CHAPTER 7 The Pharaonic Reign of Terror
From the content:
– Living in the Totalitarian God State (Theocrazie)
– The Patriarchal Invention of State Exploitation
– Poverty and Hunger
– The Enslavement of the Natives
– Sadism and Torture
– First Human Sacrifice
– Soldier’s miserable Life
– The Trauma of War Women
– The Slaughter of Wild Animals:
Hunting Pleasure of the Dominion-Men
– The Palliation of the Terror Regime
– The Pharaonic autocratic Reign of Terror
– The Collapse of the Old Kingdom
Living in the Totalitarian God State (Theocrazie)
The much-lauded new Egyptian state form has been established on the religious doctrine of the ›divine kingship‹. The realization took place through the capture of indigenous queens, the persecution and enslavement of the natives, the exercise of repression and violence, the installation of police and military power, the inauguration of Hurrian and Aryan gods (Hor = Horit / Hurrian; Ra = Ar / Aryan), and the construction of temple palaces for the male, ›divine kingship‹. This devaluation of the people to tributaries and subjects of the king generated a racist class system. From now on only a single one ruled over all others. »The Pharaoh, as lord of Upper and Lower Egypt, claimed all that, what existed in the two countries: people and animals, buildings and estates, tools and furnishings were under his control. « (Pierre Montet 1975, p. 117) Jürgen von Beckerath confirms: »The absolute state of the Old Kingdom concentrated solely on the person of the King; all land is royal state property. The population is moved from their villages to newly established settlements as required, and involved in fieldwork and public works (building dams and canals, building temples and pyramids); however, there is still no slavery. In addition, a new upper class is gradually developing from the higher functionaries, who initially consist mainly of members of the royal family. « (Beckerath 1971, p. 17) Helck points out that from the beginning a sharp social separation between administrators and the administrated is seen. »The official administrators formed a hierarchy headed by the vizier, who was also called ›official par excellence‹. « (Helck LÄ, I, p. 672 f) The time of the beginning of the new rule are shaken by internal struggles and unrest. The people fought against the brutal invaders, but revolts were brutally crushed. Helck writes: »At the end of the Second Dynasty when people feel their – in the order embedded – subjugation and slavery as exploitation, they rebel. But Hor- Khasekhemwy was able to end in bloody massacres the defection of Lower Egypt. « (Helck LÄ, II, p. 1087) From this time, grave finds testify a cruel bloodbath. In mass graves, a large number of skeletons of mutilated people was found: skeletons without heads, severed heads between the legs, trunks without legs, bundles of limbs, legs without feet, chopped off hands and fingers, parts of broken spines and those without ribs.
»Through a combination of divine command and ruthless military compulsion,
large crowds were brought to endure terrible poverty and forced labor to secure ›life,
prosperity, and health‹ for the divine or semi-divine ruler and his court. «
A powerful administration was needed to better control the country and to develop its wealth for the upper classes. »From one king to another we can see the increase in the importance of the official servants. « (Montet 1975, p. 125) Officials with whips to maintain order were common. »Sadistic methods also extended to education and left traces that are only being removed today; in Egyptian the word to teach also means to punish. (Lewis Mumford p. 217) The education of the sons of the upper class who were selected to become writers and officials was merciless. So the pupil should »love writing and hate the pleasure, and thus the official should always fight against his instincts and do his duty, even though the office is more bitter than bile. Solely the grace of the king is his reward. « (Helck LÄ, I, p. 673)
»The more administration, the more violence.
The more regulation, the more transgression.
The more weapons, the more unrest.
The more legalism, the less lawfulness. «
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te King)
Brutal tax collectors: (Grave of Ti, Saqqara, after Seipel 1984, p. 149)
The Patriarchal Invention of State Exploitation through Taxes and Brutal Tax Collectors
Among the most important tasks of the civil service were the exaction and monitoring of tributes. While we see pictures depicting, the registering, the counting, and hoarding of the tributes, which were levied from the indigenous, the peasants stand beside, in a line with bread bags at the food-distribution. In addition to collecting tributes from local agriculture, handicrafts and handicrafts, monitoring the booty and Nubian and African tributes was one of the most important tasks of the overseers, tax collectors and the police. Gold was the first of the coveted goods, then frankincense, precious woods, ivory, hides and live animals. »The duty of the feudal farmers and bondsmen to hand over the required duties and taxes to the king or the temple also had to be sustained through beatings«, says a traditional Egyptologist. (Seipel 1984, p. 149)
The satire of the eloquent farmer describes his fate; it is ›the worst of all‹: »He was beaten by his masters, exploited by the tax collectors, and ruined by the grasshoppers. His wife was in danger of being locked up, his children being pawned« –»but«, adds the author reassuringly, »this is really a satire« (Schaeffner 1968, p. 37). James H. Breasted »dates justice and morality at the moment, when the ›eloquent peasant’s plea‹, to be freed from arbitrary looting and mistreatment by a greedy landowner, was finally ›court-heard‹. Breasted forgets that this justice came about only after the poor farmer had been extensively taunted, tortured and beaten to the amusement of his masters. « (Mumford, 1974; p. 247)
Until the Roman period and beyond, the atrocities against the enslaved Egyptian people continued. The contemporary witness Philo of Alexandria (20 BC–50 CE) an Alexandrian Jew, who, sometimes incorporated information about his home city into his copious religious writings reports of ›The most ruthless Class of Government – The Tax Collectors‹: »When people who probably were in tax arrears because of poverty, had fled in panic of the unbearable punishments, in fear of being beaten, abused, and mistreated by all sorts of violent acts. Then also their wives, children, parents, all his relatives, all the neighbors, and even the whole community were made responsible to pay for his arrears. The tax collector did not release them until he tortured and tantalized their bodies with ordeal and torture devices, killing them with unprecedented manners of homicide; he fastened a large sand-filled basket to ropes, hung the heavy burden on their neck, and placed them under the open sky, in the middle of the market-place, under the cruel stress of the accumulated punishment, the wind, the sun, the shame in front of the passers-by, and the burdens imposed, would they be brought to despair but the others, who had to watch their punishment, should feel pain in advance … Some chose to put an end to their lives by the sword, by poison or hanging, preferring a quick self-inflicted death rather than the prolonged torture. Nevertheless, those who had not previously killed themselves were successively held responsible, like at inheritance processes, first the closest relatives, and after them the relatives of the second and third degree, to the farthest; and when there was none left of the relatives. The mischief proceeded even farther to the neighbors, and occasionally into whole villages or towns, which soon lost and forfeit their inhabitants, because they moved away and scattered there, where they expected to remain undetected. « (L. Cohn 1910, p. 232 f)
Philo of Alexandria reports even of worst things: »Indeed I have heard of persons who, actuated by abnormal fury and cruelty, did not even spared the dead. In their brutality, they even flog the corpses of their victims even their final release through death and denied them to normal burial rites. The tax collectors’ defense was worse than their original accusation. « They said with contempt: »The reason why we mistreated the dead was not for the useless purpose of insulting the dead and senseless dust, but in order to motivate their surviving kin and friends to ransom the bodies of the deceased by making a final gift in payment for their bodies. « (Michael Leo Samuel 2016, p. 70)
Poverty and Hunger
The feeding of the people was entirely in the hands of the king. The granaries were full and the once independent farmers and craftsmen became subjects and were now completely at the mercy of the king and dependent on his officials. Instead of being able to order their fields, the men are exploited in mines and quarries. »Diodorus reports that slave boys who were still before adolescence had been called to work in the gold mines. « (Feucht LÄ, III, p. 438) From the Middle Kingdom is described that in a single expedition into the quarries of the Wadi Hammamat in the eastern desert 18,741 men were in action (Valbelle 1990, p. 59), where unimaginable living and working conditions called for large human losses. Others were killed in the distress of wars. The farmers were missed; the harvests were meager or fell out entirely. Already from the 1st. Dynasty, a severe famine is known.
