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[h=1]Divine Kingship and African Governance: the example of Pharaonic Egypt[/h]
Chinweizu

(In Onyekachi Wambu, ed. Under the Tree of Talking: Leadership for Change in Africa, London: Counterpoint, 2007, pp. 16-31)

Chinweizu is an institutionally unaffiliated Afrocentric scholar. A historian and cultural critic, his book ‘The West and the Rest of Us’ (1975) is a classic text of anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist scholarship. He has studied and written about African history to determine, as Chinua Achebe famously stated, ‘when the rain began to beat us.’ He believes that one of the reasons for the dire condition of Africa is the inability of the current leadership and elite to up-date or build upon the enduring values and raison d’etre for state formation from the pre-colonial past, in order to better the conditions of their people. He sees these elites as rather more focused on ruling their post-colonial states (or ‘bantustans’ as he scornfully dubs them) on their own behalf and on behalf of foreign powers.

As we begin to build up a corpus of African bureaucratic and leadership literature, that place African realities at the centre of the discourse, Chinweizu has identified many models from that independent pre-colonial past, which offer interesting ideas and systems of enquiry. His research has taken him back to the earliest known African state – that of Ancient Egypt/Kmt, which produced not only some of the world’s first recorded political leaders, but also, at over 4000 years, probably the longest lasting state in the world. Given the material conditions on the ground at the time to support a largely agricultural society, Chinweizu, considers the ideology that inspired the Egyptian state, the role of the Pharaoh within that vision of the state, and the mechanisms for producing an ethically guided leadership that would in turn manage the state in a principled and successful manner in the interests of its people, thus guaranteeing its legitimacy, material survival and succession.

Much of this ideology (rule of law, due process, meritocracy, tax collection, civil service and the notion of the public realm) even now underpins the constitution of many modern states, over 2000 years after the Egyptian state was overrun and defeated.

Introduction
Before Arab and European invaders came to Africa and violently installed their religions, values and institutions, many African societies were ruled by divine kingship or its derivatives. The comprador-colonial bantustans (erroneously called ‘post-colonial states’ by Africanist scholarship) that today blight the African landscape were each instituted by European invaders to plunder its territory and its population for the profit of imperialists. At ‘independence’ they were lured into the dungeons of the UN Imperialist system where they have been obliged to obey the dictatorship of the IMF-World Bank-WTO overseers and to pursue objectives designed to serve imperialism and its capitalist masters. Africa’s comprador elites—the black colonialists-- have been too busy pursuing the imperialist-sponsored objectives of maldevelopment to address questions that are basic to the survival of their societies. In particular, they have not formulated their own concept of good governance, let alone embarked on the quest for devices to effect it.

Unsurprisingly, these comprador-colonial bantustans are cesspools of, what even their alarmed imperialist masters now condemn as, bad governance. Unlike these exogenous states, the indigenous societies of pre-colonial Africa had coherent and well-thought-out systems and procedures for good governance.

The available evidence, though patchy, suggests that each pre-colonial African society had its own indigenous conception of good governance, especially with respect to resource allocation, decision-making and arbitration, and each had its doctrines on how those discharging these functions should do so for its conception of good governance to be realized.

In the decentralized African societies, such as in Eritrea, Igboland and Botswana, besides consensual decision-making, some typical features of good governance were:

respect for ancestors, elders, rights of individuals, and community norms and laws. Membership in lineage groups, kinship groups and ethnic groups ensured the protection of the rights of individuals, weak or strong. [Decentralized African societies] rarely had an executive branch of governance with police forces that penetrate communities to enforce laws and rules of society. Rather, members of the community observed the laws, rules and norms of their own communities primarily because they were party to their making through the consensual decision-making process. The community at large also participates through various means in the enforcement of its rules and norms. Thus, the system in such societies did not create a permanent separation between makers and enforcers of rules or government and society.
(MENGISTEAB, 2003:209)

Though we presently lack details of the doctrines and rules of good governance by which the kings and their provincial and village administrators were guided in Old Ghana, Oyo, Dahomey, Benin, Ashanti etc., we occasionally find indications of their concepts of conduct not conducive to good governance, as when grounds of social values were adduced for deposing or rebelling against a king or chief.

In the case of Alafin Jayin of Oyo in the 17th century, that veritable lord of
misrule was described as “effeminate and dissolute” and remembered for the debauchery of his court which provoked his forced suicide. Also, even under British indirect rule, in Ibadan, an offshoot and successor state of the Oyo empire, concerted opposition was mounted, in 1941, to block Chief Folarin Solaja’s promotion to a very high chieftaincy position on the grounds that he was a money lender who charged interest, a rich but miserly man etc. (Adéèkó, 2004: 168-169; Adeboye, 2004: 214).

These episodes suggest that in the Oyo empire, debauchery, greed and miserliness were considered traits inappropriate in rulers and, as sources of disorder, were held contrary to their notion of good governance.

In the case of the Ashanti kingdoms it was customary to publicly admonish a chief as follows, especially during his installation ceremony:

Tell him that
We do not wish for greediness
We do not wish that he should curse us
We do not wish that his ears should be hard of hearing
We do not wish that he should call people fools
We do not wish that he should act on his own initiative
We do not wish things done as in Kumasi
We do not wish that it should ever be said
“I have no time, I have no time”
We do not wish personal abuse
We do not wish personal violence
(QUOTED IN CHINWEIZU, 1987:229)

This indicates that, among the Ashanti, greediness, arbitrariness, arrogance, and other such characteristics in chiefs and officials were seen as contrary to good governance.

For deeper insights into African kingships and their governance, our best documented example is the divine kingship of Pharaonic Egypt. Let us now examine its concept and procedures of good governance.

Divine Kingship and good governance in Pharaonic Egypt
Pharaonic Egypt (also known as Tawy: the two lands; or Kmt /Kemet: the country of the blacks) was an avowed theocracy. The Pharaonic Egyptians saw theirs as a civilization founded by gods and ruled by gods for the edification of the gods. According to their historiography, (e.g. Manetho, and the Ramesside, or Turin, Canon) their land/kingdom was first ruled by the Gods; after that by ‘the Demigods and Spirits of the Dead’. Then began the period of rule by mortal kings which Manetho divided into 31 dynasties. Manetho gave 39,525 years as the total duration of the three phases of Pharaonic Egyptian kingship (13,900 years by Gods and 11,025 years by Demigods, and the rest by mortal kings). Another Pharaonic Egyptian source gave a total of 23,000 years (18,000 for Gods and Heroes plus a little less than 5000 years for mortal kings). (Hancock and Bauval, 1996:211) Even at a little less than 5000 years, the phase of mortal kings (the only one recognised by Egyptology) was of long enough duration to make it probably the longest-lasting state so far found in the world’s historical record. On the Chinweizu Chronology, Pharaonic Egypt, from the Mena unification to the Persian conquest, lasted ca.4375-525 BC. (See Chinweizu, forthcoming, Vol. II)

What did the Pharaonic Egyptians regard as the purpose of their state? And what ideology (body of beliefs and values) guided its leadership during all those millennia?

The purpose of the Pharaonic state was to maintain and restore Maat
rightness in nature and righteousness in society-- as normatively instituted in the cosmic order established by the gods in the epoch of the Zep Tepi: the First Time or First Occasion, i.e. when they initiated civilization in Egypt: the epoch, long before the establishment of mortal kingship, when

the basic principles of life, nature, society were determined by the gods; . . . a golden age of absolute perfection –‘before rage or clamour or strife or uproar had come about’. No death, disease or disaster occurred in that blissful epoch, known variously as ‘the time of Re’, ‘the time of Osiris’, or ‘the time of Horus’.
(R. R. RUNDLE CLARK, QUOTED IN HANCOCK & BAUVAL, 1996:140,141)

The divine Kingship was the glue that held the Pharaonic Egyptian state together. State doctrine maintained that the Pharaoh was the divine and incarnate son of the Sun-god Ra, i.e. an avatar of Heru (Horus). He was believed to be born of woman by immaculate conception and, on his bodily death, his spirit rejoined his father Ra and the other immortal gods. As the mediator between society and the forces of nature, his function was to maintain the cosmic order, Maat, by controlling the vital forces of the cosmos for the benefit of his land and its people.

One of his titles, niswt-bity, indicated that his spirit, the bity, was the living
member of the niswt-bity, the company of Herus (Horuses), living and dead, of which he and all his predecessors on the throne were members. According to the doctrine, it was the niswt-bity that actually ruled Egypt; i.e. the mortal king on the throne at any given time was just the part-human representative of the niswt-bity. Thus divine Kingship was a collective rulership by gods, specifically the current king and all his predecessors since the First Time when Ausar (Osiris) and Heru (Horus) ruled. (See ‘Pharaoh-Eze Nri Correspondences’ in Chinweizu, forthcoming, Vol. III.)

The principal affairs of the state (as recorded in the Old Kingdom Annals,
also known as The Palermo Stone) were:

· Building Temples
· Establishing festivals for various gods
· Making offerings and endowments to divinities and the royal predecessors of the king
· Executing large scale construction projects, such as irrigation systems
· Tax collection
· Census taking
· Measuring the annual Nile flood-level

Irrigation works, tax collection, census taking and measuring the Nile flood-level were duties dictated by the King’s role as “the living Heru, who prospers the Two Lands” (see ‘The Shabaka Text’ or ‘The Memphite Theology’, Lichtheim 1975: 52) But of the activities of the state, ‘nothing is more important than reverent service to the gods and the building of monuments in their honour.’ (Gardiner, 1964:115)

As the lord and shepherd of the country, the King’s job was to maintain Maat, the cosmic, ecological and social order that brought peace and happiness to the Kingdom. Prosperity was part of Maat for, at the Zep Tepi when Ausar was king, he taught his subjects law, order and religion; and--by introducing cereals, the vine and a superior form of agriculture--made the country prosperous. The king sought to ensure that governance preserved the social and moral order that reflected the divine order of the universe and remained consistent with cosmic regularities. If an element of that order went awry or became disturbed, the system had to be recalibrated to remove disorder and restore Maat. For example, when, due to the precession of the equinox, temples and other sacred structures shifted from their original stellar alignments they would be rebuilt and realigned to restore them to their right place in the cosmic order.

Similarly, each year, after the Nile floods receded, the field boundaries that the floods had erased had to be redrawn. And on a grander scale, after the fragmentation of the Kingdom in the First Intermediate Period, and after the monotheist theological heresy of Atenism, a consciously implemented weheme mesu, i.e. ‘repetition of births’ or renaissance was, each time, undertaken to restore the old order of kingship, unity, polytheism and Maatian governance. Thus, as Amenemhat declared at the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, which reunified the kingdom, ‘Kingship is again what it was in the past!’

For carrying out his duties, the King had available the institutions of the state. Besides his court, (šnty/shnty), of companions and counsellors, there was a bureaucracy, headed by a Prime Minister, (t3ty/tjaty), and consisting of departments each of which was headed by an overseer, (Imy-r/Amir). By the 5th Dynasty, some 1000 years after Mena’s unification of Egypt, the departments of state were:

· The Great Mansions (The Legal Department and Law courts) headed by the Imy-r hwt wrt
· The Scribes of the King’s Documents, headed by the Imy-r zš ’nzwt
· (Public) Works, headed by the Imy-r k3t
· Granaries, headed by the Imy-r šnwt
· Treasuries, headed by the Imy-r pr-hd.
(See Nigel Strudwick, 1985)

What was the Pharaonic Egyptian conception of good governance and how did the state ensure that it was implemented by the king and state officials? And how did the Pharaonic state obtain the corps of officials it needed for its job of upholding Maat? Through the schools, the state gave the prospective official a Maatian education; through religion, the state taught the Ausarean beliefs and resurrection rites which encouraged Maatian conduct; and through its administrative and judicial systems, the state discouraged and punished un-Maatian conduct among its officials.

Maat and the Pharaonic doctrines on governance
Establishing, maintaining and restoring Maat was the purpose of Pharaonic governance. According to Pharaonic sages, the quality of governance is a function of the quality of office-holders. If righteous men hold office, government will govern righteously. Right-acting and disciplined officials result in a just or Maatian government.

Furthermore, the quality of office-holders is a function of the quality of education. As those entering public office must be imbued with a commitment to right-doing; but as ‘no one is born wise’, it was necessary to educate the prospective officials and the people to their duties and proper conduct by teaching them the collective wisdom of the country as contained in the Sebait-–the wisdom texts on official conduct and social values. Hence the use of the Sebait as curriculum texts for all children in the schools. (See Carruthers, 1986:6-15)

The religion taught everyone the Ausarean beliefs about the afterlife, with its doctrines of resurrection and Judgement Day, with eternal rewards for the soul of the righteous individual and punishment for the soul of the wicked. According to doctrine, the result on Judgement Day depended on how the conduct of the deceased, when alive, measured up against the virtues of the Ausarean Code.

Let us now look briefly at the Sebait, Pharaonic education, Auserism and the administrative and judicial procedures, to see how, together, they formed a system for promoting righteous governance.

Ethical doctrines of the Sebait
The principal documents of the Sebait that have survived include, The Instructions of Ptahhotep, The Instructions for Merikare, The Instructions of Amenemhat, and The Petitions of Khun-Anpu, from the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom periods as well as later works. These separate texts, though of the same type—moral instructions--do not appear ever to have been gathered into one bound volume. To the Sebait also belong works like Ipuwer and Neferti which describe the disastrous effects of departure from Maat.

The texts of the Sebait instructed officials on righteous conduct towards peers (family, friends, colleagues), higher authorities, the general public as well as towards the gods and the ecosystem.

The cardinal virtues, as taught by the Sebait are self-control, moderation,
kindness, generosity, justice and truthfulness tempered with discretion. (Lichtheim, 1975:62) In Karenga’s view, the cardinal virtues are truth, justice, propriety, harmony, balance, reciprocity and order, these being the various meanings of Maat in the sacred texts. (Karenga, 1989:391) The cardinal vices are greed, injustice/partiality, oppressing the poor /exploiting the little people, laziness, abuse of authority. (see ‘The Petitions of Khun-Anpu’/ ‘The Eloquent Peasant’, Lichtheim, 1975:169-184)

The virtues are commended on the ground that they are decreed by God and rewarded with status, wealth, friends, family, an everlasting good name on earth and, above all, immortal life among the gods in the hereafter. The vices are condemned as abhorred and punished by God.

Noteworthy precepts in the Sebait include the following: On the rule of Law, due process and impartiality, ‘The Installation of the Prime Minister’ says:

‘See to it that all is done according to law,
That all is done exactly right. . . .
The magistrate’s safety is acting by the rule. . . .
God abhors partiality. . .
Regard one you know like one you don’t know’
(LICHTHEIM 1976:22, 23)

On meritocracy, The Merikare says:

‘Do not prefer the wellborn to the commoner,
Choose a man on account of his skills.’
(LICHTHEIM, 1975:101)

The Sebait urge the enjoyment of life. ‘Follow your heart’ says maxim 11 of
Ptahhotep, for example. However, they emphasize that wealth is a gift of God and its main purpose is to enable one to be generous to friends and intimates. ‘Sustain your friends with what you have, you have it by the grace of god;’ (Maxim 22) ’Don’t be mean toward your friends, they are greater than one’s riches, . . .’ (Maxim 35)

The Sebait warn severely against greed:

Guard against the vice of greed:
A grievous sickness without cure, . . .
It embroils fathers, mothers,
And the brothers of the mother,
It parts wife from husband;
It is a compound of all evils
(PTAHHOTEP, MAXIM 19, LICHTHEIM, 1975:68-69)

Not for them Maggie Thatcher’s ‘Greed is good’ dictum or the capitalist doctrine of ‘private vices, public good via the invisible hand’. Not for them the capitalist view that a well-ordered society should run according to what Adam Smith called the ‘vile maxim of the masters of mankind’: ‘All for ourselves, and nothing for other people’ (See Noam Chomsky, 1993:19, 57)

The Sebait also instruct as follows:

‘Speaking is stronger than all fighting’
‘Do to the doer to make him do’
(LICHTHEIM, 1975:99, 174)

‘The Lord prefers the timid to the headstrong man.’
‘Do not raise your voice in the house of God. He abhors shouting.’
(LICHTHEIM, 1976:24, 137)

‘If you do good by a hundred persons and just one of them acknowledges it, no part of it is lost.’
‘Do not do to a man what you dislike, so as to cause another to do it to you.’
‘Do a good deed and throw it in the water and when it dries you will find it.’
(Lichtheim, 1980:170,171,174)

It should be noted that the Pharaonic Egyptians did not share the view of the Greeks and modern Europeans for whom justice is nothing other than the interest of the stronger. (For Afrocentric translations and introductory discussions of the Sebait, see Karenga, 1984; Carruthers, 1995; Asa Hilliard et. al., 1987; and Karenga, 1989)

Pharaonic Education for governance
The education system aimed to produce the Maatian ideal-type of person, known as the geru-maat-- a literate, numerate paragon of righteous conduct who could be employed by the state as a priest, administrator or military officer; a person whose spirit, after the death of the body, would qualify as a blessed soul and be vindicated /(declared maakheru) on judgement day before Ausar in the Hall of Double Maat. Pharaonic education emphasized the development of character and of the soul, and was seen as the path to immortality and divinity for humans. Its ultimate goal was divinization, i.e. to make the resurrected soul of the dead fit to join the astral company of the immortal gods.

The process of education was not seen primarily as a process of acquiring knowledge. It was seen as a process of the transformation of the learner who progressed through successive stages of rebirth to become more godlike.
(HILLIARD 1985:158)

The Pharaonic system was predicated on a view in which a ‘person was seen as being essentially spiritual whose essence was housed in a finite body. It was the spirit that had an eternal existence.’
(Hilliard, 1986:138)

The path to the development of god-like qualities was through the development of virtue . . . Virtue was the antidote to character flaws. But virtue could be achieved only through special study and effort.
(HILLIARD 1986:138)

Maatian philosophy held that ‘self-cultivation through righteous behave-iour is the ultimate goal.’ It also held ‘learning as essential, even indispensable, to the self-cultivation and self-authentication of the’ geru-maat.’ For ‘it is in the development of character that instruction succeeds’ (Karenga 1989:389,391)

The character training of the student was principally through saturating his mind with the precepts from the Sebait, the wisdom books on which the child was drilled from his first day at school, and from which he absorbed the dos-and-don’ts of the Maatian way of life. The ideal character which education aimed to form, the geru-maat was: the calm, quiet, controlled, modest, wise, gentle, socially-active, person (Karenga, 1986:94), the righteous, self-mastered person ‘whose whole character is infused with Maat’ (Karenga, 1989:389) Explicating the concept, using quotations from the Sebait, Karenga presents some of the main attributes of the geru-maat: The geru-maat is one who is true in word, just in deed, diligent as well as generous with his wealth; a man of peace who observes the proprieties in his conduct towards superiors, peers and inferiors; who is balanced or measured and applies the right measure in all good things, and who practices reciprocity. He is calm, self-controlled, kind toward people, humble toward god, and follows in the footsteps of the ancestors. (Karenga, 1989: 361-369). The opposite of the geru-maat is the ‘unrestrained person –- hot-mouthed, hot-tempered, aggressive, and generally infused with isfet: the opposite of maat.’ (Karenga, 1986:94)

The human person was conceived as consisting of a mortal physical body plus nine non-physical parts. Vindication on judgement day was the condition for the person’s soul to attain immortality and divinity. Therefore, emphasis was placed on preparing it to become eligible for immortality by teaching him to live by the Ausarean code.

However, since education in any ethical code is not enough to guarantee lifelong practice of it, the Pharaonic official had to be motivated to practice what he had been taught. This was done through equipping him with Ausarean beliefs which made him desire immortality, but made his attainment of immortality conditional on his life-long practice of Maatian ethics.

Ausarism: religious motivation to life-long righteous conduct
The core of Ausarism was the belief that the soul of the deceased would be
examined on Judgment Day. Upon arriving at the Judgment Hall, he had to declare himself innocent of crimes on the Ausarean Code; one to each of the 42 assembled divine assessors. The so-called Pyramid Texts, which were inscribed for the kings of the 5th and 6th dynasties on the walls of their pyramids were the original resurrection manuals of Ausarism. Later derivatives would appear in the so-called called Coffin Texts, inscribed in the coffins of officials; and in the Book of Coming Forth by Day, the so-called Book of the Dead, which popularized the manual for everyone. The climax of the resurrection rites, The Declaration of Innocence, went thus (annotations, in italics and between square brackets, are by Chinweizu):

These are words which shall be said on arriving at the Great Hall of Maati, so that one may be separated from all offenses he or she may have committed and may behold the faces of the divine ones.

One says: Homage to you, Great God, Lord of Maati.
I have come to you O Lord that I may behold your beauty.
I know you; I know your name;
I know the names of the forty-two divine beings who live with you in this Hall of Maati, who live on the doers of evil and feed on their blood on the day of taking account of character in the presence of Osiris, The Good One.
Surely, the Two Daughters, the Two Eyes, Lord of Righteousness is your name: Behold, I have come to you.
I have brought you righteousness and have done away with unrighteousness for you.
(Karenga, 1984: 109)

[Here begins the Declarations to the 42 divine assessors, each of whom is hailed before a declaration is made to him. The sample declarations below are compiled from several texts and sources. The full list of virtues in the Ausarean Code is not known. If it was ever compiled, it has yet to be found. But the number of distinct virtues found in extant texts exceeds 42. I have arranged the 44 samples below into four thematic groups: social virtues, ecosystem virtues, virtuous acts to the king and the state, and virtuous acts to the gods.]

Social Virtues
1. Hail, Nehau, who comes forth from Restau, I have not
mistreated my family and associates.
2. Hail, Sekheriu, who comest forth from Utten, I have not
associated with evil or worthless persons.
3. Hail, thou Destroyer, who comest forth from Kesiu, I
have not defrauded the poor of their property.
4. Hail, . . . , I have not slandered a servant to his superior.
5. Hail, . . . , I have not inflicted pain.
6. Hail, . . . , I have not caused anyone to be hungry.
7. Hail, . . . , I have not made anyone weep.
8. Hail, . . . , I have not caused anyone to suffer.
9. Hail, . . . , I have not been greedy.
10. Hail . . . ., I have not committed fraud.
11. Hail, . . . , I have not committed adultery.
12. Hail, . . . , I have not coveted others’ property.
13. Hail, . . . , I have not stolen.
14. Hail, . . . , I have not committed murder.
15. Hail,. . . , I have not increased or diminished the measure
of grain,
16. Hail, . . . , I have not encroached upon fields of another.
17. Hail, . . . , I have not taken milk from the mouth of babes.
18. Hail, . . . , I have not told lies.
19. Hail, . . . , I have not spoken curses.
20. Hail, . . . , I have not been angry without just cause,
21. Hail, . . . , I have not terrorized anyone.
22. Hail, . . . , I have not been hot-tempered.
23. Hail, . . . , I have not been deaf to words of truth.
24. Hail. . . . , I have not stirred up strife.
25. Hail, . . . , I have not been blind to injustice.
26. Hail, . . . , I have not engaged in violence.
27. Hail, . . . , I have not been quick tempered.
28. Hail, . . . , I have not waded in drinking water.
29. Hail, . . . , I have not discriminated against others.
30. Hail, . . . , I have not been arrogant.

Ecosystem Virtues
31. Hail, . . . , I have not laid waste the ploughed lands
32. Hail, . . . , I have not dammed up water when it should
flow.
33. Hail, . . . , I have not engaged in unnatural sex.
34. Hail, . . . , I have not broken the channel of running
water.

Virtues to the King and the state
35. Hail, . . . , I have not slandered the Pharaoh.
36. Hail, . . . , I have not violated the law.
37. Hail, . . . , I have not told lies in the court of law.
38. Hail, . . . , I have not worked treason.

Virtues to the gods
39. Hail, . . . , I have not blasphemed against God.
40. Hail, . . . , I have not killed sacred animals.
41. Hail, . . . , I have not violated the times of making meat
offerings.
42. Hail, . . ., I have not filched that which has been offered
in the temples; nor have I purloined the cakes of the gods.
43. Hail, . . . , I have not cursed God.
44. Hail, . . . , I have not offended the God of my city.

- - - - -

Behold, I have come to you, empty of evil and devoid of deceit, a blameless one, one without a witness against him.
Therefore, let no case be brought against me.
I live on Maat, I satisfy myself with the righteousness of my heart.
For I have done that which men and women request and that which pleases God.
I have found favor with God by doing that which He loves.
I have given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty,
clothes to the naked and a boat to those without one.
I have made due offerings to God and funeral offerings to the departed. Deliver me then, and protect me.
Make no report against me in the presence of the Great God.
For I am one whose mouth is pure and whose hands are clean.
Therefore, let it be said to me: ‘Welcome, come in peace’
by those who shall see me.
(KARENGA, 1984: 111-112)

[His heart was then weighed in the balance against the feather of Maat, and if found pure, i.e. if it was light enough to balance the feather of Maat, he would be vindicated and admitted to the company of immortals, thus:]

Hail, vindicated one. You shall cross the sky and
travel across the expanse of the heavens; those in the
winding waterway [i.e. the Milky Way] shall revere you and see you when you rise on the eastern horizon. You shall come forth
from the Night-bark of Ra and go aboard the Day-bark
as Horus, Lord of nobles, himself, commands you.
Hail, vindicated one. You shall go up on the great
eastern side of the sky and go down on the great
western side of the earth among those powers of
heavens who are in the company of Osiris, the Risen
Savior. And you shall go in peace, in peace with Ra,
who is in the heavens.
(KARENGA,1984: 114)

[The vindicated soul, at its ascension into heaven, would be welcomed thus:]

The Heavens declare: This royal vindicated one is my
beloved son in whom I am well pleased, ... my first
born upon the throne of earth, and Ra has given him
his heritage in the presence of the Great Powers of
heaven. All the powers of heaven rejoice saying how
blessed is this vindicated one, for His Father is greatly
pleased with him.
(KARENGA, 1984:119)

---------------------------------------------

This culturally instilled craving for immortal life among the gods was a motive powerful enough to induce most officials to live righteously as they had been taught. But, as always with codes of conduct, there were those who, for whatever reasons, strayed from the path of Maat. For such, when caught, there was punishment here on earth, even before the eternal punishment that was said to await them after death.

The Judicial punishment system
For minor infractions of the Maatian code of conduct, an official might be
reprimanded. For more serious transgressions, he might be sacked and have his property confiscated--as was done to Nemtynakht in the story ‘The Petitions of Khun-Anpu,’ or ‘The Eloquent Peasant’. For even more serious transgressions, such as treason, he would be imprisoned, have his nose or limb cut off, or even be sentenced to death by suicide or starvation--as happened to those found guilty of conspiracy to make rebellion against King Ramesses III. (See Gardiner, 1964: 289-290)

Conscience vs. CCTV
Thus did the Pharaonic state organise a three-part system—made up of education, religious beliefs and judicial punishment--for obtaining the cadre of righteous leaders it needed to fulfil its Maatian purpose. This ideological edifice is, in its field, no less impressive than the megalithic edifices, epitomized by the Great Pyramids, which Pharaonic Egyptians bequeathed humanity. It helped them to produce what has been called ‘one of the best organized civilizations that the world has ever seen.’ (Gardiner, 1964:106)

As Karenga points out, in this ideological edifice ‘we find a source of the Ten Commandments and . . . of so many other concepts central to Hebrew and Christian theology, i.e., resurrection, the Risen Saviour, the Beloved Son, the Day and Hall of Judgement, immortality of the soul, etc.’ (Karenga, 1984:103)

What has long been lost sight of is that the Pharaonic doctrines of resurrection, Judgement Day, paradise, and salvation were not propounded as ends in themselves but, together with immaculate conception, the annunciation, virgin birth, ascension, etc., were elements in an ideological apparatus designed to foster good governance here on earth. Christianity, a white power perversion of Ausarism, severed the quest for immortality in paradise from the earthly project of good governance and made it a free-standing, other-worldly end-in-itself. With the atheism of the secular bourgeois capitalism of the last two centuries, we have found out from hard experience that fear of Judgement Day, when internalised as conscience, is a more effective deterrent to misconduct and crime than fear of human watchers, social censure, police, judges, prisons, hangmen and Big Brother’s CCTV.

Conclusion
The inability of black Africa’s comprador-colonial bantustans to satisfy or pacify their populations, whether under one-party, multi-party or military rule, has manifested as rebellions and civil wars that threaten an endemic disorder that could obstruct the stable imperialist plunder of Africa. This has alarmed the imperialists into advocating ‘good governance’ and other nostrums to legitimise the comprador-colonial bantustans, and thereby stave off the collapse of the comprador-colonial system. It has caused them to sponsor a search by Africanist scholarship (ever the ready handmaid of imperialism) to find ways to integrate aspects of African indigenous governance systems into the structures of comprador colonialism so as to give these outlandish, barbarous and anti-African states-–with their brazenly greedy black colonialist officials--legitimacy in the eyes of their victim populations, and hopefully save them from being violently overthrown and scrapped altogether.

References
Adeboye, O.A. (2004) ‘Elders-Still-Exist’: Socio-cultural Groups and
Political Participation in Colonial Ibadan’, in Olufemi Vaughan ed. Indigenous Political Structure and Governance in Nigeria, Ibadan: Bookcraft, pp.195-230
Adéèko, Adélékè (2004) ‘Political Appellation in Yoruba Literature’ in
Olufemi Vaughan ed. Indigenous Political Structure and Governance in Nigeria, Ibadan: Bookcraft, pp.168-194
Carruthers, Jacob (1995) Mdw Ntr: Divine Speech, London: Karnac House
______________ (1986) “The Wisdom of Governance in Kemet” in Karenga,
Maulana and Carruthers, Jacob eds (1986) pp.3-30
Chinweizu, (forthcoming) On Kemetology and Black Egypt, Vol I:
Groundworks on Kemetology; Vol II: Pharaonic Chronology Revisited; Vol III: Igbo-Pharaonic Correspondences; Vol IV: Black Egypt; Vol V: Miscellaneous Studies in Kemetology.
Chinweizu (1987) The West and the Rest of Us, (2nd Edition) Lagos: Pero Press
Chomsky, Noam (1993) Year 501, The Conquest Continues, Boston: South End
Press
Gardiner, Alan (1964) Egypt of the Pharaohs, Oxford: Oxford University
Press
Hancock, Graham and Bauval, Robert (1996) The Message of the Sphinx, New
York: Three Rivers Press
Hilliard, Asa G., III (1985) “Kemetic Concepts in Education” in Van
Sertima, Ivan ed. Nile Valley Civilizations, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books
________________ (1986) “Pedagogy in Ancient Kemet” in Karenga,
Maulana and Carruthers, Jacob eds (1986) pp.131-148
Hilliard, Asa G., III, Larry Williams and Nia Damali, eds (1987) The
Teachings of Ptahhotep: The Oldest Book in the World. Atlanta: Blackwood Press
Karenga, Maulana (1989) “Towards a Sociology of Maatian Ethics:
Literature and Context,” in Van Sertima, Ivan ed. Egypt Revisited, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, pp. 352-395
_______________ (1986) “Restoration of the Husia: Reviving a Sacred
Legacy” in Karenga, Maulana and Carruthers, Jacob eds (1986) pp.83-99
_______________ (1984) Selections from the Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient
Egypt, Los Angeles: Kawaida Publications
Karenga, Maulana and Carruthers, Jacob eds (1986) Kemet and the African
Worldview, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press
Lichtheim, Miriam (1975) Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. I: The Old and
Middle Kingdoms, Berkeley: University of California Press
________________(1976) Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. II: The New
Kingdom, Berkeley: University of California Press
________________(1980) Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. III: The Late
Period, Berkeley: University of California Press
Mengisteab, Kidane (2003) “African Traditional Institutions of Governance:
The Case of Eritrea’s village Baito”, in Olufemi Vaughan, ed. Indigenous Political Structures and Governance in Africa, Ibadan: Sefer Books, pp.208-223
Strudwick, Nigel (1985) The Administration of Egypt in the Old Kingdom,
London: KPI

-----
About the author:
Chinweizu is a Black Power Pan-Africanist, and an institutionally unaffiliated Afrocentric historian and cultural scholar. His books include The West and the Rest of Us (1975), Second, enlarged edition (1987); Invocations and Admonitions (1986); Decolonising the African Mind (1987); Voices from Twentieth-century Africa (1988); Anatomy of Female Power (1990). He is also a co-author of Towards the Decolonization of African Literature (1980). His pamphlets include The Black World and the Nobel (1987); and Recolonization or Reparation? (1994) He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Copyright © 2007 by Chinweizu

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Chinweizu 20 viii 01

Fekri Hassan on the Old Kingdom's demise: a response to Ancient Apocalypse Part One.

Several decades ago, Karl Butzer postulated that "major segments of ancient Egyptian history may be unintelligible without recourse to an ecological perspective." I am glad that an Egyptologist of Fekri Hassan's standing has taken up Karl Butzer's insight and applied it to the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period (FIP). This challenge to the orthodoxy from within the Egyptology establishment is healthy and should be supported. I, like Prof Fekri Hassan, believe that a climate change was the basic cause of the demise of the Old Kingdom, but I doubt that he has investigated the correct climate change.

I do not think that what he presented on TV is sufficient to prove his hypothesis. Of course, in a program aimed at non-specialists, one does not expect all the hard data to have been displayed. But the crucial ones, especially those on dating, ought to have been, as they were in the program on the Maya. My impression is that Prof Hassan was rather vague on matters of chronology. However, for the presentation to be technically evaluated, certain key data are required. I presume Fekri Hassan based his program on them, and would supply them to those interested, such as myself.

For example:
1] What are the Calibrated Radiocarbon (CRC) dates for Ankhtifi's tomb?
2] What are the CRC dates and the names for the sites excavated in the Delta by Prof. Redford?
3] What are the CRC dates for the period when the Birket Quarun is said to have dried out completely?

These chronological data are absolutely necessary for evaluating Prof. Hassan's presentation. In addition, there are at least three other problems to be disposed of before he can be said to have proved his case.

4] Since the Nile waters derive, not from rainfall within Egypt, but from rainfall south of Old Dongola, and principally from the Ethiopian highlands and equatorial Africa, the Nile floods would not have fallen disastrously low, and the Birket Quarun would not have dried up, unless a drought affected the distant contributaries of the Nile. A 20% drop in rainfall in Israel, or even in a belt across North Africa and the Levant, would not alone have such effects. Hence it is important, for his hypothesis, to establish that the 2200 BC climate change reduced rainfall drastically in Equatorial Africa and the Ethiopian highlands. But that was not done in the program.

5] It is indeed extraordinary for the mud cores to show no sediments at all dating back as far as the Old Kingdom period. Even if the Birket Quarun dried up completely at some point; and even if all the previous sediments were blown away and the bottom of the lake was scoured by sand storms, was there not even the thinnest layer of aeolian deposit in the mud cores from just before the lake began to fill up once more? How were the layers of the mud cores dated in the search for Old Kingdom sediments? Since the lake is known to have existed before 2200 BC, were no sediments recovered from layers deposited even before the Old Kingdom? Are all the sediments present today, down to the pristine bottom, post 2200 BC? Did the drills dig deep enough, down to the pristine or rock bottom? How many decades of sandstorms would have been needed to blow away all the sediment from Old Kingdom times and before? All of this, and more, need to be made absolutely clear and verified for Prof. Hassan's "clinching evidence" to be established.

6] Prof. Hassan's thesis is of a sudden destruction. It hangs on the orthodox chronology which dates the end of the Old Kingdom to the ca. 2181 BC. i.e. within decades of the 2200 BC climate change This chronology is, perhaps, the Achilles heel of the entire Fekri Hassan hypothesis, as there are, indeed, at least two reasons for thinking that the Old Kingdom ended centuries before the 2200 BC climate change.
First is the radiocarbon result, obtained by Herbert Haas and his team, which requires that the Cambridge Ancient History (CAH) dates for the Old Kingdom be raised by an average of 374 years. This means that Dyn. III began ca. 3104 BC. In that case, even by the compressed dynasty lengths of the CAH, the Old Kingdom would have ended ca. 2555 BC, that is, some three centuries before the 2200 BC climate change.
Second is the radiocarbon date for Sneferu, the first king of Dyn. IV. One radiocarbon date from Meidum is 4802±210 BP. But that was published before calibration methods for RC dates were established in 1967. When calibrated (e.g. by the Seuss graph of 1970), that date becomes 3585±185 BC. That CRC date for Dyn. IV implies that the Old Kingdom ended ca. 2900 BC, centuries before the 2200 BC climate change.
If either of these CRC dates for Dyn. III and Dyn. IV is correct, then the 2200 BC climate change could not have caused something that long preceded it. In that case, Prof. Hassan's explanation would fail, along with the orthodox Old Kingdom chronology on which it is based.

But what has Fekri Hassan's TV presentation demonstrated? What would be a correct interpretation of the evidence he marshalled? My view is that Prof Redford's findings in the destroyed Delta temple, if CRC dated to ca. 2200 BC, would be evidence for the impact on Egypt of that drought, in the form of desperate refugees from the Levant crossing the Sinai into Egypt and plundering the Delta. It would be consistent with Pharaonic reports of Asiatics pushing into the Delta during the FIP.
As for Ankhtifi's tomb and the mass graves of the Delta poor, everything depends on dating them. Depending on their CRC dates, they might well be evidence of famines and social disasters associated with low Niles of some other times in the FIP.
But for any of that, or anything else, to imply that the end of the Old Kingdom was caused by the 2200 BC climate change, the orthodox chronology for the Old Kingdom would have to be shown to be correct. In other words, the Haas and Sneferu CRC dates would have to be proved wrong.

Let me point out that there is an alternative climate change hypothesis which Prof. Hassan mentions and explicitly rejects, but which is probably the correct one. It is that the Sahara dessication was the main cause of the demise of the Old Kingdom. I am presenting the case for that in a monograph titled Pharaonic Chronology and the Nile Level Phases, 8000-1000 BC. It will be published next year. If Prof. Hassan publishes the hard data on which his TV presentation was based, including those I have requested above, his hypothesis and mine can then be compared and evaluated.

Chinweizu
c/o 12 West Kensington Court
London W14 9AA
e-mail: sundoor777@hotmail.com

PS: This comment was never sent out. Before I could gather the addresses for the long list, below, of those copied, I suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for many months. After that, I returned home to Nigeria and my priorities changed.

==============================
cc: Prof Fekri Hassan, University College London
Jessica Cecil, Series Producer, BBC Two
Alan Bookbinder, Exec. Producer, BBC Two
Cynthia Page, Producer, BBC Two
Simon Holland, Film Editor
Melissa Berry, Narrator

Prof. Donald Redford, Penn. State University
Dr. Mira Bar-Matthews, Geological Survey of Israel
Dr. Gerard Bond, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Dr. Peter deMenocal, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Dr. Gasballah Ali Gaballah, Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities

Dr. Martin Bernal
Dr. James Mellaart
Dr. Herbert Haas
Dr. Manfred Bietak
Dr. Charles Bonnet

The Director, The Oriental Institute, Univ. of Chicago
Dr. Ian Shaw, University of Liverpool
Dr. Barry Kemp
Dr. James Weinstein

Prof. Theophile Obenga
Prof. Ivan Van Sertima
Prof Molefi Asante
Dr. Jacob Carruthers

Journal of Egyptian Archeology
Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt
Journal of Near Eastern Studies
Archeometry
Antiquity
American Journal of Archeology
Germania
Radiocarbon
Science
Scientific American

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Chinweizu {OKMT1}[April ‘02] Jan. 99 [Feb. 98] Oct. 1997 (Oct. ’96) [Kmt5]
Copyright © 1999 by Chinweizu Draft; not for publication

On Kemetology:
Groundwork for the Afrocentric Study of Pharaonic
(Black Egypt’s)Civilization

Dedication: In celebration of the works of Manetho, Cheikh Anta Diop and
George G. M. James; and to stimulate others to advance what they pioneered,
and thereby strengthen the intellectual ramparts of the Black World.
*********************************************

The birth of Egyptology was . . . marked by the need to destroy the memory of a Negro Egypt at any cost and in all minds.
-- Cheikh Anta Diop, (AOC, p. 45)

The first battle in this field [Egyptology] has been won. We had to prove that the Ancient Egyptians were a black people. Now, nobody can dispute that fact in any serious manner! People can silence all this or not talk about it, but no serious scientist can now say it’s not the truth. It’s no longer possible to see anybody develop a positive thesis to counter that fact. So now we have to go to the second step. We have to rethink the whole of Egyptian history in the framework or mind of the African spirit that gave it its birth. Because the whole of Egyptian history seems to be very fragmented, dispersed, like a disjointed body, because it was seen and interpreted by a thought system that was foreign. It is high time that we reinterpret the whole of these facts. Where is the problem in this field? The materials that come from the digs that have already been done are in the different European museums. This is a damage that can never be undone. The criteria of choice, of what had to be kept and what had to be destroyed, those criteria were established by foreign minds whose interest it was to whiten the Egyptian Civilization. Hundreds and thousands of mummies have been destroyed. All the mummies that had distinct African features were put aside and classified as being foreign and they took the ones that looked more white and said they were the authentic ones in Egypt. . . . What they have destroyed we cannot bring back anymore. But what we can do is have access to the museums. . . .We have access to these documents that already exist. We must re-read them with our own interests in mind.
-- Cheikh Anta Diop, (GAT, p. 292, 293, 295)

The existence of an African Egyptology alone will allow us to move for good beyond the frustrating and destructive theories of obscurantist or agnostic historians.
-- Cheikh Anta Diop (C/B, p. 6)

The subject matter of Kemetology

Kemetology is the Afrocentric study of Pharaonic Egypt. The subject matter of Kemetology is Pharaonic civilization, the indigenous civilization of Kemet. The territory of Kemet is the land of the Lower Nile Valley, from the first cataract down to the Mediterranean Sea. Pharaonic civilization lasted from its origins, from the founding, ca. 6000 BC, of the permanent farming villages which evolved into the society and the state of Kemet, to its final extinction in the 6th c. AD when the temples, which nourished the religion at the heart of Pharaonic civilization, were finally closed down and destroyed, in 529 AD, by emperor Justinian of Christian Byzantium. The six-and-half-millennia life-cycle of Pharaonic civilization may be divided into three phases:

The Predynastic Phase ca. 6000 BC – ca. 4500 BC;
The Dynastic Phase: ca. 4500 BC - 525 BC;
The Post-Dynastic Phase: 525 BC - 529 AD.

From the viewpoint of Kemetology, events in the territory of Kemet before 6000 BC belong to Hapiology, the Afrocentric study of Nile Basin societies before the evolutionary emergence of Pharaonic civilization.
In thus delineating its subject matter, Kemetology differs from Egyptology. Egyptology addresses itself primarily to the Egypt of the Pharaohs, i.e. the 30 Manethonian Dynasties that ended in 343 BC with the second Persian conquest of Egypt; and secondarily to Egypt before the Pharaohs, i.e. everything that happened on Egyptian territory before the rise of the Pharaonic state; but not in a determined way to the post-autonomous phase of the civilization which was finally brought to an end in 529 AD. Egyptology, thus, covers everything discoverable about the land of Egypt, from the remotest antiquity, but only down to 343 BC; in some cases, it extends its interest down to the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30BC.

Egyptology 343 BC

6000 BC Kemetology 529 AD

Why Kemetology?

Every discipline must have a reason for coming into being. Even when its subject matter is brand new, it must have persuasive reasons for adding to the long list of disciplines already in existence. So, since the subject matter of Kemetology greatly overlaps that of Egyptology, why Kemetology? This breaks down into two questions: (a) Why should Africans study Pharaonic Civilization at all? and (b) Why should they do so differently from Egyptology?
The study of Pharaonic Civilization is vital for Africans because it is the greatest civilization which Africans have produced, and because of its potential contribution to African Unity and the African Renaissance. In the words of Cheikh Anta Diop,

A dynamic, modern contact with Egyptian Antiquity would enable Blacks to discover increasingly each day the intimate relationship between all Blacks of the continent and the mother Nile Valley. By this dynamic contact, the Negro will be convinced that these temples, these forests of columns, these pyramids, these colossi, these bas-reliefs, mathematics, medicine, and all this science, are indeed the work of his ancestors and that he has a right and a duty to claim this heritage. [C. A. Diop, AOC, p. 140]

If that sense of African Unity which Africans have been seeking since independence can be enhanced by knowledge of our shared relationship to Africa’s greatest civilization; and if the renaissance of African Civilization can draw powerful inspiration from that civilization, then it is imperative that Africans learn all they can about Pharaonic Civilization.
As to why Africans should study Pharaonic Civilization differently from Egyptology, the simple answer is that anything Africans study should be studied from the African point of view, and with the African interest clearly in mind. And, as we shall see, Egyptology is not concerned with the African point of view or with the African interest. Furthermore, the available knowledge of Pharaonic civilization is meagre, and Egyptology has distorted and misrepresented what scraps it has produced. First of all, with Byzantium’s destruction of the heart and brain of Pharaonic civilization—through closing the temples and destroying the libraries of Kemet—these ultimate repositories of Kemet’s intellectual legacy disappeared. In one of these acts of culturecide, the Great Library of Alexandria, in which the Ptolemies had housed vast quantities of Kemetic books, was deliberately destroyed by a Christian mob, in 390 AD, on the orders of Emperor Theodosius, [see Chandler in Van Sertima, ed., African Presence in Early Europe, p. 157; and also Bernal, I, p. 121.] Secondly, a Eurocentric and Negrophobic/Melaphobic Egyptology has, in the last two centuries, added to the damage done by the early Christians. Many of the surviving artefacts of Kemet have been plundered and dispersed among the museums and palaces of the Pan-European world. This malpractice was, of course, started by the Romans, who carried off to Rome and Constantinople some of the obelisks and statues which they found in Kemet. Furthermore, much of the knowledge gleaned by Egyptology has been tainted by Negrophobia/Melaphobia and distorted by Euro-chauvinism. In brief, the object of study has been devastated, plundered, fragmented and scattered; and what passes for knowledge about it is presented through the foggy prisms of Euro-chauvinism and the warped Negrophobic dogmas of white supremacy. We therefore need to find ways to re-assemble the Pharaonic legacy as well as ways to study it more clearly and in the African interest. These objectives provide the motivation for Kemetology.

Kemetology and Egyptology: the differences

Kemetology studies the evolution of Kemet, from ca. 6,000 BC to 529 AD; it does so from the Afrocentric standpoint, which is to say, within the African context and with the paramount aim of contributing to the renaissance of African civilization. By virtue of its Afrocentricity, Kemetology differs for Egyptology in the range of phenomena it studies, in the principal questions it seeks to answer, and in the range of methods it avails itself of.
By treating Kemet within its African context and giving primacy to that context, Kemetology is unlike Egyptology which plays down Kemet’s African context or even denies it outright, while insisting on studying Kemet either in isolation or within a Eurasian context. But to study Kemet without its African context is like studying planet Earth without reference to the sun from which it evolved and which sustains it. Acknowledging the primacy of its African context means that phenomena from Kemet’s relationships with the rest of Africa are given the attention they deserve. Methodologically, it allows the study of Kemet to avail itself of techniques based on the affinities between Kemet and the rest of Africa.
Kemetology’s paramount aim of contributing to the renaissance of African civilization contrasts with Egyptology’s paramount aim of enforcing the Euro-chauvinist dogma that Egyptian civilization was neither Negro nor African but white and Eurasian. Like the difference of context, this difference also has consequences for the principal questions asked by the two disciplines, and for the methodologies they adopt. For instance, whereas Egyptology’s aim is consistent with retaining the later Greek and Arab names for persons and places in Kemet, Kemetology’s aims require restoring the Kemetic names for the persons and places of Kemet. Furthermore, given its paramount white-chauvinist aims, Egyptology is obliged to preoccupy itself with the fantasy of an external and white stimulation of Pharaonic civilization. To that end, it resorts partly to a Mesopotamian stimulation dogma, and partly to inserting a civilization-stimulating white presence in early Kemet. Kemetology, in contrast, has no use for such preoccupations and procedures. It is obliged to reject them and to restrict itself to scientifically valid techniques.

The vices of Egyptology

Egyptology, like Classics, its ideological twin, was born in the original sin of white chauvinism. This chauvinism has caused it to engage in a grand and detailed falsification of history. This has been conclusively demonstrated in Martin Bernal in Black Athena, Vol. I; by Cheikh Anta Diop in The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality; and by George G. M. James in Stolen Legacy. In essence, Egyptology is the white chauvinist study of Kemet. Its chief vice is its ideologized methodology, as manifested in the following:

1) Its dogma that the Kemites were not Black, and its indefatigable defense of that dogma through the slippery definitions of physical anthropology and the quackeries of craniometry.

2) Its white chauvinist chronology which, through unwarranted down-dating of the earliest phases of Pharaonic history, seeks to make possible an outside and white stimulus for the start of Pharaonic Civilization. In this connection, we must note its antipathy to absolute dating techniques such as radiocarbon (RC) dating. Even now, fifty years after RC was introduced, and thirty years after its calibration, such dates are yet to become standard working material in Egyptology; it still clings to the ideologically manipulable relative dating methods devised in pre-Radiocarbon days!

3) Its Hellenic nomenclature, whereby the indigenous names of the places and persons, concepts and deities of Kemet have been replaced by Greek names. Even Egypt, the name it uses for the country, and the name from which the discipline takes its own name, is a Greek distortion of Hikuptah, one of the names of Kemet’s first capital.

4) The Hebrew-centricity which makes it cling to such Hebrew-derived nomenclature as Hamitic, Semitic and Japhetic; and which makes it take Hebrew legends and mythology as indisputable historical facts — sacred facts attested by God Almighty! — facts of such supreme authority that the results of scientific research must be made consistent with them, at the cost of whatever distortion. An example of this is the dogma of a Mesopotamian origin of Kemet which is maintained on the basis of the authority of Biblical myths which are contradicted by an array of archeological and other evidence.

5) Its excising of Kemet from Africa and attaching it to some gerrymandered region it calls The Middle East or the Orient. East from where?

The Focus of Kemetology

As an Afrocentric discipline, and as a discipline that shall facilitate the survival of the Black World and the renaissance of African Civilization, Kemetology is most keenly interested in three phases of Pharaonic civilization:

a] Its evolution, between ca. 6000BC and ca. 3000BC, from semi-nomadic hunting and fishing campsites to the Pyramid Age;
b] Its seven centuries long siege by hostile whites, from the appearance of the Rebu on its borders in the 13th century BC to its conquest by Persia in 525 BC; and
c] Its decline and eclipse during its non-sovereign millennium, 525BC-529AD, i.e. from the first Persian conquest to the final suppression of the Kemetic temples by the Byzantine Christian emperors.

Kemetology’s prime interest in the first period is in the dynamics of Kemet’s cultural evolution. Its prime interest in the second period is in how, through policies dipped in unwise xenophilia, Kemet imported a Trojan horse into its society, a white fifth column that finally opened it up for permanent conquest by whites. As in the Second Intermediate Period, when small bands of Hyksos infiltrators settled and seized power in Kemet, so too did white prisoners of war, upon being incorporated into Kemetic society, multiply and entrench themselves to the point of eventually dominating the Delta and seizing power there, and destabilizing the Kemetic state to the advantage of foreign invaders. Kemetology’s prime interest in the third period is in how Kemet was destroyed, and in the migrations out of Kemet by vanquished Blacks.
Hebrews, Greeks and others may focus on Kemet’s Middle Kingdom, on its Second Intermediate Period and New Kingdom; on the Hyksos and the Heraclids; and on the Exodus of the proto-Israelites: after all, these periods and events were seminal to the origins of their peoples and cultures. But from Kemetology’s Afrocentric point of view, these were not the periods of primary importance. And even when it focuses on these periods, its interest is different. For example, far more important to Kemetology are the processes whereby the Hyksos infiltrated and seized power in Kemet; and the processes by which they were eventually expelled. These are of interest for what they can teach the Black World about protecting and recovering sovereignty.

Afrocentric Egyptology or Kemetology?

Since the 1950s, Afrocentric Egyptologists, led by Cheikh Anta Diop, have sought to free Nile Valley studies from Egyptology’s matrix of white chauvinism, Melaphobia/Negrophobia, false dogmas, obfuscation, sophistry, slippery definitions, and other tainted methods. Afrocentric Egyptology has, therefore, been a combative tendency within Egyptology, a necessarily combative tendency, seeking to win vital ground for the non-ideologized study of Pharaonic civilization. As part of this campaign, Cheikh Anta Diop warned long ago that “Egyptology will stand on solid ground only when it unequivocally officially recognizes its Negro-African foundation.” [C. A. Diop, AOC, p. 148] True enough; but what is thechance of that happening? What chance is there of the Pope converting to Islam? Given that Egyptology’s addiction to white supremacy is incurable, it has effectively ignored these attacks and exposés; and Afrocentric Egytology has become something of an academically isolated enterprise, even in Black Africa and Black America. For all its invaluable work in exposing the vices of Egyptology and in refuting its false dogmas, Afrocentric Egyptology risks being psychologically trapped in preaching to the deaf; it risks being inhibited from charting an independent course. Heckling the deaf jailer keeps one within the prison walls; it is no substitute for breaking out and getting on with one’s separate life beyond the prison walls. The sensible thing to do, therefore, is to abandon Egyptology to its vices and chart a new discipline altogether.
Kemetology, therefore, is not interested in whether or not Egyptology is cured of its vices; Kemetology is only interested in getting on with its own job. In order to do so, it has disengaged from certain debates which Afrocentric Egyptology has conducted. Kemetology considers the issues in those debates as either sterile or decided, and it takes the verdicts as premises upon which to build a sound discipline. It is proceeding to define its own field, with a new orientation, new principles, new methods and a new context. To wipe out any lingering shadow which Egyptology could cast over the study of Kemet, and to avoid a waste of thought and time in distracting debates, it is necessary to adopt a new name for the new discipline, hence the name: Kemetology. To time-wasting distractions, one can now simply say: “Excuse me, I’m not in Egyptology, I am in Kemetology; so buzz off!”
For avoidance of all doubt, let it be emphasized that Kemetology is not here to combat Egyptology; it is here to carry out its autonomous project of study, and to do so calmly, confidently and conscientiously, using all the resources it can muster. Where the cleansed products of Egyptology turn out handy, well and good. Therefore, Kemetology’s interest in Egyptology is limited, as it were, to finding any still-usable bricks from Egyptology’s polluted temple. Kemetology goes to Egyptology only as to a knacker’s yard. When it criticizes Egyptology, it does so, not in order to change Egyptology, but simply to prevent the vices of Egyptology from flowing into Kemetology, and to sort out and select useable items from Egyptology’s tainted output.
Afrocentric Egyptology has been an invaluable prelude to Kemetology. Its most distinguished initiators were Cheikh Anta Diop and George G. M. James. For waging and winning vital, pioneer battles we salute them as we proceed to build on their achievements.

The Fundamental Principles of Kemetology:

The following facts and techniques, which have been established or re-established in the last half-century, are fundamental to the enterprise of Kemetology, and are treated as fundamental principles and methods:

1) Black Kemet: The people of Kemet were Black, hence Kemet is the most glorious of the classical civilizations of the Black World. Cheikh Anta Diop’s formidable array of evidence has re-established this fact beyond all non-delusional doubt.[1] Only during its last and non-sovereign millennium, under its succession of white conquerors, did a significant number of whites settle in Kemet. And only with the Arab conquest, in the 7th century AD, did a thorough whitening of the population take place on the land that had already ceased to be Kemet.

2) Absolute Chronologies: Chronologies based on absolute dating methods [such as astronomical calculations, radiometric methods like RC and TL, dendrochronology, etc.] are the cornerstone of Kemetology. Only they, and others consistent with them, are scientifically admissible.

3) The cultural unity of Black Africa: The culture of Kemet and the cultures of the rest of Black Africa share fundamental traits. They are “sibling cultures” within one great civilization complex. This too has been established by Cheikh Anta Diop.[2] Kemetology will further explore the cultural siblinghood between Pharaonic civilization and the other cultures of Black Africa, and work out and utilize the methodological implications of that fact.

4) Stolen Legacies: Major parts of the Kemetic legacy were stolen and incorporated into Hebrew, Greek, Roman and Arab cultures. The Greek theft of intellectual property from Kemet has been meticulously demonstrated by George G. M. James in Stolen Legacy, and by Martin Bernal in Black Athena. Other scholars have indicated some of the intellectual thefts by the Hebrews and Arabs, though these are yet to be systematically documented. The theft by the Romans seems not as well researched as the others; however, it is hinted at by Byzantium’s fanatical suppression of Kemetic religion in order to hide evidence of the Kemetic sources of Christianity. Kemetology will retrieve all the stolen parts of the Pharaonic legacy and integrate them into its resources.

5) Unrecognized Legacies: Many aspects of the Kemetic legacy exist all around us but are unrecognized. This is so mainly because Egyptology has obscured the potential clues, even such elementary clues as the indigenous names of Kemet’s towns, persons, concepts and deities; consequently, the tell-tale linguistic correspondences between Kemetic culture and other cultures of the Black World are almost impossible to spot under the forms in which Kemet is presented by Egyptology. The identification of these unrecognized legacies would contribute to a fuller inventory and portrait of Kemetic culture.
We should note that it is bad enough that Kemet’s legacy was stolen by white Asiatics and Europeans and repackaged as their own; it is even worse that we forgot that it belongs to Kemet and its legitimate African heirs, and thus lost it to ourselves. Getting it all back is one of our cardinal responsibilities.

