Leontopolis (To-Remu, Taremu, Tell el-Mugdam) To Ma'adi

This is a site known today as Tell el-Mugdam, in the Delta, that was the cultic center for the lion deity Mihas. called To-Remu or Taremu by the Egyptians, Leontopolis was on the right bank of the Damietta branch of the Nile. The deities shu and tefnut were also worshiped there in lion form. A temple was on the site at least by the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1307 b.c.e.). A lavish palace dating to the reign of ramesses iii (1194-1163 b.c.e.) was found there also. The tomb of Queen karomana (6), the mother of osorkon iv (r. 713-712 b.c.e.), was also erected there. Nearby Mit Ya’ish contained the stela of osorkon iii (r. 777-749 b.c.e.) and Ptolemaic (304-30 b.c.e.), articles. The rulers of later dynasties usurped many of the original monuments in Leontopolis.


A vegetable deemed sacred to the god min and endowed with magical properties, lettuce was used as a weapon against ghosts of the dead, along with honey. The vegetable could prick the dead and was used as a threat by a mother in a New Kingdom (1550-1070 b.c.e.) lullaby. Lettuce was also fed to the sacred animals in Min’s shrines and cultic centers and was used in rituals honoring the god set.


These were called “houses of the papyri” and normally part of the local per-ankh, or “House of Life.” Education was a priority in every generation in ancient Egypt, and the schools were open to the qualified of all classes, although only a small percentage of the population was literate at any given time. The libraries were vast storehouses of accumulated knowledge and records. in the New Kingdom (1550-1070 b.c.e.) the pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 b.c.e.) were much admired, indicating that the Egyptians had a profound realization of what had taken place in earlier times. Men like Prince kha’emweset (1) of the Nineteenth Dynasty began studies of the past, surveying the necropolis sites of the first dynasties and recording their findings with meticulous care.
The priests of the per-Ankh were required to recite or read copious documents and records of the various enterprises of the king. The levels of the Nile, the movement of the celestial bodies, and the biannual census were some of the subjects that could be summoned up from the libraries and from the lore of the priests. in all areas the libraries were actually archives, containing ancient texts and documents. The most famed library of Egypt, the library of Alexandria, was built during the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.) and was burned in part during Julius caesar’s campaign in Alexandria.

Library of Alexandria

A monument and ongoing educational institution founded in the reign of ptolemy i soter (304-284 b.c.e.), with a “daughter” library in the serapeum (1) at saqqara. demetrius of phalerum, a student of Aristotle, was expelled from Athens and arrived in Alexandria, visiting Ptolemy I. He recommended the construction of a great library and the pharaoh agreed instantly. A complex of buildings and gardens resulted, and in time this became a center of learning for the known world of that historical period. The original intent was to rescue Greek literary works and to provide a true center of learning. Within 200 years the Library of Alexandria had some 700,000 papyri. Visitors to Egypt were searched, and all topics not yet in the library’s possession were confiscated and placed in the collections.
The famous scholars of the time congregated at the Library of Alexandria, drawn by the vast collections,the largest in the world, and by the academic standards set by the institution. The ptolemaic pharaohs maintained a policy of enriching the library, and their atti-tudes prompted the arrival of learned men from other nations. Herophilus, “the Father of Astronomy,” was at the library, along with euclid, “the Father of Geometry.” Other scholars included Eratosthenes of cyrene, who calculated the circumference of the earth, callimachus of cyrene, and aristarchus of samothrace. The sciences benefited from the studies at the Library, and various forms of literature, named Alexandrian in style, flourished.
The Library of Alexandria stood for approximately 300 years. It was partially burned in 48 b.c.e. when Julius caesar was attacked within the city and set fire to the ships in the harbor. it survived that damage but was probably again partially destroyed by zenobia of palmyra in 270 c.E. The major destruction took place in the occupation of Alexandria by Caliph Omar in 642 c.e. The modern government of Egypt has built a new Library of Alexandria, the Biblioteca Alexandrina, which recreates the spirit of the ancient library with research centers, a museum, and many other features.

