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The ancient egyptian traditions of Atlantis

The ancient egyptian traditions of Atlantis
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"Atlantis" comes from classical Greek atlantikos and refers to the daughter of Atlas, the mythological figure of a bearded Titan who holds the sphere of the heavens, or zodiac, on his shoulders. He was indicated as the founder of astrology and astronomy on a large island in the Atlantic Ocean, which similarly derives from his name. Its root is in the Sanskrit atla, "the supporter."

Although, unlike Greek, the ancient Egyptian language does not derive from Indo-European Sanskrit, variations of "At" recurred in the dynastic language of the Nile Valley to describe the submerged civilization. For example, Ataka is described in the Harris Papyrus, a document 40 meters long and dated April 14 (6 Epiphi) 1180 BC, summarizing in detail the political, cultural, religious, and military results of Ramses III. As pharaoh of the XX Dynasty, he defended his kingdom from the invasion of the Sea Peoples, identified with Plato's Atlanteans. After their defeat, he declares in the Harris Papyrus:

"I sent an expedition to the land of Ataka for the great copper smelters found there. Our transport ships were loaded. After locating the smelters, filling our ships with metal, they sailed towards Egypt, returning safely. The cargo was stacked in warehouses, like hundreds of thousands of gold. I showed them to the people as wonders."

The land of golden copper

Ataka appears to be an Egyptian linguistic inflection of the original Atlantean name (the prefix At often denoted Atlantean properties) for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in North America, where they undertook intensive copper mining activity. Plato describes them as remarkable miners of the world's most precious copper (orichalcum). Ramses mentions "smelters," implying large-scale extraction operations that took place at Atak and certainly existed in the Great Lakes area until his time when they were suddenly wiped out. The large quantities of copper that his expedition took from Ataka meant that transport ships traversed a great, daring distance (returning safely), while their "gold-like color" suggests the orichalcum akin to Plato's gold and the high-quality copper of Michigan. Only from the Upper Peninsula could Ramses have obtained vast quantities of precious copper. It seems that after the defeat of the Atlanteans, the Egyptians disclosed the location of their copper sources in North America and transports ventured on a transatlantic journey. Ramses does not indicate any negotiation or military operation at Ataka, except for the simple conquest of vast quantities of copper, as if there were no one there to trade with or fight. Historians know that at the time, the beginning of the 12th century BC, the mines of Michigan were probably abandoned. With the sudden, simultaneous collapse of Atlantean civilization, their copper treasure was easily available to the victorious Egyptians.

Atcha was an ancient Egyptian term for a distant, splendid city that had disappeared. It reappears on the other side of the world as Atchafalaya, the Long River of the Choctaw Indians of Louisiana. Its resemblance to the Egyptian Atcha alludes to Atlantis, especially in view of the Choctaw Flood myth. The ancient Egyptian Atemet was the place of residence and/or the name of the goddess Hat-menit, who in Egyptian temples was depicted as a woman wearing a fish-like headdress. Venerated at Mendes, where she had the appellation of Mother, she was somehow connected to the lands of Punt, often associated with the islands of Atlantis. Egyptologist Budge believed that Atemet was one of the forms of Hathor, the goddess responsible for the universal flood. Atennu is the Egyptian sun god as he appears on the sea to the west. More an Egyptian symbol than a real deity, Atfih supported the serpent Mehen, which protectively surrounded the palace where Ra, the sun god, resided. Here, Atlantis is suggested in the serpent, symbolizing the Great Water Circle (the ocean) and in Ra's palace, the center of solar worship, while Atfih, whose name means messenger, was Atlas, who carried the great circle of the skies. At-hothes is the oldest known name of Thoth (Thot for the Greeks, who equated him with Hermes), the god of wisdom, medicine, literature, and hieroglyphic writing, who came to Egypt after a flood destroyed his home in the distant west. Arab tradition identifies him as the architect of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The submerged mountain

Aton was among the oldest Egyptian deities, the sun god who alone ruled the universe. Egyptian tradition spoke of the Smsu-Hr, the followers of Horus (the sun god), highly civilized sailors who docked in the Nile Delta to find the first dynasties. Its name seems to have meant City of the Sun of the Mountain (with "On" being the Egyptian term for the Greek Heliopolis, or City of the Sun God) and may have originally referred to a religious site (i.e., Atlantis) rather than a deity. In fact, it was often called "The Aton," the solar disk.

