To explore their Victorian view of Egypt, our heroes make use of an illustrated 1851 map of “Egypt, and Arabia Petraea,” which I have provided below. They wrongly claim that this is an archaeological survey map, when it is in fact a decorative map of Egypt intended for The Illustrated Atlas, a gazetteer published in 1851 with historical and modern maps of the world.
The actual content of the episode is much less ridiculous than the Hancock-inspired rhetoric that surrounds it. Our hosts, either ignorant, deceptive, or both, travel to Egypt in search of the so-called Dynasty 0, a popularizing term for the kings of the Naqada III or protodynastic culture that immediately preceded the First Dynasty. But, unable to look at facts on their face, out heroes ask what “secret wisdom” allowed Naqada III kings to give rise to the Old Kingdom of Egypt. This presupposes a secret strain of Atlantean-style wisdom, in the manner of Hancock and his ultimate source, R. A. Schwaller de Lubitz. But it has nothing to do with the actual archaeology of the protodynastic period. The very term Fornal and Ruprah use—a “lost civilization”—implies much more than the evidence supports.
At Abydos, Fornal and Ruprah meet with Moamen Saad, the director of scientific research at Karnak for the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. Together they visit the Temple of Seti I at Abydos and the mound-like grave associated with King Scorpion I, though the show misidentifies him as the first pharaoh of Egypt, though he is conventionally described as the first king of Upper Egypt, not a pharaoh of the united kingdom, an honor usually bestowed on Narmer (possibly identical with Manetho’s Menes).
Our heroes assert that the “first pharaohs”—and here they are unclear what kings they were actually referring to: upper Egypt, united Egypt, etc.—were foreign to Egypt and came from “the land of the gods.” I am not aware of foreign rulers at so early a period, and I wasn’t able to find references to any, unless they are speaking in very general terms about Stone Age migrations into the Nile Valley. My guess, though, is that they are making a sidelong reference to Victorian ideas about the Shemsu Hor (Followers of Horus), as channeled through Graham Hancock. To find the kings’ imagined homeland, however, they visit the temple of Hatshepsut and look at a hieroglyphic inscription recording an expedition sent to the land of Punt, which they call the “land of the gods.” However, the Egyptian term was Ta netjer, which I understand to refer to a singular god, the Sun God, because it was east of Egypt, the land of the sunrise. Our heroes rely on Victorian and Edwardian literature to misidentify Punt as the “land of the gods” (plural) and therefore the ancestral homeland of the Egyptian kings. While older Egyptologists like E. A. Wallis Budge and Flinders Petrie held this view, it has not been the current interpretation of either Punt or Ta netjer for decades.
While the show presents Hatshepsut as being the first to seek Punt, in reality, there are many records of Egyptian visits to Punt going back to at least the Fifth Dynasty. Our heroes call the hieroglyphic description of the expedition to Punt a “map,” though it is not a map. They have a very strange view of maps.
Much of the second half of the episode involves our heroes hunting for evidence of Egyptian voyages to Punt. Diving into the Red Sea, they visit a modern shipwreck and then some ancient amphorae. They hear about an ancient port on the Red Sea that the Egyptians used for travel around the Horn of Africa. An artifact found at the port said “Marvels of Punt,” though this runs us into the logical problem I highlighted a few paragraphs ago: Finding what dynastic Egyptians called the land of Punt does not imply finding the “civilization that gave rise to Egypt” as our heroes claim. I have no problem with them locating Punt in Ethiopia, where the trade goods attributed to Punt are found naturally, but the hosts of this show never actually provide evidence that the Punt of pharaonic trade was ever considered the homeland of Egyptian civilization.
