Isis was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Old Kingdom as one of the main characters of the Osiris myth, in which she resurrects her slain husband, the divine king Osiris, produces and protects his heir, Horus, she was believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, she was considered the divine mother of the pharaoh, likened to Horus. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people, she played a limited role in royal rituals and temple rites, although she was more prominent in funerary practices and magical texts. She was portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a throne-like hieroglyph on her head. During the New Kingdom, as she took on traits that belonged to Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times, Isis came to be portrayed wearing Hathor's headdress: a sun disk between the horns of a cow. In the first millennium BCE, Osiris and Isis became the most worshipped of Egyptian deities, Isis absorbed traits from many other goddesses.
Rulers in Egypt and its neighbor to the south, began to build temples dedicated to Isis, her temple at Philae was a religious center for Egyptians and Nubians alike. Isis's reputed magical power was greater than that of all other gods, she was said to protect the kingdom from its enemies, govern the skies and the natural world, have power over fate itself. In the Hellenistic period, when Egypt was ruled and settled by Greeks, Isis came to be worshipped by Greeks and Egyptians, along with a new god, Serapis, their worship diffused into the wider Mediterranean world. Isis's Greek devotees ascribed to her traits taken from Greek deities, such as the invention of marriage and the protection of ships at sea, she retained strong links with Egypt and other Egyptian deities who were popular in the Hellenistic world, such as Osiris and Harpocrates; as Hellenistic culture was absorbed by Rome in the first century BCE, the cult of Isis became a part of Roman religion. Her devotees were a small proportion of the Roman Empire's population but were found all across its territory.
Her following developed distinctive festivals such as the Navigium Isidis, as well as initiation ceremonies resembling those of other Greco-Roman mystery cults. Some of her devotees said; the worship of Isis was ended by the rise of Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries CE. Her worship may have influenced Christian beliefs and practices such as the veneration of Mary, but the evidence for this influence is ambiguous and controversial. Isis continues to appear in Western culture in esotericism and modern paganism as a personification of nature or the feminine aspect of divinity. Whereas some Egyptian deities appeared in the late Predynastic Period, neither Isis nor her husband Osiris were mentioned before the Fifth Dynasty. An inscription that may refer to Isis dates to the reign of Nyuserre Ini during that period, she appears prominently in the Pyramid Texts, which began to be written down at the end of the dynasty and whose content may have developed much earlier. Several passages in the Pyramid Texts link Isis with the region of the Nile Delta near Behbeit el-Hagar and Sebennytos, her cult may have originated there.
Many scholars have focused on Isis's name in trying to determine her origins. Her Egyptian name was ꜣst, which became ⲎⲤⲈ in the Coptic form of Egyptian, Wusa in the Meroitic language of Nubia, Ἶσις, on which her modern name is based, in Greek; the hieroglyphic writing of her name incorporates the sign for a throne, which Isis wears on her head as a sign of her identity. The symbol serves as a phonogram, spelling the st sounds in her name, but it may have represented a link with actual thrones; the Egyptian term for a throne was st and may have shared a common etymology with Isis's name. Therefore, the Egyptologist Kurt Sethe suggested she was a personification of thrones. Henri Frankfort agreed, believing that the throne was considered the king's mother, thus a goddess, because of its power to make a man into a king. Other scholars, such as Jürgen Osing and Klaus P. Kuhlmann, have disputed this interpretation, because of dissimilarities between Isis's name and the word for a throne or a lack of evidence that the throne was deified.
The cycle of myth surrounding Osiris's death and resurrection was first recorded in the Pyramid Texts and grew into the most elaborate and influential of all Egyptian myths. Isis plays a more active role in this myth than the other protagonists, so as it developed in literature from the New Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period, she became the most complex literary character of all Egyptian deities. At the same time, she absorbed characteristics from many other goddesses, broadening her significance well beyond the Osiris myth. Isis is part of the Ennead of Heliopolis, a family of nine gods descended from the creator god, Atum or Ra, she and her siblings—Osiris and Nephthys—are the last generation of the Ennead, born to Geb, god of the earth, Nut, goddess of the sky. The creator god, the world's original ruler, passes down his authority through the male generations of the Ennead, so that Osiris becomes king. Isis, Osiris's wife as well as his sister, is his queen. Set kills Osiris and, in several versions of the story, dismembers his corpse.
