THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RELIEFS AND “THE SNEFRU CODE”:
FIRST HISTORICAL AND SYMBOLICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND NEW GEOMETRICAL DISCOVERIES.
To Stéphanie Fesneau, tango dancer and teacher,
to have demonstrated obvious the unthinkable.
– Est-ce en ces nuits sans fond que tu dors et t’exiles,
Million d’oiseaux d’or à future Vigueur ? –
1) A POSSIBLE ESOTERIC MEANING ENCLOSED ON THE SINAI RELIEF BY MEANS OF “THE SNEFRU CODE”
In the Antika article of 3 January 2013 (“Ipotesi di lettura della stele di Snefru”) were for the first time showed and commented some overwhelming images, which seemed capable to reveal how the five more famous pyramids of the IV Dynasty were geometrically codified in the relief made by the founder Snefru in a Sinai stone cave around the 2600 BC (obviously, if we accepted the current dating of mainstream historiography and archeology, that were just called in doubt by this discovery). Practically, by those tables it was possible to see that lining up the pyramids bases to that of the relief and placing the tips on the Pharaoh’s eye, a very interesting system of intersections was developing between the pyramids profile sections (including the prolonging of their characteristic axis) and the whole of the relief, system that already at this point seemed not due to chance. But all this was just the beginning of an unexpected geometrical play – as varying the pyramids scale and lining up their bases and tips in different positions, the intersections system went on systematically and inexorably appearing, giving foundation to the hypothesis of a common geometrical matrix, from which as the characteristic measures of the relief as those of pyramids were both deducted. Below, we can seem some examples of what happens with the Big Pyramid, by means of images that in the other article we had no way of showing
Instead, between the ones that we have already showed, maybe at the end the most interesting images came out when on the Pharaoh’s eye was positioned the tip of the Pyramid of Menkaure.
In this case we can see how the higher gallery – which is usually interpreted as an incomplete work because, so to speak, ends in a confused way in the body of the rock – if overlapped to the Snefru relief immediately finds a symbolic-religious sense that seems rather clear: it actually gets to draw a penis in relaxed position on the Pharaoh enemy pubis, a character who acts as a submitting and pity imploring one. But anyone being in historical and anthropological problems knows very well that a relaxed penis, a penis melting away with rock, could easily be interpreted as an ancestral symbol of castration, and so as symbol of death. It is actually a common experience in the human kind how the ejaculation produces, after the instant of lust, a deep sense of vacuum, an experience which is at the basis of the dictum “animal semper triste post coitum”, words that seem to emphasize the fundamental connection between the higher joy which man could experience in his life with the fatal premonition of death. Actually, the modern psychology too inexorably report this strange phenomenon: the virile power seems to be lost at the end of the coitus with the sperm lost into the feminine genitals. Today we interpreted the feminine genital organ just a simple biological mechanism, but both in ancient historic or prehistoric times it was worshipped as a religious symbol, commonly identified with the stone. This idea, in spite of its archaic appearance, it’s still common nowadays, as there’s no gift symbolically deeper for a beloved woman that a jewel with a precious stone set on. The best is surely the diamond, because it joins in itself the gifts of the dark deepness of hearth with the high and pure light of the sky. A shining diamond is stone in symbiosis with the sun, the Feminine melt with the Masculine: its hardness and brightness surely allude to that eternity that man can partially achieve by the generation of a son, the symbol at the same time more universal and more powerful of the faith in the worth and endlessly going on of life.
Actually, there is no scholar or amateur of the issue that is not aware of the fact that hundreds of figures of feminine genitals and nudes – more or less complete and defined – have been found sculpted or engraved in bones, or little stones (they call them “portables sculptures”: but a more correct definition seems that of “amulets”), or in the more inaccessible deepness of the Paleolithic and Neolithic caves from about the 30.000 BC. But if the stone is interpreted – as it seems – as a sort of metaphysical vagina, as an abyss from which all life come and return, it seems to become clear that the scene represented by the Snefru relief in combination with the Menkaure Pyramid must be a metaphysical scene, not the representation of what usually we call “a real fact”. Therefore, in contraposition with the relaxed penis, represented by the “unfinished” gallery, we can definitely hypothesize that the other gallery represents a penis vigorously erected, most likely pointing to the northern stars, that to Ancient Egyptians were the place of the eternal life. It’s sufficient to move the pyramid tip a little to the left to understand how it could change the meaning of won and submitted character, which represented with a big and erected penis would be more difficultly interpretable as doomed to the annihilation.
