Posts Tagged ‘Sarcophagus’
Joseph directed the physicians in his service. He developed embalming techniques. Another one of his titles was Son of Ptah
Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him, (Genesis 50:2)
Joseph-Imhotep produced many medical writings and was considered the father of modern medicine. The Greeks regarded him as the God of Healing.
Pilgrims in the Ptolemaic dynasty use to bring offerings to Imhotep (mummified animals) hoping to be healed, over 1000 years after his death. Thousands and thousands of mummified Ibis were found in pots in the Ibis Galleries connected to Imhotep’s tomb. The tomb contained an empty sarcophagus orientated to the North. The sarcophagus was orientated to the North indicating that Imhotep did not worship the Sun God ‘Ra’ but rather the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Yhvh. His sarcophagus was empty because Moses and the Israelites took his bones when the Israelites left Egypt at the time of the Exodus.
The Left entrance would have required a ladder or a rope to get in and out while the Right entrance had stairs.
The main entrance leads straight to the Central Shaft in which Djoser’s Sarcophagus was placed. The Right tunnel leads to another tunnel that gradually descends and connects to the galleries connecting to the bottom of the shaft. The Left entrance tunnel leads to a vertical shaft that connects to the another set of galleries that are a bit like a maze. The only way out would be through the central shaft to the galleries on the Right that connect to the stairs or to climb back up the vertical shaft in the Left entrance. If the central shaft was full of grain it would not be possible to cross through to the Right side from the Left. People who fell down the vertical shaft in the Left entrance tunnel would, therefore, be trapped if they survived the fall (unless they had a ladder or a rope to climb back up). This is a scary thought!
Djoser’s sarcophagus was placed on a platform which was above the level of the galleries and tunnels that connected to the bottom of the shaft. It was therefore possible to cross from L to R through the central shaft underneath Djoser’s sarcophagus when the shaft was being used as a tomb.
On careful inspection of the above diagrams, it would appear that the entrance tunnel connects with 4 other tunnels that lead directly to the central chamber where the sarcophagus of Djoser was placed. These tunnels actually go right under the platform on which the sarcophagus was placed. While these tunnels do have branches with blind endings, it is unlikely that somebody would get lost in them and not find the central chamber.
These tunnels would have lead grave robbers straight to the tomb once they had been breached. This is exactly what happened. The mummy of Netjerikhet (Djoser/Zozer) was in fact stolen by grave robbers and all that remains is one of Netjerikhet’s feet.
It is much more likely that the central shaft was originally used as a grain silo and the grain flowed into these underground tunnels to some degree thereby increasing the capacity of the silo and making it safe to retrieve the grain without being buried in it.
There would have been a problem of ventilation and hence the necessity to construct another series of interconnected shafts to store grain very close to the Step Pyramid and accessible through tunnels whose entrance was at the bottom of pits within the walls of the Step Pyramid Complex.
The Step Pyramid complex was originally designed as a grain storage and distribution center. It’s entrance is through a building with tall columns shaped like corn. This building would have been where the corn was traded; a short walk to the pit where the grain was retrieved from the underground tunnels connecting to the grain silos.
When the time came to bury Djoser (Netjerikhet), Joseph / Imhotep constructed a platform at the bottom of the first silo and lined the shaft with ornate limestone. Djosers Sarcophagus was lowered into the shaft from above. The top of the shaft was then sealed with an enormous slab of granite and a mastaba was constructed on top. Successive mastabas were added to bury the other members of Djoser’s family when théy died. Eventually, the stack of mastabas took the form of a Stepped Pyramid. The Stepped Pyramid was eventually faced with smooth limestone which over the centuries has fallen down leaving the Step Pyramid in it’s current state.
The Step Pyramid complex was therefore originally intended to be a grain storage and distribution center in Saqqara. When Jospeh / Imhotep’s pharaoh died, the original shaft was used as a burial chamber for Netjerikhet (Djoser/Zozer) and a mastaba was built on top. Successive mastabas were added to form the Step Pyramid and a Morturary complex was built next to it within the walls of the Step Pyramid complex which continued to be used as a grain storage and distribution center for many centuries.
The Egyptions attributed Jospeh / Imhotep’s achievements to Ra but in fact it was Yahweh / Jehovah who was behind it all!
The tomb of Imhotep adjoining the Ibis Galleries in Saqqara. The coffin was empty and orientated to the north. The tomb dated to the 3rd dynasty. The Ibis galleries dated to the Ptolemaic period when pilgrims brought offerings to Imhotep hoping for healing.
Imhotep’s mummy has never been found
In 1964, Walter Emery found huge underground galleries containing the mummies of sacred animals that were dedicated to Imhotep, the builder of the Step Pyramid and the high priest of Heliopolis.
Emery found an inscription in the Animal Galleries indicating that that Imhotep was buried there. Emery died before Imhotep’s tomb was found.
Eventually, a third dynasty tomb was found that had a funerary chamber connected to the Ptolemaic Animal Galleries that Emery had discovered, dedicated to Imhotep.
The tomb was connected to the passages of the Ibis Gallery that were filled with thousands of mummified Ibis birds in pots dedicated to Imhotep by pilgrims in the Ptolemaic period some 2000 years after Imhotep lived.
The tomb contained pots that had the seal of Djoser on them. This was, no doubt, the tomb of an important figure in the time of Djoser. The complex was dedicated to Imhotep and so one would assume that this was the tomb of Imhotep. A sarcophagus was found that had titles that Imhotep had been given.
The sarcophagus in the tomb, however, was empty.
Imhotep’s mummy was never found.
