An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Pacifica Graduate Institute
EGYPT & THE SAHARA
Book of the Dead:
Jackal-headed Anubis attending a mummy
Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow
[Link updated 21 January 2003]
The Hunterian Museum was unable to provide further data on this image
because they took it from an old exhibit brochure that lacked documentation.
If anyone knows the current whereabouts of this piece, I'd be grateful for the update.
Also see Multiple Categories
and Egypt: General Information
"The Virtual Mummy: Unwrapping a Mummy by Mouse Click": don't be put off by the title of this site -- it's solid scholarship done by Hamburg's Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science in Medicine with the aid of Egyptologists at the University of Hamburg. You can view the images by clicking on them or by using QuickTime (if your browser has it) to see film clips. [This site is available both in English & German.]http://www.akhet.co.uk/4sons.htm
This Iain Hawkins site, based on data from the National Museums of Scotland, looks at the "Four Sons of Horus," who are the figures atop the canopic jars used to hold the body's major organs after death. Here you'll find some very nice images, brief history, and a chart showing connections between the Four Sons, organs, directions, and four goddesses -- be sure to click on the continuation at the bottom of the page. (See "Multiple Category Sites" for more on funerary practices, coffin art, a "clickable" mummy, etc.)http://www.akhet.co.uk/feathers.htm
This is another of Iain Hawkins' pages -- a lovely page of illustrations of winged deities protecting the dead in their coffins. As far as I know, no one else on the web offers this unusual focus on feathered bird-goddesses. Text is minimal, but adequate to give a deep sense of the solace provided by these deities.http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Egyptology/judgement.html
This page simply shows a papyrus illustration of the Judgement Scene from chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead. Good explanatory text is provided by Egyptologists at Brown University.http://www.egyptology.com/reeder/muu/
(FYI: Unless you wish to study Egyptology, don't bother to find your way back to the main page -- except for a few Egyptian landscape photos (clickable), the site promotes Brown's program, gives requirements for entry, shows course offerings, data on staff, etc.)
This site, taken from Greg Reeder's homepage (see under "Links to the Links" for another of his), reprints a scholarly paper, "The Mysterious Muu and the Dance They Do," originally published in the prestigious Egyptology journal, KMT, Fall 1995. The paper is an engrossing, carefully reasoned and footnoted exploration of muu-dancers and the role they played in funerary rituals; it is illustrated in B&W.http://www.hti.umich.edu/exhibit/magic/
(Note: if you click on the hompage icon at the end, you'll have access to the entire site, including data on the shrouded Tekenu figure, who is also connected to funerary ritual. Reeder's argument is quite intriguing although the minimal text and "click here, click there" design is more suited to children than scholars; his home page will also give you access to his Egyptian paintings and often striking B&W photographs.)
This well-designed University of Michigan site is called Traditions of Magic in Late Antiquity. It offers manuals of magical practices ("Recipe-books"), protective devices (e.g., "Amulets and Gems") and a very interesting section on "Aggressive Magic" (a.k.a. "black magic"). Most of the texts and images come from Egypt although several subsections are double-listed elsewhere on my website ("Babylonian Demon Bowls" is also in the Middle East area of my website; "Aggressive Magic" is also in the Greek area, since the technique began there). The site offers fascinating images (click for enlargements) accompanied by translations of spells, curses, invocations. Excellent essays precede each section; "further reading" is provided at the end.http://touregypt.net/astro/
A portion of the Zodiac
19th Dynasty -- reign of Seti I [c.1300 BCE]
(From Dr. Katherine Bolman's now-defunct Egyptian Art site)
Note: for more on astrology, also check under
Myth*ing Links Common Themes: Star Lore & Astrology
This site by Tour Egypt includes late Greek-influenced Egyptian material but is more important for its excellent overview of astrology in the ancient Mediterranean world; it also provides a good bibliography at the end. [Note: this is double-listed under Common Themes: Star Lore & Astrology.]http://www.sis.gov.eg/coptic/html/copt000.htm
Coptic Christian Traditions
Coptic Flight into Egypt
[See directly below]
[Added 23 January 2003]: This is a devout account of "The Holy Family in Egypt" from the Egyptian State Information Service. It's a lovely, illustrated page full of scriptural passages as well as lore not usually accessible in the non-Coptic world.The advent of the Holy Family to Egypt, seeking refuge, is an event of the utmost significance in our dear country's long, long history.....The site's second page supplies a map showing the journey's route, according to Theophilus. What's fascinating is that you can click on the various sites and get a further exploration of Coptic lore connected with each region.
