Egyptologist's view

The technical interpretation of the Dendera objects on the last page had some problems, especially because only one if the six images in the temple could work as a lamp of the kind of the Garn-reconstruction
A new scientific theory has to explain things better than the one it tries to replace, and when there are six different observations (like the six different relielfs) it should also explain all six, and not only one
So what tells us Egyptology about these objects? Can It explain them better, als all six of them?


Egyptologists claim that the reliefs show “cult objects” which where stowed in the crypts. Sure, what else, peddlers of alternative history tell us that every time archaeology has no explanation for something it is a “cult object”. On the other hand, they explain further, ancient people were at least as intelligent as we are, and we do NOT have cults, so why should they?

What is a cult? Wikipedia writes Cult is literally the "care" (Latin cultus) owed to God or gods and to temples, shrines, or churches. Cult is embodied in ritual and ceremony. Its present or former presence is made concrete in temples, shrines and churches, and cult images, including cult images and votive deposits at votive sites.[1]
Well, they can't be serious with the "cult less modern time". Every quarter of an hour I hear chimes from a modern cult building nearby, built around 1920. Our neighbour once was married with the high priest of that cut building, and many cult acts are performed there, especially on Sundays. Church services, baptisms, sacrament. Oh, and there are cult objects in this cult building, like crosses, tabernacles, altars.
And then there are temples, mosques and synagogues from many different religions around the world, and many 100 mio. people celebrating the dedicated cults in these cult centres - inside and outside at home.
In addition to all these official cults there are many inofficial ones, like sects, and pseudo-cults which are more and more favoured in our western society like crystal healing, UFO cults like Raelians, earth powers, Feng Schui, horoscopes, ghosts and the full spectrum of esoteric believes...
Yes, we are really enlightened and cult-less.
So what is wrong with the idea, that ancient civilisations also had cults?

Also, the antique locations are full of temples – which are clearöy cult buildings, since religious cult rites were performed in them. And the crypts with the bulbs are also inside a cult building, and the surrounding texts tell us which cults were performed there.

Lamp festival in Egypt?

Temples in Egypt were normally dedicated to certain gods and associated festivals. Large temples like Carnac could be dedicated to many different gods and their festivals.
The Dendera temple was dedicated to the goddess Hathor, which gained great respect in that region - and her festivals, too. Hathor was known as the mistress of games, dance and wild festivals, like the "Festival of the drunkenness of the Mistress of Dendera".[2]
The temple was used for many festivals and was separated therefore into a number of cult rooms. In these cult rooms relics were stored, like in our churches, and the walls contained texts about the dedicated festivals. The most expensive relics were stored between festivals in those crypts, as protection against theft. And some of those expensive relics were, as inscriptions there say, shrines, which were carried around in processions.[3]
During the festivals the objects were taken out of the shrines and placed in the cult rooms. Every crypt contains pictures and explanations about the objects stored there, and therefore we have a fixed connection between the objects stored in the crypts, their description there and in the cult rooms, and the festivals celebrated there. Well, maybe there is a festival of the "Holy Electric Shock" in one of the rooms - so let's take a look at the festivals celebrated at Dendera.[4]

Ground plan temple
Fig. 1 – Ground plan Dendera-temple

I have named the rooms according to the work of Egyptologist Dr. Waitkus, who wrote a dissertation about the crypts and the includes the latest translation of the texts. The crypts are the small rooms in the three walls surrounding the hall with the cult rooms. The "Light Bulb Crypt" is the one left from room "I" and can be entered with the stairs shown on the bottom left of room "M".
The rooms were dedicated to the following festivals[5]:

With the exception of the festivals in room K, which served the purpose of inthronisation of the king and his Sed-festival, all room serve season festivals. Most of them are new moon and new year festivals. I can see no festivals which could have anything to do with electric lights - only with lights going out during the festivals of repeated drunkenness.
Especially the festivals celebrated with help of the "light bulb" shrines are clearly to interpret: one sed festival (throne jubilee), two new moon and three new year festivals (additionally the "child in his nest"-festival comes to them since it is another name for the new sun of the new year), a common festival and the Sunday-festival (decade festival - the Egyptians had a 10 day week).
Even more specific are the texts around the "light bulb" pictures. The picture on the northern wall (the one with the "working" lamp) is dedicated to the sed festival and the New Moon Festival, the two pictures on the southern wall are connected with a New Years Festival and the first day of the new year!
Also interesting is an architectural element found on every passage to a group of cryptas: a band of inscriptions explaining the usage of the rooms. The two southern "lamp"-crypts are according to this "Secret rooms of the szp-pictures of the house of Somtus"[11]. "szp"-pictures are nothing mysterious, and they have nothing to do with electricity or lamps. It is the Egyptian name for a special type of statue, a statue of standing gods.
Oh, and about texts: the crypts are full of them, explaining the objects with all details necessary to understand (with a little factual knowledge) everything about these objects. What their purpose was, from which materials they were made, their size, how they were used, and how the procession was done. And although Krassa and Habeck had translations of all these inscriptions, they decided to suppress them, together with the information about the New Year and New Moon festivals connected with these objects.

