The invisible god I

Osiris in Papyrus Ani
Fig. 6 - Osiris in Papyrus Ani

As we saw on the previous page, comparing the assertions of the OCT with our current knowledge of star cults in Ancient Egypt left many unanswered questions. But this is where Bauval's thesis begins. He thinks that the OCT fills the holes that "orthodox" Egyptology has left. This is because Egyptology has found only the tip of the iceberg with respect to stellar cults.
His catchphrase (repeated ad nauseum by his defenders): "The previously important star cult was so effectively replaced by a later sun cult that no visible trace was left".
The general idea: The stellar cult was based on the connection between the Lord of the Underworld, Osiris, with the constellation of Orion, and on the connection between the dead pharaoh and Osiris, and therefore also with Orion. Building the constellation on the ground is not therefore a separate star cult, but a memorial for the pharaoh, who became a star himself. Each pyramid represents the pharaoh's individual star. What role the other stars played is therefore totally irrelevant. The offering cult for the dead pharaoh is therefore a camouflaged stellar cult, and the pyramid cult, which was perpetuated for several centuries at each pyramid, also a hidden stellar cult. Invisible to orthodox Egyptology, it would refute the words of those such as Bonnet or Hornung.

For this to be true Osiris must be a very ancient god, and the connection between Osiris and Orion must also be very old. Oh yes, and the connection between the pharaoh and Osiris equally old.
There are several methods of detecting such cults:

So let's start:

Indirect evidence for Osiris

The main basis for an early Osiris is the so called "Myth of Osiris". This describes the birth of the main gods of Egypt and their not very peaceful coexistence. The god Horus plays an important role in our understanding of the early Egyptian pantheon, and the many symbolisms in this myth, like the Djed pillar and Osiris tombs, are important for dating the possible age of the cult. But let's start from the beginning.

The Myth of Osiris

The surviving legend of Osiris tells us about the life of Osiris as king of Egypt, and how he brought prosperity and happiness to the country. We are told that he brought the knowledge of agriculture and livestock farming to the Egyptians, and how he loved his sister Isis. They even had a child, Horus, together.
Seth, the brother of Osiris, was jealous about the success of his brother as he longed to be king himself and planned to overthrow him. He made a chest covered with gold and gemstones and during a celebration promised to give it to the person it fitted exactly. Nobody knew that Seth had constructed the chest using Osiris' measurements, and when it was Osiris' turn to try the chest it fitted perfectly. At that moment Seth and 72 conspirators jumped out, nailed the chest shut, and threw it into the Nile where it sank to the bottom.
When Isis heard about this she started a long search for the body of her beloved husband and after many years she found the chest inside a large tree at Byblos (which is probably not the city in Lebanon, but another name for a city in the Nile delta [1]).
The king of this country felled the tree and used it to make the first Djed pillar which he used to support the roof of his palace. The chest containing the body of Osiris was given to Isis who returned with it to the court of Horus.
Seth discovered it there and became furious. He tore the body of Osiris into 14 pieces and scattered them around the country. Isis again embarked on a quest to find these pieces, and built a special tomb for every piece found. After all the pieces were buried Osiris returned from the dead to teach Horus how to fight and so revenge him...
These are the basic concepts of the Osiris myth. But the full story is a mess. We learn, for example, that Osiris had an affair with Seth's wife Nephtys, and that they even had a son, Anubis, together - and that Seth knew about it. Well could THIS, for example, be the source of Seth's anger?
The number of Greek gods in the Osiris myth is also disturbing. Strange.
But it's not so strange when we learn the context of the myth: The only complete version comes from a Greek. It was written by the well known philosopher Plutarch, who lived between 46 and 125 AD![2]. Of course this doesn't mean that the Osiris myth didn't exist much earlier as even the oldest religious texts, the Pyramid Texts, refer to parts of it. But the details are frequently very different from Plutarch's version as he collected the surviving portions after 3000 years of changes. But which parts of the myth have an early origin, and which parts were added later? This is of great importance for the Orion theory.