Libya (Tjehenu, Tjehemu)

This was the land bordering Egypt on the northwest, mentioned in papyri as far back as the Early Dynastic period (2920-2575 B.c.E.) and providing the Nile valley with two dynasties in the later eras. The Libyans, called the Tjehenu (or Tjehemu), were depicted on temple walls and portrayed as having the same characteristics as Egyptians. They were termed the Hatiu-a, “the Princes,” perhaps because of their splendid attire. Bearded, light-skinned, and having red or fair hair and blue eyes, the Libyans were also identified as the Libu and meshwesh, two major groups.
The Libyan areas that bordered the Delta were attacked by the early Egyptians in the predynastic period (before 3000 B.c.E.) as the southerners started moving north to unite the Two Kingdoms of the Nile Valley. djer (r. c. 2900 B.c.E.) recorded his campaign to rid the Delta of the Libyans. snefru (r. 2575-2551 b.c.e.) used the same policy in dealing with them. The PALERMO stone recorded his invasion of their territory. sahure (r. 2458-2446 b.c.e.) depicted an Egyptian goddess recording herds of cattle, sheep, and goats that he captured during his campaigns in the Fifth Dynasty in Libya. Members of the Libyan royal family were also brought to Egypt by Sahure to serve as hostages.
During the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 b.c.e.) such military campaigns against Libya were part of the Egyptians’ ongoing policies. The Libyans were used as units of the pharaoh’s army, either pressed into service or hired as mercenaries. senwosret i (1991-1926 b.c.e.) still conducted assaults on Libya itself. when the Middle Kingdom collapsed, however, the Libyans became the aggressors. The hyksos, invaders who ruled in avaris in the eastern Delta, could not halt the Libyan incursions along the western border. The so-called wall of the prince, the forts erected both in the east and the west during the Middle Kingdom, failed to protect the Delta.
‘ahmose (r. 1550-1525 b.c.e.) united Egypt and started the New Kingdom, routing the Hyksos and repelling the Libyans. His successor, amenhotep i (r. 1525-1504 B.c.E.), had several military confrontations with the Libyans in the western Desert. in the Nineteenth Dynasty, seti i (r. 1306-1290 b.c.e.) met a combined force of Libu and Meshwesh in the Delta and banished them. His son and heir, ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 B.c.E.), met them again and vanquished them. His son, merenptah (r. 1224-1214 b.c.e.), faced the Meshwesh, Ekwesh, and sea peoples and was victorious. ramesses iii (r. 1194-1163 b.c.e.) was equally successful in his military campaigns against full-scale invasions of the Meshwesh and sea peoples. The result of this campaign was the capture of the Libyan clans, which were brought into Egypt. some disappeared into the general population and some served in the Egyptian military or as an internal police force, similar to the Nubian medjay. bubastis (Tell Basta) and tanis became the center of the Libyans from that time on, and the Twenty-second and Twenty-third Dynasties would emerge from their ranks in the Libyan period, 945-712 B.c.E. Rulers such as shoshenq I (r. 945-924 b.c.e.) brought a renaissance into Egypt in the arts and in military might. Ruling as contemporaries from tanis and bubastis, the Libyans could not maintain their domain as the Nubian kings moved on northern Egypt.

Libyan Desert (Western Desert)

An arid stretch of land on the western side of the Nile River, distinguished by its low hills, great dunes, and widely scattered oases, the Libyan Desert, harsher than the Arabian or Red sea Desert on Egypt’s eastern border, became part of the faiyum and benefited from reclamation efforts in some periods. The oases of siwa, baharia, farafra, el-DAKHLA, and kharga were situated in this vast expanse, which became a trade route for Egypt. The Persian conqueror cambyses (r. 525-522 b.c.e.) sent a vast military unit to the oasis of Siwa, famed for its shrine to the god amun. The military force entered the desert and was never seen again. Just recently, however, a group of Egyptians from halwan University discovered human remains, metal weapons, and fragments of textiles while on a geographical expedition in the Libyan Desert. herodotus, the Greek historian, claimed that 50,000 persians entered the wasteland with pack animals. The Egyptian supreme council of Antiquities has undertaken a mission to the region to determine the origin of the find.