Isis and Nephthys, along with other deities such as Anubis, search for the pieces of their brother's body and reassemble it. Their efforts are the mythic prototype for mummification and other anc
Egypt Exploration Society
The Egypt Exploration Society is a British non-profit organization. The society was founded in 1882 by Amelia Edwards and Reginald Stuart Poole in order to examine and excavate in the areas of Egypt and Sudan; the intent was to study and analyze the results of the excavations and publish the information for the scholarly world. The EES have worked at sites, their discoveries include the discovery of a shrine for the goddess Hathor, a statue of a cow from Deir el-Bahri, the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the sculpted model of Nefertiti from Amarna. The Society has made major contributions to the study of the ancient Egyptian world; the Society is a registered charity under English law. In 1873, the English writer Amelia Edwards was led to the sites of Egypt while encountering cold, wet climates in Europe, she and several friends ended up traveling up the Nile River from Cairo to Abu Simbel. She recorded the events and discoveries of this journey and published it as A Thousand Miles up the Nile in 1876.
The book became renowned for its description of 19th century Egypt and the un-excavated antiques that she encountered. Edwards's descriptions changed the world's perspective on Ancient Egypt; this attracted the rest of the world. It ended up becoming a bestseller due to this increased interest, which prompted Edwards to think about continuing her studies of Ancient Egypt. In 1882, Amelia Edwards and Reginald Stuart Poole, an employee from the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, decided to create the Egypt Exploration Fund as a way to raise funds for more excavations in the Delta, noted as being visited. After announcing their intentions in The Times, they started off being funded by individuals such as the Archbishop of Canterbury; the poet Robert Browning and Sir Erasmus Wilson. Wilson, in particular, showed enough interest to pledge £500 to the Egypt Exploration Fund; this marked the start of the Egypt Exploration Society. The first excavator of the Egypt Exploration Fund was Edouard Naville, a Swiss Egyptologist and Biblical scholar.
In January 1883, Naville set out for Tell el-Maskhuta. His goal was to find the route of the Biblical exodus as the Fund had decided to broaden its interests in order to appeal to a wider audience. Naville's work attracted much interest from the public and at the first General Meeting of the Fund, which happened on 3 July 1883, the society was seen to have a good amount of funds in its accounts. A copy of Naville's work was distributed to the subscribers of the Fund; the Fund decided to have the subscribers become members instead. During the second excavation, the Fund sent Flinders Petrie, an English Egyptologist, who went to Tanis, a site linked to the Biblical city of Zoan. Petrie focussed much of his work on the ordinary dwellings of the site; this presented a new array of discoveries for the society. Petrie was among the first to understand objects. Rather, he understood, he developed many techniques in which he could excavate and record the objects he found and his overall findings. At the end of his excavation, Petrie was able to bring back many valuable findings and items that he donated to the British Museum.
The society became one of the first to provide scientifically excavated objects around Britain as well as overseas. By the time of the third excavation, the third year since the Fund was established, the society was able to send Edouard Naville, Flinders Petrie and Francis Llewellyn Griffith to Egypt. During this time and for the next few years, the Fund was able to bring back many findings, which resulted in the advancement of knowledge on Ancient Egypt; some of the sites included the temple of Bastet. In 1919, at the end of the First World War, the Egypt Excavation Fund changed its name to the Egypt Exploration Society. Today, the EES continues to publish its annual organ, the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, which details the society's findings, for all of its members to read, they publish a newsletter bi-annually called Egyptian Archaeology. The Egypt Exploration Society has been based in Doughty Mews, London WC1N since 1969. Mary Chubb. Veronica Seton-Williams. Field director of excavations at Buto 1964-1968 Ancient Egypt Egyptology Francis Llewellyn Griffith Barbara Mertz Edouard Naville Flinders Petrie Egypt Exploration Society – the home page of the society Artefacts of Excavation - showing excavations and where finds were sent
A vulture is a scavenging bird of prey. The two types of vultures are the New World vultures, including the Californian and Andean condors, the Old World vultures, including the birds that are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains; some traditional Old World vultures are not related to the others, why the vultures are to be subdivided into three taxa rather than two. New World vultures are found in South America. A particular characteristic of many vultures is a bald head, devoid of normal feathers. Although it has been believed to help keep the head clean when feeding, the bare skin may play an important role in thermoregulation. Vultures have been observed to hunch their bodies and tuck in their heads in the cold, open their wings and stretch their necks in the heat. Vultures use urine as a way to keep themselves cool by urinating on themselves. A group of vultures is called a committee or wake; the term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee refers to vultures resting on the ground or in trees.