Neither the festivals of the temple nor the names of the statues have anything to do with lamps or electricity. So we have to look what the Egyptians themselves wrote about the "lamps".

The world of the Egyptian gods

First we have to make a small detour to the world of the Egyptian gods and the world view of the ancient Egyptians. Although the temple of Dendera dates to the late ptolemaic epoch and was built by Greeks, the builders used the Egyptian symbolism containing a for us (and the Greeks) totally strange world view.
As we read above the crypts were dedicated to a "somtus". But in the texts of Waitkus (which are partially reprinted in Krassa/Habeck) no "Somtus" is found, only a Harsomtus and a Resomtus. What now?
Well, now it gets complicated. Gods in Egypt were not "persons" like Jupiter at the Romans or Zeus at the Greeks. Egyptian gods were "rolls" and "attributes" which could change.
Somtus is the god of the Unity of the Two Countries, known from the Old Kingdom on. But he played no great role until the late New Kingdom. Then he emerges as Har(=Horus)Somtus as a personification of Horus the sky god, and as ReSomtus, the personification of the sun, especially the new, rising sun. This last form was preferred in Dendera, he often is shown as snake.sup>[12]. But this description doesn't help understanding the "why", so we dig a bit deeper.

Cosmologic order principle

In the well known religions of the "axis time" (from the Greek onwards) gods are entities which interact somehow with the world. They created the world, the animals, the plants. They make something happen - they blow to make wind, they make waves in the ocean, or carry the sun across the sky on a chariot.
The Egyptians had a so-called "cosmologic order principle", where gods were no acting persons, but the things itself. No god hat created the Earth, the Earth ITSELF was a god (Geb). The sky was not a creation, it was a goddess (Nut). There was no separation between world and gods, the world itself was godly.[13]
Egyptian gods were invisible elements, only noticeable through the characteristics connected to them, but they were never personified beings.
Gods as personalities only existet in the netherworld, the world of the dead. The mediator between the real world and the netherworld was tha Pharaoh. The personified pictures of those gods show only the roles in which they interacted with the Pharaoh.
The Egyptians now thought to see in animals and plants several properties of different gods. The lotus flower (in fact a blue water lilly) which appeared every year shortly after the receding water of the Nile flood from the seemingly dead ground was for them a symbol for the sun, which was born on the primeval hill after Nun, the water of creation, receded.
The dung beetle was also an incorporation of the sun god because he moved a ball of dung like the sun. And snakes were identified with the sun because they moved around without visible means of moving.[14]
That's the reason for the supposed chaos in the Egyptian world of the gods, where every god is represented by hundreds of things, plants and animals. And where one and the same thing could represent different roles of different gods.
We have to remember this when we want to understand the "bulb" symbolism.
Another important principle of Egyptian religion is the principle of "syncretism". The Egyptians loved balance, and were opposed to conquest and repression. When new religious currents arose they did not replace earlier cults, but tried to incorporate them . So many gods were like vacuum cleaners, sucking in many different roles of different, even contradicting gods, and turned so to "super gods" like Amun-Re. That is, BTW, another reason why the simple interpretation of Egyptian gods by some authors cannot be true. But now back to the reliefs.

The interpretation of Krassa & Habeck

I mentioned before, that the authors declare that the god Somtus is only a diffuse light effect inside Ihi, the glass bulb, although the literature they used like the Reallexikon by Hans Bonnetsup>[15] clearly explain why this is not possible.