The distribution monopoly of food stocks lay with the king. He thus had the power »to keep a large number of people dependent – provided that the granary was constantly protected by walls and warriors … An enclave of power, dominated by an upper-class, living in the grandiose style of tributes and taxes forcibly squeezed out of the whole community. « (Mumford 1974, p. 201)
Starving women and men on the way to the pyramid of Unas in Saqqara, (5th. Dynasty)
The people were starving while in the underground passages of the pyramidal district of Djoser/Zoser/ Djeser enormous amounts of wheat stocks, barley, mulberry figs and grapes are found (Lauer 1988, p. 103.
Extremely irritating for Egyptologists are the emaciated, starving women, men, and children on the way up to the Unas pyramid in Saqqara, what Egyptologist Alan Gardiner finds ›strange and inexplicable‹ (Gardiner 1961, p. 87). The assertion of archaeologist B. G. Trigger, that the Egyptians »had obtained peace and greater protection against hunger and, consequently, greater prosperity in return for increasing taxation and socage«, testifies to a blatant cynicism (1983, p. 51). At the latest in the 5th Dynasty, people can hardly be fed. Hunger and poverty are the order of the day. It was by no means the oft-cited Nile flood, that failed to appear, but the greed, incompetence, and irresponsibility of the patriarchal regime that led to famine.
Famished Beja shepherds, Meir, Old Kingdom
Renate Germer believes that the purpose of these representations is certainly »to clarify the great difference between the rich, well-ordered Egypt and the poor foreign countries, which did not provide sufficient supply for its inhabitants« (1991, p. 138). But according to this queer interpretation, the author must admit that these representations convey the impression that »in Egypt, there had always been sufficient food for all sections of the population, and the proverbial ›meat pots of Egypt‹ would always have been filled. « But that the texts would contradict this idea: »At all times we find, often only hidden, evidence of famine. «
Even more strange interpretations can be found for these ›strange and inexplicable‹ hunger documents: Egyptologist Waltraut Guglielmi writes: »If on a relief of the Middle Kingdom in Meir, a Bedja shepherd emaciated to the bones, shows fat cattle followed by a Herculean Egyptian, the foreign-country type should be characterized. « (Guglielmi LÄ, III, p. 82 ff) Germer noted that due to the signs of malnutrition found in natural mummies, nearly 30 percent of Egyptians were not fed enough in childhood (1991, p. 139). »Residents of the Eastern Desert who sought work in Egypt were questioned in detail about their living circumstances, and even if they stated that ›the desert was dying of hunger‹, sometimes, ›sent back to the desert the same day‹. « (Eva Eggebrecht 1984, p. 65) Serge Sauneron confirms: »There was always famine in the desert. A relief depicts, an atrocious realism, skeletally emaciated Bedouins, who, too weak to hold themselves upright, lie in pitiful position on the ground. « (LdÄK 1960, p. 110) Siegfried Schott does not want to accept the fact, he believes that the scene can hardly be an ›inner Egyptian reality‹, and can only be understood as having learned of the plight of a Bedouin tribe and that the king has prevented the impending catastrophe, by bringing the tribe across the borders to Egypt.
From the first to the second interim period »the whole south died of hunger, everyone ate their own children. « In a letter, a Theban writes to his mother: »Here they have begun to eat men and women«, but according to the Heqanakhte letters especially the children. « (Helck LÄ, I, p. 1269) Also in the Upper Egyptian Ballas are indications of cannibalism. »The fact must be assumed that the brain mass was probably eaten, because of the many missing skulls above all on female skeletons. « (Murray JEA 1956, p. 93) In large quantities of forcibly opened tube-bones, obviously, was scraped out or sucked out the bone marrow – some still show traces of teeth.
Fishing with the net was one of the tasks of ordinary people. Fish could have satisfied hunger, but »the haul was not the fisherman’s property. It belonged to the Lord in whose service he stood. Thus, in the depictions, he, gaspingly, brings his prey, lets it be counted, and written down, and finally has to be content with a small share as a wage« (Gamer-Wallert, quoted by Boessneck 1988, p. 118). For the patriarchal masters, oppression, hunger, poverty, and misery were and are not worthy of representation, and so we depend above all on the rare private lore. »Only a few were granted, to go to bed fed up every night«, writes Emma Brunner-Traut, but is outraged that »words like misery scream and hunger evoke the idea of beggar-distress among bloodsucking slaveholders. It is true that the Ancient Egyptians lived modestly by our standards, but in normal times they were content with existence and fed up« (1987, pp. 140 and 12). Measured against our standard, the majority of the people lacked the most necessary for life, and actually, the pharaohs can be called blood-sucking slave-owners. The people were obviously constantly threatened by starvation and hardly as happy as the euphemizing interpretation would suggest. On the grave image of Antefoker, we see a begging boy »who has an extraordinarily round tummy for his age«, while an old worker squeezes dates through a sieve: »›Give me date-mush, I’m hungry‹, whereupon the old man shouts at him: ›Shall the hippopotamus fetch you and the one who gave birth to you! You’re guzzling more than a plowing royal slave‹.« (Brunner-Traut, 1987, p. 13) Could not the exceptionally round tummy be the bloated belly of a malnourished, hungry child?