Wake is reserved for a group of vultures. The word Geier does not have a precise meaning in ornithology; the Old World vultures found in Africa and Europe belong to the family Accipitridae, which includes eagles, kites and hawks. Old World vultures find carcasses by sight; the 16 species in 9 genera are: Cinereous vulture, Aegypius monachus Griffon vulture, Gyps fulvus White-rumped vulture, Gyps bengalensis Rüppell's vulture, Gyps rueppelli Indian vulture, Gyps indicus Slender-billed vulture, Gyps tenuirostris Himalayan vulture, Gyps himalayensis White-backed vulture, Gyps africanus Cape vulture, Gyps coprotheres Hooded vulture, Necrosyrtes monachus Red-headed vulture, Sarcogyps calvus Lappet-faced vulture, Torgos tracheliotos White-headed vulture, Trigonoceps occipitalis Bearded vulture, Gypaetus barbatus Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus Palm-nut vulture, Gypohierax angolensis The New World vultures and condors found in warm and temperate areas of the Americas are not related to the similar Accipitridae, but belong in the family Cathartidae, once considered to be related to the storks.
However, recent DNA evidence suggests that they should be included among the Accipitriformes, along with other birds of prey. However, they are still not related to the other vultures. Several species have a good sense of smell, unusual for raptors, are able to smell dead animals from great heights, up to a mile away; the seven species are: Black vulture Coragyps atratus in South America and north to the US Turkey vulture Cathartes aura throughout the Americas to southern Canada Lesser yellow-headed vulture Cathartes burrovianus in South America and north to Mexico Greater yellow-headed vulture Cathartes melambrotus in the Amazon Basin of tropical South America California condor Gymnogyps californianus in California widespread in the mountains of western North America Andean condor Vultur gryphus in the Andes King vulture Sarcoramphus papa from southern Mexico to northern Argentina Vultures are scavengers, meaning they eat dead animals. They attack healthy animals, but may kill the wounded or sick.
When a carcass has too thick a hide for its beak to open, it waits for a larger scavenger to eat first. Vast numbers have been seen upon battlefields, they gorge themselves when prey is abundant, until their crops bulge, sit, sleepy or half torpid, to digest their food. These birds disgorge it from their crops; the mountain-dwelling bearded vulture is the only vertebrate to specialize in eating bones, does carry bones to the nest for the young, it hunts some live prey. Vultures are of great value as scavengers in hot regions. Vulture stomach acid is exceptionally corrosive, allowing them to safely digest putrid carcasses infected with botulinum toxin, hog cholera bacteria, anthrax bacteria that would be lethal to other scavengers and remove these bacteria from the environment. New World vultures vomit when threatened or approached. Contrary to some accounts, they do not "projectile vomit" on their attacker as a deliberate defense, but it does lighten their stomach load to make take-off easier, the vomited meal residue may distract a predator, allowing the bird to escape.
New World vultures urinate straight down their legs. Vultures in south Asia in India and Nepal, have declined since the early 1990s, it has been found that this decline was caused by residues of the veterinary drug Diclofenac in animal carcasses. The government of India has taken late cognizance of this fact and has banned the drug for animals. However, it may take decades for vultures to come back to their earlier population level, if they do: without vultures to pick corpses clean, rabies-carrying dogs have multiplied, feeding on the carrion, age-old practices like the sky burials of the Parsees are coming to an end, permanently reducing the supply of corpses; the same problem is seen in Nepal where government has taken some late steps to conserve remaining vultures. In Central Africa there has been efforts to conserve the remaining vultures and bring their population numbers back up; this is due to
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination. Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat. Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome.
Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, during the Ptolemaic dynasty. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton. Alexandria is believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Alexander's chief architect for the project was Dinocrates. Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. Although it has long been believed only a small village there, recent radiocarbon dating of seashell fragments and lead contamination show significant human activity at the location for two millennia preceding Alexandria's founding.
Alexandria was the cultural center of the ancient world for some time. The city and its museum attracted many of the greatest scholars, including Greeks and Syrians; the city was plundered and lost its significance. In the early Christian Church, the city was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, one of the major centers of early Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage. Just east of Alexandria, there was in ancient times marshland and several islands; as early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Heracleion. The latter was rediscovered under water. An Egyptian city, Rhakotis existed on the shore and gave its name to Alexandria in the Egyptian language, it continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months after the foundation, Alexander never returned to his city. After Alexander's departure, his viceroy, continued the expansion.