We know for example that the part of the story about tearing Osiris' body into 14 pieces is most probably an addition from the Late Period, some 2000 years after the pyramid era when the myth originated[3] - and that is the quick and unspectacular end of Bauval's "nice to have" number of pyramids = number of bodyparts.
The story of the procreation of Horus also shows influence from different periods as there are several collected in the myth. Plutarch wrote that Horus was the product of an affair that Isis and Osiris had inside the womb of their mother, Nut. Other versions of the story move this to the time of the resurrection of Osiris by Isis and Nephytis, some even to the time of the reassembly of Osiris' body (although some parts of the myth do not even have the tearing-apart-part but have the individual Osiris tombs instead).
These few examples show that there is no "Osiris myth", only a collection of totally different parts from different periods and different regions that don't fit together. It is not a nice, simple, straightforward piece of literature - and that goes for most parts of Egyptian religion!

An unchanging religion

I have noticed that many Egypt-lovers and amateur-Egyptologists are unaware that Egyptian religion wasn't unchanging and monolithic throughout the 3000 years of Egyptian civilisation. The reason for this is often the use of outdated literature, which is widespread and very cheap - and useless to get an accurate perception of the culture of the Ancient Egyptians.
There are for example the books of Wallis Budge, which are mostly about 100 years old but reprinted cheaply every few years. Budge was, along with many other Egyptologists of his time, of the opinion that the Egyptian pantheon was fixed at the beginning of the dynastic period, and that only minor changes occurred subsequently. During the early decades of the 20th century that picture changed slowly, but this has not fully found its way into the popular literature. Books by some alternative authors keep quiet about this as it is very convenient to pick religious customs from a particular period and project them into the period their theory is set in...

The picture of the Egyptian religion we meet in standard popular books about Egypt normally represents the form in the New Kingdom, around the time of the great Ramses II. But a projection of this picture into another time is inadmissible, because the religion was in a state of constant change. This change was particularly strong in the first 1000 years after the unifiction - and the time of the pyramids lies smack in the middle.
But this change was not of the kind we would understand as change. There were no "victorious" gods which replaced older ones, or the complete change of the pantheon. The changes were subtele and were based on assimilation instead of replacement.
The reason for this might be the geopolitical situation of Ancient Egypt. In its predynastic times several independent regions were founded along the Nile, which had more or less constantly trade and cultural contact. Because of the constant exchange religious ideas were traded also, so that many ideas were smeared up over larger regions. This probably lead to a melting togehter of the roles of the gods. The result were gods with different names but same roles, and gods with different roles but the same name in different regions. This is, of course, speculation, but it can explain some strange things.
During the phase of the unification, which lasted some 100 years, and still after it a sort of nation wide pantheon was created, which still had local variations.
This complicated process is caled "syncretism". Break throug work about this central point of Egyptian religion, which is still valid today, comes from Hans Bonnet. He explains:

"So the struggle of superiority lead to a contest of the great gods. But the form of the contest was unique. It was not lead in a way where one region god fights against another to replace him. One region recognized the god of the others and tried to win by pulling the other region god to their own, by demonstrating, that their god shares the other god's features and that it would add to the fame of the god to unify with the other. Instead of polemic debates there is a search for secret connections to add other gods and mythologies to the own realm of religion, to strengthen their might. So the competition of the gods did not lead to an isolation and a mutual exclusion, but to an intervining of the roles. This intervining is more than a superficial connection; it is a merge. Because the urge of a sycretistic compensation is deeply routed into the Egyptian culture."[4]

This syncretism as key element is important to understand the role of the deceased king. The implications are at least as grave as this textbook example of syncretism in one piece of the basic evidence for the Orion theory we will examine now:

Horus

The ancient god Horus was used by Bauval in quote (1) to prove an older Osiris. To refresh your memory:

"Egyptologists have shown that the underlying concept of Ancient Egyptian theocracy was that while the king was alive he was a reincarnation of Horus, the first man-god king of Egypt, and was hailed as the son of Osiris and Isis."