We know that »the records of the suffering of the necropolis workers of Deir el-Medina belong to the saddest sections of Egyptian history« Brunner-Traut writes (1987, p. 232). In this artist village the female and male graveyard workers and artists of the Valley of the Kings were kept prisoners. They entered the first documented strike in human history. With the cry of ›We are hungry! ‹ The artisans stopped their work in the Kings Valley because their wages in form of grain had not been paid. The misery of the workers was great, »everyone was in trouble, and yet the land was full of treasures. The temples sparkled with gold, Karnak was populated by an army of golden statues. But even more breathtaking than the treasures of the gods were those of the dead kings. « (Brunner-Traut 1987, p. 233)
The Enslavement of the Natives
»Slavery accrues as a result of war and conquest«, says Gerda Lerner (1991, p. 109). The people no longer had personal freedom. The entire Egyptian people were made slaves; slavery was common in all dynastic eras. »Forced labor, socage, relocation of entire villages were commonplace. Not even the free choice of place of residence was granted to the people. The interest of the landowner or the state has always been in the foreground. « (Gutgesell 1989, p. 33) Helck offers us an astonishing interpretation of slavery. He thinks, slaves were »originally dependent servants who had to be cared for by their Lord«, what resulted in a »service of honor« (Helck LÄ, V, p. 982). Thus, the inhumanity of slavery is reversed into a humanitarian action. The example from the Middle Kingdom of an average civil servant household shows that at least 75 slaves, 33 of them of Egyptian origin (19 men and 14 women) and 42 Asians (8 men and 34 women) were employed. From the 2nd interim period and the beginning of the 18th dynasty, even larger numbers of female and male slaves in private households are registered, who could be inherited and sold. Even children did not escape this lot. Confirmed are both, official and private slave trade with fairly stable prices (men 2 Deben silver, women 4 Deben, 1 Deben = 13.6 grams) (Helck LÄ, V, p. 984).
»Most historians who deal with slavery have noticed that initially,
the majority of prisoners were women; but they have gone over this fact
without paying much attention to it. « (Gerda Lerner)
Female slaves were more expensive because not only their much valued reliability their perfect labor and artistic talents could multifariously be exploited: As sex objects of their masters and as provider of welcome offspring, they were worth twice the price. Obviously, many did not appreciate the ›honor‹, the reputable slaveholders gave to them, and ran away despite the threat of severe punishment. Fled and recaptured slaves were sentenced to death. Against the escape, the branding of the owner brand with fire stamps, also at women and children, should remedy. On the subject of slavery, American historian Gerda Lerner writes, that slavery accrues as a result of war and conquest. (1991, p. 109):
»Slavery is the first institutionalized form of hierarchical
dominance in the history of humankind. « (Gerda Lerner)
Helck stated that there had already been a lively slave trade with Syria in the Old Kingdom, which probably intensified in the Middle Kingdom. »Especially Syrian women found their way to Egypt. « (Helck 1971, p. 87) Most of them came directly to the pharaonic brothel or the labor camp. The author distracts from this crime against abducted women by remarking that in the ancient empire »Egyptian thought had, in a grand development, found its way from the primeval god-kingdom to those ideas according to which, the king has to carry out God’s will, that is manifested in justice« (ibid.) Not men, gods are responsible for the shocking behaving of males.
The scholars do not like the word ›slaves‹; they prefer terms such as the servants, subordinates, servitors or prisoners of war. The position of slaves was »comparable to that of serfs of the European Middle Ages, but not to that of Roman slaves«, purports Helck (LÄ, II, p. 1235 f). But Eva Eggebrecht points out: »These people were in such a degree of servitude that slavery must be spoken of, even if the Egyptian sources do not yet provide such a clear definition as those of Greek and Roman antiquity (1984, p. 67).
Kurt Lange frees the construction of the pyramids from all »malicious insinuations« of slave labor and praises them cynically as »a work of creative devoutness which heightened them« and he justified this by saying that the king was then »the Central Orb«, whose will was »existence, meaning, and mission« (Lange 1952, p. 37). He enthusiastically continues: »The prehistoric chieftain, on whose vision, bravery, and purposefulness depended the well-being of the horde, the tribe, and the people, and who therefore enjoyed shy, even cultic worship, experienced the highest in the pharaoh of the pyramidal period. « Lange finds his version infinitely »more memorable and more satisfying than the earlier almost universally accepted one. « It liberates »the emblems of Egypt from the idea of moaning slaves and swatting scourges, what was tied to it since age ago. « (Lange 1952, p. 38) The unconscious, collective memory of humankind, however, is more reliable than the constructs of historians. We hear from Josephus, the Jewish historian of the first century AD:
»The Egyptians apparently have not enjoyed one single day
of freedom in their whole history. « (Flavius Josephus)
Most historians consider slavery not as an injustice that cries out to heaven but see it in the sense of a ›god-desired‹ hierarchical class division, as it originated in Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Aristotle, who propagated it as characteristically in the Indo-Europeanized, ›democratic‹ designated Greece: »There are slaves by nature, to dominate them is nothing disgraceful. « »The slave was a second-class person. For a long time, slaves were regarded as objects, much like animals. « (Bleibtreu-Ehrenberg 1990, p. 71 f) The misanthropist and misogynist Aristotle »unequivocally declares the status of the slave for just as natural as that of women with the sole reason that this is necessary for the liberation of the (free) male from labor because to an intelligible being labor is unreasonable. « (Meier-Seethaler 1989, p. 311). Jesus and Paul accepted slavery unrestrained. »The parables, which the Gospels put in the mouth of Jesus, presuppose slavery without a word of criticism, indeed they transfigure the model of the relationship between God and man. « (Matthew 18:23 ff): »That is why Heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. « (Kahl, 1968, p. 18) Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians the inhuman sentence: »If you were called as a slave, that should not bother you; even if you can become free, rather live as a slave. For he who was called as a slave in the Lord is a freedman of the Lord. « (1 Cor 7:21 f)
Sadism and Torture
The penalty for rebellion was »the infliction of evils in retaliation for the transgression against the world order embodied by the goddess Maat … The purpose was to restore the disturbed order and reconcile the deities offended by the crime« (Boochs LÄ, VI, p. 68 ff). Rebellion, called ›Disobedience to the state‹ were threatened by stick-beating to the feet and hands, broken bones, confiscation of property, enslavement of wife and children, imprisonment or banishment to oases and quarries to do forced labor. This »torture as a means of judicial truth-finding« could be followed by processing of hands and feet with the prickles, which was connected with turning and screwing so that a tool for twisting the hands and feet can be thought of (Helck LÄ, II, p. 279).