Some Methodological and Thematic Implications

These facts and techniques have thematic and methodological implications. For example:

a) Since the people of Kemet were demonstrably Black, and its native dynasties were Black, no special emphasis or glory is due the 25th Dynasty, the foreign Nubian dynasty, on account of its being Black. The special attention paid to it by Afrocentric Egyptology is based on its being the only dynasty which a white chauvinist Egyptology acknowledges as Negro. More generally, the time, thought and reams of paper spent in trying to demonstrate that particular dynasties, and even particular pharaohs, were Black can be devoted to other issues. The onus of proof is now on whoever claims that any particular dynasty or pharaoh was not Black.

b) The use of absolute chronologies does away with a whole sheaf of arbitrary dates, and with unnecessary guesswork. It helps to establish the evidential grounds for specific postulates of cultural diffusion or isolated invention. Furthermore, when absolute chronologies are used, as we shall see, certain spurious themes disappear from consideration while other genuine themes emerge.

c) The Cultural Unity of Black Africa involves two key propositions:

(i) That Nile Valley cultures, including Kemet, and those of the rest of Black Africa were produced from the same evolutionary mould, and rest on a common cultural foundation. Thus, for example, Kemetic is genetically in the same language group as some of the present-day languages of Black Africa. One study, by B. Niangoran-Bouah, has demonstrated “that at least seven African languages show an affinity to ancient Egyptian.”[3] Furthermore, Cheikh Anta Diop “has produced a glossary demonstrating the identity of 3,000 Egyptian and Wolof words in addition to examining in detail the structural affinities between the two languages.”[4] These structural affinities include grammatical similarities.[5] Work being produced by the
[h=1]Kiswahili-Bantu Research Unit strongly demonstrates that Kemetic, the language of[/h]Pharaonic Egypt, belongs to the Bantu language family.
(ii) That fragments of Pharaonic culture are imbedded, through diffusion, in the other cultures of Black Africa. Besides many parallelisms in language, religion, laws, rituals, cosmogonies, calendar systems, myths, etc., many African peoples (e.g. Dogon, Yoruba, Fang, Bakuba, Batutsi) possess legends of their migrations from the Nile Valley. Ethnological and topographic evidence exist that fragments of such migrating peoples were left behind at points on their routes.[6]

In the area of methodology, the cultural unity of Black Africa invites the use of other Black African cultures to illuminate Kemetic culture, and vice versa. Through comparative studies of divine kingship, totemism, religion, cosmology, rituals, entertainment, semantics, phonetics, sartorial styles, etc., the cultures of Black Africa can cast light on one another. In particular, aspects of Kemetic culture can be clarified when examined in the Black African context.

d) An implication of the Stolen Legacy phenomenon is this: these stolen legacies should be recovered and treated as fragments of Kemetic culture. Of special value are the following:

(i) The works of the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers; the works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and their schools--especially Aristotle’s 1,000 plagiarised books; the works of Alexandrian science and philosophy—all these must be re-appropriated into the Kemetic corpus. So too the works of Homer, for, as Victor Berard has shown, elements in the Odyssey are versions of Ancient Kemetic stories. [See Cheikh Anta Diop, Cultural Unity of Black Africa, appendix]

(ii) The cosmogony and wisdom literature of the Hebrews, Judeo-Christian theology and rites, being reworked excerpts from Kemetic religion, are to be mined for the elements of Kemetic religion that are imbedded in them. As Gerald Massey pointed out in his Book of Beginnings (1881):

The Hebrew Books of the Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, and Judges . . . are of the utmost importance as an aid in recovering the primeval types of Egyptian thought.” –Quoted in Egypt Revisited, p. 405.

(iii) Those works of Arab science and literature which derive from the early period of the Arab conquest of Egypt, such as Arab mathematics and the stories which make up the Arabian Nights Entertainment, must be inspected for fragments of the Kemetic legacy which the Arabs appropriated. For, among the sources for the stories in the Thousand and One Nights are Kemetic, Iranian, Indian stories.[7]

Of course, all these fragments of the Kemetic legacy do not make up for the lost legacy -- that part which vanished through the burning of Kemet’s libraries and the closing of its temples by the Christian fanatics; but without them, Kemetic studies would be even more impoverished.

(e) The unrecognized legacies of Kemet could be identified and used to purge the taints of Melaphobia/Negrophobia and white chauvinism from the products of Egyptology. This would be done by comparing the legacy of Kemet, as presented by Egyptology, with Kemetic legacies which are uncovered in the other cultures of Black Africa. Take, for example the Kemetic language. Where correspondences suggest that a specialist vocabulary diffused from Kemet to another Black African society, Egyptology’s rendition of that vocabulary can be corrected using that part of Kemet’s legacy which diffused into that other Black African culture. E.g. Egyptology’s mnw is better rendered as mmanwu, from its diffused version found in Igbo. If a fresh study is made of those primary Kemetic sources which have survived—documents, monuments, artefacts, etc. --- using additional comparative resources from such hitherto unrecognized legacies, the taints of Melaphobia/Negrophobia and white chauvinism would be easier to remove.

Preliminary tasks in Kemetology

In order to correct the distortions of Egyptology, and get Kemetology off to a proper starting point, the following preliminary tasks must be accomplished, systematically and thoroughly:

1. A determination of the absolute chronology of Kemet; [okmt 2, 8, Bk 1.xls, Bk 2. xls]
2. A restoration of Kemetic names and rectification of terms; [okmt 3]
3. The development and application of techniques of mutual illumination; [okmt 4]
4. A cleansing of white chauvinist taints from the products of Egyptology; [okmt 5]
5. An Afrocentric determination of research themes and a research agenda for Kemetic studies. [okmt6]
6. Macro-ecological framework of Pharaonic civilization [kmteco]
Let us indicate what these tasks involve, before undertaking them in the studies which make up the rest of this work.

1. The absolute chronology of Kemet [okmt 2]

An accurate chronology supplies the basic framework for preparing the evolutionary history of a society or state. The directions in which external influence flowed will get mixed up, and cannot be sorted out, unless chronological sequences (preferably based on absolute dates) are established. This is all the more so in a field as highly ideologized as the study of Kemet. The correct chronology of Kemet is, therefore, the main tool for turning its ideologized historiography into scientific historiography, for crossing over from Egyptology into Kemetology.

There are four key events in Kemetic history:

[a] the establishment of permanent farming villages in its territory, ca 6000 BC;
the political unification of Kemet, (date to be determined);
[c] the Persian conquest of Kemet which broke Kemet’s power and ended its independence and sovereignty, (525 BC.);
[d] the closing of the temples of Kemet, an act whereby Kemetic civilization lost its
organizing intellectual and spiritual centre, and became, as it were, braindead (529 AD.)

Of these four anchor dates, the last two are precisely known, the first has been reasonably estimated by archaeology and its radiocarbon dating technique; the second, however, has long been the subject of highly ideologized estimates and disagreement. Despite that still missing date, the effective period of Kemetic civilization, from its first beginnings to its final extinction, would be from ca. 6000BC to the 6th century AD, i.e. six-and-half millennia!
Within this very long sweep of time, there are other significant turning points which need to be dated if the chronology is to be more useful. Among them are the rise and fall of the dynasties and, derived from these, the dates for the groups of dynasties that make up the broad eras of Kemetic history. For a start, we fortunately have, through Manetho and a handful of kinglists, the dynastic divisions established by Kemet’s own historians, as well as the durations for some of them.
The paramount task in Kemetic chronology is to determine the epochal date of Kemet’s original unification under one state. Dating Mena absolutely would provide an accurate and firm anchor for historical studies of Kemet. Another main task is to sort out the confused dates in several of the dynasties, particularly during those “Intermediate Periods” when the central authority was very weak. However, it must be stressed that, frankly, it makes no difference to Kemetology when exactly Kemet was first unified, whether in 4500 BC or 4000 BC or 3400 BC or 3200 BC. All that is needed is the best estimate obtainable from factual data.

2. Restoration of Kemetic names and rectification of terms [okmt 3]

The remains of Kemet lie obscured by non-Kemetic names. These are mostly Greek and Arab. Their retention by Egyptology subtly promotes the illusion that Kemet was not culturally African, and helps to uphold the dogma that Kemet was not a country of Blacks. It is all part of the anti-African and Melaphobic/Negrophobic commitments of a white chauvinist Egyptology. Of course, it is only right and proper that their indigenous names and terms be restored to the remains of Kemet. However, such a restoration is not simply needed for authenticity; it is crucial for understanding Kemet on its own terms. If its language is the key to a culture’s mind and experience, and if it is the prime repository of its outlook on the world, then the proper study of Kemet requires that we maximize, not minimize, access to its own language and usages.
These alien names (Greek or Arab) obscure the original significance of the places, persons, deities, events, institutions and objects that they name, and they fail to reveal how the people of Kemet regarded these things. Take two examples: the objects called the sphinx and the pyramid. The word “sphinx” is Greek, and derives from “shesep ankh”, the first part of a Kemetic phrase that means “the living image of Atum, the lord of the universe,” which was the Kemetic name for the great sphinx at Giza. [Gardiner, EOP, p. 82] To know the proper Kemetic name for what we now call the Great Sphinx is to begin to appreciate what the Kemites saw in it: and such an insight enriches our understanding of that great monument. Without this illumination, the monument is just another mysterious object lying in the desert.
Similarly, the word “pyramid” is Greek, and is their rendition of “per m ws,” the Kemetic term for those edifices. [Diop, C/B, p.355] If we knew the meaning of ‘per m ws’, we would understand how the Kemites regarded their pyramids; and we might even get some clue as to what they were built for. These are examples of how, by restoring the indigenous names for Kemet’s towns, persons, gods, concepts, artefacts etc., our understanding of Kemet might be improved.
Furthermore, a return to the indigenous Kemetic names and terms is crucial for illuminating the relations between the cultures of Black Africa. For example, from the conventional Grecized forms of their names, who would connect Osiris-Isis-Horus with the Osa, Ise and Eru of the Igbo and the Edo in Nigeria? However, once their Kemetic forms (Ausar, Ise and Heru) are restored, the connection is easier to spot. Similarly, who would suspect that behind the Grecized name “Chons” of the Egyptologists hides the Ekwensu of the Igbo and the Esu of the Yoruba? But just restore the less Grecized form “Khensu”, and the connection is easier to make.
The restoration of indigenous Kemetic names is, therefore, a preliminary but crucial part of methodology in Kemetology. It wipes off the fog from the face of the glass so we can see clearly the treasures that are beneath. This restoration is one of the most important steps required in the move from Egyptology to Kemetology. It is an Afrocentric move, and one which powerfully illustrates the importance of the Afrocentric approach.
Accordingly, all names and terms pertaining to Kemet must be changed back to their Kemetic originals. The unvocalized Kemetic words may be used until an Afro-centric vocalization is discovered. Where an original cannot be recovered, the Greek or Arab term may continue to be used, but with a clear indication that it is non-Kemetic, and is being provisionally retained pending the discovery of its Kemetic original.
Incorrect names and other misleading expressions, of course, need to be rectified for the sake of accuracy.

3. Mutual illumination techniques [Okmt 4]

The development and application of techniques of mutual illumination would help to recover the actual Kemetic practices and concepts through the study of other Black African cultures. The examples of Khensu/Ekwensu and Ausar-Ise-Heru/Osa-Ise-Eru, which were discussed above, show how, by establishing a philological connection between words and concepts in two cultures, aspects of the two cultures can be illuminated. This technique of mutual illumination can be extended beyond philology, to the structural and functional aspects of concepts, rites, rituals, customs, beliefs and design styles. And where the name, concept, structure and function of an object or rite are the same in two cultures, it is reasonable to suppose that the two manifestations are historically connected; for we must note the statistical improbability of independent duplication in such cases, especially when there were no insuperable barriers to diffusion. In that case, elements in one manifestation can illuminate elements in the other. To illustrate this technique, consider the masquerade among the Igbo, and the outings or “coming forth” of the gods in Kemet.
In pre-Christian Igboland, masquerades were ceremonial public manifestations or outings of the deities and ancestral spirits in their functions as protectors of the public order, and as authority symbols of the community. These masked figures sometimes performed as oracles -- i.e. as the voices of the gods --, and announced judicial decisions or proclaimed legislative decisions and invested them with the sacred authority of the gods and ancestors. In Kemet, images of the gods were carried in great processions during festivals. These were their outings or coming forth from their hallowed shrines and sanctuaries. In some outings, the images of the gods functioned as oracles, and declared divine decisions or indicated divine choices. The parallelisms between the Igbo masquerades and the Kemetic outings of the gods go beyond these broad functions; they extend to sculptural details. For instance, in Kemet, during some of these festivals, use was made of “a portable shrine in the form of a bark mounted on poles, in which the statues of the gods were carried in procession”

  • . In Igboland, there are masks in the shape of altars with statues of gods and other spirits mounted on them.
    How might such a multi-layered parallelism illuminate both cultures? Suppose we wanted to discover the etymology of the Igbo word for masquerade, “mmanwu”, how do we do so, since it is no longer discoverable within the Igbo language? Luckily, the Kemetic word “mnw”, meaning “image”, occurs in a hymn in adoration of the god Khnum, the creator/moulder of bodies. The usage there suggests that “mnw” is used for the physical image of the soul/spirit. Given the phonetic similarity between “mnw” and “mmanwu”, and the multi-layered similarities in the contexts in which they occur, this passage in the Kemetic hymn suggests that the Kemetic meaning might be the original meaning of the Igbo word. In other words, from the Kemetic, we might infer that “mmanwu”, the Igbo word for the masquerade, originally meant “the physical image of a spirit”. Thus, when the Igbo talk of “Ibuputa Mmanwu” , they mean the bringing forth of the physical image of a deity or ancestor spirit.
    Now, whereas, within this complex of phonetic, semantic, structural and functional relations, the Kemetic usage casts light on the etymology of an Igbo term or expression, the illumination can work in the other direction too. If one wanted to glimpse something of how the Kemites experienced the outings of their gods, one might do no better than to observe an Igbo masquerade festival.
  • Furthermore, if one sought to discover the Kemetic vocalization of “mnw”, the Igbo “mmanwu’ would be a clue. Here we have an illustration of Cheikh Anta Diop’s statement that

    the way is open for the rediscovery of the vocalics of ancient Egyptian from comparative studies with the languages of Africa. [Egypt Revisited, p. 26]

    4. A cleansing of white chauvinist taints from the products of Egyptology: [Okmt 5]

    If the white chauvinist taints on the products of Egyptology are not to be imported into Kemetology, this cleansing must be done with thoroughness. The principal taints derive from Hellenomania, Hebrew-centricity, Melaphobia/Negrophobia, Eurocentricity, and Anti-Africanism. Some of these are manifested in the down-dating mania, in the Mesopotamian stimulus dogma, in the dogma of a non-Black Kemet etc. Absolute chronologies based on radio-carbon and astronomical dating techniques would curb the down-dating mania and explode the “Mesopotamian Stimulus” dogma. The dogma of a non-Black Kemet has, of course, already been exploded by the array of evidence assembled by Diop. [See especially Chp. , Vol. , of the Unesco General History of Africa.] Appropriate methods would have to be found for removing the other taints.

    5. An Afrocentric research agenda for Kemetology [Okmt 6]

    Research themes are not purpose-neutral. What a thief studies about a house is quite different from what a decorator focuses upon. Accordingly, the purposes of Kemetology will shape its interests in Kemet, and define its research themes and research agenda. The research agenda to be outlined is a starting point for those who wish to establish the discipline. All are invited to contribute.

    Conclusion

    The above considerations are a minimum groundwork for a new discipline of Kemetology. Two points may be made in summary:

    1] Kemetology is Egyptology minus Melaphobia/Negrophobia and Hellenomania and Hebrewcentricity and Eurocentricity, plus absolute chronology and Afrocentricity.

    2] Absolute chronology is the absolute anchor of Kemetology.

    The studies which comprise the rest of this work, those in Vol. I as well as those to be included in Vol. II, are contributions toward the development of Kemetology. They first address the five preliminary tasks discussed above, and then move on to other issues.
    ================================================================

    [HR][/HR][1] See C. A. Diop, . . . . in the Unesco General History of Africa

    [2] See C. A. Diop, The Cultural Unity of Black Africa, Chicago: Third World Press, 1978.

    [3] Molefi Asante, The Afrocentric Idea, p. 61.

    [4] Charles S. Finch, “ “ in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Great African Thinkers, p. 29.

    [5] Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization, p. 155.

    [6] Cheikh Anta Diop, Precolonial Black Africa, , Chapter X, and The African Origin of Civilization, Chapter IX.

    [7] See “Thousand and One Nights” in Encyclopaedia Britannica (1965) Vol. 22, p. 157.

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  • Posted : 12/16/2016 5:34 pm
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    Chinweizu [OKMT2][Jan. 99] Oct. 97 [Sept. 96] (Oct. 95) [Kmt2]
    Copyright © 1999 by Chinweizu Draft: Not for publication

    Dating Mena Absolutely:The Chinweizu Chronology
    (A fresh look at a problem that is about 25-centuries old.)

    I: The chronologies presented
    II: The chronologies compared
    III: Some implications of the CC
    IV: Dating Mena
    V: Constructing the CC
    VI: Project for dating Mena precisely
    VII: Appendix A: Analysis of data from king-lists and monuments
    VIII: Appendix B: Absolute dating techniques -- some observations

    Summary
    As this is a technical paper whose results are of first order importance for the discipline, a general summary is necessary for the untechnical reader.
    One of the most important but still unresolved questions in Nile Valley history is the date of the unification of Kemet (the Egypt of the Pharaohs), Mena’s Year One. Estimates by Egyptologists range from Lepsius’ 5892 BC and Champollion’s 5867 BC down to Helck’s 2955 BC and Scharff’s 2850 BC: they cover an amazing range of 3,000 years! Some 2,500 years ago, Herodotus estimated it at what would be ca. 12000 BC!
    Mena’s date is important in world history, for it is the date of the founding of Kemet’s Pharaonic state, one of the earliest of the pioneer states in history, and incontestably the grandest, most long-lived and most influential of them all. And with its lasting, at a minimum, for between 3,000 and 4,000 years, its only near rival in longevity, in all of history, has been the Chinese state.
    Mena’s date is also important for North African and Mediterranean historiography, and particularly for the Nile Valley: if it was determined, most of the problems in Kemetic chronology would be decidable, using the remnants of the various king-lists, the monuments and astronomical data. And all the chronologies that are based on Kemetic chronology would be made more accurate.
    Surprisingly, therefore, it remains undetermined in this age of absolute dating by radiocarbon (RC), thermoluminescence (TL) and other techniques. Instead, recourse is still had to “downdating” and “updating” by arbitrary principles and ideological prejudices. So long as datable materials exist, or can be obtained, from the late predynastic and the early dynastic periods of Kemet, and so long as they have not been absolutely dated, decisive work remains to be done.
    What follows is a re-examination of the data for determining Mena’s date. What emerges is that three independent lines of evidence converge to situate it in the 45th century BC. First, a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence in Dyn. I locates it somewhere in the period 4504-4241 BC. Second, an archeological upper limit, based on the absolute date for the first occupation level of one of the earliest farming villages in Kemet’s territory, point to its being after ca. 4580 BC. And third, a fresh and detailed review of the data from the king-lists and the monuments puts it at before ca. 4381 BC. These overlap to place Mena somewhere in the interval 4504-4382 BC, i.e. 4443 ± 61 BC. Furthermore, a fourth calculation, based on art history, independently gives a date of ca. 4457 BC for Mena. When calculations based on four different kinds of evidence -- astro-calendrical, archeological, king-lists and monuments, art historical -- all converge on the 45th century BC, that date for Mena becomes as certain as can be.
    From these results, a chronology is derived. This chronology, the Chinweizu Chronology, and the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies, are tested to see which gives the best fit for several independently dated events. A project is then proposed to pinpoint Mena’s date by obtaining TL and RC dates for selected materials from the predynastic and early dynastic eras.
    The chronology here proposed is upheld by six independent tests, including those based on dendrochronology and radiocarbon techniques. Among other consequences, it demolishes the Mesopotamian stimulus dogma, it indicates that the two predynastic kingdoms which Mena unified were both located outside the delta, and it results in a First Intermediate Period (FIP) that is eight centuries long. The reason for such a long FIP, and for the associated Kemetic colonization of Greece and Mesopotamia in the 3rd Millennium BC, is ecological. Data produced by the earth sciences since 1980 show that there was a phase of disastrously low Niles, which lasted at lease five centuries, and was associated with the drying up of the Sahara: both of these effects were produced by shifts in the wind system across Africa. These underlying ecological phenomena are the subject of another paper titled “Nile level profile: 8000-1000 BC”.

    Part I: The astro-calendrical evidence
    Dr. Charles S. Finch has made mention of “an ivory tablet from the 1st dynasty on which is inscribed the words ‘Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1’”. (Finch 1989: 349, n. 8) How do we interpret this laconic inscription?
    As Dr. Finch points out, it implies the existence of the Sirius calendar during Dyn. I. But beyond that, as shall now be demonstrated, it could be a record of an independently datable astro-calendrical event in Dyn. I.
    According to Alan Gardiner,

    Ivory tablets of Dyn. I revealed that in the beginning the years of a reign were not numbered, but were remembered . . . by some outstanding event that occurred in them. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)

    Gardiner further informs us that

    the heliacal rising of Sirius . . . came to be regarded as the true New Year’s Day . . ., the day with which ‘first month of Inundation (the first season), day one’ of the civil calendar ought always to have coincided. (Gardiner, 1961: 65)

    Gardiner also provides some clue for interpreting and more fully rendering the laconic statements of Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom inscriptions. According to him, the Dyn. II laconic inscription recorded on the Palermo Stone, “Time 4 of the count”, should be read as “Year of time 4 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. Similarly, even more laconic inscriptions of the form “Year time n” should be read as “Year of time n of the count of all oxen and small animals”. This is because the sense of such laconic dating was sometimes rendered in less laconic fashion, as in, for example, “Year of time 14 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)
    On the basis of Alan Gardiner’s statements and his clue, how do we interpret that Dyn. I inscription: “Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1”?
    It probably records some outstanding event of Dyn. I; plausibly that Sirius, the opener of the astrono-mical year, did so on the first day of the Inundation season, i.e., on the Civil New Year day. Which would mean that a coincidence of the Sirius New Year day and the Civil New Year day (day one of the civil calendar) occurred some time in Dyn. I. Such would be an outstanding event, an astro-calendrical event worthy of being noted, e.g. on an ivory tablet.
    Now, when would that have been? By all tenable accounts, Dyn. I ended long before the Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence of 2781 BC. The most aggressive down-dating, such as Helck’s and Scharff’s, which would place 2781 BC within Dyn. I, are untenable on such grounds as the Haas RC tests which require dating the Dyn. III pyramids before 3000 BC and the Great Pyramids of Dyn. IV before 2868 BC. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210) Therefore, the preceding Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence would have occurred during Dyn. I, and Mena’s “Year One” would be before 4241 BC. Alternatively, the even earlier coincidence year, 5701 BC, could have been within Dyn. I; and Mena’s “Year 1” would be close to the 5867 BC of Champollion or the 5892 BC of Lepsius. However, TL and RC dates for the start of the earliest farming villages in the Nile Valley, ca. 5500 BC, rule out this alternative. (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)
    If the above interpretation is correct and the ivory tablet inscription does indeed commemorate a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence during Dyn I; and if the coincidence was that of 4241 BC; then Mena’s “Year 1”, the date for his unification of Kemet, would be any time within 263 years of 4241 BC, 263 years being, according to the actual reign lengths given in Manetho, the duration of Dyn. I. It would thus lie within the band 4504-4241 BC.
    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    Part II: The archeological evidence

    Only Thermoluminescence (TL) or Radiocarbon (RC) dates for materials archeologically associated with state artefacts and architecture would directly date the stages of the evolving Pharaonic state. For example, dates for Ta-Seti artefacts found at Qustul together with Pharaonic paraphernalia, and particularly dates for those artefacts inscribed with pharaonic symbols, would be about nine generations before Mena, going by Bruce Williams’ conclusion in “Lost Pharaohs of Nubia”. (Williams, 1989: 102) Similarly, dates for Khasekhemui’s Dyn. II Fort at Nekhen would be 565 years or less after Mena, going by Manetho. And dates for Dyn. I artefacts, if identifiable with specific reigns, would practically pinpoint Mena’s date. However, in the absence of absolute dates for such artefacts, indirect estimates are still possible, based on the dates of first occupation for the earliest farming villages in the territory of Kemet. These yield an upper limit for Mena.

    Estimate of upper limit for Mena

    Mena’s date cannot be earlier, or even as early as, the earliest stratum of farming settlement at Nekhen, the town from which he extended his rule to all of Kemet. In the absence of TL and RC dates for that stratum at Nekhen, a probably adequate approximation is that he cannot be earlier than the earliest settlement stratum of any of the earliest farming villages of Upper Kemet. At present, the earliest known is at Hemamieh, with a TL date of ca. 5580 ± 420 BC. (Hoffman, 1984: 141) This would rule out all dates for Mena that are earlier than the mid-6th millennium BC.
    If we allow at least 1,000 years for the evolution of the oldest Nile Valley farming villages before their final unification by Mena, that would place Mena sometime after ca. 4580 BC. Now, would 1,000 years be too short for the predynastic period? Would it imply an impossibly rapid evolution? Probably not, especially when we consider similar evolutions elsewhere. In the case of Rome, it took just some four centuries (ca. 650-ca. 250 BC) for three not-long-settled farming villages to unify and dominate all of central and southern Italy. By that Roman yardstick, the march from Nile Valley farming villages to the Pharaonic state could have happened within 400 years! Hence, allowing at least 1,000 years for the predynastic period is comparatively quite conservative. This would put Mena, provisionally, after ca. 4580 BC.

    Part III: Evidence of King-lists and Monuments

    On matters of chronology, the best available sources are Manetho (M), the Turin Canon (T), and data from the monuments as presented by Gardiner (G) in his Egypt of the Pharaohs. Manetho has been so corrupted by his excerptors that, in some passages, it is almost impossible to exhume what Manetho himself wrote down. The Turin Canon is badly fragmented and full of lacunae. The monuments have their own deficiencies. They have the supreme weakness of incompleteness, due to lost, damaged or otherwise unavailable monuments. Furthermore, they are unhelpful about interregnums and parallel rulers in different segments of the country. Thus, they may not be used, as Gardiner tends to do, to automatically overrule the king-lists, especially when the monuments-total for a dynasty is less than its king-list total. And even when the monuments-total exceeds that of the king-lists, the former may not be presumed to be accurate: both may be distorted by not taking into account coregencies or rival dynasties occupying different parts of the land. In this situation, where no type of source has an inherent and automatic superiority, there is a need to rigorously compare the data from M, T and G, dynasty by dynasty, and even king by king, and sort out which seems best on each point, and then adopt it. Alas, that is the most that can be done with the fragmented material available.
    In then constructing the chronology, an absolute respect for primary data is called for. First of all, dynastic totals must be checked for arithmetical errors and corrected, where necessary, from the individual reign lengths. Secondly, one can either accept or reject a figure, but must not increase or reduce it, or otherwise gerrymander it, to fit a preconceived notion of the situation. One does not solve a jigsaw puzzle by trimming some pieces and stretching others. So, if a king-list gives x as a reign length, you don’t turn it into x+1 or x-1 just so that it can fit into a gap. Thirdly, the same respect must extend to numbers that are not available. You don’t assign some arbitrary number of years to a pharaoh so that some event will be at a desirable date. We, alas, don’t have that figure, and that should be that! Fourthly, if there is independent evidence of a coregency, then taking it into account when adding up the two affected reigns is a legitimate case of taking relevant facts into account. But, then again, you don’t tamper with the length of the coregency just so as to make things “fit”. Fifthly, where there is clear evidence of kingless years or dynastic overlaps, and definite lengths or minimum estimates are available in the records, these must be used to modify the numbers from the king-lists and monuments. It is only by such stringent and abstemious rules of procedure that the best can be gotten out of the available data.
    By following the above procedure, the following dynastic totals have been obtained:

    Table of Turin, Manetho and Monuments Totals










































































































    Dynasties Turin (T) Manetho (M) Monuments (G) Best total & Source*
    I - V 955(?) 1281 ---- 1281 (M)
    VI 181 197 (Real total) ---- 197 (M) and
    9+ (T/G)**
    = 206+ (M/T/G)
    VII - X (FIP: 1st Intermed. Period) ---- 740 ---- 740 (M)
    XI 143/160+ 43 ---- 160+ (T)
    XII 213 176 184+ 206– (T/G)***
    XIII - XVII (SIP: 2nd Intermediate Period) 130+; 157+; 177+; 185+; 193+; 211 (Six alternatives) 604 £ 211 (Based on Sirius dates and monuments) £211 (G)
    XVIII - XIX ---- 493 379+/384+ 493 (M)
    XX ---- 135 97+ 135 (M)
    XXI ---- 114 ---- 114 (M)
    XXII (TIP: 3rd Intermed. Period) ---- 116 194+/210+(?) 116 (M)
    XXIII “ ---- 58 (minus Zet) 23+ 58 (M)
    XXIV “ ---- 6 (Bochchoris) 8 (Tefnakhte/Pian-khy interregnum) 8 (G)
    XXV Nubian ---- 40 52 40 (M)
    XXVI Saite ---- 150 139 150 (M)

    (M): Source (Manetho, 1940); (T) & (G): Source (Gardiner, 1961: Appendix)
    *For details of the calculations and choices made, see Appendix A.
    **T gives five kings with 9+ years after M’s last; and G gives monumentary evidence for one of these.
    ***Taking into account some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.
    ================================================================

    Using the best of these dynastic totals, and calculating from 1872 BC, the independently established Yr 7 of Senwosre III (Gardiner, 1961: 65-67), the result is that Mena’s Year 1 must be ca. 4381+ BC, i.e. before 4381 BC.

    Part IV: Result of Parts I, II & III

    From the foregoing reexamination of the evidence, the king-lists and monuments give Mena’s date as ca. 4381+ BC, i.e. before 4381 BC; archeological data give it as after 4580 BC; and astro-calendrical data give it as ca. 4504-4241 BC. These ranges overlap in the interval 4504-4382 BC, i.e. 4443 ± 61 BC. Now, for evidence of three independent types to converge on the 45th century BC is remarkable.
    It is time now to make the art history estimate for Mena’s date, and compare it with the 4443 BC that has just been obtained.

    Part V: The Art History estimate

    This estimate for Mena’s date is based on TL and RC dates for the Badarian-Amratian-Gerzean (BAG) culture era. Dates from Hemamieh, Badari and Nekhen, three locations associated with BAG artefacts, are the basis for this calculation. Hemamieh is of special importance because, as Gardiner says, Badarian, Amratian and Gerzean layers have been found in stratification there. Describing the situation there, Hoffman says:

    Hemamieh is . . . the first and, to date, only well-stratified Predynastic site excavated in Egypt, boasting a sequence running from Badarian on the bottom, through Amratian, to Gerzean at the top (ca. 5000-3500 BC). The lowest stratum of Badarian materials, 6½ feet beneath the surface, was sealed by a foot of sterile breccia. Above the breccia was more Badarian material, then a mixed stratum overlaid by Amratian and Gerzean pottery. . . .(Hoffman, 1984: 141)

    Hoffman also reports that

    Recent radiocarbon estimates performed. . . on a number of Upper Egyptian Predynastic sites have raised the possibility that Badarian and Amratian might overlap, at least partially, in time . . . (Hoffman, 1984: 141)

    The stratification in space at Hemamieh, and the overlap in time in different locations, together require that the entire BAG phenomenon be reinterpreted. And it is this reinterpretation which makes possible the determination of Mena’s date from the duration of the BAG era. In order to make the calculation, it is necessary to determine the time span of the BAG era, and the political periods it spanned.

    The time span of the BAG era

    The data for the three farming locations are as follows: (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)

    Hemamieh (TL): Badarian level 5580 ± 420 BC --- 6½ foot level, below the breccia;
    Amratian level 4450 ± 365 BC --- 5-5½ foot level, above the breccia;
    Gerzean level 4360 ± 355 BC --- 3½-4 foot level
    Badari (RC): Badarian material/not at first occupation level 3920 ± 190 BC
    Nekhen (RC): Badarian material/not at first occupation level 3892 ± 108 BC

    Note that Amratian and Gerzean levels at Hemamieh predate some of the Badarian levels at Nekhen and Badari. Clearly, the local stratification at Hemamieh does not translate into layered cake stratification everywhere, with Badarian ending all over Kemet before Amratian began; and Amratian ending all over Kemet before Gerzean began. This suggests that we should regard Badarian, Amratian and Gerzean as variant styles within the entire period; as styles which sometimes appear synchronously in different places, with no Nile-Valley-wide layered cake temporal sequencing.
    The TL and RC dates displayed above are those so far available for the BAG era. They range between ca. 5580 BC and ca. 3892 BC. But they are not necessarily the boundary dates of the BAG era. Without a larger and more representative set of TL and RC dates for the earliest and for the latest BAG artefacts, the boundary dates of the BAG era cannot be precisely determined. It cannot be over-emphasized that dates for Mena which derive from these particular boundary dates are provisional.

    The political span of the BAG era

    It should not be presumed that the BAG era was entirely Predynastic, especially as there is considerable evidence of stylistic continuities between Predynastic BAG artefacts and Early Dynastic artefacts. In fact, as the following examples show, some Early Dynastic artefacts have indeed been indistinguishable from definitive BAG artefacts.

    a) The Gebel el Arak knife, according to Hoffman, “apparently dates to the Late Gerzean or Protodynastic”. (Hoffman, 1984: 340) This inability to place it in one and not the other period is evidence of the lack of a hard stylistic distinction between these periods.

    b) Commenting on a photograph of a miniature groundstone vase, Hoffman says: “Stone vase grinding developed as a full-time craft during the Gerzean and reached a peak under the first two dynasties”. (Hoffman, 1984: 342)

    c) In emphasizing the continuities between Badarian, Amratian and Gerzean styles, Alan Gardiner points to their burial arrangements as basically unchanged. (Gardiner, 1961: 393). And Hoffman carries the picture of continuity forward into the protodynastic era when he notes that the tombs of “Protodynastic kings at Abydos, although much larger than the (Predynastic/Late Gerzean) Painted Tomb, are built according to the same plan”. (Hoffman, 1984: 335)

    d) Gardiner also notes that the commemorative palettes, of which the famous Narmer Palette is one, “belonged to the very latest predynastic times, if not in some cases to the protodynastic.” (Gardiner, 1961: 393)

    e) Similarly, there was a continuity in copper tools and ornaments, from Badarian into protodynastic times. Hammered and annealed copper objects were found in Badarian graves (Hoffman, 1984: 143); in both Badarian and Amratian sites (Hoffman, 1984: 207); and from Dyn. I at Saqqara (Hoffman, 1984: 153).

    f) In architecture, Hoffman cites evidence of predynastic-to-protodynastic continuities, including the following: “At El Amrah . . . Petrie found a miniature clay model of a house in a grave of Gerzean date that looks like a typical Dynastic mud-brick dwelling . . . Baumgartel mentions a Gerzean rectangular house with typical dynastic room and forecourt plan under the temple at Badari . . .” (Hoffman, 1984: 148)

    Such continuities and, more importantly, the lack of clear discontinuities, support Hoffman’s contention that “the change from Predynastic to Dynastic society was largely organizational and political, not technological and cultural . . .” (Hoffman, 1984: 17.) In fact, no evidence of a technological break occurs until the transition from Dyn. II to Dyn. III, from the protodynastic period to the Pyramid Age. The Step Pyramid of Djoser is the most spectacular evidence that a new techno-cultural era began with the start of Dyn. III. At that point, Hoffman, says, “there was a change in the nature of royal power as well as in art and burial customs.” (Hoffman, 1984: 351)
    We may therefore conclude that the BAG era spanned both the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods, lasting from the beginning of Nile Valley farming villages, as at Hemamieh, till the end of Dyn. II. The BAG era was, thus, the cultural context for the evolution and consolidation of the Pharaonic state. The date for Mena’s unification of Kemet, Mena’s Year One, would thus lie within its full time span.

    The Mena estimate

    Despite its provisional nature, what estimate for Mena is still possible from the ca. 5580-3892 BC time span for the BAG era? Using the present (and tentative) closing date of ca. 3892 BC for the BAG, and taking Dyns. I and II as having lasted 565 years (the correct total in Manetho), and as having occupied the closing years of the BAG era, Mena would be placed at c. 4457 BC. It must be emphasized that this is subject to revision if the proper terminal date for the BAG era turns out to be later than 3892 BC. Nevertheless, the close proximity of 4457 BC to the 4443 ± 61 that was obtained by other independent methods is quite remarkable. Altogether, therefore, a mid-45th century BC date for Mena is as certain as can be, given the available evidence.

    Part VI: The Chinweizu Chronology

    From the best of the kinglist/monuments dynastic totals, and using three pegs [ 525 BC; 1872 BC; and 4443 BC], the starting date for each dynasty has been calculated to give The Chinweizu Chronology. It is displayed below, side by side with the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies, for comparison.

    The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies`¢












































































































































































































    Kinglist/Monument (M; T; G) Chinweizu Bernal* Gardiner**
    Dynasty Duration (years) Starting date (BC) Starting date (BC) Starting date (BC)
    I Early Dynastic 263 (M: Real total) 4443±61 3400 3100 ± 150
    II “ 302 “ 4180 3200 -----
    III Old Kingdom 214 “ 3878 3000 2700
    IV “ 284 “ 3664 2920 2620
    V “ 218 “ 3380 2800 2480
    VI “ 206+ (M/T/G) 3162 2630 2340
    VII FIP 0 (70 days) (M) 2956- 2470 -----
    VIII “ 146 “ 2956- 2470 -----
    IX “ 409 “ ----- 2440 -----
    X “ 185 “ 2339+ ----- -----
    XI Middle K’dom 160+ (T/Bernal) 2154+ 2140 2134
    XII “ 206– (T/G) 1994 1979 1991
    XIII SIP Total SIP = 149+; 1788+ *** 1801 1786
    XIV “ 130 £ SIP £ 211 ----- ----- -----
    XV “ ----- 1750 -----
    XVI “ ----- ----- -----
    XVII “ ----- ----- -----
    XVIII New K’dom 284 (M: Real total) 1639 1567 1575
    XIX “ 209 “ 1355 1320 1308
    XX “ 135 (M) 1146 1200 1184
    XXI “ 114 (M: Real total) 1011 ----- 1087
    XXII TIP 116 “ 897 ----- 945
    XXIII “ 58 (M/Petrie) 781 ----- 817(?)
    XXIV “ 8 (G) 723 ----- 720
    XXV Late K’dom 40 (M) 715 ----- 716
    XXVI “ 150 (M) 675 ----- 664
    Persian conquest ---- 525 525 525

    `¢ For a comparative evaluation of these chronologies, see Appendix B.
    M = Manetho; T = Turin; G = Monuments as by Gardiner.
    * Source: (Bernal, 1991: xxviii)
    ** Source: (Gardiner, 1961: 430-451)
    *** Because of some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.
    ================================================================

    These three chronologies shall be evaluated in detail in Appendix B. However, it is pertinent to highlight here the chief attributes and merits of the Chinweizu Chronology. First of all, it is ultimately anchored on three independently established dates:

    1) 525 BC as the date of the first Persian conquest of Kemet, a date independently established and generally accepted.
    2) 1872 BC as Year 7 of Senwosre III of Dyn. XII. This is based on the testimony of the papyrus records and on astro-calendrical calculations.
    3) 4241 BC as a first dynasty date. This is based on an ivory tablet’s testimony and on astro-calendrical calculations.

    Furthermore, the Chinweizu Chronology passes six independent tests which the Bernal and Gardiner and other chronologies do not pass, namely:

    · The Haas test: that Dyn. III begin before 3000 BC; this is implied by some RC results. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210)
    · The Sneferu test: that the dates for the first ruler of Dyn. IV should fall within the range established by the calibrated radiocarbon method.
    · The Wadi Howar test: that events associated with a low Nile phase be dated at ca. 2900-2400 BC.
    · The Second Intermediate Period (SIP) test: that its duration be somewhere between 130 years and 211 years; these limits are derived from detailed analysis of the Turin Canon data, and from astro-calendrical calculations.
    · The Thera Eruption test: that 1628 BC, the independently established date for the Thera eruption, be Year 11 of some Pharaoh, as recorded in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. (Bernal, 1991: 328)
    · The Olympics test: that 776 BC, the year of the first Olympics, fall within the reign of Petubates of Dyn. XXIII.

    It should be noted that these tests apply to five different sections of the chronology -- the Old Kingdom, the FIP, the SIP, the New Kingdom, and the TIP respectively. Together, they test the key stretches of Kemetic chronology. A chronology which passes all six tests would be of good quality.
    It should, furthermore, be noted that the Chinweizu Chronology is basically Manethonian, in as much as its dynastic details are primarily based on Manetho, with amendments by the Turin Canon and the evidence of the monuments. And in so far as its three anchor points are absolute rather than relative dates, it is an absolute chronology.
    A pinpoint date for Mena would sort out the extant chronologies, and improve the best of them. So, how might that kind of date be obtained?

    Part VII: Project for dating Mena more precisely

    Here is a sample of the diverse dates which have been proposed for Mena, each on its own grounds, in the last two centuries:

    Lepsius 5892 BC Mellaart 3400 BC
    Champollion 5867 BC Bernal 3400 BC
    Mariette 5004 BC Meyer 3315 BC
    Brugsch 4455 BC Gardiner 3100 BC
    Chinweizu 4443 BC The CAH 3100 BC (The Cambridge Ancient History)
    Petrie 4326 BC Helck 2955 BC
    Breasted 3400 BC Scharff 2850 BC

    They spread across some 3,000 years! All these alternative dates are nothing but the fruits of elaborate and valiant detective and jigsaw puzzle work, each proceeding from much-damaged data. They could all be wrong, and probably are! The only way to find out is to embark on the project now to be outlined. It calls for the TL and RC dating of appropriate materials, either materials already collected from previous digs, or fresh materials from digs yet to be undertaken.

    (A) For Mena directly

    Materials from 1) The Mena/Narmer tomb at Abtu [Abydos] (Hoffman, 1984: 270), and
    2) Neithhotep’s tomb at Naqada. As Neithhotep was a contemporary and relative of both Mena and his successor, Aha, her dates would pinpoint Mena’s. (Hoffman, 1984: 280, 322-323.)

    As controls for (A) the following would be required:

    (B1) Materials from undisturbed, stratified, occupation sites that go from Early Dynastic debris down to the Predynastic first occupation level. The best candidate for a fresh excavation would be Khasekhemui’s Fort at Nekhen -- unexcavated as of 1980 (Hoffman, 1984: 354) -- a Dyn II structure which sits on top of a Predynastic occupation site.

    (B2) Materials from Predynastic and Early-dynastic graves which would fix upper and lower limits for Mena.

    Upper limits: Materials from

    (i) Predynastic tombs in Abtu and Nekhen, and
    (ii) Predynastic Qustul

    Lower limits: Materials from

    (I) Early-dynastic tombs and mortuary temples at Abtu and Nekhen;
    (II) the Saqqara tombs of Early-dynastic Pharaohs;
    (III) the Helwan tombs of Early-dynastic courtiers

    Conclusion: Now, after 25 centuries of heroic guesses, Mena’s date could at last be absolutely determined by obtaining absolute dates for the above materials.
    ================================================================

    Appendix A

    This is the tedious heart of the calculations that produced the reign lengths used for the Chinweizu Chronology. Readers who have no taste for the toil, and who are content with the results already presented, may skip this section.

    Dyns I-VI: The monuments are no help. The Turin Canon is less than satisfactory because most of its totals are lost. Consequently, Manetho is the only unequivocal source.

    Is the Turin Canon’s restored and disputed total of 955 years to be assigned to Dyns I-V or Dyns I-VI (Gardiner, 1961: 67); or to Dyns I-VIII (Bernal, 1991: 207)?
    An inspection of the Turin Canon data presented in Gardiner’s appendix shows, at the end of Dyn. V:

    “T3.26 ‘Total. Kings from Meniti(?) to [Unis]’ lost.” (Gardiner, 1961: 435)

    At the end of Dyn. VI:

    “T4.14 ‘[Total] . Kings [from Teti to . . . ] 181 yrs.” (Gardiner, 1961: 436)

    Now, is there another entry after T4.14 that gives a total for Dyns I-VI? Or is the alleged 955(?) the restored entry for T3.26 , and thus the total for Dyns I-V? If 955(?) is indeed for T3.26, then Dyns I-VI would total 955(?) + 181, i.e. 1136(?) years!
    How trustworthy is the 955(?) total, regardless of where it should belong? As a restoration, and especially a restoration by ideologically fanatical downdaters, it cannot be assumed superior to the sum of the Manetho totals for each of the dynasties involved. These totals are:

    Dyn. I 263 years [Real total]
    Dyn. II 302
    Dyn. III 214
    Dyn. IV 284
    Dyn. V 218

    For Dyn. VI, an inspection of the Manetho and Turin Canon lists of names requires an amendment to the Manetho total. The Manetho real total is 197; however, Turin Canon gives five kings with 9+ years after Manetho’s last-named king; and the monuments give evidence for one of these. Therefore,

    Dyn. VI = 206+ years.

    Incidentally, if the broken total which has been restored as 955 years is for Dyns I-V, and if the Turin Canon’s Dyn. VI total of 181 years is then included in Gardiner’s calculations, his date for Mena would become 3189 (or 3289) BC + 181 = 3370 (or 3470) BC, which is close to Breasted’s 3400 BC. (Gardiner, 1961: 67)
    By the way, the Palermo Stone is no help at all in all this, as no totals have survived -- if ever it had them. Besides, calculations based on guessing its overall dimensions and the widths of the variable compartments are not worth much, despite their laudable ingenuity.

    Dyns VII-X: The First Intermediate Period (FIP). The Turin Canon and the monuments are of no help here. Manetho is, therefore, the only substantive source. His totals are:

    Dyn. VII 70 days
    Dyn. VIII 146 years
    Dyn. IX 409 years
    Dyn. X 185 years
    Total 740 years

    Some might quibble about this total. But is there any reason why such a long period of decline-stagnation-and-recovery would be impossible or improbable? After all, Europe’s Medieval Age – from the collapse of the Roman Empire through the Dark Ages and the Age of Feudal Stagnation to the beginning of Modern Europe – was just as long or longer (ca. 5th century AD to the 15th century AD: some one thousand years); and Africa’s current Holocaust Age has lasted some five centuries (15th to 20th century AD); and the Eastern Zhou period, when China crumbled into some 170 warring statelets, lasted some 550 years under nominal emperors. In that comparative light, Manetho’s 740 years for Kemet’s FIP is not implausible. Attempts to shorten it, without evidence, and on analogy with the Second Intermediate Period (SIP), must reckon with the fact that there are astro-calendrical data and Turin Canon data which together put an upper limit on the possible duration of the SIP, but there are no external controls (astro-calendrical, monumentary or kinglist) to challenge Manetho on the duration of the FIP. Pending the appearance of challenging data, Manetho should be accepted.

    Dyn. XI: The Turin Canon’s figure for the total has been variously read as 143 or 160+ years, by equally competent decipherers. Bernal’s argument for accepting 160+ are persuasive. (Bernal, 1991: 578, n. 74) In contrast, Manetho’s 43 years, given without individual reign lengths, is unpersuasive. Could it possibly have been 143, with his excerptors having, in error, left out the initial digit?

    Dyn. XII: The Turin Canon’s total is 213 years; the monuments give 199+/184+, taking coregencies into account; Manetho gives 176 = 160 + 16 for Amenemhe, who he places apart from Dyn. XII but who, conventionally, heads this dynasty. A detailed computation, based on Turin Canon, with supplements from the monuments when the Turin Canon figures are inexact, gives the following:

    Turin Canon G/Monuments Coregencies
    Amenemhe I 29 30 9 years
    Senwosre I 45 44 1 year
    Amenemhe II 30+ 35 3 years
    Senwosre II 19 6
    Senwosre III 30+ 33
    Amenemhe III 40+ 45 2(?) years }
    Amenemhe IV 9 6+ unspecified }= r years
    Sebeknofru 4 unspecified }
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total of the underlined 219 –(13+r) = 206–r

    Note: 1872 BC, Year 7 of Senwosre III, is 135 years –13 (coregency) years from the start of Dyn. XII. Thus, the start of Dyn XII = 1872 + 122 = 1994 BC. As the Dyn. XII total is 206–r years, Dyn. XIII starts at 1788+ r BC.

    Dyns XIII-XVII: For this, the SIP, the Manetho we have is at its worst. However, astronomical data and monumentary data provide grounds for making estimates of the duration of the SIP. The estimate that is needed here is the maximum possible duration of the SIP, which Gardiner has calculated as 211 years.
    The dates calculated for two recorded heliacal risings of Sirius are:

    Year 7 of Senwosre III 1872 BC
    Year 9 of Amenhotpe I 1536 BC (Gardiner, 1961: 65-66)

    These dates are on either side of the SIP. From the reign lengths and sequences based on the monuments and the Turin Canon, Gardiner has calculated that Dyn. XI ended ca. 1786 BC and Dyn. XVIII began ca. 1575 BC. Thus, the SIP lasted some 211 years. Other estimates, based on assorted analyses of the surviving totals on the Turin Canon, range from 130+ to 193+ years; at any rate, the six foreign kings of the Turin Canon totaled 108 years, making 108 < SIP £ 211 years.

    Dyn XVIII-XX: Manetho’s totals are Dyn. XVIII: 284; Dyn. XIX: 209; Dyn. XX: 135. These totals are determined by where Manetho actually divides the dynasties. Gardiner divides Dyns XVIII and XIX differently, and it is impossible to do a reign by reign comparison of the two, given the great divergence in the names and sequences of the kings as presented by the two. One is obliged to take one or the other in its entirety. Given how often Manetho is upheld in the other dynasties by other sources, it seems preferable to take Manetho’s totals here. Besides, Gardiner himself expressed confidence in Manetho’s lengths of reigns for Dyn. XVIII, despite the confusion in the names and sequences. (Gardiner, 1961: 242.)

    Dyn. XXI: Adding up the individual reign lengths, the actual Manetho total is 114 years. The monuments are no help.

    Dyns XXII-XXIV: For this, the Third Intermediate Period (TIP), a considerable sorting out is required. For Dyn. XXII, adding up the individual reign lengths, the correct Manetho total is 116 years. The monuments total is 194+/210+; but there is much confusion about this data, as Gardiner admits in frustration. (Gardiner, 1961: 333-334) So, these alternative totals from the monuments cannot be taken at face value.
    For Dyn. XXIII, accepting Petrie’s argument about Zet (Manetho, 1940: 161, n. 4), and Gardiner’s view that it was an error (Gardiner, 1961: 334), and therefore removing it, makes the Dyn. XXIII total 58 years.
    For Manetho, Dyn. XXIV consists of Bochchoris/Bekenrinef alone. For Gardiner, it consists of Tefnakhte (in whose time Piankhy intervened) and Bochchoris/Bekenrinef. But the reign of Bochchoris coincided with the first years of Shabako of Dyn. XXV. (Gardiner, 1961: 449, 450) Accordingly, the Dyn. XXIV total is the 8 years of Tefnakhte.

    Dyns XXV-XXVI: For this, the Late Kingdom or the Nubian-Saitean Renaissance, the Manetho total is 190 years and 6 months, and Gardiner’s is 191 years; this is because Gardiner, following the monuments, counts the last six months, which constitutes the entire reign of Psamtek III, as one year. Thus, both Manetho and Gardiner actually agree. Manetho breaks this down into 40 years for Dyn. XXV and 150 years for Dyn. XXVI.

    ************************************************************************
    Appendix B:

    The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies: A Comparison.

    For each proposed chronology, a validity test is how well it accommodates such independently dated or datable events as are not assumed in its own construction.
    There are 5 independently determined dates which are associated, in the extant records, with specified reigns, and sometimes with specific reign years of pharaohs; four other tests, which put certain events within or outside specific time bands, are also available:

    1. 1469 BC as a year in the reign of Dhutmose III of Dyn. XVIII;
    2. 1536 BC as Year 9 of Amenhotpe I of Dyn. XVIII;
    3. 1872 BC as Year 7 of Senwosre III of Dyn. XII;
    4. The year of the Thera eruption as year 11 of some pharaoh;
    5. 776 BC, the year of the first Olympics, as a year in the reign of Petubates of Dyn. XXIII;
    6. Two of the above dates, 1872 BC and 1536 BC, imply a maximum of 211 years for the duration of the SIP;
    7. The Haas Test, which is supplied by the radiocarbon results from some pyramids, requires that the Cambridge Ancient History dates for the Old Kingdom dynasties be raised by “at least 374 years”. (Bernal, 1991: 209.] This means that Dyn. III should start before 3000 BC.
    8. The Sneferu Test, which uses the raw RC results of 2850 ± 210 bc from Sneferu’s pyramid at Meydum. When calibrated, these radiocarbon years become 3770-3400 BC for Sneferu’s tomb.
    9. The Wadi Howar Test, which requires that events associated with a low Nile phase be dated at ca. 2900-2400 BC.

    Now, the 1872 BC test cannot be applied to any of these three chronologies, for they all assume it in their construction. Nor can the 1536 BC and 1469 BC tests be applied to them because of the confused state of the Manethonian names and sequences for Dyn. XVIII. This leaves us with six tests to apply to these chronologies. How do they perform?

    The Thera eruption test

    1628 BC is the date newly established – by dendrochronology, radiocarbon and ice core techniques – for the Thera eruption. (Bernal, 1991: 287-288) According to Bernal, the effects of that eruption are referred to in a note on the back of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (RMP) which “refers to the ‘voice of Seth’ and the ‘precipitation of Isis’ in the eleventh year of an unnamed pharaoh’s reign.” (Bernal, 1991: 328; 593, n. 80; 598, n. 21) Bernal goes on to say that Hans Goedicke has maintained that the pharaoh referred to was Ahmose, founder of Dyn. XVIII. However, on the Bernal chronology, which puts Ahmose at 1567 BC, 1628 BC cannot be Ahmose’s Year 11. Instead, Bernal argues for 1628 BC as Year 11 of the Hyksos pharaoh Apopi. But there are problems with this proposal. The scribe who made the RMP dated his manuscript to Apopi’s Year 33. Presumably, the note on its back which refers to these volcanic activities, if penned at the same time, would refer to an event of Apopi’s Year 11. Or it could even refer to Year 11 of some preceding pharaoh. But was it written down at the same time as the front of the RMP? It is possible that the note on the back was added much later, like anytime after Year 11 of some pharaoh subsequent to Apopi. So, the inference that it refers to Year 11 of Apopi is not conclusive.
    Furthermore, 1628 BC cannot be shown to be Year 11 of Apopi. Bernal makes it so only by the roughest approximation: by arbitrarily assigning 6 to 8 years to Khamudy who is presumed to be the successor to Apopi, and by starting Ahmose’s reign at ca. 1570 BC instead of the 1567 BC given on the Bernal Chronology. (Bernal, 1991: xxviii) Thus, strictly speaking, on the Bernal Chronology, 1628 BC is not Year 11 of Apopi, or of Ahmose, or of any known pharaoh. Which means that the Bernal Chronology does not pass the 1628 BC test.
    The Gardiner Chronology fares no better. His date for Ahmose’s founding of Dyn. XVIII is 1575 BC, so Ahmose’s Year 11 cannot be 1628 BC. Gardiner accepts the order of kings on a Memphis stela which places Apopi just before Ahmose. (Gardiner, 1961: 50, 160) If Apopi ruled for 61 years, as given in Manetho, then, on the Gardiner Chronology, 1628 BC was his Year 8!
    On the Chinweizu Chronology, 1639 BC is Year 1 of Ahmose for whom Manetho gives 25 years and whose highest date from the monuments is year 22. Thus, there was a Year 11 of Ahmose and, on the Chinweizu chronology, it falls exactly on 1628 BC. This exact fit between 1628 BC and Year 11 of Ahmose vindicates Hans Goedicke’s contention that the pharaoh in question was Ahmose.
    Thus, whereas the Gardiner and Bernal Chronologies do not pass the 1628 BC test, the Chinweizu Chronology passes it excellently.

    The Olympics test

    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the first Olympic Games of the Greeks, 776 BC, correctly falls within the reign of Petubates (Pedibaste) of Dyn. XXIII. (Gardiner, 1961: 449) On the Gardiner Chronology, Petubates’ reign of 40 years commenced in 817 BC, and would have ended in 777 BC; in which case the first Olympics would have been in the reign of his successor. The Bernal Chronology does not go as far down as Dyn. XXIII; it stops at Dyn XX. But on the Breasted Chronology, which is very closely matched with the Bernal Chronology for as far as the latter goes, Dyn. XXIII is dated 745-718 BC, (Manetho, 1940: 160, n. 2.) which would put the first Olympics in Dyn XXII!
    Thus, the Chinweizu Chronology passes the Olympics test while the others do not.

    The SIP £ 211 years test

    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the SIP is (1788 + r) – 1639 = (149 + r) years, where r < 13. So, the SIP < 162 years, which passes Gardiner’s SIP £ 211 years test.
    On the Bernal Chronology, the SIP = 1801 – 1567 BC = 234 years > 211 years. Of course, this test does not apply to the Gardiner Chronology which assumes SIP=211 years.
    So, the Chinweizu Chronology passes the SIP test and the others do not.

    The Haas test

    The Haas test, which is a consequence of some radiocarbon tests on the pyramids, requires that Dyn. III start before 3000 BC. On the Chinweizu Chronology, Dyn. III starts and ends well before the 3000 BC lower limit required for its start by the Haas Test. In contrast, the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies start Dyn. III in 3000 BC and 2700 BC respectively.
    So, the Chinweizu Chronology passes the Haas Test while the others do not.

    The Sneferu test

    Four samples of a cypress beam from the tomb of the Pharaoh Sneferu at Meydum when analysed by this [Carbon –14] method gave an average age of 4802 ± 210 years; i.e., they indicated that the king was buried probably between 3060 and 2640 BC.”
    -- “Chronology: III Egyptian”, Encyclopaedia Britannica (1965), Vol. 5, p. 723.