Libyan Palette

A fragment of a palette discovered in abydos that reflects the start of Egypt’s historical period, dating to c. 3,000 b.c.e., the palette has two sides, both elaborately carved. one side has four panels, depicting bulls, donkeys, and sheep in a typical Naqada ii design. The fourth panel depicts eight trees and two hieroglyphs forming Tjehenu, a people of Libya. on the other side a single panel has representations of seven fortified towns, an owl, a crested bird, a scarab, a reed hut, a bush, and a symbol of two raised arms. symbols of animals crown the towns depicted, including falcons, a lion, and a scorpion. Destroying the towns, or the same town on several occasions, obviously in Libya, the animals represent Egypt’s might.

Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos)

This monument was called the Pharos, started by ptolemy i soter (r. 304-284 b.c.e.) in 279 b.c.e. and completed by ptolemy ii philadelphus (r. 285-246 b.c.e.). Pharos is the name of the island containing the lighthouse, a wonder of the ancient world. The structure was 400 feet tall, and the light reflected from its mirrored fires could be seen some 25 miles out to sea, even at night. sostratus, who was brought to Alexandria from Cnidus, on the southwest coast of Asia Minor, designed the structure and aided in the construction.
The building had three separate tiers on a base, with square cross sections. The base was a square foundation 20 feet high, measuring 350 feet on either side and made of limestone, covered by marble. The first tier was 200-235 feet high, with an 80-foot terrace. The tier contained 300 chambers with windows and had parapet walls on the top. An inscription on this tier honors sos-tratus, the cnidian. The second tier was 115 feet high and octagonal in design. it was 55 feet across and faced with white marble. This tier also had a walled terrace. The third tier was 60 to 80 feet high, cylindrical in design, and fashioned out of brick, plastered to match the marble of the lower section. This tier was 30 feet in diameter at the top and had an open space surrounded by eight marble columns. A fire was burned in this cavity, reflected in a mirror to shine seaward. The dome covering the area was decorated with a 20-foot bronze image of the Greek god Poseidon, although some sources state that the statue depicted Alexander [iii] the great or the Greek god Helios.
The Egyptian government is now undertaking the task of building a duplicate of this wonder. in the Middle Ages, the lighthouse underwent alterations, as the Arabs placed a mosque at the beacon level. it was still standing in the twelfth century c.e., but falling into ruins. In 1477, the Mamaluk sultan Qa’it Bay stripped the remains in order to build a fort for Alexandria.

Lily Lake

This was a name given to a paradise awaiting the dead in amenti, the eternal resting place. This mortuary image of eternal bliss was the domain of Hraf-hef, “he-who-looks-behind-himself,” the irritable deity who rowed worthy candidates to their repose.


This is a material fashioned from flax, a plant cultivated in Egypt from c. 5000 b.c.e. Flaxseeds were sown in mid-November and harvested four months later. The flax stems were sorted and bound together to dry, then rippled by large wooden combs. The flax was also soaked in water to soften the woody parts, which were removed when dried. A final combing produced waste products used for various purposes, such as lamp wicks. The final flax fibers became threads, and the youngest, greenest stems provided the fine varieties of materials, while the older, yellow stems produced fibers for quality linen. The fully mature plants were used for ropes and mats.
In the early settlements of Egypt, flax was hand spun to provide linens. The grasped spindle technique was adopted. The suspended spindle, with small weights and whorls, was also used. Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 b.c.e.) whorls were made from pottery or stone. The flax was spun counterclockwise. when two or more threads formed plied yarns they were spun in the opposite direction. The earliest linens produced in Egypt were plain, but various techniques were added in time. Looped patterns, warp ends, and other decorated touches were incorporated into the process, and in time the linen textures available were designed for climatic changes and rank. The linen ranged from the translucent gauze to coarse canvas. byssus, called the “royal linen,” a truly fine cloth, well made, was popular in Egypt.

