This post is also available in: French
Many times during my peregrinations in Egypt, I hesitated to enter certain places or in certain tombs. Because by reading and studying so much the ancient Egyptian texts, I understood the great knowledge of the unseen that had the Egyptians, and (at least in the texts) their ability to bless or curse the approach to some places. Let us go to the mastaba of TI the Master of secret words!
On the other hand, I never liked going into a tomb because for me it is an intimate place belonging only to the deceased and his family, and I avoided to go inside whenever I knew a body, a mummy, was still there. A thousand times in my long journey through Egypt, people have told me what they suffered after violating this universal law which is to leave in peace the dead : woes in quantity, disturbed sleep, entities prowling around them etc … whether one believes in it or not : one fact is certain: the hundreds of heartfelt stories of people whose lives have been “damaged” at least for a few years after their entry into these places voluntarily.
And texts inscribed on each side of the door of the tombs invites you to pronounce certain words in order to not suffer the disgrace of the invisible. It took me a lot of research to find the exact and complete lyrics (because it depends of the importance of the buried person and the sophistication of the “protection system” established by him and his family). This is a subject which interested me, because it is a real investigation with deciphering involved, and I like to solve enigmas as you know.
Regarding the tomb of Tutankhamon and his supposed curse, I do not know, because I should study first all the parameters (including Lord Carnarvon, in my humble opinion, with his wide culture, could not ignore the words to say, but did he said them?) and anyway: for an ancient Egyptian mind: ignoring the prayers for the dead and “violating” a reserved places, can not bring happiness, for sure. And if the site moreover contains gold : it is even more terrible because ancient texts say that then, curses are carried by myriads of “geniuses” attendants to the thing. The statues, ushabtis, jewelry and furniture in the graves are useful for the dead and their Ka and therefore should not be moved.
So today we go together in the mastaba of Ti and his wife Neferhetpes, priestess of Hathor and Neith, a tomb of the middle of the Fifth Dynasty at Saqqara, to explain you further. This tomb was discovered in 1860 by French incredible egyptologist Mariette.
Why the mastaba of Ti? First, because although it is a vast tomb (35mX45m), we never found a body inside (so no problem with it !),and then because it is one of the most beautiful of Saqqara by its frescos, as you can see in my photos.
And also for a rather unknown fact : the great Ti not only was “Director of all hairdressers in the big house of Pharaoh”, (as found too often in all dictionaries as his main title, which is far from the truth) but was much more than that: “He was the high priest of Horus and Anubis, ” Royal Administrator “, ” Keeper of the crown“, “Director of the palace”, “Responsible of all King meals” , “Director of the scribes and royal acts “, ” The unique friend of Pharaoh” , he owned many farms, but mostly was : ” In charge of the posthumous cults of the sovereigns in several solar temples and pyramids “, he was : « Attendant of the secrets “and : ” Advisor of the secret formulas and words “. This is what interests us here at the highest point because then he was the one to have all knowledge about the blessings and curses, and we’ll see how he applied it in his grave.
When I entered last week in the mastaba of this grave at 300m from the Serapeum, therefore at the north of the site of Saqqara, the guards and egyptians accompanying me have been surprised to see me stop on the doorstep and saying some words before entering it, all by simple respect: they are not used seeing foreigners to have this attitude! I saw immediately on the walls the specific texts of Ti to prevent the visitors:
“Anyone entering in my tomb of eternity in a state of impurity (…) if not as pure as they must be to enter the temple, they will face a judgment against them, where will be the judgement of the truth” (impurity depends on the ingested food, your thoughts, your outfit, your cleanliness). And “Any man who instead will enter this tomb of eternity of mine in a state of purity (…) I will support him at the august tribunal of the great God. “
And also the formulas of offerings to the soul of those who rest in this mastaba. This is a rather simplified announcement but judges you after your death! Do not forget that « Heka » ( The art of the mouth), the deity personifying the magic power, was everywhere in ancient Egypt as the son of Ra and the Egyptians strongly believed in the power of words and symbols engraved or spoken. For them, Heka is the magical potential contained in the power of intention and words that can be used by our consciousness for good when it is right, it must be primarily beneficial and used for protection or the smooth progress of events .
So now I will let you immerse yourself in the magic of hieroglyphics and Ti frescoes that span after a 4m high pillared courtyard , and that tell us beautifully and in great detail the daily life in ancient Egypt.
Références - «Les Mastabas de l’ancien Empire », Auguste Mariette, Paris,1889. - « Heka dans l’Egypte ancienne » Paris, les dossier du Musée du Louvre, Paris, Marc Étienne,2000. - « La Merveille de Saqqarah »,Emmanuel de Rougé,Paris, 1918. - « Les scènes de la vie privée des tombeaux égyptiens de l’Ancien Empire » Pierre Mont et, Strasbourg,1925. - « Manuels d’Archaéologie égyptienne ».Jacques Vandier. Tomes IV-V,VI Paris 1964-1978. - « Tombeau de Ti », 3 Vol.,IFAO, Daumas, Epron, Goyon, Wild, Le Caire 1939-1966. - « Das Grab des Ti » Georg Steindorf, Leipzig 1913
Text & photos by Gigal
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This post is also available in: French