»With every increase in effective might, sadistic and murderous impulses erupted
from the unconscious. This is the trauma that distorts the later development of
›civilized‹ societies. Moreover, this fact stains the entire history of humankind with
outbreaks of collective madness and primitive megalomania, mixed with malicious
mistrust, murderous hatred, and inhumane atrocities. « (Lewis Mumford)
In his book ›Mythos der Maschine‹, (The myth of the machine), Mumford mentions a passage from Thomas Hobbes’s book ›The Laws of Manu‹ (with strong Indo-European connotations), quoted by Karl Wittfogel: ›If the king did not tirelessly impose punishments on those offenders, the stronger ones would roast the weaker ones like fish on spits. … Punishment alone rules all creatures; punishment alone protects them‹. »For the great mass of people, the old mega-machine had minimal rewards, but maximum penalties; these practices were so pervasive that even the highest officials in the state were often subjected to similar humiliations and compulsions. « (1974, p. 632) »Mumford originally understood the mega-machine to mean the integration of people into a comprehensive hierarchical organization, which one of external main purpose, for example to build pyramids as a labor force, to hold an empire together or to fight as soldiers in armies in the world wars. « (Wikipedia)
Women were the most persecuted people of the patriarchal invaders
Priests against women. ›The ›Bastonade‹, the beating with sticks,
was the order of the day and could even lead to death. (Maspero 1891, p. 186)
For all the atrocities committed by priests, tax collectors and other government officials can be found quickly a justification. »The deities had to be calmed« by these sadistic measures: through torture, brutal mutilations, branding, cutting hands, noses, ears, and tongues, putting out the eyes, castration, burning, drowning, beheading or by being devoured by wild animals. This sheds an impressive light on the ruling class and on the religion of the pharaonic state, which prides itself on the righteousness and wisdom of the goddess Maat and the kings. Merneptah, Sobekhotep II, Akhenaten, Seti, and Ramesses IX employed the cruel execution of the impaling through the abdomen. It was particularly used in response to ›crimes against the state‹ and regarded across a number of cultures as a very harsh form of capital punishment.
The same method has been used in Mesopotamia since the early 3rd millennium to the Assyrian time, and is found in the Bible. When the followers of the new monotheism under Moses clashed with the peoples worshiping the goddess, the ›wrath of the Lord‹ shall have flared up and he commanded Moses: »Take all the leaders of the people and impale them on piles for the Lord, in the sight of the sun, to let the Lord abandon the fierce wrath of Israel. « (Numbers 25, 1-5) Those who survived the pharaonic sadism suffered from physical hard work, deprivation and penury. Hunger, illness, impending police, and arbitrariness of officials were the daily lot of people in the Nile Valley. »Each and every one of those sad circumstances in which the peasant suffered from birth to death was hard enough to endure on its own. In their totality, however, they destroyed him physically and mentally until he resembled a tamed ox, submissive, meek, frightened, apathetic. « (Caminos 1990, p. 48 f) Pharaohs wishes were equal to our God and ecorded in Psalm 51: »The sacrifice that pleases God is a remorseful spirit, a broken and smashed heart.«
»The negative institutions of ›civilization‹,
stain every page of history with blood. « (Mumford)
First Human Sacrifice
Much nonsense has been written about human sacrifice, particularly as regards speculation about human sacrifice in the Paleolithic. Human sacrifice is clearly an excess of patriarchy. The idea that one can fulfill one’s favor or protection or any wish through ›barter‹ – ›I give to you – you give to me‹– arose in a patriarchal brain. To this day, this is the basic idea behind corruption and when buying sex for a fee; common and widespread in the men’s world.
Human sacrifice or simply an assassination? Iconographic evidence. Fragmentary label of king Hor-Aha from Abydos, showing a bound prisoner being sacrificed.
Egyptian Archeologists stated the execution of humans since the time of the upheaval in Naqada II and a hundredfold increase in the first Dynasty. The religious scholar Ina Wunn confirms: »Securely, bloody human sacrifices can only be verified in the Bronze Age in the front-Eurasian region. « (2005)
Why did these men, who must be important, have to die? What role did they play? Did they belong to an important clan or even to the royal family? Why were they put out of the way? Egyptologists do not ask such questions, they write as if these killings are holy, cultic-religious sacrificial rituals.
A shackled captive is stabbed. Detail from the wooden label of king
Djer/Zer from Saqqara, see Chapter 4 (Emery 1961, p. 59)
»An officiant plunges a dagger into the prisoners’s breast, while a bowl stands between the two to catch the blood. « (after Petrie 1901, III.6) Possibly the torn out heart was ›sacrificed‹ to their god Horus, or given to a living, brought along, falcon to eat. Since the murder takes place in the time of Hor-Aha, i.e. from the time after the conquest through the cattle breeders, it could also be a custom of the butchers to drink the blood of the killed animal and to extend this to the murder of people. »Recent excavations at the Predynastic cemetery of Adaïma have also revealed evidence of human sacrifice in burials of the Naqada II period. One body showed signs of the throat having been cut, followed by decapitation« (Midant-Reynes et al. 1996, p. 15, quoted by Wilkinson 1999, p. 266).
Emery believes: »The Saqqara label apparently records some important religious festival at which human sacrifice was performed. « (1961, p. 59) The murder of undesirable people is also religiously cloaked as ›human sacrifice‹, embellished, justified, ignored, dismissed as insignificant or interpreted as a ›cultic ritual from the ›prehistoric‹ time‹ or as originally ›African‹ (=uncivilized). Wilkinson writes: »The first human sacrifice may represent a survival of prehistoric practice or alternatively an experiment in absolute power conducted by the first kings of a united Egypt. … There is a limited amount of evidence to suggest that human sacrifice in a cultic setting, was practiced in the Predynastic period and at the very beginning of the Early period, albeit, perhaps, on a small scale. In common with other unusual aspects of Early Dynastic religion – most notably the reverence shown for – the possible deification of the royal placenta … Human sacrifice may have belonged to an ancient African substratum of Egyptian Culture. « (Wilkinson 1999, p. 265 f) Wilkinson never tires of glossing over the murders as religious, justifying them as punishment or interpreting them in a racist way. He claims later again: »Victims were offered to the gods; and the later occurrence, which seem to involve the ceremonial execution of criminals or enemy captives. These latter were apparently carried out in a sacred setting to invoke the supernatural [!] powers in countering the forces of chaos. « (Wilkinson 1999, p. 266).