Following a struggle with the other successors of Alexander, his general Ptolemy Lagides succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to Alexandria, though it was lost after being separated from its burial site there. Although Cleomenes was in charge of overseeing Alexandria's continuous development, the Heptastadion and the mainland quarters seem to have been Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and, for some centuries more, was second only to Rome, it became Egypt's main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world; the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic center of learning, but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek and Egyptian.
By the time of Augustus, the city walls encompassed an area of 5.34 km2, the total population in Roman times was around 500-600,000. According to Philo of Alexandria, in the year 38 of the Common era, disturbances erupted between Jews and Greek citizens of Alexandria during a visit paid by the Jewish king Agrippa I to Alexandria, principally over the respect paid by the Jewish nation to the Roman emperor, which escalated to open affronts and violence between the two ethnic groups and the desecration of Alexandrian synagogues; the violence was quelled after Caligula intervened and had the Roman governor, removed from the city. In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July
Bastet or Bast was a goddess of ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped as early as the Second Dynasty. Her name is rendered as B'sst, Baast and Baset. In ancient Greek religion, she was known as Ailuros. Bastet was worshipped in Bubastis in Lower Egypt as a lioness goddess, a role shared by other deities such as Sekhmet. Bastet and Sekhmet were characterized as two aspects of the same goddess, with Sekhmet representing the powerful warrior and protector aspect and Bastet, depicted as a cat, representing a gentler aspect. Bastet, the form of the name, most adopted by Egyptologists today because of its use in dynasties, is a modern convention offering one possible reconstruction. In early Egyptian, her name appears to have been bꜣstt. In Egyptian writing, the second t marks a feminine ending but was not pronounced, the aleph ꜣ may have moved to a position before the accented syllable, ꜣbst. By the first millennium bꜣstt would have been something like *Ubaste in Egyptian speech becoming Coptic Oubaste.
What the name of the goddess means remains uncertain. Names of ancient Egyptian deities were represented as references to associations or with euphemisms, being cult secrets. One recent suggestion by Stephen Quirke explains Bastet as meaning, "She of the ointment jar"; this ties in with the observation that her name was written with the hieroglyph for ointment jar and that she was associated with protective ointments, among other things. The name of the material known as alabaster might, through Greek, come from the name of the goddess; this association would have come about much than when the goddess was a protective lioness goddess, is useful only in deciphering the origin of the term, alabaster. Bastet was a fierce lioness warrior goddess of the sun worshiped throughout most of ancient Egyptian history, but she was changed into the cat goddess, familiar today, becoming Bastet, she was depicted as the daughter and consort of Atum-Ra, with whom she had a son, the lion god Maahes. As protector of Lower Egypt, she was seen as defender of the king, of the sun god, Ra.
Along with other deities such as Hathor and Isis, Bastet was associated with the Eye of Ra. She has been depicted as fighting the evil snake named Apep, an enemy of Ra. In addition to her solar connections, sometimes she was called "eye of the moon". Bastet was a goddess of pregnancy and childbirth because of the fertility of the domestic cat. Images of Bastet were created from alabaster; the goddess was sometimes depicted holding a ceremonial sistrum in one hand and an aegis in the other—the aegis resembling a collar or gorget, embellished with a lioness head. Bastet was depicted as the goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits. Bastet was a local deity whose religious sect was centered in Bubastis, it lay in the Nile Delta near. The town, known in Egyptian as pr-bꜣstt, carries her name meaning House of Bastet, it was known in Greek as Boubastis and translated into Hebrew as Pî-beset, spelled without the initial t sound of the last syllable. In the biblical Book of Ezekiel 30:17, the town appears in the Hebrew form Pibeseth.
Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian who traveled in Egypt in the fifth century BCE, describes Bastet's temple at some length: Save for the entrance, it stands on an island. The temple is in the midst of the whole circuit of which commands a view down into it. A stone wall, carven with figures, runs round it. A road, paved with stone, of about three furlongs' length leads to the entrance, running eastward through the market place, towards the temple of Hermes; this description by Herodotus and several Egyptian texts suggest that water surrounded the temple on three sides, forming a type of lake known as, not too dissimilar from that surrounding the temple of the mother goddess Mut in Karnak at Thebes. These lakes were typical components of temples devoted to a number of lioness goddesses, who are said to represent one original goddess, Mut, Tefnut and Sakhmet, came to be associated with sun gods such as Horus and Ra as well as the Eye of Ra; each of them had to be appeased by a specific set of rituals.
