The story of Osiris and Horus (or why sun worshippers built the pyramids)
“Man fears time. Time fears the pyramids.’ – Arabian proverb
He was a VIP and they built him a tomb with food and amenities that included furniture, gold and more. That would have been nice except that he was still alive, with probably decades more to go, when they constructed it.
Wouldn’t that give life insurance agents a run for their money?
Probably so. But that was Egypt and that was thousands of years ago Before Christ, when Egyptians worshipped the sun, believing that if the remains of a dead pharaoh were not properly taken care of, that great ball of fire up in the sky won’t burn.
And so they prepared a giant mausoleum of sort, made of tons of granite and limestone over the course of 20 years; the construction crew, some 30,000 workers, lived in labor camps, who shared happy afterwork moments with their tipple and made graffiti like "Drunkards of Menkaure" before finally hitting the sack for yet another day of moving boulders.
‘King of the Dead’
So that explains why the tomb—read: pyramid—was built a bit early: It has to be ready before the pharaoh dies, else the sun won’t shine.
The sun won’t shine because the pharaoh, upon his death, becomes Osiris, “King of the Dead” while his successor becomes Horus, the god of the heavens and protector of the sun god, Ra.
Osiris travels to the afterlife and does his business, in the process ensuring that Horus has no problem doing his—a quid pro quo kind of arrangement, if you will, that creates the night and day cycle of the sun.
Now the catch: Ancient Egyptians believed that a part of the dead pharaoh’s spirit, Ka, remains with his body and would have to be cared for by preserving the remains through mummification in the pyramid and the food and all else. Otherwise, Ka won’t have a place to stay, the “King of the Dead” won’t be able to do his duty in the afterlife; ergo, the cycle is broken, the sun dies.
Other ancient Egyptians were buried in the same fashion to prepare them for the afterlife as well, where they probably would be merrymaking with the “King of the Dead.”
To date, there have been 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt, officially. The most recent, that of Queen Sesheshet, mother of 6th Dynasty Pharaoh Teti. The pyramid is located at Saqqara. Its discovery was announced by Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, on Nov. 11, 2008.
Just recently however, Talking Pyramids, a website providing regular updates on these ancient Egyptian structures, reported that a recent satellite survey has detected 17 new pyramids and over 1,000 tombs in Egypt with two of these pyramids already confirmed by excavations on the ground.
University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Dr. Sarah Parcak, known for her work with satellite imaging, made the discoveries.
“We were very intensely doing this research for over a year. I could see the data as it was emerging, but for me the “Aha!” moment was when I could step back and look at everything that we’d found and I couldn’t believe we could locate so many sites all over Egypt.
“To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archaeologist,” Talking Pyramids, citing a BBC documentary, quoted Parcak as saying.
According to Talking Pyramids, Parcak’s team analysed images from satellites orbiting 700 kilometers above the earth. The satellites were equipped with cameras “so powerful they can pin-point objects less than a meter in diameter on the earth’s surface,” Talking Pyramids said.
Infra-red imaging was used to highlight different materials under the surface. Parcak said deciphering the images was easy because ancient Egyptians built their houses and structures out of mud brick thus making their shapes quite recognizable.
The discovery was announced prior to the airing of the BBC documentary called “Egypt’s Lost Cities.”
"These are just the sites (close to) the surface. There are many thousands of additional sites that the Nile has covered over with silt. This is just the beginning of this kind of work," Parcak said.
The original list on the number of Egyptian pyramids, prepared by Prussian Egyptologist, Karl Richard Lepsius in 1852, started with 67.
Among the first discoveries was that of the Pyramid of Djoser, a step pyramid much like the typical amphitheater benches from which came forth the towering pyramids that were later on designed. The step pyramid was constructed around 2630 BC by the Egyptian polymath, Imhotep.
What’s inside the pyramids has remained an enigma.
For one, their shape is believed to represent the rays of the sun. Also, most pyramids have polished white-limestone cover for them to sparkle and be seen from afar. Moreover, pyramids were often named in ways that referred to its ability to emit light like The Southern Shining Pyramid for the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur, for instance.
The pyramids were built and positioned such that they were on the right axis to certain constellations. They also point toward the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis some eight kilometres east of the Nile, which was the centre of sun worship at the time.
Some quarters theorize that the pyramids were actually “resurrection machines.” But this has yet to be established because so far not all nooks and crannies of the pyramids’ labyrinth of passageways and hidden doors have been fully explored—having done so would helped scholars in coming up with conclusive answers on the reason for the structures’ existence; and as well, on the theological principles behind it.
The 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza, the only surviving relic of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—Greece started the list around the 8th century BC; the tallest and largest among the three Giza pyramids, and the tallest in the world until England’s Lincoln Cathedral was erected in 1300, is a case in point.
This Egyptian icon, a favourite of those out for adventure travel, and which took more than 20 years to build around 2570 BC, was a six-million-ton tomb for the pharaoh Khufu—and it has not been giving away secrets.
Work continues to reveal hidden doors and chambers as well as hieroglyphs. With this comes tall tales such as that the two copper fittings recently discovered were power-points for a technology yet to be fully grasped, alien in other words.
Hieroglyphs, according to Egyptologist, Dr. Lanny Bell, tell the story of the sun's nightly voyage into the Netherworld, and the obstacles it faces to be able to rise again.
Another recent find, made through elastic, tube-shaped cameras, was that of two mysterious shafts which lead from one of the three burial chambers to highly-polished stone doors. The cameras revealed more hieroglyphs and unexplained lines on the stone, according to archaeologists.
Media reports have quoted Hawass as saying the doors are the pyramid's "last great mystery" that could lead to a room hidden for thousands of years.
People with a thing for adventure travel have long been “magnetised” by the pyramids and the mysteries shrouding them. Visiting the pyramids is among outdoor activities offered by travel and tour companies for those with adventure in mind. Outdoor activities may include camping out by the pyramids.