Atum was among the oldest Egyptian deities associated with a sacred mountain, the origin of the first gods. He created the Heavenly Waters from which the Primordial Mountain rose. Shu, the Egyptian Atlas, declares in the Coffin Texts: "I am the son of Atum. Let me be placed on his neck." In Hittite mythology, Kumarbi, a giant who rose from the Western Ocean, placed Upelluri on his mountainous neck, where he supported the sky and is now seen by mythologists as the Anatolian version of Atlas.

Atum also says, in the same Texts:

"Let my son, Shu, be placed beneath my daughter, Nut (the starry night sky), to watch me along the Heavenly Supports, which exist at twilight (the distant west)."

The "Heavenly Supports" were known to Plato and his Greek companions as the Pillars of Hercules, beyond which lies Atlas-Atum. The Sixtieth Discourse of the Pyramid Texts reads:

"O Atum, when you came to life you arose as a high hill. You arose in this, your name of High Hill."

As Clark explains,

"When the deceased, personified by his statue, was crowned during the final ceremony inside the pyramid, he was invested with the red crown of Lower Egypt. A heap of sand was placed on the floor and the statue placed atop it, while a long prayer was recited, beginning with 'Rise upon it, this land that comes from Atum. Rise high from it, so that your father may see you, that Ra may see you.' The sand represents the Primordial Mountain. The instruction for the king is to ascend the mountain and be greeted by the sun."

This is the concept of kingship descended from the supreme sun god, Ra, on his sacred mountain of Atum, the birthplace of the god. It was this sacred ancestral site, Egyptian tradition reports, that sank beneath the sea of the distant west, causing the migration of deities and royals to the Nile Delta. Atur was a nautical measurement unit used by ancient Egyptians, literally meaning river (or water), corresponding to an hour of navigation covering 7862.2 meters, equal to a constant speed of about 4.5 miles per hour. Aethyr was the Egyptian month corresponding to our late October-early November, during which the worldwide Flood caused by the goddess Hathor took place, an event associated with the final destruction of Atlantis.

Etelenty is the ancient Egyptian for Atlantis, as it appears in the Book of the Return in the Day, better known today as the Book of the Dead, a series of religious texts buried alongside the deceased to aid their soul in its journey from death to spiritual destination. According to Dr. Ramses Seleem's translation in 2001, Etelenty means "the land that was divided and submerged by water." Its Greek derivation is evident and was likely the same term that Solon, the lawgiver to the Athenians visiting the Nile Delta around 500 BC, heard at Sais and translated as Atlantis. The submerged city has been mentioned in ancient Egypt elsewhere as Aalu, the Island of Flame, descriptive of a great volcanic island in the distant West (the Atlantic Ocean). This physically coincides with Plato's Atlantis: mountainous, with canals, lush grain fields, a splendid city surrounded by massive walls, adorned with precious metals. The earliest known reference to Aalu appears in the Destruction of Humankind, a story from the New Kingdom (1299 BC) discovered in the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I, at Abydos. Its city was the site of the Osireion, an underground monument for the Great Flood that destroyed a previous age of greatness. Across the world from Egypt, the Apache Indians of southwestern America maintain that their ancestors arrived after the Great Flood had destroyed their land, still remembered as the Island of Flame, in the Atlantic Ocean. Egyptian Aalu was known as Alalu among the Hurrians, a people who occupied Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) from the early 3rd millennium BC.

Many of their religious and mythical concepts were absorbed by the Hittite conquerors, beginning after 2000 BC. Among these traditions was the story of Alalu, the first king of heaven, a giant god, who made his home on a mountainous island in the sea of the sunset. His son, Kumarbi, was synonymous with the Greek Cronos, a mythical personification of the Atlantic Ocean until Roman times. Babylonian tradition (2100 BC) described Arallu as a great mountainous island in the distant west, where springs of fresh water and a temperate climate all year round were enjoyed by spiritually enlightened inhabitants.