Not servants, but the members of the matriarchal clan, the entire religious and state leadership, was sacrificed during the first Dynasty. In Abydos there are around 1000 murdered people (see SATI in chapter 6). To justify the cruelty of the murders, they are repeatedly interpreted as sacred religious rituals. However, there is not a single tenable indication of this. The taboo on seeing reality as such blinds the authors to the terrible truth. (see ›Human Sacrifice‹, see also: ›The brutal end: Sati – the murder of the queen, her relatives and her court at the death of the king‹ in Chapter 6)
The murder of humans is religiously whitewashed and thus legitimized. What Egyptologists do not want to see: Not the gods, but the rulers are responsible for the crimes. The murderers simply mask their sadistic lust for murder with the bigoted fraud of religiosity. The Egyptian historian Manetho reports that in the Upper Egyptian Eileithyaspolis (El Kab) at a certain time of the year humans were burnt alive, whom they called typhonic, devilish. Manetho confirms, the burning of typhonic humans goes back to the time of the penetration of the Horus worshipers in Hierakonpolis and the first dynasties. Although it is often stated that the barbaric custom could scarcely have been maintained beyond the early days, there is no lack of clues in later times. Thus in the New Kingdom, according to the testimony of a private grave, Nubians were strangled with ropes at the funeral, performed in accordance with the ancient royal ritual. As justification for the slaughter of human beings served the embodiment of ›hostile powers‹, ascribed to them. On the walls of the late temples of Edfu, Dendera and Philae several human murders are depicted. »In Edfu, even the remains of an altar were found, which was designed, according to the image decoration, for human sacrifices. But the killing clothes itself in the form of a sacrifice, and with it one followed certainly the old custom«, Bonnet appeases. (Bonnet 1971, pp. 452–55) How deprecatingly the issue of human sacrifice is treated, which clearly is derived from the patriarchal era, is shown in the ›Encyclopedia of Egyptology‹. The inglorious theme is addressed only briefly, whereby the author tries above all to doubt the fact, to present it as »symbolic«, or to attribute it to »foreign influence«, which is correct, indeed (s. Griffiths LÄ, IV, p. 64 f), but not of African, but of Indo-European/Aryan influence. The assertions based on pure guesses that human sacrifices had already taken place in the Neolithic could never be proven. These hypotheses are based on conclusions from later, already patriarchal superimposed epochs of the metals. Meanwhile, it is considered certain that human sacrifices occur for the first time in the early Bronze Age with the conquests of Indo-Europeans; not only in Egypt and Mesopotamia but also at the Early Bronze Age when Indo-European Kurgan hordes reached India and Western China. »In the patriarchal ritual-literature of the [Indo-Aryan] Vedas are given precise instructions on how to carry out the complicated ceremonies of a human sacrifice. « (Heydecker 1994, p. 286) Certainly, these teachings how to sacrifice people would not have been necessary if it had already been common in pre-patriarchal times.
Soldier’s miserable Life
The »completely non-warlike nature of the Egyptian farmers, which already forced the kings of the earliest time to use foreign troops«, attested the Ancient-Orientalist W. Max Mueller (1893, p. 2). On the other hand, he reports on the battle scenes of Beni Hassan of the 12th dynasty: »The art style emerging on the large wall surfaces comes from Babylonia. Especially its voluptuous cruelty is un-Egyptian. « (1893, p. 5) Gaston Maspero, at the time one of the best connoisseurs of ancient Egyptian history, maintains that »the Egyptian of pure race« had no pleasure in the arms craft and the plight of the soldier’s misery offered the ancient Egyptian writer inexhaustible material for ridicule and mockery. »He describes with special pleasure the soldiers who ragged, half-starved and thirsted, maltreated by his superiors on the smallest occasion, only escaping from the enemy’s arrows to succumb to the marching effort, and then he sets the unflattering painting against the image of the scribe, who is getting rich and respected without danger. Therefore, as soon as there is the talk of war, at least half of the men, who would be fit for service by age, flee to the mountains, where they are beyond the reach of the officials, who are making up the squad. There they remain hidden until the recruitment is over and the young crew is on its way, and then they return to their villages. « (Maspero 1891, p. 80) The ›Chief of the Soldiers‹ under Pepi II (6th dynasty) tells of a campaign with [indigenous] Egyptian and Nubian soldiers: »None of them argued with the other, none of them robbed bread dough or sandals from a wanderer, none of them took bread out of any city, none of them took a goat from anyone. « (Erman 1984, p. 623) This is in blatant contrast to the behavior of the conquerors who plundered, murdered, and raped. Among the fighters were many of the abducted children who had been forcibly recruited into military installations where they were disciplined into child soldiers. A poem by Amen-em-epe reports:
»Oh, what should it mean that you say:
›The soldier is better off than the scribe is.‹
Come, I want to tell you how the soldier is,
the much-plagued man:
He is brought as a child and locked up in a barrack.
He gets a painful blow on his stomach,
a splitting blow on his eyebrows,
and his head is split by a wound.
One puts him down and knocks him like a papyrus,
he is smashed by birching.
Come, I want to tell you about his trip to Syria,
from his march on the mountains.
He carries his bread and water on his shoulder,
like a donkey’s load;
The vertebral bones of his back are bending,
and he drinks rotten water …
If he gets to the enemy,
so he is like a captive bird,
in whose limbs there is no strength left.
Does he get home to Egypt?
He is like wood that the worm eats.
He is ill and has to lie down,
you bring him on the donkey,
while his clothes are stolen and his servant runs away.
Therefore, oh scribe, Ennene, change your mind
›The soldier is better off than the scribe‹.«
The Trauma of War Women
During the wars, exact records were kept of the number of the deads and prisoners. »For the sake of simplicity, the prisoners were bound and must defile, and their hands or phalluses were cut off, which were then counted by the scribes. « (Leca 1988, p. 428)
In ›Pharaoh’s honor: After massacring their people, the women had to gather the chopped off hands and genitals of their murdered men and pile them up in front of the pharaoh. (North Tower, west wall Medinet Habu)
»Cut off phalluses are Egyptian trophies of the Ramesside Wars and here only proven in the battles against a Libyan tribe«, writes Peter Behrens. »There are several indications, however, that formerly the custom of cutting off the virile part (Membrum virile) from the defeated enemy could have been more prevalent. « (LÄ, IV, p. 1019) Further, the deads were additionally made infertile in death. In order to completely eradicate the seed of the annihilated enemy, their phalluses are cut off and offered to the god (Feucht, HÄB 1990, p. 31).