This way to symbolically interpret the human body and sexuality often appear to the modern historian and intellectual, consciously or unconsciously (this has not many importance) as an overwhelming and almost incredible sign of backwardness in a culture that in contrary we are inclined to respect in a very deep way – almost as a bestiality worthy of a very primitive people that someway was inherited by an advanced civilization, so advanced to be capable to sculpt that kind of relief – furthermore using a mathematical code which appear rather refined. But it’s easy to guess that this kind of evaluations has nothing to do with something like “an objective reality”, and that, in contrary, they could descend from the Protestant and Counter Reformation prejudices still current in our culture, which even in that phase that was baptized with the rather strange name of “Modernity” begun to accept the nude as an easy sight only from the moment in which sexuality was radically distinguished from conception, and so from the relation with the sacred. It is common notion that until the invention and diffusion of contraceptives the bourgeois society, as the so called “communist”, or “socialist”, has considered the representation of nude and human sexuality as a taboo that only in absolutely exceptional situations could be legitimately crossed, after that the scarcely understandable Counter Reformation prudery came up to the point to consider obscene statues and paintings which were for a long time peacefully displayed in churches or other sacred spaces – sometimes real masterpieces admired and respected by generations of believers as symbols absolutely worthy to embody the sacred history told by the Bible. It’s only on the basis of this kind of cultural prejudices that we are inclined to watch at the religious symbol which appear pointing the tip of the Menkaure Pyramid on the Pharaoh’s eye as a sort of bestiality.
To completely release ourselves from these prejudices it’s maybe a good thing to remember that in ancient times and other cultures things didn’t go necessarily this way and, in contrary, the western prudery seems scarcely diffused in the more or less recent historical past too. For instance, in the Sparta of the heroes, that still today is considered by scholars of any of religious and political orientation an unsurpassed example of abnegation and noble dedication to the more universally recognized virile values – courage, loyalty, stoic acceptance of pain and death, calm and measure also in the most extreme dangerous situations – it was a common use as for the men as for the women – especially the unmarried young ones – to walk around naked “to be modest”, as the elderly said to the astonished and scandalized strangers, that couldn’t believe that displaying the naked body formed by the daily gym training young men and women was just “walking around dressed only by their virtue”. But if from the austerity of Sparta we move to the refinement of Athens, we may be astonished discovering that the same married woman which practically could never get out of her husband home – the same woman of which was considered inconvenient to pronounce the name in a public place – had her home entrance consecrated to a goddess symbolized by an erected phallus, auspice of fertility and fortune, a goddess to which rituals and feasts was dedicated; these things, in contrary of what we are inclined to think nowadays, were not some kind of clownery put on by rich men with the passion for the porno and burlesque. They were an absolutely serious kind of things, which had the same dignity of the other feasts and rituals. And if from Classic Greek we move to Asia, immediately we meet in India some splendid temples which walls and towers are interminably decorated by fine style sculptures, representing sexual intercourses of any sort, and sacred spaces dominated by the gigantic figure of an erected phallus – and the sacred representation of vagina was so much common too. Now, no reasonable person could imagine that this kind of splendid masterpieces could be the fruit of the will of a mad and debauched tyrant or of the work of a civilization made by exhausted aesthetes with a refined pornographic taste. In contrary, works of this kind are a reason to hypothesize that in the past of humanity there were very developed cultures in which genitals, sexuality and the body in its complex were not considered as an almost unmentionable piece of shame, but instead as visible manifestation of the divine into the human.