The flood

That such shared names describe a place akin to Atlantis can only mean that these different, widely separated peoples were independently influenced by a common external source. That same Atlantean source extended so far as to touch both the Nile Valley and the Valley of Mexico. Amimitl – the Harpooner or the Trident Bearer – was a title conferred upon the Aztec god of the sea, Atlahua. His name is an evident derivation from Atlas. He was also known as He Who Divides the Waters and Inventor of the Trident. Plato recounts how the sea god Poseidon "divided the waters from the land," to create Atlantis, and the trident is emblematic of his maritime power. Brundage reports that Atlahua was "venerated in a temple on the legendary island of Aztlan," Atlantis.

Unusually, the ancient Egyptians remembered the Mesentiu, the Harpooner, a bearer of culture to the people, who arrived by sea from the distant west to establish dynastic civilization in the Nile Delta. There is also some philological similarity between the Aztec Amimitl and the Egyptian Mesentiu. The most famous anthropomorphic monument on Earth, the Great Sphinx of Egypt, had the ancient name Hu, or guardian. The Greek word sphinx describes various elements linked together, referring to the human head atop a lion's body. Rain erosion appears to fix its creation around 7000 BC, a conclusion that both conventional scholars and Atlantologists find disconcerting; the former refuse to believe it could date back to a time before 2600 BC, while many of the latter are unable to conceive of an Atlantis in the 8th millennium BC. Whether or not it may have been built by the Atlanteans, they were likely responsible for at least one of its modifications, if not its conception.

The Great Sphinx signified the constellation of Leo, traditionally associated with heavy rains and floods. Thus, it suggests the immigration of the Atlanteans after their land experienced severe geological disruptions in 3100 BC when they brought civilization to the Nile Delta. Interestingly, the famous Dendera zodiac painted on the ceiling of a New Kingdom temple begins in the Lion of the spring equinox of 9880 BC, coinciding with Plato's reported date of Atlantis. Hathor is the Egyptian goddess of impetuous destruction. She was identified in the mural texts of Medinet Habu, West Thebes, with a "planet" ablaze, that is, a comet, which destroyed the homeland of the Sea Peoples, who invaded the Nile Delta in the early 12th century BC. These were the Atlanteans described by Plato in their attempted conquest of the eastern Mediterranean. In the tradition of ancient Egypt, the Followers of Horus, or Semu-Hor, were bearers of culture who arrived in the Nile Delta from Sekhet-aaru, the field of reeds, their submerged land in the distant west. They worshipped Shu, the Egyptian Atlas, depicted in temple art as a bearded man supporting the heavens while guarding the Four Pillars of the sky. These were comparable to the Pillars of Hercules, or the Strait of Gibraltar, which defined the Mediterranean limits of Atlantean influence. In ancient Egypt, obelisks were known as Columns of Shu.

While Atlas meant the Supporter, Shu was known as He Who Supports. He shared the title of god of the air with Ehecatl, his Aztec counterpart. According to the renowned Egyptologist Schwaller de Lubicz, pharaonic prehistory was dominated by the twins Shu and Tefnut.

Bearers of knowledge

Thaut, known in Greek as Thoth, erected two columns, one of bricks, the other of stone, upon which was inscribed a pre-Deluge history. It was believed that they had survived both fire and flood and were erected in the Syrian land, a reference to Egypt, where the rising of Sirius coincided with the annual inundation of the Nile Delta. In Egyptian mythology, Thaut arrived in the Delta after a cataclysmic flood destroyed an ancient age, the Zep Tepi, or First Time.

Undoubtedly, that ancient flood was symbolically correlated with the annual Nile flood, as the consequences of both were ones of abundance. With Thaut's arrival, Pharaonic civilization flourished anew, following a surplus of nature, much like the annual river flood brings fertile alluvial soil. He brought the Emerald Tablets upon which was inscribed the documented wisdom of the First Time. The word "emerald" might not be taken literally but rather to signify a precious stone of some kind, or more likely, that the information preserved on the stones was precious. Thaut is indicated, both in Egyptian and Arab myth, as the builder of the Great Pyramid. The story of these Syrian columns was recounted by two important historians of classical times, Manetho, an Egyptian priest of the 3rd century BC commissioned to write a chronicle of dynastic civilization by the Ptolemies, and Josephus Flavius, an important Jewish scholar of the 1st century. Josephus attributes the two columns to Seth, whom he describes not as a god but as a patriarch. Although venerated from predynastic and early dynastic times in Upper Egypt, Seth was later demonized by the Followers of Horus, so little of his original cult can be deduced. Unique among the rest of the gods, however, he was red-haired, like many Atlanteans. The memorial columns may have been the same inscribed steles with the history of Atlantis, which were seen by Greek visitors in the temple of Neith in Sais in the Nile Delta, Solon and Crantor, and upon which Plato's Atlantean account is based.