“Linen of Yesterday”

A poetic image employed by the ancient Egyptians to denote death and the changes that dying brings to humans, the phrase was included in the dirges sung by the kites, the professional women mourners at funerals. The mourners referred to the deceased as one who dressed in fine linen but who now sleeps in “the linen of yesterday.” That image alluded to the fact that life upon the earth became yesterday to the dead. it was probably prompted by the custom of the commoners or the poor who gave used linens to the embalmers for the ritual preparation of each mummy. The poor could not afford new linens, so they wrapped their family corpses, called “Beloved Osirises,” in those of “yesterday.”
lion it was an ancient Egyptian theophany, or divine manifestation, associated with the gods re, horus, and aker. Called the ma’au, the lion was renowned for its courage and strength. The cult center for lion worship was established in leontopolis in the Delta in the earliest periods. several lion forms were worshiped in the temples, including Matit, Mehet, Mehos, and pAKHET, dating to the time of the First Dynasty (2920-2770 b.c.e.). The Akeru cult was involved in the worship of Re. The Akeru, a pair of lions, guarded the sacred sites of the Re cult and the “Gate of the Dawn,” the mythical abode through which Re passed each morning.
Lions of Sebua called sebel in some lists, they are a remarkable pair of stone figures erected by amenhotep iii (r. 1391-1353 b.c.e.) of the Eighteenth Dynasty at Sebua in southern nubia (modern Sudan). The lion figures were carried away by raiders of later eras when they invaded the territory and now are in the British Museum in London. During the ‘Amarna period, when AKHENATEN (Amenhotep IV; r. 1353-1335 b.c.e.), instituted the cult of ATEN, the inscriptions on the lions were destroyed, because of the religious nature of the words. tut’ankh-amun (r. 1333-1323 b.c.e.) restored the reliefs when he returned the nation to the worship of amun at THEBES.He also added his own commemoratives.

Lisht, el-

This was a site on the western shore, south of abusir, that served as a necropolis for the city of itj-tawy, the Twelfth Dynasty capital started by amenemhet i (r. 1991-1962 B.c.E.). The pyramids of Amenemhet i and senwosret I (r. 1971-1926 b.c.e.) dominate the region, providing mortuary complexes on the elevated portion of the site. The pyramidal complex was called “Amun is High And Beautiful.” Two monuments discovered there are in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The pyramid was built on a commanding position, and the complex functioned on two levels as royal family members and court officials were provided with tombs as part of the design. A causeway can still be seen, but the valley temple has disappeared. A great wall (tenemos) surrounded the area.
Amenemhet i’s pyramid, also called “the places of Amenemhet Shine,” was covered originally with tureh limestone and had an entrance on the north face. There was an offering chapel with a false door and a deep burial chamber included in the design. The pyramid of Amenemhet i was surrounded by royal tombs, containing family members and erected on adjoining lands. The pyramid complex of senwosret i was called “the one who is Associated with senwosret” and was erected in the southern area. Large and covered with Tureh limestone, the pyramid was surrounded by nine royal graves. The complex also contained 10 statues of the pharaoh.
There is no surviving evidence of a valley temple in senwosret i’s complex, but a causeway survived, fashioned out of Tureh limestone and adorned with colorful reliefs. The pyramid is surrounded by two enclosure walls, the outer one made of brick, and the inner wall enclosing a mortuary temple and decorated with relief panels. senwosret i’s pyramid, named “senwosret surveys The Two Lands,” and “protected Are The places of Senwosret,” had a rubble and sand core. Irregular chambers were incorporated into the pyramid, and the entry was part of a chapel. other tombs at el-Lisht include those of intefoker, a high-ranking official, and senwos-ret-ankh, whose mastaba contained pyramid texts and a star ceiling.
List of Offerings A mortuary document that specified the gifts to be presented to the deceased in tomb ceremonies, the List dates to the Old Kingdom (2575-2134 B.c.E.) and concerns private and royal tombs and sometimes includes presentations made by the pharaohs. offerings of meat, drink, and incense were provided each day by the funerary priests contracted to perform the ceremonies. tomb balls, containing wadded contracts made between the priests and the deceased or surviving relatives, were sometimes included in the grave sites as proof of the services rendered. The List of Offerings evolved over the centuries into a full liturgy of the funerary offerings, used in mortuary rituals.