    This date was obtained when the RC technique was quite new and the need for calibration was unknown. Subsequent calibration techniques required that dates of ca. 3000 BC be pushed back by about 700 years. Using the H. E. Suess calibration graph (Renfrew, 1978: 292), those dates calibrate into 3770 and 3400 BC.
    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the start of Sneferu’s reign of 24 years, was 3664 BC, which places the date for his accession, as well as that for his Meydum pyramid, within the calibrated RC range. The Chinweizu Chronology thus passes the Sneferu Test. The Gardiner and Bernal Chronologies clearly do not pass the test, since they start Dyn. IV, and hence Sneferu’s reign, at 2620 BC and 2920 BC respectively.

    The Wadi Howar test

    Data developed since 1980 by the earth sciences indicate that, in the 3rd millennium BC, for at least five centuries, between ca. 2900 and 2400 BC, the Nile levels below Old Dongola were extremely low. This was principally due to the loss of the discharge from one of its main tributaries, the Wadi Howar, which drained western Nubia. In order to be valid, a chronology must be consistent with this phenomenon and, therefore, date events associated with a low Nile phase to the early 3rd millennium BC. That is the Wadi Howar test.
    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom each falls within a period of high Nile floods, while the FIP – with its famines, civil wars, collapsed central political authority and social upheaval – falls, quite appropriately, within that 3rd millennium period of disastrously low Niles. On the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies, however, the Old Kingdom, that great pyramid building era, falls within that resource-poor and starving period of disastrously low Niles. That implies the implausible conclusion that a desperately poor and famished population, torn by strife, carried out projects that required sustained and orderly effort and enormous resources. We must therefore conclude that the Chinweizu Chronology passes the Wadi Howar test while the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies do not.

    These six tests clearly and strongly validate the Chinweizu Chronology. They actually validate its dates for different stretches of the chronology. The Old Kingdom stretch is validated by the Sneferu and Haas tests; the FIP is validated by the Wadi Howar test; the SIP is validated by the SIP test; the New Kingdom stretch is validated by the Thera eruption test; and the TIP by the Olympics test. And what is more, the Chinweizu Chronology is validated in the all-important Old Kingdom stretch where a valid absolute date is especially important if the down-dating impulse is to be curbed. If a reign year of Sneferu’s could be corelated with an absolutely datable astrocalendrical event, then, using data from the king lists, the range within which Mena’s date falls would be minimized.

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    Appendix C

    An absolute upper limit for Mena: a Zodiac-Bull cult indicator.

    Knowledge of the twelve ages of the Zodiac gave rise to certain changes of state symbolism and royal cults in Kemet, from the bull cult in the Age of the Bull (Taurus), 4565-2410 BC, to the ram cult in the Age of the Ram (Aries), 2410-255 BC.
    When Kemet was founded, one of the Pharaoh’s symbols was the bull; Ptah, the chief god of the new capital Mennefer (Memphis to the Greeks), had the bull for a symbol; and the bull cult was the foremost in the land. During the Age of the Ram (Aries), the ram was the symbol of Amon, the dominant god of the age; the ram was sacred to Amon, the chief deity of Waset (Thebes to the Greeks), the then capital of Kemet. This is evidence of Kemetic sensitivity to the ages of the Zodiac, a sensitivity in keeping with their devoted attention to celestial seasons in sacred matters. This devotion was symbolized by their six-pointed Star of Creation which signified “As above, so below”, i.e. as in the celestial sphere, so too in the terrestrial.
    With this background in mind, the bull symbolism of the founding Pharaoh makes it most likely that Mena’s unification of Kemet took place in the Taurean Age, and not in the preceding Age of the Twins (Gemini). The unification of Kemet would have taken place not earlier than 4565 BC, which was when the Taurean Age began. We thus have another indicator of an upper limit to Mena’s date.
    Needless to say, on the Chinweizu chronology, Mena’s date, 4443±61 BC, falls within this limit. But so do all but the longest of the proposed chronologies, such as those of Lepsius, Champollion and Mariette. This limit does not, of course, materially affect the calculations made above for Mena’s date; but it is from an indicator of an unusual and interesting sort, and it validates the estimate of 1000 years from the first farming villages to the unification by Mena. Besides, it gives an absolute date, an astro-calendrical date, 4565 BC, for Mena’s upper limit.

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    Appendix D

    Absolute dating techniques: some observations

    There are three main types of absolute dating techniques:

    A] Astronomy techniques, which are based on calculating dates for astronomical events;
    B] Annalist techniques, which are based on counting a sequence of consecutive annual deposits or records of one sort or another, such as ice cores (varves), tree rings (dendrochronology) and historical annals;
    C] Radioactivity techniques (radiocarbon, potassium-argon, thermoluminescence etc.) which use radioactive materials to give a range of dates, together with the statistical probability of the event falling within the range.

    Astronomy techniques give precise results; annalist techniques give precise results in the range where the sequence is continuous; and radioactivity techniques, though the least precise, have the advantage of locating the range within which the precise date should fall. Where these three techniques are used in concert, and where their results are mutually consistent, the result is as scientifically unassailable as possible.
    The virtue of radiocarbon dating, and of dating by other radioactivity techniques, is to fix the range within which other methods (e.g. astronomy, annalist) can then be applied to pinpoint an event’s date. The statistical “scattering” (the ± number) is precisely what fixes the range; it is not an error but a guide, and a date which falls outside that range has a very high probability of being wrong.
    The proper use of radioactivity dating methods is to determine the time band within which an event occurred. In this regard, the 2s band is more useful than the s band, because it carries a 95% probability instead of 68%. Of course, the 2s band is adequate for most purposes, but a 3s band, with its 99.5% probability, is even more useful. In other words, any date outside the 2s or 3s band may, with confidence, be ruled out. The task, therefore, is to minimize the s by repeated measurements on the same sample material. For example, if s is reduced to 50 years, then the ±3s bandwidth is only 300 years. In which case, the technique would confine the date to within a 300 year band, with a 99.5% probability. It is then up to other techniques to more precisely locate the event within the 2s or 3s time band, thereby yielding as precise a date as is humanly possible.
    Those archeologists and ancient historians are in error who regard the “scattering” as reason for rejecting radiocarbon dates. These dates have the same validity as other statistically determined values, such as those of quantum mechanics and those of the actuary.
    The anti-radiocarbon crowd includes
    (a) the conservatives who still cling to old intellectual habits, and who resist the new, like Ptolemaists rejecting Copernican astronomy. Among these are Astrom, Gerald Cadogan. (Bernal, 1991: 278, 279)
    (b) the ideological crooks who accept RC dates when these support their dogma and reject them when they don’t, and who invent spurious arguments for doing so. Colin Renfrew, for example, accepted RC dating for Europe, but not for the Aegean and places to its east, on the claim that there existed a “fault line” in the domain of the technique. (Renfrew, 1978: 93, 115-116)
    (c) the diffidents who reinterpret their raw RC data so as to accommodate the traditional archeological authorities who cling to outdated techniques. (Bernal, 1991: ? )
    Egyptologists have, in the main, either evaded radiocarbon dating, or they have, like Renfrew, stuck to uncalibrated dates which happen to agree with their pre-radiocarbon dates and their prejudices. For example, the uncalibrated Sneferu date is still found in the latest books and encyclopaedias. Kemetology, in contrast, is dedicated to using the most accurate dating techniques.

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    Appendix E

    Some implications of the Chinweizu Chronology

    There are some old problems (P) which the Chinweizu Chronology helps to resolve and there are some new questions (Q) which it raises and helps to answer.

    Old problems resolved

    P1] The Mesopotamian Stimulus: On the Chinweizu Chronology, Mesopotamia could not have stimulated or influenced the rise of a Kemetic civilization which preceded it by almost 2000 years! The direction of any demonstrable stimulus between the Nile and Mesopotamia would have to be from the Nile to Mesopotamia.
    If the Chaldeans (Kaldu) were indeed a colony of astronomers from Kemet, they would exhibit some Old Kingdom cultural traits. These should be investigated.

    P2] The date for Kush: This can approximately be determined. If the Qustul data implies that the first Pharaonic state emerged in Kush some 12 generations before Mena, that is some 300 to 400 years before Mena, then it would be dated to ca. 4850-4750 BC

    P3] The Nile delta, before Mena, was hardly inhabited. On the Chinweizu Chronology, Mena’s unification of Kemet occurred in ca. 4443 BC. And from the absolute dates available at present, Merimde, the earliest farming village in Lower Kemet, located on the edge of the Delta, was first settled ca. 4880 BC, and was occupied for some 650 years, i.e. till ca. 4230 BC when it was abandoned. (Hoffman, 1984: 169) The next two villages nearest to the delta were Fayum A, 4441+115 BC and Omari A, ca. 4000 BC. These dates and locations suggest – in the absence of any older datings from the delta proper—that the delta was a wilderness frontier at the time of the unification of Kemet, and was settled only in dynastic times. Thus, the two kingdoms which Mena unified were two sections of what became Upper Kemet. This will be argued in detail in Vol. II.

    P4] If Maadi was the “entreport” for far flung foreign trade contacts, as Hoffman seems to posit, (Hoffman, 1984: 201 ff.), then, by its radiocarbon dates, 3600-3000 BC, and by the Chinweizu Chronology, it was so only in the Old Kingdom, and its economy collapsed when demand from its royal patrons declined at the end of the Pyramid Age. Hoffman’s "Capitalist Maadians" (Hoffman, 1984: 213)would be just one more specialist community in the service of the Pharaohs, a community in Kemet, whereas others, such as the Phoenicians, were outside Kemet.

    New questions raised and answered

    Q1] The length of the FIP: On the Chinweizu Chronology, the FIP, a period of political collapse which the extreme down-daters among Egyptologists would narrow down to a few decades, actually lasted some eight centuries! Why?

    Q2] The Kemetic colonization of Greece and the Aegean in the 3rd millennium BC: Why did it happen? And why did it end?

    Q3] The Kemetic colonization of Mesopotamia in the mid-3rd millennium BC: Why did it occur?

    The answers to these questions are interlinked, and are rooted in climatic changes.
    Why did the Kemetic state suffer a serious decline in the 3rd millennium BC, from the end of Dyn. VI till its power was revived and the country reunified by Dyn XI? And why, on the Chinweizu Chronology, was it a long decline of eight centuries?
    The answer is in the winds, in the system of winds which, at different periods, increased, reduced or even denied rain to the Ethiopian highlands, the central African great lakes and the southern Sahara, whence arose the three river systems (the Blue Nile, the White Nile and the Wadi Howar respectively) which supplied water to the Nubian and Egyptian Nile, that is, north of Old Dongola. As we shall see certain shifts in the positions of the westerlies and the southwest monsoons changed the patterns of rainfall in Africa in the 3rd millennium BC, and thereby disastrously reduced the level of the Nile flood for several centuries, before another set of wind shifts raised the flood level enough for Kemet to revive and thrive once more. The dessication of the Sahara, which has continued to this day, and which dried up the Wadi Howar for several centuries, was another concurrent result of those same shifts in the system of winds. The extremely low Nile floods which resulted became the thirsty backdrop to the famines and political collapse of the First Intermediate Period.
    On Greece and the Aegean, the hypothesis is that the centuries-long drought in 3rd millennium Kemet led to expeditions to colonize irrigatable regions of Greece for the purpose of growing grain, using those techniques with which the Kemites were familiar. The 3rd millennium hydraulic works and granaries (rundbauten) in Arkadia, Boiotia and other locations in mainland Greece, as well as the tomb of Alkmene and the stepped pyramid tomb of Amphion and Zethos (Bernal, 1991: chp. III?) would be the remains from that colonization. That colonial expedient was ended by two conjoined developments, namely, the revival of the Nile floods after ca. 2400 BC, and the climate events of ca. 2200 BC which brought catastrophic drought to a geographical zone which stretched from Europe to India. (Nadis, 1997:15) As a result of these changes, the colonization of Greece was abandoned.
    On Mesopotamia, the hypothesis is that the rise of Mesopotamian irrigation, towns and civilization was stimulated by Kemetic colonizers who went to the Euphrates delta to grow grain during Kemet’s centuries long drought of the 3rd millennium BC. Note that
    (a) the “royal” tombs of the first dynasty of Ur of the Chaldeans have been astronomically dated to ca. 26th century BC; (Diop, 1974:105)
    (b) the development of the Mesopotamian time reckoning has been traced back in cuneiform documents to the 27th century BC (Encyclopaedia Britannica [1993] Macropedia, Vol. 15, p. 420)
    (c) according to Diodorus report of what the Egyptians said, the Chaldeans were

    a colony of their priests that Belus had transported on the Euphrates and organized on the model of the mother-caste, and this colony continues to cultivate the knowledge of the stars, knowledge that it brought from the homeland. (Diop, 1974: 101)

    Detailed presentations on these issues will be made in Vol. II.

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    Bibliography

    Bernal, M. (1991) Black Athena, Vol. II, London: Free Association Books.
    Diop, C.A. (1974) The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality, Westport, Conn.:
    Lawrence Hill.
    Finch, C. S. (1989) “Science and Symbol in Egyptian Medicine: Commentaries on the Edwin Smith Papyrus,” in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Egypt Revisited, New Brunswick: Transaction, pp. 325-351.
    Gardiner, A. (1961) Egypt of the Pharaohs, London: Oxford University Press.
    Hoffman, M. (1984) Egypt Before the Pharaohs, London: ARK.
    Manetho. (1940) Manetho, tr. by W. G. Waddell, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
    Press (Loeb); London: Heinemann.
    Nadis, Steve (1997) “World History on Ice,” Technology Review, July 1997, pp. 14-15.
    Renfrew, C. (1978) Before Civilization, London (?): Penguin
    Williams, B. (1989) “The Lost Pharaohs of Nubia”, in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Egypt Re-
    visited, New Brunswick: Transaction, pp. 90-104.

    The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies`¢












































































































































































































    Kinglist/Monument (M; T; G) Chinweizu Bernal* Gardiner**
    Dynasty Duration (years) Starting date (BC) Starting date (BC) Starting date (BC)
    I Early Dynastic 263 (M: Real total) 4443±61 3400 3100 ± 150
    II “ 302 “ 4180 3200 -----
    III Old Kingdom 214 “ 3878 3000 2700
    IV “ 284 “ 3664 2920 2620
    V “ 218 “ 3380 2800 2480
    VI “ 206+ (M/T/G) 3162 2630 2340
    VII FIP 0 (70 days) (M) 2956- 2470 -----
    VIII “ 146 “ 2956- 2470 -----
    IX “ 409 “ ----- 2440 -----
    X “ 185 “ 2339+ ----- -----
    XI Middle K’dom 160+ (T/Bernal) 2154+ 2140 2134
    XII “ 206– (T/G) 1994 1979 1991
    XIII SIP Total SIP = 149+; 1788+ *** 1801 1786
    XIV “ 130 £ SIP £ 211 ----- ----- -----
    XV “ ----- 1750 -----
    XVI “ ----- ----- -----
    XVII “ ----- ----- -----
    XVIII New K’dom 284 (M: Real total) 1639 1567 1575
    XIX “ 209 “ 1355 1320 1308
    XX “ 135 (M) 1146 1200 1184
    XXI “ 114 (M: Real total) 1011 ----- 1087
    XXII TIP 116 “ 897 ----- 945
    XXIII “ 58 (M/Petrie) 781 ----- 817(?)
    XXIV “ 8 (G) 723 ----- 720
    XXV Late K’dom 40 (M) 715 ----- 716
    XXVI “ 150 (M) 675 ----- 664
    Persian conquest ---- 525 525 525

    `¢ For a comparative evaluation of these chronologies, see Appendix B.
    M = Manetho; T = Turin; G = Monuments as by Gardiner.
    * Source: (Bernal, 1991: xxviii)
    ** Source: (Gardiner, 1961: 430-451)
    *** Because of some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.

    ------------------------

    based on the dates of first occupation for the earliest farming villages in the territory of Kemet. These yield an upper limit for Mena.

    Estimate of upper limit for Mena

    Mena’s date cannot be earlier, or even as early as, the earliest stratum of farming settlement at Nekhen, the town from which he extended his rule to all of Kemet. In the absence of TL and RC dates for that stratum at Nekhen, a probably adequate approximation is that he cannot be earlier than the earliest settlement stratum of any of the earliest farming villages of Upper Kemet. At present, the earliest known is at Hemamieh, with a TL date of ca. 5580 ± 420 BC. (Hoffman, 1984: 141) This would rule out all dates for Mena that are earlier than the mid-6th millennium BC.
    If we allow at least 1,000 years for the evolution of the oldest Nile Valley farming villages before their final unification by Mena, that would place Mena sometime after ca. 4580 BC. Now, would 1,000 years be too short for the predynastic period? Would it imply an impossibly rapid evolution? Probably not, especially when we consider similar evolutions elsewhere. In the case of Rome, it took just some four centuries (ca. 650-ca. 250 BC) for three not-long-settled farming villages to unify and dominate all of central and southern Italy. By that Roman yardstick, the march from Nile Valley farming villages to the Pharaonic state could have happened within 400 years! Hence, allowing at least 1,000 years for the predynastic period is comparatively quite conservative. This would put Mena, provisionally, after ca. 4580 BC.

    -----------------------

    Gardiner and other chronologies do not pass, namely:

    · The Haas test: that Dyn. III begin before 3000 BC; this is implied by some RC results. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210)
    · The Sneferu test: that the dates for the first ruler of Dyn. IV should fall within the range established by the calibrated radiocarbon method.
    · The Wadi Howar test: that events associated with a low Nile phase be dated at ca. 2900-2400 BC.
    · The Second Intermediate Period (SIP) test: that its duration be somewhere between 130 years and 211 years; these limits are derived from detailed analysis of the Turin Canon data, and from astro-calendrical calculations.
    · The Thera Eruption test: that 1628 BC, the independently established date for the Thera eruption, be Year 11 of some Pharaoh, as recorded in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. (Bernal, 1991: 328)
    The Olympics test: that 776 BC, the year of the first Olympics, fall within the reign of Petubates of Dyn. XXIII.

    ===================

    Incidentally, if the broken total which has been restored as 955 years is for Dyns I-V, and if the Turin Canon’s Dyn. VI total of 181 years is then included in Gardiner’s calculations, his date for Mena would become 3189 (or 3289) BC + 181 = 3370 (or 3470) BC, which is close to Breasted’s 3400 BC. (Gardiner, 1961: 67)

    The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies












































































































































































































    Kinglist/Monument (M; T; G) Chinweizu Bernal* Gardiner**
    Dynasty Duration (years) Starting date (BC) Starting date (BC) Starting date (BC)
    I Early Dynastic 263 (M: Real total) 4375±16 3400 3100 ± 150
    II “ 302 “ 4112 3200 -----
    III Old Kingdom 214 “ 3810 3000 2700
    IV “ 284 “ 3596 2920 2620
    V “ 218 “ 3312 2800 2480
    VI “ 181 (T) 3094 2630 2340
    VII FIP 0 (70 days) (M) 2913 2470 -----
    VIII “ 146 “ 2913 2470 -----
    IX “ 409 “ 2767 2440 -----
    X “ 185 “ 2358 ----- -----
    XI Middle K’dom 160+x (T/Bernal) 2173 2140 2134
    XII “ 206–r (T/G) 2013 1979 1991
    XIII SIP ca. 1807-x+r 1801 1786
    XIV “ ----- ----- -----
    XV “ ----- 1750 -----
    XVI “ ----- ----- -----
    XVII “ ----- ----- -----
    XVIII New K’dom 284 (M: Real total) 1639 1567 1575
    XIX “ 209 “ 1355 1320 1308
    XX “ 135 (M) 1146 1200 1184
    XXI “ 114 (M: Real total) 1011 ----- 1087
    XXII TIP 116 “ 897 ----- 945
    XXIII “ 58 (M/Petrie) 781 ----- 817(?)
    XXIV “ 8 (G) 723 ----- 720
    XXV “ 44 (M/G) 715 ----- 715
    XXVI Late K’dom 146 (M) 671 ----- 664
    Persian conquest ---- 525 525 525

    M = Manetho; T = Turin; G = Monuments as by Gardiner.
    * Source: (Bernal, 1991: xxviii)
    ** Source: (Gardiner, 1961: 430-451)
    *** Because of some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.

    B1) Second estimate: from astro-calendrical evidence
    Dr. Charles S. Finch has made mention of “an ivory tablet from the 1st dynasty on which is inscribed the words ‘Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1’”. (Finch 1989: 349, n. 8) How do we interpret this laconic inscription?
    As Dr. Finch points out, it implies the existence of the Sirius calendar during Dyn. I. But beyond that, as shall now be demonstrated, it could be a record of an independently datable astro-calendrical event in Dyn. I.
    According to Alan Gardiner,

    Ivory tablets of Dyn. I revealed that in the beginning the years of a reign were not numbered, but were remembered . . . by some outstanding event that occurred in them. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)

    Gardiner further informs us that

    the heliacal rising of Sirius . . . came to be regarded as the true New Year’s Day . . ., the day with which ‘first month of Inundation (the first season), day one’ of the civil calendar ought always to have coincided. (Gardiner, 1961: 65)

    Gardiner also provides some clue for interpreting and more fully rendering the laconic statements of Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom inscriptions. According to him, the Dyn. II laconic inscription recorded on the Palermo Stone, “Time 4 of the count”, should be read as “Year of time 4 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. Similarly, even more laconic inscriptions of the form “Year time n” should be read as “Year of time n of the count of all oxen and small animals”. This is because the sense of such laconic dating was sometimes rendered in less laconic fashion, as in, for example, “Year of time 14 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)
    On the basis of Alan Gardiner’s statements and his clue, how do we interpret that Dyn. I inscription: “Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1”?
    It probably records some outstanding event of Dyn. I; plausibly that Sirius, the opener of the astronomical year, did so on the first day of the Inundation season, i.e., on the Civil New Year day. Which would mean that a coincidence of the Sirius New Year day and the Civil New Year day (day one of the civil calendar) occurred some time in Dyn. I. Such would be an outstanding event, an astrocalendrical event worthy of being noted, e.g. on an ivory tablet.
    Now, when would that have been? By all tenable accounts, Dyn. I ended long before the Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence of 2781 BC. The most aggressive down-dating, such as Helck’s and Scharff’s, which would place 2781 BC within Dyn. I, are untenable on such grounds as the Haas RC tests which require dating the Dyn. III pyramids before 3000 BC and the Great Pyramids of Dyn. IV before 2868 BC. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210) Therefore, the preceding Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence would have occurred during Dyn. I, and Mena’s “Year One” would be before 4241 BC. Alternatively, the even earlier coincidence year, 5701 BC, could have been within Dyn. I; and Mena’s “Year 1” would be close to the 5867 BC of Champollion or the 5892 BC of Lepsius. However, TL and RC dates for the start of the earliest farming villages in the Nile Valley, ca. 5500 BC, rule out this alternative. (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)
    If the above interpretation is correct and the ivory tablet inscription does indeed commemorate a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence during Dyn I; and if the coincidence was that of 4241 BC; then Mena’s “Year 1”, the date for his unification of Kemet, would be any time within 263 years of 4241 BC, 263 years being, according to the actual reign lengths given in Manetho, the duration of Dyn. I. It would thus lie within the band 4504-4241 BC.
    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    The BAG estimate for Mena

    Despite its provisional nature, what estimate for Mena is still possible from the ca. 5580-3892 BC time span for the BAG era? Using the present (and tentative) closing date of ca. 3892 BC for the BAG, and taking Dyns. I and II as having lasted 565 years (the correct total in Manetho), and as having occupied the closing years of the BAG era, Mena would be placed at c. 4457 BC. It must be emphasized that this is subject to revision if the proper terminal date for the BAG era turns out to be later than 3892 BC. Nevertheless, the close proximity of 4457 BC to the 4443 ± 61 that was obtained by other independent methods is quite remarkable. Altogether, therefore, a mid-45th century BC date for Mena is as certain as can be, given the available evidence.
    The BAG estimate for Mena

    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    B1) Second estimate: from astro-calendrical evidence
    Dr. Charles S. Finch has made mention of “an ivory tablet from the 1st dynasty on which is inscribed the words ‘Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1’”. (Finch 1989: 349, n. 8) How do we interpret this laconic inscription?
    As Dr. Finch points out, it implies the existence of the Sirius calendar during Dyn. I. But beyond that, as shall now be demonstrated, it could be a record of an independently datable astro-calendrical event in Dyn. I.
    According to Alan Gardiner,

    Ivory tablets of Dyn. I revealed that in the beginning the years of a reign were not numbered, but were remembered . . . by some outstanding event that occurred in them. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)

    Gardiner further informs us that

    the heliacal rising of Sirius . . . came to be regarded as the true New Year’s Day . . ., the day with which ‘first month of Inundation (the first season), day one’ of the civil calendar ought always to have coincided. (Gardiner, 1961: 65)

    Gardiner also provides some clue for interpreting and more fully rendering the laconic statements of Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom inscriptions. According to him, the Dyn. II laconic inscription recorded on the Palermo Stone, “Time 4 of the count”, should be read as “Year of time 4 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. Similarly, even more laconic inscriptions of the form “Year time n” should be read as “Year of time n of the count of all oxen and small animals”. This is because the sense of such laconic dating was sometimes rendered in less laconic fashion, as in, for example, “Year of time 14 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)
    On the basis of Alan Gardiner’s statements and his clue, how do we interpret that Dyn. I inscription: “Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1”?
    It probably records some outstanding event of Dyn. I; plausibly that Sirius, the opener of the astronomical year, did so on the first day of the Inundation season, i.e., on the Civil New Year day. Which would mean that a coincidence of the Sirius New Year day and the Civil New Year day (day one of the civil calendar) occurred some time in Dyn. I. Such would be an outstanding event, an astrocalendrical event worthy of being noted, e.g. on an ivory tablet.
    Now, when would that have been? By all tenable accounts, Dyn. I ended long before the Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence of 2781 BC. The most aggressive down-dating, such as Helck’s and Scharff’s, which would place 2781 BC within Dyn. I, are untenable on such grounds as the Haas RC tests which require dating the Dyn. III pyramids before 3000 BC and the Great Pyramids of Dyn. IV before 2868 BC. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210) Therefore, the preceding Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence would have occurred during Dyn. I, and Mena’s “Year One” would be before 4241 BC. Alternatively, the even earlier coincidence year, 5701 BC, could have been within Dyn. I; and Mena’s “Year 1” would be close to the 5867 BC of Champollion or the 5892 BC of Lepsius. However, TL and RC dates for the start of the earliest farming villages in the Nile Valley, ca. 5500 BC, rule out this alternative. (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)
    If the above interpretation is correct and the ivory tablet inscription does indeed commemorate a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence during Dyn I; and if the coincidence was that of 4241 BC; then Mena’s “Year 1”, the date for his unification of Kemet, would be any time within 263 years of 4241 BC, 263 years being, according to the actual reign lengths given in Manetho, the duration of Dyn. I. It would thus lie within the band 4504-4241 BC.
    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    For example, dates for Ta-Seti artefacts found at Qustul together with Pharaonic paraphernalia, and particularly dates for those artifacts inscribed with pharaonic symbols, would be about nine generations before Mena, going by Bruce Williams’ conclusion in “Lost Pharaohs of Nubia”. (Williams, 1989: 102) Similarly, dates for Khasekhemui’s Dyn. II Fort at Nekhen would be after two dynasties after Mena. However, in the absence of absolute dates for these artifacts, indirect estimates are still possible.

    Note: 1877 BC, Year 7 of Senwosre III, is 135 years –13 (coregency) years from the start of Dyn. XII. Thus, the start of Dyn XII = 1877 + 122 = 1999 BC. As the Dyn. XII total is 206–r years, Dyn. XIII starts at 1793+ r BC.

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    Chinweizu [OKMT2][Jan. 99] Oct. 97 [Sept. 96] (Oct. 95) [Kmt2]
    Copyright © 1999 by Chinweizu Draft: Not for publication

    Dating Mena Absolutely:The Chinweizu Chronology
    (A fresh look at a problem that is about 25-centuries old.)

    I: The chronologies presented
    II: The chronologies compared
    III: Some implications of the CC
    IV: Dating Mena
    V: Constructing the CC
    VI: Project for dating Mena precisely
    VII: Appendix A: Analysis of data from king-lists and monuments
    VIII: Appendix B: Absolute dating techniques -- some observations

    Summary
    As this is a technical paper whose results are of first order importance for the discipline, a general summary is necessary for the untechnical reader.
    One of the most important but still unresolved questions in Nile Valley history is the date of the unification of Kemet (the Egypt of the Pharaohs), Mena’s Year One. Estimates by Egyptologists range from Lepsius’ 5892 BC and Champollion’s 5867 BC down to Helck’s 2955 BC and Scharff’s 2850 BC: they cover an amazing range of 3,000 years! Some 2,500 years ago, Herodotus estimated it at what would be ca. 12000 BC!
    Mena’s date is important in world history, for it is the date of the founding of Kemet’s Pharaonic state, one of the earliest of the pioneer states in history, and incontestably the grandest, most long-lived and most influential of them all. And with its lasting, at a minimum, for between 3,000 and 4,000 years, its only near rival in longevity, in all of history, has been the Chinese state.
    Mena’s date is also important for North African and Mediterranean historiography, and particularly for the Nile Valley: if it was determined, most of the problems in Kemetic chronology would be decidable, using the remnants of the various king-lists, the monuments and astronomical data. And all the chronologies that are based on Kemetic chronology would be made more accurate.
    Surprisingly, therefore, it remains undetermined in this age of absolute dating by radiocarbon (RC), thermoluminescence (TL) and other techniques. Instead, recourse is still had to “downdating” and “updating” by arbitrary principles and ideological prejudices. So long as datable materials exist, or can be obtained, from the late predynastic and the early dynastic periods of Kemet, and so long as they have not been absolutely dated, decisive work remains to be done.
    What follows is a re-examination of the data for determining Mena’s date. What emerges is that three independent lines of evidence converge to situate it in the 45th century BC. First, a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence in Dyn. I locates it somewhere in the period 4504-4241 BC. Second, an archeological upper limit, based on the absolute date for the first occupation level of one of the earliest farming villages in Kemet’s territory, point to its being after ca. 4580 BC. And third, a fresh and detailed review of the data from the king-lists and the monuments puts it at before ca. 4381 BC. These overlap to place Mena somewhere in the interval 4504-4382 BC, i.e. 4443 ± 61 BC. Furthermore, a fourth calculation, based on art history, independently gives a date of ca. 4457 BC for Mena. When calculations based on four different kinds of evidence -- astro-calendrical, archeological, king-lists and monuments, art historical -- all converge on the 45th century BC, that date for Mena becomes as certain as can be.
    From these results, a chronology is derived. This chronology, the Chinweizu Chronology, and the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies, are tested to see which gives the best fit for several independently dated events. A project is then proposed to pinpoint Mena’s date by obtaining TL and RC dates for selected materials from the predynastic and early dynastic eras.
    The chronology here proposed is upheld by six independent tests, including those based on dendrochronology and radiocarbon techniques. Among other consequences, it demolishes the Mesopotamian stimulus dogma, it indicates that the two predynastic kingdoms which Mena unified were both located outside the delta, and it results in a First Intermediate Period (FIP) that is eight centuries long. The reason for such a long FIP, and for the associated Kemetic colonization of Greece and Mesopotamia in the 3rd Millennium BC, is ecological. Data produced by the earth sciences since 1980 show that there was a phase of disastrously low Niles, which lasted at lease five centuries, and was associated with the drying up of the Sahara: both of these effects were produced by shifts in the wind system across Africa. These underlying ecological phenomena are the subject of another paper titled “Nile level profile: 8000-1000 BC”.

    Part I: The astro-calendrical evidence
    Dr. Charles S. Finch has made mention of “an ivory tablet from the 1st dynasty on which is inscribed the words ‘Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1’”. (Finch 1989: 349, n. 8) How do we interpret this laconic inscription?
    As Dr. Finch points out, it implies the existence of the Sirius calendar during Dyn. I. But beyond that, as shall now be demonstrated, it could be a record of an independently datable astro-calendrical event in Dyn. I.
    According to Alan Gardiner,

    Ivory tablets of Dyn. I revealed that in the beginning the years of a reign were not numbered, but were remembered . . . by some outstanding event that occurred in them. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)

    Gardiner further informs us that

    the heliacal rising of Sirius . . . came to be regarded as the true New Year’s Day . . ., the day with which ‘first month of Inundation (the first season), day one’ of the civil calendar ought always to have coincided. (Gardiner, 1961: 65)

    Gardiner also provides some clue for interpreting and more fully rendering the laconic statements of Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom inscriptions. According to him, the Dyn. II laconic inscription recorded on the Palermo Stone, “Time 4 of the count”, should be read as “Year of time 4 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. Similarly, even more laconic inscriptions of the form “Year time n” should be read as “Year of time n of the count of all oxen and small animals”. This is because the sense of such laconic dating was sometimes rendered in less laconic fashion, as in, for example, “Year of time 14 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)
    On the basis of Alan Gardiner’s statements and his clue, how do we interpret that Dyn. I inscription: “Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1”?
    It probably records some outstanding event of Dyn. I; plausibly that Sirius, the opener of the astrono-mical year, did so on the first day of the Inundation season, i.e., on the Civil New Year day. Which would mean that a coincidence of the Sirius New Year day and the Civil New Year day (day one of the civil calendar) occurred some time in Dyn. I. Such would be an outstanding event, an astro-calendrical event worthy of being noted, e.g. on an ivory tablet.
    Now, when would that have been? By all tenable accounts, Dyn. I ended long before the Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence of 2781 BC. The most aggressive down-dating, such as Helck’s and Scharff’s, which would place 2781 BC within Dyn. I, are untenable on such grounds as the Haas RC tests which require dating the Dyn. III pyramids before 3000 BC and the Great Pyramids of Dyn. IV before 2868 BC. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210) Therefore, the preceding Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence would have occurred during Dyn. I, and Mena’s “Year One” would be before 4241 BC. Alternatively, the even earlier coincidence year, 5701 BC, could have been within Dyn. I; and Mena’s “Year 1” would be close to the 5867 BC of Champollion or the 5892 BC of Lepsius. However, TL and RC dates for the start of the earliest farming villages in the Nile Valley, ca. 5500 BC, rule out this alternative. (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)
    If the above interpretation is correct and the ivory tablet inscription does indeed commemorate a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence during Dyn I; and if the coincidence was that of 4241 BC; then Mena’s “Year 1”, the date for his unification of Kemet, would be any time within 263 years of 4241 BC, 263 years being, according to the actual reign lengths given in Manetho, the duration of Dyn. I. It would thus lie within the band 4504-4241 BC.
    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    Part II: The archeological evidence

    Only Thermoluminescence (TL) or Radiocarbon (RC) dates for materials archeologically associated with state artefacts and architecture would directly date the stages of the evolving Pharaonic state. For example, dates for Ta-Seti artefacts found at Qustul together with Pharaonic paraphernalia, and particularly dates for those artefacts inscribed with pharaonic symbols, would be about nine generations before Mena, going by Bruce Williams’ conclusion in “Lost Pharaohs of Nubia”. (Williams, 1989: 102) Similarly, dates for Khasekhemui’s Dyn. II Fort at Nekhen would be 565 years or less after Mena, going by Manetho. And dates for Dyn. I artefacts, if identifiable with specific reigns, would practically pinpoint Mena’s date. However, in the absence of absolute dates for such artefacts, indirect estimates are still possible, based on the dates of first occupation for the earliest farming villages in the territory of Kemet. These yield an upper limit for Mena.

    Estimate of upper limit for Mena

    Mena’s date cannot be earlier, or even as early as, the earliest stratum of farming settlement at Nekhen, the town from which he extended his rule to all of Kemet. In the absence of TL and RC dates for that stratum at Nekhen, a probably adequate approximation is that he cannot be earlier than the earliest settlement stratum of any of the earliest farming villages of Upper Kemet. At present, the earliest known is at Hemamieh, with a TL date of ca. 5580 ± 420 BC. (Hoffman, 1984: 141) This would rule out all dates for Mena that are earlier than the mid-6th millennium BC.
    If we allow at least 1,000 years for the evolution of the oldest Nile Valley farming villages before their final unification by Mena, that would place Mena sometime after ca. 4580 BC. Now, would 1,000 years be too short for the predynastic period? Would it imply an impossibly rapid evolution? Probably not, especially when we consider similar evolutions elsewhere. In the case of Rome, it took just some four centuries (ca. 650-ca. 250 BC) for three not-long-settled farming villages to unify and dominate all of central and southern Italy. By that Roman yardstick, the march from Nile Valley farming villages to the Pharaonic state could have happened within 400 years! Hence, allowing at least 1,000 years for the predynastic period is comparatively quite conservative. This would put Mena, provisionally, after ca. 4580 BC.

    Part III: Evidence of King-lists and Monuments

    On matters of chronology, the best available sources are Manetho (M), the Turin Canon (T), and data from the monuments as presented by Gardiner (G) in his Egypt of the Pharaohs. Manetho has been so corrupted by his excerptors that, in some passages, it is almost impossible to exhume what Manetho himself wrote down. The Turin Canon is badly fragmented and full of lacunae. The monuments have their own deficiencies. They have the supreme weakness of incompleteness, due to lost, damaged or otherwise unavailable monuments. Furthermore, they are unhelpful about interregnums and parallel rulers in different segments of the country. Thus, they may not be used, as Gardiner tends to do, to automatically overrule the king-lists, especially when the monuments-total for a dynasty is less than its king-list total. And even when the monuments-total exceeds that of the king-lists, the former may not be presumed to be accurate: both may be distorted by not taking into account coregencies or rival dynasties occupying different parts of the land. In this situation, where no type of source has an inherent and automatic superiority, there is a need to rigorously compare the data from M, T and G, dynasty by dynasty, and even king by king, and sort out which seems best on each point, and then adopt it. Alas, that is the most that can be done with the fragmented material available.
    In then constructing the chronology, an absolute respect for primary data is called for. First of all, dynastic totals must be checked for arithmetical errors and corrected, where necessary, from the individual reign lengths. Secondly, one can either accept or reject a figure, but must not increase or reduce it, or otherwise gerrymander it, to fit a preconceived notion of the situation. One does not solve a jigsaw puzzle by trimming some pieces and stretching others. So, if a king-list gives x as a reign length, you don’t turn it into x+1 or x-1 just so that it can fit into a gap. Thirdly, the same respect must extend to numbers that are not available. You don’t assign some arbitrary number of years to a pharaoh so that some event will be at a desirable date. We, alas, don’t have that figure, and that should be that! Fourthly, if there is independent evidence of a coregency, then taking it into account when adding up the two affected reigns is a legitimate case of taking relevant facts into account. But, then again, you don’t tamper with the length of the coregency just so as to make things “fit”. Fifthly, where there is clear evidence of kingless years or dynastic overlaps, and definite lengths or minimum estimates are available in the records, these must be used to modify the numbers from the king-lists and monuments. It is only by such stringent and abstemious rules of procedure that the best can be gotten out of the available data.
    By following the above procedure, the following dynastic totals have been obtained:

    Table of Turin, Manetho and Monuments Totals










































































































    Dynasties
    Turin (T)
    Manetho (M)
    Monuments (G)
    Best total & Source*
    I - V
    955(?)
    1281
    ----
    1281 (M)
    VI
    181
    197 (Real total)
    ----
    197 (M) and
    9+ (T/G)**
    = 206+ (M/T/G)
    VII - X (FIP: 1st Intermed. Period)
    ----
    740
    ----
    740 (M)
    XI
    143/160+
    43
    ----
    160+ (T)
    XII
    213
    176
    184+
    206– (T/G)***
    XIII - XVII (SIP: 2nd Intermediate Period)
    130+; 157+; 177+; 185+; 193+; 211 (Six alternatives)
    604
    £ 211 (Based on Sirius dates and monuments)
    £211 (G)
    XVIII - XIX
    ----
    493
    379+/384+
    493 (M)
    XX
    ----
    135
    97+
    135 (M)
    XXI
    ----
    114
    ----
    114 (M)
    XXII (TIP: 3rd Intermed. Period)
    ----
    116
    194+/210+(?)
    116 (M)
    XXIII “
    ----
    58 (minus Zet)
    23+
    58 (M)
    XXIV “
    ----
    6 (Bochchoris)
    8 (Tefnakhte/Pian-khy interregnum)
    8 (G)
    XXV Nubian
    ----
    40
    52
    40 (M)
    XXVI Saite
    ----
    150
    139
    150 (M)

    (M): Source (Manetho, 1940); (T) & (G): Source (Gardiner, 1961: Appendix)
    *For details of the calculations and choices made, see Appendix A.
    **T gives five kings with 9+ years after M’s last; and G gives monumentary evidence for one of these.
    ***Taking into account some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.
    ================================================================

    Using the best of these dynastic totals, and calculating from 1872 BC, the independently established Yr 7 of Senwosre III (Gardiner, 1961: 65-67), the result is that Mena’s Year 1 must be ca. 4381+ BC, i.e. before 4381 BC.

    Part IV: Result of Parts I, II & III

    From the foregoing reexamination of the evidence, the king-lists and monuments give Mena’s date as ca. 4381+ BC, i.e. before 4381 BC; archeological data give it as after 4580 BC; and astro-calendrical data give it as ca. 4504-4241 BC. These ranges overlap in the interval 4504-4382 BC, i.e. 4443 ± 61 BC. Now, for evidence of three independent types to converge on the 45th century BC is remarkable.
    It is time now to make the art history estimate for Mena’s date, and compare it with the 4443 BC that has just been obtained.

    Part V: The Art History estimate

    This estimate for Mena’s date is based on TL and RC dates for the Badarian-Amratian-Gerzean (BAG) culture era. Dates from Hemamieh, Badari and Nekhen, three locations associated with BAG artefacts, are the basis for this calculation. Hemamieh is of special importance because, as Gardiner says, Badarian, Amratian and Gerzean layers have been found in stratification there. Describing the situation there, Hoffman says:

    Hemamieh is . . . the first and, to date, only well-stratified Predynastic site excavated in Egypt, boasting a sequence running from Badarian on the bottom, through Amratian, to Gerzean at the top (ca. 5000-3500 BC). The lowest stratum of Badarian materials, 6½ feet beneath the surface, was sealed by a foot of sterile breccia. Above the breccia was more Badarian material, then a mixed stratum overlaid by Amratian and Gerzean pottery. . . .(Hoffman, 1984: 141)

    Hoffman also reports that

    Recent radiocarbon estimates performed. . . on a number of Upper Egyptian Predynastic sites have raised the possibility that Badarian and Amratian might overlap, at least partially, in time . . . (Hoffman, 1984: 141)

    The stratification in space at Hemamieh, and the overlap in time in different locations, together require that the entire BAG phenomenon be reinterpreted. And it is this reinterpretation which makes possible the determination of Mena’s date from the duration of the BAG era. In order to make the calculation, it is necessary to determine the time span of the BAG era, and the political periods it spanned.

    The time span of the BAG era

    The data for the three farming locations are as follows: (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)

    Hemamieh (TL): Badarian level 5580 ± 420 BC --- 6½ foot level, below the breccia;
    Amratian level 4450 ± 365 BC --- 5-5½ foot level, above the breccia;
    Gerzean level 4360 ± 355 BC --- 3½-4 foot level
    Badari (RC): Badarian material/not at first occupation level 3920 ± 190 BC
    Nekhen (RC): Badarian material/not at first occupation level 3892 ± 108 BC

    Note that Amratian and Gerzean levels at Hemamieh predate some of the Badarian levels at Nekhen and Badari. Clearly, the local stratification at Hemamieh does not translate into layered cake stratification everywhere, with Badarian ending all over Kemet before Amratian began; and Amratian ending all over Kemet before Gerzean began. This suggests that we should regard Badarian, Amratian and Gerzean as variant styles within the entire period; as styles which sometimes appear synchronously in different places, with no Nile-Valley-wide layered cake temporal sequencing.
    The TL and RC dates displayed above are those so far available for the BAG era. They range between ca. 5580 BC and ca. 3892 BC. But they are not necessarily the boundary dates of the BAG era. Without a larger and more representative set of TL and RC dates for the earliest and for the latest BAG artefacts, the boundary dates of the BAG era cannot be precisely determined. It cannot be over-emphasized that dates for Mena which derive from these particular boundary dates are provisional.

    The political span of the BAG era

    It should not be presumed that the BAG era was entirely Predynastic, especially as there is considerable evidence of stylistic continuities between Predynastic BAG artefacts and Early Dynastic artefacts. In fact, as the following examples show, some Early Dynastic artefacts have indeed been indistinguishable from definitive BAG artefacts.

    a) The Gebel el Arak knife, according to Hoffman, “apparently dates to the Late Gerzean or Protodynastic”. (Hoffman, 1984: 340) This inability to place it in one and not the other period is evidence of the lack of a hard stylistic distinction between these periods.

    b) Commenting on a photograph of a miniature groundstone vase, Hoffman says: “Stone vase grinding developed as a full-time craft during the Gerzean and reached a peak under the first two dynasties”. (Hoffman, 1984: 342)

    c) In emphasizing the continuities between Badarian, Amratian and Gerzean styles, Alan Gardiner points to their burial arrangements as basically unchanged. (Gardiner, 1961: 393). And Hoffman carries the picture of continuity forward into the protodynastic era when he notes that the tombs of “Protodynastic kings at Abydos, although much larger than the (Predynastic/Late Gerzean) Painted Tomb, are built according to the same plan”. (Hoffman, 1984: 335)

    d) Gardiner also notes that the commemorative palettes, of which the famous Narmer Palette is one, “belonged to the very latest predynastic times, if not in some cases to the protodynastic.” (Gardiner, 1961: 393)

    e) Similarly, there was a continuity in copper tools and ornaments, from Badarian into protodynastic times. Hammered and annealed copper objects were found in Badarian graves (Hoffman, 1984: 143); in both Badarian and Amratian sites (Hoffman, 1984: 207); and from Dyn. I at Saqqara (Hoffman, 1984: 153).

    f) In architecture, Hoffman cites evidence of predynastic-to-protodynastic continuities, including the following: “At El Amrah . . . Petrie found a miniature clay model of a house in a grave of Gerzean date that looks like a typical Dynastic mud-brick dwelling . . . Baumgartel mentions a Gerzean rectangular house with typical dynastic room and forecourt plan under the temple at Badari . . .” (Hoffman, 1984: 148)

    Such continuities and, more importantly, the lack of clear discontinuities, support Hoffman’s contention that “the change from Predynastic to Dynastic society was largely organizational and political, not technological and cultural . . .” (Hoffman, 1984: 17.) In fact, no evidence of a technological break occurs until the transition from Dyn. II to Dyn. III, from the protodynastic period to the Pyramid Age. The Step Pyramid of Djoser is the most spectacular evidence that a new techno-cultural era began with the start of Dyn. III. At that point, Hoffman, says, “there was a change in the nature of royal power as well as in art and burial customs.” (Hoffman, 1984: 351)
    We may therefore conclude that the BAG era spanned both the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods, lasting from the beginning of Nile Valley farming villages, as at Hemamieh, till the end of Dyn. II. The BAG era was, thus, the cultural context for the evolution and consolidation of the Pharaonic state. The date for Mena’s unification of Kemet, Mena’s Year One, would thus lie within its full time span.

    The Mena estimate

    Despite its provisional nature, what estimate for Mena is still possible from the ca. 5580-3892 BC time span for the BAG era? Using the present (and tentative) closing date of ca. 3892 BC for the BAG, and taking Dyns. I and II as having lasted 565 years (the correct total in Manetho), and as having occupied the closing years of the BAG era, Mena would be placed at c. 4457 BC. It must be emphasized that this is subject to revision if the proper terminal date for the BAG era turns out to be later than 3892 BC. Nevertheless, the close proximity of 4457 BC to the 4443 ± 61 that was obtained by other independent methods is quite remarkable. Altogether, therefore, a mid-45th century BC date for Mena is as certain as can be, given the available evidence.

    Part VI: The Chinweizu Chronology

    From the best of the kinglist/monuments dynastic totals, and using three pegs [ 525 BC; 1872 BC; and 4443 BC], the starting date for each dynasty has been calculated to give The Chinweizu Chronology. It is displayed below, side by side with the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies, for comparison.

    The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies`¢













































































































































































































    Kinglist/Monument (M; T; G)
    Chinweizu
    Bernal*
    Gardiner**
    Dynasty
    Duration (years)
    Starting date (BC)
    Starting date (BC)
    Starting date (BC)
    I Early Dynastic
    263 (M: Real total)
    4443±61
    3400
    3100 ± 150
    II “
    302 “
    4180
    3200
    -----
    III Old Kingdom
    214 “
    3878
    3000
    2700
    IV “
    284 “
    3664
    2920
    2620
    V “
    218 “
    3380
    2800
    2480
    VI “
    206+ (M/T/G)
    3162
    2630
    2340
    VII FIP
    0 (70 days) (M)
    2956-
    2470
    -----
    VIII “
    146 “
    2956-
    2470
    -----
    IX “
    409 “
    -----
    2440
    -----
    X “
    185 “
    2339+
    -----
    -----
    XI Middle K’dom
    160+ (T/Bernal)
    2154+
    2140
    2134
    XII “
    206– (T/G)
    1994
    1979
    1991
    XIII SIP
    Total SIP = 149+;
    1788+ ***
    1801
    1786
    XIV “
    130 £ SIP £ 211
    -----
    -----
    -----
    XV “

    -----
    1750
    -----
    XVI “

    -----
    -----
    -----
    XVII “

    -----
    -----
    -----
    XVIII New K’dom
    284 (M: Real total)
    1639
    1567
    1575
    XIX “
    209 “
    1355
    1320
    1308
    XX “
    135 (M)
    1146
    1200
    1184
    XXI “
    114 (M: Real total)
    1011
    -----
    1087
    XXII TIP
    116 “
    897
    -----
    945
    XXIII “
    58 (M/Petrie)
    781
    -----
    817(?)
    XXIV “
    8 (G)
    723
    -----
    720
    XXV Late K’dom
    40 (M)
    715
    -----
    716
    XXVI “
    150 (M)
    675
    -----
    664
    Persian conquest
    ----
    525
    525
    525

    `¢ For a comparative evaluation of these chronologies, see Appendix B.
    M = Manetho; T = Turin; G = Monuments as by Gardiner.
    * Source: (Bernal, 1991: xxviii)
    ** Source: (Gardiner, 1961: 430-451)
    *** Because of some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.
    ================================================================

    These three chronologies shall be evaluated in detail in Appendix B. However, it is pertinent to highlight here the chief attributes and merits of the Chinweizu Chronology. First of all, it is ultimately anchored on three independently established dates:

    1) 525 BC as the date of the first Persian conquest of Kemet, a date independently established and generally accepted.
    2) 1872 BC as Year 7 of Senwosre III of Dyn. XII. This is based on the testimony of the papyrus records and on astro-calendrical calculations.
    3) 4241 BC as a first dynasty date. This is based on an ivory tablet’s testimony and on astro-calendrical calculations.

    Furthermore, the Chinweizu Chronology passes six independent tests which the Bernal and Gardiner and other chronologies do not pass, namely:

    · The Haas test: that Dyn. III begin before 3000 BC; this is implied by some RC results. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210)
    · The Sneferu test: that the dates for the first ruler of Dyn. IV should fall within the range established by the calibrated radiocarbon method.
    · The Wadi Howar test: that events associated with a low Nile phase be dated at ca. 2900-2400 BC.
    · The Second Intermediate Period (SIP) test: that its duration be somewhere between 130 years and 211 years; these limits are derived from detailed analysis of the Turin Canon data, and from astro-calendrical calculations.
    · The Thera Eruption test: that 1628 BC, the independently established date for the Thera eruption, be Year 11 of some Pharaoh, as recorded in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. (Bernal, 1991: 328)
    · The Olympics test: that 776 BC, the year of the first Olympics, fall within the reign of Petubates of Dyn. XXIII.

    It should be noted that these tests apply to five different sections of the chronology -- the Old Kingdom, the FIP, the SIP, the New Kingdom, and the TIP respectively. Together, they test the key stretches of Kemetic chronology. A chronology which passes all six tests would be of good quality.
    It should, furthermore, be noted that the Chinweizu Chronology is basically Manethonian, in as much as its dynastic details are primarily based on Manetho, with amendments by the Turin Canon and the evidence of the monuments. And in so far as its three anchor points are absolute rather than relative dates, it is an absolute chronology.
    A pinpoint date for Mena would sort out the extant chronologies, and improve the best of them. So, how might that kind of date be obtained?

    Part VII: Project for dating Mena more precisely

    Here is a sample of the diverse dates which have been proposed for Mena, each on its own grounds, in the last two centuries:

    Lepsius 5892 BC Mellaart 3400 BC
    Champollion 5867 BC Bernal 3400 BC
    Mariette 5004 BC Meyer 3315 BC
    Brugsch 4455 BC Gardiner 3100 BC
    Chinweizu 4443 BC The CAH 3100 BC (The Cambridge Ancient History)
    Petrie 4326 BC Helck 2955 BC
    Breasted 3400 BC Scharff 2850 BC

    They spread across some 3,000 years! All these alternative dates are nothing but the fruits of elaborate and valiant detective and jigsaw puzzle work, each proceeding from much-damaged data. They could all be wrong, and probably are! The only way to find out is to embark on the project now to be outlined. It calls for the TL and RC dating of appropriate materials, either materials already collected from previous digs, or fresh materials from digs yet to be undertaken.

    (A) For Mena directly

    Materials from 1) The Mena/Narmer tomb at Abtu [Abydos] (Hoffman, 1984: 270), and
    2) Neithhotep’s tomb at Naqada. As Neithhotep was a contemporary and relative of both Mena and his successor, Aha, her dates would pinpoint Mena’s. (Hoffman, 1984: 280, 322-323.)

    As controls for (A) the following would be required:

    (B1) Materials from undisturbed, stratified, occupation sites that go from Early Dynastic debris down to the Predynastic first occupation level. The best candidate for a fresh excavation would be Khasekhemui’s Fort at Nekhen -- unexcavated as of 1980 (Hoffman, 1984: 354) -- a Dyn II structure which sits on top of a Predynastic occupation site.

    (B2) Materials from Predynastic and Early-dynastic graves which would fix upper and lower limits for Mena.

    Upper limits: Materials from

    (i) Predynastic tombs in Abtu and Nekhen, and
    (ii) Predynastic Qustul

    Lower limits: Materials from

    (I) Early-dynastic tombs and mortuary temples at Abtu and Nekhen;
    (II) the Saqqara tombs of Early-dynastic Pharaohs;
    (III) the Helwan tombs of Early-dynastic courtiers

    Conclusion: Now, after 25 centuries of heroic guesses, Mena’s date could at last be absolutely determined by obtaining absolute dates for the above materials.
    ================================================================

    Appendix A

    This is the tedious heart of the calculations that produced the reign lengths used for the Chinweizu Chronology. Readers who have no taste for the toil, and who are content with the results already presented, may skip this section.

    Dyns I-VI: The monuments are no help. The Turin Canon is less than satisfactory because most of its totals are lost. Consequently, Manetho is the only unequivocal source.

    Is the Turin Canon’s restored and disputed total of 955 years to be assigned to Dyns I-V or Dyns I-VI (Gardiner, 1961: 67); or to Dyns I-VIII (Bernal, 1991: 207)?
    An inspection of the Turin Canon data presented in Gardiner’s appendix shows, at the end of Dyn. V:

    “T3.26 ‘Total. Kings from Meniti(?) to [Unis]’ lost.” (Gardiner, 1961: 435)

    At the end of Dyn. VI:

    “T4.14 ‘[Total] . Kings [from Teti to . . . ] 181 yrs.” (Gardiner, 1961: 436)

    Now, is there another entry after T4.14 that gives a total for Dyns I-VI? Or is the alleged 955(?) the restored entry for T3.26 , and thus the total for Dyns I-V? If 955(?) is indeed for T3.26, then Dyns I-VI would total 955(?) + 181, i.e. 1136(?) years!
    How trustworthy is the 955(?) total, regardless of where it should belong? As a restoration, and especially a restoration by ideologically fanatical downdaters, it cannot be assumed superior to the sum of the Manetho totals for each of the dynasties involved. These totals are:

    Dyn. I 263 years [Real total]
    Dyn. II 302
    Dyn. III 214
    Dyn. IV 284
    Dyn. V 218

    For Dyn. VI, an inspection of the Manetho and Turin Canon lists of names requires an amendment to the Manetho total. The Manetho real total is 197; however, Turin Canon gives five kings with 9+ years after Manetho’s last-named king; and the monuments give evidence for one of these. Therefore,

    Dyn. VI = 206+ years.

    Incidentally, if the broken total which has been restored as 955 years is for Dyns I-V, and if the Turin Canon’s Dyn. VI total of 181 years is then included in Gardiner’s calculations, his date for Mena would become 3189 (or 3289) BC + 181 = 3370 (or 3470) BC, which is close to Breasted’s 3400 BC. (Gardiner, 1961: 67)
    By the way, the Palermo Stone is no help at all in all this, as no totals have survived -- if ever it had them. Besides, calculations based on guessing its overall dimensions and the widths of the variable compartments are not worth much, despite their laudable ingenuity.

