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- Lid geworden op: zo 03 apr 2005, 16:20
If Hapuseneb would come back to life it will be very interesting to take him on a tour to the remains of Ancient Egypt. He would teach us a lot about the priesthood and the life of the Egyptians durin
g the New Kingdon era. His memory could provide detailed information about the puzzling mysteries that current day Egyptologists want to know and confirm.
Hapuseneb was the high priest of Amun during the New Kingdom era in ancient Egypt during the regime of the female Pharaoh Maatkare-Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BCE). He would tell us that Hatshepsut gave him the opportunity of being in charge of her monuments in Ipet-Isut (Karnak) giving him a powerful position.
If we took Hapuseneb to Ipet-Isut he would tell us about the Great Temple of Amun. He would tell us about the obelisks that Hatshepsut dedicated to the god Amun in memory of her father Tuthmosis I. He would also tell us that these obelisks were made from a single piece of granite and gilded with great amounts of the finest gold.
Obelisk van Hatsjepsut
He would tell us about the reconstructed red quartzite Chapelle Rouge (red temple) that is depicting Hatshepsut before the god Amun.
Rode Kapel, Open Air Museum
Life as a priest was a decision made by the Pharaoh and the function of priests was to maintain universal order as dictated by the gods. All priests went through the traditional sacred purification ritual
that included taking vows of purity and obedience.
Priestly requirements consisted of bathing three to four times a day in the sacred purificatory pools.
Heilige Meer, Karnak
The pools were located within certain temples; and from current day archaeological research it has shown us that some were rectangular in shape. Hapuseneb would correct me if I said that all sacred pools were rectangular in shape, he would take me the temple of Mut at Karnak and show me that the sacred pool there was in a shape of a horseshoe and was lined with stone.
Tempel van Mut, Heilige Meer
He would tell me that these sacred pools where known to the ancient Egyptians as shi-netjer and that they were symbolic of the waters of Nu, the cosmic ocean.
The location of the sacred pools made it convenient for priests to bath in before they entered the temple and they served as a source of water for ritual purifications and offerings. Priests were also required to shave their heads and bodies, could not eat fish because ffish was the food of the peasants and priests had a special position in society which was tremendously higher than the common public. Priests were not allowed to wear any wool or any clothing that was made from animals because animal products were considered unclean. They were required to wear clean linen. Sem priests were excluded from this rule and they are commonly recognized by the leopard skin clothing they wore.
Priester in deTombe van Roy TT255, Dra Abu el Naga, Luxor West-Bank
Archeological remains provide us with an excample of depiction from the 18th Dynasty from the tomb of Sennefer where this depiction shows a sem priest who is wearing leopard clothing. Priests were not restricted from intimacy, but they were considered unclean until they were purified. Female priests were not allowed into the temples while they were menstruating. Circumcision was a requirement from all male priests. Thee is a circumcision scene from the tomb of Ankhmahor at Saqqara from the 5th Dynasty. The stone could be made from granite and appears to be much intact and there are hieroglyphics around the person that is being circumcised, clearly describing the scene.
Ankhmahor Mastaba, besnijdenis
There were several types of priests in ancient Egypt. There were two classes of priests, "the Hem-netjer (god's servant) priests who were admitted to the temple sanctuary, and the lower 'wab' (pure) priests,
whose roles often involved non-ritual tasks and were usually not permitted access to the sanctuary." (Wilkinson 2000) The most prestigious priest was the Lector Priest (Kheri-Hebet) they were considered the highest among priests and was a highly respected position. They were the overseeers of the high priests and were responsible for the sacred scrolls and were "obliged to read directly from the papyrus book [which was] held open in his hands.
He has to recite them exactly as they are written, even if he has read them many, many times before, for making a mistake can offend the god. This was done at the official ceremonies and at the head of the processions, when the god was carried out before the people." (Sauneron, 2000).
The next class of priests was the high priest (Hem-Netjer_tepy) which was the position held by Hapuseneb and his priest name would have been called the Opener of the Gate of Heaven. He was responsible for the care of the gods and for the god's needs. This position was both religious and pollitical and was a very powerful position. Hapuseneb would tell us that it was not just priests that held positions within the temples, that there were also the scribes who were in charge of writing the sacred scrolls.
If Hapuseneb were to take us to the tomb of Menna who was from the 18th Dynasty he would show us a wall depiction 'Scribes reckoning the Harvest' that appears to be in good condition and the depiction is clearly showing us scribes recording the harvest while there are others which appear to be collecting the harvest.