Litanies of Sokar

This is a compilation of 100 lines addressed to the god sokar, a Memphite funerary deity. Discovered in the rhind papyrus, the litanies praised the deity, who was associated with ptah and osiris in mortuary traditions.

Litany of Osiris

A hymn recited to osiris, the God of the Dead, the “Foremost of the westerners” in many historical periods of Egypt, the litany was included in the ani papyrus, now in the British Museum in London.

Litany of Re

This was a funerary text used in the tomb of tuthmosis iii (r. 1479-1425 b.c.e.). The highly stylized design of crude figures used in the reliefs on the walls of the tomb depict the deceased making his way through the tuat, or Underworld, that led to eternal paradise. Remarkably executed, the figures depicting the stages of the litany demonstrate the metamorphosis of the afterlife and the harrowing endurance tests undergone by the deceased.

Litany of the Sun

This was a religious document displayed in the tomb of seti i (r. 1306-1290 b.c.e.) and attributed to the cult of the god re. Part of the established mortuary rituals of the New Kingdom (1550-1070 b.c.e.), the litany attests to the endurance of re, even in the eras dominated by the deity amun at thebes. In time the deity became Amun-Re, incorporating the solar cult into the Theban theology


A true form of cultural expression and art in ancient Egypt, both religious and secular in nature and developing over the period of history from the Early Dynastic Period (2920-2575 b.c.e.) to the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.) and Roman Period (after 30 b.c.e.), the literature of the Egyptians was normally didactic, but eventually it came to include tales, poems, songs, lullabies, hymns, liturgies, prayers, and litanies. The hieroglyphs that evolved into the Egyptian written language appeared in a variety of forms, as the written word became part of the decoration of monuments, tombs, stelae, and instruments of daily use. scribes copied documents from earlier ages as part of their training, preserving many documents and literary efforts. some of these texts have been preserved on papyri or on ostraka, the boards and slates used by individual students.
During the Late Period (712-332 b.c.e.) and the Ptolemaic Period, few Egyptian literary works were forthcoming. The Ptolemaic Period produced remarkable masterpieces at Alexandria, but these were Greek in style and content. Around 195 b.c.e., Aristophanes of byzantium was able to establish the Alexandrian canon, a standard of excellence in all of the literary genres. Alexandrian poets impacted upon the literary works of the entire world of the time.
The literature of Egypt is so vast and covers so many centuries that it is normally accorded distinct categories. They are the following:


Designed to bolster the state cult of the king, the oldest religious documents are the pyramid texts, discovered on the walls of the various chambers of the pyramids of the rulers of the Fifth (2465-2323 b.c.e.) and Sixth Dynasties (2323-2150 b.c.e.). The texts delineate the magical spells that were designed to provide the king with an eternal bliss beyond the grave, where he would receive his rewards for service and be welcomed by the gods. The daily offerings to be made as part of the mortuary ritual in the pyramid were also listed.
soon after, the nobles began to assume the same rights as the king as far as benefits beyond the grave were concerned, and they had Pyramid Texts placed in their coffins. These coffin texts also contained spells and magical incantations to allow the dead to assume supernatural forms and to overcome whatever obstacles awaited them on their journey in the afterlife. The early forms of the topic of the dead date to this period, the First Intermediate Period (2134-2040 b.c.e.). The topic of the Dead underwent various changes over the centuries, remaining popular. The most complete versions date to the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.), and these contain as many as 150 separate spells. The coffin variety of the topic of the Dead was placed on papyrus in the New Kingdom (1550-1070 b.c.e.).
other religious texts, including the Ritual of the Divine Cult, the topic of Gates, and the Destruction of Mankind, all follow the same general pattern of magical incantations and descriptions of the various chambers or stages to be discovered in the Tuat, or underworld. The elaborately beautiful hymns to the various deities were also popular. The OVERTHROWING APOPH1S and other religious documents provide an insight into the religious aspects of Egyptian life. Especially graceful are the hymns to the gods amun and aten, which date to the New Kingdom.
Magical papyri and mortuary stelae placed in abydos as part of the great osirian cult provide other information. The stelae announce the ranks, deeds, and general goodness of the owners. Letters were also written to the deceased, on the assumption that in the afterlife the individual had powers and could remedy situations on earth. The custom of informing the dead about contemporary issues remained popular in some areas of Egypt into modern times.


