Washington, March 6 (ANI): A translation of the hieroglyphics engraved on white stone in the tomb of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian queen has suggested that she was offered a loaf of bread and a jug of beer during her funeral.
Known as the "Pyramid Texts," these hieroglyphics represent the oldest body of Egyptian religious writings and were widely in use in royal tombs during the 5th and 6th Dynasties of the Old Kingdom.
Discovery News asked one of the top scholars of the Pyramid Texts, James P. Allen, a Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and Chair of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University, to translate part of the newly discovered hieroglyphs.
The picture shows texts from what is known as the Offering Ritual, which is always carved on the north wall of the burial chamber in Old Kingdom pyramids.
As all rituals, it is addressed in the second person, and was originally recited by a lector priest during rites that probably took place at the funeral.
The Offering ritual accompanied preparation for and presentation of a great meal.
For example, in the case of Queen Behenu, in the middle of the third complete column in the middle of the image, there is a recitation that says, "Osiris Behenu, accept Horus's Eye: gather it to your mouth."
Presentation, 4 times. 1 loaf of bread and 1 jug of beer.
The offering is usually called "Horus's Eye," referring to the mythical struggle in which the eye of the falcon-god Horus was torn out by his opponent Seth, and later restored.
This ritual is well-attested from other pyramids, so, from what I can see, Behenu's copy does not add much new.
"But, the hieroglyphs are nicely carved, and it adds to our knowledge of how the texts were used, and for whom, in the Old Kingdom," said P. Allen. (ANI)