    Dyns VII-X: The First Intermediate Period (FIP). The Turin Canon and the monuments are of no help here. Manetho is, therefore, the only substantive source. His totals are:

    Dyn. VII 70 days
    Dyn. VIII 146 years
    Dyn. IX 409 years
    Dyn. X 185 years
    Total 740 years

    Some might quibble about this total. But is there any reason why such a long period of decline-stagnation-and-recovery would be impossible or improbable? After all, Europe’s Medieval Age – from the collapse of the Roman Empire through the Dark Ages and the Age of Feudal Stagnation to the beginning of Modern Europe – was just as long or longer (ca. 5th century AD to the 15th century AD: some one thousand years); and Africa’s current Holocaust Age has lasted some five centuries (15th to 20th century AD); and the Eastern Zhou period, when China crumbled into some 170 warring statelets, lasted some 550 years under nominal emperors. In that comparative light, Manetho’s 740 years for Kemet’s FIP is not implausible. Attempts to shorten it, without evidence, and on analogy with the Second Intermediate Period (SIP), must reckon with the fact that there are astro-calendrical data and Turin Canon data which together put an upper limit on the possible duration of the SIP, but there are no external controls (astro-calendrical, monumentary or kinglist) to challenge Manetho on the duration of the FIP. Pending the appearance of challenging data, Manetho should be accepted.

    Dyn. XI: The Turin Canon’s figure for the total has been variously read as 143 or 160+ years, by equally competent decipherers. Bernal’s argument for accepting 160+ are persuasive. (Bernal, 1991: 578, n. 74) In contrast, Manetho’s 43 years, given without individual reign lengths, is unpersuasive. Could it possibly have been 143, with his excerptors having, in error, left out the initial digit?

    Dyn. XII: The Turin Canon’s total is 213 years; the monuments give 199+/184+, taking coregencies into account; Manetho gives 176 = 160 + 16 for Amenemhe, who he places apart from Dyn. XII but who, conventionally, heads this dynasty. A detailed computation, based on Turin Canon, with supplements from the monuments when the Turin Canon figures are inexact, gives the following:

    Turin Canon G/Monuments Coregencies
    Amenemhe I 29 30 9 years
    Senwosre I 45 44 1 year
    Amenemhe II 30+ 35 3 years
    Senwosre II 19 6
    Senwosre III 30+ 33
    Amenemhe III 40+ 45 2(?) years }
    Amenemhe IV 9 6+ unspecified }= r years
    Sebeknofru 4 unspecified }
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total of the underlined 219 –(13+r) = 206–r

    Note: 1872 BC, Year 7 of Senwosre III, is 135 years –13 (coregency) years from the start of Dyn. XII. Thus, the start of Dyn XII = 1872 + 122 = 1994 BC. As the Dyn. XII total is 206–r years, Dyn. XIII starts at 1788+ r BC.

    Dyns XIII-XVII: For this, the SIP, the Manetho we have is at its worst. However, astronomical data and monumentary data provide grounds for making estimates of the duration of the SIP. The estimate that is needed here is the maximum possible duration of the SIP, which Gardiner has calculated as 211 years.
    The dates calculated for two recorded heliacal risings of Sirius are:

    Year 7 of Senwosre III 1872 BC
    Year 9 of Amenhotpe I 1536 BC (Gardiner, 1961: 65-66)

    These dates are on either side of the SIP. From the reign lengths and sequences based on the monuments and the Turin Canon, Gardiner has calculated that Dyn. XI ended ca. 1786 BC and Dyn. XVIII began ca. 1575 BC. Thus, the SIP lasted some 211 years. Other estimates, based on assorted analyses of the surviving totals on the Turin Canon, range from 130+ to 193+ years; at any rate, the six foreign kings of the Turin Canon totaled 108 years, making 108 < SIP £ 211 years.

    Dyn XVIII-XX: Manetho’s totals are Dyn. XVIII: 284; Dyn. XIX: 209; Dyn. XX: 135. These totals are determined by where Manetho actually divides the dynasties. Gardiner divides Dyns XVIII and XIX differently, and it is impossible to do a reign by reign comparison of the two, given the great divergence in the names and sequences of the kings as presented by the two. One is obliged to take one or the other in its entirety. Given how often Manetho is upheld in the other dynasties by other sources, it seems preferable to take Manetho’s totals here. Besides, Gardiner himself expressed confidence in Manetho’s lengths of reigns for Dyn. XVIII, despite the confusion in the names and sequences. (Gardiner, 1961: 242.)

    Dyn. XXI: Adding up the individual reign lengths, the actual Manetho total is 114 years. The monuments are no help.

    Dyns XXII-XXIV: For this, the Third Intermediate Period (TIP), a considerable sorting out is required. For Dyn. XXII, adding up the individual reign lengths, the correct Manetho total is 116 years. The monuments total is 194+/210+; but there is much confusion about this data, as Gardiner admits in frustration. (Gardiner, 1961: 333-334) So, these alternative totals from the monuments cannot be taken at face value.
    For Dyn. XXIII, accepting Petrie’s argument about Zet (Manetho, 1940: 161, n. 4), and Gardiner’s view that it was an error (Gardiner, 1961: 334), and therefore removing it, makes the Dyn. XXIII total 58 years.
    For Manetho, Dyn. XXIV consists of Bochchoris/Bekenrinef alone. For Gardiner, it consists of Tefnakhte (in whose time Piankhy intervened) and Bochchoris/Bekenrinef. But the reign of Bochchoris coincided with the first years of Shabako of Dyn. XXV. (Gardiner, 1961: 449, 450) Accordingly, the Dyn. XXIV total is the 8 years of Tefnakhte.

    Dyns XXV-XXVI: For this, the Late Kingdom or the Nubian-Saitean Renaissance, the Manetho total is 190 years and 6 months, and Gardiner’s is 191 years; this is because Gardiner, following the monuments, counts the last six months, which constitutes the entire reign of Psamtek III, as one year. Thus, both Manetho and Gardiner actually agree. Manetho breaks this down into 40 years for Dyn. XXV and 150 years for Dyn. XXVI.

    ************************************************************************
    Appendix B:

    The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies: A Comparison.

    For each proposed chronology, a validity test is how well it accommodates such independently dated or datable events as are not assumed in its own construction.
    There are 5 independently determined dates which are associated, in the extant records, with specified reigns, and sometimes with specific reign years of pharaohs; four other tests, which put certain events within or outside specific time bands, are also available:

    1. 1469 BC as a year in the reign of Dhutmose III of Dyn. XVIII;
    2. 1536 BC as Year 9 of Amenhotpe I of Dyn. XVIII;
    3. 1872 BC as Year 7 of Senwosre III of Dyn. XII;
    4. The year of the Thera eruption as year 11 of some pharaoh;
    5. 776 BC, the year of the first Olympics, as a year in the reign of Petubates of Dyn. XXIII;
    6. Two of the above dates, 1872 BC and 1536 BC, imply a maximum of 211 years for the duration of the SIP;
    7. The Haas Test, which is supplied by the radiocarbon results from some pyramids, requires that the Cambridge Ancient History dates for the Old Kingdom dynasties be raised by “at least 374 years”. (Bernal, 1991: 209.] This means that Dyn. III should start before 3000 BC.
    8. The Sneferu Test, which uses the raw RC results of 2850 ± 210 bc from Sneferu’s pyramid at Meydum. When calibrated, these radiocarbon years become 3770-3400 BC for Sneferu’s tomb.
    9. The Wadi Howar Test, which requires that events associated with a low Nile phase be dated at ca. 2900-2400 BC.

    Now, the 1872 BC test cannot be applied to any of these three chronologies, for they all assume it in their construction. Nor can the 1536 BC and 1469 BC tests be applied to them because of the confused state of the Manethonian names and sequences for Dyn. XVIII. This leaves us with six tests to apply to these chronologies. How do they perform?

    The Thera eruption test

    1628 BC is the date newly established – by dendrochronology, radiocarbon and ice core techniques – for the Thera eruption. (Bernal, 1991: 287-288) According to Bernal, the effects of that eruption are referred to in a note on the back of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (RMP) which “refers to the ‘voice of Seth’ and the ‘precipitation of Isis’ in the eleventh year of an unnamed pharaoh’s reign.” (Bernal, 1991: 328; 593, n. 80; 598, n. 21) Bernal goes on to say that Hans Goedicke has maintained that the pharaoh referred to was Ahmose, founder of Dyn. XVIII. However, on the Bernal chronology, which puts Ahmose at 1567 BC, 1628 BC cannot be Ahmose’s Year 11. Instead, Bernal argues for 1628 BC as Year 11 of the Hyksos pharaoh Apopi. But there are problems with this proposal. The scribe who made the RMP dated his manuscript to Apopi’s Year 33. Presumably, the note on its back which refers to these volcanic activities, if penned at the same time, would refer to an event of Apopi’s Year 11. Or it could even refer to Year 11 of some preceding pharaoh. But was it written down at the same time as the front of the RMP? It is possible that the note on the back was added much later, like anytime after Year 11 of some pharaoh subsequent to Apopi. So, the inference that it refers to Year 11 of Apopi is not conclusive.
    Furthermore, 1628 BC cannot be shown to be Year 11 of Apopi. Bernal makes it so only by the roughest approximation: by arbitrarily assigning 6 to 8 years to Khamudy who is presumed to be the successor to Apopi, and by starting Ahmose’s reign at ca. 1570 BC instead of the 1567 BC given on the Bernal Chronology. (Bernal, 1991: xxviii) Thus, strictly speaking, on the Bernal Chronology, 1628 BC is not Year 11 of Apopi, or of Ahmose, or of any known pharaoh. Which means that the Bernal Chronology does not pass the 1628 BC test.
    The Gardiner Chronology fares no better. His date for Ahmose’s founding of Dyn. XVIII is 1575 BC, so Ahmose’s Year 11 cannot be 1628 BC. Gardiner accepts the order of kings on a Memphis stela which places Apopi just before Ahmose. (Gardiner, 1961: 50, 160) If Apopi ruled for 61 years, as given in Manetho, then, on the Gardiner Chronology, 1628 BC was his Year 8!
    On the Chinweizu Chronology, 1639 BC is Year 1 of Ahmose for whom Manetho gives 25 years and whose highest date from the monuments is year 22. Thus, there was a Year 11 of Ahmose and, on the Chinweizu chronology, it falls exactly on 1628 BC. This exact fit between 1628 BC and Year 11 of Ahmose vindicates Hans Goedicke’s contention that the pharaoh in question was Ahmose.
    Thus, whereas the Gardiner and Bernal Chronologies do not pass the 1628 BC test, the Chinweizu Chronology passes it excellently.

    The Olympics test

    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the first Olympic Games of the Greeks, 776 BC, correctly falls within the reign of Petubates (Pedibaste) of Dyn. XXIII. (Gardiner, 1961: 449) On the Gardiner Chronology, Petubates’ reign of 40 years commenced in 817 BC, and would have ended in 777 BC; in which case the first Olympics would have been in the reign of his successor. The Bernal Chronology does not go as far down as Dyn. XXIII; it stops at Dyn XX. But on the Breasted Chronology, which is very closely matched with the Bernal Chronology for as far as the latter goes, Dyn. XXIII is dated 745-718 BC, (Manetho, 1940: 160, n. 2.) which would put the first Olympics in Dyn XXII!
    Thus, the Chinweizu Chronology passes the Olympics test while the others do not.

    The SIP £ 211 years test

    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the SIP is (1788 + r) – 1639 = (149 + r) years, where r < 13. So, the SIP < 162 years, which passes Gardiner’s SIP £ 211 years test.
    On the Bernal Chronology, the SIP = 1801 – 1567 BC = 234 years > 211 years. Of course, this test does not apply to the Gardiner Chronology which assumes SIP=211 years.
    So, the Chinweizu Chronology passes the SIP test and the others do not.

    The Haas test

    The Haas test, which is a consequence of some radiocarbon tests on the pyramids, requires that Dyn. III start before 3000 BC. On the Chinweizu Chronology, Dyn. III starts and ends well before the 3000 BC lower limit required for its start by the Haas Test. In contrast, the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies start Dyn. III in 3000 BC and 2700 BC respectively.
    So, the Chinweizu Chronology passes the Haas Test while the others do not.

    [h=2]The Sneferu test[/h]
    Four samples of a cypress beam from the tomb of the Pharaoh Sneferu at Meydum when analysed by this [Carbon –14] method gave an average age of 4802 ± 210 years; i.e., they indicated that the king was buried probably between 3060 and 2640 BC.”
    -- “Chronology: III Egyptian”, Encyclopaedia Britannica (1965), Vol. 5, p. 723.

    This date was obtained when the RC technique was quite new and the need for calibration was unknown. Subsequent calibration techniques required that dates of ca. 3000 BC be pushed back by about 700 years. Using the H. E. Suess calibration graph (Renfrew, 1978: 292), those dates calibrate into 3770 and 3400 BC.
    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the start of Sneferu’s reign of 24 years, was 3664 BC, which places the date for his accession, as well as that for his Meydum pyramid, within the calibrated RC range. The Chinweizu Chronology thus passes the Sneferu Test. The Gardiner and Bernal Chronologies clearly do not pass the test, since they start Dyn. IV, and hence Sneferu’s reign, at 2620 BC and 2920 BC respectively.

    [h=2]The Wadi Howar test[/h]
    Data developed since 1980 by the earth sciences indicate that, in the 3rd millennium BC, for at least five centuries, between ca. 2900 and 2400 BC, the Nile levels below Old Dongola were extremely low. This was principally due to the loss of the discharge from one of its main tributaries, the Wadi Howar, which drained western Nubia. In order to be valid, a chronology must be consistent with this phenomenon and, therefore, date events associated with a low Nile phase to the early 3rd millennium BC. That is the Wadi Howar test.
    On the Chinweizu Chronology, the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom each falls within a period of high Nile floods, while the FIP – with its famines, civil wars, collapsed central political authority and social upheaval – falls, quite appropriately, within that 3rd millennium period of disastrously low Niles. On the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies, however, the Old Kingdom, that great pyramid building era, falls within that resource-poor and starving period of disastrously low Niles. That implies the implausible conclusion that a desperately poor and famished population, torn by strife, carried out projects that required sustained and orderly effort and enormous resources. We must therefore conclude that the Chinweizu Chronology passes the Wadi Howar test while the Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies do not.

    These six tests clearly and strongly validate the Chinweizu Chronology. They actually validate its dates for different stretches of the chronology. The Old Kingdom stretch is validated by the Sneferu and Haas tests; the FIP is validated by the Wadi Howar test; the SIP is validated by the SIP test; the New Kingdom stretch is validated by the Thera eruption test; and the TIP by the Olympics test. And what is more, the Chinweizu Chronology is validated in the all-important Old Kingdom stretch where a valid absolute date is especially important if the down-dating impulse is to be curbed. If a reign year of Sneferu’s could be corelated with an absolutely datable astrocalendrical event, then, using data from the king lists, the range within which Mena’s date falls would be minimized.

    ************************************************************************
    [h=1]Appendix C[/h]
    An absolute upper limit for Mena: a Zodiac-Bull cult indicator.

    Knowledge of the twelve ages of the Zodiac gave rise to certain changes of state symbolism and royal cults in Kemet, from the bull cult in the Age of the Bull (Taurus), 4565-2410 BC, to the ram cult in the Age of the Ram (Aries), 2410-255 BC.
    When Kemet was founded, one of the Pharaoh’s symbols was the bull; Ptah, the chief god of the new capital Mennefer (Memphis to the Greeks), had the bull for a symbol; and the bull cult was the foremost in the land. During the Age of the Ram (Aries), the ram was the symbol of Amon, the dominant god of the age; the ram was sacred to Amon, the chief deity of Waset (Thebes to the Greeks), the then capital of Kemet. This is evidence of Kemetic sensitivity to the ages of the Zodiac, a sensitivity in keeping with their devoted attention to celestial seasons in sacred matters. This devotion was symbolized by their six-pointed Star of Creation which signified “As above, so below”, i.e. as in the celestial sphere, so too in the terrestrial.
    With this background in mind, the bull symbolism of the founding Pharaoh makes it most likely that Mena’s unification of Kemet took place in the Taurean Age, and not in the preceding Age of the Twins (Gemini). The unification of Kemet would have taken place not earlier than 4565 BC, which was when the Taurean Age began. We thus have another indicator of an upper limit to Mena’s date.
    Needless to say, on the Chinweizu chronology, Mena’s date, 4443±61 BC, falls within this limit. But so do all but the longest of the proposed chronologies, such as those of Lepsius, Champollion and Mariette. This limit does not, of course, materially affect the calculations made above for Mena’s date; but it is from an indicator of an unusual and interesting sort, and it validates the estimate of 1000 years from the first farming villages to the unification by Mena. Besides, it gives an absolute date, an astro-calendrical date, 4565 BC, for Mena’s upper limit.

    ************************************************************************
    [h=1]Appendix D[/h]
    [h=3]Absolute dating techniques: some observations[/h]
    There are three main types of absolute dating techniques:

    A] Astronomy techniques, which are based on calculating dates for astronomical events;
    B] Annalist techniques, which are based on counting a sequence of consecutive annual deposits or records of one sort or another, such as ice cores (varves), tree rings (dendrochronology) and historical annals;
    C] Radioactivity techniques (radiocarbon, potassium-argon, thermoluminescence etc.) which use radioactive materials to give a range of dates, together with the statistical probability of the event falling within the range.

    Astronomy techniques give precise results; annalist techniques give precise results in the range where the sequence is continuous; and radioactivity techniques, though the least precise, have the advantage of locating the range within which the precise date should fall. Where these three techniques are used in concert, and where their results are mutually consistent, the result is as scientifically unassailable as possible.
    The virtue of radiocarbon dating, and of dating by other radioactivity techniques, is to fix the range within which other methods (e.g. astronomy, annalist) can then be applied to pinpoint an event’s date. The statistical “scattering” (the ± number) is precisely what fixes the range; it is not an error but a guide, and a date which falls outside that range has a very high probability of being wrong.
    The proper use of radioactivity dating methods is to determine the time band within which an event occurred. In this regard, the 2s band is more useful than the s band, because it carries a 95% probability instead of 68%. Of course, the 2s band is adequate for most purposes, but a 3s band, with its 99.5% probability, is even more useful. In other words, any date outside the 2s or 3s band may, with confidence, be ruled out. The task, therefore, is to minimize the s by repeated measurements on the same sample material. For example, if s is reduced to 50 years, then the ±3s bandwidth is only 300 years. In which case, the technique would confine the date to within a 300 year band, with a 99.5% probability. It is then up to other techniques to more precisely locate the event within the 2s or 3s time band, thereby yielding as precise a date as is humanly possible.
    Those archeologists and ancient historians are in error who regard the “scattering” as reason for rejecting radiocarbon dates. These dates have the same validity as other statistically determined values, such as those of quantum mechanics and those of the actuary.
    The anti-radiocarbon crowd includes
    (a) the conservatives who still cling to old intellectual habits, and who resist the new, like Ptolemaists rejecting Copernican astronomy. Among these are Astrom, Gerald Cadogan. (Bernal, 1991: 278, 279)
    (b) the ideological crooks who accept RC dates when these support their dogma and reject them when they don’t, and who invent spurious arguments for doing so. Colin Renfrew, for example, accepted RC dating for Europe, but not for the Aegean and places to its east, on the claim that there existed a “fault line” in the domain of the technique. (Renfrew, 1978: 93, 115-116)
    (c) the diffidents who reinterpret their raw RC data so as to accommodate the traditional archeological authorities who cling to outdated techniques. (Bernal, 1991: ? )
    Egyptologists have, in the main, either evaded radiocarbon dating, or they have, like Renfrew, stuck to uncalibrated dates which happen to agree with their pre-radiocarbon dates and their prejudices. For example, the uncalibrated Sneferu date is still found in the latest books and encyclopaedias. Kemetology, in contrast, is dedicated to using the most accurate dating techniques.

    ************************************************************************
    [h=1]Appendix E[/h]
    [h=3]Some implications of the Chinweizu Chronology[/h]
    There are some old problems (P) which the Chinweizu Chronology helps to resolve and there are some new questions (Q) which it raises and helps to answer.

    [h=2]Old problems resolved[/h]
    P1] The Mesopotamian Stimulus: On the Chinweizu Chronology, Mesopotamia could not have stimulated or influenced the rise of a Kemetic civilization which preceded it by almost 2000 years! The direction of any demonstrable stimulus between the Nile and Mesopotamia would have to be from the Nile to Mesopotamia.
    If the Chaldeans (Kaldu) were indeed a colony of astronomers from Kemet, they would exhibit some Old Kingdom cultural traits. These should be investigated.

    P2] The date for Kush: This can approximately be determined. If the Qustul data implies that the first Pharaonic state emerged in Kush some 12 generations before Mena, that is some 300 to 400 years before Mena, then it would be dated to ca. 4850-4750 BC

    P3] The Nile delta, before Mena, was hardly inhabited. On the Chinweizu Chronology, Mena’s unification of Kemet occurred in ca. 4443 BC. And from the absolute dates available at present, Merimde, the earliest farming village in Lower Kemet, located on the edge of the Delta, was first settled ca. 4880 BC, and was occupied for some 650 years, i.e. till ca. 4230 BC when it was abandoned. (Hoffman, 1984: 169) The next two villages nearest to the delta were Fayum A, 4441+115 BC and Omari A, ca. 4000 BC. These dates and locations suggest – in the absence of any older datings from the delta proper—that the delta was a wilderness frontier at the time of the unification of Kemet, and was settled only in dynastic times. Thus, the two kingdoms which Mena unified were two sections of what became Upper Kemet. This will be argued in detail in Vol. II.

    P4] If Maadi was the “entreport” for far flung foreign trade contacts, as Hoffman seems to posit, (Hoffman, 1984: 201 ff.), then, by its radiocarbon dates, 3600-3000 BC, and by the Chinweizu Chronology, it was so only in the Old Kingdom, and its economy collapsed when demand from its royal patrons declined at the end of the Pyramid Age. Hoffman’s "Capitalist Maadians" (Hoffman, 1984: 213)would be just one more specialist community in the service of the Pharaohs, a community in Kemet, whereas others, such as the Phoenicians, were outside Kemet.

    [h=2]New questions raised and answered[/h]
    Q1] The length of the FIP: On the Chinweizu Chronology, the FIP, a period of political collapse which the extreme down-daters among Egyptologists would narrow down to a few decades, actually lasted some eight centuries! Why?

    Q2] The Kemetic colonization of Greece and the Aegean in the 3rd millennium BC: Why did it happen? And why did it end?

    Q3] The Kemetic colonization of Mesopotamia in the mid-3rd millennium BC: Why did it occur?

    The answers to these questions are interlinked, and are rooted in climatic changes.
    Why did the Kemetic state suffer a serious decline in the 3rd millennium BC, from the end of Dyn. VI till its power was revived and the country reunified by Dyn XI? And why, on the Chinweizu Chronology, was it a long decline of eight centuries?
    The answer is in the winds, in the system of winds which, at different periods, increased, reduced or even denied rain to the Ethiopian highlands, the central African great lakes and the southern Sahara, whence arose the three river systems (the Blue Nile, the White Nile and the Wadi Howar respectively) which supplied water to the Nubian and Egyptian Nile, that is, north of Old Dongola. As we shall see certain shifts in the positions of the westerlies and the southwest monsoons changed the patterns of rainfall in Africa in the 3rd millennium BC, and thereby disastrously reduced the level of the Nile flood for several centuries, before another set of wind shifts raised the flood level enough for Kemet to revive and thrive once more. The dessication of the Sahara, which has continued to this day, and which dried up the Wadi Howar for several centuries, was another concurrent result of those same shifts in the system of winds. The extremely low Nile floods which resulted became the thirsty backdrop to the famines and political collapse of the First Intermediate Period.
    On Greece and the Aegean, the hypothesis is that the centuries-long drought in 3rd millennium Kemet led to expeditions to colonize irrigatable regions of Greece for the purpose of growing grain, using those techniques with which the Kemites were familiar. The 3rd millennium hydraulic works and granaries (rundbauten) in Arkadia, Boiotia and other locations in mainland Greece, as well as the tomb of Alkmene and the stepped pyramid tomb of Amphion and Zethos (Bernal, 1991: chp. III?) would be the remains from that colonization. That colonial expedient was ended by two conjoined developments, namely, the revival of the Nile floods after ca. 2400 BC, and the climate events of ca. 2200 BC which brought catastrophic drought to a geographical zone which stretched from Europe to India. (Nadis, 1997:15) As a result of these changes, the colonization of Greece was abandoned.
    On Mesopotamia, the hypothesis is that the rise of Mesopotamian irrigation, towns and civilization was stimulated by Kemetic colonizers who went to the Euphrates delta to grow grain during Kemet’s centuries long drought of the 3rd millennium BC. Note that
    (a) the “royal” tombs of the first dynasty of Ur of the Chaldeans have been astronomically dated to ca. 26th century BC; (Diop, 1974:105)
    (b) the development of the Mesopotamian time reckoning has been traced back in cuneiform documents to the 27th century BC (Encyclopaedia Britannica [1993] Macropedia, Vol. 15, p. 420)
    (c) according to Diodorus report of what the Egyptians said, the Chaldeans were

    a colony of their priests that Belus had transported on the Euphrates and organized on the model of the mother-caste, and this colony continues to cultivate the knowledge of the stars, knowledge that it brought from the homeland. (Diop, 1974: 101)

    Detailed presentations on these issues will be made in Vol. II.

    ************************************************************************

    Bibliography

    Bernal, M. (1991) Black Athena, Vol. II, London: Free Association Books.
    Diop, C.A. (1974) The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality, Westport, Conn.:
    Lawrence Hill.
    Finch, C. S. (1989) “Science and Symbol in Egyptian Medicine: Commentaries on the Edwin Smith Papyrus,” in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Egypt Revisited, New Brunswick: Transaction, pp. 325-351.
    Gardiner, A. (1961) Egypt of the Pharaohs, London: Oxford University Press.
    Hoffman, M. (1984) Egypt Before the Pharaohs, London: ARK.
    Manetho. (1940) Manetho, tr. by W. G. Waddell, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
    Press (Loeb); London: Heinemann.
    Nadis, Steve (1997) “World History on Ice,” Technology Review, July 1997, pp. 14-15.
    Renfrew, C. (1978) Before Civilization, London (?): Penguin
    Williams, B. (1989) “The Lost Pharaohs of Nubia”, in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Egypt Re-
    visited, New Brunswick: Transaction, pp. 90-104.

    The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies`¢













































































































































































































    Kinglist/Monument (M; T; G)
    Chinweizu
    Bernal*
    Gardiner**
    Dynasty
    Duration (years)
    Starting date (BC)
    Starting date (BC)
    Starting date (BC)
    I Early Dynastic
    263 (M: Real total)
    4443±61
    3400
    3100 ± 150
    II “
    302 “
    4180
    3200
    -----
    III Old Kingdom
    214 “
    3878
    3000
    2700
    IV “
    284 “
    3664
    2920
    2620
    V “
    218 “
    3380
    2800
    2480
    VI “
    206+ (M/T/G)
    3162
    2630
    2340
    VII FIP
    0 (70 days) (M)
    2956-
    2470
    -----
    VIII “
    146 “
    2956-
    2470
    -----
    IX “
    409 “
    -----
    2440
    -----
    X “
    185 “
    2339+
    -----
    -----
    XI Middle K’dom
    160+ (T/Bernal)
    2154+
    2140
    2134
    XII “
    206– (T/G)
    1994
    1979
    1991
    XIII SIP
    Total SIP = 149+;
    1788+ ***
    1801
    1786
    XIV “
    130 £ SIP £ 211
    -----
    -----
    -----
    XV “

    -----
    1750
    -----
    XVI “

    -----
    -----
    -----
    XVII “

    -----
    -----
    -----
    XVIII New K’dom
    284 (M: Real total)
    1639
    1567
    1575
    XIX “
    209 “
    1355
    1320
    1308
    XX “
    135 (M)
    1146
    1200
    1184
    XXI “
    114 (M: Real total)
    1011
    -----
    1087
    XXII TIP
    116 “
    897
    -----
    945
    XXIII “
    58 (M/Petrie)
    781
    -----
    817(?)
    XXIV “
    8 (G)
    723
    -----
    720
    XXV Late K’dom
    40 (M)
    715
    -----
    716
    XXVI “
    150 (M)
    675
    -----
    664
    Persian conquest
    ----
    525
    525
    525

    `¢ For a comparative evaluation of these chronologies, see Appendix B.
    M = Manetho; T = Turin; G = Monuments as by Gardiner.
    * Source: (Bernal, 1991: xxviii)
    ** Source: (Gardiner, 1961: 430-451)
    *** Because of some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.

    ------------------------

    based on the dates of first occupation for the earliest farming villages in the territory of Kemet. These yield an upper limit for Mena.

    Estimate of upper limit for Mena

    Mena’s date cannot be earlier, or even as early as, the earliest stratum of farming settlement at Nekhen, the town from which he extended his rule to all of Kemet. In the absence of TL and RC dates for that stratum at Nekhen, a probably adequate approximation is that he cannot be earlier than the earliest settlement stratum of any of the earliest farming villages of Upper Kemet. At present, the earliest known is at Hemamieh, with a TL date of ca. 5580 ± 420 BC. (Hoffman, 1984: 141) This would rule out all dates for Mena that are earlier than the mid-6th millennium BC.
    If we allow at least 1,000 years for the evolution of the oldest Nile Valley farming villages before their final unification by Mena, that would place Mena sometime after ca. 4580 BC. Now, would 1,000 years be too short for the predynastic period? Would it imply an impossibly rapid evolution? Probably not, especially when we consider similar evolutions elsewhere. In the case of Rome, it took just some four centuries (ca. 650-ca. 250 BC) for three not-long-settled farming villages to unify and dominate all of central and southern Italy. By that Roman yardstick, the march from Nile Valley farming villages to the Pharaonic state could have happened within 400 years! Hence, allowing at least 1,000 years for the predynastic period is comparatively quite conservative. This would put Mena, provisionally, after ca. 4580 BC.

    -----------------------

    Gardiner and other chronologies do not pass, namely:

    · The Haas test: that Dyn. III begin before 3000 BC; this is implied by some RC results. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210)
    · The Sneferu test: that the dates for the first ruler of Dyn. IV should fall within the range established by the calibrated radiocarbon method.
    · The Wadi Howar test: that events associated with a low Nile phase be dated at ca. 2900-2400 BC.
    · The Second Intermediate Period (SIP) test: that its duration be somewhere between 130 years and 211 years; these limits are derived from detailed analysis of the Turin Canon data, and from astro-calendrical calculations.
    · The Thera Eruption test: that 1628 BC, the independently established date for the Thera eruption, be Year 11 of some Pharaoh, as recorded in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. (Bernal, 1991: 328)
    The Olympics test: that 776 BC, the year of the first Olympics, fall within the reign of Petubates of Dyn. XXIII.

    ===================

    Incidentally, if the broken total which has been restored as 955 years is for Dyns I-V, and if the Turin Canon’s Dyn. VI total of 181 years is then included in Gardiner’s calculations, his date for Mena would become 3189 (or 3289) BC + 181 = 3370 (or 3470) BC, which is close to Breasted’s 3400 BC. (Gardiner, 1961: 67)

    [h=1]The Chinweizu, Bernal and Gardiner Chronologies[/h]













































































































































































































    Kinglist/Monument (M; T; G)
    Chinweizu
    Bernal*
    Gardiner**
    Dynasty
    Duration (years)
    Starting date (BC)
    Starting date (BC)
    Starting date (BC)
    I Early Dynastic
    263 (M: Real total)
    4375±16
    3400
    3100 ± 150
    II “
    302 “
    4112
    3200
    -----
    III Old Kingdom
    214 “
    3810
    3000
    2700
    IV “
    284 “
    3596
    2920
    2620
    V “
    218 “
    3312
    2800
    2480
    VI “
    181 (T)
    3094
    2630
    2340
    VII FIP
    0 (70 days) (M)
    2913
    2470
    -----
    VIII “
    146 “
    2913
    2470
    -----
    IX “
    409 “
    2767
    2440
    -----
    X “
    185 “
    2358
    -----
    -----
    XI Middle K’dom
    160+x (T/Bernal)
    2173
    2140
    2134
    XII “
    206–r (T/G)
    2013
    1979
    1991
    XIII SIP

    ca. 1807-x+r
    1801
    1786
    XIV “

    -----
    -----
    -----
    XV “

    -----
    1750
    -----
    XVI “

    -----
    -----
    -----
    XVII “

    -----
    -----
    -----
    XVIII New K’dom
    284 (M: Real total)
    1639
    1567
    1575
    XIX “
    209 “
    1355
    1320
    1308
    XX “
    135 (M)
    1146
    1200
    1184
    XXI “
    114 (M: Real total)
    1011
    -----
    1087
    XXII TIP
    116 “
    897
    -----
    945
    XXIII “
    58 (M/Petrie)
    781
    -----
    817(?)
    XXIV “
    8 (G)
    723
    -----
    720
    XXV “
    44 (M/G)
    715
    -----
    715
    XXVI Late K’dom
    146 (M)
    671
    -----
    664
    Persian conquest
    ----
    525
    525
    525

    M = Manetho; T = Turin; G = Monuments as by Gardiner.
    * Source: (Bernal, 1991: xxviii)
    ** Source: (Gardiner, 1961: 430-451)
    *** Because of some unspecified coregencies at the end of Dyn. XII.

    B1) Second estimate: from astro-calendrical evidence
    Dr. Charles S. Finch has made mention of “an ivory tablet from the 1st dynasty on which is inscribed the words ‘Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1’”. (Finch 1989: 349, n. 8) How do we interpret this laconic inscription?
    As Dr. Finch points out, it implies the existence of the Sirius calendar during Dyn. I. But beyond that, as shall now be demonstrated, it could be a record of an independently datable astro-calendrical event in Dyn. I.
    According to Alan Gardiner,

    Ivory tablets of Dyn. I revealed that in the beginning the years of a reign were not numbered, but were remembered . . . by some outstanding event that occurred in them. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)

    Gardiner further informs us that

    the heliacal rising of Sirius . . . came to be regarded as the true New Year’s Day . . ., the day with which ‘first month of Inundation (the first season), day one’ of the civil calendar ought always to have coincided. (Gardiner, 1961: 65)

    Gardiner also provides some clue for interpreting and more fully rendering the laconic statements of Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom inscriptions. According to him, the Dyn. II laconic inscription recorded on the Palermo Stone, “Time 4 of the count”, should be read as “Year of time 4 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. Similarly, even more laconic inscriptions of the form “Year time n” should be read as “Year of time n of the count of all oxen and small animals”. This is because the sense of such laconic dating was sometimes rendered in less laconic fashion, as in, for example, “Year of time 14 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)
    On the basis of Alan Gardiner’s statements and his clue, how do we interpret that Dyn. I inscription: “Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1”?
    It probably records some outstanding event of Dyn. I; plausibly that Sirius, the opener of the astronomical year, did so on the first day of the Inundation season, i.e., on the Civil New Year day. Which would mean that a coincidence of the Sirius New Year day and the Civil New Year day (day one of the civil calendar) occurred some time in Dyn. I. Such would be an outstanding event, an astrocalendrical event worthy of being noted, e.g. on an ivory tablet.
    Now, when would that have been? By all tenable accounts, Dyn. I ended long before the Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence of 2781 BC. The most aggressive down-dating, such as Helck’s and Scharff’s, which would place 2781 BC within Dyn. I, are untenable on such grounds as the Haas RC tests which require dating the Dyn. III pyramids before 3000 BC and the Great Pyramids of Dyn. IV before 2868 BC. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210) Therefore, the preceding Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence would have occurred during Dyn. I, and Mena’s “Year One” would be before 4241 BC. Alternatively, the even earlier coincidence year, 5701 BC, could have been within Dyn. I; and Mena’s “Year 1” would be close to the 5867 BC of Champollion or the 5892 BC of Lepsius. However, TL and RC dates for the start of the earliest farming villages in the Nile Valley, ca. 5500 BC, rule out this alternative. (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)
    If the above interpretation is correct and the ivory tablet inscription does indeed commemorate a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence during Dyn I; and if the coincidence was that of 4241 BC; then Mena’s “Year 1”, the date for his unification of Kemet, would be any time within 263 years of 4241 BC, 263 years being, according to the actual reign lengths given in Manetho, the duration of Dyn. I. It would thus lie within the band 4504-4241 BC.
    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    [h=5]The BAG estimate for Mena[/h]
    Despite its provisional nature, what estimate for Mena is still possible from the ca. 5580-3892 BC time span for the BAG era? Using the present (and tentative) closing date of ca. 3892 BC for the BAG, and taking Dyns. I and II as having lasted 565 years (the correct total in Manetho), and as having occupied the closing years of the BAG era, Mena would be placed at c. 4457 BC. It must be emphasized that this is subject to revision if the proper terminal date for the BAG era turns out to be later than 3892 BC. Nevertheless, the close proximity of 4457 BC to the 4443 ± 61 that was obtained by other independent methods is quite remarkable. Altogether, therefore, a mid-45th century BC date for Mena is as certain as can be, given the available evidence.
    [h=5][/h][h=5]The BAG estimate for Mena[/h]

    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    B1) Second estimate: from astro-calendrical evidence
    Dr. Charles S. Finch has made mention of “an ivory tablet from the 1st dynasty on which is inscribed the words ‘Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1’”. (Finch 1989: 349, n. 8) How do we interpret this laconic inscription?
    As Dr. Finch points out, it implies the existence of the Sirius calendar during Dyn. I. But beyond that, as shall now be demonstrated, it could be a record of an independently datable astro-calendrical event in Dyn. I.
    According to Alan Gardiner,

    Ivory tablets of Dyn. I revealed that in the beginning the years of a reign were not numbered, but were remembered . . . by some outstanding event that occurred in them. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)

    Gardiner further informs us that

    the heliacal rising of Sirius . . . came to be regarded as the true New Year’s Day . . ., the day with which ‘first month of Inundation (the first season), day one’ of the civil calendar ought always to have coincided. (Gardiner, 1961: 65)

    Gardiner also provides some clue for interpreting and more fully rendering the laconic statements of Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom inscriptions. According to him, the Dyn. II laconic inscription recorded on the Palermo Stone, “Time 4 of the count”, should be read as “Year of time 4 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. Similarly, even more laconic inscriptions of the form “Year time n” should be read as “Year of time n of the count of all oxen and small animals”. This is because the sense of such laconic dating was sometimes rendered in less laconic fashion, as in, for example, “Year of time 14 of the count of all oxen and small animals”. (Gardiner, 1961: 70)
    On the basis of Alan Gardiner’s statements and his clue, how do we interpret that Dyn. I inscription: “Sirius, Opener of the year, Inundation 1”?
    It probably records some outstanding event of Dyn. I; plausibly that Sirius, the opener of the astronomical year, did so on the first day of the Inundation season, i.e., on the Civil New Year day. Which would mean that a coincidence of the Sirius New Year day and the Civil New Year day (day one of the civil calendar) occurred some time in Dyn. I. Such would be an outstanding event, an astrocalendrical event worthy of being noted, e.g. on an ivory tablet.
    Now, when would that have been? By all tenable accounts, Dyn. I ended long before the Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence of 2781 BC. The most aggressive down-dating, such as Helck’s and Scharff’s, which would place 2781 BC within Dyn. I, are untenable on such grounds as the Haas RC tests which require dating the Dyn. III pyramids before 3000 BC and the Great Pyramids of Dyn. IV before 2868 BC. (Bernal, 1991: 209-210) Therefore, the preceding Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence would have occurred during Dyn. I, and Mena’s “Year One” would be before 4241 BC. Alternatively, the even earlier coincidence year, 5701 BC, could have been within Dyn. I; and Mena’s “Year 1” would be close to the 5867 BC of Champollion or the 5892 BC of Lepsius. However, TL and RC dates for the start of the earliest farming villages in the Nile Valley, ca. 5500 BC, rule out this alternative. (Hoffman, 1984: 141-142)
    If the above interpretation is correct and the ivory tablet inscription does indeed commemorate a Sirius and Civil New Year coincidence during Dyn I; and if the coincidence was that of 4241 BC; then Mena’s “Year 1”, the date for his unification of Kemet, would be any time within 263 years of 4241 BC, 263 years being, according to the actual reign lengths given in Manetho, the duration of Dyn. I. It would thus lie within the band 4504-4241 BC.
    Now, if we knew the name of the king in whose reign the event commemorated on the ivory tablet took place, we could, from the king-lists (e.g. Manetho) almost pinpoint the year of Mena’s unification of Kemet.

    For example, dates for Ta-Seti artefacts found at Qustul together with Pharaonic paraphernalia, and particularly dates for those artifacts inscribed with pharaonic symbols, would be about nine generations before Mena, going by Bruce Williams’ conclusion in “Lost Pharaohs of Nubia”. (Williams, 1989: 102) Similarly, dates for Khasekhemui’s Dyn. II Fort at Nekhen would be after two dynasties after Mena. However, in the absence of absolute dates for these artifacts, indirect estimates are still possible.

    Note: 1877 BC, Year 7 of Senwosre III, is 135 years –13 (coregency) years from the start of Dyn. XII. Thus, the start of Dyn XII = 1877 + 122 = 1999 BC. As the Dyn. XII total is 206–r years, Dyn. XIII starts at 1793+ r BC.

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    [h=5]Chinweizu [OKMT44] (May 2002) (Feb. 98) Oct. 97 Sept. 96](Oct. 95) [Kmt1][/h]Copyright © 1997 by Chinweizu (Draft; not for publication)

    Igbo-Kemetic Correspondences: Parts I and II
    A Diopian exercise in mutual illumination by two Black African cultures.

    The way is open for the rediscovery of the vocalics of ancient Egyptian from comparative studies with the languages of Africa.
    -- Cheikh Anta Diop

    This paper shall examine some correspondences between elements of Kemetic culture (i.e. Black Egyptian or Pharaonic culture) and Igbo culture. Part I shall present some philological correspondences -- phonetic, semantic and concept-cluster correspondences between words from the two languages. Part II shall present correspondences from a variety of areas of culture, correspondences which are not necessarily philological. Part III shall present correspondences specific to the Pharaoh and the Nri kingships.
    How these correspondences arose – coincidence, loan of words and practices, dispersal of population, etc. – is a matter for subsequent inquiry. The establishment of correspondences is, indeed, the necessary preliminary to investigations of how the correspondences arose and what they imply. Correspondences are culture tracers. And a culture tracer is “a device which enables us to trace the source or derivation of cultural items which appear to be alien to a society.” [Afigbo, 1992:52] Subsequent inquiry shall explore the significance of these correspondences for Igbo culture history and historiography, as well as for Black World Studies.
    Diop’s theses that Black Africa has cultural unity, and that Kemet (Pharaonic or Black Egypt) is to Africa what Greece is to Europe, provide the basic context for this inquiry. Accordingly, of the correspondences between Igbo and many other African cultures, the Igbo-Kemetic deserve special attention in Igbo culture history.

    Part I: Philological Correspondences

    These are drawn from the following areas of life:

    A) Anatomy of personality or personality theory;
    B) Deities;
    C) Valuation: ethical, aesthetical and technical;
    D) Education, knowledge, enlightenment;
    E) Astronomy: dawn and dusk phenomena;
    F) Miscellaneous.

    I should point out that phonetic correspondences are based on the consonantal structures of words. This is because Kemetic writing uses consonants only; as a result, the vowels used by Egyptology in rendering a word are conjectural and those arbitrarily adopted by convention result in what has been called Egypto-speak. For the vocalizations and meanings of Igbo words, I am relying on a variety of Igbo dialects, and particularly on the Isuikwuato dialect, the one with which I am most familiar. Some of these phonetic correspondences are not easy to spot if any one Igbo dialect is used exclusively; a correspondence that is not apparent in one dialect may become apparent in some other. For example, consider Aha (Egypto-speak) and Aro (Onitsha) and Ahwa (Isuikwuato); or Herushu (Egypto-speak) and Alusi (Nri) and Erusi (Afikpo).

    [h=4]Igbo words and concepts with Pharaonic counterparts[/h]

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Chi (spirit double, procreative power, sun)
      [*]Eke (portion, destiny)
      [*]Chi-na-Eke (the twin gods of destiny)
      [*]Arusi/Erusi (demigod)
      [*]Ahu (body)
      [*]Obi (heart)
      [*]Ako (intellect, judgement, wisdom)
      [*]Ike (strength, power)
      [*]Ekwensu (mischief spirit, ‘devil’)
      [*]Ikenga (strength of the arm)
      [*]Mma (good, beautiful, just)
      [*]Mmanwu (masquerade)
      [*]Ima (to know)
      [*]Imu (to learn)
      [*]Ide (to write)
      [*]Otu (one)
      [*]Otu (union)
      [*]Anyasi/Enyasu (early night)
      [*]Ndi (things of/ people of)
      [*]Obu/obi (domestic temple)
      [*]Imenka (to carve, chisel)
      [*]Ime (inside)
      [*]Itu (to command)
      [*]Oto (upright)
      [*]Mmam (spirit)
      [*]Zibe (teaching)
      [*]Na (and, with)
      [*]Iru (face)
      [*]Evhu ala (viper)
      [*]Anwu (sun)
      [*]Ma/macha (measure)
      [*]Agha (battle, war)
      [*]Uma (character, behaviour)
      [*]Tomie (grow greatly)
      [*]Gwuo (dig)
      [*]Kuo (strike, hit)
      [*]Bu (is, are)
      [*]Eke (python)
      [*]Aku (wealth)
      [*]Isogbu (to trouble)
      [*]Tuo (make libation)
      [*]Imesu ozhu (to awaken the dead)
      [*]Ogbenye (poverty)
      [*]Mmanwu (masquerade)
      [*]Oyi (cold)
      [*]Ehi (cow)
      [*]Ahwa/aho (year)
      [*]Ebe (place)
      [*]Okhu (hot)
      ').'")."\n

    "'
    50. Ise (may it be so)

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Nwa mmadu (wellborn)
      [*]Umu ife/ndi ife (sons of light, the enlightened)
      ').'")."\n

    "'

    [h=4]53. Igbo names that are Kemetic words[/h]

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Eri
      [*]Nri
      [*]Ufere
      [*]Amobi
      [*]Isu
      [*]Ipeh
      [*]Khamannu/Khanu/Kanu
      ').'")."\n

    "'

    [h=4]Igbo doctrines and practices with Kemetic counterparts[/h]

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Divine kingship
      [*]Nrimenri doctrine of collective kingship
      [*]The Council of Thirty (Illimmadunato)
      [*]Eze Nri’s dwarfs
      [*]Osu temple sanctuary and ostracism
      [*]Obu/obi domestic temple
      [*]Nsibidi symbols and pictographs
      [*]The family compound complex
      [*]Ofo, the god of Truth, Justice and Righteousness
      [*]The Eri creation story
      [*]Rituals for opening the eyes and other senses
      [*]Dualities and dialectics
      [*]Persons consecrated to the gods
      [*]Pantheon structures – dyads and trinities
      [*]Orientation of sacred structures
      [*]Anatomy of personality
      [*]Efi alusi, the sacred bull
      [*]Pervasive power of oracles and diviners
      [*]Doctrine of the four fundamental elements
      [*]Death and resurrection doctrines and rituals
      [*]Doctrines and worship of the Sun god, Anyanwu
      [*]Doctrines “ Chi
      [*]Doctrines “ Chi-na-Eke
      [*]Doctrines “ Ekwensu
      [*]Doctrines “ arusi
      [*]Doctrine of masquerades as manifestations of gods and ancestors
      [*]Doctrines and practices on arbitration
      ').'")."\n

    "'

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]“ on wealth
      [*]“ on education
      [*]“ on a tripartite ontology
      [*]“ on suicide
      [*]Number symbolisms
      [*]Offerings in lots of seven and nine
      ').'")."\n

    "'

    A) Anatomy of personality or personality theory

    In the Kemetic anatomy of personality, there are nine component parts: one physical and eight spiritual. For five of the nine, I have found both phonetic and conceptual counterparts in Igbo. Three of the nine go under Igbo names that are phonetically different from their Kemetic counterparts, but denote the same concepts. For one of these nine, I have not yet found a conceptual equivalent in Igbo. But I believe that the experts in the Igbo science of the soul can supply it if such a part is still recognized in Igbo thought. Such a degree of correspondence, as is displayed below, is reason to believe that the two systems are identical, and that we have, in the Igbo, a remnant of the Kemetic. Here they are:

























    Kemetic*
    Igbo
    A1) Khat: The physical body as a whole; the mortal flesh-and-bone-and-blood that is subject to corruption and decay and is buried after death.
    Ahu: The physical body; as in ahu okhu = fever, i.e. hot body. (See Sahu:A2, below)
    A2) Sahu: The spiritual body, everlasting and incorruptible; a purified version of the human body which can ascend into heaven and dwell in the company of the gods.
    No conceptual equivalent.
    [Note that, in Kemet, there was, at times, a confusion of the Khat with the Sahu. (Budge, 1967: lxi) This confusion has, it seems, been carried over into Igbo, where ahu, the phonetic equivalent of Sahu, is used to denote the Khat, with a loss, it seems, of whatever word the Igbo might have earlier used for the Khat.]

    A3) Ab: The spiritual aspect of the heart; the heart as the seat of the power of life and the fountain of good and evil thoughts. It is the part of the person which is examined and weighed on the scales of righteousness in the judgment hall of the dead. It contrasts with Hati, the physical aspect of the heart that can be swallowed, wounded, etc.
    Obi: The heart as the location of feeling, moral character, conscience, scruples, thinking, courage, etc.; the non-physical aspect of the biological heart. As in phrases like Onye obi oma = a good-hearted person; Onye ma obi? = who knows the heart/feeling (of another)? Onye obi ikhe = a strong-hearted person. For Hati, the physical heart, the Igbo equivalent is Mkpuru obi = the seed of the heart.
    A4) Ka: The spirit double of a person; his image, genius, character. The personification of his fate or destiny, which decreed what should happen to him in life. It comes into being with the person and follows him throughout his life and, at his death, returns to the Divine Ka. It has “an absolutely independent existence. It could move freely from place to place, separating itself from, or uniting itself to, the body at will, and also enjoy life with the gods in heaven.” (Budge, 1967: lxi-lxii) The Divine Ka is equivalent to the Chukwu of the Igbo.
    Chi: The spirit director of a person. It is the keeper, personification of a person’s destiny, character, attributes. It dwells in the land of spirits. It knows the heart/mind/feeling (Chimaobi); protects or saves (Chiazor); arranges properly the affairs of its counterpart in the world of the living (Chiedozie). [Note: Ka was transcribed in Coptic and Greek in various vocalizations: Shai (Budge, 1967: cxxv); Shay (Lichtheim, 1980: 144, 151); Ke, Ki and Choi (Bernal, 1991: 264). The versions choi and ki establish a phonetic link between Ka and Chi.]
    A5) Khaibit/Khaba: The shade or shadow. It can be shut in, captured, confined, fettered, as in Khetami her khaibit mitmitu = who shut in the shades of the dead; and in sauti khaibit-a = let not be fettered my shadow.
    Onyonyoh: The shadow which may be captured or stolen by an enemy, through the evil eye; hence the fear of photography and the refusal to be photographed when photography was first introduced into Igboland.


    [TH]Kemetic*
    [/TH]
    [TH] Igbo
    [/TH]
















    A6) Ba: The soul or breath of life. It is symbolized by a human-headed hawk. It flies away at a person’s death, and flies back and reunites with his sahu at his resurrection. It has the power of metamorphosis, and changes its form at will. It could take any form or shape it pleased. It is eternal, and has the power of passing into heaven and dwelling with the perfect souls that abide there.
    Mmam/Mmuo: The spirit. It flies off to the land of spirits at a person’s death. It is believed to be “the very thing that flew out when a man died and perched on the head of the coffin on the way to the cemetery.” (Achebe, 1988:24) This is, surely, a variant of the Kemetic idea illustrated in many papyri where “the soul of the deceased in the form of a human-headed bird is seen hovering over the dead body.” (Budge, 1967:277, fn. 4 and Fig. 1.)
    A7) Akh/Akhu/Khu: The intelligence, mental perception and judgment, the analytic and reflective powers of a person. It was both the rational and ethical, and could be trained and disciplined. It was examined and weighed on the scale of justice against a feather on the judgement day of the dead person.
    Ako: That part of the person which is the seat of common sense and wisdom. In the dualistic noun phrase Ako na Uche, Ako is wit; the practical, operational intelligence; cleverness; common sense. Uche is the mind; the abstracting, theoretical intelligence or power of thought and understanding. Inwe ako na uche = being wise, sensible, intelligent, having sense; having “the manipulative ability to adjust to the fortunes and tracks of life.” (Nwoga, 1984: 47)
    A8) Sekhem: The vital force or power of a person. [Note: (1) Sekhem probably means se-khem, i.e. to make strong, which would give it a phonetic and semantic correspondence with the Igbo Sie-ikhe = grow strong; become strong. This would also establish a correspondence between Khem and the Igbo Ikhe. (2) The concept of a person’s “strong right arm” occurs in Kemetic. E.g., in the 15th c. BC, in Pharaoh Amenhotep II’s account of one of his victories, it is said: “There was none with his Majesty save himself and his strong right arm. His Majesty slew them with a shot.” (Gardiner, 1961: 201.)]
    Ikhe: Strength, force, power, authority.
    [Note: The Igbo concept of Ikhenga (Ikhe m’ji aga) = the strength or life force with which I go forth. It is symbolized by a sculpture, placed in a person’s private shrine, representing the person’s right hand (or left hand for the left-handed person), the repository of his active strength, his Aka-ikhenga. i.e. the arm of the strength with which I go forth.]
    A9): Ren: The name; an essential attribute for the preservation of a being, as, without a name, the person ceases to exist.
    Eha/Aha: The name. Its importance or function is noted by such sayings as Ahamefula = May my name not be lost. Should the name be lost or forgotten by all, then the person is truly dead and ceases to exist. Descendants are necessary to keep one’s name going and continually invoked. Similarly, the naming ceremony of a child is vital. It admits it into the human community, makes it a person in the community, a human with a name as distinct from an animal. Should a child die before its naming ceremony, it is not accorded the burial rites of a full member of the community. Thus, its name is a crucial part of the person.

    * (Budge, 1967: lviii - lxix); (Akbar, 1985: 126-127).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the Kemetic theory of personality, all these nine parts

    were bound together inseparably, and the welfare of any single one of them concerned the welfare of all. For the well-being of the spiritual parts it was necessary to preserve from decay the natural body; and certain passages in the pyramid texts seem to show that a belief in the resurrection of the natural body existed in the earliest dynasties.
    --(Budge, 1967: lxix-lxx)

    According to the Kemetic science of personality, after death, these nine parts of the personality were transformed into two: “The Ausar of a man” and the Krst. The Ausar is a compound of the eight spiritual parts of the anatomy, i.e. the Sahu, the Ka, the Ab, the Ba, the Khu, the Khaibit, the Sekhem and the Ren. (Budge, 1967: lxx, n.2) After death, these eight spiritual parts assembled in a form, the Ausar, that resembled the dead person exactly; whereas the Khat, the physical body, on being mummified, became the Krst (the Christ of Christianity in English). The Ausar received the honors and offerings made to the Krst, the mummified physical body. The Ausar then proceeded on the journey from the tomb to the judgment hall; and from there, if vindicated, journeyed on to heaven to join the immortal gods as a living soul, as a “God, the son of God”. All the gods in heaven welcomed the vindicated Ausar of the deceased and became his brethren.

    Speculation: Did the Igbo anatomy of personality also recognize the Krst and the Ausar of a man? And where, if at all, does the Igbo term “Ozhu”, meaning corpse, fit into this schema? “Zet, in Egyptian: the corpse purified and rigid”. (Diop, 1967: 190) Would ozhu correspond to Egyptology’s Zet/*Ozu(t)?

    The correspondences analyzed above fall into three groups:

    Group I: Ab--Obi; Ka/Choi—Chi; Akhu—Ako; Sekhem—Ikhe. These four pairs correspond both conceptually and phonetically.

    Group II: Khat—Ahu; Khaibit—Onyonyoh; Ba—Mmam/Mmuo; Ren—Eha/Aha. These four pairs correspond in concept only.

    Group III: Sahu—(?). There is no corresponding concept yet found.

    Needless to say, this degree of correspondence suggests that one system is a version of the other.

    [h=1]A10) The self-creative power[/h]
    Kemetic: Seb
    Igbo: Chi

    In Kemetic cosmogony, Seb is said to have laid the egg from which the world sprang. (Budge, 1967: cxii) In the Kemetic concept of the psyche, the Seb is the ancestral soul, the creative power of a person. It does not manifest itself until puberty. According to Na’im Akbar, “Seb is the soul of pubescence . . . the self-creative power of Being . . .Seb reminds the person that his nature is not only one that permits reproduction, but is procreative and self-creative.” (Akbar, 1985: 127, 129, 135)
    It is not clear just where the Seb fits in the personality theory, especially whether or not it becomes part of the Ausar. The Seb is probably the divine body referred to in this line from the Sinuhe story:
    “The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sehetepibre, flew to heaven and united with the sun-disk, the divine body merging with its maker.”

  • According to Onwuejeogwu, the Chi of the Igbo is the procreative force for the continuation of the lineage. It is a fragment of Chukwu that dwells in the individual, Chukwu being the big or universal Chi that dwells in the sun. A person’s chi is manifested at puberty. When the Chi of a man manifests itself through procreating his first child, his chi-tree, the ogbu or fig, is planted in front of his compound. The chi of a woman is ritually brought down from the sun and planted in the earth after she has given birth to many children. At a person’s death, the chi ceases to manifest itself and flies off and reunites with the sun. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 17-18) Furthermore, four of the Awka social titles are associated with chi. There is the chi title itself, and the three titles which redeem it. And the chi title is peculiar in that it extends for two generations; it is the only title which is inherited. That is done by the senior son of the man who performed it, but not by his son’s son. (Isichei, 1977: 65-66)
    This all suggests that (a) there are two senses of chi in Igbo personality theory; and (b) that these correspond to the Kemetic Ka and Seb. The existence of these two versions of Chi has led to some disagreement between Igbo scholars. Chinua Achebe, like most Igbos, take chi as the spirit director or spirit double, the equivalent of the Kemetic Shai/Choi/Ki; Onwuejeogwu has, however, objected to that usage, saying that chi in Igbo is the procreative power, which would correspond to the Kemetic Seb. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 17-18)Both usages, we can now see, are correct. The confusion and disagreement is actually caused by the fact that a term different from chi is not applied to Seb by Igbo usage.