Once we are capable to remember all this, we do not have any kind of reason to be overwhelmed in discovering that to Ancient Egyptian too, a culture by all people and from many centuries considered very elaborated and highly refined – a culture that proofs lesser and lesser questionable are drawing us to maintain as technologically very advanced – the corporeity was considered as a religious symbol, and not necessarily a scandal. Herodotus tells us that during what he calls a Dionysus feast (so, presumably, an Osiris feast) Egyptian women went in procession with a puppet representing the goddess, whose erected phallus – that was slightly shorter that the height of the puppet – was continuously moved on and back by an ingenious mechanism; aside his testimony, we can still watch at some sacred images in which we can see Isis giving back life to Osiris with an oral intercourse, a scene absolutely unthinkable in our religious culture, if not as outrage and blasphemy. The sacralization of sexuality and human body got to the point that in one of their myths of creation we find Atum generating the universe masturbating, swallowing the sperm and then generating the second and the third of the goddesses of the Ennead, Geb and Nut (who we should intend, as it seems, the Damp and the Dry) urinating and defecating.
Therefore, it is historically reasonable to discover that the galleries of the Menkaure Pyramid represent in succession a penis first relaxed and then erected (or the reverse) as a death and resurrection symbol that could be put on to the succumbing goddess of the Snefru relief by the geometrical code with which it had been built. Nothing is more logical than to hypothesize that the corridors of that pyramid hah been built that way just to be overlapped to the relief, revealing that way to the initiates one of the exoteric messages that have been encrypted in this stone. Actually, if we imagine to move the Menkaure pyramid a little on the left, we find that the succumbing goddess has no more a relaxed penis, a penis melting away with stone (and therefore with death) but instead a firm erection, sign of life and power, and of that eternity which symbol were to the Ancient Egyptian the northern stars, the stars that don’t go through the setting. In general, it seems that the Menkaure Pyramid overlapped to the Snefru relief, was made to send this message: death, which appear to the human eye as melting away with the Mother Stone, is instead a passage to a never ending life, “the life of millions of years”, of which many times the Pyramid Texts speak about.
2) THE GEOMETRICAL CODE OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RELIEFS
Obviously, apart from giving cause to reflections about its symbolic and religious meaning, the discovery of what we have hurriedly baptized “the Snefru code” encouraged purely geometric researches too, in the first moment to control if this same code could concern also other Ancient Egyptian reliefs: and, as it was an easy prevision, immediately we have seen that things was just this way. If we look at the images that follow – in which we take in consideration the relief known as “Djoser running” – immediately we realize that it was projected on the basis of the same code, as it contains not only the IV Dynasty Pyramids (we recall that following the mainstream archeology, the IV Dynasty would begin only some centuries after the death of Djoser), but the figures and the hieroglyphics of the Sinai relief too. In the fourth figure we can even note that also the Orion constellation, which Sacred Angles was a fundamental part of the planning code of all pyramids and statues of IV Dynasty (on this issue see the Gabriele Venturi’s World Mysteries article of 7 November 2012 “The Descending Corridors of Pyramids and the Narmer Stone: an Archaeoastronomical and Theological Perspective”), is very probably contained into the code.
This images are surely something that makes you think, and it would be an easy play going on with other ones to increase the more or less shallow amazement that we can feel in front of an unexpected phenomenon. But it is maybe more useful to send the reader to the gallery to see other examples of the geometrical plays we can get from the Ancient Egyptians relief, and now it is better to concentrate ourselves on the purely geometrical problem that seems to be posed by this kind of phenomenon, that we could call “meaningful intersections”. Actually, the first thought that comes in mind watching at these images is that the two reliefs must have been projected on the basis of the same mathematical-geometrical matrix, as the meaningful intersections keep on repeating not only overlapping two different images, but as we are going to see below, also in the case in which the image is, so to speak, overlapped to itself, therefore moving it in a way to fit some parts – that appear geometrically meaningful – with other parts that appear congruent.