One myth relates that a lioness and wrathful, was once cooled down by the water of the lake, transformed into a gentle cat, settled in the temple. At the Bubastis temple, some cats were found to have been mummified and buried, many next to their owners. More than 300,000 mummified cats were discovered. Turner and Bateson suggest that the status of the cat was equivalent to that of the cow in modern India; the death of a cat might leave a family in great mourning and those who could, would have them embalmed or buried in cat cemeteries—pointing to the great prevalence of the cult of Bastet. Extensive burials of cat remains we
An oracle is a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination; the word oracle comes from the Latin verb ōrāre, "to speak" and properly refers to the priest or priestess uttering the prediction. In extended use, oracle may refer to the site of the oracle, to the oracular utterances themselves, called khrēsmē in Greek. Oracles were thought to be portals through. In this sense they were different from seers who interpreted signs sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, other various methods; the most important oracles of Greek antiquity were Pythia, priestess to Apollo at Delphi, the oracle of Dione and Zeus at Dodona in Epirus. Other oracles of Apollo were located at Didyma and Mallus on the coast of Anatolia, at Corinth and Bassae in the Peloponnese, at the islands of Delos and Aegina in the Aegean Sea; the Sibylline Oracles are a collection of oracular utterances written in Greek hexameters ascribed to the Sibyls, prophetesses who uttered divine revelations in frenzied states.
Walter Burkert observes that "Frenzied women from whose lips the god speaks" are recorded in the Near East as in Mari in the second millennium BC and in Assyria in the first millennium BC. In Egypt the goddess Wadjet was depicted as a woman with two snake-heads, her oracle was in the renowned temple in Per-Wadjet. The oracle of Wadjet may have been the source for the oracular tradition which spread from Egypt to Greece. Evans linked Wadjet with the "Minoan Snake Goddess". At the oracle of Dodona she is called Diōnē, who represents the earth-fertile soil the chief female goddess of the proto-Indo-European pantheon. Python, daughter of Gaia was the earth dragon of Delphi represented as a serpent and became the chthonic deity, enemy of Apollo, who slew her and possessed the oracle; the Pythia was the mouthpiece of the oracles of the god Apollo, was known as the Oracle of Delphi. The Pythia was not conceived to be infallible and in fact, according to Sourvinou-Inwood in What is Polis Religion?, the ancient Greeks were aware of this and concluded the unknowability of the divine.
In this way, the revelations of the Oracles were not seen as objective truth. The Pythia gave prophecies only on the seventh day of each month, seven being the number most associated with Apollo, during the nine warmer months of the year. Many wealthy individuals bypassed the hordes of people attempting a consultation by making additional animal sacrifices to please the oracle lest their request go unanswered; as a result, seers were the main source of everyday divination. The temple was changed to a centre for the worship of Apollo during the classical period of Greece and priests were added to the temple organization—although the tradition regarding prophecy remained unchanged—and the priestesses continued to provide the services of the oracle exclusively, it is from this institution. The Delphic Oracle exerted considerable influence throughout Hellenic culture. Distinctively, this female was the highest authority both civilly and religiously in male-dominated ancient Greece, she responded to the questions of citizens, foreigners and philosophers on issues of political impact, duty, family, laws—even personal issues.
The semi-Hellenic countries around the Greek world, such as Lydia and Egypt respected her and came to Delphi as supplicants. Croesus, king of Lydia beginning in 560 B. C. tested the oracles of the world to discover. He sent out emissaries to seven sites who were all to ask the oracles on the same day what the king was doing at that moment. Croesus proclaimed the oracle at Delphi to be the most accurate, who reported that the king was making a lamb-and-tortoise stew, so he graced her with a magnitude of precious gifts, he consulted Delphi before attacking Persia, according to Herodotus was advised: "If you cross the river, a great empire will be destroyed". Believing the response favourable, Croesus attacked, but it was his own empire, destroyed by the Persians, she also proclaimed that there was no man wiser than Socrates, to which Socrates said that, if so, this was because he alone was aware of his own ignorance. After this confrontation, Socrates dedicated his life to a search for knowledge, one of the founding events of western philosophy.