But it even gets funnier. A “beautiful god” suddenly transforms into “adiation” - well, somehow they have to save their lamp idea.
By the way: Krassa/Habeck are the only people which equal "beauty" with "radiation" - certainly a consequence of their interpretation of Ihi as light bulb. In the original text Harsomtus is called "nfr n"[16], and connected with persons this word, spoken Nefer (nfr), always means "beautiful, good, perfect, benignly"[17].
The Egyptian script, as fore runner of the semitic alphabets, had no real vowels ("vowels" like 3, c and i, mentioned as real vowels in some beginner books, are in reality so called half-consonants or "consonantly phonemes"[18]). Since the vowels between consonants are not written down, different words can be written with the same string of signs. "Boat" and "Boot" would both be written as "Bt". To differentiate between both, the Egyptians would add a further sign, a so called determinative do the end of the words. To show a boat they would for example add a wave, for the boot a foot, or walking legs.
In Egyptian there are several words written as "nfr", like "Grain", "Pot" or "Fire" - and these are discernible by their determinativs. "nfr" as "Grain" has a vet with grain falling out, and the meaning of "Fire" has a fire pan as determinative. Therefore a confusion between the "fire"-nfr (the only one which comes near Krassa/Habecks "radiation") and the "good, beautiful"-version is impossible, and it is 100% clear that no radiation is meant, but "beautiful, good, perfect, benignly".

That Somtus really is a sun god and not some dim light source inside a glass bulb can be found in those texts Krassa/Habeck suppress... :

"Resomtus goes to the sky as the disc of gold coming out of the horizon, as master of the nnh-eternity of the day, with many different forms (hprw) every day in all the hours between morning and evening.
The admirers praise him at the beginning of the early morning...
He enters the house-of-the-barge in his (big?) shrine in the morning of the New Moon Day of the 4th month of the prt-season. ..."[19]

This is a so-called Bandeau-Text, which runs around the ceiling of the complete crypt and describes the scenes shown below. It is a sort of headline for each relief, and it tells us that this picture is associated with e New Moon Festival.
Somtus comes as a golden disc out of the horizon and climbs to the sky - not easy possible for a dim, hissing light source caught in a glass bulb...
Now we see why Krassa/Habeck left out this passage, it would destroy their funny picture. So they are discarded, as it happened with our poor Ihi...
Above the "bulb" picture on the southern wall we also find a bandeau-text:

"Resomtus is alive with his shine in the sky (and) alive on the day of the New Year. He shines in his house in the night of the child in his nest, while he gives light to the land from his birth bricks.
The sky rejoices, the earth os pleased and the chapels of the gods are happy, when he arrives in his room in his procession barge on the day of the festival of the New Year."[20]

Here we have the connection to the new year. The "procession barge" is what Krassa/Habeck interpret as "cable" The whole picture is symbol for the new year.
Here I will end the discussion of Krassa/Habecks interpretation of the reliefs and will draw a small

In-between conclusion

Interesting. Many alternative authors come to their sometimes harebrained conclusions because they have no knowledge of facts whatsoever.
Krassa/Habeck have studied without question important academic literature, as one can se from some word-by-word copies. And they hat top actual translations, exclusively given to them by the top expert about Dendera, Wolfgang Waitkus. They even had the texts earlier than any academic. And yet they com to conclusions even more harebrained than everything I have read in alternative literature so far. The ideas only seem plausible because they leave out important parts of the texts (Somtus as sun god) or the pictures (Ihi)or by bending the sources they had (degrading Somtus to a dim light source in a bulb).
Some authors can be excused because their ideas are based on the pure lack of knowledge, whereas other authors, like these two, have decided to tweak the truth and to create their own reality, like Sitchin.
Nevertheless both authors are light figures on the ancient-astronait-scene, and a "reconstruction" of their thesis was a major showpiece in von Daenikens "Mystery Park". Strange, indeed.

The Elements of the reliefs - second attempt

I will now discuss all elements on the northern wall relief from the left to the right and compare it occasionally with Krassa/Habecks interpretation.
In the crypts are five different reliefs, two with "light bulbs", which are connected with the five festivals celebrated in the cult room connected with the crypts. End every relief has its own set of descriptive writings. Krassa/Habeck are ignoring that and simply use ALL texts from ALL pictures to explain ONE relief. And they cherry pick the passages they want to use, while letting the reader believe that all these texts belong to the one picture in question[21]

Crypt C Northern wall
Fig. 2 – Again the relief of the northern wall

Now to the details of the picture. The person on the left was already identified as Ihi, the god of festivities. He introduces the whole scene with the words, that he made happy the heart of someone with gifts (and has cast out anger with spells). Whose heart was made happy? Well, the heart of the person to the right of him, a person identified by Krassa/Habeck as "priest of the lamp". But the texts tell the name of the person: it's Harsomtus because the following text is beside of him:

Words to speak of Harsomtus the child: ... 'You shine with your snake on the forehead in the land of t3-rr (Dendera)...[22]