This is no surprise for people who believe that Joseph and Imhotep were the same person as the Bible records that Joseph was embalmed and buried in a coffin in Egypt but that his bones were removed by the Israelites when they left Egypt and finally buried in the promised land when the Israelites arrived there 40 years after the Exodus.
Long after his death, Imhotep became an object of worship. He was deified by the Greeks and the Egyptians. Many temples were erected to worship him. 2000 yrs after his death, pilgrims would come to his tomb hoping to be healed. They would bring offerings of mummified animals in jars (Ibis birds, falcons, hawks, baboons etc). These were stored in underground passage ways called galleries which were within a mile of the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.
The search for Imhotep’s mummy and tomb had been revived by the discovery of the base of the statue of Djoser with the name and titles of Imhotep on it by Firth in 1926 and later the discovery of the animal galleries by Emery in 1964.
When this tomb was eventually found, people did not like what they found. There were no treasures, there were no writings and there were no inscriptions on the walls by Imhotep. Just a coffin in a mastaba that was orientated to the North indicating that Imhotep did not worship Re. What’s more, the coffin was empty. While it was clearly one of Djoser’s officials, people could not believe it was Imhotep’s tomb.
While believers (Christians and Jews) struggle with the fact that the Egyptians worshipped Imhotep who seems to be the high priest of a pagan god, the non believers (Egyptians) struggled with the fact that Imhotep’s sarcophagus and mastaba were orientated to the North indicating that he did not worship Re.
It should not surprise us that Joseph, if he was Imhotep, was a priest of Re as the Bible tells us that Joseph married the daughter of the high priest of On (Heliopolis) whose name was Potiphera (or perhaps Ptah as it is known in Egypt).
This would explain one of Imhotep’s titles; “son of Ptah”.
Archaeologists argued that Joseph could not be Imhotep because Imhotep lived a thousand years before Joseph according to the traditional chronology derived from Manetho.
Wanting to find the Imhotep they envisaged, archaeologists brushed aside this discovery and continued to search for Imhotep’s tomb.
Since 1964, the search for Imhotep’s tomb and mummy has continued but nothing his been found.
Perhaps this is the tomb of Imhotep after all.
What better place for pilgrims to come to bring their offerings to Imhotep; even if his mummy was not there.
With a better understanding of the Egyptian Chronology, it may be possible to reconcile the differences between the Biblical Chronology and the History of Egypt.
Christians can understand man’s tendency to deify God’s messenger. The Greeks and the Egyptians did not deify Imhotep until 1000 years after his death. This does not alter the facts in Imhotep’s (Joseph’s) time that he was able to save Egypt and the surrounding nations from a famine that lasted seven years and that by selling grain he was able to make the pharaoh rich and buy up all the land of Egypt except that of the priests. He was able to protect his family as they grew to be a nation in Egypt. In his spare time, he built canals, pyramids, buildings with columns, store houses and grain silos. He wrote many literary works including medical writings. He developed mummification techniques.
He was embalmed when he died and was buried in a tomb close to the Step Pyramid. When the Exodus of the Israelites took place, his mummy was removed from the tomb and carried by the Israelites to the Promised Land where he was finally put to rest. In later times, Imhotep became an object of worship and was deified by the Egyptians and the Greeks who built temples to honor him and brought mummified animals to offer to his empty tomb.
Today, most Egyptians are either Muslim or Christian and there are not many worshipers of Re.
The Pharaoh and the Egyptians recognized Joseph / Imhotep as a great ‘seer’ and Joseph was able to help save Egypt. In so doing, Joseph / Imhotep became quite an influential figure in Egypt. With his influence, he was able to ensure the safety of his family.
God used Joseph to save His chosen people, the Israelites. Joseph may have tried to steer the Egyptians towards Jehovah, but his main objective was to save his family and allow them to grow into a Nation.
It may well have been Joseph / Imhotep who introduced circumcision to Egypt.
Imhotep / Joseph’s children, Ephraim and Manasseh, were born before the famine and lived with the Israelites. Legend has it that Imhotep / Joseph’s wife, Asenath, died in child birth . Ephraim and Manesseh’s descendants became two of the largest of the twelve tribes of Israel. Imhotep / Joseph’s descendants left Egypt with the Israelites when the Exodus took place 430 years after Imhotep / Joseph first came to Egypt. At the end of his life, Joseph / Imhotep wanted his bones to be carried back to the promised land to be buried with his fore fathers. He was clearly loyal to the God of Abraham.
Both Christianity and Islam (as well as Judaism) are Abrahamic religions that believe the Old Testament is true.
Identifying the correct historical counter parts of Abraham, Joseph and Moses would not only help to affirm these religions for those who doubt, it would give added meaning and significance to ancient history which has been lost or distorted as a result of wars and natural disasters or white washing over the ages.
Genesis 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
Genesis 46:20 In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
Genesis 50:25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
Genesis 50:26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
Exodus 13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”
Joshua 24:32 And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants.
Hebrews 11:22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
The empty sarcophagus of Imhotep in a funerary pit connected to the Ibis Gallery. Dating to the time of Djoser, third dynasty, the tomb was orientated to the North indicating Imhotep did not worship the Egyptian Gods. (Jonathan Gray)
forward video to 29min 10 seconds to see the entrance of the Step Pyramid complex. The columns had the shape of a corn cob.
forward video to 33min 10 seconds to see the Grain storage system designed by Imhotep / Joseph.
forward video to 38min 0sec to see the Ibis Gallery
forward video to 38min 35seconds to see Imhotep’s tomb with an empty sarcophagus orientated to the north