while the religious mortuary texts of Egypt dealt mainly with magic and divine intercession in human affairs, the nation also focused on the practical aspects of life. As a result, various sciences were undertaken, not in a speculative way but in order to facilitate the performance of daily activities. Medical texts reflected the practical aspects of Egyptian literature. Manuscripts from the New Kingdom, including the ebers papyrus and the edwin smith papyrus, as well as others, display the anatomical knowledge and curative ability of the priests, who were regulated in their methods of diagnosis, treatment, and posttreatment.
Among mathematical texts discovered are the rhind papyrus and one currently in Moscow. Another identifies agricultural crops, birds, animals, and geographical locations. Texts on astronomy, irrigation, geography, and husbandry were also found. Military texts abound, part of the record of events from the unification of upper and Lower Egypt in 3,000 b.c.e., with the exploits of the New Kingdom (1550-1070 b.c.e.) pharaohs described in detail. Travel records from that same period provide information about Egypt’s relationships with other lands, and conditions in the world at the time. The Report of wenamun, composed at the end of the Twentieth Dynasty (c. 1070 b.c.e.), is particularly enlightening. The Tale of
S1NUHE THE SAILOR, based on the death of amenemhet i (r. 1991-1962 b.c.e.), provides insight into the court intrigues and to the cultures of other nations during the Middle Kingdom.


Legal documents consist mainly of wills or accounts of court events, although legal references in the ABBoTT papyrus offer a view of social changes along the Nile, dealing with tomb robberies and their prosecution at the close of the New Kingdom. wills placed in tombs, deeds of sale, census lists, and records of lawsuits have been discovered. The Edict of horemhab has provided information about the conditions in Egypt at the close of the Eighteenth Dynasty (1307 b.c.e.).
Texts concerning the government administration have been discovered as well. rekhmire, the vizier for tuthmosis iii (r. 1479-1425 b.c.e.), had the instructions of the king concerning his office, and the ideals of such a position, inscribed on his tomb walls at Thebes. Texts from the elephantine, concerning the work of the viceroys of nubia, date to many periods, as do the reports of officials on expeditions for the throne. inscriptions of expeditions can be seen on cliffs in the various wadis and in the desert regions, announcing the mining and quarrying activities.


The tale of the shipwrecked sailor, dating to the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 b.c.e.), remained popular in Egypt. The story elaborates on mystical creatures and magical events. The TALE OF THE DOOMED PRINCE, the TALE OF TWO BROTHERS, and the TALE OF KHUFU AND THE MAGICIANS all relate magical happenings and even adventures rife with perils. The story concerning khufu (Cheops; r. 2551-2528 b.c.e.), the builder of the Great pyramid at giza, has descriptions of idle hours spent on pleasure boats among harem maidens clothed in fishnets.


The ancient Egyptians were fond of texts that provided idealistic views of life and encouraged them to assume a more enlightened manner of cooperation. some of these texts bemoaned conditions in the land in times of dynastic weakness, while others maintained maxims and adages clearly meant to instruct. pTAH-HoTEp (2), a sage of the Fifth Dynasty (2465-2323 b.c.e.), and KAGEMNi,of the Third Dynasty (2649-2575 B.c.E.), were among the first to admonish royalty and commoner alike. khety iii of the Ninth Dynasty gave his son merikare instructions about the behavior of kings, as did amenemhet i (r. 1991-1962 b.c.e.) of the Twelfth Dynasty. Amenemhet I’s discourse details the obligations of a ruler and the needs of his subjects. Also popular were the recorded words of the eloquent peasant, from the First Intermediate Period (2134-2040 b.c.e.). Didactic literature remained a constant in Egypt, and many sages were honored by the Egyptians of all eras.
During the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.), a native Egyptian called Ankhsheshongy wrote Instructions based on the ancient style, despite the Greek influences around him. written about 100 B.c.E., the Instructions became highly popular in the Nile valley because the work brought the traditional forms of the past to life again.