In Ethiopia, our heroes visit what they are told is the 3,000-year-old Great Temple in Yeha and hear that there was a smaller temple underneath the current one that might date back 2,000 or 3,000 years further. The Temple at Yeha is Ethiopia’s oldest structure, but it is not exactly what the show describes. For one thing, it was built neither by people from Punt nor Egypt. Conventionally, it is ascribed to about 700 BCE or slightly later, on account of its similarity to structures on the other side of the Red Sea, in the Saba’ region (today’s Yemen) popularly known as Sheba. The temple belonged to the Sabaean moon god Almaqah, and artifacts prove the connection to Yemen. I have not been able to find a scholarly reference in the major academic databases to the discovery of an older temple underneath. The archaeology of the site ties it closely to the Arabian Peninsula, not to Egypt, so our heroes perform some rhetorical sleight of hand to try to make the Arabian-style building into an Egyptian temple. An Ethiopian archaeologist they speak with makes an absurd claim that the entire monumental core of the (imagined) early Kingdom of Punt from 4000 or 3000 BCE got swallowed up by the Earth, leaving only the original of this Sabaean-style temple.
Fornal concludes the episode—and it’s never clear why Ruprah rarely gets to speak and never in voice-over—by repeating the false idea that Punt was the original homeland of the Pharaohs and then finishes by asserting on the strength of this Arabian-style temple that the kings of Egypt learned all their architectural secrets from Punt. Why they needed to wrap a rather straightforward search for the land Egyptians called Punt in a vaguely Hancock-style “mystery” about non-native pharaohs and “secret wisdom,” I can’t imagine, except that the Science Channel wouldn’t accept a program that focused on science instead of fantasy.
12/23/2019 03:26:43 pm
My knowledge of ancient Egypt is rudimentary. I believe that the first grand high poobah Pharoh was Narmer and his tomb has been identified and is very small and modest compared to just about all tombs built several centuries or much later. If earliest dynastic Egypt is supposed to be just some transplanted advanced civilization then why is it another several hundred years before we see the real goodies in the form of huge tombs, building projects, etc., and why is there is strong evidence of a clear evolution in architectural styles? Or am I not understanding what the simpletons are claiming?
12/23/2019 03:40:11 pm
From what I remember of my Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology classes, yes, Narmer was the first king of the Unified Egypt,. The only difference from what Jason provided here is that my teacher called all of them "Kings" (even the women who ruled) rather than "Pharoahs" whether Pre-Dynastic or later. That may have been to sidestep arguments over what the title of a ruler was during some of the dynasties that seem to have coexisted later on or arguments over whether Pharoah was a title used throughout the Egyptian dynastic period.
12/23/2019 04:03:52 pm
Yeah, though the show used the terms interchangeably, I don't think "pharaoh" (which originally referred to the royal household) was in common use until after 1200 BCE. It's pretty common, though, to speak of the earlier kings as pharaohs.
12/23/2019 04:36:30 pm
This program (and I confess to watching all episodes) causes me much concern. Current television focuses on fantasy and feelings rather than critical thinking, and the leaps of faith (flights of fantasy) exhibited here are astounding to me. Jason has been, IMO, very....kind to the show. I await the series finale with baited breath, praying that the low viewer count spells the doom of the Baron and his diverse sidekick - in this iteration at least.
12/23/2019 11:42:01 pm
I agree. Couldn't they have at leased ASKED some of these folks where they think Punt may be? They leave the impression that they made this connection and no one else.
12/23/2019 11:59:38 pm
I'm not saying it's the place, but if I could be disappointed I'd be disappointed that they didn't mention this:
12/24/2019 12:01:05 pm
You could be disappointed that you’d be disappointed? Drinking again?
12/24/2019 12:50:16 pm
What do you mean "again"?
12/24/2019 08:06:01 am
You'd think that Unexplained + Unexplored would be more interested in the hallucinogenic properties of the Blue Lotus, traces of which were found in the tomb of Ramesses II
12/24/2019 02:41:23 pm
I though Sumeria had a Land of the Gods too. Or was it the Indus Valley? Or Turkey around Catal Huyek? Maybe by the Yang-tse River?
12/24/2019 05:18:37 pm
It used to be that the gods tended to find you. I guess that it still happens if you are willing to ingest enough DMT.