The phenomenon seems rather impressive, even overwhelming on first sight. But who’s expert with problems and issues connected with mathematics and geometry – or with music too – is usually perfectly conscious of the fact that what appears first sight very complex could have rather simple fundaments – and actually things are often like that. We all know how are almost monstrously complex the mathematical operations that are necessary to the experiments of quantum mechanics, that without enormously powerful computer would be absolutely impossible. Yet, the more simple experiments, in which only the motion of one particle is described, can be geometrically represented in a very simple way, so that people not very well up in high mathematics can understand them, only on the basis of a bit of instruction and a good intuition (this is a kind of exemplifications in which Feynman is very good, for instance). But, alas, moving from the simpler case to one which involve four or eight particles things begin to get very hard, until we rapidly come to phenomenon that are simply unfathomable, so that modern physics could really be thought and represented by the pure abstraction of the mathematical formulas and calculations. On the issue, Heisenberg maintained – with some good reasons as it seems – that in relation of the deep meaning of quantum mechanics the iconographic system with which it is usually popularized is a middle course between falsification, vulgarization and fraud. Anyway, the case of Ancient Egyptian reliefs – not appearing so complex and abstract as quantum mechanics – could be similar; similar in the sense that the complexity of the observed or built up phenomenon – or of those we could build up – could be the result of a rather simple but fundamental mathematical-geometrical structure, if would be true that hypothesis that – before to enounce – we will show by means of images.
In this case too we have to inform the reader that we could show many more examples of golden ratio relations between the elements of the Snefru relief (for instance, the hieroglyphic in front of the hawk seems just a part of the five tips stars that we can construct into a regular pentagon, a geometrical figure intrinsically dominated by the golden ratio). But again we let to the gallery the easy play to multiply the examples, because in this moment seems more useful to show how this same kind of ratio – that seems to characterize the Snefru relief – seems to characterize other reliefs too, works that belong to very different periods of Ancient Egyptian culture. Once we have shown that the golden ratio stays at the basis of the figurative and hieroglyphic production all along Ancient Egyptian history, what appear as an evidence to the immediacy of intuition will be showing itself as true to the slowness of analysis.
As we can see analyzing the images, the golden ratio seems to characterize the space of Ancient Egyptians reliefs belonging to very distant times, from the more ancient one, known by the name of “Djoser running” to that of Ramses – that was engraved in an age in which the sacred architecture had taken a stylistical way very different from which of the IV Dynasty, moving from the pyramid form to that of temple with columns. But what seems going on without any change is the golden ratio, from which forms, dimensions and space relations keep on resulting. Even more impressive seems the fact that an architectonic space so big as the Dahshur Plateau – and even that “rough” precessional meridian known by the name of “Nabta Playa stone circle” – seems to correspond to the same, “magical” proportions that characterized pyramids and reliefs.
That the Nabta Playa stone circle could correspond to the golden ratio would not seem so strange when in the following images we will have observed that its characteristic angles are included in the Snefru relief of Sinai, then in Djoser running, in the Big Sphinx, in the profile of the most famous diorite Khefren portrait, in the descending corridors of two different pyramids, one of them is the well known Red Pyramid; all these are works that, following the mainstream history and archeology, would belong to a period that we should place more or less three millennia after the time in which the Nabta Playa stone circle was built and frequented. It’s our opinion that the way in which the development of the pyramid form is usually described could be wrong, and that we have good stylistical and morphological reasons to maintain that the Giza as the Dahshur Plateau should be placed in an age rather anterior to the 10.500 BC, as the stepping pyramids and those attributed to V Dynasty should be a late and substandard imitation, carried out in a time in which the technique to build up masterworks as the Big Pyramid had been forgotten by millennia, as it seems that the pyramids ascribed to the V Dynasty have fallen down a few centuries after their construction. But even if the building technique was lost and dead, what was unchanged and still alive of that far times was the code with which they were geometrically built up. But we have to postpone the analysis of this very complex issues to a future work, to keep on concentrating on the problems that we can immediately face up on the basis of the following images.
Having watched at all those images the reader will be convinced of the plausibility of our hypothesis, that we can summarize in these propositions
THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS RELIEFS OF EACH AGE ARE BEEN BUILT UTILIZING THE GOLDEN RATIO SO THAT
1) EACH LEAST PART OF EACH SINGLE FIGURE AND HIEROGLYPHIC WOULD STAY IN A GOLDEN RATIO KIND OF RELATION WITH THE WHOLE OF THE SINGLE FIGURE AND SINGLE HIEROGLYPHIC OF WHICH IT IS A PART.