    B) Deities

    We shall now consider several deities from the Kemetic and Igbo pantheons, and see the similarities in their names and attributes.

    B1) The gods of destiny

    Kemetic: Shai/Shay; Renenet and Meskhenet
    Igbo: Chi-na-Eke

    Shai was the personification of fate, of destiny. He decreed what should happen to a person. Renenet, the personification of fortune, was the goddess of plenty. Shai and Renenet, said to be the hands of Tehuti, the divine intelligence, were usually coupled together, a pair that governed a person’s fate and fortune. Meskhenet appears to be a goddess personifying luck, destiny and all the concepts underlying Shai and Renenet. At the birth of the children of Re, the Sun god, a childbirth midwifed by four goddesses, it was Meskhenet who pronounced its destiny, the allotment made to it by the gods. (Budge, 1967: cxxv-cxxvi; Lichtheim, 1980: 151, n. 5.)
    For the Igbo, Chi, the spirit double, is the custodian of a person’s destiny. A person cannot challenge or defy his chi and hope to prevail. Eke is a person’s allotment or portion of fortune, good or bad, as set aside by the gods at his creation or reincarnation. Its etymological root is the verb, kee = to divide, share, cut up, apportion. Ihe ekenyerem = my share, my lot, what is apportioned to me. Hence the noun Eke, the apportioner. Like Shai and Renenet, Chi and Eke are usually coupled together as Chi-na-Eke, i.e. Chi and Eke”. For example, in the exclamation Chim na Ekem yee! = Oh my Chi and my Eke!, whereby the gods of destiny are invoked when one is alarmed or shocked.
    There is a plausible derivation of Chi, Eke and Chi-na-Eke from Shai-Renenet-Meskhenet:

    1] Ka/Ki/Choi/Shai/Shay are alternative renditions, by Egyptology, of the Kemetic name for the same deity. (Bernal, 1991: 264; Lichtheim, 1980: 144, 151) The versions Ki/Choi are the plausible sources of the Igbo Chi.

    2] Eke is plausibly derived from Meskhenet by a process of contraction that, through non-vocalization, dropped the initial “M” and the final “net”: for instance, the non-vocalization of the feminine ending “et” was the practice even by Old Kingdom times. (Gardiner, 1961: ix)] Thus,

    M (eskhe) n (et) --------------> *Eskhe(n) -----------> *Ekhe -----------> Eke

    3] Given the more prominent role assigned to Meskhenet in some situations where destiny was being decreed, it is plausible that in some contexts the coupling was of Shai and Meskhenet rather than Shai and Renenet. And on the model of “Amen-hena-Ament”= “Amen and Ament”, (Budge, 1967: xciv, n. 3),

    Shai and Meskhenet would be rendered as Shai-hena-Meskhenet.

    4] Starting with the Choi/Ki versions of Shai, and the Shai-hena-Meskhenet coupling, would give us

    *Ki-hena-Meskhenet. A succession of elisions would yield:
    |
    *Ki-hena-Meskhe;
    |
    *Ki-hna-Ekhe; and finally
    |
    Chi-na-Eke in Igbo.

    The concept cluster to which the Kemetic and Igbo terms belong is the same: that of fate and fortune. There is a semantic fit, and a plausible phonetic derivation of the one from the other. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that, in these gods of destiny, there is a correspondence between Kemetic and Igbo.
    Note: Chi-na-Eke (the gods that decree fate and fortune) and Chineke (the god that creates) are vocalized alike as Chi n’eke, but mean quite different things and should, properly, be written differently. The Christian missionaries in Igboland, perhaps unaware of the double meaning of the same sound, escorted, as Chinua Achebe has pointed out, a double-headed deity of the Igbo into their monotheist Christian pantheon, and sacrilegiously planted it on the seat of their one and only God the Creator!

    B2) The god of “evil”

    Kemetic: Khonsu
    Igbo: Ekwensu

    The Kemetic god Khonsu/Khons/Chons was a form of the moon god. It was the traveler, messenger, slaughterer and confusionist. It

    was supposed to possess absolute power over the evil spirits which infested earth, air, sea and sky, and which made themselves hostile to man and attacked his body under the forms of pains, sicknesses, and diseases, and produced decay, and madness, and death.
    -- (Budge, 1969: 37)

    The Igbo deity, Ekwensu, is a confusionist too, a sower of strife, “a spirit with an inverterate inclination to do harm”. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 123) Ekwensu causes violent deaths and sudden calamities; it is the lord of all agents of wickedness. (Isichei, 1977: 322, n. 12) This made it easy for the Christian missionaries to assimilate it into their pantheon as the Devil. Hence, today in Igbo, the Devil of Christianity is called Ekwensu.
    Incidentally, like the Igbo Ekwensu, the Yoruba Eshu shares in the attributes of Khonsu. Khonsu is depicted with two faces, one facing right, the other facing left, signifying double dealing and confusion mongering. Similarly, in one story, Eshu painted one side of his face black and the other side white; those he passed on the road soon fell to quarreling over what they had seen – a white face or a black face?
    Khonsu was part of the great Trinity of Waset (Thebes to the Greeks); the trinity Amen-Mut-Khonsu which had a great temple at Ipet-Isut (Karnak to the Arabs), a section of Waset. (Bernal, 1991: 114)

    B3) The Trinity of the Resurrection

    Kemetic: Ausar-Auset-Heru (Osiris-Isis-Horus to the Greeks) ;
    {Ws >ir, vocalized “Ausar” = Osiris} (Bernal, 1985: 79.)
    Igbo: Osa-Ise-Eru/Eri

    The names of the great Kemetic trinity of the resurrection, “the age-old triad of Abydos” (Abtu) (Gardiner, 1961: 250) are echoed in the names of three of the gods of the Igbo. Osa appears in the name Osakwe. Ise is the goddess whose name is invoked at the end of a prayer or wish, the Igbo equivalent of the Amen said by Jews and Christians. Eru/Eri, a founder-hero, is the protagonist in the story of the origin of yam and cocoyam.
    Among the Edo neighbors of the Igbo, Osa is a god whose name appears in such names as Osaro, and Osahon. And Eru is also associated with yams, as in the phrase unu Eru, i.e. the mouth of the yam barn.
    In Kemetic, Heru is a sky god, and his name is interpreted as “he who is above”, and he is represented as “the face of heaven”. (Budge, 19??: 466) In Igbo, Iru is face, and the culture hero Eri/Eru is said to have dropped from the sky.
    The O in Osa and the Au in Ausar are both vocalized as the “Or” in orb or the “Au” in Australia. Hence the phonetic fit between the two names is perfect.
    In New Kingdom times, Auset (Isis to the Greeks) was vocalized as Ese (eesay), with the general dropping of the feminine ending “t”. (Gardiner, 1961: 181). Note also the name Isenkhebe = Isis in Chemmis (Lichtheim, 1980: 59). In Igbo, Ise is spelt like in Isenkhebe, and vocalized as eesay. Here too, the Kemetic and Igbo names are identical.
    With Heru and Eru, the phonetic similarity is obvious.
    These phonetic identifications suggest that Auser/Osa; Auset/Ise; and Heru/Eru should be identified. But before this can be done, we must ascertain the attributes of the gods in each pair, and see if they are largely the same. These proposed identifications would be further strengthened if Osa-Ise-Eru, like Ausar-Auset-Heru, is considered a trinity. Until these points are determined, the connection between this Kemetic trinity and these Igbo gods will remain provisional.
    As a possible sidelight on this, it is worth finding out if the trinity of Osa-Ise-Eru occurs in the Edo pantheon. If such a trinity is found in Edo, that would clinch the identification, in as much as some of their attributes might have been lost in Igbo.

    C) Valuation: ethical, aesthetical and technical

    C1) Goodness

    Kemetic: Maat/Maa/Ma’et/Ma’e
    Igbo: Mma

    In Kemetic, Maat/Maa/Ma’et/Ma’e has a multiplicity of related meanings: truth, justice, righteousness, goodness, harmony, balance, propriety, rightness, orderliness, well-regulated existence, etc. Maat is considered the foundation of cosmic, social and moral order, the principle on which the universe was ordered at the creation.
    In Igbo, the noun Mma (adj. oma) is, in different contexts, used to mean good (aesthetically, morally, technically), beautiful, righteous, proper, just, well-ordered, orderly, in order, etc. For example,

    Mma ahu = beauty of the body, physical beauty
    Ome mma = one who does what is right, good or just
    Omume oma = good conduct, good behavior, righteousness

    These usages make clear that, semantically, Maat and Mma cover much the same range of concepts, though not all. For example, Mma is used for beauty but Maat is not; and Maat is used for truth, but Mma is not. However, it should be noted that for a time in Kemet, in Akhenaton’s era, Maat, like Mma, was not used with the meaning truth! The usage of that period would appear to have been carried over into Igbo.
    Despite their great semantic overlap, are Maat and Mma phonetically similar at all? Exactly how Maat was vocalized is not quite clear. In order to identify the two words phonetically, three problems must be solved: the problem of the “aa”, and the problem of the final “t” in Maat; and the problem of the “mm” in Mma.
    The “aa” problem is solved by recognizing that Maat was probably vocalized as Ma’et initially. And, according to Alan Gardiner, “the feminine ending -et, though shown in writing, had disappeared from pronunciation as early as the Old Kingdom.” (Gardiner, 1961: ix) If so, Maat would then have been vocalized as “ma”. Regarding the problem of the “mm”, there are other examples of Kemetic words which Egyptology spells with an “m”, whereas their Igbo corresponding words are vocalized with an “mm”. For example, the Kemetic mnw, which is vocalized as mnu, stands for an image. The Igbo mmanwu, whose consonants are also mnw, and which is vocalized with an “mm”, stands for a masquerade or image of a god. Thus, what the Egyptologists render with an “m”, is vocalized in Igbo as an “mm”. When we note that the hieroglygphs for Maat and mnw do not use the signs for “mm” (Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar: ?? ); and when we consider the Igbo words mmadu, mmanya/mmai etc., we are obliged to wonder: Was the “mm” in the Kemetic originals of these words, or is the “mm” an Igbo phonetic feature which was extended to some Kemetic imports too?
    Either way, however, there is no insuperable difficulty in vocalizing Maat/Ma’et/Ma as Mma. Thus, Maat and Mma overlap considerably in meaning, and are phonetically identifiable.
    Note: this is an example vindicating Cheikh Anta Diop’s thesis that the languages of Black Africa can greatly contribute to our deciphering the vocalization of Kemetic.

    C2) Maakheru (A special note)

    Kemetic: m3 ‘hrw = Maakheru = Maat (good, just, righteous) + kheru (speech)

    Egyptologists usually translate maakheru as justified, victorious, triumphant, etc. According to Wallis Budge, it means “something like ‘he whose voice, or speech, is right and true’.” (Budge, 1967: lxxiv-lxxv, n. 14) But when considered from the Igbo perspective, the components

    Maat + Kheru = *{Mma + Karu/kara,} = (righteous/good/just) +
    (declared/pronounced/said to be)
    = declared righteous or vindicated.

    This interpretation/translation would fit the judgment context in which maakheru is used, and is a better fit than the conventional terms victorious/triumphant. Thus, rather than “triumphant before Ausar”, we should have

    Maakheru kher Ausar = declared righteous/pronounced just/vindicated before Ausar.

    Justified -- in its early Christian sense of ‘called righteous’ -- would be correct too; for ‘justification’ was

    in Christian theology, the translation of the Greek dikaiosis, (Latin justificatio), originally a legal technical term derived from the verb ‘to call (someone) righteous’.
    -- (The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1965: vol. 13, 162).

    Note: the Greek Makarios = blessed, which derives from the Kemetic m3’hrw/maakheru. (Bernal, 1985: 76.)

    C3) Mma-mma (Igbo) and the “Double Maat”

    mma-mma (a) as in the greeting Mma-mma nuo! = good wishes to you all, lit. “good-good you all!”, i.e. double good to you all. This is a greeting said by someone upon entering a house or compound;

    (b) as in itu mma-mma = to make an offering in thanksgiving (in a temple), to offer thanksgiving;

    (c) as in onye mma-mma! = may each person go well, i.e. safely/in peace, lit. “each person well-well!”, said when a group is dispersing. [safe journey to each of you.]

    Egyptology refers to the Kemetic idea of “Double Maat”, as in “the Hall of Double Maati”/”Hall of Double Right and Truth” in Chapter 125 of The Egyptian Book of the Dead. If this is written as Maat-Maat in the Kemetic texts, we would have the ultimate grounds for inferring that “Double Maat” is the equivalent of the Igbo term mma-mma. This needs to be looked into.
    The Hall of Double Maat is probably so called because two Maat figures stand there during the weighing of the soul of the dead. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    D) Education, knowledge, enlightenment

    Know, learn, write:


























    English
    Kemetic*
    Igbo
    To know
    am
    ima
    To learn, understand
    ym
    imu
    To write/writing
    ud (writing; written words)
    ide (to write)
    writing skill
    am-ud (to know, to understand
    written words)
    ima-ide (to know how to write)
    oma ede (he knows how to write)

    * (Van Sertima, 1992: 17)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These correspondences are easy to see. Note that the phonetic and semantic fit is excellent between these Igbo and Kemetic words. And note also that the Kemetic group of words describes the same cluster of concepts as the Igbo group. It is therefore as certain as can be that the clusters are historically related.
    Incidentally, elements of this cluster turn up in pre-Columbian America. (Van Sertima, 1992: 17) Concerning amoutas (pre-Inca Peru) and amoxaque (Olmec), which referred to their bookmen/teachers/sages/learned or instructed men, the following Igbo correspondences should be noted:

    (1) Mmuta = learning,
    from Imuta = to learn/acquire learning.
    nye mmuta (Igbo) = scholar, lit. “a person of learning”, would render the sense of the pre-Inca Peruvian amoutas = a learned or instructed person. And mmuta and amoutas are phonetically quite close!

    (2) Amamihe = knowledge/the knowing of things,
    from Ima ihe = to know things.
    Onye amamihe (Igbo) = a knowledgeable person, lit. “a person who knows things.
    Amamihe would render the sense of the Olmec amoxaque. But amamihe and amoxaque are not phonetically close! However, for amoxaque {vocalized as amochakwe}, the phonetically nearest Igbo word would be omachakwa = “he knows quite well”. However, omachakwa is not a noun phrase, but would be said of someone who is believed to know something but has feigned ignorance of it. It would appear in an exchange of this sort:

    Osu na ya amaghu? = Does he say that he doesn’t know?
    Omachakwa, ma na ochoghu ikwu. = He knows damn well but doesn’t want to say.

    Or a person might tell another:

    Amachakwam, ma mmagwa go! = I know it all right, but I won’t tell you!

    Were it used in Igbo as a noun phrase, Omachakwa would fit the Olmec use of amoxaque, and would be especially appropriate for a possessor of secret or hidden knowledge.
    How Kemetic, Igbo, Olmec and pre-Inca Peru came to share the vocabulary for knowledge and writing is another story. For the Kemetic-Olmec-pre-Inca part of the story, see Ivan Van Sertima, They Came Before Columbus. The Kemetic-Igbo connection has yet to be explored and its story told. However, from the handful of examples examined above, one might well wonder what further light Igbo might throw on Olmec and pre-Inca languages and practices.
    Conjecture: By the way, are the Igbo Ima and the Arabic Imam both derived from the Kemetic ym?

    E) astronomy: Dawn and dusk vocabularies

    E1) Evening

    Kemetic: Yasu = a region of the night sky (Lichtheim, 1975: 43, n.3.)
    Igbo: Enyasu/Anyasi = Early part of the night, about 7-11 p.m. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997b: 44)

    The phonetic and semantic correspondences here are plain to see.

    E2) Light/Sun

    Kemetic: Xu/Khu
    Igbo: Chi

    In Kemetic, the hieroglyph which Egyptology transcribes as Xu/Khu is a term for light, radiance, shining rays, the god of light, shining beings, etc.
    In Igbo, Chi occurs in idiomatic phrases and formulas associated with dawn and dusk. These are all recondite idioms the literal meanings of whose components are difficult to ascertain. E.g.:

    Chi aboola = It is dawn – Chi has cleared up (?); faded, lost its original or night color, as in
    Akwa a achaboola = This cloth has faded.
    [Here the suffix/particle bo = lose original, final color. (Emenanjo, 1978: 101, table 7)]
    Ka chi foh = Let the day break/Until dawn --- a phrase used for saying “Good night!”
    Ibola chi?/Isala chi? = Have you commenced the day?/Have you begun or opened the day? --- a phrase used for saying “Good morning!”
    Chi ojiji = dusk/darkening/twilight; literally, the darkening of Chi.
    Chi obubo = dawn/lightening/day break; literally, dawning of Chi; the clearing up of Chi.
    Ubochi = day, as in ubochi ole? = On what day? On which dawning of Chi?
    Chi gafu agbafo = the weather (the face of the sky?) will soon clear up.
    Oge uhuru chi = at the time of the stooping/lowering of Chi (on the horizon?); i.e. towards sunset.
    Chi anaa = day departs/daylight is gone/Chi is gone.

    Though it is difficult to pinpoint the meanings or referents of chi in these phrases and idioms, it is clear, from the contexts, that chi stands for something connected with sun and light, something that clears or fades or darkens. But it is not quite clear whether it actually designates the sun or sunlight or day or daytime or daylight or the sky or the face of the sky or the god of light or the weather or the clouds; this calls for further investigation. But whatever it is, it must be something that opens, clears, clears up, disperses – like a face or a sky covered with clouds; or that is cleared up – like a field or path covered with weeds or darkness.
    A clue to this comes from the matter of Chukwu, i.e. Chi-ukwu, the Great Chi. Just as, in Kemet, the sun, “Ra, was the visible emblem of God”, (Budge, 1967: cxi) so too, in Igbo, Anyanwu, the sun, is a manifestation of Chukwu.
    “Chukwu is Anyanwu, which symbolically means the sun. Nri people believe that as the sun’s light is everywhere so is the presence of Chukwu manifest everywhere; as the sun is all powerful so is Chukwu all powerful and as the sun is the light that reveals things so is Chukwu the source of knowledge.”
    --(Onwuejeogwu, 1997b: 30)

    Accordingly, chi, in solar contexts, would refer to the sun.

    Conjecture: The Kemetic X is variously vocalized/phoneticized by Egyptology as Kh/Ch. But could Xu have been actually vocalized as Khi/Chi in Kemetic rather than as the Khu conjectured by Egyptology? Is it not possible that Igbo has preserved the actual Kemetic vocalization of the hieroglyph? If so, the meaning of the Igbo Chi in solar contexts would be yielded by what the Egyptologists render as Khu; while the Kemetic vocalization of the Khu of Egyptology would be supplied by the Igbo Chi. This would be a case of mutual illumination.

    F) Miscellaneous


    [TH]Kemetic*
    [/TH]
    [TH] Igbo
    [/TH]

















    [TH]Kemetic*
    [/TH]
    [TH] Igbo
    [/TH]












































































































































    F1) Aha = battle; as in She-nu-aha = Lake of battle: as in Per-aha = House of battle
    (Budge, 19??: 481):
    or as in Aha = The Fighter, a name of the Pharaoh who succeeded Mena (Gardiner, 1961: 406)
    Agha = war; as in Ochi Agha = director of war, general, war lord.
    [Note: gh as in ghastly]
    F2) Ym(i) = within. (Van Sertima, 1992: 17);
    or imy = inside. (Lichtheim, 1980: 181, n. 22)
    Ime = inside, within; as in
    n’ime ulo = inside the house;
    n’ime ezi = within the premises.
    F3) im³ {vocalized as orma} = character, behavior, shape, form. (Lichtheim, 1980: 181, n. 22)
    Uma = character, behavior.
    F4) t³y--³my.t = ti-maie (Coptic/Bohairic) = grow in size, increase.
    (Lichtheim, 1980: 181, n. 22)
    to-mie = grow + deep/far/much/greatly; as in
    Mkporogwu ahu etomiela = that root has grown deep/long,/greatly/very much.
    [cf. je-mie = go far.]
    F5) kwr = miner, dig a hole.
    gwri (Demotic) = kour (Coptic) = pivot, hole drilled in door base. (Bernal, 1991: 71)

    gwuo = dig.
    gwuru = dug.
    Igwu = to dig.
    F6) hwi {vocalized as k/h+u+a/o (?)} = strike, hit.
    (Gardiner, 1961: 23)
    kua/kuo = strike, hit.

    F7) pu = is, are. (Budge, 1967: 40)
    bu = is, are.
    F8) Akhekh = serpent.
    [Note: In his declaration of virtues before the keepers of the 21st pylon, the soul seeking resurrection says: “I have drowned the serpent Akhekh.” (Budge, 1967: 300)]
    Eke = python.
    [Note: The python is a totem animal to certain lineages among the Igbo. It is not harmed, and it is allowed to wander about the house and compound as it wills. The killing of it is an abomination.]
    F9) Khemennu = (a) the number eight; (b) The Eight, i.e. the Eight Great Cosmic Gods of the original Kemetic pantheon; (c) The name of the city of the Eight Great Cosmic Gods, (also Khnum, the Hermopolis of the Greeks), and capital of the 15th province of Upper Kemet.

    Khamanu/Khanu (Kanu) = a name for persons.
    [Conjecture: Could it have originated as a place name (toponym), and then became a name for persons associated with that place? Could the place have been the Khemennu/Khnum of Kemet?]
    F10) ht/kht = riches; as in nb ht/neb kht = master of riches. (Lichtheim, 1980: 52)
    akhu/aku = wealth, riches.
    F11) sp = misfortune, trouble.
    (Lichtheim, 1980: 28)
    isogbu = to trouble; nsogbu = (n) trouble.
    F12) Amenemhe = Amun is in front.
    (Gardiner, 1961: 126) It was the name of several pharaohs of Dyn. XII.
    *Amun-no’m-n’ihu. This unattested sentence would be the Igbo translation of “Amun is in my front”. Its idiomatic meaning (Amun is/goes before me; i.e. Amun is my pilot) would be a sentiment most appropriate for a devotee of the God Amun; a sentiment that would quite appropriately be expressed in a personal name. [Conjecture: Would the Igbo *Amun-n’om-n’ihu be a clue to the actual Kemetic pronunciation of what Egyptology renders as Amenemhe?]
    F13) twr = libation. (Diop, 1991: 359)
    tuo-mmanya = make libation; i.e. throw wine (as an offering to the gods and ancestors). tuo = throw, pour. It occurs in the phrases for various acts of making offering by throwing what is offered towards its intended recipient, as in itu mmanya = the offering of wine; itu utara = the offering of balls of food/fufu; itu nzu = the offering of white chalk. (Ekwunife, 1990: 161-162)
    F14) mes = to give birth; to be born anew.
    (Finch, 1985: 193)
    [Note: mes em = born of ,
    and er mesu-tu-f = at his birth.
    (Budge, 1967: 37, 38)]
    imesu ozhu = awakening the dead. (Ekwunife, 1990: 70)
    [Note: When morphemically analyzed, imesu ozhu = i (the infinitive prefix) + mesu + ozhu (corpse). And if mesu retains its meaning from Kemetic,
    i +mesu +ozhu = to + birth/born anew + a corpse. Which fits the Igbo meaning given above: to awaken/give birth again to a corpse.]
    F15) ³byn = a poor person. [Note: going by the Igbo, ty ³byn should be “become poor”, and not “act the poor man” as Lichtheim suggests.
    (Lichtheim, 1980: 184, n. 88) ]
    ogbenye = poverty; poor person; pauper. [Note:
    da ogbenye = fall into poverty; become poor.]
    F16) mnw = image (i.e. bodily figure of a being) as shaped by the god Khnum, creator of bodies. (Lichtheim, 1980: 112, 115 n. 3)
    mmanwu = masquerade; the manifestation or re-embodied spirit of a deity or dead ancestor.
    F17) Proye = winter (Gardiner, 1961: 64. n. 1)
    =(?) Pr-oye =(?) The cold
    oyi = cold.
    F18) iht = cow; as in iht kmt = (a sacred) black cow (Bernal, 1991: 176)
    ehi = cow.
    F19) aha = duration (Budge, 1967: 187)
    Ahwa/aho = year.
    F20) bu = place. (Budge, 1967: 167)
    bw, bu, bou = place, locality. (Obenga, 1977: 98)
    be, ebe = the place/house, as in na be onye? = in whose house?
    F21) hnn - ib = one whose heart is inflamed; hothead. (Lichtheim, 1975: 107 n.1)
    (Onye) okhu na’nu n’obi = hot of heart; (one with) fire heating up his heart.
    F22) k3/ka = the particle for future action in religious texts. (Obenga, 1977: 100)
    ga = the particle for future action: ga + verb, e.g.
    gabia = ga + abia = will come.
    F23) w3t, {vocalized as “ort”} = plumbline or cord used by builders to make vertical lines straight; and from which the Greek orthos = straight upright. (Bernal, 1985: 76)
    Oto = uprightness, verticality, straight upright, as in ikwhu oto = to stand straight upright.
    F24) amami = land of the ancestors;
    cf. Mamyi (Wolof) = ancestors.
    (Diop, 1974: 287 n. 37)
    ala mmam = land of ancestor /spirits.
    F25) tym3 = cause to become just;
    cf. Tima (Greek) = honor/(make/be honorable?).
    (Bernal, 1985: 76)
    di mma = be good or just, as in
    mee ka odi mma = cause/make it to be good/just.
    F26) sb3 = teach, teaching. (Bernal, 1985: 76)
    zibe = teaching { present participle of zi = teach, show, instruct},
    as in obido zibe ya = he began teaching him.
    F27) hna/hena = and. (Budge, 1967: xciv, n.3; 39)
    na = and, with.
    F28) hra = face. (Budge, 1967: 47)
    iru = face.
    F29) ef = the horned viper.
    (Van Sertima, 1989: 308)
    evhu ala = viper
    F30) Annu = the Sun City. (Heliopolis to the Greeks, On to the Hebrews, wn to the Copts.)
    Anwu = Sun

    F31) maxa/maxait = the balance, the (measuring/ weighing) scale.
    (Budge, 1967: 12, 15)
    ma/macha = measure/measure out, as in manyerem = measure out for me.
    F32) tw = one [unit; one (person, thing ] (Gardiner, EG:599)
    otu = union;
    otu = one (person, thing)
    F33) utu = command (Budge, 1967: 27)
    itu = command
    F34) ibw {vocalized as “obu”} = refuge
    obu = domestic temple (a spiritual refuge?)
    F35) ‘m ib = lose consciousness, faint ;
    {vocalized as “am obi” } = not know heart,
    amobi = not know the heart
    F36) <rk {vocalized as “ark”} = be understanding, wise
    ako = sense, wisdom
    F37) mnkh = chisel, carve, fashion
    imenka = to carve
    F38) swb3 hr = initiate (one) into;
    {vocalized as “suba hr”} = ?? face
    *suba iru = push face into (something)
    F39) enti = things which are, that which is; (Budge,1967: 282, n. 2; 31)
    ndi = things of, people of, things which are (something)

    Part II: Non-Philological Correspondences

    1. The Fundamental Elements in Nature

    In both Kemetic and Igbo cosmology, there are four fundamental elements, namely water, fire, earth and air.


    [TH]
    [/TH]
    [TH]Annu/
    Heliopolitan
    [/TH]
    [TH]Mennefer/Memphite
    [/TH]
    [TH]Igbo
    [/TH]
























    Water
    Tefnut
    Nun: the primeval waters.
    Omambala: the spirit of the water.
    Fire
    Nut
    Atum: the Fire God or Sun God.
    Anyanwu and Agbala: the twins of the sun, i.e. fire and fertility.
    Earth
    Geb
    Ta-tjenen: the risen land.
    Ala, the earth spirit
    Air
    Shu
    Shu: the void which held heaven and earth apart ; the god of the dry atmosphere.
    Anunu: the things that fly.

    (James, 1988: 80-81; 102; 140-141 and Lichtheim, 1975:34 for the Kemetic; and Okeke, 1982: 23 for the Igbo.)
    ------------------------------------------------

    This particular Igbo formulation, with the twin principles Anyanwu (Light/Sun) and Agbala (Fertility), points to the Igbo doctrine of the four manifestations of Chukwu, the great God. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 8) Chukwu is Anyanwu, the sun, whose light is everywhere and whose rays symbolize enlightenment and knowledge; Chukwu is Agbala, the fertility of the earth and of the beings that inhabit it; Chukwu is Chi, the procreative power of living beings; Chukwu is Okike, the creator of every thing visible and invisible and of the laws that govern them.

    This twin form also suggests a conflation of the Kemetic doctrine of the fundamental elements in creation with the Kemetic doctrine of the four pairs of fundamental principles, male and female, which were the first products of creation. In the Annu/Heliopolitan Theology, these eight principles are presented as follows:

    Shu and Tefnut : air and water
    Geb and Nut : earth and fire
    Ausar and Ise : the fertile couple
    Sutekh and Nebt-het : the sterile couple
    (Diop, 1991; 311)

    One is also reminded of the Kemetic doctrine of the four elements and the four qualities which is expressed by the following diagram:
    (James, 1988: 80-81; 179)

    This diagram of the four qualities (hot, cold, dry, wet) and four elements (earth, water, air, fire) expresses the doctrine of opposites or contraries and the doctrine of their transformations. The diagram explains that fire is hot and dry; that earth is dry and cold; that water is cold and wet; and that air is wet and hot. And the basic transformations are exemplified by the change from air to fire: Air is wet and hot; and when the wet quality is replaced by its opposite, the dry quality, air changes into fire, which is hot and dry.
    If the above is a version of an Igbo doctrine of the four elements, it is, probably, a fragment or residue of the comprehensive Kemetic doctrine of the four qualities and four elements. There is a need to investigate and recover the full version of the Igbo theory, if it is still extant.
    The Igbo doctrine is like other such theories in Black Africa, e.g. the Bambara:

    Miri = air; wali= earth; nati = fire; tali = water (Obenga, 1989: 303)

    By the way, the doctrines of the Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, which make just one element fundamental [ Water (Thales); Air (Anaximenes); Fire (Heraclitus) ] are but the monist detritus of the Kemetic Theory of the four elements. Clearly, the Igbo and the Bambara have preserved the pluralist original. Could this be a case of preservation by colleges of priests who were dedicated to authentic transmission, as opposed to fragments seized by individualistic culture-plunderers who were more concerned with snatching something distinctive to which to attach their names in their quest for fame?
    Consider the Kemetic doctrines of the Four Elements, the Four pairs of Primeval Gods or Principles, the Four Qualities; and consider the Igbo doctrines of the Four Elements, the Four Manifestations of Chukwu, the Four Day Week. These clusters of fourfold fundamentals in the two cosmologies indicate a field to be investigated for correspondences.

    2. The Creation Story

    In the Mennefer (Memphite) version of the Kemetic story of creation,

    The Primate of the Gods, Ptah, conceived in his heart everything that exists and by His utterance created them all. He is first to emerge from the primeval waters of Nun in the form of a Primeval Hill. Closely following the Hill, the God Atom also emerges from the waters and sits upon Ptah (the Hill). . . . While the Sun God Atom sits upon Ptah the Primeval Hill He accomplishes the work of creation. . . . The ingredients of the Primeval Chaos contained ten principles: four pairs of opposite principles, together with two other gods: Ptah representing Mind, Thought, and creative Utterance; while Atom joins himself to Ptah and acts as Demiurge and executes the work of creation. . . . Atom was the Demiurge or Intermediate God in creation. He was also Sun God or Fire God. . . . The elements in creation were Fire (Atom), Water (Nun), Earth (Ptah or Ta-tjenen) and Air.
    --(James, 1988: 139-141)

    In the Igbo story of creation:

    When Eri came down from the sky he sat on an ant-hill as the land was a morass or waterlogged or, to use the Igbo phrase ala di deke deke (or neka neka). When Eri complained, Chukwu sent an Awka blacksmith with his bellows, fire and charcoal to dry up the land. After the Awka blacksmith had finished his assignment Eri rewarded him with an ofo which conferred on him special claims to the smithing profession.
    --(Afigbo, 1981: 41)

    In comparing the elements in these two stories, we must note certain shared motifs: the watery nature of the primeval state of things; the Hill or anthill that first appeared; the pair of creators, Ptah and Atom in one case and Eri and the Awka smith in the other; the fire element, with Atom the Fire God and the Awka smith who works with fire. The Eri story looks much like a fragment, in secular human idiom, with Igbo characters, of the theological Mennefer (Memphite) story.
    Furthermore, we should observe that Ta-tjenen is:

    The earth that rises, the first mound that appeared within the Nun, from the primordial water, in order to serve as the place where the god Ra appeared in the sensible world. (Diop, 1991: 358).

    Another Kemetic term, Etbo, is “the emergent mound where the sun appeared at the beginning of time.” (Diop, 1991: 359) Etbo is, thus, another term, or synonym, for Ta-tjenen. The Igbo term for anthill is mkpu. Could what Egyptology has rendered as Etbo have been one term among a set of Kemetic synonyms, and that Igbo vocalizes one of these synonyms as mkpu? If so, the semantic--and possibly phonetic--similarities between the primeval hill or mound (etbo/Ta-tjenen, etc.) of the Ptah story and the anthill (mkpu) of the Eri story would increase the probability that the latter is a fragment of the former story.

    4. Pantheon structure: dyads and triads/trinities

    In Kemetic, the pantheon contains several pairs and triads of gods, usually husband and wife for the pairs, and husband and wife and offspring for the triads. The best examples of triads (i.e. trinities) are
    a) Ausar-Ise-Heru (the Osiris-Isis-Horus of the Greeks) -- the Great Triad of Abtu (Abydos to the Greeks)
    b) Amen-Mut-Khensu (the Amon, Mut and Chons of the Greeks) -- the Great Triad of Waset (Thebes to the Greeks) (Budge, 1969: 33)

    Examples of dyads include the four pairs of male-female deities which Ra first created, namely Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Ausar and Ise, and Set and Nebt-het.
    In Igbo, some deities are paired, as husband and wife, e.g. the deities of the market days are Eke and Orie; Afo and Nkwo. Eke and Afo are male and the husbands of Orie and Nkwo respectively. (Afigbo, 1981: 62) Igwe, the god of the sky, is the husband of Ala, the earth goddess. Igwe sends rain to water the earth, and their union makes the earth fertile and productive. (Iwe, 1989: 14) Likewise, there are Agwu and his wife, Ogwugwu, the deities of mild madness of the quarrelsome kind, with Agwu for males and Ogwugwu for females. (Williamson, 1972: 15-16)
    Parent-offspring groups of deities also occur. As Christopher Ejizu has noted:

    Such powerful arch-deities are highly esteemed in their communities and are often regarded as married, with issues which also are deities. This relationship is often represented by secondary altars erected and dedicated to the offspring deities beside the main shrines of their parent deities.
    -- (Ejizu, 1992: 812)

    5. Masquerades: the images of gods and spirits

    In pre-Christian Igbo culture, masking had a religious function which went beyond entertainment. Masquerades were ceremonial public manifestations of deities and ancestral spirits in their capacity as protectors of the public order and sanctity, and as the ultimate authority symbols of a community.

    The Igbo conceive of a mask . . . as the incarnation of the dead ancestors who continue to take an active interest in the affairs of their living descendants and relations.
    --(Enekwe, 1987: 56)

    Furthermore, a masquerade was regarded as “a representative of the ancestors on a brief mission to the living.” (Achebe, 1988: 45)
    In Kemet, images of the gods were carried in great processions during festivals. These were their outings or coming forth from their hallowed shrines and sanctuaries. The Igbo term, “ibuputa mmanwu” -- meaning the carrying outside or bringing forth of the masquerade -- expresses the same concept.
    In Kemet, use was made of the processional bark, a “portable shrine in the form of a bark mounted on poles, in which the statues of the gods were carried in procession”. (Lichtheim, 1980: 33, n. 2; Lichtheim, 1975: 109, n. 26) At the Feast of Ope, the image of Amun was carried in state in his ceremonial boat from Ipet Isut (Karnak) to Ope (Luxor). (Gardiner, 1961: 257) There are some Igbo masks made in the shape of altars or boats with statues of gods or spirits mounted on them.
    Igbo masked figures were sometimes used as oracles, e.g. to announce judicial decisions made by the ruling elders; or to proclaim legislative decisions that, it was felt, needed to be invested with the authority of the ancestors.

    When masks represent idols or deities, they become really very powerful and are, therefore, worshipped and consulted as oracles. In that case, they have shrines, which are serviced by priests on a regular basis. (Enekwe, 1987: 64)

    In Kemet, during the outings of the deities, the images of the gods sometimes functioned as oracles, and declared or indicated divine decisions. In one example, divine guidance was sought for a bureaucratic appointment. When the right name was put to him, Amun’s choice was indicated “by a ‘great nod’ or downward inclination of the bark of Amen-Re as it was carried in procession on the shoulders of the priests.” (Gardiner, 1961: 305) Again, when the inheritance of a princess was in dispute, it was the triad of Amen-Re, Mut and Khonsu which, together decided the issue. [Gardiner, 1961: 321] Of course, sometimes, the gods did not wait to be formally consulted, and took the oracular initiative, and set out on their own to make their wishes known, as when, in the presence of Dhutmose II, the image of the God Amun publicly designated the young Dhutmose III as the divine choice for kingship. (Gardiner, 1961: 181)
    These parallels between the Igbo masquerade and the Kemetic outings of the gods extend even to the words denoting these images. In Kemetic, mnw = image (Lichtheim, 1980: 112; 115, n. 3); and a passage in an adoration of the god Khnum, fashioner of bodies, suggests that mnw was the image of the soul/spirit for which Khnum molded a bodily shape. Phonetically, the Kemetic mnw = the Igbo mmanwu. Given all these parallelisms, would it be unreasonable to infer that the Igbo mmanwu, whose etymology is no longer discernible, originally had the same meaning as the Kemetic mnw, i.e. the image of a deity or spirit?

    Note: mmuo/mmam = spirit/soul, and is different from mmanwu, its animated image.

    6. Oracles and divination

    In Kemet, as in pre-Christian Igboland, the great oracles were a power. Herodotus reported that various gods had their oracles in various parts of Kemet, and that the method of giving their answers varied in the different shrines. (Herodotus, 1954: 132, 164) The Vocal Memnon at Waset (Thebes), and the oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis, spoke the minds of the great God Amun, and were consulted from far and wide. Alexander the Great was perhaps the most famous foreigner to consult the Siwa oracle: it declared him the Son of Amun. (Gardiner, 1961: 381)
    Generally, the Kemetic oracles had pervasive power. They decided temple and state appointments, questions of inheritance, state pardons, issues in criminal trials, and even the selection of future kings. (Gardiner, 1961: 181-182, 305, 321-322)
    In pre-Christian Igboland, great oracles like Ibinukpabi at Arochukwu, Agbala at Awka, Igwekala at Umunneoha and Ojukwu at Diobu exercised great influence by interpreting divine intentions and issuing divine declarations to pilgrims who consulted them.
    Oracles, of course, provided the most prestigious forms of divination, while diviners carried out their function in their localities. The role of diviners, the dibia afa, was pervasive in guiding Igbo society.

    “In winning the goodwill and favour of the divinities and spirits and in promoting the solidarity and peace of the Igbo community, no other single individual is as important as the dibia. . . . Divination was . . . the principal medium for knowing what was happening or what could happen and for instructing the community about what should be done and what should be avoided to win and retain the goodwill of the spirits and secure the community’s solidarity and peace.” (Obinna, 1988: 67)

    This pervasive influence led to the conceit that “after god is dibia”!
    It would be interesting to find and compare the Kemetic and Igbo words for oracle, divination/diviner, shrine, etc. The Igbo word for divination is Igba afa; diviner is Dibia Afa; shrine is Ulo Alusi or Okwu Alusi.

    7. Rituals for opening the eyes and other senses

    In the Kemetic rites of resurrection or rebirth, a particular stage required that the mouth and the eyes of the deceased be opened, thus making it sensible of things in the afterlife. In the pertinent passage, the kher-heb priest says:

    The Se-mer-f openeth the mouth and the two eyes of the deceased, first with a needle of iron, then with a rod of smu metal . . . Horus hath opened thy mouth for thee, he hath opened thine eyes for thee;
    -- (Budge, 1967: 268)

    Similarly, in Igbo rites of initiation for diviners, entrance into the new terrain of consciousness is viewed as an act of rebirth: the eyes of the initiate are to be opened to deeper aspects of reality that he had been insensible to or unconscious of. In particular, just as the deceased is initiated into a new life by the rituals of ‘opening the mouth’ and ‘opening the eyes’, even so is the diviner initiated into a realm of new powers by rituals of ‘opening the eyes’ and ‘ opening the senses’:

    Itu ekwo = the ritual opening of the senses of a diviner.
    Itu anya/Iwa anya/ Icha anya = the ritual opening of the eyes/sight of the diviner.
    (Ekwunife, 1990: 50, 201, 208)

    In these rites, the diviner is exposed to fearsome things, hence the admonition, in an Igbo song:

    Onye ujo agala nga ha n’awa anya! = a coward should not go where “opening of the eyes” is taking place!

    8) Umu Ife/Ndi Ife (Igbo) Some remarks. {Move to Education}

    In the Kemetic education system, there were three grades of students: the Neophytes, the Intelligences and the Sons of Light. (James, 1988: 27) In Igbo, traces of this system may be seen in the term

    Umu Ife/Ndi Ife = the children of light/the people of light; i.e. the enlightened/the illuminati.

    In Igbo, Ife/Ihe = light, illumination.
    And there is a personal name Ifekwo, i.e. (Umu/Ndi)-Ife-kwo = If the sons of light agree/consent.
    To further explore any actual correspondences here, we would need the Kemetic terms for these concepts, to see if there are phonetic fits as well.

    9. Domestic temples

    In Kemetic architecture, a nobleman’s residence included a domestic temple. Built as a separate structure, it served as the first stop or reception place, and commanded the view of the main gate to the compound or estate. This may be seen in the model of a nobleman’s estate from Akhetaten, the City of Aten (present-day Tell el-Amarna), a city founded by the 18th Dynasty heretic pharaoh, Akhenaten. (Wilson, 1951: fig. 25; The Macmillan Family Encyclopaedia, 1988: Vol. 7, 88) It is one of the few specimens of Kemetic domestic architecture that have come down to us intact.
    In Igbo architecture, the Obu/obi/ntugbu/azama/agbala/ogbuti/ovu/nkolo/otobo/ebari/obiri ama is the “domestic temple” (Onwuejeogwu, 1973: 93), the seat of the household shrine; the ‘reception house’ where the head of the house may retire to rest, or to entertain visitors, or to settle cases, or to make offerings to his gods. It is usually a separate structure, and commands the view of the compound entrance. It houses the ancestral emblems, the images of deities, and the altar where the householder performs the offerings and consecration rituals of the day, such as Igo oji ututu/Igo ofo ututu , or the Ibili Anyasi (Ekwunife, 1990: 30) “The obu is the centre from which the domestic life of the family is controlled, economically, socially and ritually” (Shaw, 1977: 99)
    The Igbo word for the domestic temple, obu, occurs in Kemetic. There it means refuge. This is quite apt for the place where the head of the house retires to rest among the images of his protective ancestors. Though the original meaning of obu may have been lost to the Igbo language, it is recoverable from Kemetic.
    The case of the obu suggests that comparative studies of Kemetic and Igbo architecture and furniture should generally be undertaken.

    [h=4]10. The family compound complex[/h]
    Regarding the structure of compounds, at Nri in Igboland,

    All compounds are rectangular in shape, surrounded with a mud wall, with a main entrance provided with a big gate, and a small secret exit at the back. . . . The obu is usually situated in the centre of the compound facing the main entrance. The owner of the compound sits in his temple to receive visitors and strangers. His sleeping house and that of his wife or wives are generally behind the obu or by its side, and this section is usually separated from the obu by a wall with an entrance linking the domestic and private section of the compound with the ‘public’ part.
    --(Shaw, 1977: 99)

    This description fits the model of the nobleman’s estate at Akhetaten, mentioned above, in the following particulars: the rectangular walled compound, the disposition of the obu, the wall with an entrance separating the obu from the domestic and private section of the compound, the secret back exit. (See picture of the model in The Macmillan Family Encyclopaedia, 1988: Vol. 7, 88)
    This architectural correspondence needs to be explored. Detailed plans of the traditional Igbo houses and compounds should be compared with those of Kemet.

    11. Dualities and dialectics

    A marked proclivity to dualistic formulations is evident in Kemetic. Politically, Kemet was the Two Lands, the two kingdoms which were unified by Mena; a state watched over by the Two Ladies, the Goddess of Upper Kemet with the Vulture as its emblem, and the Goddess of Lower Kemet with the Cobra as its emblem; the Two Crowns – the Red Crown of Upper Kemet and the White Crown of Lower Kemet, etc. Even the Central Pantheon of Kemet consists of pairs of gods or principles – the great Khamannu or the Eight Gods. This is explainable as a psychological imprint from the geography and the political history of Kemet – a land of contrasted dualities: The two Lands, the narrow valley of Upper Kemet vs. the broad delta of Lower Kemet; the red land of the deserts vs. the black land of the farms; the dry desert vs. the well-watered river; the flat riverine plain vs. the sharp cliffs of the hills at the edges.
    Igbo language is dotted with double phrases such as these:

    Okwu n’Uka = quarrel, trouble = lit. word and talk; dispute and dispute.
    Ako n’Uche = intelligence = lit. wits and thoughts; sense and sense.
    Mgba n’Ogu = conflict, strife = wrestling and fighting.
    Ezi n’Ulo = household = lit. the precincts and the house.
    Ikwu n’Ibe = relatives and companions; kinsfolk and friends.
    Ofo n’Ogu = Emblem of justice and emblem of innocence
    Elu n’Ala = up and down
    Ogbo n’Uke = peers = lit. age group and age mates

    Some dualisms repeat the same idea, sometimes with slight variations (e.g. okwu n’uka); some yoke together complementary pairs of ideas (e.g. ezi n’ulo; elu n’ala). Sometimes, as in the name phrase obodo Idu-na-oba = the land of Edo and Oba, i.e. the Bini Kingdom, the name of the people is joined to the title of their king to form a compound name for the country, all in a tour de force to conform to the duality formula.
    Furthermore, in Igbo settlements, there is

    territorial dual organisation in which villages and communities are divided into an ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ section . . . sometimes based on geographical location, e.g. Ndi Elugwu (the People of the Hill Top) and Ndi Agbo (the People of the Valley); sometimes it was based on seniority in which the senior group was called Ikenga and the junior group Ihitte. (Oguagha, 1989: 88, 93 n. 7)

    It should be noted that Elu and Agbo literally mean ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ respectively.
    While some expression in Igbo appear to be dualistic purely out of rhetorical formalism (e.g. Idu-na-Oba, Okwu n’Uka), others express the ontological complementarity which lies at the foundation of dialectics.
    In the Igbo world-view, “Ife di abua abua”: things exist in pairs.

    “The Igbo . . . see objects and people, events and situations as existing and functioning in dualities.” (Nwoga, 1984: 25)

    Even kolanut lobes are said to be male and female in form. (Ekwunife, 1990: 109)
    These dualities are prone to dialectical transformation.

    “Things . . . form and act in dualities . . It is through this maze of a world of dualities that the Igbo person has to move, with his wits around him, in pursuit of the goals of life. The philosopher mad man put it brilliantly: ‘Uwa wu mgbanwe mgbanwe’.”

  • --(Nwoga, 1984: 23, 45)

    The Igbo proclivity to see, organize and interpret the world in complementary and interactive pairs is evident in usages such as the following:

    Oha-na-Eze : the public and the notables = the political community
    Ofo na ogu : the Ofo and the Ogu = the dual agencies of justice and innocence

    Consider the expression Ofo na ogu. Whereas the ofo is the emblem of justice, the ogu is an emblem of innocence, a piece of wood used in taking oaths and swearing innocence. In practice, both function as a complementary and dialectical pair. Hence, it is held that whoever invokes the power of ofo in order to avenge an offence must be sure he is innocent of having provoked that offence by his own offence; i.e. he must have ogu, otherwise ofo will either not perform or it will punish him too.
    As another example of the duality of countervailing powers, consider the saying, from Illah, that “kings and masquerades don’t stay together.” At Illah, the lineages are split into two contending groups, the Umu Eze or Children of the King, and the Umu Mmuo or Children of the Masquerade. The Umu Eze were the first settlers and have an exclusive right to kingship. The Umu Mmuo are the later immigrants, and they contest the power monopoly by the Umu Eze. The king-and-masquerade dialectic is, thus, that of the fundamental political division in Illah.
    At Onitsha, it is said that if the tall masquerade enters the Obi’s palace, he loses his throne. This custom clearly makes manifest a contradiction between two forms of sacred authority which probably represent two basic political divisions in the polity. (Isichei, 1977: 146)

    In the Khamannu doctrine of Pharaonic Egypt, the cosmos is presented on the model
    of complementary and antithetical dualities, as pairs of opposite principles which are at the origin of things. According to the Khamannu cosmogony, in the beginning, the primeval water “contained within itself the germs or beginnings, male and female, of everything which was to be in the future world.” From the primeval waters emerged the eight elements, four males and four females in four male-female pairs. These were
    Kuk and Kuket : darkness and light
    Heh and Hehet: the limitless and the limited
    Amun and Amunet: the hidden and the visible
    Nun and Nunet: matter and emptiness
    (Budge, 1967: xcviii, xcix)

    The cosmogony then “explains all the phenomena of the universe by the action of the law of opposites.” These antitheses are the basis of dialectics and dialectical thought. (Diop, 1991: 353)
    Thus, in the Kemetic world view, the universe is seen as organized in paired principles and at all levels: the primeval waters, the primoridal gods, the Pharaonic state of the Two Lands, etc.
    What is significant here, both in the Kemetic and the Igbo world-views, is the pervasive nature of this dualist-dialectical configuration of the cosmos. It is at the root of the world-view of each culture; and they preferentially focus on dualties, and even impose dualities when such are not there! But whereas the habit of dualistic expression in Kemetic has a geo-historical explanation (Wilson, 1951: 17), the Igbo proclivity to dualistic formulation and organization cannot be explained as a manifestation of geographical or historical influences from present-day Igboland, and is probably a carryover from Kemetic culture into Igbo culture.

    12. Persons consecrated to the gods

    In Kemet, there were persons who were consecrated to the service of the gods. They were persons of varied ranks, from royals to slaves, with various conditions of service and taboos attached to their persons.
    One such category was “The Spouse of Amun” or “The God’s Wife of Amun”, a daughter of the Pharaoh who was consecrated to Amun, and who was sworn to life-long virginity. She had her own priestly estates, and wielded enormous power as the Pharaoh’s representative -- and protector of Pharaoh’s interests -- within the powerful priesthood of Amun. (Gardiner, 1961: 318, 343; Diop, 1991: 314, 335)
    Another category were the priests. Their status as consecrated servants of the deities was reflected in the terminology for the prophets, priests of the highest rank, who were called hm-ntr, meaning slave-of-the-god.
    Another category was that of persons whose parents dedicated them to whatever god had rendered them some exceptional favour, such as curing their infertility. “It was commonplace in these cases for the child – born through the benign intervention of the god – to be dedicated to his service.” [See Finch, in Van Sertima, ed., Great Black Leaders, New Brunswick: Transaction, 1993, p. 224]
    Yet another category consisted of prisoners of foreign war who were owned as slaves by the temples, such as those who were presented to Amun by Rameses III, as part of war booty after the defeat of the Sea Peoples who had attempted to invade Kemet. (Gardiner, 1961: 287; Wilson, 1951: 270, 271) Large numbers of temple slaves were yielded by the defeat of various invaders: the Hyksos, the Rebu/Libu, the Sea Peoples, etc. There were some 100,000 of such temple slaves by the end of the reign of Rameses III, according to a document from that era. Like their counterparts who were distributed to the estates of the Pharaoh, or to nobles or soldiers, these prisoners of foreign wars, and their descendants, were hereditary slaves. They were distinct from the native temple workers: these latter were paid employees, just like those who worked on the estates of the Pharaoh and the nobles, or for other farmers. Some of these paid employees are known to have gone on strike when payments were unbearably late in Ramesside times. (Wilson, 1951: 276)
    In pre-Christian Igboland, there were various categories of persons who were consecrated to the service of deities. They ranged from Eze Mmuo, chief priests, down to the Ndi Osu, the people owned by deities. (Williamson, 1972: 300) Their consecration originated in a variety of circumstances. A priest was usually chosen by the deity that he would serve; and the choice was revealed through divination or through possession by the deity. Some other consecrated persons were offered to the deity by their parents in fulfillment of promises made when asking favors from the deity. For example, concerning the Igbere, wives of the Atama Igbogbo, the chief priest of the female deity Igbogbo, it is said:

    It should be noted that the Igbere are women who were freely offered to Igbogbo when young either in fulfillment of promises made to the deity by their parents or for some religious reasons. The writer’s informants assured him that the Igbere are not Osu but wives of the incumbent Atama, even though no dowry was paid on their heads. Their sacred character stems from the fact that nobody except the priest could dare marry them without incurring the wrath of Igbogbo. Apart from this snag, they are as free as any other woman.
    --- (Ekwunife, 1990: 138)

    Thus, the Igbere were consecrated female servants of the goddess Igbogbo, and the institutional form through which their services were organized was as the co-wives of the Chief Priest of Igbogbo.

    13. Temple sanctuary servamts

    In Kemet, there was a category of persons who were consecrated to the deities to which they fled in quest of refuge. (Herodotus: 143)

    Yet another category of consecrated persons in Igboland was the Osu. Contrary to a common misunderstanding today, an Osu was not a slave; the term for a slave is ohu. Furthermore, the expression

    Igo osu Ekpe/Chukwu = Consecration of a person to the deity Ekpe/Chukwu

    makes clear what an osu is, and shows that its counterpart in Christianity or Bhuddism would be a monk or nun or other consecrated acolyte. A counterpart in Roman religion might be a vestal virgin – if the osu, like the Spouse of Amun – was vowed to virginity. The now widespread notion that osus were slaves was a slanderous concoction by Christian missionaries who were hostile to Igbo religion and who sought every weapon to vilify and undermine Igbo society.
    Now, every consecrated person (whether priest or temple servant) was hedged by taboos, each category with the taboos specific to it. That the life of an osu was hedged with taboos did not make him or her unusual in a society where every sphere of life had its taboos. If simply because of the taboos of his status an osu was a slave, then so too was every nze (titled man) and every eze (king) and every dibia in Igboland!
    However, the osu status differed from others in so far as it was hereditary in a society where most others were achieved. Furthermore, some of the derogatory aspects of the osu taboos may be related to how some osus came to be osu in the first place. Some, for example, were prisoners of war, or criminals from other towns, or simply undesirables. Some were evil doers who were reduced to osu status by their community. Some became osu for such misdeeds as fighting a masquerade or retaliating when whipped by a masquerade, i.e. fighting an ambassador to the living from their ancestors.

    Masquerades frequently publicize crimes committed by the villagers, and the culprits are appropriately fined. If the alleged criminal becomes violent and attacks the masquerader, the latter falls down and pretends death. The villagers then proceed to the house of the man who “killed” the masquerader and would attempt to burn his house down and kill him, but should he escape he would automatically become an Osu or outcast.
    --( Lieber, 1971: 42)

    Some were ostracised as osu for revealing to the uninitiated the secrets of the masquerade, an offence comparable to violating the official secrets act of a European state. Some others volunteered themselves into the osu status by putting themselves under the protection of a deity. Among these would be a coward who, not wanting to risk his life in battle to defend his community, might run off to the shrine of a deity and take sanctuary there. Such a draft dodger or army deserter would save his life at the cost of his status.
    The derogatory phrases

    igbana n’osu = to seek refuge with a deity,
    mmadu igo onwe ya osu = a person putting himself under the protection of a deity

    suggest that those who became osu by seeking refuge with a deity, and were thereby saved from the consequences or punishment for some crime or abomination, nevertheless carried the taint of that abomination, and passed it on to their descendants. Though spared the death penalty by virtue of coming under the protection of a deity, they and their descendants remained social outcastes.
    Clearly, the osus among the Igbo were not comparable to the untouchables of India; the latter were the black aborigines, conquered by white Aryan invaders and systematically dispossessed and oppressed, and made the footmat and spitoon of the caste system. The osu was not anything like the crushed helot of Sparta, or as the black slave of the USA who was legally a mere chattel, a sub-human property of his owner, an animal with no social or political standing who could be killed at the whim of his master. Nor was the osu treated like the heretics in Christendom, who were often tortured and roasted alive on public bonfires. The nearest equivalent of the osu is the prisoner serving a life term for a crime which his society considers heinous.
    Every society has its ways of ridding itself of incorrigible and fundamental transgressors, those who put themselves beyond the pale, such as murderers of their fellows or violators of the fundamentals of social order, or desecrators of what their society holds sacred. How to rid itself of such fellows when a society has no prisons or executioners? This is where the osu and the ohu institutions were deployed. Those involuntary ohu who lost their liberty by being sold away, were the equivalents of those secular criminals who the British transported to Australia or the French to Devil’s Island or the Russians to Siberia; or the Americans sentenced to the chain gang. Those involuntary osu, who became the ostracised servants of deities, were the equivalents of those in Europe who committed religious crimes or crimes against the sacred order such as heresy or witchcraft or trafficking with the devil. Such persons were roasted alive on public bonfires by the Inquisition. When placed in appropriate comparative context, it becomes clear that the Igbo were far less harsh to their criminals than the very European societies which have defamed Ndiigbo as savages, primitives and barbarians.
    By the way, in as much as an osu is not an ohu, the common Igbo name, Nwosu, literally, “child of osu”, does not mean son of a slave. It is an ogbanje name, and does not even imply that its bearer is descended from an osu. An ogbanje is a child “born several times, dying each time and returning to the world of spirits.” One of the devices used by its afflicted parents to make it stay with them is the ogbanje name:

    Certain proper names are given to surviving ogbanjes. But the parents can decide not to give the surviving ogbanje an ogbanje proper name. The names however are believed to help in preventing the ogbanje from returning to the world of spirits. The names include Nonyelum -- stay with me; Nwosu -- the son of osu (but this does not make such a child an osu. It is meant to bring shame on the ogbanje . . . ).
    --- (Williamson, 1972: 404, 406)

    Rather than an attempt to shame an ogbanje, the reason for this particular name is this: a mother afflicted by an ogbanje might name the next child Nwosu, thus giving him to the gods to hold as their own servant. The gods were expected to take Nwosu into their care and keep him alive; other children born after him would receive the gift of life from the goodwill which the gods, already appeased through Nwosu, would extend to his siblings.
    The various categories of persons consecrated to the gods in Igboland need to be investigated. Were those who were consecrated to serve a god out of parental gratitude for a divine favor treated in the same way as those who were refugees in the temple of a deity? Was their status inherited by their descendants? It would be strange if they were treated indistinguishably from the refugees from legitimate punishment.
    From the foregoing, it should be clear that the matter of Osu is ripe for a thorough re-investigation.

