Monday, October 19, 2015

Ancient Egypt this week: Crime & Punishment, Book of the Gates video, Blue Lotus

Punishment in Ancient Egypt

An ancient wall carving spells out the bloody punishment for stealing animal hides: 100 lashes and five wounds. Egyptologists have long wondered whether that was a literal description.

Now skeletons showing evidence of that sentence have been found in a humble cemetery in the ancient Egyptian capital of Amarna.

Ministry of Antiquities opens museum at Cairo International Airport

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities wil open a small museum in the transit hall at Cairo International Airport's Terminal 3 at the end of this month in an attempt to promote tourism.
Elham Salah, head of the Museums Section at the ministry, told Ahram.

Book of the Gates Video

The Book of Gates is an Ancient Egyptian funerary text dating from the New Kingdom.  It narrates the passage of a newly deceased soul into the next world, corresponding to the journey of the sun through the underworld during the hours of the night. The soul is required to pass through a series of 'gates' at different stages in the journey. Each gate is associated with a different diety and requires that the deceased recognise the particular character of that deity. The text implies that some people will pass through unharmed, but that others will suffer torment in a lake of fire.

Female Viagra: Sparrow brains and baboon urine were ancient remedies

The idea of enhancing female sexual arousal is centuries-old. The mandrake was believed to be a love-charm in ancient Egypt. In The Mandrake And The Ancient World, Harrison wrote that it released a "piercing demoniacal shriek which was supposed by the ancients to accompany the uprooting of the plant". Mandrake root was eaten as an aphrodisiac and as a cure for female infertility because the forked root was supposed to resemble a woman's thighs.

The blue lotus was called Viagra of the pharaohs and used to enhance the sex drive.