...Such an arduous journey it was, fraught with hazard every step of the way. In those far-off days, there were three routes which could be followed by travelers traversing Sinai from Palestine to Egypt, a crossing which was usually undertaken in groups, for without the protection of well-organized caravans, the ever-present dangers - even along these known and trodden paths-were ominously forbidding.
But, in their escape from the infanticidal fury of King Herod, the Holy Family - understandably - had to avoid the beaten tracks altogether, and to pursue unknown paths, guided by God and His Angel. They picked their way, day after day, through hidden valleys and across uncharted plateaus in the (then) rugged wastelands of Sinai, enduring the scorching heat of the sun by day and the bitter cold of the desert nights, preserved from the threat of wild beasts and savage tribesmen, their daily sustenance miraculously provided, the all-too-human fears of the young Mother for her Infant allayed by the faith that infused her with His birth.
And so they arrived, at last, safely, for God had pre-ordained that Egypt should be the refuge for the One who was to bring the message of peace and love to mankind.
The tortuous trails they followed in their passage across Sinai, and their subsequent travels within Egypt, are chronicled by Pope Theophilus, 23rd Patriarch of Alexandria (384 - 412 AD). He testifies, in his celebrated annals, that on the eve of the 6th of Hathor (the Coptic month corresponding roughly with November), after long prayer, the Holy Virgin revealed herself to him and, after relating the details of the Holy Family's journey to, in, and from Egypt, bade him record what he had seen and heard. It is a source which no Christian believer would question....
The Flight into Egypt
& the Holy Family's Daily Life along the Nile
Modern Logo from the Encyclopedia Coptica website
[see directly below]
"Encyclopedia Coptica": this is actually not an "encyclopedia" but a long, informative essay filled with countless hypertexts that'll take you to often stunning iconography (some are huge files and can take more than 5 minutes to download). At the end, it offers a bibliography as well as good links to other Coptic and related sites.http://touregypt.net/chiste0.htm
This is Tour Egypt's "A History of Christianity in Egypt" -- it includes such topics as a look at Egyptian theologians and saints (including one of my own patron saints, Catherine of Alexandria), and offers a few related links and suggested readings. In our usual focus on ancient Egypt, we tend to forget the pivotal role played by Egypt in the formation of early Christian beliefs and practices. It is a troubled, eerie history, but nonetheless fascinating, especially in its interplay with much more ancient themes. I'm only including several Early Christian/Coptic links on this page, but the last two give additional links for those interested in exploring further.
Start of EGYPT & THE SAHARA
(from here you can get to the opening AFRICA page)
Alexandria/ Amarna/Art & Artifacts/ Daily Life in Ancient Egypt/ Egypt: General Information, Travel, Etc./
Egypt: through the Eyes of Photographers & Artists/ Hieroglyphs, Papyrus & Texts/ Links to the Links/
Men of Ancient Egypt/ Multiple Category Sites/ Mythology/ Other Archaeological Sites/ Pyramids/
Religious Beliefs&Practices/ Women of Ancient Egypt/ The Sahara
If you have comments or suggestions,
my email address will be found near the bottom of my home page.
Please note that I cannot help with homework questions -- you will find useful links with tips for doing your own web searches on my Search Engine page. You will also find excellent resources on my General Reference page. Good luck with your projects!
17 July 1999;
18 February 2000 (checked all links);
2 March 2000 (updated links again);
20 August 2000 (changed background)
Latest Updates: 21 January 2003: redesigned, un-webcom-d, + links check;
23 January 2003: added new Coptic/Christian link & art.
Note: "Thatch" background (I've darkened it) is from Dream Tiles.