We remember: Horus appears in the Osiris myth as child of Isis and Osiris. On the other hand we know that in earliest dynastic times, and even before, the pharao wsa identified with Horus. Even the oldest known name form of an Egyptian king is the so-called Horus-name. If Horus is the child if Isis and Osiris, and Horus is even older than ancient, Osiris MUST be as ancient, too. Simple as that.
Well, you wish. The Osiris-myth starts even in Plutarchs retelling earlier. It begins with the creation of the earth by Geb and Nut. At that time the prominent gods were born: Isis, Osiris, Seth, Nephtys - and Horus!
Hm, but Horus is, as we read above, the child of Isis and Osiris? Yes, Plutarch was aware of the fact that there was a mixup. He lived about 2500 years after the earliest mentioning of the myth, and there was a lot of change in the mean time and he was confronted mith many pieces not fitting together. So he used a trick and declared Horus to be the brother AND son of Osiris:

"Isis and Osiris were so in love even before their birth, so that they went together in the darkness of the womb of Nut. Some claim that Haroeris was concieved that way, and he was called "the older Horus" (Horsemsu) by the Egyptians, and Apollo by the Greek."[5]

This explanation doesn't work with other parts of the myth, where for example the already dead and resurrected Osiris has intercourse with Isis or her representation (like a bird). But if Horus was at least brother of Osiris since oldest times, this would still be acceptable to demonstrate an early Osiris.
But unfortunately even this part of the legend, the birth of the 5 Epagomes (that's the greek name for the children of Geb and Nut; Isis, Osiris, Seth, Nephtys and Horus) is not very old either. The first mentioning of the Epagomes is in the very late pyramid texts, in one single instance in a queen's pyramid in PT 1963 c[6]. By the way: the situation of an early Isis as lover of Osiris has a similar bad evidence situation.[7]

Yes, Horus is an old god. But the old falcon god we know from the earliest periods of Egypt has nothing to do with the later Horus.
The old falcon god (Hr Smsw or Hor semsu, - Horus the older, as he was called by the Egyptians to distinct him from Horus, son of Isis, Harsiese), is a sky god, who is called "Lord of the sky" in the pyramid texts. It is this god who is depicted in the erly falcon representations (and in the titularies of the pharaos). His mother is according to the pyramid texts Hathor, only later she is replaced by Geb and Nut.[8]
We even have utterance 534 in the pyramid texts, which defines the difference between Horus the older and the gods of the Osiris circle, including Horus the younger: starting in 1264 Horus the older starts a speach, during which he advises the pahrao not to open his arms to Horus the younger and his "bad things".( 1268)
"A" horus came relatively late into the Osiris myth. As early as 1934 Adolf Erman wrote:

"The real home of Horus might have been in the Delta region; we can conclude that from the fact alone that he was the national god of this part of the country, whereas upper Egypt belonged to Seth. Both gods together were the rulers of Egypt."[9]

Ups, Horus and Seth? Not Osiris and Seth? Right, the "dynamic duo" of old times consisted of Horus and Seth - and therefore an early existence of Seth is also no evidence for an earlier Osiris. Erman continues:

"Horus became paticularly popular, when he was integrated into the Osiris myth, where he aroused sympathy as poor orphan Horus, son of Isis, Harsiesis."[10]

Although Erman was follower of the then popular "ancient Osiris" thesis he could not help to notice, that there were many parts in the Osiris myth which couldn't have been there from the beginning, like the Eye of Horus or the antagonists Horus and Seth.[11]. His analyses of the Pyramd Texts showed similar results, I will deal with them later.
Bonnet writes about the development of Horus:

"As far as we can see the great falcon god Horus is the first of the local gods who gained a country wide dominance. He acquired this in prehistoric times. Even the two kingdoms, the predecessors of the unified Egypt of historic times, honor him in heir capitals .. as their main god.
His largest role is that of the king's god. In this role he exists in the prehistoric kingdoms besides the godesses Nebchet and Uto."[12]

So Horus did exist even before the rest of the Egyptian pantheon was fully formed! Therefore any claim of a "natural connection" between Horus and Osiris is invalid. Bonnet continues:

"The kingship of Horus is as much the basis for the dogma of the king as it is the gestalt of Horus himself. ... Now and then similar claims from other gods like Seth, lord of Ombos, appeared. But they didn't succeed in overtrhrowing him, the leading role of Horus stays undisturbed. ... The rivalry between Horus and Seth did not end in a fight which lead to the total destruction of one side; it ends in the typical Egyptian way of a fair compensation. ... Each of the two gods got one half of Egypt as a domain. ..."[13]