The Egyptologist Emma Brunner-Traut is outraged by the state terror perpetrated by the Assyrian kings. But she is blind to what the pharaohs are doing in Egypt. And she does not know that the warlike Assyrian leaders who are known for their brutality are not indigenous to Mesopotamia. The Assyrian kings, like the pharaohs, are the descendants of the Indo-European conquerors. She writes: »For the Assyrian life is a battle that must be ruthlessly waged. « And she praises him as: »Ashurbanipal, the energetic leader of an important state, the sensitive art patron, the ingenious creator of the most comprehensive library in the prehistoric world, was no less cruel than his ancestors and descendants, whose mere names spread panic. They trained systematic terror against enemies to perfection. Conquered cities and villages were completely exterminated. Prisoners terribly tortured. Bored, the reports tell how after the victory they were violated alive, impaled by the hundreds and then locked in cages after horrific mutilation. « (Brunner-Traut 1987, p. 46)
The Slaughter of Wild Animals:
Hunting Pleasure of the Dominion-Men
The ex-cattle breeders and butchers who had come to power through invasion apparently missed the killing and eating of animals in the land of vegetarians. Meanwhile the bow and arrow had been invented; so they turned to hunting. The American historian and sociologist Lewis Mumford states in his history of culture and civilization that there is no doubt about the origin of the unconditional reign and the specific mannerisms of kings: »It was the hunt that was of use for support and processing the initiative, self-confidence, and ruthlessness that kings must practice to gain and retain dominion. Ultimately, it was the hunter’s weapons that gave his commands, whether they were rational or irrational, the backing of violence – above all the readiness to kill. This original connection between royalty and hunting has remained visible throughout written history [for 5,000 years]: from the steles on which Egyptian and Assyrian kings boast of their bravery as lion hunters, to the preservation of vast hunting grounds as the inviolable domains of the kings of our own Epoch. Hunting and fighting were, in fact, exchangeable activities. »This original connection between kingship and hunting has remained visible throughout written history… The unscrupulous use of (hunting-) weapons to control the political and economic activities of whole communities has been one of the most effective inventions of kingship. Hunting weapons or weapons of war were never dug up in the earliest Neolithic villages, although they had become common in the Iron Age. « (Mumford, 1974), p. 199 f)
»The elite hunting apparently satisfies the need for power and domination
and also a certain sadism that is characteristic of power elites. « (Erich Fromm)
The hunting of the animals of the desert was reserved for the king only and represent a characteristic of the newly acquired kingdom on the Nile. The conquerors brought it from Mesopotamia, where first illustrations of hunting with spears, bow and arrow in the time of creation of the kingship, are observed (Amiet 1980, p. 39 f, p. 602–611). In the Old Kingdom of Egypt apparently, only the king was equipped with the bow and arrow and seemingly, he had a »reservation right to certain species of animals, such as the wild bull or the lion. « (Altenmüller, LÄ, III, p. 222) About the brutal hunt has been proudly reported back then and unto the present. Most of the time these are euphemistic justifications ranging from ›heroic deeds‹ to ›religious duty‹ and ›animal love‹. A connection can be established between the killing of animals and the king »who, as a guarantor of the world order, played the role of a champion against human and animal enemies« (Störk LÄ, IV, p. 502). He is to symbolically rid the country of enemies by defeating the animals. »The hunt emphasizes the physical superiority of the hunting-lord over the numinous powers of the animal world, for instance in parallel to the ritual cast-down of the enemies. « (Altenmüller LÄ, III, p. 232)
Altenmüller claims that hunting was one of the oldest forms of food gaining (LÄ, III, p. 221), and he asserts that it »already was developed in prehistoric times when hunting was still an important factor in the food economy« (ibid., p. 230). He thinks, hunting in the historical period no longer played the paramount role that it once had in prehistory, although hunting pictures were widely used in the cult grounds of royal and private tombs (LÄ, III, p. 224). But hunting has never been a major factor in feeding the people. On the one hand, the Neolithic Egyptians were vegetarian, eating fish but no meat. (see: ›Von den VegetarierInnen zu den Fleischessern‹)
It is the valuable fats, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, that played a central role in the development of the brain. It was fish, not meat, that further developed the pre-human brain, because these omega-3 fatty acids are not found in warm-blooded meat. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for mothers during pregnancy and the young child. Children were usually breastfed for two to three years. »The meat of sun-dried fish was the first food after weaning.« (Ingrid Gamer-Wallert, LÄ, II, S. 226) On the other hand, the kings never hunted to feed the people anyway. There was no pity, neither for hungry people nor for animals: »Hunting times and periods of protecting were unknown to the Egyptians. In depictions of the Old and Middle Kingdom, it can be seen that the hunt took place mainly in the spring, at a time when the animals mated or the cubs were born. « (Altenmüller LÄ, III, p. 222) Thus, the ›food source‹ was reduced so that the game stock fell dramatically and the kings increasingly shifted the hunt abroad. One cannot speak of a ›cock-and-bull story‹, believes Emma Brunner-Traut, when Thutmosis III boasted that he had killed 12 wild animals before breakfast; »and he hung their tails on the back of his loincloth. He had killed 7 lions and 120 elephants in the campaign against the Mitanni in the marshes at the Orontes« (Brunner-Traut 1987, p. 41). Amenhotep III is in no way inferior to him in bloodthirst and boastfulness. From a herd of 176 bulls in the Delta he wants to have killed 96 of them. On a commemorative-scarab, he also prided himself on »having captured 102 lions in the first decade of his reign« (Brunner-Traut ibid.). This heroic hunter was not only known for his brutal slaughter of animals. In the fifth year of his reign he punished some »haughty Negro tribes in Sudan who were outraged and planned big things«, and he triumphantly recounted the carnage he had done there: »The wild-looking lion, this prince, assassinated them on command of [God] Amon-Atum. « (Weigall 1923, p. 21) As usual, sadism and brutality are pseudo-religiously transfigured and thereby represented as ethically acceptable and even necessary. Emma Brunner-Traut writes: »Hunting as well as sacrifice took place in front of a religious background, and in the quasi-cultic spectacles, the animals were ritually declared enemies. « (Brunner-Traut 1987, p. 42). She bemoaned how man raped the creature in Assyria. A picture shows a dying lioness, roaring with pain, drags herself ahead with her forelegs after two of Assurbanipal’s hunt-arrows hit her spine so that she can only haul slowly the paralyzed hind-legs. « (Emma Brunner-Traut 1987, p. 46)
Hunting for black people. Hunting chest of Tutankhamun (Cairo Museum)
The author is lacking the same compassion for the people and animals of Egypt because she has not overlooked that on the hunting chest of Tutankhamun, the image of an equally murderous lion hunt with half a dozen lionesses pierced by Tutankhamun’s arrows, is depicted. But even worse is: On the back is pictured another hunting, except that the hunted and pierced with arrows beings are not lionesses, but black people, who besides are also hounded and attacked by dogs. The striking affinity of the Egyptian with the Near-Asian tyrannical rulers is undeniable. However, not merely Egyptian, Assyrian, and Iranian representations do convey the murderous slaughter of the animals by the ›great hunters‹: In the Bible, one hears the echo. Noah’s son Kush begot Nimrod; »he was the first tyrant on earth. He was a mighty hunter in the eyes of Yahweh. « (1 Moses 10: 8-9)
The immeasurable hunt for the Egyptian animal world was pure lust for killing. A text of the Middle Kingdom describes hunting in the rich Egyptian savannahs. Hunt beaters prepared the game for the king and lured the wild animals, which allowed the hunters to shoot into the full mass. »When during the battue the animals have been urged close together in the enclosure, hunting was like target-disc-shooting. « (Brunner-Traut 1987, p. 41) The attack on the animals, which degenerated, almost up until extermination, was justified by the alleged malice and underhandedness of the animals: Crocodiles »lurked hostile«, or the evil snorting of the hippopotamus »portentously terrified the innocent hunter« (ibid.). However, it was not the fierce nature of the animals, they were traced for; they were sacred animals of the goddess, which should be exterminated in order to prevent their worship. »While the Egyptian sought to eradicate the hippopotamus by harpooning, he fended off the crocodile solely by magic, but obviously with success. Both animals, not only the hippo, are quite rare during Roman times in Egypt and limited only to certain areas. The last conspecifics were killed in the Delta in 1658 and in Upper Egypt in 1850. « (Brunner-Traut 1987, p. 42) Since the Middle Kingdom, animals had to be imported from Sudan and Libya to replace the extinct species. In Roman times, barbarism went so far as to organize animal-hunts in which hippos had to fight crocodiles in a ghastly spectacle.
