The early Cosmos and Religion in
                                       Europe and Near East

For a naiv neolihic viewer the sky looked  like a  simple construction. A visible
firmament covered like a large bell the earth.  The sky  in neolithic times made
up of the  most  imperishable  material known in Megalithic times, STONE

If one  looks more sharply then  the sky  turnes around a  certain point. It is the

area of the to day polar star, the fulcrum of a supposed world axle. All in  all a
simple mechanical construction based on common technical sense.
(no deep metaphysical thoughts are needed :-)

Problem :In Egypt  the cosmos ( Pyramidtexts  ~2500 BC)  is in  construction
compareable with the cosmos in  the nordic Edda written about AD 1000:
               In both documents the religious backround is the following

      The  Eyptian and Proto-European  Cosmos
 1.) At the beginning sky and earth disk became separated The sky supported
by   Gods/ columns/ trees. With separation  the chaos  ends. Life  could  begin.
 2.) The  whole  earth disk  was covered with a primeval ocean. In  its center an
island emerged.* The primeval Hilll*, the  island humans lived in.
3.) Beyond the sea  the  sky  obviously contacts  the earth on  the horizon thus
recognizable  - at least for coast dwellers - that  his  homeland  was  separated
from the horizon by the water

From an Egyptian view  the horizon is a devine area even Gods were  borne in.

Thus a religious problem: The  deceased  attains  immortality  only, if  he could
take  up contact on  the  horizon  with   the  gods. Thereby  a decisive  common
religious transport  problem in North an South
      How do pass the surrounding deadly waters to reach the devine horizon?

                                    A boat was needed.  

                                                        in North and South  

   Egypt  Cheops   2460 b.                                                Norway  Oseberg ~ 800 (Spiral)

                   So far the devine transport problem. Back to the comos

                     Primeval Hill
and surrounding Ocean
Life  began  in  Egypt  with  the  emergence  of a  primeval hill  formed of mud
churned from the chaotic waters of Nun, the primeval ocean
PT.1022 "I am the primeval hill of the land in the midst of the  sea whose hand
no earthling have grapsed


          Germany  to day                     Deng Hoog, Sylt 2600-2200 b.         from Mastaba to Pyramid

Pyramid of Djoser 2750 b.      Ziggurat , Dur-Untash. Susa             Sumer Ziggurat, Ur, Reconstr.
     with proto-doric columns                          13th century b.                                   three stepped Krepis (?)

The  mastaba  in  its  origin  is  characterized  by  a   flat-topped    rectangular
superstructure  of  mud,  brick  or  stone  with  a shaft descending to the burial
chamber far below it.  Djoser the  second  king of  the 3rd dynasty, employing
Imhotep as architect, undertook for the first time the construction of a´mastaba
entirely of stone.

Once   completed  it  was   extended  on  the ground  on all  four sides, and its
was  increased  by  building  rectangular  additions of diminishing size superimposed upon its top.Thus Djoser's original mastaba  bcame a terraced  structure rising in six unequalstages to a height of 60 meter The steps allowing
the king to as
cend  the heaven. (It is said)

From view of an Egyptian  pyramids  were symbol of the Primeval Hill.   Hieroglyph, primeval hill ( Throne-chair  of Osiris, Isis)

Comparably the gradated  Ziggurats  in   Mesopotamia. In Sumerian  mytholgy 
Nin khursag was the highest goddess.Their name means
                                     *Lady of the  holy HILL* ,

In later  texts it is accepted that  the annual inundation of the Nile was the origin
of  the *primeval  hill story* (Helck)  After the end of  flood the inundated  country

emerged like a pimeval hill.  Priest´s mythology. 
Living  surrounded   by deserts  a 
vain  attempt  to  keep  an  old   seafaring (?) 
tradition alive.  From  the eyes from the sense.

