THE PYRAMID DECODED

 

PART 2

 

THE KISWAHILI-BANTU RESEARCH UNIT

FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE ANCIENT

 EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE

 

Independently researched by Ferg Somo 29th May 2008

 

DECODING ‘MR’ THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WORD FOR THE PYRAMID

 

MERU = MR

 

MrMr

 

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MOUNT MERU

 

 

 

This is the second part of the investigation in which the Ancient Egyptian word MR representing a pyramid will be investigated in keeping with cosmological ideas relating a pyramid to the primeval mount.

 

Egyptologists have for a long time developed numerous theories as to why the tombs of the early pharaohs were built in the shape of a pyramid.

In many ways the configuration of a pyramid closely resembles the natural form of a volcanic mountain erupting and spewing out fiery matter from the interior and pushing it upwards thus forming a mound.

 

The word Pyramid is said to be derived from the Greek, ‘Piramis’ and ‘Piramidos’, translatable as ‘Fire in The Middle’. This concept of ‘fire in the middle’ seems strange, but could the symbolism in resemblance between an erupting volcanic mountain and a pyramid be a valid supposition? It seems plausible that the ‘fire in the middle’ represented the many Ancient Egyptian rituals of incense burning and offerings that took place in the pyramid to placate the spirit of the deceased King or Queen before entombment.  

 

Achieving the pyramidal shape is a natural phenomenon and may also be compared to filling grain into a sack or container and forming a conical heap.

 

In my initial Part 1 investigation the word for a pyramid was related to the Bantu word for ‘funeral’ given as MARIRO or its compacted form MARIO. This matches the Ancient Egyptian MR for a pyramid.

The question one poses is this:

 

Does the concept of ‘funeral’ relate in any way to a tomb or grave? The evidence which indicates this form of enquiry lies in the Southern-Soto-Bantu language.

 

In the Southern-Soto-Bantu language the word PHUPHU defines a burial place, a grave, or tomb, and the same word is used for ‘funeral’. Thus the evidence presented here for the initial word defining the pyramid in Part 1 of the investigation relates to 'funeral' as a place of lamentation and entombment which supports the function of a pyramid as a tomb or grave.

 

 In keeping with the word for a tomb, the Bemba-Bantu word LUPUTA defines a mound made at the beginning of the rainy season on which beans, sweet potatoes are planted. LUPUTA is also the word for a tomb. The word for a pyramid in the Oshindonga-Bantu language is given as MPAMPA, and defines a cone made of poles placed on the tomb of a king; it is a royal tomb. 

 

The Ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for their Kings and Queens. However, according to the renowned Egyptologist Mark Lehner, there is no evidence that any burial of an Egyptian King or Queen has ever been found. There are no inscriptions or indications to be found anywhere which substantiates the fact that the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids contained the bodies of the deceased Kings or Queens. This leads one to the idea of the ‘ascension’ of the deceased King or Queen. Thus the Pyramid was the means by which the King was able to be resurrected into the office of the celestial beyond as the son of Ra, the sun God. 

 

Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt were buried in pyramids of different shapes and sizes from before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom. According to Ancient Egyptian cosmology the pyramid symbolically represented the primeval hill rising from the watery mass. The first land to appear at the beginning of time was called the 'BEN-BEN'. The ideas associated with the BEN-BEN stone are complex and will form a part of a special investigation whereby the etymology of the word will be realised.

 

In Ancient Egyptian literature there were several confusing creation legends about the universe. Therefore it is not always possible to say which legends were most widely accepted, as legends varied according to the locality of the place which developed them. However all creation legends in Ancient Egypt describe a mound rising above the primeval flood waters. The appearance of the primeval mound or hill denoted the emergence of the world and the creator God commonly known as Atum rested on the primeval hill.

 

In the Pyramid texts one reads that Atum himself was addressed as ‘hill’. ‘O Atum! When you came into being you rose up the 'High Hill'. You shone as the BEN-BEN stone in the temple of the Phoenix’.

From pre-dynastic times the sun temple at Heliopolis contained the sacred symbol of the Sun, the BEN-BEN stone. The pyramid shaped stone was the capstone of the pyramid or the tip of an obelisk. It was the representation in rock of the primordial rays of the rising sun. The BEN-BEN was made of polished shining material, gold, silver, or other types of rock that gleam in sunlight. The relationship between the pyramid and the BEN-BEN is that the pyramid is a gigantic BEN-BEN which dramatises the illumination of the life giving powers of the creator. 