So Seth arrived on the stage much later than Horus. And not as the enemy to the death he was in later texts. Bonnet continues:

"The fighting myth comes in a third circle Horus is integrated into. He becomes son of Isis... and becomes member of the Osiris circle. ...
Initially Horus had nothing to do with the gods of Busiris. In fact his introduction lead to major problems in the geneology of these gods which lead to an artificial split of Horus in two entities, in special to the creation of "Horus the older"."[14]

This makes clear that Horus as son of Isis is an artificial product, a result of the syncretism of Egyptian religion in the time of the Old Kingdom. And it's also clear that the original Horus has nothing to do with Horus the son of Isis. And therefore we can conclude that the early Horus is no evidence whatsoever for an early Osiris!

Another symbol for an early Osiris does not come from Bauval himself, but several defenders of his thesis used it to strenghten the case. But the case with this symbol is pretty much similar to Horus. It's the

Djed-Pillar

Djed
Fig. 7 - A Djed
from the tomb
of Amenophis II
The provenance and original meaning of the Djed symbol is unknown to us. Some see it as a garb of wheat, others see in him a tree trunk without branches, and some even claim to see a bundle of reeds. And I didn't even mention those who think the Djed is an electrical insulator or even a power generator ;-)
I will not expand this topic further since it has no meaning for our discussion. All that matters to us is, that it's there. And that he exists since predynastic times.[15].
The word "djed" is used to express stability. So the symbol is used as pillar of the sky, and it is from earliest times on a symbol for the stability of kingship. And exactly in this form it is seen as evidence for an early Osiris.
It was the spinal column of that god, and parts of the Osiris myth claim that a djed pillar replaced Osiris' penis who was not found by Isis collecting together his body parts. And the "raising of the Djed" was the centerpoint of each heb-sed (30 year crown jubilee) festival, which was connected with Osiris.
The connection between Djed and Osiris and Djed and Egyptian prehistory was formulated in later times in such a natural way, that early Egyptologist had not the slightest doubt that Djed was a prehistoric fetish and therefore Osiris was a prehistoric god. The great religious expert Erman for example used this assumend connection as evidence for very early Osiris festivals.[16]. Bonnet confirms, that the later formultion of the connection seemd so natural, that long time there was no doubt about it.[17]
But science is in perpetual motion. And so a change began in the second half of the 1930's. Whereas Erman had in 1934 no doubt about age and connection of Osiris and Djed, Hermann Kees published only 7 years later a completely different thesis:

"It has long been discussed what this symbol shows. The explanations were often blocked by personal prejudices, that the symbol was connected from the beginning with Osiris. But the solutions found on this ground, in specal the idea of a debranched tree, are equally improbable as the later Egyptian interpretations which carried an osirian interpretaion into it. Fortunately we have now found enough fragments of older customs connected with Djed to prove independence of the Djed from Osiris (footnote 6: 2 Djed pillars as pillars of the ladder to heaven in Pyr 389b, as towing post for the solar barque in Pyr 1255, "the Djedpillars of Re", also found in the Coffin Texts, see Kees, Totenglaube S. 296) .[18]

Footnote 6 shows explicitely, that even at the time of the pyramid texts there was no solitary connection between Djed and Osiris! Kees continues:

"The main fact is that the memphite circle included the holy Djed without any trace of Osiris into the cult circle of Ptah. The "raising of the Djed" in Memphis certainly was celebrated according to the rites in Busiris, connected with a kings festival to demonstrate the stability of kingship. But the symbolic representation of these rites which came to us from an old crowning ritual from thinite times compares the Djed pillar, which is then layed down, with a decapitated Seth, the later murderer of Osiris, who has to bend down before Horus the king! This would have been completely impossible if the Djed really was an identical representation of Osiris."[19]

Well, this closes the case. Neither the "raising of the Djed" not the Djed itself was connected to Osiris in the early times. And this result has not lost its validity until today, as we see from this passage from Richard Wilkinson:

"It is known, however, that the Djed wa associated from Old Kingdom times with the chief Memphite god of creation, Ptah, who was himself termed the "Noble Djed". ... Through a process of assimilation and syncretism, the god Pthah was eventually equated with the underworld deities Sokar and Osiris, and by the beginning of te New Kingdom, the djed was widely used as a symbol of Osiris and seems to have been regarded as representative of that deities backbone. ..."[20]

The way of the tradition is clear: in earliest times the symbol for overthrowing Seth, later, in the for the OCT relevant time as symbol fo Ptah, and later, much later as symbol of Osiris.
By the way: the oldest known connection between Djed and Osiris in the form of "raising the djed" comes from the late 18th dynasty, from the time of Amenhotep III[21]. More than 1000 years after the earliest "Orion pyramids".

