004)

    Was Cleopatra a drag queen? (2005) (Three known artifacts show Cleopatra VII dressed as / represented as a man.)

    Brooklyn Museum to publish a handbook for the recently deceased (Book of the Dead of Sobekmose)

    One-of-a-kind Egyptian spider rock art dates back to 4,000 B.C.

    Alan D. Eames, 59, Scholar of Beers Around the World, Dies

    Ancient Egyptian mummies buried near Barnsley

    Barnsley lass Joann really digs Egypt (not what I was looking for, but pretty entertaining nonetheless :)

    Clues to Lost Prehistoric Code Discovered in Mesopotamia (looking inside clay envelopes with CT scans)

    Die Auferstehung der Göttin Sachmet (The Resurrection of the Goddess Sekhmet) and Egyptian goddess statue unveiled in İzmir’s Red Basilica - an 8.5 metre tall statue in Pergamon

    More Sekhmet statues unearthed at Amenhotep III's temple in Luxor

    4,000-year-old [Old Babylonian] erotica depicts a strikingly racy ancient sexuality


    Link | Leave a comment | Share

    The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction

    Jul. 16th, 2014 | 02:11 pm

    What a helpful and enlightening little book! Not just for comparisons with other Ancient Near Eastern cultures, but because everyone bangs on about the Bible these days, with varying levels of informedness.

    A few observations from its pages:

    "Artistically... ancient Israel was a cultural backwater... Yet one artifact from ancient Israel has survived: its literature, commonly if somewhat controversially called the Old Testament. Prohibited according to an ancient law from making graven images, the Israelites channeled their creative energy into literary activity." (p 1)

    References to other books, now lost, show that there was literature beyond what's now collected as the OT, including poetry (eg The Book of the Wars of the Lord) and royal records (eg The Book of the Acts of Solomon).

    "... in antiquity a book was not necessarily a single product of a single author but was often more like a hypertext, which several, even many writers might expand, edit, and otherwise modify [over generations]... For its final editors... preserving different sources was more important than superficial consistency. Even before the Torah became sacred scripture, then, its constituent parts had already achieved something like canonical status." (p 20) Hence different versions of the Ten Commandments were all included (p 61-2) (I'd like to compare some other ancient examples. Maybe the Gilgamesh epic?)

    Similarly, "Almost every biblical text is composite in the sense that unlike modern works it was not written once and then considered complete; rather, a text was subject to constant modification, variation, commentary, elaboration, expansion, and other types of addition and editing as writers from later generations continued to add their insights." (p 52) So for example "laws, rituals, institutions" are linked to the story of Exodus because of its importance. (I suppose in a way the responses of neo-Pagans to ancient texts are a version of this - the texts are not dead and set, but alive and changing - although we hardly form a single, coherent community or culture.)

    The Mesha stela, which has correspondences with the book of Kings, mentions the gods Chemosh and Ashtar-Chemosh, whom I must remember to look up. (p 27) Other gods mentioned in the OT: Amun, Marduk (aka Bel, Nebo), Nergal, Dagon, Baal, Resheph, Mot, Asherah, Astarte, Milcom of Ammon, Hadad of Aram, Tammuz, the sun, the queen of heaven, Azazel, and Lilith. Yahweh presided over a royal court of deities, the "sons of God" aka the "holy ones", who included his army or "host"; in later, more strictly monothestic times, this was not understood literally. (p 40-42) Similarly, Yahweh is described as battling the sea and proves his superiority to the Egyptian deities. (p 50) He himself has lots of the attributes of the local storm gods (eg p 53). (On a side note, recently I was puzzling how one might debunk the urban legend that the English word "amen" ultimately derives from "Amun", when I came across someone who pointed out that they don't actually start with the same letter. :)

    "in biblical law an orphan is technically a child without a male parent." (p 58)

    "Testament" means "Covenant". (p 59)

    "the sacred, personal name of Yahweh is not to be used in magic, sorcery, or other unlawful ways, for Yahweh is not a deity who can be localized or controlled." (p 62) (Contrast with Egyptian magic spells in which the sorcerer threatens cosmic destruction if the gods don't do his or her bidding!)

    Link | Leave a comment | Share

    Onee Kotoba and Emesal

    Jun. 28th, 2014 | 02:48 pm

    Japanese appears to have an equivalent of Emesal, the variety of Sumerian used for reporting the speech of a woman, a goddess, or a gala.

    I discovered this in the translators note on a manga (Japanese comic), which explains onee kotoba ("literally, 'older sister speech') as "a rough, effeminate form of Japanese often employed by gay and male-to-female transgendered individuals in which feminine pronouns, word endings, and intonations are used. For example, instead of using watashi (a common, polite, neutral pronoun meaning 'I') [the character uses] atashi, which is a colloquial pronoun that a young woman might use to refer to herself." (By contrast, a different manga has a girl-disguised-as-a-boy character joke that she will now use the pronoun ore, reserved for tough young men.)