 Babylonia        A  compareable  cosmos  on  the  famous   Babylonian     map  of  the  world  . 7th
Century  B.C. The world   is  represented   as   a

circle.  The  surrounding seas  are  called  "bitter

. The  city Babylon is  shown as a rectangle 

near the center.The Euphrates runs in the middle

across the earth. Above on  the map  the remark
           "where  the sun does not come up",

       (Gilgamesch (germ.)  needed a  ferryman
to cross the ´bitter water´.) 


                Ankor Wat
, Kambodscha
Primeval Hill´ sanctuary surrounded by the primeval waters. (>Winding waterways< Pyr.)


.Cultural background  Hindu / Buddhist


A compareable   Water  story  is  told  in  the  North  4000  years  later  in  the
Edda (Gylfaginning 8) .

"They took Ymir (a giant)  and  bore  him into  the  middle of  the Yawning Void,
and made of him the earth, of his blood the sea and  the waters;   the land was
made of his flesh, and the crags of his bones;  gravel and stones  they  fashion-
ed  from his  teeth and his grinders and  from  those  bones  that  were broken."

And  J afnhárr said: "Of  the   blood,  which  ran  and  welled  forth   freely out  of 
his  wounds,  they  made  the  sea, when  they had  formed  and  made firm  the
earth  together, and  laid  the  sea   in  a ring  round  about  her; and  it may well
seem a hard thing to most men to cross over it."

What is  the  meaning of  the  last sentence? Why  may it well seem  that most
men can´t cross the primeval ocean ?
First of all: Why should they? Most can´t,
but some - much beloved by gods- can?

      In North and South a Primeval Hill in the midst of a   Primeval Ocean


At  the  beginning sky  and   earth  become  separated   by  the air God  Schu.
 He is the personified world axle.

Coffin Text 75     "-self  created god  who  came into  being alone, being  more
older than  the gods, he who pierced the height of heaven ".

The    chaos  endet  by  separation  of  the  sky  from  earth.  Life  could   begin.
It´s  Shu who brings the light and  he notices  that he  may not leave
his  place .
Shu sweats doing his work.

CT 80 "   It is I who makes the sky light after darkness----the storm-cloud of the
sky is my  efflux; hail-stormes and half-dakrness  are  my  sweat.-- -I am bound

for my place of eternity.

Later  on  the  story  of  Shu  in  its original sense *being more older than the
faded away. The  priests  of Heliopolis  took care and the  lonely  Shu
was married
with his sister


                                  a    b

a)  Djoser ~2700 b. Sakkara.  Panell of   blue  fayence  tiles with  Djed  pillars  supporting a vaulted ceiling. (Heaven?)

b) Thebes,  Valley of  the  Queens. Grave of  Nerfertarie  9. Dyn  (1306-1186)
Coffin room, the rectangular pillar supports a srarry roof. On  the  pillars Djeds.
 Gothic cathedrals

                            A Djed in the same function as a column !.

Djed . "Initially a  stake, with  a garland  of  corn-ears  bound in circles
 around.  Later  the Djed got a  representative  form. It was primarily a
 power character, in which one wanted to retain the power of the grain
at the beginning of the harvest.
The  ritual  of "Putting  up  the  Djed", the  decoration with multicolored
ribbons  was  practiced  faraway,  received  however (in historical times)
 new  meaning Thus the ritual received once a place with the celebra-
tion of a   jubilee, the "Sed-festival

(my.trans.)Helck, W.  Otto, E.,  Drenkhahn, R.  Kleines Lexikon der Aegyptologie 19

                                               European North
 A world´s ash tree,  the Yggdrasil   described  in  the
EDDA  (AD 1300 ):
Gangleri "Where is the chief abode or holy place of the gods?"Hárr answered
'That is  at  the Ash of Yggdrasil; there the  gods must give judgment everyday.
"Then  Gangleri asked: "What is to be said concerning that place?" Then said
 Jafnhárr: " The  Ash is  greatest of  all  trees and  its limbs spread out over all
 the  world  and  stand above heaven . Three  root s of  th  tree   uphold  it  and
stand exceeding broad

Rudolf of Fulda around 850 reports on the  admiration of  a  world  column  by
the Germanic Saxonia

"By not  small size, put  up, they admire a wooden trunk in the open  air, in the
language  it  was  called  *Irminsul*  meaning'  universe  column, which    supports as it were every
thing ".
The  Irminsul  was d estroyed  by  Karl the  Great  on 772:. 