    14. Orientation of sacred structures

    The proper orientation of sacred structures was a very important matter in Kemet. According to Theophile Obenga,

    The Egyptian temple and all places of worship (lakes, sanctuaries, pyramids, obelisks, palaces) must belong to the cosmic order of Maat. That is why all the axes of sacred edifices are obedient to the energizing lines of the Universe itself. Here again we see the thirst, the desire, vivid and renewed, for integration into the cosmic whole. Moreover, the decorations on the walls and ceilings of temples always celebrate the starry Universe in a state of constant and perpetual creation. Festivals which renew human and cosmic forces have always existed in Black Pharaonic Egypt. If the stars and constellations were at the center of the Egyptian philosophers’ and priests’ preoccupation . . . it was because the intellectual impulse of Black Pharaonic Egypt, an impulse rare to find in those distant times, sought to identify itself with the force and power of the sun which enables everything to live on earth. (Van Sertima, 1989: 318)

    As a rule, the great architectural structures, including the pyramids, had a north-south orientation. Their sides were oriented, with great precision, to the four cardinal points. (Diop, 1991: 282; Van Sertima, 1992: 13, 141, 148) For example, the sides of the Great Pyramid of Khufu (called the “horizon of Khufu”) were accurately oriented to face east, west, north and south. “The orientations of Egyptian temples were set with extreme precision by astronomical observations in accordance with their worship of the stars or the sun.” Furthermore, they “were aware of the change in the positions of stars over the centuries caused by the precession of the equinoxes. They made successive realignment of the axes of symmetry of various temples.” (Pappademos, in Van Sertima, 1985: 97)
    Evidence of a similar precision and care in orienting sacred structures in Igbo culture may be seen in the Igbo Ukwu excavations. The following observations are based on the diagrams and pictures in Thurston Shaw’s report.

    A] Notice the N-S orientation of the digs. (Fig. 2.1, Shaw, 1977: 8)

    B] Of the treasure burial pit, Shaw reports that “the area covered by the burial deposit was roughly rectangular, about a metre and a quarter wide, and about 2m long from north to south.” (p. 49). This implies that it was aligned N-S and E-W.

    C] Of the altar/platform on which treasures were laid out, an approximately N-S and E-W oriented rectangle is indicated in Fig. 3.43. (Shaw, 1977: 42,43)

    D] Of the alignment of the seated corpse, Shaw reports that “it seems likely from the way the skeleton was found that the figure was seated facing in an approximately southwesterly direction.” (Shaw, 1977: 59) This description is potentially illuminating. To bring out its significance, we should note that for the Kemites, the location of the land of the dead was toward the sunset, hence in the west; and that they made a practice of burying dead bodies facing west. (“Funerary Rites and Customs: Historical Survey – Egypt”, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1965, Vol. 9, p. 1014.) In late December, at the Winter Solstice, the sun is at its greatest declination to the south, and rises from the south-east and sets in the south-west. That the body was facing approximately S-W would suggest that it was made to face the setting sun at a time of the year close to the winter solstice. If this conjecture is correct, the body would have been buried with particular care to identify it, as Obenga pointed out, “with the force and power of the sun.” Thus, this burial orientation in Igbo Ukwu would be in accordance with the principles followed in Kemet!

    In the light of the possibilities of the Igbo Ukwu example, all excavators in Igboland would do well to carefully record the orientations of the finds. From such data, we might discover if there was a preferred orientation system for traditional Igbo sacred structures.

    [h=2]Part III: Pharaoh/ Nri correspondences[/h]
    [h=3]Divine kingship[/h]
    The Pharaoh was a divine king. He was believed to be the divine and incarnate son of the Sun-god Re. He was believed to be born of woman by immaculate conception and, on his bodily death, his spirit rejoined his father Re and the other immortal gods. His function was to maintain the cosmic order, Maat, by controlling the vital forces of the cosmos for the benefit of his land and its people. [Finch, in Nile Valley Civilization, p. 181; Van Sertima, BWIA, p. 37; Pyramid Texts, in Lichtheim I, p. 36;]

    The Eze Nri is a divine king, a spirit and supernatural being. He is not a chief priest and does not perform priestly functions. He does not offer sacrifices. “On the contrary, sacrifices are offered to the Eze, as the living member of Nrimenri, ‘the kings of Nri taken collectively’ by the chief palace priest.” [Onwuejeogwu, 1980:58] His functions include maintaining the cosmic order so as to guarantee rain and the fertility of the land and prevent the pests that ruin crops. He metaphysically controlled spirit and physical forces, just like any living Pharaoh, as a divine king, was said to do.

    [h=3]Doctrines of collective kingship[/h]
    In one passage from the Instructions of Kheti, we catch a glimpse of a Kemetic doctrine of collective pharaohship which bear comparison with Nrimenri, the doctrine of collective Nriship:

    The Lord of the Two Shores is one who knows,
    “A king who has courtiers is not ignorant;
    As one wise did he come from the womb,
    From a million men god singled him out.
    A goodly office is kingship,
    It has no son, no brother to maintain its memorial,
    But one man provides for the other;
    A man acts for him who was before him,
    So that what he has done is preserved by his successor.”
    --Lichtheim, 1975: 105

    Commenting on this passage, Jacob Carruthers has pointed out that this is a statement of “the continuity and impersonal nature of the institution. . . . Each new pharaoh continues the work of all of his predecessors. This is the significance of the Re-Horus and Osiris-Horus relationship. Whatever the actual biological connection, each pharaoh is the son of the preceding pharaoh and the direct descendant of all the pharaohs.” (Carruthers, 1986: xxx)
    This is an important insight and bears elaboration. Pharaohship is a collective office, because of the pharaoh’s advisers and because of the work done by his predecessors, each of whom, unlike ordinary mortals, was born wise. Each pharaoh is the lord of wisdom, for he is an incarnation of the Sun-god, Heru or Re, as indicated by his Heru-name in the earliest dynasties and by his Re-name in the subsequent dynasties. The pharaoh’s Heru or Re name was not an empty formulary. In the Kemetic theory of personality, the name, ren, is a component of the person. Through his Heru or Re name, a pharaoh partook of the attributes of the Sun-god, including its divine wisdom.
    The doctrine of collective Nriship is expressed in the concept of Nrimenri, the spirit of all Eze Nri taken together, which is regarded as the collective royal ancestor.
    The Eze Nri, as the living member of Nrimenri, holds the ofo Nrimenri, the collective ofo staff of living and dead Eze Nri. “Sacrifices are offered to the Eze, as the living member of Nrimenri, ‘the kings of Nri taken collectively’” (Onwuejeogwu, 1980: 36, 58)

    [h=2]Ritual death and resurrection[/h]
    In the Sed Festival, the Pharaoh went through a ritualistic death and revivication to restore his vitality so he would have enough power to carry out his cosmos-ordering function. [Diop, 1974: 138]

    The Eze Nri, as part of his coronation rites, went through a symbolic death, burial and resurrection. [Onwuejeogwu, 1987: 63] Consequently, at his physical death later on, there were no elaborate burial rites.

    [h=3]The king’s dwarfs or pygmies[/h]
    Both the Pharaohs and the Eze Nri had a special fondness for dwarfs and pygmies. Ptah, the great god of Mennefer (Memphis to the Greeks) was often represented as a dwarf or pygmy. (Finch in Great Black Leaders, p. 222) In the Old Kingdom, Pharaoh Pepi II of Dyn. VI, expressed immense delight when one of his agents, Harkhuf, wrote to say he was bringing him a dancing pygmy from central Africa. An earlier Pharaoh, Izozi of dyn. V,) had also been presented with a pygmy from central Africa. [Gardiner, 1961: 58-59; Budge, 1967: xxv] And the dancing dwarf, Bes, was the jester god of recreation who made children laugh. [“Egypt”, EB (1965) Vol. 8: 53, 55?]
    The Eze Nri keeps dwarfs in his palace, and is known as a collector and protector of dwarfs. They are part of his palace retinue, and some play the role of jesters. As a result of the Eze Nri’s solicitude for dwarfs wherever found, one of the names for them is Nwanshi, i.e. a child of Nri.

    [h=3]The Council of Thirty[/h]
    In Kemet, there was an institution named The Council of Thirty; it was the supreme tribunal of Egypt.

  • In Nri, there is a council called Illimmadunato, which literally means “Thirty persons”. It is a council of women, and one of the institutions through which the Eze Nri rules. [Onwuejeogwu, 1980: 46] What is peculiar about this name is that it uses the Pharaonic base ten form rather than the Igbo base twenty form. Illimmadunato literally means “ten people thrice”; the standard Igbo expression for thirty would be “ogu na iri”, i.e. literally “twenty plus ten”. This suggests that it might be a transliteration of a Kemetic expression into Igbo.

    Pharaoh and Eri as Heru (Horus)
    One of the earliest conceptions of the Pharaoh was that he was a manifestation of the sky god Heru, who was symbolized as the hawk. This concept dates back to pre-dynastic times, and gave rise to the Horus-name of the Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom.
    Eri, the founder of the Nri system, was likewise presented as a manifestation of Heru. In fact, his name, Eri, is a rendition of the Kemetic name Heru or Eru, the Horus of the Greeks. The Eri of Igbo legend is said to have dropped from the sky, a claim which befits the sky god symbolized by the hawk whose name he bore.
    [h=3][/h]*Note: These similarities indicate that study of the Eze Nri institution, its doctrines and practices, could be most helpful in illuminating the Pharaohship of Kemet.

    [h=3]Eri and Nri as Kemetic words[/h]

    1] Eri: This is a rendition of the Kemetic name Heru or Eru, the Horus of the Greeks. Heru was a Kemetic sky god who was symbolized by the hawk, and of whom each reigning Pharaoh was the incarnation. The Eri of Igbo legend is said to have dropped from the sky, a claim which befits the sky god symbolized by the hawk whose name he bore. Furthermore, he is said to be a man of mystical power who was sent to rule the people of the Anambra, a man who metaphysically controlled spirit and physical forces, just like any living Pharaoh, as a divine king, was said to do. Thus, the Eri of Igbo legend, by his name and attributes, is a manifestation of Heru, a form of the Kemetic sky god and the embodiment of the Pharaoh-spirit.
    Furthermore, Eri’s initial deed in drying the morass recalls the Memphite/Mennefer creation story. Eri and the Awka blacksmith and the anthill in the waterlogged morass play the same roles in the Igbo story as are played in the Kemetic story by Ptah (one of whose epithets is “the Disk of heaven”), and Atum, the fire god, and the hill, Ta-tjenen, in the primeval water, Nun. Structuralists would say that the Igbo story is the same as the Kemetic, but retold with local characters and local color.

    2] Nri: In Kemetic, the word nri means “be in terror of something or someone”, and nrw means terror. In Igbo usage, the word Nri is a title and not a personal name. Used as a title, the word, in Kemetic, would mean the Awesome One or His Awesomeness. Hence, Nri Ifikuanim would mean His Awesomeness Ifikuanim or The Owesome One, Ifikuanim.
    Does the Igbo nomenclature denote the divine awe which the Eze Nri, as a god and king, sought to inspire, and which his ritual seclusion cultivated? In this regard, consider the story of how, on Nri Obalike’s first appearance in the courtroom at Awka, “the whole assembly rose and prepared to flee . . . so great was the awe which he inspired.” An Eze Nri was, after all, considered a great spirit. Having already died, and been buried and resurrected through his coronation rituals, he was no longer a mere mortal. Also consider the observation, made about the town of Agukwu Nri, by Prof. Onwuejeogwu, that “the mysterious and awe-inspiring attributes associated with Nri is partly derived from the physical isolation of Nri.” This suggests a deliberate cultivation, in both the kingship and the choice of its location, of the aura of divine awesomeness denoted by the Kemetic meaning of the word Nri.
    We can now see that these two Igbo names are Kemetic words, and that their meanings in Kemetic aptly symbolize the deeds and the aura of these culture heroes of Igboland.

    ===========================
    [h=3]Deities[/h]
    [h=4]The Sun God[/h]
    In Kemet, the Sun God was worshipped in various forms, the main ones being as Re, as Heru and as Aten.
    As Re, he was the head of the company of nine great gods of Annu (Heliopolis to the Greeks).

    “From a number of passages drawn from the texts of all periods it is clear that the form in which god made himself manifest to man upon earth was the sun, which the Egyptians called Re . . . .Re was the visible emblem of God, and was regarded as the god of this earth, to whom offerings and sacrifices were made daily.”

    As Heru, the sun-god represented the sun at various periods of the day and night, e.g. as Heru-ur or Heru the Great; as Heru-merti or Heru of the two eyes, i.e. the sun and the moon; as Heru-nub or the Golden Heru; as Heru-khent-an-maa or Heru dwelling in blindness; as Heru-khuti or Heru of the two horizons.
    During the 18th Dynasty,

    “the conceptual dominance of sun worship had turned the sun-god into the all-embracing creator-god who manifested himself in many forms and under many names . . . And his visible form, the sun-disk (Aten) became yet another manifestation of the god himself.”

  • Under Akhenaten, the world’s first known monotheist, Aten, the sun-disk, became the sole god. Thus, the first monotheist god ever was the sun-god, in the form of Aten, the sun-disk.
    In Igbo religion, as in Kemet, Anyanwu, the sun, is a manifestation of Chukwu, the Supreme God.

    “Chukwu is Anyanwu, which symbolically means the sun. Nri people believe that as the sun’s light is everywhere so is the presence of Chukwu manifest everywhere; as the sun is all powerful so is Chukwu all powerful and as the sun is the light that reveals things so is Chukwu the source of knowledge.”
    -- (Onwuejeogwu, 1997b: 30)

    Anyanwu, the Igbo Sun-god, was worshipped in many parts of Igboland. In the Nsukka area, “Anyanwu is regarded as a benevolent divinity and prayers are offered to it for good health.”
    At Mba-Amon,

    “Anyanwu is the god of the sun to whom are sacrificed kola nuts and snuff which is left on the stones or pots next to the shrine of the oracle. After the beating of gongs to attract his attention, goats, sheep, dogs, chickens and even cows are offered to Anyanwu if the divining oracle demands such. Most households have a personal Anyanwu shrine the symbol of which is a tree called ‘Ogbu’. [The fig tree.] The time for offering sacrifices to Anyanwu is either at sunrise or sunset, when the sacrifical animal is slaughtered by the priest and the blood poured on the bowls and stones in front of the diviner’s shrine. Every member of the family gets his share to be eaten after the sacrifice.”

  • Sun worship is reported from various parts of Igboland, besides the Nri and Nsukka areas, including Obaku, near Owerri; Awkunanaw, near Enugu. At Asaba, the sun-god is called Osebuluwa, i.e. Olisa-ebili-uwa, the ruler of the world or lord of the universe; he lives in the sun, and sacrifices to him are made at sunrise.
    Anyanwu = anya-anwu = the eye of Anwu, or the eye that does not die. The Kemetic city Annu, which the Hebrews called On, was the chief center of sun worship in Pharaonic Egypt. Is Anwu, the Igbo name for the sun, possibly taken from the name of the Pharaonic headquarters of sun worship?
    Besides the doctrine of manifestation – that the Supreme Deity manifests as the sun – there appears, in the nomenclature of the sun-god, another hint of a link between the Kemetic and the Igbo in matters of sun worship.

    [h=3]Divine kingship[/h]
    The Pharaoh was a divine king. He was believed to be the divine and incarnate son of the Sun-god Re. He was believed to be born of woman by immaculate conception and, on his bodily death, his spirit rejoined his father Re and the other immortal gods. [Finch, 1985: 181; Van Sertima, 1984: 37; Pyramid Texts, in Lichtheim, 1975: 36]
    Divine kings in Igboland include those of Nri, Onitsha and Issele-Uku. The Eze Nri is a divine king, a spirit and supernatural being. He is not a chief priest and does not perform priestly functions. He does not offer sacrifices. “On the contrary, sacrifices are offered to the Eze, as the living member of Nrimenri, ‘the kings of Nri taken collectively’ by the chief palace priest.” [Onwuejeogwu, 1980:58]
    Similarly, the Obi of Onitsha is a sacred king. He does not offer sacrifices, keeps no alusi, and prays direct to Chukwu, the supreme god, and not through intermediaries. “At the Udo the Obi undergoes a symbolic death. He is then purified and becomes a god.”
    The Issele-Uku king “was regarded as a living representative of the Gods or as a living shrine dedicated to the Gods. Being a spirit, the Obi or King lived in seclusion …the King, being a sacred king, was surrounded by taboos which limited his movements.” (Isichei, 1977: 143)
    It should be noted that whereas the Pharaoh is born a god, the Obi of Onitsha is deified.

    [h=3](Identical doctrines?)[/h][h=3][/h]

    [h=3]Death and resurrection doctrines and rituals[/h]
    The beliefs and institutions of Kemet were permeated by the doctrine and rites of death and resurrection. This was in two main forms: (a) the symbolic death and resurrection of certain living persons, a rite which enhanced their sacredness and spiritual powers; (b) the resurrection rituals for the dead to awaken and live as immortals. In Igboland, symbolic death and resurrection rituals were practised, but there is no evidence of the rituals for the dead to awaken and live as immortals.

    In Kemet, the Ausarean part of the religion was founded on the legend of the suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Ausar who was treacherously killed, dismembered, and buried, and who conquered death and became king of the underworld and judge of the souls of the dead. This very ancient legend became the inspiration for the quest for immortality which permeated Kemetic society and inspired the building of the pyramids and other everlasting monuments. [For Plutarch’s version of the story, see Budge, 1967: xlviii-liv] In the case of the pharaohs, xxxxxxxxx
    “The central theme and purpose of the Pyramid Texts is the resurrection of the dead king and his ascent to the sky. The principal stages of his dramatic conquest of eternal life are: the awakening in the tomb from the sleep of death; the ascent to the sky; and the admission to the company of the immortal gods.”


  • Later, this quest for immortality became democratized, so that every person had the potential to become an immortal like Ausar. The petitioner seeking resurrection and immortality prayed:

    Let life rise out of death . . .
    Let not decay make an end of me . . .
    May I rise like a living god and give forth light like the divine powers
    in heaven . . .
    --(Karenga 1986: 96)

    Where the Pyramid Texts had been the manual for the Pharaoh to attain immortality, the Book of Resurrection, misnamed the Book of the Dead by Egyptology, became the popular manual to guide anyone to resurrection and immortality.

    In Igboland, the symbolic death and resurrection rites were incorporated into the coronation and initiation rituals for kings, title society grandees, diviners, etc. For example, the Eze Nri and the Obi of Onitsha, as part of their coronation rites, went through a symbolic death, burial and resurrection. [Onwuejeogwu, 1987: 63; Isichei, 1977: 140] Consequently, at their physical death later on, there were no elaborate burial rites.
    Similar rites were part of the Ozo initiation at Awka In the adolescent initiation for boys intending to go into the divination profession, the rite of “Ida miri” was seen as a symbolic death and resurrection. [Uba, 1985: 21, 28]

    [h=3]Doctrine on Justice and arbitration[/h]
    In both Kemetic and Igbo culture, the guiding principles in arbitration were two: to provide a just settlement, and to reconcile the parties so as to restore communal harmony and balance.
    The archetypal statement of the Kemetic principles of arbitration is contained in one of its most ancient documents, The Memphite Theology as contained in the Shabaka Stone. The theme of the first part of that document is the judgement between Heru and Seth by the Nine Primordial Gods.

    “Geb, lord of the gods, commanded that the Nine Gods gather to him. He judged between Horus and Seth; he ended their quarrel.”

    At first, the jury of the Great Gods divided the land in two, and gave one part to Heru and the other to Seth. Then the decision was revised, because “it seemed wrong to Geb that the portion of Horus was like the portion of Seth. So Geb gave to Horus his inheritance, for he is the son of his firstborn son.” Then, having secured a just decision, the effort shifted to reconciling the two parties.

    “Reed and papyrus were placed on the double door of the House of Ptah. That means Horus and Seth, pacified and united. They fraternized so as to cease quarreling in whatever place they might be, being united in the House of Ptah. . . . Isis speaks to Horus and Seth: “Make peace - - -‘ Isis speaks to Horus and Seth: ‘Life will be pleasant for you when - - -’
    --(Lichtheim, 1975: 52, 53)

    Earlier on, in the great battle where Heru fought Seth, to avenge his father Ausar, an intervention was made by the other gods to prevent a total victory by one side.

    “In the Osirian legend, when Horus, light and sun, was about to achieve complete victory over Set, darkness and night, Thoth, the universal Mind and Balancer, stepped in, put a halt to the battle, and restored Set to his place. The universe was created in equilibrium and it is the subtle and complex interplay between the light and dark that gives our –universe its form and its reality.”
    --(Finch, “The Works of Gerald Massey” in Egypt Revisited, 1989, p. 412)

    Neither total victory nor unconditional defeat is acceptable to the lords of the universe, for that would subvert social peace by sowing resentment.

    In Igbo society, arbitration is guided by the same two aims and principles.

    “Laws are not made as an end in themselves. Laws are made to establish order, to restore justice and good neighbourly relations, for peace, happiness and the general good of the community. This is the native Igbo idea of law. . . . The community uses the law to safeguard itself and promote its good; the law is clearly perceived as the tool of the community.”
    -- Theophile Okere, “Law-making in Traditional Igbo Society” in G. M. Umezurike et. al., eds., Igbo Jurisprudence, (1986 Ahiajioku Lecture Colloquium), Owerri: Ministry of Information and Culture, 1986, p. 30

    Another manifestation of these principles is in the saying that “ikpe anaghi ama so otu onye” , i.e. that judgement is not given against one party alone.

    “The judicial processes are generally geared towards maintaining social order . . . The Igbo . . . do not seek to establish guilt for the purpose of awarding costs against the offender and to the winner. In a dispute over land, for example, the primary consideration of the legal process is how to guarantee rights and effect immediate and long lasting reconciliation . . .”
    --(Paul Chike Dike, “Igbo Traditional Social Control and Sanctions”, in G. M. Umezurike et. al., eds., ibid., p. 16.)

    (identical doctrines?)

    [h=3][/h][h=3]Doctrine on wealth[/h]
    In both Kemetic and Igbo culture, the doctrine on wealth is that wealth is acquired by man’s effort plus god’s gift; and that it is for sharing with others.
    In “The Maxims of Ptahhotep” this doctrine is eloquently put forth:

    “Share with your friends that which you have, for that which is yours is a gift of god” [Maxim 33?] (Karenga, ER: 361)
    “God lets (your field) prosper in your hand” [Maxim 9]

    Commenting on the maxims on this thems, Jacob Carruthers notes:

    “Wealth is viewed as the reward of an individual’s exemplary behaviour and at the same time as a ‘gift of God” . . . The honest acquisition of wealth is not a sufficient moral claim for the good person. He must also continue to demonstrate his goodness by spending the wealth through generosity to the poor folk as well as to his friends and family.”
    -- Carruthers, in Karenga and Carruthers, KATAW, p. 19. (1986)

    In the Igbo view, “Mgbali wu iriju afo; uba si la eke”, i.e. effort is to satisfy needs; wealth is from destiny. (Nwoga, 1984: 57) Furthermore,

    “the Igbo know that not all efforts bear the desired fruit. Only efforts blessed by Chukwu or chi produce such results. Thus when an Igbo makes substantial progress in his profession even after a tiresome struggle, he calls it onyinye Chukwu, the gift of god.” – Afigbo, 1981: 45 (?)

    The principle that wealth be distributed seems to have been given institutional form and encouragement through the Igbo title associations. These associations promoted honest enrichment and the distribution of wealth by title takers through payments and feasting. They thereby converted accumulated wealth into social prestige. Perhaps the most spectacular example of this principle is that of Whum, the last of the ten levels in the ozo title system at Awka.
    To take that title, one had to be rich and generous enough to feast all comers for three days, from sunrise to sunset, and to give away whatever any guest requested until everybody was satisfied. Significantly, that title was regarded as the last sacrifice to the gods.
    [h=3][/h][h=3][/h][h=3]Doctrine on suicide[/h]
    The attitudes of Kemetic and Igbo societies were identical on thje matter of suicide. In Kemet, such a death was regarded as a bad death, and it denied a person a proper burial and normal mirtuary service. This is illustrated in the story of the argument between a man and his soul, where it was pointed out to the would-be suicide that even his soul would not remain with him and serve him if he committed suicide. (See Wilson, 1951 :113)
    Similarly, in Igboland, suicide is treated as a bad death, and the corpse is thrown away in the bad bush. This was the fate of Okonkwo, the protagonist in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. What Achebe illustrated in his novel was stated thus by an Igbo elder, Nwaokoye Odenigbo, the Isi Nze of Uruoji, in Nri: “We do not condone suicide; it is an abomination that must be cleansed.”

    (identical doctrines?)

    [h=3][/h][h=3]Ontology[/h]
    Both the Kemites and the Igbo postulate a tripartite ontology, with the same three types of things or forces: mind, matter and spirit.
    In the Kemetic cosmogony, ( in the beginning, the Mind of the Universe contained the archetypes or concepts of all things that would some day be called into existence.) Then, creation was accomplished as follows: Tehuti, a form of the divine intelligence, devised the sun in his mind, i.e. he conceived in his mind the archetype of the sun. Then Khnum, the moulder, moulded the body or egg of the sun on his potter’s wheel; and then Ptah, with his tongue, gave the words of command which put breath or spirit into the body of the sun and brought it to life. The same process produced everything in the universe. This story displays a tripartite ontology consisting of mind, matter and spirit.
    In the story of the Vision of Pymander, the voice of Poimandres spoke to Tehuti (Hermes to the Greeks) and said: “I, thy God, am the Light and the Mind which were, before substance was divided from spirit and darkness from Light.” (Egypt: Child of Africa: 221) Thus, the priority of Mind over matter and spirit was affirmed.

    The Igbo also subscribe to a tripartite ontology made up of concept/mind, body/matter and spirit/soul. According to Donatus Nwoga,

    “the Igbo view the world . . as a multi-dimensional field of action admitting of three types of reality: physical, spiritual and abstract; . . ” (Nwoga, 1984: 25)

    In such an ontology, creation is an act which reifies concepts. In the Kemetic cosmogony, the archetypes, the concepts in the Universal Mind, were reified through the power of the word uttered by the tongue of Ptah. Such creation did not cease at the initial creation of the universe. Among the Igbo, some arusi are concepts which were reified or given material embodiment and spiritual force by the power of ritual utterance, some by the gods and some by human dibias. (Nwoga, 1984: 24)

    (identical doctrine)

    [h=3][/h]
    [h=4]B4) Demigods[/h]
    [h=3]Kemetic: Herushu[/h][h=3]Igbo: Arusi/Alusi[/h]
    The Herushu in Kemet and the Arusi/Alusi in Igboland are gods of a lower order, the created deities.
    The original Herushu, or Followers of Heru, were predynastic provincial leaders who ruled before Mena. They helped to unify Egypt and to found the Pharaonic state. They are reputed to have been blacksmiths, and they became deified. As demigods, they rank below the great deities.

    The Arusi of the Igbo are superhuman spirits and agents of the Supreme God, Chukwu.

    “Alusi are the invisible creations of Chukwu. They are the ‘beings’ or forces that manipulate the hidden laws made by Chukwu to produce good and evil which they shower onto the visible world of men.” (Onwuejeogwu, 1980: 36)

    There are four types of arusi: those established by Chukwu, such as Igwe and Ala; those established by Eri, such as Ifejioku, Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo; those established by the dibias, such as Idemili and Udo; and Agwu, the patron/tutelary deity of divination.

    The Orisha of the Yoruba, the Arusi of the Igbo and the Herushu of the Pharaonic Egyptians are cognate names for these demigods. They appear to be of two main types. First are the deified culture heroes, deified humans who act as principal intermediaries between humans and the other deities. Examples of this type are the Pharaonic Followers of Heru, and the Yoruba orisha Shango, a mighty king of Ife who hanged himself in distress after his experiments with lightining had caused disaster. Second are the reified concepts, those abstract concepts which are materialized and spiritized by the words and devices of dibias or spirit engineers. Ulu, in Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God was a deity installed by a strong team of medicine men, and exemplifies this type of Arusi.

    [h=3]Epithets[/h]
    Kemetic: s3 s = (lit.) son of man; (fig) man of rank, son of someone, wellborn
    Igbo: nwa mmadu = (lit) son of man

    The Kemetic “son of man” was used for “a man of good, though not princely, birth”; for the “wellborn.” (Gradiner, 1961: 126; Lichtheim, 1975: 143; 79, n. 59)
    The Igbo phrase “son of man” was used for a freeborn, i.e. one not a slave (ohu) and not a chief (eze) ; or for a non-orphan child, as opposed to an orphan, who was known as nwa mmuo, son of a spirit, since its dead parents were in spiritland. (Onwuejeogwu 1997a: 70)
    The two epithets literally have the same meaning, and denote the same status.

    [h=3]Sacred bulls and other animals and plants[/h]
    Animals and plants that were sacred to specific deities, or sacred in their own right, were numerous in Kemet and Igboland. In both cultures, sacred animals and plants were not harmed or killed or eaten, except for some in connection with special sacrifices. Otherwise, the penalty for killing them deliberately was often death, and for killing them accidentally, the penalty varied. When sacred animals died, they were given special burial.
    Though the list of sacred animals and plants in the two cultures overlap, evidence is generally lacking on whether any given sacred creature was given the same treatment in both cultures. However, in the case of the Apis bull in Pharaonic Egypt and the Efi Alusi in Igboland, such an identity is indicated.
    The efi alusi is owned by a village, and cannot be killed and, if it dies, it is given a burial like a human being. (Williamson, 1972: 36-37).
    The Apis bull, during its lifetime, was treated as the incarnation of the god Ptah. On its death, it was mummified, and buried with pomp in a special cemetry. The mummies of no less than 64 Apis bulls were discovered in the Serapeum at Memphis. (Gardiner, 1961: 325-326)
    [h=3][/h][h=3]Number symbolism[/h]
    Nwoga has observed that

    “For certain reasons which have yet to be explored, the Igbo have abstracted certain numbers and given them symbolic significance. . . . The origins and implications of these symbolic numbers still need to be explored.” (Nwoga, 1984: 37)

    Chief among such numbers are three, seven and nine.

    “3, (ato), is symbolic in Igbo thought and rituals: ife lue n’ato, o to (i.e.) something reaches its third time of occurrence stops or ceases or sticks. 3, although a small number is the mystical ultimate in any physical or metaphysical undertaking . . .
    7, (isa/asa) is highly significant in rituals and ceremonials. Sacrifices for the ozo title are arranged in heaps of seven.” –(Onwuejeogwu 1997a: 69)

    “Seven appears in speech and folk tales to represent the limits of distance and suffering so that when one is said to have crossed seven rivers and seven deserts, it is implied that he has reached the limits of the world. In areas of Igboland, offerings in great ritual events are made in multiples of nine. Romanus Egudu has reported on this in connection with igo odo.” –(Nwoga, 1984: 37)

    These particular Igbo number symbolisms are extracts from the Kemetic body of number symbolisms. In Kemetic number symbolism, three is the symbol of the first trinity which arose when the Sun-god, Ra, in the first act of creation, spat out Shu and Tefnut:

    “Ra was first a solitary god, and he had to create in actuality, meaning that he had to actualize the essences of the first secondary divinities, Shu (air) and Tefnut (water); this is when he exclaimed, ‘I was one; I became three’. Here we have the expression of the first divine trinity in the history of the religions.”
    -- (Diop, 1991: 342)

    The significance of three to the Igbo derives from this momentous episode in cosmogony, the creation of the universe: with the transformation of a solitary entity into a trinity, into three entities, the first act of creation stopped or rested ; this terminus point is commemorated in the Igbo saying that at its third repeat, an event comes to a rest or end.

    In the Kemetic number symbolism, seven is the symbol of The Seven Governors, the seven visible heavenly bodies moving against the background of the fixed stars. These are the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They were the complete set in the geocentric planetary system of the universe; their number, seven, therefore came to signify the limit of things in the universe. The significance of seven to the Igbo is explainable in terms of this geocentric cosmology of Kemet. Sacrifices in heaps of seven are symbolically being made to the seven powers that govern the cosmos.

    In Kemetic number symbolism, nine is the number of members in the company of the primordial Great Gods, the Paut Neteru. This gave the number its significance as the number for great groups.

    “The priests of Annu at a very early period grouped together the nine greatest gods of Egypt, forming what is called the paut neteru . . . or ‘company of the gods’ . . .; the texts also show that there was also a second group of nine gods called paut net’est . . . or ‘lesser company of the gods’; and a third group of nine gods is also known.” –(Budge, 1967: xcvii)

    When all the three companies of gods are addressed together, they form a trinity of nines, the supertrinity, from which the number 27 acquires its great symbolic significance.
    That offerings in great ritual events are made in multiples of nine, in Igboland, is a legacy of the Kemetic symbolism on nine. Such offerings are, in effect, being made to the three companies of great gods. If made in three multiples of nine, that would signify that the offering is made to the supertrinity, which represents all the gods.
    Certainly, a more extensive comparison of the Kemetic and Igbo number symbolisms would explain the Kemetic sources of many of the Igbo number symbolisms. But this is not the place for that task.

    These symbolisms, whose explanations and origns are lost to the Igbo, are explained by their Pharaonic counterparts; similary, many elements of Igbo culture can only be understood when seen against the backdrop of their pharaonic originals.

    Conclusion

    These correspondences indicate that Igbo language and culture contain a significant Kemetic component. There are several others which I have spotted but have not sufficiently analyzed for inclusion in this particular paper. The full extent of the Kemetic component in Igbo culture, and how it came to be there, are matters for further investigation. This opens up a new dimension to Igbo studies as well as to Kemetology.

    Suggestions for further investigation

    Some other spheres of life in which correspondences may be usefully sought between Kemetic and Igbo culture are:

    · Burial rites
    · Embalming and mummification techniques
    · Reincarnation: theory and practice
    · Circumcision and cliteridectomy: theory and practice
    · Architecture and furniture styles
    · Consecration of buildings and building sites, including foundation laying rituals
    · Mental health: theory and cures
    · Midwifery
    · Marriage rites
    · Child-naming practices
    · Education and character training
    · Metallurgical techniques and terminology
    · Pharmacopoeia

    Note: There are hints that Igbo/Olmec, Igbo/Greek, Igbo/Israelite, Igbo/Arabic correspondences arose through taking the same elements from the seminal culture of Kemet. These should be further explored to supplement our knowledge of such shared borrowings in the languages of the Black World.

    **************************************
    Bibliography

    Achebe, Chinua (1988) Hopes and Impediments, Oxford: Heinemann.
    Afigbo, A. E. (1981) Ropes of Sand, Ibadan: University Press Limited.
    Akbar, Na’im (1985) “Nile Valley Origins of the Science of the Mind, in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Nile Valley Civilizations: pp. 120-132.
    Bernal, Martin (1985) “Black Athena: The African and Levantine Roots of Greece”, in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., African Presence in Early Europe, New Brunswick: Transaction, pp. 66-82.
    Bernal, Martin (1991) Black Athena, Vol. II, London: Free Association Books.
    Budge, Wallis (1967) The Egyptian Book of the Dead, New York: Dover.
    Budge, Wallis (1969) The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. I, New York: Dover.
    Budge, Wallis (1969) The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. II, New York: Dover.
    Diop, C. A. (1974) The African Origin of Civilization, Westport: Lawrence Hill.
    Diop, C. A. (1991) Civilization or Barbarism, New York: Lawrence Hill.
    Ejizu, Christopher I, (1992) “Traditional Igbo Religious Beliefs and Ritual”, in A. E. Afigbo, ed., Groundworks of Igbo History, Lagos: Vista, pp. 804-822.
    Ekwunife, A. (1990) Consecration in Igbo Traditional Religion, Enugu: Jet.
    Emenanjo, E. Nolue (1978) Elements of Modern Igbo Grammar, Ibadan: University Press Limited.
    Enekwe, O. (1987) Igbo Masks, Lagos: Nigeria Magazine.
    Finch, C. (1985) “The Kamitic Genesis of Christianity,” in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Nile Valley Civilization: pp. 179-200.
    Gardiner, A. (1961) Egypt of the Pharaohs, London: Oxford University Press.
    Herodotus (1954), Herodotus: The Histories, A. de Selincourt, trans. London: Penguin.
    James, G. G. M (1988) Stolen Legacy, San Francisco: Julian Richardson Associates.
    Lichtheim, M (1975) Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. I, Berkeley: University of California Press.
    Lichtheim, M (1980) Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. III, Berkeley: University of California Press.
    Obenga,(1977) “Egyptian Language and Negro-African Languages”, in Iwara, A. U. and Mveng, E., eds., The Colloquium Proceedings of the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, Vol. I: Colloquium on Black Civilization and Education, pp. 94-104.
    Obenga, (1989) “African Philosophy of the Pharaonic Period”, in Ivan Van Sertima, ed. Egypt Revisited, New Brunswick: Transaction, pp. 286-324.
    Oguagha, Philip, (1989) “Igbo Influences in the Igala Country”, in Uwa ndi Igbo, No. 2, pp.88-95.
    Okeke, Uche, (1982) Art in Development, Nimo: Asele Institute.
    Onwuejeogwu, M. A. (1997a), Afa Symbolism and Phenomenology, Benin City: Ethiope
    Onwuejeogwu, M. A. (1997b), The Principles of Ethnogeneachronology, Benin City, Ethiope
    Onwuejeogwu, M. A. (1980), An Outline of an Igbo Civilization: Nri Kingdom and Hegemony, Onitsha (?): Tabansi
    Onwuejeogwu, M. A. (1973) “The Ikenga -- the cult of individual achievements and advancements”, Afri can Notes, Vol. VII, No. 2, pp. 87-99.
    Shaw, Thurstan (1977) Unearthing Igbo-Ukwu, Ibadan: Oxford University Press,
    Van Sertima, I. (1993) Great Black Leaders, New Brunswick: Transaction.
    Van Sertima, I. (1992) African Presence in Early America, New Brunswick: Transaction.
    Van Sertima, I. (1989) Egypt Revisited, New Brunswick: Transaction.
    Van Sertima, I. (1985) Nile Valley Civilizations.
    Williamson, Kay (1972) Igbo-English Dictionary, Benin City: Ethiope.
    Wilson, John A., (1951) The Culture of Ancient Egypt, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol.13, (1965)
    The Macmillan Family Encyclopedia, Vol. 7 (1988)

    3. Ofo and Maat: Gods of truth, justice and righteousness

    Maat, the Kemetic goddess of justice, is the foundation of cosmic, social and moral order, the principle on which the universe was ordered at the creation. The word Maat has a cluster of meanings including justice order, truth and righteousness. According to the Old Kingdom Kemetic sage, Ptahhotep,

    “Maat (the way of Truth, Justice and Righteousness) is great; its value is lasting and it has remained unequalled and unchanged since the time of its Creator. It lies as a plain path before even the ignorant and those who violate its laws are punished.”
    --[Ptahhotep (5:1-4) in Karenga, in Van Sertima, 1989: 358]

    According to Theophile Obenga,

    “Maat is the primordial principle which gives order to all values. . . it is, indeed, part of the cosmic order, part of the Truth-and-Justice that allows the Pharaoh (for all that he is and symbolizes) to protect the country from disorder, from chaos, from famine, from misery. In addition, all men living in society must conform to Justice and Truth, to Maat, the supreme Virtue, guide and measure of all human activity . . . Seen as a kind of preestablished harmony in the cosmos, Maat is order, Truth-and-Justice, Felicity supreme, inviting man in society to do and speak, think and act, to live and die according to what is true, normal, harmonious; according to virtue . . .
    --(Van Sertima, 1989: 275)

    Ofo, the Igbo god of justice, is the effective guardian of the moral code, for it punishes deviations from rectitude, truthfulness, righteousness and justice. It is symbolized by the ofo staff. The Igbo phrase, “iji ofo”, to hold the ofo, means go be just in one’s actions.
    Ofo is the moral and mystical power of the totality of the deities, the ancestors and the living members of the community; the ofo staff is the symbol, embodiment and manifester of that communal force.
    The ofo staff comes in various shapes. Sometimes it is a club-like shaft, a mallet, or a carved stick about six inches in length, or even a piece of wood about a foot long with brass rings on it. The ofo has the following standard functions:

    (1) a symbol of justice, truth, moral uprightness;
    (2) an emblem or staff of authority of priests, kings, leaders;
    (3) a symbolic instrument for controlling all manner of mystical forces;
    (4) a means of communicating with the ancestors, and transmitting prayers to them.

    “The ofo symbol appears to be the pre-eminent factor in winning the goodwill and favour of the divinities, in promoting the solidarity and peace of the umunna, and in shaping the community. Mythically conceived as a chip of the primal tree that grows in Chukwu’s compound, the ofo is revered everywhere among the Igbo as a sacred object which condenses or mediates in a mysterious way the cosmic power, truth, justice and moral uprightness collectively represented and upheld by the Supreme Being, the divinities, the ancestors and myriad spirit forces. To introduce the ofo into any setting is to proclaim that nothing short of truth, justice and moral uprightness is demanded of the audience. To fail to uphold these values is to provoke the wrath of, and hence the destructive potency associated with, the ofo.”
    – (Anthony J. V. Obinna, “Religion and Igbo Traditional Education”, in Igbo Traditional Education, Owerri: Ministry of Information and Culture , 1988; 68-69)

    The power and significance of ofo may be discerned from some Igbo names:

    Ofo has power (Ikeofo)
    Ofo has potency (Ofodile)
    Ofo can kill, hence Ofoegbulam = May ofo not kill me.
    Ofo can vindicate Ofonagorom = Ofo declares my innocence.

    The ofo’s power to vindicate an accuesd, to affirm inocence, echoes the Kemetic rite of Declaration of Innocence. That was the most famous stage in the Kemetic rite of resurrection, and is misleadingly called the Negative Confession by some Egyptologists (Karenga, 19 : 102; Budge, 1967: 344-353) The resurrected soul of the dead appeared before the 42 assembled gods in the judgement Hall of Double Maat, in a ritual presided over by Ausar, the Judge of the Dead. The soul then proceeded to declare itself innocent of a series of misdeeds:

    I have not despised God;
    I have not caused misery;
    I have not committed murder;
    I have not taken milk from the mouth of babes;
    I have not dammed flowing water; etc.

    Though Ausar presides, the dominant presence in the hall is Maat, the guardian of the unalterable laws of the universe. The roof of the hall is lined with the emblems of Maat; two Maat figures stand behind Ausar, and they personify physical law and moral rectitude; and the heart of the dead is weighed on a scale against a feather emblem of Maat. (Budge 1967: 347 and 256) Sins weigh down the heart; so if the heart is balanced by the light feather of Maat, it passes the test and is pronounced Maakheru, i.e. vindicated, righteous or justified. It is then admitted to the eternal company of the immortal gods. But if the heart fails the test on the scale, the resurrected soul is cast to the devourer monster, Amemet, which eats and annihilates it forever. (Budge, 1967: 255-259)
    In Igbo religion, the declaration of innocence or sinlessness was done daily at prayer, before the ofo emblem. Consider these two accounts from different parts of Igboland.
    At Akanu Ohafia,

    “prayers are not of a supplicative nature: instead of expressing a request the believer would enumerate his virtues in an address to Obasi-Di-Nelu; such a recital is frequently recited with the head toward the sky which is the abode of the supreme deity.” –(Lieber, 1971: 30)

    And from Ezinifite:

    “the believer in his morning prayer . . . reminds the ancestors of his own sinless nature, makes a circle around his head with the ofo. . .” – (Lieber, 1971: 74)

    The Kemetic words for scepter (mata), crook (heq), flail (khu), staff (mankht) do not bear any phonetic resemblance to ofo. However, the Kemetic m’nkht (mankht) = staff of truth.

  • designates one of the functions of the Igbo ofo stick. It is quite possible that, if and when they adopted the ritual from wheresoever, or brought it over to their present habitat, Ndigbo adopted a terminology that was ecologically more appropriate in their new habitat. Given that ofo is also the name of the plant from which the ofo stick is cut, it perhaps happened that the name of this rain forest plant was bestowed on the ritual object made from it as well as on what it symbolized.

    ===========
    One of the most famous stages in the Kemetic rites of resurrection was the Declaration of Innocence by the soul of the dead before the assembly of the 42 gods in the Judgment Hall of Ausar. (Karenga, Husia: 102) Some call it the Negative Confession. (Budge, 1967: 344-353)
    In Igbo, there is a vindication ritual, an affirmation of moral uprightness, Igo Ofo, which seems to echo that Kemetic Declaration of Innocence. It is a denial of wrongdoing which is ritually spoken while holding the ofo stick, the symbol of rectitude. Igo Ofo is probably short for

    Igo ago n’ihu ofo = to make denials before the ofo.
    ------------------
    Igo Ofo consists of two words: Igo = to deny; to worship; to bless.
    Ofo = the emblematic piece of wood.

    ----------------------

    They suggest a role for whatever was the ofo’s Kemetic counterpart in the Hall of Judgment, the Hall of Double Ma’at. The power and significance of ofo is discernible from such given names as

    Jideofo = hold the ofo (as you go about your affairs), i.e. be just in your actions.

    -----------------
    In Kemetic, This raises the possibility that there was a Kemetic symbol which was the functional prototype of the Igbo ofo stick. Could the ofo stick be an Igbo version of the symbol of Ausar, the Judge of Souls, a token of the emblems which Ausar holds when presiding in the Hall of Judgment?

    ---------------------
    Some expressions in which ofo is used are:

    -go ofo = bless with the ofo emblem.
    -ji ofo = be just in one’s actions.
    -ku ofo = knock ofo on the ground (of a priest when giving judgment).
    -su ofo = knock the symbol of justice on the ground.
    (Williamson, 1972: 400-401)

    These usages, and ofo’s role as a symbol of justice and moral uprightness, recall the cluster of meanings for the Kemetic term ma’at.

    [h=4]Igbo words and concepts with Pharaonic counterparts[/h]

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Chi (spirit double, procreative power, sun)
      [*]Eke (portion, destiny)
      [*]Chi-na-Eke (the twin gods of destiny)
      [*]Arusi/Erusi (demigod)
      [*]Ahu (body)
      [*]Obi (heart)
      [*]Ako (intellect, judgement, wisdom)
      [*]Ike (strength, power)
      [*]Ekwensu (mischief spirit, ‘devil’)
      [*]Ikenga (strength of the arm)
      [*]Mma (good, beautiful, just)
      [*]Mmanwu (masquerade)
      [*]Ima (to know)
      [*]Imu (to learn)
      [*]Ide (to write)
      [*]Otu (one)
      [*]Otu (union)
      [*]Anyasi/Enyasu (early night)
      [*]Ndi (things of/ people of)
      [*]Obu/obi (domestic temple)
      [*]Imenka (to carve, chisel)
      [*]Ime (inside)
      [*]Itu (to command)
      [*]Oto (upright)
      [*]Mmam (spirit)
      [*]Zibe (teaching)
      [*]Na (and, with)
      [*]Iru (face)
      [*]Evhu ala (viper)
      [*]Anwu (sun)
      [*]Ma/macha (measure)
      [*]Agha (battle, war)
      [*]Uma (character, behaviour)
      [*]Tomie (grow greatly)
      [*]Gwuo (dig)
      [*]Kuo (strike, hit)
      [*]Bu (is, are)
      [*]Eke (python)
      [*]Aku (wealth)
      [*]Isogbu (to trouble)
      [*]Tuo (make libation)
      [*]Imesu ozhu (to awaken the dead)
      [*]Ogbenye (poverty)
      [*]Mmanwu (masquerade)
      [*]Oyi (cold)
      [*]Ehi (cow)
      [*]Ahwa/aho (year)
      [*]Ebe (place)
      [*]Okhu (hot)
      ').'")."\n

    "'
    143. Ise (may it be so)

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Nwa mmadu (wellborn)
      [*]Umu ife/ndi ife (sons of light, the enlightened)
      ').'")."\n

    "'

    [h=4]146. Igbo names that are Kemetic words[/h]

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Eri
      [*]Nri
      [*]Ufere
      [*]Amobi
      [*]Isu
      [*]Ipeh
      [*]Khamannu/Khanu/Kanu
      ').'")."\n

    "'

    [h=4]Igbo doctrines and practices with Kemetic counterparts[/h]

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]Divine kingship
      [*]Nrimenri doctrine of collective kingship
      [*]The Council of Thirty (Illimmadunato)
      [*]Eze Nri’s dwarfs
      [*]Osu temple sanctuary and ostracism
      [*]Obu/obi domestic temple
      [*]Nsibidi symbols and pictographs
      [*]The family compound complex
      [*]Ofo, the god of Truth, Justice and Righteousness
      [*]The Eri creation story
      [*]Rituals for opening the eyes and other senses
      [*]Dualities and dialectics
      [*]Persons consecrated to the gods
      [*]Pantheon structures – dyads and trinities
      [*]Orientation of sacred structures
      [*]Anatomy of personality
      [*]Efi alusi, the sacred bull
      [*]Pervasive power of oracles and diviners
      [*]Doctrine of the four fundamental elements
      [*]Death and resurrection doctrines and rituals
      [*]Doctrines and worship of the Sun god, Anyanwu
      [*]Doctrines “ Chi
      [*]Doctrines “ Chi-na-Eke
      [*]Doctrines “ Ekwensu
      [*]Doctrines “ arusi
      [*]Doctrine of masquerades as manifestations of gods and ancestors
      [*]Doctrines and practices on arbitration
      ').'")."\n

    "'

    '"

      \n".self::process_list_items("'.str_replace('
      ', '', '
      [*]“ on wealth
      [*]“ on education
      [*]“ on a tripartite ontology
      [*]“ on suicide
      [*]Number symbolisms
      [*]Offerings in lots of seven and nine
      ').'")."\n

    "'
    This list includes doctrines, practices and terminology that are considered most typically Igbo, yet they are Pharaonic. Correspondences of such specificity, in such detail and in such variety and numbers more than meet the conditions for inferring diffusion. And since the Pharaonic culture was considerably older than the Igbo culture, and had already ceased to exist before the rise of the Igbos, diffusion could only have been from Pharaonic to Igbo society. But when and how?

    Chinweizu [OKMT44] (May 2002) (Feb. 98) Oct. 97 Sept. 96](Oct. 95) [Kmt1]Copyright © 1997 by Chinweizu (Draft; not for publication)

    Igbo-Kemetic Correspondences: Parts I and II
    A Diopian exercise in mutual illumination by two Black African cultures.

    The way is open for the rediscovery of the vocalics of ancient Egyptian from comparative studies with the languages of Africa.
    -- Cheikh Anta Diop

    This paper shall examine some correspondences between elements of Kemetic culture (i.e. Black Egyptian or Pharaonic culture) and Igbo culture. Part I shall present some philological correspondences -- phonetic, semantic and concept-cluster correspondences between words from the two languages. Part II shall present correspondences from a variety of areas of culture, correspondences which are not necessarily philological. Part III shall present correspondences specific to the Pharaoh and the Nri kingships.
    How these correspondences arose – coincidence, loan of words and practices, dispersal of population, etc. – is a matter for subsequent inquiry. The establishment of correspondences is, indeed, the necessary preliminary to investigations of how the correspondences arose and what they imply. Correspondences are culture tracers. And a culture tracer is “a device which enables us to trace the source or derivation of cultural items which appear to be alien to a society.” [Afigbo, 1992:52] Subsequent inquiry shall explore the significance of these correspondences for Igbo culture history and historiography, as well as for Black World Studies.
    Diop’s theses that Black Africa has cultural unity, and that Kemet (Pharaonic or Black Egypt) is to Africa what Greece is to Europe, provide the basic context for this inquiry. Accordingly, of the correspondences between Igbo and many other African cultures, the Igbo-Kemetic deserve special attention in Igbo culture history.

    Part I: Philological Correspondences

    These are drawn from the following areas of life:

    A) Anatomy of personality or personality theory;
    B) Deities;
    C) Valuation: ethical, aesthetical and technical;
    D) Education, knowledge, enlightenment;
    E) Astronomy: dawn and dusk phenomena;
    F) Miscellaneous.

    I should point out that phonetic correspondences are based on the consonantal structures of words. This is because Kemetic writing uses consonants only; as a result, the vowels used by Egyptology in rendering a word are conjectural and those arbitrarily adopted by convention result in what has been called Egypto-speak. For the vocalizations and meanings of Igbo words, I am relying on a variety of Igbo dialects, and particularly on the Isuikwuato dialect, the one with which I am most familiar. Some of these phonetic correspondences are not easy to spot if any one Igbo dialect is used exclusively; a correspondence that is not apparent in one dialect may become apparent in some other. For example, consider Aha (Egypto-speak) and Aro (Onitsha) and Ahwa (Isuikwuato); or Herushu (Egypto-speak) and Alusi (Nri) and Erusi (Afikpo).

    Igbo words and concepts with Pharaonic counterparts

    1. Chi (spirit double, procreative power, sun)
    2. Eke (portion, destiny)
    3. Chi-na-Eke (the twin gods of destiny)
    4. Arusi/Erusi (demigod)
    5. Ahu (body)
    6. Obi (heart)
    7. Ako (intellect, judgement, wisdom)
    8. Ike (strength, power)
    9. Ekwensu (mischief spirit, ‘devil’)
    10. Ikenga (strength of the arm)
    11. Mma (good, beautiful, just)
    12. Mmanwu (masquerade)
    13. Ima (to know)
    14. Imu (to learn)
    15. Ide (to write)
    16. Otu (one)
    17. Otu (union)
    18. Anyasi/Enyasu (early night)
    19. Ndi (things of/ people of)
    20. Obu/obi (domestic temple)
    21. Imenka (to carve, chisel)
    22. Ime (inside)
    23. Itu (to command)
    24. Oto (upright)
    25. Mmam (spirit)
    26. Zibe (teaching)
    27. Na (and, with)
    28. Iru (face)
    29. Evhu ala (viper)
    30. Anwu (sun)
    31. Ma/macha (measure)
    32. Agha (battle, war)
    33. Uma (character, behaviour)
    34. Tomie (grow greatly)
    35. Gwuo (dig)
    36. Kuo (strike, hit)
    37. Bu (is, are)
    38. Eke (python)
    39. Aku (wealth)
    40. Isogbu (to trouble)
    41. Tuo (make libation)
    42. Imesu ozhu (to awaken the dead)
    43. Ogbenye (poverty)
    44. Mmanwu (masquerade)
    45. Oyi (cold)
    46. Ehi (cow)
    47. Ahwa/aho (year)
    48. Ebe (place)
    49. Okhu (hot)
    50. Ise (may it be so)
    51. Nwa mmadu (wellborn)
    52. Umu ife/ndi ife (sons of light, the enlightened)

    53. Igbo names that are Kemetic words

    54. Eri
    55. Nri
    56. Ufere
    57. Amobi
    58. Isu
    59. Ipeh
    60. Khamannu/Khanu/Kanu

    Igbo doctrines and practices with Kemetic counterparts

    61. Divine kingship
    62. Nrimenri doctrine of collective kingship
    63. The Council of Thirty (Illimmadunato)
    64. Eze Nri’s dwarfs
    65. Osu temple sanctuary and ostracism
    66. Obu/obi domestic temple
    67. Nsibidi symbols and pictographs
    68. The family compound complex
    69. Ofo, the god of Truth, Justice and Righteousness
    70. The Eri creation story
    71. Rituals for opening the eyes and other senses
    72. Dualities and dialectics
    73. Persons consecrated to the gods
    74. Pantheon structures – dyads and trinities
    75. Orientation of sacred structures
    76. Anatomy of personality
    77. Efi alusi, the sacred bull
    78. Pervasive power of oracles and diviners
    79. Doctrine of the four fundamental elements
    80. Death and resurrection doctrines and rituals
    81. Doctrines and worship of the Sun god, Anyanwu
    82. Doctrines “ Chi
    83. Doctrines “ Chi-na-Eke
    84. Doctrines “ Ekwensu
    85. Doctrines “ arusi
    86. Doctrine of masquerades as manifestations of gods and ancestors
    87. Doctrines and practices on arbitration
    88. “ on wealth
    89. “ on education
    90. “ on a tripartite ontology
    91. “ on suicide
    92. Number symbolisms
    93. Offerings in lots of seven and nine

    A) Anatomy of personality or personality theory

    In the Kemetic anatomy of personality, there are nine component parts: one physical and eight spiritual. For five of the nine, I have found both phonetic and conceptual counterparts in Igbo. Three of the nine go under Igbo names that are phonetically different from their Kemetic counterparts, but denote the same concepts. For one of these nine, I have not yet found a conceptual equivalent in Igbo. But I believe that the experts in the Igbo science of the soul can supply it if such a part is still recognized in Igbo thought. Such a degree of correspondence, as is displayed below, is reason to believe that the two systems are identical, and that we have, in the Igbo, a remnant of the Kemetic. Here they are:

    Kemetic* Igbo
    A1) Khat: The physical body as a whole; the mortal flesh-and-bone-and-blood that is subject to corruption and decay and is buried after death. Ahu: The physical body; as in ahu okhu = fever, i.e. hot body. (See Sahu:A2, below)
    A2) Sahu: The spiritual body, everlasting and incorruptible; a purified version of the human body which can ascend into heaven and dwell in the company of the gods. No conceptual equivalent.
    [Note that, in Kemet, there was, at times, a confusion of the Khat with the Sahu. (Budge, 1967: lxi) This confusion has, it seems, been carried over into Igbo, where ahu, the phonetic equivalent of Sahu, is used to denote the Khat, with a loss, it seems, of whatever word the Igbo might have earlier used for the Khat.]