The snake on the forehead is the ureus snake visible on the person behind the "lamp", also the person is shown with the hairdo of a young man, so the identification is clear. Most interesting, another Harsomtus spell follows immediately:

Words to speak of Harsomtus, the great god, who dwells in Dendera, who arises from the lotus blossom as the living Ba, whose perfection is carried by the km3tjw-pictures of his Ka, ..., whose body is carried by the dd-pillar, beneath it's ssmw-picture the primeval (Hathor) sits and whose majesty is carried by the companions of his Ka.[23]

Well, that's an almost complete description of the "light bulb" scene. Harsomtus exists two times on the relief, as a young man behind the bulb, and more commonly known as the snake from the lotus blossom at the back of the "bulb" (seen as lamp socket by Krassa/Habeck). The lotus the new sun (Harsomtus) emerges from every morning since the day of creation.
Normally this happens vertically in Egyptian pictures, but this is no pure Egyptian art. The Greeks used Egyptian symbolism, but changed it to match their purpose.
That the snake is indeed Harsomtus comes directly from the text, because the "dd"-pillar carries his body. "dd" is nothing more than the strange formed Djed pillar, called "electrical insulator" by our authors. Its arms carry the snake, so the identification is clear.
The Ka of Harsomtus carries the "perfection of Harsomtus". The Ka is the invisible double of a person, a soul representing the life energy of a person or a god. The Ka is mentioned in plural here - that's to expect because Harsomtus appears twice to. The Ka's are the two small persons beneath the "bulb", so the "bulb" itself must be the "perfection of Harsomtus" – most probably the morning sky!
The woman in front of the Ka's is Hathor, and the whole thing they are sitting on is the solar barge, as the text tells us:

"Words to speak of Harsomtus, the great god who dwells in Dendera, the living Ba in the lotus flower of the solar barge"[24]

We know from the text before, that Harsomtus is the living Ba from the lotus flower, and now we see that this lotus flower is the lotus flower of the solar barge (Egyptian ships had a lotus blossom decoration on the stern, just like on the picture). So now we see that the "cable" running into the "light bulb" is in fact a stylized boat, the boat the grown up sun god Re uses to sail across the day sky. This is also a perfect identification.
A small interlude: I popular literature normally only "the" sun god Re is mentioned. That is a false simplification because the sun represented many gods. In fact, the visible sun disc was only the visible aspect of many gods. Even in earliest times the Egyptians differentiated between three different aspects, the morning, midday and evening sun, representing the three major phases of the human life. The young sun as child (Kepheri), the adult sun (Re) and the old sun (Atum) In later times (and the Dendera temple IS from later times) each hour of the day the sun represented a different god.
Back to the text, um, I mean relief. In front of Hathor, the mother of Somtus, sits a small guy on a cube, with a disc on his head, Heh. Together with Djed he played a double role...
But first I will look at the figures to the left of the "bulb". The strange thing with the knives is interpreted by out authors as "Thot, the light bringer" - with pages of explanations what Thot could be and what's the reason for him being here. A sign for danger, for electric shock, for death - because our authors had read something about "slain enemies" in the texts on his side.
Unfortunately for our authors the texts also tell us, WHO this person is. And it's not Thot:

UPU: Your name is perfect as Upu, your face is that of a toad. "I have the enemies with the knives, and I will kill all your enemies at the place of judgment."[25]

Upu is a companion of Hathor, and protective god for Harsomtus, he protects him against his enemies, and not a human priest against electric shock. He is an ape god, but not identical to Thot. In fact, as Waitkus writes, he was later equaled to Atum.[26]
So Upu is no warning sign, it is a symbol that the new sun is always protected.
The last person, on the far right (unfortunately not very good visible on my photo) Somtus is shown again in anthropomorphic form, "protected in his shrine". It may be a picture of an actual, separate shrine carried around during the processionsup>[27].