In  Gothic times (1140-1500)  young  people  erected  the  Maypole -probably
originating in pre-Christian  agricultural rituals:
A  tall pole garlanded with greenery or flowers.  In  its  origin  supposed  to  be
survivals of ancient midsummer dances around a living  tree  as part of spring
rites  to ensure fertility
(What about the wreath supported by a tall pole. Horizon ?)
                               Maypole in Bavaria / Germany -Sweden


         So far ´mechanisms´ supporting  the sky in Europe and Near East

                                   At  first glance a more surprising finding 

                                            Fluted Doric Columns in 

                                          Greece  ~600 b.
                                    and problem  Egypt    2700 b.  

So far supposed most  likely that the underlying mythical origin has to be looked for
                                           in the Mediterranean region. 
                       (  but could be there is something wrong in the mainstream  )


Fluted Doric column.  HERA Temple, wife of Zeus ~ 600 v  The  oldest Doric
Tempel in Olympia.
The  typical  fluted  columns  are  different  in  style. They 
were probably originally made of wood,  but over the  centuries replaced  by
stone . A  Doric- mythoglogical   background ?

                 Vertical fissures in  the bark of a tree ? World tree?
                                 Origin North or South ?

In 724 the missionary Bonifacius cut down a  HOLY OAK in Northern Germany.
                                He was stroke dead by Friesians. (it is said)

               Problem:      Fluted  Protodoric columns in Egypt   2700 b.

                   Djoser.3.Dyn 2700 b., Sakkara               fluted columns                   Reconstructed  doorway


                                        Sea serpent

In  the  primeval ozean swam a giant serpent.In  the South the
 Apophis  in  the
North her sister the

Problem: What  life experiences caused the belief in Egypt and  at  the coasts
western Europe that in  the sea a  live-threatening queue scould have  to lie?
Common dead experience of  seafaring  people ?
  Strong  winter storms in the
North, devastating the march country not  protected yet  by dykes?  (s.Kimbern
and Teuton?)

      May be, but  what about
 Egypt ? A river flowing through deserts.

Each  night Apophis encountered
Re at a
particular hour in the sun  god's ritual  journey through  the underworld 
in his divine bark.The Egyptians believed  that
they could help maintain the
order of the world  and  assist Re by performing
 rituals against Apophis.

1126  The sun-folk.The crew of Re, whose number is unknown

Meaning of sunfolk unknown

Lateron it was told that the Apophis even could empty-drink the Nile and there-
by stop the  boat travel of  the sun. The belief  in  an  enormous  snake  that  in-
the deep water was widespread throughout the ancient world.
(IE origin ?)

                                             World axle      
Problem  with the  natural origin of the  *world´s axle myth*.
             Originating  in the North or in Egypt ?

So far  little proveable´ is known.   Ramses II  (!292-1232 b.)  maintained  that
his power reached " the marsh countries at the borders of the darkness,where
the  four columns
of  the sky stand" (Breasted, 1906 )

In a  book  of  charm from  the days  of  Ramses III  " Carrying gods  ´living in
the darkness"

May be, but for simple  technical reasons it seems unlikely that  the cult of  the
column  developed   within   the  frame  of an  Egyptian natural  ´religion´.

To support the sky.Schu  has - for technical  reasons- to  do his work standing
in the far North The more to the North, the better.  Best of all  standing  straight 
lined underneath the North Pole, at the northern end of the earth axis.

In  Egypt Shu would have to carry the firmament in an unlikely working posture,
leaning lopsided in an angle of 30 degree to the horizon
In  Egypt  for the  priests a problem: How  to  explain  a  30  degree * Egyptian
position * to a normally thinking fellah ?
On the equartor Shu would  have to do his work with his head flat.