He claimed that she was "an essential guide to personal and state development." This oracle's last recorded response was given in 362 AD. The oracle's powers were sought after and never doubted. Any inconsistencies between prophecies and events were dismissed as failure to interpret the responses, not an error of the oracle. Prophecies were worded ambiguously, so as to cover all contingencies – so ex post facto. One famous such response to a query about participation in a military campaign was "You will go you will return never in war will you perish"; this gives the recipient liberty to place a comma before or after the word "never", thus covering both possible outcomes. Another was the response to the Athenians when the vast army of king Xerxes I was approaching Athens with the intent of razing the city to the ground. "Only the wooden palisades may save you", answered the oracle aware that there was se
The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC, corresponds to the Naqada III period. The dates of the Predynastic period were first defined before widespread archaeological excavation of Egypt took place, recent finds indicating gradual Predynastic development have led to controversy over when the Predynastic period ended. Thus, various terms such as "Protodynastic period", "Zero Dynasty" or "Dynasty 0" are used to name the part of the period which might be characterized as Predynastic by some and Early Dynastic by others; the Predynastic period is divided into cultural eras, each named after the place where a certain type of Egyptian settlement was first discovered.
However, the same gradual development that characterizes the Protodynastic period is present throughout the entire Predynastic period, individual "cultures" must not be interpreted as separate entities but as subjective divisions used to facilitate study of the entire period. The vast majority of Predynastic archaeological finds have been in Upper Egypt, because the silt of the Nile River was more deposited at the Delta region burying most Delta sites long before modern times; the Late Paleolithic in Egypt started around 30,000 BC. The Nazlet Khater skeleton was found in 1980 and dated in 1982 from nine samples ranging between 35,100 and 30,360 years; this specimen is the only complete modern human skeleton from the earliest Late Stone Age in Africa. Excavation of the Nile has exposed early stone tools; the earliest of these lithic industries were located within the 30-metre terrace, were Chellean, primitive Acheulean and an Egyptian form of the Clactonian. Within the 15-metre terrace was developed Acheulean.
Reported as Early Mousterian but since changed to Levalloisean, other implements were located in the 10-metre terrace. The 4.5- and 3-metre terraces saw a more developed version of the Levalloisean initially reported as an Egyptian version of Mousterian. Tools of the Egyptian Sebilian technology and an Egyptian version of the Aterian technology were located; some of the oldest known structures were discovered in Egypt by archaeologist Waldemar Chmielewski along the southern border near Wadi Halfa, Sudan in Arkin 8 site. Chimelewski dated the structures to 100,000 BCE; the remains of the structures are oval depressions 2 x 1 meters across. Many are lined with flat sandstone slabs, they are called tent rings. This type of dwelling provides a permanent place to live, but if necessary, can be taken down and moved, they were mobile structures—easily disassembled and reassembled—providing hunter-gatherers with semi-permanent habitation. Aterian tool-making reached Egypt c. 40,000 BC. The Khormusan industry in Egypt began between 42,000 and 32,000 BP.
Khormusans developed tools not only from stone but from animal bones and hematite. They developed small arrow heads resembling those of Native Americans, but no bows have been found; the end of the Khormusan industry came around 16,000 B. C. with the appearance of other cultures in the region, including the Gemaian. The Halfan and Kubbaniyan, two related industries, flourished along the Upper Nile Valley. Halfan sites are found in the far north of Sudan. For the Halfan, only four radiocarbon dates have been produced. Schild and Wendorf discard the earliest and latest as erratic and conclude that the Halfan existed c. 22.5-22.0 ka cal BP. People survived on the Khormusan tradition of fishing. Greater concentrations of artifacts indicate that they were not bound to seasonal wandering, but settled for longer periods; the Halfan culture was derived in turn from the Khormusan, which depended on specialized hunting and collecting techniques for survival. The primary material remains of this culture are stone tools, a multitude of rock paintings.
In Egypt, analyses of pollen found at archaeological sites indicate that the Sebilian culture were gathering wheat and barley. The Sebilian culture began around 13,000 B. C and vanished around 10,000 B. C Domesticated seeds were not found, it has been hypothesized that the sedentary lifestyle used by farmers led to increased warfare, detrimental to farming and brought this period to an end. The Qadan culture was a Mesolithic industry that, archaeological evidence suggests, originated in Upper Egypt 15,000 years ago; the Qadan subsistence mode is estimated to have persisted for 4,000 years. It was characterized by hunting, as well as a unique approach to food gathering that incorporated the preparation and consumption of wild grasses and grains. Systematic efforts were made by the Qadan people to water, care for, harvest local plant life, but grains were not planted in ordered rows. Around twenty archaeological sites in Upper Nubia give evidence for the existence of the Qadan culture's grain-grinding culture.
Its makers practiced wild grain harvesting along the Nile during the beginning of the Sahaba Daru Nile phase, when desiccation in the Sahara caused residents of the Libyan oases to retreat into the Nile valley. Among the Qadan culture sites is the Jebel Sahab