Tombe van Menna, TT69
There were also Lay magicians who would perform services to the community, provide counseling, magical arts and healings. "Dream interpretation was an important activity for members of the lower clergy Hapuseneb would also explain to me that temples were places in which offerings to the gods were made; and within temple walls you would find slaughterhouses, bakeries, kitchens, breweries and various workshops that produced goods such as linen garments that were worn by the priests and workshops that would repair clutic objects and items that are used in the services of the cult.
He would mention how many of the commodities would not only be used in offerings to the gods, but also how these commodities provided revenue for the temples giving them not a powerful position, but also provided them and the Egyptian state with great wealth. He would also provide me with detailed information about the granaries and how they were important storage units within the temples. He would confirm that they were made out of mudbricks and had a dome shape appearance and how majority of them were generally located behind the temples.
Opslag plaatsen bij het Ramesseum
Hapuseneb would tell us that priests conducted daily rituals. In the temple of Amun in Karnak "The god, [is] in the form of a statue, and is seated in a shrine, a so called naos, which was built of stone or wood and kept in the innermost chamber of the temple. The statue could be made of stone, gold or gilded wood, inlaid with semi-precious stones and it was not always life sized. It was not regarded as an idol, but as the receptacle of the deities, Ka. Three times a day, if not more, rituals were performed at the shrine.
De Naos en de Bark in de Edfu Tempel
At dawn the temple singers awoke the god by singing the Morning Hymn. And after having purified himself, the priest conducting the morning service, broke the seal and drew back the bolts that had been tied last night and the doors to the god was opened. Now the god received the same purification process as the priests already had undergone. Incense was burned and the god was dressed, perfumed and had cosmetics put on, in the same way as the King would have been prepared for the day." (Sauneron, 2000) After the ritual was performed offerings of food and drinks in large quantities were made to the gods and while the gods Ka was absorbing these offerings they were being entertained by dancers, singers and musicians. Some archeological remains can give us an idea about the offerings made to the gods. In the temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahri, Hapuseneb might suggest to us that there is a painted limestone relief depicting bearers of offerings brought at the Pharaohs request.
Tempel Hatsjepsut, Deir el Bahari, Offertafel
This depiction shows us whatt an offering to the gods might have been like. It shows us men holding trays that are filled with different kinds of foods and drinks. Other archeological remains show examples of offerings to the gods in the 'Music and Dance in Honor of the God' depiction which is located in the Red Chapel at Karnak. This scene is carved in stone and gives us an idea about how elaborate the entertainment performances were like. This depiction shows us several musicians, one that is playing a harp and three that are playing sistrums. There are also several dancers in this depiction.
Archeological remains from the temples of ancient Egypt have shown us that not only were there elaborate offerings to the gods, but the ancient Egyptians also celebrated in temple feasts and festivals
. There are temple depictions that give us the idea that some festivals are mobile (i.e. traveling) . In these festivals "the image of the deity was usually placed in its shrine on a small portable barque which was then borne on the shoulders of priests to its destination or to the nearest quay, where it was loaded on to a real barque for movement by river. The festival known as heb nefer en inet, the 'Beautiful Feast of the Valley', involved travel both by land and water and was celebrated during the second month of shemu, the harvest season." (Wilkinson, 1995) According to Wilkinson, "more evidence survives from the New Kingdom.
Muziekanten, Luxor Tempel, Opet Feest
I would like to close in saying that if Hapuseneb were alive today he would be able to give us a better perspective about the lives and duties of priests, especially those from the 18th Dynasty. He would be able to confirm current day archeological records and help Egyptologists solve some of the puzzling mysteries they face today.
As I tried to look through the eyes of Hapuseneb I could only assume that his life, along with other priests in his time played a very important and powerful role in ancient Egypt. His position was not only a religious position in serving and providing for the gods, but it was also a political position where he not only served his Pharaoh but his country also. His participation in temple work has helped maintain ancient Egypt's social and cultural practices and beliefs. I would have to say that Hapuseneb, along with other high priests were probably the most literate of the ancient Egyptians and appear to have been and could have been almost equal to the Pharaohs.
There are much archeological remains that give us a general idea about how the lives of ancient Egyptians were like. We know from these remains that they honored their gods and worshipped them on a daily basis. We have seen through the eyes of Hapuseneb that the temples and gods were the center and the most important part of life for the ancient Egyptians.
Tombe van Hapuseneb:
http://www.maat-ka-ra.de/english/person ... b/tt67.htm
- Site Admin
- Berichten: 10812
- Lid geworden op: zo 03 apr 2005, 16:20
Heb het veranderd omdat ik het toch een intressant stuk vindt