The Osireion

This piece of evidence was also not brought up by Bauval, but by some of his defenders. But this building plays also a major role in other alternative theories, because it should be evidence for early Egyptian high technology.
We remember: one part of the Osiris myth tells, that his body was divided into 14 pieces which were scattered all over Egypt. And according to another part of the legend, Isis built for each part she found an own tomb.
But none of these tombs remained. Really not one? There is this seemingly old building in Abydos with an archaic building style. And Abydos is the region where Osiris gained overregional influence for the first time. And Abydos is, so the story tells, the burial place of the head of Osiris.[22]. So it is only natural to assume that the Osireion is in reality one of those tombs built by Isis.

Osireion
Fig. 8 - Osireieon. Photo: Gitta Warnemünde

The analysis of the Osireion by early Egyptologists is a typical case for circular argumentation. Flinders Petrie, father of modern Egyptology, had no doubts about the old age of the Osireion, because Osiris was an ancient god.[23]) His opponent Wallis Budge argued the oher way round: BECAUSE the Osireion was ancient (what Petrie had claimed), and Abydos was only a LATER cult center of Osiris, Osiris himself must be much much older, even older than the Osireion. [24]. Both argumentations were supporting each other withaut a basis of objective facts.

Why did they beleive that the Osireion is so old? Well, because of its architecture. In total contrast to the other temples of the New Kingdom, it was built from seemingly massive, archaic rough hewn square pillars with a weight of 55 tonns each, covered with an archaic corbelled roof made of massive slabs of stone, with walls made from seemingly massive granite blocks. The whole architecture looked like the valley temple of Kaphere.[25]). We can therefore excuse the dating based on the architecture by Petrie.

In the mean time we found many false or Osiris tombs, also called Kenotaphs. It started with the introduction of corn mummies into private tombs (also called "Osiris beds")[26] or pictures from typical Osiris tombs. People with larger tombs began to separate a room for a small symbolig Osiris coffin, and even richer persons or communities built complete symbolic Osiris tombs, like the rrediscovered Osiris shaft at Giza.
Those Osiris tombs tried to replicate the architecture of the original cult tombs. Although none of them has survived (or has benn found), reports from 4 cult tombs have survived (Philae, Abydos, Memphis and Busiris) that gives us clues about their appearence:[27]

The private Osiris tombs often also consisted of two parts. Covered with a hill, which often was planted to represent the holy grove, below the surface the main part was hidden. It normally was a pillared hall, sometimes dozens of meters below the ground. Centerpiece was an "island", a square platform with the sarcophagus, surrounded by a moat. The archaic pillar theme can be found in many tombs of the New Kinkdom, almost every tomb in the valley of the kings has such a room completely devoyd of any inscription or pictures.[28]
Often the main chamber or a neighbouring room had 7 niches which stood for the 7 doors of the Duat,[29], like the above mentioned Osiris shaft (although one of these was later used to dig a tunnel do a deeper compartment). Richard H. Wilkinson writes:

"The number seven is frequently associated with deities in different ways. ... The company of gods revered at Abydos comprised seven gods, and the number is frequently associated with Osiris, the great god at that area. ...
Multiples of seven are also extremely common. According to myth the body od Osiris was cut into fourteen pieces by Seth ... The Book of the Dead provides spells to be repeated as the deceased passes through the gates of the house of Osiris of which there are usually twenty-one, though in one papyrus seven are shown, showing the relationship with the base number. ..."[230]