Crizia describes a sacred column inscribed with ancestral laws at the center of the Temple of Poseidon in Atlantis. It appears connected to Thaut's Syrian columns and those mentioned by Plato.

The Serpent King

Among the most direct references made by the ancient Egyptians to Atlantis is the popular narrative of the Shipwrecked Sailor, although to be placed in the early dynastic era. An original papyrus of the story is held by the St. Petersburg Museum in Russia and dates back to the 20th Dynasty, 1180 BC. Significantly, this is the same period when Egypt defended itself against the invasion of the Sea Peoples. The final destruction of Atlantis is believed by researchers to have occurred in 1198 BC.

The story of the Shipwrecked Sailor begins with a terrible storm at sea. A frigate carrying miners is lost, and only one man, clinging to a wreck, is eventually washed ashore on a distant island.

"Suddenly I heard a thunderous noise,"

he says.

"I thought it must have been a great wave breaking on the beach. The trees swayed, and the earth vibrated." These signs heralded the arrival of the Serpent King, a great bearded creature covered in golden scales and lapis lazuli. He carefully gathered the unfortunate sailor into his large mouth and led him to his "resting place."

There he told the man of "this island in the middle of the sea, a Blessed Isle, where nothing is lacking and which is full of every good thing, a distant country unknown to men." After a stay of four months, the king had loaded his guest with gifts.

"But when you leave this place,"

he warned him,

"you will never see this island again, for it will be covered by the waves."

Significantly, the Serpent King refers to his kingdom on the island as Punt. This is the same ambiguous land that generations of pharaohs visited with trade expeditions, returning with rich goods, until the destruction of Atlantis in the late 13th century BC, with which it has been identified.

Furthermore, the island of the Serpent King is seismic ("the earth vibrated"), in the midst of the sea and a distant country unknown to men. He calls his kingdom the Blessed Isle, the same epitaph used by Greek and Roman writers to characterize Atlantis. His description of this kingdom on the island is relative to the abundance of natural riches and recalls the Platonic version of Atlantis:

"The island itself provides much of what is required by them for their daily uses"


The Serpent King himself leaves no doubt about the Atlantean identity of his island:

"You will never see this island again, for it will be covered by the waves."

The description of the Serpent King as a fabulous beast is clearly symbolic of a powerful monarch.

The Pyramid Texts recite:

"Your art, Osiris, is great in your name of the Great Green (the ocean). Behold, your art is circular as the circle surrounding the Hanebu."

Howey commented,

"Osiris was thus the serpent (dragon) lying in the ocean and surrounding the world"

that is, he has power over it.

The Hanebu were the Sea Peoples of Atlantis, referred to by the scribes of Ramses III in the mural texts of the Temple of Victory at Medinet Habu. The appearance of the Serpent King indicates his real provenance. The beard was an emblem of sovereign authority. Even Queen Hatshepsut had to wear a false beard during her reign. And his "scales" of gold and lapis lazuli represent his royal attire. The transport of the sailor from the resting place of the Serpent King, i.e., the palace, into the great mouth—the sharp weapons of his guards—is a metaphor for the power of command. These mythical images shed light on the Feathered Serpent, the legendary founding father of Mesoamerican civilization, coming from the eastern sea. The greatest hero of the Quiche Maya culture was Votan, from Valum, the Realm of Serpents. Both Coatlicue and Mama Ocllo, the guiding women of Aztec and Inca legend, belonged to the "race of the serpent." Amuraca, the first chief of the Bochica Indians, means Serpent King. Like the Egyptian Serpent King, Amuraca once ruled on an island in the heart of the sea.

The Serpent King tells his shipwrecked guest of "a young girl upon whom fire from the sky fell and burned her, reducing her to ashes." Why this curious anecdote should be included in the story, if not as an allusion to the celestial impact responsible for the Atlantean catastrophe, is otherwise inexplicable.

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