Grandpa Kewl

Book Review – The Pyramid Of Unas, Alexandre Piankoff

This is a book that I have wanted a copy of for years. I forget where I found it – most likely in a used book store somewhere. It is rather rare and was a tad expensive. It is in excellent condition. I have encountered a fair number of references to the text inside the Pyramid of Unas in my studies of Egyptology but never found anything like a decent or complete translation. This is the only such. Odd that a text that is so important in the quest to understand the spiritual thinking of the Egyptians would be so difficult to obtain. Well….I was not disappointed.

The book comes with a couple of fold-out pages that show the inner layout of the Pyramid and a number of excellent and exceptional photographs. I suspect that all the illustrations of this Pyramid come from these pictures.

The text itself covers 99 pages and is followed by very fine photographs of the actual inscriptions.

The sense that I had while reading the text was as if I was reading the translation of the equivalent of a High Requiem Mass of a Roman Catholic Pope, also conducted by the College of Cardinals. There was an inescapable sense that I was reading a ceremony, or being guided through a ceremony. Quite unlike any other text I have read from ancient Egypt. That perhaps is not surprising, in that this is the oldest and purest of all the liturgical writings from Egypt. There was a clarity in the presentation, a certain surety and confidence in the words that was rather striking.

The connection the Egyptians had with their theology was strong and certain. The main Gods and Goddesses we came to know from later writings are all represented.

I’m not sure why, but I came away from the book, when I had finished reading it, with a true sense of satisfaction, more than that, a feeling of happiness. The ancients who knew so much and appreciated so many things that we have come to ignore, really had it together…they knew what they believed and they felt strongly about it. This is no rote or bland ceremony, this was a celebration of life and the Gods. Perhaps what I feel is a sense of satisfaction that the ones whom I trust and revere have proven their worth again and again, and beyond any shadow of a doubt.

I was unwilling to try to scan the pictures in the book as this might damage the binding so….The following are some images I found on the Internet:

The exterior:

, the entrance is on the right:

The interior:

Note that the white area is the portion of the wall that the grave robbers broke through and has been patched.

The walls with text:

Note that the ceiling is all stars.

A closeup of the texts:

And finally, the sarcophagus chamber:

The lid is actually on the floor, just behind where the photographer stood to take the picture.

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