Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pharoah Paddy? Saint O'Sirus?

When I first saw this piece of sheet music on eBay, I was mildly amused. I collected sheet music, once upon a time. To say I'm interested in Egypt is an understatement. Ireland is one of my favorite countries, and the only one besides Egypt that I've visited twice. Sometimes I can be a little obsessive about the things I like, so forgive me if I thought one of my tech savvy friends was playing a joke on me by making this sheet music come up in my eBay recommendations.

Then, I started getting hits in other feeds about the Irish-Egyptian connection. Was there something behind the whimsy?

Much to my surprise, several Irish legends connect the Irish to Egyptians, but they've have been impossible to prove so far. Not for lack of trying, which has included DNA testing.There are two stories that seem to come up repeatedly.

The most famous story is of Queen Scota, an Egyptian princess or queen, depending on which version of the legend you read. She may or may not (depending on the version) have been Akhenaten's daughter.  After being exiled from Egypt, she arrived in Ireland and was killed by the Tuatha De Danann (fairies) in a great battle. Her supposed grave is marked by a giant inscribed stone in County Kerry. Its importance has led to local politicians calling for its preservation.

Another intriguing story centers around the discovery of the skeleton of a 15-year-old boy at The Mound of the Hostages, near Tara, by Dr. Sean O Riordan of Trinity College in 1955. Carbon dating showed that the remains were roughly 3,800 years old. A necklace found with the skeleton was made of faience beads. The faience beads were similar to those found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, who was Meriaten’s (Scota’s) famous brother. The necklace was carbon-dated to 1350 BC, which was during the reign of their father Akhenaten.

In the middle of the 20th century, a shipwrecked boat was excavated in Northern England and it was found to have a design very similar to those used by the Egyptians. It was carbon-dated to 1400-1350 BC.

After reading many articles, I am not qualified to say whether or not the legends are true. But wouldn't it be nice to know the god Set's  red hair still lived on in the Irish? Or wouldn't it make for an interesting novel. Hmmm. Must consider that one.

For your edification, here are a few of the articles I read:
The Egyptian Origin of The Irish People
Thoth’s Storm: New Evidence for Ancient Egyptians in Ireland? 
Ireland's Cleopatra
An Irishman's Home Is His Pyramid?