    A3) Ab: The spiritual aspect of the heart; the heart as the seat of the power of life and the fountain of good and evil thoughts. It is the part of the person which is examined and weighed on the scales of righteousness in the judgment hall of the dead. It contrasts with Hati, the physical aspect of the heart that can be swallowed, wounded, etc. Obi: The heart as the location of feeling, moral character, conscience, scruples, thinking, courage, etc.; the non-physical aspect of the biological heart. As in phrases like Onye obi oma = a good-hearted person; Onye ma obi? = who knows the heart/feeling (of another)? Onye obi ikhe = a strong-hearted person. For Hati, the physical heart, the Igbo equivalent is Mkpuru obi = the seed of the heart.
    A4) Ka: The spirit double of a person; his image, genius, character. The personification of his fate or destiny, which decreed what should happen to him in life. It comes into being with the person and follows him throughout his life and, at his death, returns to the Divine Ka. It has “an absolutely independent existence. It could move freely from place to place, separating itself from, or uniting itself to, the body at will, and also enjoy life with the gods in heaven.” (Budge, 1967: lxi-lxii) The Divine Ka is equivalent to the Chukwu of the Igbo. Chi: The spirit director of a person. It is the keeper, personification of a person’s destiny, character, attributes. It dwells in the land of spirits. It knows the heart/mind/feeling (Chimaobi); protects or saves (Chiazor); arranges properly the affairs of its counterpart in the world of the living (Chiedozie). [Note: Ka was transcribed in Coptic and Greek in various vocalizations: Shai (Budge, 1967: cxxv); Shay (Lichtheim, 1980: 144, 151); Ke, Ki and Choi (Bernal, 1991: 264). The versions choi and ki establish a phonetic link between Ka and Chi.]
    A5) Khaibit/Khaba: The shade or shadow. It can be shut in, captured, confined, fettered, as in Khetami her khaibit mitmitu = who shut in the shades of the dead; and in sauti khaibit-a = let not be fettered my shadow. Onyonyoh: The shadow which may be captured or stolen by an enemy, through the evil eye; hence the fear of photography and the refusal to be photographed when photography was first introduced into Igboland.

    Kemetic* Igbo
    A6) Ba: The soul or breath of life. It is symbolized by a human-headed hawk. It flies away at a person’s death, and flies back and reunites with his sahu at his resurrection. It has the power of metamorphosis, and changes its form at will. It could take any form or shape it pleased. It is eternal, and has the power of passing into heaven and dwelling with the perfect souls that abide there. Mmam/Mmuo: The spirit. It flies off to the land of spirits at a person’s death. It is believed to be “the very thing that flew out when a man died and perched on the head of the coffin on the way to the cemetery.” (Achebe, 1988:24) This is, surely, a variant of the Kemetic idea illustrated in many papyri where “the soul of the deceased in the form of a human-headed bird is seen hovering over the dead body.” (Budge, 1967:277, fn. 4 and Fig. 1.)
    A7) Akh/Akhu/Khu: The intelligence, mental perception and judgment, the analytic and reflective powers of a person. It was both the rational and ethical, and could be trained and disciplined. It was examined and weighed on the scale of justice against a feather on the judgement day of the dead person. Ako: That part of the person which is the seat of common sense and wisdom. In the dualistic noun phrase Ako na Uche, Ako is wit; the practical, operational intelligence; cleverness; common sense. Uche is the mind; the abstracting, theoretical intelligence or power of thought and understanding. Inwe ako na uche = being wise, sensible, intelligent, having sense; having “the manipulative ability to adjust to the fortunes and tracks of life.” (Nwoga, 1984: 47)
    A8) Sekhem: The vital force or power of a person. [Note: (1) Sekhem probably means se-khem, i.e. to make strong, which would give it a phonetic and semantic correspondence with the Igbo Sie-ikhe = grow strong; become strong. This would also establish a correspondence between Khem and the Igbo Ikhe. (2) The concept of a person’s “strong right arm” occurs in Kemetic. E.g., in the 15th c. BC, in Pharaoh Amenhotep II’s account of one of his victories, it is said: “There was none with his Majesty save himself and his strong right arm. His Majesty slew them with a shot.” (Gardiner, 1961: 201.)] Ikhe: Strength, force, power, authority.
    [Note: The Igbo concept of Ikhenga (Ikhe m’ji aga) = the strength or life force with which I go forth. It is symbolized by a sculpture, placed in a person’s private shrine, representing the person’s right hand (or left hand for the left-handed person), the repository of his active strength, his Aka-ikhenga. i.e. the arm of the strength with which I go forth.]
    A9): Ren: The name; an essential attribute for the preservation of a being, as, without a name, the person ceases to exist. Eha/Aha: The name. Its importance or function is noted by such sayings as Ahamefula = May my name not be lost. Should the name be lost or forgotten by all, then the person is truly dead and ceases to exist. Descendants are necessary to keep one’s name going and continually invoked. Similarly, the naming ceremony of a child is vital. It admits it into the human community, makes it a person in the community, a human with a name as distinct from an animal. Should a child die before its naming ceremony, it is not accorded the burial rites of a full member of the community. Thus, its name is a crucial part of the person.

    * (Budge, 1967: lviii - lxix); (Akbar, 1985: 126-127).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the Kemetic theory of personality, all these nine parts

    were bound together inseparably, and the welfare of any single one of them concerned the welfare of all. For the well-being of the spiritual parts it was necessary to preserve from decay the natural body; and certain passages in the pyramid texts seem to show that a belief in the resurrection of the natural body existed in the earliest dynasties.
    --(Budge, 1967: lxix-lxx)

    According to the Kemetic science of personality, after death, these nine parts of the personality were transformed into two: “The Ausar of a man” and the Krst. The Ausar is a compound of the eight spiritual parts of the anatomy, i.e. the Sahu, the Ka, the Ab, the Ba, the Khu, the Khaibit, the Sekhem and the Ren. (Budge, 1967: lxx, n.2) After death, these eight spiritual parts assembled in a form, the Ausar, that resembled the dead person exactly; whereas the Khat, the physical body, on being mummified, became the Krst (the Christ of Christianity in English). The Ausar received the honors and offerings made to the Krst, the mummified physical body. The Ausar then proceeded on the journey from the tomb to the judgment hall; and from there, if vindicated, journeyed on to heaven to join the immortal gods as a living soul, as a “God, the son of God”. All the gods in heaven welcomed the vindicated Ausar of the deceased and became his brethren.

    Speculation: Did the Igbo anatomy of personality also recognize the Krst and the Ausar of a man? And where, if at all, does the Igbo term “Ozhu”, meaning corpse, fit into this schema? “Zet, in Egyptian: the corpse purified and rigid”. (Diop, 1967: 190) Would ozhu correspond to Egyptology’s Zet/*Ozu(t)?

    The correspondences analyzed above fall into three groups:

    Group I: Ab--Obi; Ka/Choi—Chi; Akhu—Ako; Sekhem—Ikhe. These four pairs correspond both conceptually and phonetically.

    Group II: Khat—Ahu; Khaibit—Onyonyoh; Ba—Mmam/Mmuo; Ren—Eha/Aha. These four pairs correspond in concept only.

    Group III: Sahu—(?). There is no corresponding concept yet found.

    Needless to say, this degree of correspondence suggests that one system is a version of the other.

    A10) The self-creative power

    Kemetic: Seb
    Igbo: Chi

    In Kemetic cosmogony, Seb is said to have laid the egg from which the world sprang. (Budge, 1967: cxii) In the Kemetic concept of the psyche, the Seb is the ancestral soul, the creative power of a person. It does not manifest itself until puberty. According to Na’im Akbar, “Seb is the soul of pubescence . . . the self-creative power of Being . . .Seb reminds the person that his nature is not only one that permits reproduction, but is procreative and self-creative.” (Akbar, 1985: 127, 129, 135)
    It is not clear just where the Seb fits in the personality theory, especially whether or not it becomes part of the Ausar. The Seb is probably the divine body referred to in this line from the Sinuhe story:
    “The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sehetepibre, flew to heaven and united with the sun-disk, the divine body merging with its maker.”

  • According to Onwuejeogwu, the Chi of the Igbo is the procreative force for the continuation of the lineage. It is a fragment of Chukwu that dwells in the individual, Chukwu being the big or universal Chi that dwells in the sun. A person’s chi is manifested at puberty. When the Chi of a man manifests itself through procreating his first child, his chi-tree, the ogbu or fig, is planted in front of his compound. The chi of a woman is ritually brought down from the sun and planted in the earth after she has given birth to many children. At a person’s death, the chi ceases to manifest itself and flies off and reunites with the sun. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 17-18) Furthermore, four of the Awka social titles are associated with chi. There is the chi title itself, and the three titles which redeem it. And the chi title is peculiar in that it extends for two generations; it is the only title which is inherited. That is done by the senior son of the man who performed it, but not by his son’s son. (Isichei, 1977: 65-66)
    This all suggests that (a) there are two senses of chi in Igbo personality theory; and (b) that these correspond to the Kemetic Ka and Seb. The existence of these two versions of Chi has led to some disagreement between Igbo scholars. Chinua Achebe, like most Igbos, take chi as the spirit director or spirit double, the equivalent of the Kemetic Shai/Choi/Ki; Onwuejeogwu has, however, objected to that usage, saying that chi in Igbo is the procreative power, which would correspond to the Kemetic Seb. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 17-18)Both usages, we can now see, are correct. The confusion and disagreement is actually caused by the fact that a term different from chi is not applied to Seb by Igbo usage.

    B) Deities

    We shall now consider several deities from the Kemetic and Igbo pantheons, and see the similarities in their names and attributes.

    B1) The gods of destiny

    Kemetic: Shai/Shay; Renenet and Meskhenet
    Igbo: Chi-na-Eke

    Shai was the personification of fate, of destiny. He decreed what should happen to a person. Renenet, the personification of fortune, was the goddess of plenty. Shai and Renenet, said to be the hands of Tehuti, the divine intelligence, were usually coupled together, a pair that governed a person’s fate and fortune. Meskhenet appears to be a goddess personifying luck, destiny and all the concepts underlying Shai and Renenet. At the birth of the children of Re, the Sun god, a childbirth midwifed by four goddesses, it was Meskhenet who pronounced its destiny, the allotment made to it by the gods. (Budge, 1967: cxxv-cxxvi; Lichtheim, 1980: 151, n. 5.)
    For the Igbo, Chi, the spirit double, is the custodian of a person’s destiny. A person cannot challenge or defy his chi and hope to prevail. Eke is a person’s allotment or portion of fortune, good or bad, as set aside by the gods at his creation or reincarnation. Its etymological root is the verb, kee = to divide, share, cut up, apportion. Ihe ekenyerem = my share, my lot, what is apportioned to me. Hence the noun Eke, the apportioner. Like Shai and Renenet, Chi and Eke are usually coupled together as Chi-na-Eke, i.e. “Chi and Eke”. For example, in the exclamation Chim na Ekem yee! = Oh my Chi and my Eke!, whereby the gods of destiny are invoked when one is alarmed or shocked.
    There is a plausible derivation of Chi, Eke and Chi-na-Eke from Shai-Renenet-Meskhenet:

    1] Ka/Ki/Choi/Shai/Shay are alternative renditions, by Egyptology, of the Kemetic name for the same deity. (Bernal, 1991: 264; Lichtheim, 1980: 144, 151) The versions Ki/Choi are the plausible sources of the Igbo Chi.

    2] Eke is plausibly derived from Meskhenet by a process of contraction that, through non-vocalization, dropped the initial “M” and the final “net”: for instance, the non-vocalization of the feminine ending “et” was the practice even by Old Kingdom times. (Gardiner, 1961: ix)] Thus,

    M (eskhe) n (et) --------------> *Eskhe(n) -----------> *Ekhe -----------> Eke

    3] Given the more prominent role assigned to Meskhenet in some situations where destiny was being decreed, it is plausible that in some contexts the coupling was of Shai and Meskhenet rather than Shai and Renenet. And on the model of “Amen-hena-Ament”= “Amen and Ament”, (Budge, 1967: xciv, n. 3),

    Shai and Meskhenet would be rendered as Shai-hena-Meskhenet.

    4] Starting with the Choi/Ki versions of Shai, and the Shai-hena-Meskhenet coupling, would give us

    *Ki-hena-Meskhenet. A succession of elisions would yield:
    |
    *Ki-hena-Meskhe;
    |
    *Ki-hna-Ekhe; and finally
    |
    Chi-na-Eke in Igbo.

    The concept cluster to which the Kemetic and Igbo terms belong is the same: that of fate and fortune. There is a semantic fit, and a plausible phonetic derivation of the one from the other. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that, in these gods of destiny, there is a correspondence between Kemetic and Igbo.
    Note: Chi-na-Eke (the gods that decree fate and fortune) and Chineke (the god that creates) are vocalized alike as Chi n’eke, but mean quite different things and should, properly, be written differently. The Christian missionaries in Igboland, perhaps unaware of the double meaning of the same sound, escorted, as Chinua Achebe has pointed out, a double-headed deity of the Igbo into their monotheist Christian pantheon, and sacrilegiously planted it on the seat of their one and only God the Creator!

    B2) The god of “evil”

    Kemetic: Khonsu
    Igbo: Ekwensu

    The Kemetic god Khonsu/Khons/Chons was a form of the moon god. It was the traveler, messenger, slaughterer and confusionist. It

    was supposed to possess absolute power over the evil spirits which infested earth, air, sea and sky, and which made themselves hostile to man and attacked his body under the forms of pains, sicknesses, and diseases, and produced decay, and madness, and death.
    -- (Budge, 1969: 37)

    The Igbo deity, Ekwensu, is a confusionist too, a sower of strife, “a spirit with an inverterate inclination to do harm”. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 123) Ekwensu causes violent deaths and sudden calamities; it is the lord of all agents of wickedness. (Isichei, 1977: 322, n. 12) This made it easy for the Christian missionaries to assimilate it into their pantheon as the Devil. Hence, today in Igbo, the Devil of Christianity is called Ekwensu.
    Incidentally, like the Igbo Ekwensu, the Yoruba Eshu shares in the attributes of Khonsu. Khonsu is depicted with two faces, one facing right, the other facing left, signifying double dealing and confusion mongering. Similarly, in one story, Eshu painted one side of his face black and the other side white; those he passed on the road soon fell to quarreling over what they had seen – a white face or a black face?
    Khonsu was part of the great Trinity of Waset (Thebes to the Greeks); the trinity Amen-Mut-Khonsu which had a great temple at Ipet-Isut (Karnak to the Arabs), a section of Waset. (Bernal, 1991: 114)

    B3) The Trinity of the Resurrection

    Kemetic: Ausar-Auset-Heru (Osiris-Isis-Horus to the Greeks) ;
    {Ws ir, vocalized “Ausar” = Osiris} (Bernal, 1985: 79.)
    Igbo: Osa-Ise-Eru/Eri

    The names of the great Kemetic trinity of the resurrection, “the age-old triad of Abydos” (Abtu) (Gardiner, 1961: 250) are echoed in the names of three of the gods of the Igbo. Osa appears in the name Osakwe. Ise is the goddess whose name is invoked at the end of a prayer or wish, the Igbo equivalent of the Amen said by Jews and Christians. Eru/Eri, a founder-hero, is the protagonist in the story of the origin of yam and cocoyam.
    Among the Edo neighbors of the Igbo, Osa is a god whose name appears in such names as Osaro, and Osahon. And Eru is also associated with yams, as in the phrase unu Eru, i.e. the mouth of the yam barn.
    In Kemetic, Heru is a sky god, and his name is interpreted as “he who is above”, and he is represented as “the face of heaven”. (Budge, 19??: 466) In Igbo, Iru is face, and the culture hero Eri/Eru is said to have dropped from the sky.
    The O in Osa and the Au in Ausar are both vocalized as the “Or” in orb or the “Au” in Australia. Hence the phonetic fit between the two names is perfect.
    In New Kingdom times, Auset (Isis to the Greeks) was vocalized as Ese (eesay), with the general dropping of the feminine ending “t”. (Gardiner, 1961: 181). Note also the name Isenkhebe = Isis in Chemmis (Lichtheim, 1980: 59). In Igbo, Ise is spelt like in Isenkhebe, and vocalized as eesay. Here too, the Kemetic and Igbo names are identical.
    With Heru and Eru, the phonetic similarity is obvious.
    These phonetic identifications suggest that Auser/Osa; Auset/Ise; and Heru/Eru should be identified. But before this can be done, we must ascertain the attributes of the gods in each pair, and see if they are largely the same. These proposed identifications would be further strengthened if Osa-Ise-Eru, like Ausar-Auset-Heru, is considered a trinity. Until these points are determined, the connection between this Kemetic trinity and these Igbo gods will remain provisional.
    As a possible sidelight on this, it is worth finding out if the trinity of Osa-Ise-Eru occurs in the Edo pantheon. If such a trinity is found in Edo, that would clinch the identification, in as much as some of their attributes might have been lost in Igbo.

    C) Valuation: ethical, aesthetical and technical

    C1) Goodness

    Kemetic: Maat/Maa/Ma’et/Ma’e
    Igbo: Mma

    In Kemetic, Maat/Maa/Ma’et/Ma’e has a multiplicity of related meanings: truth, justice, righteousness, goodness, harmony, balance, propriety, rightness, orderliness, well-regulated existence, etc. Maat is considered the foundation of cosmic, social and moral order, the principle on which the universe was ordered at the creation.
    In Igbo, the noun Mma (adj. oma) is, in different contexts, used to mean good (aesthetically, morally, technically), beautiful, righteous, proper, just, well-ordered, orderly, in order, etc. For example,

    Mma ahu = beauty of the body, physical beauty
    Ome mma = one who does what is right, good or just
    Omume oma = good conduct, good behavior, righteousness

    These usages make clear that, semantically, Maat and Mma cover much the same range of concepts, though not all. For example, Mma is used for beauty but Maat is not; and Maat is used for truth, but Mma is not. However, it should be noted that for a time in Kemet, in Akhenaton’s era, Maat, like Mma, was not used with the meaning truth! The usage of that period would appear to have been carried over into Igbo.
    Despite their great semantic overlap, are Maat and Mma phonetically similar at all? Exactly how Maat was vocalized is not quite clear. In order to identify the two words phonetically, three problems must be solved: the problem of the “aa”, and the problem of the final “t” in Maat; and the problem of the “mm” in Mma.
    The “aa” problem is solved by recognizing that Maat was probably vocalized as Ma’et initially. And, according to Alan Gardiner, “the feminine ending -et, though shown in writing, had disappeared from pronunciation as early as the Old Kingdom.” (Gardiner, 1961: ix) If so, Maat would then have been vocalized as “ma”. Regarding the problem of the “mm”, there are other examples of Kemetic words which Egyptology spells with an “m”, whereas their Igbo corresponding words are vocalized with an “mm”. For example, the Kemetic mnw, which is vocalized as mnu, stands for an image. The Igbo mmanwu, whose consonants are also mnw, and which is vocalized with an “mm”, stands for a masquerade or image of a god. Thus, what the Egyptologists render with an “m”, is vocalized in Igbo as an “mm”. When we note that the hieroglygphs for Maat and mnw do not use the signs for “mm” (Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar: ?? ); and when we consider the Igbo words mmadu, mmanya/mmai etc., we are obliged to wonder: Was the “mm” in the Kemetic originals of these words, or is the “mm” an Igbo phonetic feature which was extended to some Kemetic imports too?
    Either way, however, there is no insuperable difficulty in vocalizing Maat/Ma’et/Ma as Mma. Thus, Maat and Mma overlap considerably in meaning, and are phonetically identifiable.
    Note: this is an example vindicating Cheikh Anta Diop’s thesis that the languages of Black Africa can greatly contribute to our deciphering the vocalization of Kemetic.

    C2) Maakheru (A special note)

    Kemetic: m3 ‘hrw = Maakheru = Maat (good, just, righteous) + kheru (speech)

    Egyptologists usually translate maakheru as justified, victorious, triumphant, etc. According to Wallis Budge, it means “something like ‘he whose voice, or speech, is right and true’.” (Budge, 1967: lxxiv-lxxv, n. 14) But when considered from the Igbo perspective, the components

    Maat + Kheru = *{Mma + Karu/kara,} = (righteous/good/just) +
    (declared/pronounced/said to be)
    = declared righteous or vindicated.

    This interpretation/translation would fit the judgment context in which maakheru is used, and is a better fit than the conventional terms victorious/triumphant. Thus, rather than “triumphant before Ausar”, we should have

    Maakheru kher Ausar = declared righteous/pronounced just/vindicated before Ausar.

    Justified -- in its early Christian sense of ‘called righteous’ -- would be correct too; for ‘justification’ was

    in Christian theology, the translation of the Greek dikaiosis, (Latin justificatio), originally a legal technical term derived from the verb ‘to call (someone) righteous’.
    -- (The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1965: vol. 13, 162).

    Note: the Greek Makarios = blessed, which derives from the Kemetic m3’hrw/maakheru. (Bernal, 1985: 76.)

    C3) Mma-mma (Igbo) and the “Double Maat”

    mma-mma (a) as in the greeting Mma-mma nuo! = good wishes to you all, lit. “good-good you all!”, i.e. double good to you all. This is a greeting said by someone upon entering a house or compound;

    (b) as in itu mma-mma = to make an offering in thanksgiving (in a temple), to offer thanksgiving;

    (c) as in onye mma-mma! = may each person go well, i.e. safely/in peace, lit. “each person well-well!”, said when a group is dispersing. [safe journey to each of you.]

    Egyptology refers to the Kemetic idea of “Double Maat”, as in “the Hall of Double Maati”/”Hall of Double Right and Truth” in Chapter 125 of The Egyptian Book of the Dead. If this is written as Maat-Maat in the Kemetic texts, we would have the ultimate grounds for inferring that “Double Maat” is the equivalent of the Igbo term mma-mma. This needs to be looked into.
    The Hall of Double Maat is probably so called because two Maat figures stand there during the weighing of the soul of the dead. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    D) Education, knowledge, enlightenment

    Know, learn, write:

    English Kemetic* Igbo
    To know am ima
    To learn, understand ym imu
    To write/writing ud (writing; written words) ide (to write)
    writing skill am-ud (to know, to understand
    written words) ima-ide (to know how to write)
    oma ede (he knows how to write)
    * (Van Sertima, 1992: 17)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These correspondences are easy to see. Note that the phonetic and semantic fit is excellent between these Igbo and Kemetic words. And note also that the Kemetic group of words describes the same cluster of concepts as the Igbo group. It is therefore as certain as can be that the clusters are historically related.
    Incidentally, elements of this cluster turn up in pre-Columbian America. (Van Sertima, 1992: 17) Concerning amoutas (pre-Inca Peru) and amoxaque (Olmec), which referred to their bookmen/teachers/sages/learned or instructed men, the following Igbo correspondences should be noted:

    (1) Mmuta = learning,
    from Imuta = to learn/acquire learning.
    nye mmuta (Igbo) = scholar, lit. “a person of learning”, would render the sense of the pre-Inca Peruvian amoutas = a learned or instructed person. And mmuta and amoutas are phonetically quite close!

    (2) Amamihe = knowledge/the knowing of things,
    from Ima ihe = to know things.
    Onye amamihe (Igbo) = a knowledgeable person, lit. “a person who knows things.
    Amamihe would render the sense of the Olmec amoxaque. But amamihe and amoxaque are not phonetically close! However, for amoxaque {vocalized as amochakwe}, the phonetically nearest Igbo word would be omachakwa = “he knows quite well”. However, omachakwa is not a noun phrase, but would be said of someone who is believed to know something but has feigned ignorance of it. It would appear in an exchange of this sort:

    Osu na ya amaghu? = Does he say that he doesn’t know?
    Omachakwa, ma na ochoghu ikwu. = He knows damn well but doesn’t want to say.

    Or a person might tell another:

    Amachakwam, ma mmagwa go! = I know it all right, but I won’t tell you!

    Were it used in Igbo as a noun phrase, Omachakwa would fit the Olmec use of amoxaque, and would be especially appropriate for a possessor of secret or hidden knowledge.
    How Kemetic, Igbo, Olmec and pre-Inca Peru came to share the vocabulary for knowledge and writing is another story. For the Kemetic-Olmec-pre-Inca part of the story, see Ivan Van Sertima, They Came Before Columbus. The Kemetic-Igbo connection has yet to be explored and its story told. However, from the handful of examples examined above, one might well wonder what further light Igbo might throw on Olmec and pre-Inca languages and practices.
    Conjecture: By the way, are the Igbo Ima and the Arabic Imam both derived from the Kemetic ym?

    E) astronomy: Dawn and dusk vocabularies

    E1) Evening

    Kemetic: Yasu = a region of the night sky (Lichtheim, 1975: 43, n.3.)
    Igbo: Enyasu/Anyasi = Early part of the night, about 7-11 p.m. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997b: 44)

    The phonetic and semantic correspondences here are plain to see.

    E2) Light/Sun

    Kemetic: Xu/Khu
    Igbo: Chi

    In Kemetic, the hieroglyph which Egyptology transcribes as Xu/Khu is a term for light, radiance, shining rays, the god of light, shining beings, etc.
    In Igbo, Chi occurs in idiomatic phrases and formulas associated with dawn and dusk. These are all recondite idioms the literal meanings of whose components are difficult to ascertain. E.g.:

    Chi aboola = It is dawn – Chi has cleared up (?); faded, lost its original or night color, as in
    Akwa a achaboola = This cloth has faded.
    [Here the suffix/particle bo = lose original, final color. (Emenanjo, 1978: 101, table 7)]
    Ka chi foh = Let the day break/Until dawn --- a phrase used for saying “Good night!”
    Ibola chi?/Isala chi? = Have you commenced the day?/Have you begun or opened the day? --- a phrase used for saying “Good morning!”
    Chi ojiji = dusk/darkening/twilight; literally, the darkening of Chi.
    Chi obubo = dawn/lightening/day break; literally, dawning of Chi; the clearing up of Chi.
    Ubochi = day, as in ubochi ole? = On what day? On which dawning of Chi?
    Chi gafu agbafo = the weather (the face of the sky?) will soon clear up.
    Oge uhuru chi = at the time of the stooping/lowering of Chi (on the horizon?); i.e. towards sunset.
    Chi anaa = day departs/daylight is gone/Chi is gone.

    Though it is difficult to pinpoint the meanings or referents of chi in these phrases and idioms, it is clear, from the contexts, that chi stands for something connected with sun and light, something that clears or fades or darkens. But it is not quite clear whether it actually designates the sun or sunlight or day or daytime or daylight or the sky or the face of the sky or the god of light or the weather or the clouds; this calls for further investigation. But whatever it is, it must be something that opens, clears, clears up, disperses – like a face or a sky covered with clouds; or that is cleared up – like a field or path covered with weeds or darkness.
    A clue to this comes from the matter of Chukwu, i.e. Chi-ukwu, the Great Chi. Just as, in Kemet, the sun, “Ra, was the visible emblem of God”, (Budge, 1967: cxi) so too, in Igbo, Anyanwu, the sun, is a manifestation of Chukwu.
    “Chukwu is Anyanwu, which symbolically means the sun. Nri people believe that as the sun’s light is everywhere so is the presence of Chukwu manifest everywhere; as the sun is all powerful so is Chukwu all powerful and as the sun is the light that reveals things so is Chukwu the source of knowledge.”
    --(Onwuejeogwu, 1997b: 30)

    Accordingly, chi, in solar contexts, would refer to the sun.

    Conjecture: The Kemetic X is variously vocalized/phoneticized by Egyptology as Kh/Ch. But could Xu have been actually vocalized as Khi/Chi in Kemetic rather than as the Khu conjectured by Egyptology? Is it not possible that Igbo has preserved the actual Kemetic vocalization of the hieroglyph? If so, the meaning of the Igbo Chi in solar contexts would be yielded by what the Egyptologists render as Khu; while the Kemetic vocalization of the Khu of Egyptology would be supplied by the Igbo Chi. This would be a case of mutual illumination.

    F) Miscellaneous

    Kemetic* Igbo
    F1) Aha = battle; as in She-nu-aha = Lake of battle: as in Per-aha = House of battle
    (Budge, 19??: 481):
    or as in Aha = The Fighter, a name of the Pharaoh who succeeded Mena (Gardiner, 1961: 406) Agha = war; as in Ochi Agha = director of war, general, war lord.
    [Note: gh as in ghastly]
    F2) Ym(i) = within. (Van Sertima, 1992: 17);
    or imy = inside. (Lichtheim, 1980: 181, n. 22) Ime = inside, within; as in
    n’ime ulo = inside the house;
    n’ime ezi = within the premises.
    F3) im³ {vocalized as orma} = character, behavior, shape, form. (Lichtheim, 1980: 181, n. 22) Uma = character, behavior.
    F4) t³y--³my.t = ti-maie (Coptic/Bohairic) = grow in size, increase.
    (Lichtheim, 1980: 181, n. 22) to-mie = grow + deep/far/much/greatly; as in
    Mkporogwu ahu etomiela = that root has grown deep/long,/greatly/very much.
    [cf. je-mie = go far.]
    Kemetic* Igbo
    F5) kwr = miner, dig a hole.
    gwri (Demotic) = kour (Coptic) = pivot, hole drilled in door base. (Bernal, 1991: 71)
    gwuo = dig.
    gwuru = dug.
    Igwu = to dig.
    F6) hwi {vocalized as k/h+u+a/o (?)} = strike, hit.
    (Gardiner, 1961: 23) kua/kuo = strike, hit.

    F7) pu = is, are. (Budge, 1967: 40) bu = is, are.
    F8) Akhekh = serpent.
    [Note: In his declaration of virtues before the keepers of the 21st pylon, the soul seeking resurrection says: “I have drowned the serpent Akhekh.” (Budge, 1967: 300)] Eke = python.
    [Note: The python is a totem animal to certain lineages among the Igbo. It is not harmed, and it is allowed to wander about the house and compound as it wills. The killing of it is an abomination.]
    F9) Khemennu = (a) the number eight; (b) The Eight, i.e. the Eight Great Cosmic Gods of the original Kemetic pantheon; (c) The name of the city of the Eight Great Cosmic Gods, (also Khnum, the Hermopolis of the Greeks), and capital of the 15th province of Upper Kemet.
    Khamanu/Khanu (Kanu) = a name for persons.
    [Conjecture: Could it have originated as a place name (toponym), and then became a name for persons associated with that place? Could the place have been the Khemennu/Khnum of Kemet?]
    F10) ht/kht = riches; as in nb ht/neb kht = master of riches. (Lichtheim, 1980: 52) akhu/aku = wealth, riches.
    F11) sp = misfortune, trouble.
    (Lichtheim, 1980: 28) isogbu = to trouble; nsogbu = (n) trouble.
    F12) Amenemhe = Amun is in front.
    (Gardiner, 1961: 126) It was the name of several pharaohs of Dyn. XII. *Amun-no’m-n’ihu. This unattested sentence would be the Igbo translation of “Amun is in my front”. Its idiomatic meaning (Amun is/goes before me; i.e. Amun is my pilot) would be a sentiment most appropriate for a devotee of the God Amun; a sentiment that would quite appropriately be expressed in a personal name. [Conjecture: Would the Igbo *Amun-n’om-n’ihu be a clue to the actual Kemetic pronunciation of what Egyptology renders as Amenemhe?]
    F13) twr = libation. (Diop, 1991: 359) tuo-mmanya = make libation; i.e. throw wine (as an offering to the gods and ancestors). tuo = throw, pour. It occurs in the phrases for various acts of making offering by throwing what is offered towards its intended recipient, as in itu mmanya = the offering of wine; itu utara = the offering of balls of food/fufu; itu nzu = the offering of white chalk. (Ekwunife, 1990: 161-162)
    F14) mes = to give birth; to be born anew.
    (Finch, 1985: 193)
    [Note: mes em = born of ,
    and er mesu-tu-f = at his birth.
    (Budge, 1967: 37, 38)] imesu ozhu = awakening the dead. (Ekwunife, 1990: 70)
    [Note: When morphemically analyzed, imesu ozhu = i (the infinitive prefix) + mesu + ozhu (corpse). And if mesu retains its meaning from Kemetic,
    i +mesu +ozhu = to + birth/born anew + a corpse. Which fits the Igbo meaning given above: to awaken/give birth again to a corpse.]
    F15) ³byn = a poor person. [Note: going by the Igbo, ty ³byn should be “become poor”, and not “act the poor man” as Lichtheim suggests.
    (Lichtheim, 1980: 184, n. 88) ] ogbenye = poverty; poor person; pauper. [Note:
    da ogbenye = fall into poverty; become poor.]
    F16) mnw = image (i.e. bodily figure of a being) as shaped by the god Khnum, creator of bodies. (Lichtheim, 1980: 112, 115 n. 3) mmanwu = masquerade; the manifestation or re-embodied spirit of a deity or dead ancestor.
    F17) Proye = winter (Gardiner, 1961: 64. n. 1)
    =(?) Pr-oye =(?) The cold oyi = cold.
    F18) iht = cow; as in iht kmt = (a sacred) black cow (Bernal, 1991: 176) ehi = cow.
    F19) aha = duration (Budge, 1967: 187) Ahwa/aho = year.
    F20) bu = place. (Budge, 1967: 167)
    bw, bu, bou = place, locality. (Obenga, 1977: 98) be, ebe = the place/house, as in na be onye? = in whose house?
    F21) hnn - ib = one whose heart is inflamed; hothead. (Lichtheim, 1975: 107 n.1) (Onye) okhu na’nu n’obi = hot of heart; (one with) fire heating up his heart.
    F22) k3/ka = the particle for future action in religious texts. (Obenga, 1977: 100) ga = the particle for future action: ga + verb, e.g.
    gabia = ga + abia = will come.
    F23) w3t, {vocalized as “ort”} = plumbline or cord used by builders to make vertical lines straight; and from which the Greek orthos = straight upright. (Bernal, 1985: 76) Oto = uprightness, verticality, straight upright, as in ikwhu oto = to stand straight upright.
    F24) amami = land of the ancestors;
    cf. Mamyi (Wolof) = ancestors.
    (Diop, 1974: 287 n. 37) ala mmam = land of ancestor /spirits.
    F25) tym3 = cause to become just;
    cf. Tima (Greek) = honor/(make/be honorable?).
    (Bernal, 1985: 76) di mma = be good or just, as in
    mee ka odi mma = cause/make it to be good/just.
    F26) sb3 = teach, teaching. (Bernal, 1985: 76) zibe = teaching { present participle of zi = teach, show, instruct},
    as in obido zibe ya = he began teaching him.
    F27) hna/hena = and. (Budge, 1967: xciv, n.3; 39) na = and, with.
    F28) hra = face. (Budge, 1967: 47) iru = face.
    F29) ef = the horned viper.
    (Van Sertima, 1989: 308) evhu ala = viper
    F30) Annu = the Sun City. (Heliopolis to the Greeks, On to the Hebrews, wn to the Copts.) Anwu = Sun

    F31) maxa/maxait = the balance, the (measuring/ weighing) scale.
    (Budge, 1967: 12, 15) ma/macha = measure/measure out, as in manyerem = measure out for me.
    F32) tw = one [unit; one (person, thing ] (Gardiner, EG:599) otu = union;
    otu = one (person, thing)
    F33) utu = command (Budge, 1967: 27) itu = command
    F34) ibw {vocalized as “obu”} = refuge obu = domestic temple (a spiritual refuge?)
    F35) ‘m ib = lose consciousness, faint ;
    {vocalized as “am obi” } = not know heart, amobi = not know the heart
    F36) <rk {vocalized as “ark”} = be understanding, wise ako = sense, wisdom
    F37) mnkh = chisel, carve, fashion imenka = to carve
    F38) swb3 hr = initiate (one) into;
    {vocalized as “suba hr”} = ?? face *suba iru = push face into (something)
    F39) enti = things which are, that which is; (Budge,1967: 282, n. 2; 31) ndi = things of, people of, things which are (something)

    Part II: Non-Philological Correspondences

    1. The Fundamental Elements in Nature

    In both Kemetic and Igbo cosmology, there are four fundamental elements, namely water, fire, earth and air.

    Annu/
    Heliopolitan Mennefer/Memphite Igbo
    Water Tefnut Nun: the primeval waters. Omambala: the spirit of the water.
    Fire Nut Atum: the Fire God or Sun God. Anyanwu and Agbala: the twins of the sun, i.e. fire and fertility.
    Earth Geb Ta-tjenen: the risen land. Ala, the earth spirit
    Air Shu Shu: the void which held heaven and earth apart ; the god of the dry atmosphere. Anunu: the things that fly.

    (James, 1988: 80-81; 102; 140-141 and Lichtheim, 1975:34 for the Kemetic; and Okeke, 1982: 23 for the Igbo.)
    ------------------------------------------------

    This particular Igbo formulation, with the twin principles Anyanwu (Light/Sun) and Agbala (Fertility), points to the Igbo doctrine of the four manifestations of Chukwu, the great God. (Onwuejeogwu, 1997a: 8) Chukwu is Anyanwu, the sun, whose light is everywhere and whose rays symbolize enlightenment and knowledge; Chukwu is Agbala, the fertility of the earth and of the beings that inhabit it; Chukwu is Chi, the procreative power of living beings; Chukwu is Okike, the creator of every thing visible and invisible and of the laws that govern them.

    This twin form also suggests a conflation of the Kemetic doctrine of the fundamental elements in creation with the Kemetic doctrine of the four pairs of fundamental principles, male and female, which were the first products of creation. In the Annu/Heliopolitan Theology, these eight principles are presented as follows:

    Shu and Tefnut : air and water
    Geb and Nut : earth and fire
    Ausar and Ise : the fertile couple
    Sutekh and Nebt-het : the sterile couple
    (Diop, 1991; 311)

    One is also reminded of the Kemetic doctrine of the four elements and the four qualities which is expressed by the following diagram:
    (James, 1988: 80-81; 179)

    This diagram of the four qualities (hot, cold, dry, wet) and four elements (earth, water, air, fire) expresses the doctrine of opposites or contraries and the doctrine of their transformations. The diagram explains that fire is hot and dry; that earth is dry and cold; that water is cold and wet; and that air is wet and hot. And the basic transformations are exemplified by the change from air to fire: Air is wet and hot; and when the wet quality is replaced by its opposite, the dry quality, air changes into fire, which is hot and dry.
    If the above is a version of an Igbo doctrine of the four elements, it is, probably, a fragment or residue of the comprehensive Kemetic doctrine of the four qualities and four elements. There is a need to investigate and recover the full version of the Igbo theory, if it is still extant.
    The Igbo doctrine is like other such theories in Black Africa, e.g. the Bambara:

    Miri = air; wali= earth; nati = fire; tali = water (Obenga, 1989: 303)

    By the way, the doctrines of the Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, which make just one element fundamental [ Water (Thales); Air (Anaximenes); Fire (Heraclitus) ] are but the monist detritus of the Kemetic Theory of the four elements. Clearly, the Igbo and the Bambara have preserved the pluralist original. Could this be a case of preservation by colleges of priests who were dedicated to authentic transmission, as opposed to fragments seized by individualistic culture-plunderers who were more concerned with snatching something distinctive to which to attach their names in their quest for fame?
    Consider the Kemetic doctrines of the Four Elements, the Four pairs of Primeval Gods or Principles, the Four Qualities; and consider the Igbo doctrines of the Four Elements, the Four Manifestations of Chukwu, the Four Day Week. These clusters of fourfold fundamentals in the two cosmologies indicate a field to be investigated for correspondences.

    2. The Creation Story

    In the Mennefer (Memphite) version of the Kemetic story of creation,

    The Primate of the Gods, Ptah, conceived in his heart everything that exists and by His utterance created them all. He is first to emerge from the primeval waters of Nun in the form of a Primeval Hill. Closely following the Hill, the God Atom also emerges from the waters and sits upon Ptah (the Hill). . . . While the Sun God Atom sits upon Ptah the Primeval Hill He accomplishes the work of creation. . . . The ingredients of the Primeval Chaos contained ten principles: four pairs of opposite principles, together with two other gods: Ptah representing Mind, Thought, and creative Utterance; while Atom joins himself to Ptah and acts as Demiurge and executes the work of creation. . . . Atom was the Demiurge or Intermediate God in creation. He was also Sun God or Fire God. . . . The elements in creation were Fire (Atom), Water (Nun), Earth (Ptah or Ta-tjenen) and Air.
    --(James, 1988: 139-141)

    In the Igbo story of creation:

    When Eri came down from the sky he sat on an ant-hill as the land was a morass or waterlogged or, to use the Igbo phrase ala di deke deke (or neka neka). When Eri complained, Chukwu sent an Awka blacksmith with his bellows, fire and charcoal to dry up the land. After the Awka blacksmith had finished his assignment Eri rewarded him with an ofo which conferred on him special claims to the smithing profession.
    --(Afigbo, 1981: 41)

    In comparing the elements in these two stories, we must note certain shared motifs: the watery nature of the primeval state of things; the Hill or anthill that first appeared; the pair of creators, Ptah and Atom in one case and Eri and the Awka smith in the other; the fire element, with Atom the Fire God and the Awka smith who works with fire. The Eri story looks much like a fragment, in secular human idiom, with Igbo characters, of the theological Mennefer (Memphite) story.
    Furthermore, we should observe that Ta-tjenen is:

    The earth that rises, the first mound that appeared within the Nun, from the primordial water, in order to serve as the place where the god Ra appeared in the sensible world. (Diop, 1991: 358).

    Another Kemetic term, Etbo, is “the emergent mound where the sun appeared at the beginning of time.” (Diop, 1991: 359) Etbo is, thus, another term, or synonym, for Ta-tjenen. The Igbo term for anthill is mkpu. Could what Egyptology has rendered as Etbo have been one term among a set of Kemetic synonyms, and that Igbo vocalizes one of these synonyms as mkpu? If so, the semantic--and possibly phonetic--similarities between the primeval hill or mound (etbo/Ta-tjenen, etc.) of the Ptah story and the anthill (mkpu) of the Eri story would increase the probability that the latter is a fragment of the former story.

    4. Pantheon structure: dyads and triads/trinities

    In Kemetic, the pantheon contains several pairs and triads of gods, usually husband and wife for the pairs, and husband and wife and offspring for the triads. The best examples of triads (i.e. trinities) are
    a) Ausar-Ise-Heru (the Osiris-Isis-Horus of the Greeks) -- the Great Triad of Abtu (Abydos to the Greeks)
    b) Amen-Mut-Khensu (the Amon, Mut and Chons of the Greeks) -- the Great Triad of Waset (Thebes to the Greeks) (Budge, 1969: 33)

    Examples of dyads include the four pairs of male-female deities which Ra first created, namely Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Ausar and Ise, and Set and Nebt-het.
    In Igbo, some deities are paired, as husband and wife, e.g. the deities of the market days are Eke and Orie; Afo and Nkwo. Eke and Afo are male and the husbands of Orie and Nkwo respectively. (Afigbo, 1981: 62) Igwe, the god of the sky, is the husband of Ala, the earth goddess. Igwe sends rain to water the earth, and their union makes the earth fertile and productive. (Iwe, 1989: 14) Likewise, there are Agwu and his wife, Ogwugwu, the deities of mild madness of the quarrelsome kind, with Agwu for males and Ogwugwu for females. (Williamson, 1972: 15-16)
    Parent-offspring groups of deities also occur. As Christopher Ejizu has noted:

    Such powerful arch-deities are highly esteemed in their communities and are often regarded as married, with issues which also are deities. This relationship is often represented by secondary altars erected and dedicated to the offspring deities beside the main shrines of their parent deities.
    -- (Ejizu, 1992: 812)

    5. Masquerades: the images of gods and spirits

    In pre-Christian Igbo culture, masking had a religious function which went beyond entertainment. Masquerades were ceremonial public manifestations of deities and ancestral spirits in their capacity as protectors of the public order and sanctity, and as the ultimate authority symbols of a community.

    The Igbo conceive of a mask . . . as the incarnation of the dead ancestors who continue to take an active interest in the affairs of their living descendants and relations.
    --(Enekwe, 1987: 56)

    Furthermore, a masquerade was regarded as “a representative of the ancestors on a brief mission to the living.” (Achebe, 1988: 45)
    In Kemet, images of the gods were carried in great processions during festivals. These were their outings or coming forth from their hallowed shrines and sanctuaries. The Igbo term, “ibuputa mmanwu” -- meaning the carrying outside or bringing forth of the masquerade -- expresses the same concept.
    In Kemet, use was made of the processional bark, a “portable shrine in the form of a bark mounted on poles, in which the statues of the gods were carried in procession”. (Lichtheim, 1980: 33, n. 2; Lichtheim, 1975: 109, n. 26) At the Feast of Ope, the image of Amun was carried in state in his ceremonial boat from Ipet Isut (Karnak) to Ope (Luxor). (Gardiner, 1961: 257) There are some Igbo masks made in the shape of altars or boats with statues of gods or spirits mounted on them.
    Igbo masked figures were sometimes used as oracles, e.g. to announce judicial decisions made by the ruling elders; or to proclaim legislative decisions that, it was felt, needed to be invested with the authority of the ancestors.

    When masks represent idols or deities, they become really very powerful and are, therefore, worshipped and consulted as oracles. In that case, they have shrines, which are serviced by priests on a regular basis. (Enekwe, 1987: 64)

    In Kemet, during the outings of the deities, the images of the gods sometimes functioned as oracles, and declared or indicated divine decisions. In one example, divine guidance was sought for a bureaucratic appointment. When the right name was put to him, Amun’s choice was indicated “by a ‘great nod’ or downward inclination of the bark of Amen-Re as it was carried in procession on the shoulders of the priests.” (Gardiner, 1961: 305) Again, when the inheritance of a princess was in dispute, it was the triad of Amen-Re, Mut and Khonsu which, together decided the issue. [Gardiner, 1961: 321] Of course, sometimes, the gods did not wait to be formally consulted, and took the oracular initiative, and set out on their own to make their wishes known, as when, in the presence of Dhutmose II, the image of the God Amun publicly designated the young Dhutmose III as the divine choice for kingship. (Gardiner, 1961: 181)
    These parallels between the Igbo masquerade and the Kemetic outings of the gods extend even to the words denoting these images. In Kemetic, mnw = image (Lichtheim, 1980: 112; 115, n. 3); and a passage in an adoration of the god Khnum, fashioner of bodies, suggests that mnw was the image of the soul/spirit for which Khnum molded a bodily shape. Phonetically, the Kemetic mnw = the Igbo mmanwu. Given all these parallelisms, would it be unreasonable to infer that the Igbo mmanwu, whose etymology is no longer discernible, originally had the same meaning as the Kemetic mnw, i.e. the image of a deity or spirit?

    Note: mmuo/mmam = spirit/soul, and is different from mmanwu, its animated image.

    6. Oracles and divination

    In Kemet, as in pre-Christian Igboland, the great oracles were a power. Herodotus reported that various gods had their oracles in various parts of Kemet, and that the method of giving their answers varied in the different shrines. (Herodotus, 1954: 132, 164) The Vocal Memnon at Waset (Thebes), and the oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis, spoke the minds of the great God Amun, and were consulted from far and wide. Alexander the Great was perhaps the most famous foreigner to consult the Siwa oracle: it declared him the Son of Amun. (Gardiner, 1961: 381)
    Generally, the Kemetic oracles had pervasive power. They decided temple and state appointments, questions of inheritance, state pardons, issues in criminal trials, and even the selection of future kings. (Gardiner, 1961: 181-182, 305, 321-322)
    In pre-Christian Igboland, great oracles like Ibinukpabi at Arochukwu, Agbala at Awka, Igwekala at Umunneoha and Ojukwu at Diobu exercised great influence by interpreting divine intentions and issuing divine declarations to pilgrims who consulted them.
    Oracles, of course, provided the most prestigious forms of divination, while diviners carried out their function in their localities. The role of diviners, the dibia afa, was pervasive in guiding Igbo society.

    “In winning the goodwill and favour of the divinities and spirits and in promoting the solidarity and peace of the Igbo community, no other single individual is as important as the dibia. . . . Divination was . . . the principal medium for knowing what was happening or what could happen and for instructing the community about what should be done and what should be avoided to win and retain the goodwill of the spirits and secure the community’s solidarity and peace.” (Obinna, 1988: 67)

    This pervasive influence led to the conceit that “after god is dibia”!
    It would be interesting to find and compare the Kemetic and Igbo words for oracle, divination/diviner, shrine, etc. The Igbo word for divination is Igba afa; diviner is Dibia Afa; shrine is Ulo Alusi or Okwu Alusi.

    7. Rituals for opening the eyes and other senses

    In the Kemetic rites of resurrection or rebirth, a particular stage required that the mouth and the eyes of the deceased be opened, thus making it sensible of things in the afterlife. In the pertinent passage, the kher-heb priest says:

    The Se-mer-f openeth the mouth and the two eyes of the deceased, first with a needle of iron, then with a rod of smu metal . . . Horus hath opened thy mouth for thee, he hath opened thine eyes for thee;
    -- (Budge, 1967: 268)

    Similarly, in Igbo rites of initiation for diviners, entrance into the new terrain of consciousness is viewed as an act of rebirth: the eyes of the initiate are to be opened to deeper aspects of reality that he had been insensible to or unconscious of. In particular, just as the deceased is initiated into a new life by the rituals of ‘opening the mouth’ and ‘opening the eyes’, even so is the diviner initiated into a realm of new powers by rituals of ‘opening the eyes’ and ‘ opening the senses’:

    Itu ekwo = the ritual opening of the senses of a diviner.
    Itu anya/Iwa anya/ Icha anya = the ritual opening of the eyes/sight of the diviner.
    (Ekwunife, 1990: 50, 201, 208)

    In these rites, the diviner is exposed to fearsome things, hence the admonition, in an Igbo song:

    Onye ujo agala nga ha n’awa anya! = a coward should not go where “opening of the eyes” is taking place!

    8) Umu Ife/Ndi Ife (Igbo) Some remarks. {Move to Education}

    In the Kemetic education system, there were three grades of students: the Neophytes, the Intelligences and the Sons of Light. (James, 1988: 27) In Igbo, traces of this system may be seen in the term

    Umu Ife/Ndi Ife = the children of light/the people of light; i.e. the enlightened/the illuminati.

    In Igbo, Ife/Ihe = light, illumination.
    And there is a personal name Ifekwo, i.e. (Umu/Ndi)-Ife-kwo = If the sons of light agree/consent.
    To further explore any actual correspondences here, we would need the Kemetic terms for these concepts, to see if there are phonetic fits as well.

    9. Domestic temples

    In Kemetic architecture, a nobleman’s residence included a domestic temple. Built as a separate structure, it served as the first stop or reception place, and commanded the view of the main gate to the compound or estate. This may be seen in the model of a nobleman’s estate from Akhetaten, the City of Aten (present-day Tell el-Amarna), a city founded by the 18th Dynasty heretic pharaoh, Akhenaten. (Wilson, 1951: fig. 25; The Macmillan Family Encyclopaedia, 1988: Vol. 7, 88) It is one of the few specimens of Kemetic domestic architecture that have come down to us intact.
    In Igbo architecture, the Obu/obi/ntugbu/azama/agbala/ogbuti/ovu/nkolo/otobo/ebari/obiri ama is the “domestic temple” (Onwuejeogwu, 1973: 93), the seat of the household shrine; the ‘reception house’ where the head of the house may retire to rest, or to entertain visitors, or to settle cases, or to make offerings to his gods. It is usually a separate structure, and commands the view of the compound entrance. It houses the ancestral emblems, the images of deities, and the altar where the householder performs the offerings and consecration rituals of the day, such as Igo oji ututu/Igo ofo ututu , or the Ibili Anyasi (Ekwunife, 1990: 30) “The obu is the centre from which the domestic life of the family is controlled, economically, socially and ritually” (Shaw, 1977: 99)
    The Igbo word for the domestic temple, obu, occurs in Kemetic. There it means refuge. This is quite apt for the place where the head of the house retires to rest among the images of his protective ancestors. Though the original meaning of obu may have been lost to the Igbo language, it is recoverable from Kemetic.
    The case of the obu suggests that comparative studies of Kemetic and Igbo architecture and furniture should generally be undertaken.

    10. The family compound complex

    Regarding the structure of compounds, at Nri in Igboland,

    All compounds are rectangular in shape, surrounded with a mud wall, with a main entrance provided with a big gate, and a small secret exit at the back. . . . The obu is usually situated in the centre of the compound facing the main entrance. The owner of the compound sits in his temple to receive visitors and strangers. His sleeping house and that of his wife or wives are generally behind the obu or by its side, and this section is usually separated from the obu by a wall with an entrance linking the domestic and private section of the compound with the ‘public’ part.
    --(Shaw, 1977: 99)

    This description fits the model of the nobleman’s estate at Akhetaten, mentioned above, in the following particulars: the rectangular walled compound, the disposition of the obu, the wall with an entrance separating the obu from the domestic and private section of the compound, the secret back exit. (See picture of the model in The Macmillan Family Encyclopaedia, 1988: Vol. 7, 88)
    This architectural correspondence needs to be explored. Detailed plans of the traditional Igbo houses and compounds should be compared with those of Kemet.

    11. Dualities and dialectics

    A marked proclivity to dualistic formulations is evident in Kemetic. Politically, Kemet was the Two Lands, the two kingdoms which were unified by Mena; a state watched over by the Two Ladies, the Goddess of Upper Kemet with the Vulture as its emblem, and the Goddess of Lower Kemet with the Cobra as its emblem; the Two Crowns – the Red Crown of Upper Kemet and the White Crown of Lower Kemet, etc. Even the Central Pantheon of Kemet consists of pairs of gods or principles – the great Khamannu or the Eight Gods. This is explainable as a psychological imprint from the geography and the political history of Kemet – a land of contrasted dualities: The two Lands, the narrow valley of Upper Kemet vs. the broad delta of Lower Kemet; the red land of the deserts vs. the black land of the farms; the dry desert vs. the well-watered river; the flat riverine plain vs. the sharp cliffs of the hills at the edges.
    Igbo language is dotted with double phrases such as these:

    Okwu n’Uka = quarrel, trouble = lit. word and talk; dispute and dispute.
    Ako n’Uche = intelligence = lit. wits and thoughts; sense and sense.
    Mgba n’Ogu = conflict, strife = wrestling and fighting.
    Ezi n’Ulo = household = lit. the precincts and the house.
    Ikwu n’Ibe = relatives and companions; kinsfolk and friends.
    Ofo n’Ogu = Emblem of justice and emblem of innocence
    Elu n’Ala = up and down
    Ogbo n’Uke = peers = lit. age group and age mates

    Some dualisms repeat the same idea, sometimes with slight variations (e.g. okwu n’uka); some yoke together complementary pairs of ideas (e.g. ezi n’ulo; elu n’ala). Sometimes, as in the name phrase obodo Idu-na-oba = the land of Edo and Oba, i.e. the Bini Kingdom, the name of the people is joined to the title of their king to form a compound name for the country, all in a tour de force to conform to the duality formula.
    Furthermore, in Igbo settlements, there is

    territorial dual organisation in which villages and communities are divided into an ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ section . . . sometimes based on geographical location, e.g. Ndi Elugwu (the People of the Hill Top) and Ndi Agbo (the People of the Valley); sometimes it was based on seniority in which the senior group was called Ikenga and the junior group Ihitte. (Oguagha, 1989: 88, 93 n. 7)

    It should be noted that Elu and Agbo literally mean ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ respectively.
    While some expression in Igbo appear to be dualistic purely out of rhetorical formalism (e.g. Idu-na-Oba, Okwu n’Uka), others express the ontological complementarity which lies at the foundation of dialectics.
    In the Igbo world-view, “Ife di abua abua”: things exist in pairs.

    “The Igbo . . . see objects and people, events and situations as existing and functioning in dualities.” (Nwoga, 1984: 25)

    Even kolanut lobes are said to be male and female in form. (Ekwunife, 1990: 109)
    These dualities are prone to dialectical transformation.

    “Things . . . form and act in dualities . . It is through this maze of a world of dualities that the Igbo person has to move, with his wits around him, in pursuit of the goals of life. The philosopher mad man put it brilliantly: ‘Uwa wu mgbanwe mgbanwe’.”