Meanwhile the city of Memphis created its own personification of the primeval hill in the form of the ‘elevated land’.  

Thebes later maintained that it possessed ‘the glorious hill’ of the primeval beginning and was, therefore, likely to be more ancient than any other town. In Osirian symbolism the primeval hill was interpreted as being the ‘Gods tomb’. Tombs of Osiris which were set up in various places were usually situated on an island. Thus the ebbing tide and the rise of water were supposed to allude to death and resurrection.

 

THE WATERY MASS

 

The Ancient Egyptians designated the bowl to represent the mass of water which spread endlessly during primeval times. This is also known as the celestial waters NW. In all probability the bowl is a representation of a vessel used for drinking water or any similar fluid. 

From a Proto-Bantu perspective the word for ‘drink’ is derived from the verb NU, MU, NYU, or NYO. Drinking implies swallowing a fluid or liquid. Water is a good example of a drink. Thus a ‘drink’ is a fluid or liquid suitable for drinking. In some ways it is highly likely that the Ancient Egyptian word NW which describes the mass of water is related to the Proto-Bantu form of the word. There are many current Bantu forms of the word in use today which are derived from Proto-Bantu.

The following combinations of verbs are currently used in Bantu languages for the verb ‘drink’, swallow water or liquid.

 

NWA, drink, Tsonga-Bantu

 

NYWA drink, absorb, suck up, Kiswahili-Bantu

 

NYWO, or MNYO, a drink, mouthful of water, Kiswahili-Bantu

 

NWA, drink, Bemba-Bantu

 

MWA, NWA, drink, Shona-Bantu

 

NWA, drink, take in, absorb, Oshindonga-Bantu

 

NWA, drink, Luvale-Bantu

 

MU-NWA, river flowing into two separate streams, derived from NWA in Luvale-Bantu

 

THE PYRAMID

 

Mr Mr

 

THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WORD FOR A PYRAMID, THE MOUND

 

The Ancient Egyptians designated the consonants MR to represent the word for a pyramid. The word begins with the chisel, a metal tool with a sharp pointed end used for shaping wood or stone. The phonetic value of the chisel is MR. Upon reflection; an upside-down chisel could indicate a pointed tip, a protuberance similar in form to the tip of a pyramid.

 

From observations of the Ancient Egyptian creation accounts, the first land was formed as a mound rising from the watery mass. Thus the Ancient Egyptian word MR must be related to a mound and symbolically represents a pyramid.

 

Mount Meru is an impressive volcanic mountain situated in Tanzania and is considered to be Mount Kilimanjaro’s little sister. The Masai people know Mount Meru as the ‘quiet or silent place’. MERU is also known as the black mountain due to its volcanic rock structure.

 

Mount Meru is Africa's fourth highest mountain and is dwarfed by neighbouring Mount Kilimanjaro which is also a volcanic mountain. It is an impressive peak in its own right. Seen from the west, Mount Meru has a conical profile. The east side of Mount Meru formed about 7800 years ago when the summit of the volcano collapsed. The historically active ash cone forms a prominent symmetrical cone.

 

MOUNT MERU (VOLCANIC)

 

         Meru Photo

 

By all accounts the word MERU is of ancient origin and its current etymology is unknown. Thus MERU represents Mount MERU in Tanzania and the word MERU is not applied to any other mountain in Africa. However in Indian mythology MERU is a sacred mountain which is usually identified as the golden mountain, the great central mountain of the world and the naval of the earth. Could MERU in Tanzania have a connection to MERU in India? More research needs to be done.

 

In this investigation I have researched the etymology of the word MR by using Bantu vocabulary to arrive at a possible etymology for the meaning of the word MERU. It is not always possible to break down a word into its constituent parts but the following analysis will address the issue, hopefully. In Proto-Bantu there is no distinction between words for cloud, sky or heap. See the Proto-Bantu table and the words in green below.

 

In Bantu languages consonants L and R are frequently interchangeable. Thus consonant L= consonant R. As an example LILA, cry is equivalent to RIRA.