The clean-washing of the murderous masters of mankind sometimes leads to strange inconsistencies. Brunner-Traut assures that the gentlemen who hunted for pleasure, did not do this without a sense of responsibility, she says: »With the relieving declaration, regarding the hunted or sacrificed animal, of being the enemy, the Egyptians approach to the ethical demands of Albert Schweitzer to give an account for the if so necessary killing of animals. «
It is not necessary to ponder at Albert Schweitzer’s chest about bloodthirsty rulers and gods and the necessity of killing animals for the purpose of preserving life. And in order not to pose unwanted questions about killing as a »guarantor of the world order«, we are taught that even Pharaoh has been afflicted with animal love and animal worship and the necessity to slaughter, hunt, and sacrifice animals and people – like Jesus – for the patriarchal Gods.
It were the cult animals of the goddess, especially the lioness, the matriarchal symbol of motherhood, for caring and nourishing, which were declared ›enemies‹ by the rulers: hippopotamuses, crocodiles, wild deer, lions and panthers, gazelles and antelopes, donkeys, pigs and even fishes, birds, and turtles were rushed, hunted and slaughtered. Hermann Kees stated: »In the cult propaganda against the crocodiles and hippos, especially the Upper Egyptian, we clearly see the origin of the attack. It is borne by the falcon cult places; Edfu precedes the sources which are preserved for us, but the same justifications have certainly also been used by Kus in the nom of Koptos (Qift) and other places. « (1987, p. 133). Kees points out that this propaganda stood in connection to kingship, respectively, to the ›god-kingship‹ and was therefore particularly dangerous.
The Palliation of the Terror Regime
The cruelties, atrocities and crimes against the Egyptian people and the excessive hunting and extermination of wild animals are repeatedly whitewashed and in prayer-mills-manner. And – the gods are made responsible for the horror-acts of men (male).
Captured ›enemies‹ (Flinders Petrie 1901, II)
Bonhême and Forgeau want to see a creative act in the wars against the natives and note: »Despite many realistic statements about the war, despite the representation of the bound enemies under the ruler’s feet, and despite the abundance of military scenes in the visual arts, the war is never an end in itself, but serves the maintenance and continuation of creation. « (Bonhême/Forgeau 1991, p. 174) Is the ›creation‹ really sustained when the king spreads »destruction in conquered territories«, »when he beats its inhabitants, bumps them back, crushes them, defeats, kills, packs and subjugates them«? (Bonhême/Forgeau 1991, p. 181)
John Romer claims that the rulers did not make their campaigns through Egypt to return in triumph with their prey to their southern cities, rather »to establish only one single nation with their conquests. « But he admits that the state they created ›appropriated‹ much of the wealth of trade and commerce. But that seems justified to him, for »there was only one power that surveyed the well-being of the whole country: the king. « (Romer 1982, p. 56) Alan Gardiner excuses the forays by saying that they served a ›useful aim‹: »These journeys were to provide the sovereign with the material to satisfy his passion for buildings, to increase the luxury of his court, and to live up to the claims of his gods. « (Gardiner 1961, p. 89) An equally astonishing assertion is made by the German Egyptologist Jan Assmann: »Pharaoh, seen from Egypt, is not an arbitrary despot, but in turn responsible to a deity who occurs with the claim of liberation. « (Assmann 1990, p. 15)
But this does not prevent the ›liberators‹, committed to their God, from appropriating their power by murdering their predecessors. This already began in the 1. Dynasty: Semerkhet, according to Manetho, a reckless despot, who brought great mischief to the country, has dismantled the names of his predecessor Adjib and his mother Merit-Neith. The same did his successor Ka-a with the name of Semerkhet, who was, therefore, a usurper. According to the archaeologist G. A. Reisner, Djedefre (4th dynasty) »came to the throne only after the murder of his elder brother, who was the actual crown prince. After a reign of only eight years, he himself seems to have been pushed off the throne and murdered by a younger brother, Khafre (Chef-re, Chief-re) … Amenemhet I., the founder of the 12th dynasty, probably also suffered a similar fate. « (Montet 1975, p. 108). But for another author, the grave conflicts were »at once religious and political. The monuments consecrated by Seth-Peribsen ’s successor Khasekhemwy in the temple of Hierakonpolis, point out that the times remained agitated. On the pedestal of two statues showing him enthroned with the Upper Egyptian crown pictures of slain Lower Egyptians are engraved with huge number-data« (Walter Wolf 1977, p. 57). In Khasekhemwy ’s tomb in Abydos axes were found whose purpose could scarcely be doubted; they were the first hangman-hatchets, executioner-axes, which, as documented on the Narmer palette, found their cruel use in Egypt. In this mass murderer, who claims to have massacred a huge number of ›rebels‹ – entire villages and towns must have rebelled – an author sees an ›important ruler-figure‹ that consolidated the state unity again after an obviously confused, combative time. (Hornung 1988, p. 12)
The claim that the transition from the prehistoric to the historical period was a ›cultural, a civilizational advance‹, as some people claim, sounds like pure mockery in face of the barbarism of the deified tyrants. Those scientists who want to see uncritically these innovations and idealizing them as a ›civilizational evolution‹ but do not recognize the consequent destruction of the old culture and the egalitarian social structure, jealously guard and defend this ›progress‹ as an ›Egyptian accomplishment. Only by downplaying the disturbing evidence of the brutal tyranny it is possible to uphold the popular but fake image of the perfectly intact world of Pharaonic Egypt.
The Pharaonic autocratic Reign of Terror
The despotic rule of the pharaohs reveals all the horrors of autocratic dictatorship. In his work ›Oriental Despotism‹, the sociologist Karl August Wittfogel describes precisely the despotic form of government that prevailed in Egypt under the pharaohs: »The ruler claims total power, and a strong state bureaucracy completely dominates the country. In such societies, there are no political counterweights that can provide for civil liberties. The cities are characterized by a strong dependence on the official servants so that merchants and craftsmen could not become its own political force. Oriental despotism has a very detrimental effect on the dignity of the individual. « (Wittfogel 1957)
There is no democratic freedom and no self-determination of the people. Through propaganda and education, they are exposed to a constant indoctrination of the dominant ideology, disguised as ›religion‹. How dangerous the combination of ideology/religion and government is, shows clearly the experience with the National Socialism. Religiously shrouded ideology is far from reason and rationality; is rigid, dogmatic and intolerant and allows no questions and no doubts; people have to believe unquestionably! Human rights are respected little or not at all. The people face constant controls by spies, and intelligence services, and are subjected to arbitrary repression and arrest. The military has priority, Wars are glorified as the ›art of war‹, bloody conquests are extolled as ›successful expansion‹.