12/24/2019 08:19:56 pm
In Sumerian mythology, the land of the gods was Dilmun, although they also lived in their temples. Enki's Temple, for example, was supposedly built over the body of Absu, who, I think, was the mate of Tiamat. if I recall correctly, Dilmun was described in one of the creation myths (possibly part of Ziusudra? It's been decades since I studied that) as a featureless island in the beginning, so I guess the gods had a bit of house keeping to do. As to exactly where it was, I think that varied depending on the story. I think the Indus Valley gods had definite homes too, though I'm not so well versed on them. I wouldn't be surprised if most religions had divine homes for their gods...
12/25/2019 06:11:23 am
Dilmun isn't the land of the gods, its a real place that some texts state gods to live in and other texts just have as a geographical location. The mesopotamian land of the gods is more commonly the Cedar mountain which would be Lebanon, while Dilmun is either in Arabia or specifically Bahrain. Commonly the gods are described as moving around between human cities and living in the temples, which possibly represented the physical statues being moved as part of festivals.
12/24/2019 10:14:38 pm
These guys make Graham Hancock look smart. Even he stated in his Epilogue to FINGERPRINTS that Punt and the legendary Ta-Neteru were completely different places.
The Peak of The Egyptian Pyramid
12/24/2019 10:59:47 pm
Mind Expansion - The Dead Pharaoh was elevated to the Gods
12/24/2019 11:02:47 pm
Get the Sumerian cuneiform beneath the bas-reliefs translated. Let's see what that says beneath the Poppy Heads,
12/24/2019 11:07:09 pm
Oh No - The Pretty People insist those are not Poppy Heads but pomegranates, I mean, I always get high on pomegranates. No need to take drugs at all.
12/24/2019 11:22:02 pm
The use of the opium poppy is seen most clearly in tablets from the settlement of Nippur, an important seat of Sumerian worship, in which the plant is denoted by the ideogram "Hul Gil", translated as "joy plant". The text includes reference to the cultivation and harvesting of opium, and given that the "Hul Gil" ideogram had cropped up in texts dating to the 4th millennium BC., it seems likely that opium use was well embedded in Sumerian societym at least in terms of ritual or use. Similarly, several tablets among a vast horde found among the ruins of the Royal Library of Ashurbanipal in the city of Nineveh attest to the popularity of cannabis. While the debris was a result of the sacking of Nineveh by the Scythians in 612 BC., the tablets are thought to contain the collected knowledge that the Sumerian and Akkadian civilizations had accumulated over the preceding 2,000 years. ---- David O. Kennedy, Plants and the Human Brain, page 6 (Oxford University Press, 2014)
12/25/2019 12:15:10 am
"the relationship between drugs and human spermatozoa"
There you fo again
12/25/2019 05:57:10 am
Ever heard about orgasm
12/25/2019 12:38:49 pm
Tell us more about "the relationship between drugs and human spermatozoa", won't you?
12/25/2019 04:13:05 pm
You need your Jesus to feed your Anti-semitism
12/27/2019 05:56:43 pm
Kent ! Are you been accused of antisemitism her too?
12/27/2019 06:03:00 pm
I have nipples Greg. Can you milk me?
This is an anti-semitic place
12/28/2019 04:09:12 am
Lots of anti-Semitism here. Traditionalists in fundamentalist Christianity here.
Lots of people
12/28/2019 04:16:05 am
Lots of posters here are regular churchgoers, take Holy Communion and go to confession. They put aside Biblical criticism.
12/28/2019 01:31:16 pm
Kent is Anthony Warren
12/28/2019 08:42:12 pm
Anti-semites cannot be treated seriously.
Anthony Warren is anthony warren in "who cut the cheese? The Anthony Warren Story"
12/29/2019 02:39:40 pm
Hitler was the Lost Marx Brother. He was kicked out of the act because he was so funny he upstaged the rest.