Let's now discuss the "guy on the chest" and his role. It is Heh, the carrier of the sky, who lifts up the sun in the morning. Heh is also a symbol for eternity - just like the Djed pillar itself, which carries the body of the snake (Harsomtus).
Well, they do not exactly mean the same, the world view of the Egyptians was a bit more complicated than ours. One of their main concepts was the duality of things. Men and gods had doppelganger - their Ka's. The world also existed two times, as the real and the netherworld. Ant time also existed in two forms. As Djet and as Nehen-time.
There still is no complete understanding of the Nehen time, but most experts of Egyptian religion (eg. E. Otto, Morenz) see it as "cyclic time" in contrast to the "static time" Djed stands for. Egyptologist Erik Hornung notes, that Nehen is a more dynamic concept, whereas Djet is static<[28]. Djet can protect the eternity of static things, but it cannot ensure the eternity of periodical processes like the sunrise or the seasons. For this another "time" was responsible, the Nehen-time like experts suggest.
The symbol for the Nehen time was Heh, the carrier of the sky. The small guy on the chest carrying the "bulb". Because Heh normally carries the sky, and here carries the bulb, the bulb cannot be anything else than the morning sky (as we had found out before).
How can we interpret the picture now? Djed lifts the snake, the rising sun. Heh lifts the sky INCLUDING the rising sun. So Djed guarantees the eternal life of the morning sun, and Heh guarantees that the process of the rising sun continues in all eternity.
Now the unexplainable three different pictures of the bulb object on the previous page makes sense. On the northern wall Djed carries Harsomtus to guarantee its existence, and Heh carries the morning sky to make the sunrise happen forever. On the south wall the sky itself is carried once by the Djed and once by Heh, to ensure the eternal existence and the eternal repetition. Those two pictures are facing each other, so now the technically useless pictures make sense.

Snake stones...

I promised on the previous page some notes about snake stones. Those stones are regarded by alternative authors as made up bunk of Egyptologists. Unexplainable objects explained away as cult. But those stones are REALLY easy to explain.
Snakes were holy animals in Egypt (well, which one isn't one?). Of course snakes bit and killed people, but that was seen as sign from the gods: the person certainly has sinned.
But snakes also were protectors. Protectors of temples and graves, and in the oldest known religious texts, the famous pyramid texts, many spells asked the snakes to protect the pharaoh against his enemies. Snake spells also made their way to steles erected besides the entries of buildings. These often had no texts on the front, only a picture of a snake. The erection of such steles is described in texts from AE times - so in Dendera! Even original snake stones were found in Egypt. All this can be found in the Reallexikon, used by Krassa/Habeck![29] Snake stones even made it to the Egyptian "alphabet" as signs O 195a, 196, 196a[30]. Nothing else are the strange vertical "bulbs" shown on he previous page.
It is therefore possible that the designers of the Dendera relief chose the form of the "bulb" to match the snake stones to take the symbolism of those protective spells into the picture.

On the next page I will give a translation of most parts of the inscriptions...

Remarks / Sources:
[1] Wikipedia: Cult
[2] Bonnet, Hans; Reallexikon der ägyptischen Religionsgeschichte (RÄRG) p. 282
[3] Waitkus, Wolfgang; Die Texte in den unteren Krypten des Hathortempels von Dendera MÄS 47 1997, p. 233f
[4] ibd., plate 4
[5] ibd. p. 243 ff
[6] The Egyptians had three seasons with four months each. The year began, completely separated from the calendar, with the "Akhet" season at the beginning of the nile flood. Then came the season of seeding (prt), then the harvest season (Shemu). Whereas the seasons were fixed and coupled to the heliacal rising of Sirius, the calendar of 365 days per year wandered around the year in 1460 years - Info from
Bunson, Margaret; A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press 1991 p. 237
[7] Vergl. Waitkus p. 125 SC-S
[8] ibd.
[9] ibd. p. 277
[10] an annual state sponsored festival to get drunk - see
Bonnet, Hans; RÄRG, de Gruyter 1953, S. 187 "Feste"
[11] Waitkus p. 235
[12] Bonnet, RÄRG p. 728f "Somtus"
[13] Voegelin, Erich; in Assmann, Jan Ma'at, Beck 1990 p. 28 ff
[14] Assmann, Jan; Zwei Sonnenhymnen der späten 18. Dynastie in thebanischen Gräbern der Saitenzeit in MDAIK 27 Vol. 1, p. 1-34
[15] Bonnet, p. 728 f "Somtus"
[16] Waitkus, p. 127 f
[17] Hannig, Handwörterbuch Vol. 1 p. 408 f
[18] ibd., p. XLIII ff
[19] Waitkus, p. 124 f
[20] Waitkus, p. 125
[21] From p. 214 onwards not to the reliefs belonging texts follow
[22] Waitkus, p. 127
[23] ibd.
[24] ibd. p. 126
[25] ibd, p. 128
[26] ibd. rem. 60 p. 137
[27] ibd. p. 128
[28] Hornung, Pharaonenzeit, p. 75 ff
[29] Bonnet, p. 684 f "Schlangenstein"
[30] Hannig, Handwörterbuch Vol. 1 p. 1154
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© for all pictures and texts: Frank Dörnenburg