The religious and social events of the various historical periods were normally accompanied by music. The pleasures of music, feasting, and love became part of the rhythm of life on the Nile, eventually giving rise to love songs, which often told of lovesick swains separated from their sweethearts. sycamore trees, birds, and the winds became messengers of love in the poetic texts, with the lovers pledging their hearts and vowing eternal affection. Love songs appear to have been recorded first in the Middle Kingdom; the late New Kingdom period provided many more. The songs capture the directness of the Egyptian people, as well as their sensitivity to the seasons, their easy affection, and their love of metaphor and conventional imagery. The hymn to senwosret iii (r. 1878-1841 B.c.E.) epitomizes this form of Egyptian literature.

Liturgy of the Funerary Offerings

This is a list of the funerary gifts and rituals conducted by the priests involved in the mortuary cults of the ancient Egyptians. Evolving from the LIST OF OFFERINGS, which dates to the Old Kingdom (2575-2134 b.c.e.), the liturgy was devised to magically change meat, bread, and wine into divine spiritual substances, which were offered to the dead. This transmutation of offerings is documented in the tombs of the Fifth Dynasty (2465-2323 b.c.e.) but was probably part of Egypt’s religious vision in use before that. More than 114 ceremonies were included in the liturgy.
The purification of the mummified remains, the incensing accompanied by magical incantations and prayers, were used to perform the rituals of the burial and restoration of the deceased in the liturgy. The priests were believed capable of revitalizing the senses and the various organs of the dead with the spells provided. These rituals were based on the resurrection of osiris and on the basic creed that no life is obliterated at physical death but only transformed into forms that will accommodate the environment of eternity. The Liturgy of the Funerary Offerings was revised in several periods but remained popular throughout Egypt’s history.

London Papyrus

This is a parchment or palimpsest dating to the Fourth Dynasty, being a copy of a document belonging to khufu (Cheops; r. 2551-2528 b.c.e.). Several texts were originally written on this papyrus and then erased and rewritten. scribes used papyri for practice as well as for permanent records or documents.


The symbol of rebirth or creation in Egypt, called the sheshen, the lotus was sacred to the god nefertem and was a cosmological symbol of the god re. The flower signified Re’s birth and power. The types of lotus native to Egypt were the nymphaea, the white, and nymphaea cerula, the blue. The lotus was also a symbol of upper Egypt, as the papyrus epitomized Lower Egypt’s domain. The Lotus Offering was a hymn popular in Edfu and in other shrines, honoring Re’s emergence from the primeval waters at the moment of creation. The flower was also used as bouquets and tributes at festivals and held at banquets by guests.