The Osireion has all of the typical details of an Osiris tomb. Petrie found remains of a covering hill, plant holes with roots showed that the hill was the holy grove[31], and in the center of the underground part a large island with surrounding niches was found.
But ist it one of the "origina" tombs of Osiris, or is it just one (but very large) of the many false tombs?
The interpretation of the Osireion also changed during the 1930's. Although almost 30 years were spent on several digging operations in the Osireien, no other name for the complex than "Useful is Men-Maat-Re [Sethos I.] for Osiris"[32]. Sethos I is a king from the 19th dynasty, which has built another temple just nearby, and both were surrounded by one single wall. This, so the Egyptologists, shows, that the Osireion was built in a way to make it LOOK older, to show the connection of Sethos to the oldest time of the gods. This trick was often used in the New Kingdom.
Analyses of the texts in temple and Osireion showed, that the temple is the mortuary temple of Sethos I, and that the Osireion is the false tomb (Kenotaph) for the transformed Osiris Sethos.[33]

Why didn't the old grandmasters of Egyptology notice that? Well, because the evidence was hidden from their eyes until Frankfort cleared the whole building in the 1930's
Large parts of the Osireion are without inscriptions, only the small walls show them, and the names of Sethos are even only found just above ground:

Inschrift
Fig. 9 - Cartouches in the Osireion. Foto: Gitta Warnemünde

Other inscriptions were found in the roms before tha large hall, which had also not been found by the early explorers:

Vorraum
Fig. 10 - Inscriptions in the antechamber. Photo: Gitta Warnemünde

The complete excavation of the building took 30 years, and the major discoveries were made only near the end of this periode.
Like many buildings the Osireion was "clamped together" with dove tail joints. Some of them were recovered from under the mighty ceiling beams - and they all carried the name of Sethos.They could not have been put there after the building was finished, and are the undisputable proof that Sethos built it.
Also the seemingly massive granite walls were only sand stone walls blended with a thin layer of granite. Behind it also the Sethos name was found.
But there are other, cultural reason for a younger age of the Osireion.

Duat = Underworld?

The world of the dead, the duat, is often translated as "underworld". Osiris wsa lord of the underworld, therefore the underground Osiris tombs with their false doors into the ground make sense.
But Duat as underground is only one side of the medal, "netherworld" would be a correcter term. Because at the time of the pyramids the situation was a bit different. Hans Bonnet notices:[34]

"One of the places where the dead stay is the Dat or Duat (an older name form). Even the oldest surviving texts speak of her, and after some time she becomes the only real netherworld. The lokalisation of the Dat is not always the same; only from the New Kingdom on the localisation become unequivocal. From this time on the Dat ist clearly the underworld. ...
The localisation of the Dat in the underworld is not completely unknown in earlier times, but normally the Dat was placed in the sky. The dead reaches the Dat after he climbed up a ladder into the sky (Pyr.390). Also often are the "dwellers of the Dat" mentioned, which are from their way of writing the stars (Pyr.953). ...
Because the thoughts of the pyramid texts are firmly in the sky it is logical that this netherworld pictuere is a heavenly one. It is equally logic that after the decline of the heavenly netherworld the Dat became the underground "lower" Dat, to stay there. ..."

Even clearer is this transition described in Erik Hornungs Nachtfahrt der Sonne:

"Thoughts about the night journey of the sun and about the netherworld existence of he dead are buried deep in Egypts prehistory. Even a bowl from the earlies Naquadan time around the middle of the 4th millenium BC shows a picture of the sun sailing on a barque through desert mountains. ...
But preferred in the pyramids is from the beginning on the north-south orientation, in which the end of the inclined passage which leads to the grave chamber points to the region of the circumpolar stars. ... In the utterances of this collection [the pyramid texts, FD] the journey of the deceased king to the night sky, to the imperishable stars of the north, is the leading idea. But even befor the pyramid texts this idea can be detected by the names of pyramids and of working groups. ...
It is also clear, that the idea of the Ach, the name for the spirit of the deceased, and of the active, free moving Ba-soul have been conecteted originally with this royal existence in the northern skies, and moved only later to an existence in the western underworld. ...
There the dead king meets the sun god ...
Much more richer are the thoughts [about a subterran underworld, FD] in the coffin texts of the Middle Kingdom. Still the ascend to the sky plays a major role, ... but the heavenly netherworld is no longer a priviledge of the king, it is open for everyone. Parallel to that we find the motive of a rebirth from Nun, the prime ocean, and the domain of the earth god. ...
The change of the location of the netherworld from the sky to the underground is clearly visible in the layout change of the chambers pharao Sesostris made in his pyramid in Illahun around 1840 BCE. He added the winded ways of the underworld, which dominated from this moment on the royal funerary architecture and lead in the consequence to the abandoning of the pyramid form, which is as we know firmly connected with the heavenly afterlife of the king."[35]