2) EACH SINGLE HIEROGLYPHIC AND FIGURE WOULD STAY WITH THE WHOLE OF THE SPACE OF THE RELIEF AND WITH THE OTHER HIEROGLYPHICS AND FIGURES ALWAYS IN A GOLDEN RATIO.
3) THEREFORE, BETWEEN THE POINTS OF THIS KIND OF SPACE DOES NOT EXIST THAT KIND OF EMPTY, SHAPELESS AND MERELY QUANTITATIVE RELATION THAT WE CAN FIND INTO THE CARTESIAN SPACE, BUT A CONSTANT GOLDEN RATIO KIND OF RELATION, THAT WAS EVIDENTLY BELIEVED AS SACRED.
4) THAT MEANS THAT IN THIS KIND OF SPACE WE GO TOWARD THE UNENDINGLY BIG AS TOWARD THE UNENDINGLY LITTLE FOLLOWING THE PACE OF A FIBONACCI’ SPIRAL.
5) THEREFORE, IN THIS KIND OF CONTEXT, THE INFINITE KIND OF INFINITIES THAT CHARACTERIZE OUR MATHEMATICS ARE UNTHINKABLE, PARTICULARLY THAT LINEAR-CONTINUOUS KIND OF INFINITE THAT TO THE AVERAGE WESTERN ONE SEEMS THE MOST OBVIOUS AND FAMILIAR.
Therefore, the whole of these evidences seems to force us to the conclusion that the invention – or the creation – of the high geometry and the connected astronomy should be backdated at least until the Nabta Playa times, that’s to say in a period between the 5000 and the 7000 BC. But it’s our opinion that these discoveries could be enormously older, and that they could be reasonably placed in the deepness of Paleolithic, a time in which – following our hypothesis – people would recreate the lost harmony of the Golden Age by an artistic an architectonic production based on the Golden Ratio, a mathematical system that in our ancestral past had been probably an esoteric-religious symbol enormously powerful, that was supposed capable to embody that paradise lost, variously imagined by the different cultures, in which harmony spontaneously reigned in the nature and between people, a symbol that was also believed capable to defend the world from the omnipresent and terrible powers of the chaos. To give an example of what we are saying, we could see in the following images how the famous Altamira bison could be easy interpreted not as a random decoration of the cave, but as a figure of a stellar goddess obtained joining about twenty stars of the north sky, the sky that will be considered by Ancient Egyptians the place of the eternal life. The Ramses “skirt” as the angles structure of the Snefru relief could be the result of an heritage of the ancient precessional diagram that the rhinos “fresco” of Chauvet could represent
Also that system of signs that we can find into the Altamira caves – that was variously interpreted as a formless bunch of scribbles, or as an example of abstract drawing, or as the fruit of the mystical visions of shamans went in ecstasy – to a more attentive look seems actually an ensemble of calendar systems, in which we can notice the ancestors of our round brackets and braces (but employed in a vertical direction we are not used to), and various examples of the most common bar code .
But it’s clear that the problems connected with this hypothesis – that on first sight appear as radical as archeologically unfounded – are not a matter that we can develop in the short space of an article, and it is probable that we will be forced to employ the book form to demonstrate in an indisputable way a thesis that – without any further proof – could legitimately appear a mere fantasy. Anyway, we think that from the material we have exposed in these pages, seems to result unavoidable a radical reconsideration of the last prehistoric phase of humanity, that which precedes the epoch-making invention of writing. If the Golden Ratio actually characterized the Nabta Playa stone circle, therefore all we believed to know about the Neolithic Era would appear as an illusion, and we will forced from now on to think that those human beings – that for so long time we have imagined as savages nearest to the animal condition than to the human kind – had been in contrary as similar as different to us as, for instance, Marco Polo and the Chinese people that he describes in his most famous book “Il Milione”