  • --(Nwoga, 1984: 23, 45)

    The Igbo proclivity to see, organize and interpret the world in complementary and interactive pairs is evident in usages such as the following:

    Oha-na-Eze : the public and the notables = the political community
    Ofo na ogu : the Ofo and the Ogu = the dual agencies of justice and innocence

    Consider the expression Ofo na ogu. Whereas the ofo is the emblem of justice, the ogu is an emblem of innocence, a piece of wood used in taking oaths and swearing innocence. In practice, both function as a complementary and dialectical pair. Hence, it is held that whoever invokes the power of ofo in order to avenge an offence must be sure he is innocent of having provoked that offence by his own offence; i.e. he must have ogu, otherwise ofo will either not perform or it will punish him too.
    As another example of the duality of countervailing powers, consider the saying, from Illah, that “kings and masquerades don’t stay together.” At Illah, the lineages are split into two contending groups, the Umu Eze or Children of the King, and the Umu Mmuo or Children of the Masquerade. The Umu Eze were the first settlers and have an exclusive right to kingship. The Umu Mmuo are the later immigrants, and they contest the power monopoly by the Umu Eze. The king-and-masquerade dialectic is, thus, that of the fundamental political division in Illah.
    At Onitsha, it is said that if the tall masquerade enters the Obi’s palace, he loses his throne. This custom clearly makes manifest a contradiction between two forms of sacred authority which probably represent two basic political divisions in the polity. (Isichei, 1977: 146)

    In the Khamannu doctrine of Pharaonic Egypt, the cosmos is presented on the model
    of complementary and antithetical dualities, as pairs of opposite principles which are at the origin of things. According to the Khamannu cosmogony, in the beginning, the primeval water “contained within itself the germs or beginnings, male and female, of everything which was to be in the future world.” From the primeval waters emerged the eight elements, four males and four females in four male-female pairs. These were
    Kuk and Kuket : darkness and light
    Heh and Hehet: the limitless and the limited
    Amun and Amunet: the hidden and the visible
    Nun and Nunet: matter and emptiness
    (Budge, 1967: xcviii, xcix)

    The cosmogony then “explains all the phenomena of the universe by the action of the law of opposites.” These antitheses are the basis of dialectics and dialectical thought. (Diop, 1991: 353)
    Thus, in the Kemetic world view, the universe is seen as organized in paired principles and at all levels: the primeval waters, the primoridal gods, the Pharaonic state of the Two Lands, etc.
    What is significant here, both in the Kemetic and the Igbo world-views, is the pervasive nature of this dualist-dialectical configuration of the cosmos. It is at the root of the world-view of each culture; and they preferentially focus on dualties, and even impose dualities when such are not there! But whereas the habit of dualistic expression in Kemetic has a geo-historical explanation (Wilson, 1951: 17), the Igbo proclivity to dualistic formulation and organization cannot be explained as a manifestation of geographical or historical influences from present-day Igboland, and is probably a carryover from Kemetic culture into Igbo culture.

    12. Persons consecrated to the gods

    In Kemet, there were persons who were consecrated to the service of the gods. They were persons of varied ranks, from royals to slaves, with various conditions of service and taboos attached to their persons.
    One such category was “The Spouse of Amun” or “The God’s Wife of Amun”, a daughter of the Pharaoh who was consecrated to Amun, and who was sworn to life-long virginity. She had her own priestly estates, and wielded enormous power as the Pharaoh’s representative -- and protector of Pharaoh’s interests -- within the powerful priesthood of Amun. (Gardiner, 1961: 318, 343; Diop, 1991: 314, 335)
    Another category were the priests. Their status as consecrated servants of the deities was reflected in the terminology for the prophets, priests of the highest rank, who were called hm-ntr, meaning slave-of-the-god.
    Another category was that of persons whose parents dedicated them to whatever god had rendered them some exceptional favour, such as curing their infertility. “It was commonplace in these cases for the child – born through the benign intervention of the god – to be dedicated to his service.” [See Finch, in Van Sertima, ed., Great Black Leaders, New Brunswick: Transaction, 1993, p. 224]
    Yet another category consisted of prisoners of foreign war who were owned as slaves by the temples, such as those who were presented to Amun by Rameses III, as part of war booty after the defeat of the Sea Peoples who had attempted to invade Kemet. (Gardiner, 1961: 287; Wilson, 1951: 270, 271) Large numbers of temple slaves were yielded by the defeat of various invaders: the Hyksos, the Rebu/Libu, the Sea Peoples, etc. There were some 100,000 of such temple slaves by the end of the reign of Rameses III, according to a document from that era. Like their counterparts who were distributed to the estates of the Pharaoh, or to nobles or soldiers, these prisoners of foreign wars, and their descendants, were hereditary slaves. They were distinct from the native temple workers: these latter were paid employees, just like those who worked on the estates of the Pharaoh and the nobles, or for other farmers. Some of these paid employees are known to have gone on strike when payments were unbearably late in Ramesside times. (Wilson, 1951: 276)
    In pre-Christian Igboland, there were various categories of persons who were consecrated to the service of deities. They ranged from Eze Mmuo, chief priests, down to the Ndi Osu, the people owned by deities. (Williamson, 1972: 300) Their consecration originated in a variety of circumstances. A priest was usually chosen by the deity that he would serve; and the choice was revealed through divination or through possession by the deity. Some other consecrated persons were offered to the deity by their parents in fulfillment of promises made when asking favors from the deity. For example, concerning the Igbere, wives of the Atama Igbogbo, the chief priest of the female deity Igbogbo, it is said:

    It should be noted that the Igbere are women who were freely offered to Igbogbo when young either in fulfillment of promises made to the deity by their parents or for some religious reasons. The writer’s informants assured him that the Igbere are not Osu but wives of the incumbent Atama, even though no dowry was paid on their heads. Their sacred character stems from the fact that nobody except the priest could dare marry them without incurring the wrath of Igbogbo. Apart from this snag, they are as free as any other woman.
    --- (Ekwunife, 1990: 138)

    Thus, the Igbere were consecrated female servants of the goddess Igbogbo, and the institutional form through which their services were organized was as the co-wives of the Chief Priest of Igbogbo.

    13. Temple sanctuary servamts

    In Kemet, there was a category of persons who were consecrated to the deities to which they fled in quest of refuge. (Herodotus: 143)

    Yet another category of consecrated persons in Igboland was the Osu. Contrary to a common misunderstanding today, an Osu was not a slave; the term for a slave is ohu. Furthermore, the expression

    Igo osu Ekpe/Chukwu = Consecration of a person to the deity Ekpe/Chukwu

    makes clear what an osu is, and shows that its counterpart in Christianity or Bhuddism would be a monk or nun or other consecrated acolyte. A counterpart in Roman religion might be a vestal virgin – if the osu, like the Spouse of Amun – was vowed to virginity. The now widespread notion that osus were slaves was a slanderous concoction by Christian missionaries who were hostile to Igbo religion and who sought every weapon to vilify and undermine Igbo society.
    Now, every consecrated person (whether priest or temple servant) was hedged by taboos, each category with the taboos specific to it. That the life of an osu was hedged with taboos did not make him or her unusual in a society where every sphere of life had its taboos. If simply because of the taboos of his status an osu was a slave, then so too was every nze (titled man) and every eze (king) and every dibia in Igboland!
    However, the osu status differed from others in so far as it was hereditary in a society where most others were achieved. Furthermore, some of the derogatory aspects of the osu taboos may be related to how some osus came to be osu in the first place. Some, for example, were prisoners of war, or criminals from other towns, or simply undesirables. Some were evil doers who were reduced to osu status by their community. Some became osu for such misdeeds as fighting a masquerade or retaliating when whipped by a masquerade, i.e. fighting an ambassador to the living from their ancestors.

    Masquerades frequently publicize crimes committed by the villagers, and the culprits are appropriately fined. If the alleged criminal becomes violent and attacks the masquerader, the latter falls down and pretends death. The villagers then proceed to the house of the man who “killed” the masquerader and would attempt to burn his house down and kill him, but should he escape he would automatically become an Osu or outcast.
    --( Lieber, 1971: 42)

    Some were ostracised as osu for revealing to the uninitiated the secrets of the masquerade, an offence comparable to violating the official secrets act of a European state. Some others volunteered themselves into the osu status by putting themselves under the protection of a deity. Among these would be a coward who, not wanting to risk his life in battle to defend his community, might run off to the shrine of a deity and take sanctuary there. Such a draft dodger or army deserter would save his life at the cost of his status.
    The derogatory phrases

    igbana n’osu = to seek refuge with a deity,
    mmadu igo onwe ya osu = a person putting himself under the protection of a deity

    suggest that those who became osu by seeking refuge with a deity, and were thereby saved from the consequences or punishment for some crime or abomination, nevertheless carried the taint of that abomination, and passed it on to their descendants. Though spared the death penalty by virtue of coming under the protection of a deity, they and their descendants remained social outcastes.
    Clearly, the osus among the Igbo were not comparable to the untouchables of India; the latter were the black aborigines, conquered by white Aryan invaders and systematically dispossessed and oppressed, and made the footmat and spitoon of the caste system. The osu was not anything like the crushed helot of Sparta, or as the black slave of the USA who was legally a mere chattel, a sub-human property of his owner, an animal with no social or political standing who could be killed at the whim of his master. Nor was the osu treated like the heretics in Christendom, who were often tortured and roasted alive on public bonfires. The nearest equivalent of the osu is the prisoner serving a life term for a crime which his society considers heinous.
    Every society has its ways of ridding itself of incorrigible and fundamental transgressors, those who put themselves beyond the pale, such as murderers of their fellows or violators of the fundamentals of social order, or desecrators of what their society holds sacred. How to rid itself of such fellows when a society has no prisons or executioners? This is where the osu and the ohu institutions were deployed. Those involuntary ohu who lost their liberty by being sold away, were the equivalents of those secular criminals who the British transported to Australia or the French to Devil’s Island or the Russians to Siberia; or the Americans sentenced to the chain gang. Those involuntary osu, who became the ostracised servants of deities, were the equivalents of those in Europe who committed religious crimes or crimes against the sacred order such as heresy or witchcraft or trafficking with the devil. Such persons were roasted alive on public bonfires by the Inquisition. When placed in appropriate comparative context, it becomes clear that the Igbo were far less harsh to their criminals than the very European societies which have defamed Ndiigbo as savages, primitives and barbarians.
    By the way, in as much as an osu is not an ohu, the common Igbo name, Nwosu, literally, “child of osu”, does not mean son of a slave. It is an ogbanje name, and does not even imply that its bearer is descended from an osu. An ogbanje is a child “born several times, dying each time and returning to the world of spirits.” One of the devices used by its afflicted parents to make it stay with them is the ogbanje name:

    Certain proper names are given to surviving ogbanjes. But the parents can decide not to give the surviving ogbanje an ogbanje proper name. The names however are believed to help in preventing the ogbanje from returning to the world of spirits. The names include Nonyelum -- stay with me; Nwosu -- the son of osu (but this does not make such a child an osu. It is meant to bring shame on the ogbanje . . . ).
    --- (Williamson, 1972: 404, 406)

    Rather than an attempt to shame an ogbanje, the reason for this particular name is this: a mother afflicted by an ogbanje might name the next child Nwosu, thus giving him to the gods to hold as their own servant. The gods were expected to take Nwosu into their care and keep him alive; other children born after him would receive the gift of life from the goodwill which the gods, already appeased through Nwosu, would extend to his siblings.
    The various categories of persons consecrated to the gods in Igboland need to be investigated. Were those who were consecrated to serve a god out of parental gratitude for a divine favor treated in the same way as those who were refugees in the temple of a deity? Was their status inherited by their descendants? It would be strange if they were treated indistinguishably from the refugees from legitimate punishment.
    From the foregoing, it should be clear that the matter of Osu is ripe for a thorough re-investigation.

    14. Orientation of sacred structures

    The proper orientation of sacred structures was a very important matter in Kemet. According to Theophile Obenga,

    The Egyptian temple and all places of worship (lakes, sanctuaries, pyramids, obelisks, palaces) must belong to the cosmic order of Maat. That is why all the axes of sacred edifices are obedient to the energizing lines of the Universe itself. Here again we see the thirst, the desire, vivid and renewed, for integration into the cosmic whole. Moreover, the decorations on the walls and ceilings of temples always celebrate the starry Universe in a state of constant and perpetual creation. Festivals which renew human and cosmic forces have always existed in Black Pharaonic Egypt. If the stars and constellations were at the center of the Egyptian philosophers’ and priests’ preoccupation . . . it was because the intellectual impulse of Black Pharaonic Egypt, an impulse rare to find in those distant times, sought to identify itself with the force and power of the sun which enables everything to live on earth. (Van Sertima, 1989: 318)

    As a rule, the great architectural structures, including the pyramids, had a north-south orientation. Their sides were oriented, with great precision, to the four cardinal points. (Diop, 1991: 282; Van Sertima, 1992: 13, 141, 148) For example, the sides of the Great Pyramid of Khufu (called the “horizon of Khufu”) were accurately oriented to face east, west, north and south. “The orientations of Egyptian temples were set with extreme precision by astronomical observations in accordance with their worship of the stars or the sun.” Furthermore, they “were aware of the change in the positions of stars over the centuries caused by the precession of the equinoxes. They made successive realignment of the axes of symmetry of various temples.” (Pappademos, in Van Sertima, 1985: 97)
    Evidence of a similar precision and care in orienting sacred structures in Igbo culture may be seen in the Igbo Ukwu excavations. The following observations are based on the diagrams and pictures in Thurston Shaw’s report.

    A] Notice the N-S orientation of the digs. (Fig. 2.1, Shaw, 1977: 8)

    B] Of the treasure burial pit, Shaw reports that “the area covered by the burial deposit was roughly rectangular, about a metre and a quarter wide, and about 2m long from north to south.” (p. 49). This implies that it was aligned N-S and E-W.

    C] Of the altar/platform on which treasures were laid out, an approximately N-S and E-W oriented rectangle is indicated in Fig. 3.43. (Shaw, 1977: 42,43)

    D] Of the alignment of the seated corpse, Shaw reports that “it seems likely from the way the skeleton was found that the figure was seated facing in an approximately southwesterly direction.” (Shaw, 1977: 59) This description is potentially illuminating. To bring out its significance, we should note that for the Kemites, the location of the land of the dead was toward the sunset, hence in the west; and that they made a practice of burying dead bodies facing west. (“Funerary Rites and Customs: Historical Survey – Egypt”, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1965, Vol. 9, p. 1014.) In late December, at the Winter Solstice, the sun is at its greatest declination to the south, and rises from the south-east and sets in the south-west. That the body was facing approximately S-W would suggest that it was made to face the setting sun at a time of the year close to the winter solstice. If this conjecture is correct, the body would have been buried with particular care to identify it, as Obenga pointed out, “with the force and power of the sun.” Thus, this burial orientation in Igbo Ukwu would be in accordance with the principles followed in Kemet!

    In the light of the possibilities of the Igbo Ukwu example, all excavators in Igboland would do well to carefully record the orientations of the finds. From such data, we might discover if there was a preferred orientation system for traditional Igbo sacred structures.

    Part III: Pharaoh/ Nri correspondences

    Divine kingship

    The Pharaoh was a divine king. He was believed to be the divine and incarnate son of the Sun-god Re. He was believed to be born of woman by immaculate conception and, on his bodily death, his spirit rejoined his father Re and the other immortal gods. His function was to maintain the cosmic order, Maat, by controlling the vital forces of the cosmos for the benefit of his land and its people. [Finch, in Nile Valley Civilization, p. 181; Van Sertima, BWIA, p. 37; Pyramid Texts, in Lichtheim I, p. 36;]

    The Eze Nri is a divine king, a spirit and supernatural being. He is not a chief priest and does not perform priestly functions. He does not offer sacrifices. “On the contrary, sacrifices are offered to the Eze, as the living member of Nrimenri, ‘the kings of Nri taken collectively’ by the chief palace priest.” [Onwuejeogwu, 1980:58] His functions include maintaining the cosmic order so as to guarantee rain and the fertility of the land and prevent the pests that ruin crops. He metaphysically controlled spirit and physical forces, just like any living Pharaoh, as a divine king, was said to do.

    Doctrines of collective kingship

    In one passage from the Instructions of Kheti, we catch a glimpse of a Kemetic doctrine of collective pharaohship which bear comparison with Nrimenri, the doctrine of collective Nriship:

    The Lord of the Two Shores is one who knows,
    “A king who has courtiers is not ignorant;
    As one wise did he come from the womb,
    From a million men god singled him out.
    A goodly office is kingship,
    It has no son, no brother to maintain its memorial,
    But one man provides for the other;
    A man acts for him who was before him,
    So that what he has done is preserved by his successor.”
    --Lichtheim, 1975: 105

    Commenting on this passage, Jacob Carruthers has pointed out that this is a statement of “the continuity and impersonal nature of the institution. . . . Each new pharaoh continues the work of all of his predecessors. This is the significance of the Re-Horus and Osiris-Horus relationship. Whatever the actual biological connection, each pharaoh is the son of the preceding pharaoh and the direct descendant of all the pharaohs.” (Carruthers, 1986: xxx)
    This is an important insight and bears elaboration. Pharaohship is a collective office, because of the pharaoh’s advisers and because of the work done by his predecessors, each of whom, unlike ordinary mortals, was born wise. Each pharaoh is the lord of wisdom, for he is an incarnation of the Sun-god, Heru or Re, as indicated by his Heru-name in the earliest dynasties and by his Re-name in the subsequent dynasties. The pharaoh’s Heru or Re name was not an empty formulary. In the Kemetic theory of personality, the name, ren, is a component of the person. Through his Heru or Re name, a pharaoh partook of the attributes of the Sun-god, including its divine wisdom.
    The doctrine of collective Nriship is expressed in the concept of Nrimenri, the spirit of all Eze Nri taken together, which is regarded as the collective royal ancestor.
    The Eze Nri, as the living member of Nrimenri, holds the ofo Nrimenri, the collective ofo staff of living and dead Eze Nri. “Sacrifices are offered to the Eze, as the living member of Nrimenri, ‘the kings of Nri taken collectively’” (Onwuejeogwu, 1980: 36, 58)

    Ritual death and resurrection

    In the Sed Festival, the Pharaoh went through a ritualistic death and revivication to restore his vitality so he would have enough power to carry out his cosmos-ordering function. [Diop, 1974: 138]

    The Eze Nri, as part of his coronation rites, went through a symbolic death, burial and resurrection. [Onwuejeogwu, 1987: 63] Consequently, at his physical death later on, there were no elaborate burial rites.

    The king’s dwarfs or pygmies

    Both the Pharaohs and the Eze Nri had a special fondness for dwarfs and pygmies. Ptah, the great god of Mennefer (Memphis to the Greeks) was often represented as a dwarf or pygmy. (Finch in Great Black Leaders, p. 222) In the Old Kingdom, Pharaoh Pepi II of Dyn. VI, expressed immense delight when one of his agents, Harkhuf, wrote to say he was bringing him a dancing pygmy from central Africa. An earlier Pharaoh, Izozi of dyn. V,) had also been presented with a pygmy from central Africa. [Gardiner, 1961: 58-59; Budge, 1967: xxv] And the dancing dwarf, Bes, was the jester god of recreation who made children laugh. [“Egypt”, EB (1965) Vol. 8: 53, 55?]
    The Eze Nri keeps dwarfs in his palace, and is known as a collector and protector of dwarfs. They are part of his palace retinue, and some play the role of jesters. As a result of the Eze Nri’s solicitude for dwarfs wherever found, one of the names for them is Nwanshi, i.e. a child of Nri.

    The Council of Thirty

    In Kemet, there was an institution named The Council of Thirty; it was the supreme tribunal of Egypt.

  • In Nri, there is a council called Illimmadunato, which literally means “Thirty persons”. It is a council of women, and one of the institutions through which the Eze Nri rules. [Onwuejeogwu, 1980: 46] What is peculiar about this name is that it uses the Pharaonic base ten form rather than the Igbo base twenty form. Illimmadunato literally means “ten people thrice”; the standard Igbo expression for thirty would be “ogu na iri”, i.e. literally “twenty plus ten”. This suggests that it might be a transliteration of a Kemetic expression into Igbo.

    Pharaoh and Eri as Heru (Horus)
    One of the earliest conceptions of the Pharaoh was that he was a manifestation of the sky god Heru, who was symbolized as the hawk. This concept dates back to pre-dynastic times, and gave rise to the Horus-name of the Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom.
    Eri, the founder of the Nri system, was likewise presented as a manifestation of Heru. In fact, his name, Eri, is a rendition of the Kemetic name Heru or Eru, the Horus of the Greeks. The Eri of Igbo legend is said to have dropped from the sky, a claim which befits the sky god symbolized by the hawk whose name he bore.

    *Note: These similarities indicate that study of the Eze Nri institution, its doctrines and practices, could be most helpful in illuminating the Pharaohship of Kemet.

    Eri and Nri as Kemetic words

    1] Eri: This is a rendition of the Kemetic name Heru or Eru, the Horus of the Greeks. Heru was a Kemetic sky god who was symbolized by the hawk, and of whom each reigning Pharaoh was the incarnation. The Eri of Igbo legend is said to have dropped from the sky, a claim which befits the sky god symbolized by the hawk whose name he bore. Furthermore, he is said to be a man of mystical power who was sent to rule the people of the Anambra, a man who metaphysically controlled spirit and physical forces, just like any living Pharaoh, as a divine king, was said to do. Thus, the Eri of Igbo legend, by his name and attributes, is a manifestation of Heru, a form of the Kemetic sky god and the embodiment of the Pharaoh-spirit.
    Furthermore, Eri’s initial deed in drying the morass recalls the Memphite/Mennefer creation story. Eri and the Awka blacksmith and the anthill in the waterlogged morass play the same roles in the Igbo story as are played in the Kemetic story by Ptah (one of whose epithets is “the Disk of heaven”), and Atum, the fire god, and the hill, Ta-tjenen, in the primeval water, Nun. Structuralists would say that the Igbo story is the same as the Kemetic, but retold with local characters and local color.

    2] Nri: In Kemetic, the word nri means “be in terror of something or someone”, and nrw means terror. In Igbo usage, the word Nri is a title and not a personal name. Used as a title, the word, in Kemetic, would mean the Awesome One or His Awesomeness. Hence, Nri Ifikuanim would mean His Awesomeness Ifikuanim or The Owesome One, Ifikuanim.
    Does the Igbo nomenclature denote the divine awe which the Eze Nri, as a god and king, sought to inspire, and which his ritual seclusion cultivated? In this regard, consider the story of how, on Nri Obalike’s first appearance in the courtroom at Awka, “the whole assembly rose and prepared to flee . . . so great was the awe which he inspired.” An Eze Nri was, after all, considered a great spirit. Having already died, and been buried and resurrected through his coronation rituals, he was no longer a mere mortal. Also consider the observation, made about the town of Agukwu Nri, by Prof. Onwuejeogwu, that “the mysterious and awe-inspiring attributes associated with Nri is partly derived from the physical isolation of Nri.” This suggests a deliberate cultivation, in both the kingship and the choice of its location, of the aura of divine awesomeness denoted by the Kemetic meaning of the word Nri.
    We can now see that these two Igbo names are Kemetic words, and that their meanings in Kemetic aptly symbolize the deeds and the aura of these culture heroes of Igboland.

    ===========================
    Deities

    The Sun God

    In Kemet, the Sun God was worshipped in various forms, the main ones being as Re, as Heru and as Aten.
    As Re, he was the head of the company of nine great gods of Annu (Heliopolis to the Greeks).

    “From a number of passages drawn from the texts of all periods it is clear that the form in which god made himself manifest to man upon earth was the sun, which the Egyptians called Re . . . .Re was the visible emblem of God, and was regarded as the god of this earth, to whom offerings and sacrifices were made daily.”

    As Heru, the sun-god represented the sun at various periods of the day and night, e.g. as Heru-ur or Heru the Great; as Heru-merti or Heru of the two eyes, i.e. the sun and the moon; as Heru-nub or the Golden Heru; as Heru-khent-an-maa or Heru dwelling in blindness; as Heru-khuti or Heru of the two horizons.
    During the 18th Dynasty,

    “the conceptual dominance of sun worship had turned the sun-god into the all-embracing creator-god who manifested himself in many forms and under many names . . . And his visible form, the sun-disk (Aten) became yet another manifestation of the god himself.”

  • Under Akhenaten, the world’s first known monotheist, Aten, the sun-disk, became the sole god. Thus, the first monotheist god ever was the sun-god, in the form of Aten, the sun-disk.
    In Igbo religion, as in Kemet, Anyanwu, the sun, is a manifestation of Chukwu, the Supreme God.

    “Chukwu is Anyanwu, which symbolically means the sun. Nri people believe that as the sun’s light is everywhere so is the presence of Chukwu manifest everywhere; as the sun is all powerful so is Chukwu all powerful and as the sun is the light that reveals things so is Chukwu the source of knowledge.”
    -- (Onwuejeogwu, 1997b: 30)

    Anyanwu, the Igbo Sun-god, was worshipped in many parts of Igboland. In the Nsukka area, “Anyanwu is regarded as a benevolent divinity and prayers are offered to it for good health.”
    At Mba-Amon,

    “Anyanwu is the god of the sun to whom are sacrificed kola nuts and snuff which is left on the stones or pots next to the shrine of the oracle. After the beating of gongs to attract his attention, goats, sheep, dogs, chickens and even cows are offered to Anyanwu if the divining oracle demands such. Most households have a personal Anyanwu shrine the symbol of which is a tree called ‘Ogbu’. [The fig tree.] The time for offering sacrifices to Anyanwu is either at sunrise or sunset, when the sacrifical animal is slaughtered by the priest and the blood poured on the bowls and stones in front of the diviner’s shrine. Every member of the family gets his share to be eaten after the sacrifice.”

  • Sun worship is reported from various parts of Igboland, besides the Nri and Nsukka areas, including Obaku, near Owerri; Awkunanaw, near Enugu. At Asaba, the sun-god is called Osebuluwa, i.e. Olisa-ebili-uwa, the ruler of the world or lord of the universe; he lives in the sun, and sacrifices to him are made at sunrise.
    Anyanwu = anya-anwu = the eye of Anwu, or the eye that does not die. The Kemetic city Annu, which the Hebrews called On, was the chief center of sun worship in Pharaonic Egypt. Is Anwu, the Igbo name for the sun, possibly taken from the name of the Pharaonic headquarters of sun worship?
    Besides the doctrine of manifestation – that the Supreme Deity manifests as the sun – there appears, in the nomenclature of the sun-god, another hint of a link between the Kemetic and the Igbo in matters of sun worship.

    Divine kingship

    The Pharaoh was a divine king. He was believed to be the divine and incarnate son of the Sun-god Re. He was believed to be born of woman by immaculate conception and, on his bodily death, his spirit rejoined his father Re and the other immortal gods. [Finch, 1985: 181; Van Sertima, 1984: 37; Pyramid Texts, in Lichtheim, 1975: 36]
    Divine kings in Igboland include those of Nri, Onitsha and Issele-Uku. The Eze Nri is a divine king, a spirit and supernatural being. He is not a chief priest and does not perform priestly functions. He does not offer sacrifices. “On the contrary, sacrifices are offered to the Eze, as the living member of Nrimenri, ‘the kings of Nri taken collectively’ by the chief palace priest.” [Onwuejeogwu, 1980:58]
    Similarly, the Obi of Onitsha is a sacred king. He does not offer sacrifices, keeps no alusi, and prays direct to Chukwu, the supreme god, and not through intermediaries. “At the Udo the Obi undergoes a symbolic death. He is then purified and becomes a god.”
    The Issele-Uku king “was regarded as a living representative of the Gods or as a living shrine dedicated to the Gods. Being a spirit, the Obi or King lived in seclusion …the King, being a sacred king, was surrounded by taboos which limited his movements.” (Isichei, 1977: 143)
    It should be noted that whereas the Pharaoh is born a god, the Obi of Onitsha is deified.

    (Identical doctrines?)

    Death and resurrection doctrines and rituals

    The beliefs and institutions of Kemet were permeated by the doctrine and rites of death and resurrection. This was in two main forms: (a) the symbolic death and resurrection of certain living persons, a rite which enhanced their sacredness and spiritual powers; (b) the resurrection rituals for the dead to awaken and live as immortals. In Igboland, symbolic death and resurrection rituals were practised, but there is no evidence of the rituals for the dead to awaken and live as immortals.

    In Kemet, the Ausarean part of the religion was founded on the legend of the suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Ausar who was treacherously killed, dismembered, and buried, and who conquered death and became king of the underworld and judge of the souls of the dead. This very ancient legend became the inspiration for the quest for immortality which permeated Kemetic society and inspired the building of the pyramids and other everlasting monuments. [For Plutarch’s version of the story, see Budge, 1967: xlviii-liv] In the case of the pharaohs, xxxxxxxxx
    “The central theme and purpose of the Pyramid Texts is the resurrection of the dead king and his ascent to the sky. The principal stages of his dramatic conquest of eternal life are: the awakening in the tomb from the sleep of death; the ascent to the sky; and the admission to the company of the immortal gods.”


  • Later, this quest for immortality became democratized, so that every person had the potential to become an immortal like Ausar. The petitioner seeking resurrection and immortality prayed:

    Let life rise out of death . . .
    Let not decay make an end of me . . .
    May I rise like a living god and give forth light like the divine powers
    in heaven . . .
    --(Karenga 1986: 96)

    Where the Pyramid Texts had been the manual for the Pharaoh to attain immortality, the Book of Resurrection, misnamed the Book of the Dead by Egyptology, became the popular manual to guide anyone to resurrection and immortality.

    In Igboland, the symbolic death and resurrection rites were incorporated into the coronation and initiation rituals for kings, title society grandees, diviners, etc. For example, the Eze Nri and the Obi of Onitsha, as part of their coronation rites, went through a symbolic death, burial and resurrection. [Onwuejeogwu, 1987: 63; Isichei, 1977: 140] Consequently, at their physical death later on, there were no elaborate burial rites.
    Similar rites were part of the Ozo initiation at Awka In the adolescent initiation for boys intending to go into the divination profession, the rite of “Ida miri” was seen as a symbolic death and resurrection. [Uba, 1985: 21, 28]

    Doctrine on Justice and arbitration

    In both Kemetic and Igbo culture, the guiding principles in arbitration were two: to provide a just settlement, and to reconcile the parties so as to restore communal harmony and balance.
    The archetypal statement of the Kemetic principles of arbitration is contained in one of its most ancient documents, The Memphite Theology as contained in the Shabaka Stone. The theme of the first part of that document is the judgement between Heru and Seth by the Nine Primordial Gods.

    “Geb, lord of the gods, commanded that the Nine Gods gather to him. He judged between Horus and Seth; he ended their quarrel.”

    At first, the jury of the Great Gods divided the land in two, and gave one part to Heru and the other to Seth. Then the decision was revised, because “it seemed wrong to Geb that the portion of Horus was like the portion of Seth. So Geb gave to Horus his inheritance, for he is the son of his firstborn son.” Then, having secured a just decision, the effort shifted to reconciling the two parties.

    “Reed and papyrus were placed on the double door of the House of Ptah. That means Horus and Seth, pacified and united. They fraternized so as to cease quarreling in whatever place they might be, being united in the House of Ptah. . . . Isis speaks to Horus and Seth: “Make peace - - -‘ Isis speaks to Horus and Seth: ‘Life will be pleasant for you when - - -’
    --(Lichtheim, 1975: 52, 53)

    Earlier on, in the great battle where Heru fought Seth, to avenge his father Ausar, an intervention was made by the other gods to prevent a total victory by one side.

    “In the Osirian legend, when Horus, light and sun, was about to achieve complete victory over Set, darkness and night, Thoth, the universal Mind and Balancer, stepped in, put a halt to the battle, and restored Set to his place. The universe was created in equilibrium and it is the subtle and complex interplay between the light and dark that gives our –universe its form and its reality.”
    --(Finch, “The Works of Gerald Massey” in Egypt Revisited, 1989, p. 412)

    Neither total victory nor unconditional defeat is acceptable to the lords of the universe, for that would subvert social peace by sowing resentment.

    In Igbo society, arbitration is guided by the same two aims and principles.

    “Laws are not made as an end in themselves. Laws are made to establish order, to restore justice and good neighbourly relations, for peace, happiness and the general good of the community. This is the native Igbo idea of law. . . . The community uses the law to safeguard itself and promote its good; the law is clearly perceived as the tool of the community.”
    -- Theophile Okere, “Law-making in Traditional Igbo Society” in G. M. Umezurike et. al., eds., Igbo Jurisprudence, (1986 Ahiajioku Lecture Colloquium), Owerri: Ministry of Information and Culture, 1986, p. 30

    Another manifestation of these principles is in the saying that “ikpe anaghi ama so otu onye” , i.e. that judgement is not given against one party alone.

    “The judicial processes are generally geared towards maintaining social order . . . The Igbo . . . do not seek to establish guilt for the purpose of awarding costs against the offender and to the winner. In a dispute over land, for example, the primary consideration of the legal process is how to guarantee rights and effect immediate and long lasting reconciliation . . .”
    --(Paul Chike Dike, “Igbo Traditional Social Control and Sanctions”, in G. M. Umezurike et. al., eds., ibid., p. 16.)

    (identical doctrines?)

    Doctrine on wealth

    In both Kemetic and Igbo culture, the doctrine on wealth is that wealth is acquired by man’s effort plus god’s gift; and that it is for sharing with others.
    In “The Maxims of Ptahhotep” this doctrine is eloquently put forth:

    “Share with your friends that which you have, for that which is yours is a gift of god” [Maxim 33?] (Karenga, ER: 361)
    “God lets (your field) prosper in your hand” [Maxim 9]

    Commenting on the maxims on this thems, Jacob Carruthers notes:

    “Wealth is viewed as the reward of an individual’s exemplary behaviour and at the same time as a ‘gift of God” . . . The honest acquisition of wealth is not a sufficient moral claim for the good person. He must also continue to demonstrate his goodness by spending the wealth through generosity to the poor folk as well as to his friends and family.”
    -- Carruthers, in Karenga and Carruthers, KATAW, p. 19. (1986)

    In the Igbo view, “Mgbali wu iriju afo; uba si la eke”, i.e. effort is to satisfy needs; wealth is from destiny. (Nwoga, 1984: 57) Furthermore,

    “the Igbo know that not all efforts bear the desired fruit. Only efforts blessed by Chukwu or chi produce such results. Thus when an Igbo makes substantial progress in his profession even after a tiresome struggle, he calls it onyinye Chukwu, the gift of god.” – Afigbo, 1981: 45 (?)

    The principle that wealth be distributed seems to have been given institutional form and encouragement through the Igbo title associations. These associations promoted honest enrichment and the distribution of wealth by title takers through payments and feasting. They thereby converted accumulated wealth into social prestige. Perhaps the most spectacular example of this principle is that of Whum, the last of the ten levels in the ozo title system at Awka.
    To take that title, one had to be rich and generous enough to feast all comers for three days, from sunrise to sunset, and to give away whatever any guest requested until everybody was satisfied. Significantly, that title was regarded as the last sacrifice to the gods.

    Doctrine on suicide

    The attitudes of Kemetic and Igbo societies were identical on thje matter of suicide. In Kemet, such a death was regarded as a bad death, and it denied a person a proper burial and normal mirtuary service. This is illustrated in the story of the argument between a man and his soul, where it was pointed out to the would-be suicide that even his soul would not remain with him and serve him if he committed suicide. (See Wilson, 1951 :113)
    Similarly, in Igboland, suicide is treated as a bad death, and the corpse is thrown away in the bad bush. This was the fate of Okonkwo, the protagonist in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. What Achebe illustrated in his novel was stated thus by an Igbo elder, Nwaokoye Odenigbo, the Isi Nze of Uruoji, in Nri: “We do not condone suicide; it is an abomination that must be cleansed.”

    (identical doctrines?)

    Ontology

    Both the Kemites and the Igbo postulate a tripartite ontology, with the same three types of things or forces: mind, matter and spirit.
    In the Kemetic cosmogony, ( in the beginning, the Mind of the Universe contained the archetypes or concepts of all things that would some day be called into existence.) Then, creation was accomplished as follows: Tehuti, a form of the divine intelligence, devised the sun in his mind, i.e. he conceived in his mind the archetype of the sun. Then Khnum, the moulder, moulded the body or egg of the sun on his potter’s wheel; and then Ptah, with his tongue, gave the words of command which put breath or spirit into the body of the sun and brought it to life. The same process produced everything in the universe. This story displays a tripartite ontology consisting of mind, matter and spirit.
    In the story of the Vision of Pymander, the voice of Poimandres spoke to Tehuti (Hermes to the Greeks) and said: “I, thy God, am the Light and the Mind which were, before substance was divided from spirit and darkness from Light.” (Egypt: Child of Africa: 221) Thus, the priority of Mind over matter and spirit was affirmed.

    The Igbo also subscribe to a tripartite ontology made up of concept/mind, body/matter and spirit/soul. According to Donatus Nwoga,

    “the Igbo view the world . . as a multi-dimensional field of action admitting of three types of reality: physical, spiritual and abstract; . . ” (Nwoga, 1984: 25)

    In such an ontology, creation is an act which reifies concepts. In the Kemetic cosmogony, the archetypes, the concepts in the Universal Mind, were reified through the power of the word uttered by the tongue of Ptah. Such creation did not cease at the initial creation of the universe. Among the Igbo, some arusi are concepts which were reified or given material embodiment and spiritual force by the power of ritual utterance, some by the gods and some by human dibias. (Nwoga, 1984: 24)

    (identical doctrine)

    B4) Demigods

    Kemetic: Herushu
    Igbo: Arusi/Alusi

    The Herushu in Kemet and the Arusi/Alusi in Igboland are gods of a lower order, the created deities.
    The original Herushu, or Followers of Heru, were predynastic provincial leaders who ruled before Mena. They helped to unify Egypt and to found the Pharaonic state. They are reputed to have been blacksmiths, and they became deified. As demigods, they rank below the great deities.

    The Arusi of the Igbo are superhuman spirits and agents of the Supreme God, Chukwu.

    “Alusi are the invisible creations of Chukwu. They are the ‘beings’ or forces that manipulate the hidden laws made by Chukwu to produce good and evil which they shower onto the visible world of men.” (Onwuejeogwu, 1980: 36)

    There are four types of arusi: those established by Chukwu, such as Igwe and Ala; those established by Eri, such as Ifejioku, Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo; those established by the dibias, such as Idemili and Udo; and Agwu, the patron/tutelary deity of divination.

    The Orisha of the Yoruba, the Arusi of the Igbo and the Herushu of the Pharaonic Egyptians are cognate names for these demigods. They appear to be of two main types. First are the deified culture heroes, deified humans who act as principal intermediaries between humans and the other deities. Examples of this type are the Pharaonic Followers of Heru, and the Yoruba orisha Shango, a mighty king of Ife who hanged himself in distress after his experiments with lightining had caused disaster. Second are the reified concepts, those abstract concepts which are materialized and spiritized by the words and devices of dibias or spirit engineers. Ulu, in Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God was a deity installed by a strong team of medicine men, and exemplifies this type of Arusi.

    Epithets

    Kemetic: s3 s = (lit.) son of man; (fig) man of rank, son of someone, wellborn
    Igbo: nwa mmadu = (lit) son of man

    The Kemetic “son of man” was used for “a man of good, though not princely, birth”; for the “wellborn.” (Gradiner, 1961: 126; Lichtheim, 1975: 143; 79, n. 59)
    The Igbo phrase “son of man” was used for a freeborn, i.e. one not a slave (ohu) and not a chief (eze) ; or for a non-orphan child, as opposed to an orphan, who was known as nwa mmuo, son of a spirit, since its dead parents were in spiritland. (Onwuejeogwu 1997a: 70)
    The two epithets literally have the same meaning, and denote the same status.

    Sacred bulls and other animals and plants

    Animals and plants that were sacred to specific deities, or sacred in their own right, were numerous in Kemet and Igboland. In both cultures, sacred animals and plants were not harmed or killed or eaten, except for some in connection with special sacrifices. Otherwise, the penalty for killing them deliberately was often death, and for killing them accidentally, the penalty varied. When sacred animals died, they were given special burial.
    Though the list of sacred animals and plants in the two cultures overlap, evidence is generally lacking on whether any given sacred creature was given the same treatment in both cultures. However, in the case of the Apis bull in Pharaonic Egypt and the Efi Alusi in Igboland, such an identity is indicated.
    The efi alusi is owned by a village, and cannot be killed and, if it dies, it is given a burial like a human being. (Williamson, 1972: 36-37).
    The Apis bull, during its lifetime, was treated as the incarnation of the god Ptah. On its death, it was mummified, and buried with pomp in a special cemetry. The mummies of no less than 64 Apis bulls were discovered in the Serapeum at Memphis. (Gardiner, 1961: 325-326)

    Number symbolism

    Nwoga has observed that

    “For certain reasons which have yet to be explored, the Igbo have abstracted certain numbers and given them symbolic significance. . . . The origins and implications of these symbolic numbers still need to be explored.” (Nwoga, 1984: 37)

    Chief among such numbers are three, seven and nine.

    “3, (ato), is symbolic in Igbo thought and rituals: ife lue n’ato, o to (i.e.) something reaches its third time of occurrence stops or ceases or sticks. 3, although a small number is the mystical ultimate in any physical or metaphysical undertaking . . .
    7, (isa/asa) is highly significant in rituals and ceremonials. Sacrifices for the ozo title are arranged in heaps of seven.” –(Onwuejeogwu 1997a: 69)

    “Seven appears in speech and folk tales to represent the limits of distance and suffering so that when one is said to have crossed seven rivers and seven deserts, it is implied that he has reached the limits of the world. In areas of Igboland, offerings in great ritual events are made in multiples of nine. Romanus Egudu has reported on this in connection with igo odo.” –(Nwoga, 1984: 37)

    These particular Igbo number symbolisms are extracts from the Kemetic body of number symbolisms. In Kemetic number symbolism, three is the symbol of the first trinity which arose when the Sun-god, Ra, in the first act of creation, spat out Shu and Tefnut:

    “Ra was first a solitary god, and he had to create in actuality, meaning that he had to actualize the essences of the first secondary divinities, Shu (air) and Tefnut (water); this is when he exclaimed, ‘I was one; I became three’. Here we have the expression of the first divine trinity in the history of the religions.”
    -- (Diop, 1991: 342)

    The significance of three to the Igbo derives from this momentous episode in cosmogony, the creation of the universe: with the transformation of a solitary entity into a trinity, into three entities, the first act of creation stopped or rested ; this terminus point is commemorated in the Igbo saying that at its third repeat, an event comes to a rest or end.

    In the Kemetic number symbolism, seven is the symbol of The Seven Governors, the seven visible heavenly bodies moving against the background of the fixed stars. These are the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They were the complete set in the geocentric planetary system of the universe; their number, seven, therefore came to signify the limit of things in the universe. The significance of seven to the Igbo is explainable in terms of this geocentric cosmology of Kemet. Sacrifices in heaps of seven are symbolically being made to the seven powers that govern the cosmos.

    In Kemetic number symbolism, nine is the number of members in the company of the primordial Great Gods, the Paut Neteru. This gave the number its significance as the number for great groups.

    “The priests of Annu at a very early period grouped together the nine greatest gods of Egypt, forming what is called the paut neteru . . . or ‘company of the gods’ . . .; the texts also show that there was also a second group of nine gods called paut net’est . . . or ‘lesser company of the gods’; and a third group of nine gods is also known.” –(Budge, 1967: xcvii)

    When all the three companies of gods are addressed together, they form a trinity of nines, the supertrinity, from which the number 27 acquires its great symbolic significance.
    That offerings in great ritual events are made in multiples of nine, in Igboland, is a legacy of the Kemetic symbolism on nine. Such offerings are, in effect, being made to the three companies of great gods. If made in three multiples of nine, that would signify that the offering is made to the supertrinity, which represents all the gods.
    Certainly, a more extensive comparison of the Kemetic and Igbo number symbolisms would explain the Kemetic sources of many of the Igbo number symbolisms. But this is not the place for that task.

    These symbolisms, whose explanations and origns are lost to the Igbo, are explained by their Pharaonic counterparts; similary, many elements of Igbo culture can only be understood when seen against the backdrop of their pharaonic originals.

    Conclusion

    These correspondences indicate that Igbo language and culture contain a significant Kemetic component. There are several others which I have spotted but have not sufficiently analyzed for inclusion in this particular paper. The full extent of the Kemetic component in Igbo culture, and how it came to be there, are matters for further investigation. This opens up a new dimension to Igbo studies as well as to Kemetology.

    Suggestions for further investigation

    Some other spheres of life in which correspondences may be usefully sought between Kemetic and Igbo culture are:

    • Burial rites
    • Embalming and mummification techniques
    • Reincarnation: theory and practice
    • Circumcision and cliteridectomy: theory and practice
    • Architecture and furniture styles
    • Consecration of buildings and building sites, including foundation laying rituals
    • Mental health: theory and cures
    • Midwifery
    • Marriage rites
    • Child-naming practices
    • Education and character training
    • Metallurgical techniques and terminology
    • Pharmacopoeia

    Note: There are hints that Igbo/Olmec, Igbo/Greek, Igbo/Israelite, Igbo/Arabic correspondences arose through taking the same elements from the seminal culture of Kemet. These should be further explored to supplement our knowledge of such shared borrowings in the languages of the Black World.

    **************************************
    Bibliography

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    Afigbo, A. E. (1981) Ropes of Sand, Ibadan: University Press Limited.
    Akbar, Na’im (1985) “Nile Valley Origins of the Science of the Mind, in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., Nile Valley Civilizations: pp. 120-132.
    Bernal, Martin (1985) “Black Athena: The African and Levantine Roots of Greece”, in Ivan Van Sertima, ed., African Presence in Early Europe, New Brunswick: Transaction, pp. 66-82.
    Bernal, Martin (1991) Black Athena, Vol. II, London: Free Association Books.
    Budge, Wallis (1967) The Egyptian Book of the Dead, New York: Dover.
    Budge, Wallis (1969) The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. I, New York: Dover.
    Budge, Wallis (1969) The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. II, New York: Dover.
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    Ejizu, Christopher I, (1992) “Traditional Igbo Religious Beliefs and Ritual”, in A. E. Afigbo, ed., Groundworks of Igbo History, Lagos: Vista, pp. 804-822.
    Ekwunife, A. (1990) Consecration in Igbo Traditional Religion, Enugu: Jet.
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    3. Ofo and Maat: Gods of truth, justice and righteousness

    Maat, the Kemetic goddess of justice, is the foundation of cosmic, social and moral order, the principle on which the universe was ordered at the creation. The word Maat has a cluster of meanings including justice order, truth and righteousness. According to the Old Kingdom Kemetic sage, Ptahhotep,

    “Maat (the way of Truth, Justice and Righteousness) is great; its value is lasting and it has remained unequalled and unchanged since the time of its Creator. It lies as a plain path before even the ignorant and those who violate its laws are punished.”
    --[Ptahhotep (5:1-4) in Karenga, in Van Sertima, 1989: 358]

    According to Theophile Obenga,

    “Maat is the primordial principle which gives order to all values. . . it is, indeed, part of the cosmic order, part of the Truth-and-Justice that allows the Pharaoh (for all that he is and symbolizes) to protect the country from disorder, from chaos, from famine, from misery. In addition, all men living in society must conform to Justice and Truth, to Maat, the supreme Virtue, guide and measure of all human activity . . . Seen as a kind of preestablished harmony in the cosmos, Maat is order, Truth-and-Justice, Felicity supreme, inviting man in society to do and speak, think and act, to live and die according to what is true, normal, harmonious; according to virtue . . .
    --(Van Sertima, 1989: 275)

    Ofo, the Igbo god of justice, is the effective guardian of the moral code, for it punishes deviations from rectitude, truthfulness, righteousness and justice. It is symbolized by the ofo staff. The Igbo phrase, “iji ofo”, to hold the ofo, means go be just in one’s actions.
    Ofo is the moral and mystical power of the totality of the deities, the ancestors and the living members of the community; the ofo staff is the symbol, embodiment and manifester of that communal force.
    The ofo staff comes in various shapes. Sometimes it is a club-like shaft, a mallet, or a carved stick about six inches in length, or even a piece of wood about a foot long with brass rings on it. The ofo has the following standard functions:

    (1) a symbol of justice, truth, moral uprightness;
    (2) an emblem or staff of authority of priests, kings, leaders;
    (3) a symbolic instrument for controlling all manner of mystical forces;
    (4) a means of communicating with the ancestors, and transmitting prayers to them.

    “The ofo symbol appears to be the pre-eminent factor in winning the goodwill and favour of the divinities, in promoting the solidarity and peace of the umunna, and in shaping the community. Mythically conceived as a chip of the primal tree that grows in Chukwu’s compound, the ofo is revered everywhere among the Igbo as a sacred object which condenses or mediates in a mysterious way the cosmic power, truth, justice and moral uprightness collectively represented and upheld by the Supreme Being, the divinities, the ancestors and myriad spirit forces. To introduce the ofo into any setting is to proclaim that nothing short of truth, justice and moral uprightness is demanded of the audience. To fail to uphold these values is to provoke the wrath of, and hence the destructive potency associated with, the ofo.”
    – (Anthony J. V. Obinna, “Religion and Igbo Traditional Education”, in Igbo Traditional Education, Owerri: Ministry of Information and Culture , 1988; 68-69)

    The power and significance of ofo may be discerned from some Igbo names:

    Ofo has power (Ikeofo)
    Ofo has potency (Ofodile)
    Ofo can kill, hence Ofoegbulam = May ofo not kill me.
    Ofo can vindicate Ofonagorom = Ofo declares my innocence.

    The ofo’s power to vindicate an accuesd, to affirm inocence, echoes the Kemetic rite of Declaration of Innocence. That was the most famous stage in the Kemetic rite of resurrection, and is misleadingly called the Negative Confession by some Egyptologists (Karenga, 19 : 102; Budge, 1967: 344-353) The resurrected soul of the dead appeared before the 42 assembled gods in the judgement Hall of Double Maat, in a ritual presided over by Ausar, the Judge of the Dead. The soul then proceeded to declare itself innocent of a series of misdeeds:

    I have not despised God;
    I have not caused misery;
    I have not committed murder;
    I have not taken milk from the mouth of babes;
    I have not dammed flowing water; etc.

    Though Ausar presides, the dominant presence in the hall is Maat, the guardian of the unalterable laws of the universe. The roof of the hall is lined with the emblems of Maat; two Maat figures stand behind Ausar, and they personify physical law and moral rectitude; and the heart of the dead is weighed on a scale against a feather emblem of Maat. (Budge 1967: 347 and 256) Sins weigh down the heart; so if the heart is balanced by the light feather of Maat, it passes the test and is pronounced Maakheru, i.e. vindicated, righteous or justified. It is then admitted to the eternal company of the immortal gods. But if the heart fails the test on the scale, the resurrected soul is cast to the devourer monster, Amemet, which eats and annihilates it forever. (Budge, 1967: 255-259)
    In Igbo religion, the declaration of innocence or sinlessness was done daily at prayer, before the ofo emblem. Consider these two accounts from different parts of Igboland.
    At Akanu Ohafia,

    “prayers are not of a supplicative nature: instead of expressing a request the believer would enumerate his virtues in an address to Obasi-Di-Nelu; such a recital is frequently recited with the head toward the sky which is the abode of the supreme deity.” –(Lieber, 1971: 30)

    And from Ezinifite:

    “the believer in his morning prayer . . . reminds the ancestors of his own sinless nature, makes a circle around his head with the ofo. . .” – (Lieber, 1971: 74)

    The Kemetic words for scepter (mata), crook (heq), flail (khu), staff (mankht) do not bear any phonetic resemblance to ofo. However, the Kemetic m’nkht (mankht) = staff of truth.

  • designates one of the functions of the Igbo ofo stick. It is quite possible that, if and when they adopted the ritual from wheresoever, or brought it over to their present habitat, Ndigbo adopted a terminology that was ecologically more appropriate in their new habitat. Given that ofo is also the name of the plant from which the ofo stick is cut, it perhaps happened that the name of this rain forest plant was bestowed on the ritual object made from it as well as on what it symbolized.

    ===========
    One of the most famous stages in the Kemetic rites of resurrection was the Declaration of Innocence by the soul of the dead before the assembly of the 42 gods in the Judgment Hall of Ausar. (Karenga, Husia: 102) Some call it the Negative Confession. (Budge, 1967: 344-353)
    In Igbo, there is a vindication ritual, an affirmation of moral uprightness, Igo Ofo, which seems to echo that Kemetic Declaration of Innocence. It is a denial of wrongdoing which is ritually spoken while holding the ofo stick, the symbol of rectitude. Igo Ofo is probably short for

    Igo ago n’ihu ofo = to make denials before the ofo.
    ------------------
    Igo Ofo consists of two words: Igo = to deny; to worship; to bless.
    Ofo = the emblematic piece of wood.

    ----------------------

    They suggest a role for whatever was the ofo’s Kemetic counterpart in the Hall of Judgment, the Hall of Double Ma’at. The power and significance of ofo is discernible from such given names as

    Jideofo = hold the ofo (as you go about your affairs), i.e. be just in your actions.

    -----------------
    In Kemetic, This raises the possibility that there was a Kemetic symbol which was the functional prototype of the Igbo ofo stick. Could the ofo stick be an Igbo version of the symbol of Ausar, the Judge of Souls, a token of the emblems which Ausar holds when presiding in the Hall of Judgment?

    ---------------------
    Some expressions in which ofo is used are:

    -go ofo = bless with the ofo emblem.
    -ji ofo = be just in one’s actions.
    -ku ofo = knock ofo on the ground (of a priest when giving judgment).
    -su ofo = knock the symbol of justice on the ground.
    (Williamson, 1972: 400-401)

    These usages, and ofo’s role as a symbol of justice and moral uprightness, recall the cluster of meanings for the Kemetic term ma’at.

    Igbo words and concepts with Pharaonic counterparts

    94. Chi (spirit double, procreative power, sun)
    95. Eke (portion, destiny)
    96. Chi-na-Eke (the twin gods of destiny)
    97. Arusi/Erusi (demigod)
    98. Ahu (body)
    99. Obi (heart)
    100. Ako (intellect, judgement, wisdom)
    101. Ike (strength, power)
    102. Ekwensu (mischief spirit, ‘devil’)
    103. Ikenga (strength of the arm)
    104. Mma (good, beautiful, just)
    105. Mmanwu (masquerade)
    106. Ima (to know)
    107. Imu (to learn)
    108. Ide (to write)
    109. Otu (one)
    110. Otu (union)
    111. Anyasi/Enyasu (early night)
    112. Ndi (things of/ people of)
    113. Obu/obi (domestic temple)
    114. Imenka (to carve, chisel)
    115. Ime (inside)
    116. Itu (to command)
    117. Oto (upright)
    118. Mmam (spirit)
    119. Zibe (teaching)
    120. Na (and, with)
    121. Iru (face)
    122. Evhu ala (viper)
    123. Anwu (sun)
    124. Ma/macha (measure)
    125. Agha (battle, war)
    126. Uma (character, behaviour)
    127. Tomie (grow greatly)
    128. Gwuo (dig)
    129. Kuo (strike, hit)
    130. Bu (is, are)
    131. Eke (python)
    132. Aku (wealth)
    133. Isogbu (to trouble)
    134. Tuo (make libation)
    135. Imesu ozhu (to awaken the dead)
    136. Ogbenye (poverty)
    137. Mmanwu (masquerade)
    138. Oyi (cold)
    139. Ehi (cow)
    140. Ahwa/aho (year)
    141. Ebe (place)
    142. Okhu (hot)
    143. Ise (may it be so)
    144. Nwa mmadu (wellborn)
    145. Umu ife/ndi ife (sons of light, the enlightened)

    146. Igbo names that are Kemetic words

    147. Eri
    148. Nri
    149. Ufere
    150. Amobi
    151. Isu
    152. Ipeh
    153. Khamannu/Khanu/Kanu

    Igbo doctrines and practices with Kemetic counterparts

    154. Divine kingship
    155. Nrimenri doctrine of collective kingship
    156. The Council of Thirty (Illimmadunato)
    157. Eze Nri’s dwarfs
    158. Osu temple sanctuary and ostracism
    159. Obu/obi domestic temple
    160. Nsibidi symbols and pictographs
    161. The family compound complex
    162. Ofo, the god of Truth, Justice and Righteousness
    163. The Eri creation story
    164. Rituals for opening the eyes and other senses
    165. Dualities and dialectics
    166. Persons consecrated to the gods
    167. Pantheon structures – dyads and trinities
    168. Orientation of sacred structures
    169. Anatomy of personality
    170. Efi alusi, the sacred bull
    171. Pervasive power of oracles and diviners
    172. Doctrine of the four fundamental elements
    173. Death and resurrection doctrines and rituals
    174. Doctrines and worship of the Sun god, Anyanwu
    175. Doctrines “ Chi
    176. Doctrines “ Chi-na-Eke
    177. Doctrines “ Ekwensu
    178. Doctrines “ arusi
    179. Doctrine of masquerades as manifestations of gods and ancestors
    180. Doctrines and practices on arbitration
    181. “ on wealth
    182. “ on education
    183. “ on a tripartite ontology
    184. “ on suicide
    185. Number symbolisms
    186. Offerings in lots of seven and nine
    This list includes doctrines, practices and terminology that are considered most typically Igbo, yet they are Pharaonic. Correspondences of such specificity, in such detail and in such variety and numbers more than meet the conditions for inferring diffusion. And since the Pharaonic culture was considerably older than the Igbo culture, and had already ceased to exist before the rise of the Igbos, diffusion could only have been from Pharaonic to Igbo society. But when and how?

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  • Posted : 12/16/2016 6:51 pm Chizoro Okeke liked
    (@obadelekambon)
    Most BlackNificent Afrikan! Admin
    Abibifahodie Wura!
    Abibisika (Black Gold):7688

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    Posted : 01/29/2017 11:37 am Chizoro Okeke liked
    (@kevlew)
    BlackStonishing Afrikan Admin
    Abibifahodie Sikani!
    Abibisika (Black Gold):2406

    Great insight 

    “Intellectuals ought to study the past not for the pleasure they find in so doing, but to derive lessons from it”

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    Posted : 08/14/2018 8:07 pm
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