Friday, November 23, 2012

Egyptian Guardians: The Magician Djedi & The Djed Symbol & The Three Secret Doors

The Djed Symbol 
is one of the more ancient and commonly found symbols in Egyptian Mythology. It is a pillar-like symbol in Hieroglyphics representing stability. It is associated with Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead. It is commonly understood to represent his Spine.

  • 1 Myth
  • 2 Origin and development
  • 3 Hieroglyphic usage
  • 4 Ceremonial usage
  • 5 Usage as amulets
  • 6 Parallels in other cultures
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links 
    The Three Secret Doors 
    The Magician Djedi
    By Zahi Hawass

    Zahi HawassI never thought we would find anything behind the door discovered 64 metres inside the south shaft of the Great Pyramid in 1993 by Rudolf Gantenbrink. I said nothing would be discovered behind this door: I believed it was only a block with nothing behind it. But when we used the ultrasonic equipment and learnt that the thickness of the door was only 6cm, I said that this was a surprise and there must be something there. 

    The first part of the live TV show was dedicated to opening the sarcophagus. We introduced the tombs of the Pyramid builders and talked about their life and the food they ate, such as bread and beer, and we discussed how they used to take a nap inside the work area. We also explained the analysis of the skeletons of the workmen and discussed the medical care they received, as well as the medical problems evident from the X-rays such as stress on the back from moving heavy stones. We found one skull that had evidence of cancer. It had been operated on to remove a tumour, and the remarkable thing was that the man lived on for another two years. The most interesting discovery was that the ancient Egyptians had emergency medical care for the workmen at the site. We know this because we found broken hands that had been set to heal with wood on each side as a splint, and we even found that the ancient Egyptians, 4,500 years ago, performed an amputation and the person lived for 14 years after the surgery. 

    I explained to Jay that the sarcophagus we were going to open belonged to the overseer of the workmen, which means he was a little higher than them. He was not a rich man and I did not expect to find anything except the skeleton. But, when I opened the sarcophagus and saw the skeleton I felt that I made a great discovery. It was marvelous to see this skeleton of a workman looking east like a Pharaoh as though sending everyone a message: I am the builder of the Great Pyramid. 

    At the end of the show, the robot sent a camera inside the door through a 1.3cm hole. I saw another block with cracks, looking like a screen to hide something. The second door was discovered at a distance of about 21cm after the first door. The other surprising discovery was in the north shaft. We sent the robot into the second shaft, and as it traveled through we could see that after about 19m the shaft bent to the right, then to the left for 8m, and finally, at 64m, the robot stopped in front of another door with two copper handles. 

    Some believe these doors have a symbolic meaning because it is written on the Pyramid Text that the Pharaoh must travel through a series of doors to reach the Netherworld. But, I feel from the shape of the second door that it has another function. We can see that the second chamber inside the Great Pyramid is small, and could not have been designed for burial. Also the shafts were completely closed until 1872 when they were opened by Dixon. I do not understand how they called them air shafts. The second chamber had no evidence that it was planned to be blocked.

    I would like to suggest that these doors hide Khufu's real burial chamber, and the bending in the north shaft was there to avoid the Grand Gallery. This means that the two shafts were carved after the construction of the Great Pyramid. We know the ancient Egyptians tried very hard to hide the tombs by blocking the burial chambers with huge blocks or making the Pyramid entrance so narrow that no one could enter. They also wrote curse inscriptions to try to stop anyone who wanted to enter and disturb the tombs of the Pharaohs. 

    About 900 years after the reign of Khufu we have a story called "Khufu and the Magician". It tells the story of how Khufu brought the magician Djedi to ask him about the secret documents of the god Thoth, the god of wisdom, so he could design his Pyramid. Djedi knew everything about the secret chambers of Thoth, but he did not reveal the secret. I therefore believe that the burial chambers were hidden behind these doors. 

    If we look at the copper handles of the two doors we see that the handles are similar to the handles on the canopic jars of Tutankhamun, and the ancient Egyptians used to tie rope to these handles to pull the jars. It seems that the architect then hid the burial chamber of the Pharaoh. He sealed it with these doors and closed the shaft completely so no one could see or know anything. The mystery of the Great Pyramid started then, and this year, 2002, is the beginning of revealing this mystery. 

    The programme can be considered good science because this is the first time that something has been discovered inside the Great Pyramid. We also know that this programme was positive publicity for Egypt. In the future we will continue to research and study the way to reveal what is behind these doors. I feel sorry for those who created false stories about the National Geographic programme and attacked it without reason. We need to be proud of Egypt, we need to tell the Egyptians today about the Egyptians of yesterday. One of my happiest moments was when a nine year-old girl stopped me in the street and said, "Dr Hawass, I am proud of Egypt." 


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