 

Proto-Bantu: Cloud, Sky

 

MAIN

LL (N 5/6)

cloud

217

 

nuage

 

Total Distribution:

Regions: 2: Ce NE

Zones: 4: E G M N

MAIN

217

LL

N 5/6

cloud

E G M N

DER

218

LL

N 11

sky

E G

 

See also:

 

4455

LL

N 11

fog

C H L

 

 

 

 

 

Proto-Bantu: Sky, top, heap, hill

 

 

LL (N 5)

sky; top

1486

 

ciel; sommet

 

Total Distribution:

Regions: 5: NW SW Ce NE SE

Zones: 16: A B C D E F G H J K L M N P R S

MAIN

1486

LL

N 5

sky; top

A B C E F H J K M R S

DER

1488

LL

N 7/8

heap; antheap

F G J K L M N S

DER

1489

LL

N 11/10

hill

B D F J L R

INC

1487

LL

N 5

top

 

REF

1618

LH

N 5

top; sky

 

REF

1619

LH

N 5

top

 

VAR

1491

LH

N (3), 5

upstream

 

VAR

1492

LH

N 5, (3)

sky; top

A B C E G J H L N P R

VAR

4617

LH

N 9

rainbow

C

 

 

Oshindonga-Bantu:

In the Oshindonga-Bantu language the word for heaven, sky is e-GULU. The word o-HULO means top, peak, point, end, extremity, or tip

 

Southern-Soto –Bantu language:

In the Southern-Soto-Bantu language the word for cloud is given as, LE-RU which is derived from –RU. The plural form MA-RU means lightning.

 

Bemba-Bantu language:

In the Bemba-Bantu language MU-LU, means heaven, sky, atmosphere, the top, summit, and ‘a great quantity’.

 

Chichewa-Bantu language:

MU-LU represents a heap or a pile, a heap of firewood.

 

Luvale-Bantu language:

In the Luvale-Bantu language, LI-ILU→LILU means the above, sky, heaven. The word for ‘on the top’, above, overhead is given by, HA-ILU→HELU, and the word for ‘the heavens’ is MA-ILU→ MELU. This could very easily be pronounced as MERU, having consonants MR, matching the Ancient Egyptian consonants.

 

Zulu-Bantu language:

The Zulu-Bantu language also provides a similar insight into the word, ZULU which is derived from -ULU, and means sky, heaven, weather or lightning.

 

Thus the word MERU defines a rising ground, a mound or hill with the summit approaching the limits of the sky or heaven.

 

THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WORD FOR SKY, HEAVEN

 

The word for sky or heaven can be illustrated by the following set of hieroglyphics, Faulkner page 176. It is similar to the Bantu words for sky, heaven. 

 

HR-Tsky, heaven

 

The Ancient Egyptian word for sky, heaven is similar to the Luvale-Bantu word HELU or HERU derived from –ILU, the above, sky, heaven. This is similar to the Zulu-Bantu word Z-ULU, which is the word for sky or heaven. Indeed the Bemba-Bantu word M-ULU also defines the sky or heaven. The Ancient Egyptian word consists of the feminine ending T. Excluding the feminine T does not affect the Ancient Egyptian meaning of the word for sky or heaven. Refer to proto-Bantu table.

 

THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HILL TOMB

 

The Ancient Egyptians buried their dead in tombs in the hills. A hill cemetery is shown by the following set of hieroglyphics, Faulkner, page 175, Budge page 498b.

 

HR-Ttomb, a hill cemetery

 

AN OBSERVATION

 

A hill is a mound, and the hill side was the place in which tombs were hewn. The word for a hill, ‘the above’ is given by the Luvale-Bantu word HA-ILU → HELU. Thus this must be the word the Ancient Egyptians used for a tomb to denote the hill used for burying the dead.

 

PLENARY

 

This is Part 2 of the investigation

 

The Ancient Egyptians used the consonants MR to define a tomb in keeping with their creation cosmology and refer to the primeval mound present since the beginning of time.

 

Bantu ideas on the word for a tomb describe a tomb as mound similar to a mound for planting seeds. They also describe a tomb as a place for wailing and entombment and used the same word for funeral and tomb. There is also a description of a royal pyramid tomb in the Oshindonga-Bantu language and the word for a pyramid defines a tomb with a conical structure of wooden poles built on top of the tomb.

 

The word MERU defines a mountain and its etymology was derived from the Luvale-Bantu language. Other Bantu languages were used to give support in the investigation. Bear in mind that the consonants L and R are interchangeable in Bantu languages. Thus the word HELU defines, 'on the top', 'above', 'overhead'. The word for 'the heavens above’ is defined as MELU. This could easily be pronounced as MERU and would tie in with mount MERU. Both words are derived from LI-ILU, the above, sky, heaven. The Ancient Egyptian word given as:  HR-T for sky or heaven provides a good match with the Luvale-Bantu word HELU.

 

Your critical comments would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to enter into a discussion.

Independently Researched by Ferg Somo © 29th May 2008

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this research may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright owner.

 

 

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