Sunday, October 12, 2014
"Set at Thutmose III's Heb Sed - Translated Glyphs"

Many of the ancient monuments left out in the (acid) rain have undergone much damage through the centuries. But thanks to the careful records of Lepsius, we have knowledge of what they looked like in better days. Thus it is with Thutmose III's Heb Sed Scene at Karnak. In the larger scene, we see Set at far left, and in front of him is Amun Ra. Then Thutmose III is making his race, carrying heset jars in his hands. Behind Thutmose is one of the Herus.

I was able to work out translations of some of the hieroglyphs:

From the right (by Set's nose), we have "I have given to you all life and power therewith." Then, "I have given to you all health therewith." Then there's a damaged area, but I suspect the whole sentence read "[Words spoken by] Lord of the Sedge-lands (Upper Egypt), Lord of the Heavens." Then we have further descriptions of Set, "Great of Magic", "Son of Nut", "Great of Strength" and "Bestower of Vitality" (repeated purifications to give health). Set holds in his left hand the palm branch, with a tadpole over a shen symbol, which he is presenting to Thutmose III, meaning a long reign of thousands of years of life. In his other hand, he holds three ankhs, further emphasizing his bestowing Thutmose III with life. Amun-Ra and Heru are offering similar gifts, ensuring the King will be well protected.

Heru (Horus) is repeating some of the same gifts as Set. Closer to the center (to Thutmose III), we read, ""I have given to you all life and power therewith." Above his beak, we read, "I have given to you all health therewith." Then after that, among those glyphs are descriptions, "Great God, many-colored of plumage (a reference to Horus as a falcon), and "Lord of Heaven".

Amun Ra is also offering power and life. In addition, he's offering stability (djed). There's still more hieroglyphs to decipher. (I have a pdf of this image of Set and the translated glyphs.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014
"Idea for a Statue of Hathor"

It began with a dream. I found myself with friends visiting the Egyptian galleries in an unspecified museum. We came upon a statue of Hathor, (aka Hethert), and I admired its beauty. Before me, the hard tan limestone began to turn pink and soft. When the transformation was complete, Hathor smiled at me.

I woke afterwards, and remembered the statue as the one at the Luxor museum:

Wikipedia photo by Agon S. Buchholz

This dream has inspired me. I sought out various photos of this statue from different angles, and decided what I like best about it is its face. The body seems a little too thin, and the details are extremely simple, as there's no indication of her dress lines. So I took a photo I'd taken of a statue of Sekhmet that's at the Met museum, and flipped it horizontally so that the ankh was in her right hand as it is in the Luxor statue. Luckily, the head of the Luxor statue could be placed over the head of the Met statue to make a model.

I enlarged this model so I could trace more easily:

In addition to the tracing model, I also referred to a bronze statue at the Met museum, #45.4.3a, b. That statue of Isis has taken the Hathor horns. Also, it being bronze, shows more what can done in bronze. The limestone or granodorite statues require more secure support for the horns and more infill between the body and the throne. I made the horns slightly longer than the Luxor statue's, but not as long as the bronze Met statue's.

Sunday, October 19, 2014
"Colorful Hathor"

Having made the linear version, once I printed it out, it looked like it needed coloring. So I gave into that temptation:

You can color it too, if you like.

Saturday, October 25, 2014
"Connections between Set and Hathor"

I was surprised to find I'd omitted the following piece from my 'Setfind' gathers: "The small limestone stele of Set and Hathor was found amid the main group of stairway tombs, buried a few inches only below the surface." (_Six Temples at Thebes, Naqada and Ballas_ Petrie, page 42)

After describing some Old Kingdom finds, Petrie speaks of "the far later limestone stela of Set and Hathor (XLIII). The heads are covered with gold leaf, put on carelessly, and spreading irregularly 1/4 inch beyond the outline." (_Naqada and Ballas_, page 5)

Petrie's illustration of the stele

I found a better photo of this in The Winter 2004-05 issue of KMT. The photo reveals, in addition to the sloppy gold leaf, the figure of Set still retains its reddish coloring. Examining the tiny lettering done by a museum curator, I took several guesses to web search where I found reference to "a gilded stela, Cairo JE 31179" 38, a footnote in "Sacred Space and Sacred Function in Ancient Thebes" by Peter Dorman and Betsy Bryan, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, Vol. 61, page 59, It is now in the Cairo museum.

"Seth and Hathor, the well-known goddess of drunkenness and love, were tutelar god and goddess of wine." (_Seth, God of Confusion_, by Te Velde, page 7)

There's further connections between Set and Hathor. "The function of Seth as lord of foreign countries may be as old as the myth of the conflict and reconciliation of Horus and Seth." But also the "Egyptian Hathor was brought into relation with foreign countries. She is 'mistress of Byblos', and since the M.K. was worshipped abroad in a temple on the Sinai. Hathor acquired this function in the time of the Sesostris kings. The name Sesostris means son of Wosret. This goddess is supposed to have been a local, Theban form of Hathor. The close link between Hathor or Wosret and the king of the 12th dynasty would have resulted in her becoming tutelar deity of the state expeditions to the Sinai, so that she was worshipped abroad." (_Seth, God of Confusion_, page 110)

"In addition to her purely Egyptian roles, Hathor was also made a goddess of foreign lands as far apart as Byblos in the Lebanon in the north and Punt (probably northern Eritrea) in the south. " (_Complete Gods and Goddesses_, by Richard Wilkinson, page 143)

There's even more connections with Set. The color red is associated with Set. "Those with auburn hair, and animals with red fur, were considered to have an affinity with Seth." (_Ramesses: Egypt's Greatest Pharaoh_, by Joyce Tyldesley)

"To our great surprise, when the mummy of Ramses was brought to Paris to halt its disintegration due to a harmful fungus then not yet identified, several specialists of the capillary system who studied the skull before its exposure to gamma rays discovered that the roots of the pharaoh's hair were unquestionably red. One may then legitimately wonder if this feature of Ramses ll, and probably of his immediate ancestors, did not influence their attitude towards the god Seth on which "red forms" depended ..." (_The Great Pharaoh Ramses II and his Time: an Exhibition of Antiquities from the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Palais de la Civilisation, Montréal, June 1-September 29, 1985_, by Mathaf al-Misri, Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, Palais de la civilisation (Montreal, Quebec) Ville de Montreal, 1985)

But not only Set is associated with red and red hair. One of the "Seven Hathors" is named "Red-hair", and another is named "Bright red". (_The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses_, by George Hart, page 64)

(All of which tickles me, because although it's somewhat faded now, I was born with very red hair!)

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