Next problem:
                         The North-orientation  of  the pyramids.( the primeval hills)


       The   entrance to  the  Great  Pyramid  is on  the  north side,
 59 fee t (18 metres)  above   ground level.A sloping
corridor descends from it
 through  the  pyramid's  interior
masonry, penetrates  the  rocky  soil  on  which
structure  rests, and  ends in an  unfinished  underground   chamber.From
 the descending  corridor branches   an 
ascending passageway that leads to
 a room  known as
the Queen's Chamber  and to  a great  slanting gallery that
is 151 feet
(46 metres) long.
At  the  upper end of
this gallery a long and narrow  passage gives access to
the  burial room, usually termed the king's Chamber. His room is entirely lined
roofed with granite. From  the chamber  two  narrow  shafts  run  obliquely
through the
masonry  to  the exterior of  the pyramid; it is not known why 
were designed for a religious purpose or were meant for ventilation.
Encyclopedia Britannia

May be noteworhy, but  the  burrial corridors  of  all pyramids and the northern
small * arrow
shaft * in  the Cheops pyramid  point  ´exactly´  to  the  fulcrum of
the *world axle* .
Thus exactly North with an angle of  31 degree to  the horizon,  the to day  polar star.

The  "  narrow air  shaft"  mythologically   compareable   with  the
´port holes´in dolmen?

The story :behind. The Pharao  wants  to  become an  imperishable, i.e a star
fixed to a
position near to the  fulcrum of  the  world  axle. Thus tied up the star
could never reach the Other
World underneath the horizon, thus  the *imperish-
able* stars became  a
symbol  of


Likely  that  the  orientation  strictly towards  the North  combined   with  a  30
degree  angle
of the burrial passages may reflect a  FUNDAMENTAL mytho-
logical  background

Pyr.Text 1168 " M y father  ascends  the  sky  among  the  gods who  are in the
sky he stands at the  Great Polar Region and learns  the speech of the sun-folk

 (1174 he who is north of the waterway, the end of the sky


                                            The early Cosmos in Europe and Near East


The cosmos in Egypt and in the North corresponds with certain design features
Pillars supporting the sky                            Shu,  Yggdrasil, Irminsul
          A primeval hill in the midst of an ocean,     Pyramid Text, Edda
          In the sea huge snakes                                Apophis, Midgardschlange
                                    The sun traversing the sky in a  boat.         Pyr.T    North                                     A deceased needs a ferryman                   Pyr.T., Surmeric Urschanabi                                                                                                         Greek Charon, Friesian Sagas

Taken for true that the Dorians in the Urnfield time (1300-750 b.) left the
western area of the Baltic Sea and reached around 1200
Greece .

Problem :   Did the warlike  Dorians / Spartans took over mythology and
                                   fluted columns from the Egyptians
                     Deeply impresst by a declining  Egyptian high culture ?

                               Did they  have no own religious beliefs ?
          or could be that proto-doric and pharaohs had the same religion?
                                           in spite  of two millinnia between
                               (admit  may sound a little bit strange, but------------ )


Almgren,O.,       Nordische Felszeichnungen als religiöse Urkunden, 1934
Baumgaertel,E.  Dolmen und Mastaba. Der Alte Orient, 1926

Braested, J.H.   Geschichte Ägyptens, 1910, 347

Emery,              Archaic Egypt 216f, 1964
Montelius,O.      Die aäteren Kulturperioden im Orient und Europa, 1903-1923
Moortgat,A.,      Die Entstehung der sumerischen Hochkultur, 1945

Roeder, G.            Urkunden zur Religion des Alten Ägyptens, 1919 (zit. Spanuth)

Spanuth, J.           Die Atlanter, 1976

Stadelmann,R .    Die Ägyptischen Pyramiden, 1991

1- edda-pyr-cosm
15.06.04 update


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