This is the modern Arabic name for Southern opet, the area of thebes in Upper Egypt that was dedicated to the god amun during the New Kingdom (1550-1070 b.c.e.). The modern name is derived from the Arabic el-Aqsur, the castles, an obvious reference to the vast ruined complexes in the area.
One of the major structures in Luxor was a temple used for religious processions. Erected by amenhotep iii (r. 1391-1353 b.c.e.) of the Eighteenth Dynasty, the temple honored the Theban god Amun. The first pylon of the Luxor temple and the colonnaded court of the temple were constructed by ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.) of the Nineteenth Dynasty. This section enclosed a sanctuary that was probably built by tuthmosis iii (r. 1479-1425 b.c.e.). Tuthmosis III personally directed the construction of the sanctuary during his reign in the Eighteenth Dynasty to accommodate the famous bark of Amun. The bark was part of the elaborate festival ceremonies and was refurbished periodically and protected in a safe storage area when not in use. amenhotep iii, a successor of Tuthmosis iii, erected an actual temple on the site, beginning the complex.
six colossal statues and two obelisks adorned the area leading to the second pylon, which was also built by Amenhotep iii. The court of Ramesses ii is located nearby, with colossal statues and double bud columns. in the same area, a colonnade and two rows of papyrus capital columns were fashioned, bordered by papyrus-bundle pillars in the same area. A transverse hypostyle hall, with 32 more columns arranged in four rows of eight, opened onto the inner temple area. Additional hypostyle halls were surrounded by ritual chapels and led to the original sanctuary. Amenhotep iii adorned the walls of the temple with reliefs depicting his birth and his royal parentage, an affectation used frequently by the rulers of the New Kingdom. tut’ankhamun (r. 13331323 b.c.e.), newly converted to the worship of Amun after the fall of ‘amarna and akhenaten’s heretical cult of aten, provided the temple with more reliefs, depicting the ceremonies being conducted in the sanctuary to honor Amun. it is not certain if these reliefs were actually the original ones of Amenhotep iii or added to placate the priests of Amun and the Theban people. horemhab, at the close of the Eighteenth Dynasty, attempted to use the same inscriptions to announce his own achievements and honors. Many statues and two red granite obelisks, one now in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, adorned the Luxor Temple. The barks of mut, khons (1), and other deities rested as well in the temple area, which was linked to the massive kar-nak complex by a double row of sphinxes. The rulers of later eras, including the Late Period (712-332 b.c.e.) and the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.), added to Luxor temple, which also has an archway erected by the Romans.
The great temple pylon gates of Luxor, flanked by an avenue of sphinxes.
The great temple pylon gates of Luxor, flanked by an avenue of sphinxes.
The deity Amun was carried to the Luxor Temple once a year to visit his particular manifestation there. The god Amun adored at Luxor was a vibrant, ithyphallic form of the god, a patron of fertility and involved with the necropolis sites on the western shore of the Nile opposite Thebes. This same form of the deity was also worshiped in cultic rites at medinet habu and remained popular even in the periods of occupation by foreign armies.
The Feast of opet, the annual celebration of this shrine, was an elaborate festival, complete with the sacrifice of animals and gala rituals. At this time the statues and barks of the Theban deities were carried in procession on the shoulders of the priests. The procession was led by dancers, singers, and musicians and cheered by the people, who came from miles around to celebrate the occasion. The barks were placed on great barges and floated on the Nile before returning to the temple precincts. A great sacrificial feast awaited the return of the deities, with acrobats, dancers, musicians, and throngs of adorers sounding the greeting.
The Greeks and Romans had a keen interest in Luxor temple, which was popular throughout all of the eras of occupation. Modern excavations, taking place as part of the restoration and preservation programs at Luxor, uncovered a trove of statues from the reign of Amenhotep III called “the Luxor Cachette.” The statues, discovered recently in the temple and acclaimed as beautifully preserved works of art, were probably buried by the priests of Luxor during an invasion or some other political peril.

Lysimachus (d. c. 280 b.c.e.)

King of Thrace in the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus

Lysimachus’s daughter, arsinoe (1), became the queen of Egypt. In turn, Lysimachus married arsinoe (2), Ptolemy’s sister. After bearing him children, Arsinoe accused his son and heir, agathocles (1), of attempting to murder the king. Lysimachus agreed to the execution of his own son, tearing apart his nation. Arsinoe did not benefit, however, as Lysimachus died in battle with seleucus i, the Syrian king, before Arsinoe’s son could inherit the throne of Thrace.


This is a site located south of Cairo dating to the Predynastic Period (c. 3100 b.c.e.). Paleolithic settlements were discovered at Ma’adi, part of the stages called Naqada I and II. There were three necropolises found in the area, including one at Wadi Digla. Remains of oval and circular-shaped houses were found at this site. Posts stuck into the earth served as foundations, which were fashioned out of mud daub and wattle. Interior hearths, an advance of the time, were also discovered as part of the designs of these abodes. There is little indication, however, that roofs were included in the buildings. Windbreaks and sheltering walls formed the only protection for inhabitants. Demonstrations of agriculture and crafts are available at Ma’adi, as well as ancient copper processes.
Also found were wares imported from Palestine and donkey remains. Ma’adi served as an early trading post for Palestinian goods. The early Egyptians instituted trade with neighboring countries in the first dynastic periods and maintained a policy of exploring natural resources as the civilization expanded on the Nile.

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