As I might add: This above mentioned pyramid of Sesostris II is mentioned as the earliest form of an Osiris tomb ever found![36]
So there is no trace of ancient Osiris tombs, these are not even compatible with the afterlife model at the time of the pyramids. Without exception all such structures are from the Middle Kingdom or later. Osiris tombs are therfore also no evidence for an ancient Osiris.
And the clear words by Hornung about the target of the souls of the deceased additionally weakens the basic idea of the OCT.

Conclusion

On this page I examined indirect evidence for an early Osiris. But neither the Osiris myth nor the other surrounding pieces are useable for this. None of those connections were around at the time of the pyramids. Osiris must have been an invisible god then...

Remarks:
[1] see for example Budge, E.A.Wallis; The Gods of the Egyptians, London 1904, Vol. II p. 124
[2] A German translation can be found in Brunner-Traut, Emma; Altägyptische Märchen, Diederichs 1963, p. 121 ff
[3] See for example the article about Osiris by Serge Sauneron in Posener, Georges (ed), Lexikon der ägyptischen Kultur Droemer 1960 p. 192
[4] Bonnet, RÄRG p. 237 ff
[5] Brunner-Traut, Märchen, p. 122
[6] Scharff, Alexander; Die Ausbreitung des Osiriskultes in der Frühzeit und während des Alten Reiches, Sitzungsbericht der Bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 1947/Heft 4, p. 16 Anm. 53
[7] ibd.
[8] Erman, Adolf; Die Religion der Ägypter, de Gruyter 1934, p. 29
[9] ibd. p. 30
[10] ibd. p. 69
[11] Bonnet, RÄRG p. 307 f "Horus"
[12] ibd. p. 308
[13] ibd. p. 310
[14] Wilkinson, Toby; Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge 1999 p. 292
[15] Erman, Religion p. 34, 183
[16] Bonnet, RÄRG, p. 150 f "Dedpfeiler"
[17] Kees, Götterglaube, p. 97
[18] ibd. p. 98
[19] Wilkinson, Richard H.; Reading Egyptian Art, Thames & Hudson 1992, p. 165
[20] Shaw, Ian & Nicholson, Paul (ed.); British Museum dictionary of Ancient Egypt, British Museum Press 1995, p. 86 "Djed Pillar"
[21] eg. Budge, Gods p. 131
[22] eg. Petrie, Flinders; Abydos I, London 1902, p. 1
[23] Budge, Gods p. 117 ff
[24] A comparison can be found in Clarke/Engelbach; Ancient Egyptian Masonry; The building craft, London 1930, p. 131 f and p.148 ff
[25] small boxes, often in mummyform, or small adobe mummys with holes, filled with earth and seeds, and watered before closing the tomb to let the corn grow, see Helck/Otto; Kleines Lexikon der Ägyptologie, Harrassowitz 1999, p. 156
[26] For the general architecture of an Osiris tomb see Arnold, Dieter; Lexikon der ägyptischen Baukunst, Artemis 1994, p. 183
[27] Bonnet, RÄRG p. 576 "Osirisgrab"
[28] Wilkinson, Richard H.; Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art, Thames & Hudson 1994, p. 235 f
[29] Arnold, Dieter; Die Tempel Ägyptens, Artemis 1992, p. 171
[30] Otto, Eberhard & Hirmer, Max; Osiris und Amun, Hirmer 1966, p. 50
[31] ibd. p. 46 ff
[32] Bonnet, RÄRG p. 148 f "Dat"
[33] Hornung, Erik; Die Nachtfahrt der Sonne; Eine altägyptische Beschreibung des Jenseits, Artemis & Winkler 1991, p. 207 ff
[34] Arnold, Lexikon, p. 183, "Osiris-Grab"
Back: Cultural linksForward: The Shafts
 
 
All pictures and texts © Frank Dörnenburg