    Emesal's differences from standard Sumerian might not have been as great - just some vocabulary and pronunciation - but I suppose it might not all have been preserved in cuneiform.

    (I'll bet this is not the last parallel to Emesal that I'll come across if I start looking.)

    (If you're curious, the manga in question are Black Butler volume 2, written by Yana Toboso and translated by Tomo Kimura, and Ouran High School Host Club.)

    Link | Leave a comment | Share

    Sekhmet and the Dual Year at Hibis

    Jun. 22nd, 2014 | 08:54 pm

    On the roof of Hibis temple there's what's left of a room which, presumably, depicted the deities of the dual year - the civil (solar) and lunar years combined:
    • thirty-six decans
    • twelve pseudo-decans
    • eleven additional gods to make up the difference in length between the solar year (365 days) and the lunar year (354 days)
    ... for a total of fifty-nine deities. In Hibis Temple Project Volume I (p 185-), Eugene Cruz-Uribe reconstructs the elaborate parade of gods in the room with the help of lists from elsewhere.

    A lioness-headed goddess, perhaps Sekhmet, makes a surprise appearance between Decans 21 and 22 (and Ptah between Decans 25 and 25a), and also at the end of the list. According to Cruz-Uribe, this tells us something about what the list of deities is for.

    As he notes, Sekhmet is invoked for protection at the time of the New Year - she is "frequently found on a variety of small objects, alone or with Ptah, as part of an invocation to an individual wishing them a good year". According to Yoyotte, "Sekhmet appears to personify the perils that must be reckoned with each and every day of the year"; at Dendera she is given a name for each of the thirty days of the month, and the king makes offerings to each one - assuring Re's daily triumph over the forces of chaos. (At the Karnak temple, Yoyotte believes, there would have been a total of 365 Sekhmet statues - one for each day of the year.)

    Now at Dendera, the king invokes the decans' help in appeasing Sekhmet. So this is Cruz-Uribe's interpretation of the elaborate roll call of time gods on the roof at Hibis, and the presence of Sekhmet and Ptah amongst them - to protect against chaos in the New Year rituals held at the change of the civil calendar and the lunar one.

    Cruz-Uribe, Eugene. Hibis temple project, Vol 1: Translations, commentary, discussions and sign list. San Antonio, Texas, Van Siclen Books, 1988.
    Parker, Richard A. The Calendars of Ancient Egypt. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 26. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1950. (Source of the "dual year" concept.)
    Yoyotte, J. Une monumentale litanie de granit. Les Sekhmet d'Aménophis III et la conjuration permanente de la Déesse dangereuse. Bulletin de la Société Française 87-88, 1980.

    Link | Leave a comment | Share

    Egypt's Sunken Treasures 3: the falcon-headed crocodile...

    Jun. 21st, 2014 | 11:54 am

    ... or a falcon-headed sphinx? Amongst the divers' finds was a granite falcon head, roughly 70 cm by 70 cm, with ears (which dates it to the seventh century BCE at the earliest). What sort of body it was attached to, though, remains a mystery - lion or croc? The book notes that hieracosphinxes were a New Kingdom innovation, representing pharaoh as Montu. There's a headless sphinx, with the foreparts of a lion and the hindparts of a crocodile, at Amenhotep III's temple. Later, in the fifth century BCE, drawings of this kind of falcon-lion-crocodile sphinx "often placed on a high plinth in the shape of a temple" crop up, a pantheistic figure representing Horus of Sohag, "known everywhere since the Old Kingdom as a redoubtable magician, who cured the sick and annihilated wicked enemies", and who appeared on magic columns, amulets, talismans, and so forth. (pp 206-207)

    (On a personal note, the text on this find was either poorly translated or written in a second language and had some weird printing errors, and I had trouble following it. More research is indicated. If only because I am fond of hybrid creatures.)

    You also get falcon-headed crocs with no lion parts, like the one at the Walters.

    Link | Leave a comment | Share

    Inanna snippet

    May. 13th, 2014 | 08:10 pm

    The final lines of a Sumerian hymn to Ninkasi, the goddess of beer:
    šà-dinanna ki-bi ba-ab-gi4
    šà-ga-ša-an-an-na-ke4 ki-bi ba-eb-gi4

    The heart of Inanna is happy again,
    The heart of the queen of heaven is happy again!
    The author's footnote: "'Queen of heaven' translates ga-ša-an-an-na which is nothing but the Emesal form of dinanna." He adds that Emesal, the women's language, is used to indicate male and female speakers in different parts of the hymn.

    Civil, M. A hymn to the beer goddess and a drinking song. Biggs, R.D. and J.A. Brinkman (eds). Studies Presented to A. Leo Oppenheim. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1964.

    Link | Leave a comment {3} | Share