By George Ernest Wright
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In some cases we even find evidence of power structures that existed prior to the creation of a united Egyptian state. Symbols of a scorpion, fish, bull’s head and bird appear on inscriptions from the Tomb U-j at Abydos. 16 16 Literature cited by Jane A. Hill, Cylinder Seal Glyptic in Predynastic Egypt and Neighboring Regions, Oxford, Archaeopress 2004, on p. 15. / 35 / Over time we find mounting proof of society’s division into the ruling and the ruled. Telling signs of this are the cosmetic palettes, gradually changing from mere beauty aids into relics of art that were most likely kept in the land’s prominent temples.
37 The Egyptian pharaoh was, above all, a spiritual and religious official. In performing rituals, he essentially connected with the gods and became a god himself. 38 Egypt’s ruler took over from his predecessor and father, the creator god (most often the falcon-god Horus), the obligation to take care of the world and maintain its life and order . Given his origin, he shared the “divine spirit,” the power to revitalize all beings in the name of ka, and was thus “consubstantial” with divine beings, but also with the generations of previous rulers.
39 / Another noteworthy trait of the western cemetery is the removal of the heads of the deceased long after their death. This was documented in two cases and could have something to do with a belief in the immortality of one of the human being’s parts and with the desire to preserve the deceased’s presence among the living. A fitting analogy, although remote in time and space, is provided by information from a Pyrenean village in what is now the Provence region of southern France from around the turn of the 14th century AD.
Biblical Archaeology by George Ernest Wright