12/25/2019 06:35:43 am
Any book about the 'history of the world' is going to leave a lot of stuff out. Just because you're hobby horse is on the cutting room floor doesn't mean you're smart and the people with book deals are dumb.
12/25/2019 10:24:07 am
I beg to differ.
No One Say Anything
12/25/2019 12:41:47 pm
He thinks he's helping.
NO ONE SAY ANYTHING
12/25/2019 04:20:13 pm
John Marco Allegro got it wrong (witness his blind following - Amanita Muscaria can be seen everywhere but there are no magic mushrooms in the Bible). R. Joseph Hoffmann gave Allegro a platform in one of his books but it was one of Wasson's books (about Soma) that inspired Allegro. Allegro didn't know anything at all about drugs.
Reply to A C
12/25/2019 04:34:23 pm
Leaving drugs out of the history of the world is like leaving Rosebud out of Citizen Kane
The Baby Jesus
12/25/2019 07:22:00 pm
And let's stop pretending that "Rosebud" referred to a sled and not to the anus, while noting the posture of a sledder.
12/25/2019 10:13:04 pm
Oh thanks. I’ll never watch it the same way again.
12/25/2019 11:27:09 pm
I have understood the true meaning of Jesus Christ's teachings. Follow me on Instagram at OxygenIsTheHolySpirit.
True Teachings of Jesus
12/25/2019 11:45:24 pm
The Atonement was integrated with the liberation from Roman Occupation - The original Christianity. That's why Paul was sent on a Mission to eliminate Christians in Damascus by the Hight Priests because they were Roman Collaborators.
12/26/2019 04:49:22 pm
Well, that was certainly a complete and utter casserole of nonsense.
Casserole of Nonsense
12/26/2019 05:36:53 pm
During the 19th century people reflected how peculiar that the Son of God should have been incarnated in Israel of all places. Why on earth in Israel ?? LOL. Without any idea that Jesus Christ was a product of Judea and his whole story fitted into the historical context of Judea at that period of time.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
12/26/2019 05:42:07 pm
The story of Jesus is steeped in the Old Testament with a little help from the Pseudopigrapha. The embryo of the New Testament it could be said lies in the Book of Daniel and the story of The Son of Man. That's when Judaea was occupied by the Seleucid Kings. That period also produced the literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls with the stories of the Teacher of Righteousness and the Wicked Priest.
PTOLEMY I SOTER OF EGYPT
12/26/2019 06:43:15 pm
It was a Seleucid King, Antiochus IV, who erected a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. For some reason it pissed off Judas Maccabeus.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
12/26/2019 07:32:02 pm
But not those collaboration High priests of the Temple..
12/26/2019 02:03:04 am
Merry Christmas to you all!
12/27/2019 09:44:04 pm
The idea that a united Egypt was founded by outsiders, called in older scholarship the "Dynastic Race", hypothesis is actually rather old and frankly very out of date. In my experience the "Dynastic Race" "Follower's of Horus", were supposed to have originated from Mesopotamia. Certainly c. 3500-3000 B.C.E., there are signs of Mesopotamian influence including some artifacts found at Abydos that extremely Mesopotamian in style and content.
You don't get it
12/28/2019 04:06:23 am
Real history is boring - you don't get a kick out of real history. It ain't fun.
12/28/2019 01:29:28 pm
Anthony Warren Molested Me
12/28/2019 06:31:48 pm
My grilled cheese preference is rye bread, provolone cheese, grilled onions, and tomatos. Add ham and cabbage, chicken and dumplings, and now I'm accepting your invitation to lunch.
Doc Rock is a Dork
12/28/2019 08:40:28 pm
Doc Rock is a Dork for mixing with people who take Holy Communion on this Blog.
12/30/2019 12:07:54 pm
I am just following the example of Jesus. Just as he freely mingled with whores, lepers, bums, the retarded, physical and moral cripples, I freely mingle with....well lets just say that I mingle with people here.
12/30/2019 05:48:42 pm
How disappointed were you when you found out the publican was just a tax collector?
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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