Moreover, something else is characteristic of fascist dictatorships: the ostentatious architecture that we constantly encounter in Egypt. It is not for nothing that the bombastic state facilities, the palatial residences are, religiously glossed over, called ›temples‹. Gordon Childe did not let himself be dazzled; he did call the enormous architectural structures not temples, but the palaces of the rulers, monuments of their power (Childe 1958, p. 154).
The so-called Temple were the residence of the kings and the imprisoned women, the harem, their reams of officers, clerks and priests. The monumental layout of the temple of Medinet Habu was surrounded by a 10-meter wide, and 21-meter high adobe wall; but even this protection did little for the king. About 1156 AD Ramses III was killed. His mummy shows, that his throat has been cut through. The murder was prepared and carried out by a revolt of the women of the harem, which shows that inside the palace, again and again, women took the power to defend themselves. However, female and male Egyptologists do not call the rebellion of women an uprising, but an ›intrigue‹. Women are not revolutionaries or courageous insurgents; they are merely mean ›intriguers‹.
Revolts have not been seldom. While the folk was starving, the ruler and his dependents bragged about the construction of the magnificent buildings. According to Reeves (2002, p. 80 f), 3.25 tons of electrum (a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver), as documented by the records of the needed material to decorate a single building, the Month-Temple, in the vast district of Karnak, 2.5 tons of gold, 420 kg of copper, 10 tons of edited (?) copper, 1.5 tons of bronze, 567 kg of lapis lazuli, and 98 kg of turquoise« were processed. Eva Eggebrecht points out: »Beneficiaries of the Egyptian Empire were preferably the extensive temple grounds of the Amun-Re of Karnak. No king neglected to add further splendor to the imperial sanctuary through foundations of pylons, porticoes, and obelisks, reflected in the Holy Sea. « (E. Eggebrecht 1984, p. 87)
It is not surprising that the idealization of the despotic patriarchal god-monarchy prevails in texts by Egyptologists, who grew up in the first half of the 20th century in the spirit of the repressive authoritarian and totalitarian Western world and fascism; in the spirit of submission to the desired ideals of the ›divine‹ sole ruler, ›the Leader‹ (see Chapter 1). From a psychological point of view, the rampant idealization of Egyptian theocracy – still as it was in the time of fascism – is a defensive strategy that elevates behavior, people, epochs, religions, etc. or the self to an unrealistically inflated ideal. A lack of a reality check of an idealization can lead to a cognitive bias or cognitive illusions and fanaticism. (Wikipedia) The overestimation of themselves by the male elite, which went hand in hand with the devaluation of women, finally led to the end of the first epoch of the Egyptian state under the foreign rule of the Indo-European-Aryan dynasties of the former conquerors.
»… we can judge the cultural level of a people according to
the more or less tolerable position of women in society.«
(Jean-Francois Champollion 1827 on his trip to Egypt)
The Collapse of the Old Kingdom
The frighteningly increasing patriarchalization disempowered the learned women who had once created prosperity and culture, what gradually led to the chaotic conditions, the injustices, the oppression and exploitation, the hardship and impoverishment of the population under the now ruling former immigrated ranchers and which ended in riots.
After Cheops’s death – and probably much earlier – the country’s economic situation was catastrophic. We know from the ›cannibalistic texts‹ of the Unas pyramid (5th Dynasty) of the »excessiveness of unrestrained parvenus, which should endanger the throne and conjure up the first great social revolution« (Lange 1952, p. 31). By the 5th dynasty at the latest, people can hardly be fed. Hunger and poverty are the order of the day. Some Egyptologists blame the climate, the lack of Nile floods, which caused a drought of 20 years and thus famine. Nevertheless, the causes were primarily greed, ineptitude, extravagance and irresponsibility of the kings from abroad, which brought about the collapse of the patriarchal regime. Egyptologist Kurt Lange accuses the indigenous people as the real culprits: The prehistoric ›unrefined‹ people of the Nile Valley who revolted and endangered the throne. From this »speaks the prehistoric human being, who, after all, lives on in his original way of life and has proved himself to be stronger than the refined dweller of the residence. « (Lange 1952, p. 31) In the 6th dynasty, art lapses definitively, while the pharaonic religion grows rampantly into primitive superstition and magic.
The Indo-European dynasties ruined matriarchal cultures.
The precious matriarchal inheritance was squandered.
Abuut 1000 years later, around 2200 – after the conquest of Egypt – the wonderful legacy of matriarchal culture, prosperity and peace was doomed. What had been achieved over thousands of years of patient work was ruined. The thriving culture that the Indo-Europeans found when they came to power has been destroyed by war, overexploitation, mismanagement, corruption, greed and waste.In the Papyrus Leiden (papyrus malady), the writer Ipuwer reports of the unrestricted power and excess of the power elite, the oppression and destruction of the country, of lamentation, exhaustion, bitterness and the anger of the desperate people. But also of their revolt against the despotism of the royal caste, of a mighty revolution, of devastating devastation and looting, of the desecration of the graves and sarcophagi and the destruction of the royal mummies. The old empire collapsed. The land sank into fire, blood and chaos.
This revolution, which brought about the end of the ›pyramid age‹, was preceded by the assassination of Teti, the 1st king of the 6th and last dynasty of the Old Kingdom. »For the first time in the history of Egypt, ordinary non-aristocrats dared to kill a pharaoh«, said the French archaeologist Audran Labrousse, outraged at the murder of Teti (arte TV June 29, 2014). He bitterly laments »the murder of a king, God’s representative on earth, who represented justice, truth and the world order and who was the guarantor of the equilibrium of the state. The chaos was unleashed; an unbridled violence was directed against the royal caste, which was of divine blood. « The lamenting pharaoh-glorifier does not question the reasons for the uprisings and the anger of the people; he is deeply affected by it because of his outdated, presumptuous vision. In the end, he attributes the fall of Egypt at the end of the Old Kingdom to a revolution that could be explained by a change in the climate, because in his eyes the godlike royal caste, the pharaohs extensively praised and ‚beloved‘ by him, could impossibly have been the reason for a rebellion. The gods could not stop the decline. It took Egypt hundreds of years to recover only moderately.
»Women were the beginning of human society formation –
crucial to the survival of the species. They created the language –
and thus the prerequisite for cultural development. They invented the first tools –
and thus laid the foundation for every further technology. « (Richard Fester)