Fountain of The Sun, Rastau, The Missing Portion of the Ancient
Published: Jun. 24, 2016 (Last Updated: Aug. 24, 2016)
The four sons of Horus emerging from
a lotus flower planted in
a pool of water (fountain of
Ancient Egypt had two famous fountains of water, each is called
fountain of the sun, one was in ancient Heliopolis and the other was in Siwa Oasis.
Since the name of the fountain points to a relation with the god
(the sun), it is expected to see some words about it in the Book of
the Dead, but nothing is there! Sir Wallis Budge compiled a
dictionary of hieroglyphic words, but there is no single word about
it can be found anywhere in the whole dictionary! Does that mean the
ancient Egyptians had nothing to say about it? Or maybe it is there,
and it is a major part of the Egyptian religion, but its
hieroglyphic symbol was incorrectly interpreted!
The sky goddess Nut swallows the sun disk at sunset; the spirit of the
disk goes to the netherworld
|Dead people in lotus flowers
|Fountain of the Sun in
the courtyard of
at Siwa Oasis
Horus is born in the fountain of the sun
of Siwa Oasis
The sun disk is swallowed by the sky goddess Nut after sunset. The spirit of the
disk, the sun god Ra, goes to the netherworld. He enters the netherworld from a blue lotus flower
planted inside the fountain of the sun of Heliopolis when the flower
sinks under water in the evening, and he is born in the morning from a lotus flower
planted in the fountain of the sun of Amenta (Siwa Oasis), inside the courtyard of Amun's temple when the
flower rises from water at dawn; and then he flies to
unite with the sun disk that is born by the sky goddess
Nut. What applies to the
god, applies also to the dead people who travel with him in the boat
of Maat (the night boat), and every dead person uses a separate lotus flower.
Fountain of the
Sun of Heliopolis
|Each fountain of the sun has an imaginary
at the bottom of the fountain that is supposed to lead to
The common thought is that the sun sets
in a mountain in the west called Manu, and rises from a mountain in
the east called Bakhau; this assumption is incorrect. The hieroglyphic symbol that is interpreted to
mean mountain doesn't mean so.
The Egyptian religion is based on the
mythical story of Osiris and his brother Set; Osiris was killed in
the Delta (Heliopolis), and then he was appointed as a king of the
dead in Amenta (Siwa Oasis); he was transferred from the Delta to
Amenta in the sun boat, under the supervision of his wife Isis; he
entered the netherworld from a lotus flower and came out from the netherworld from
another lotus flower, just like the sun god. The night journey that
every dead person goes through is a copy of the journey of
Some contemporary scholars assume that the sun god comes out from
the netherworld in the east, because the actual sun is seen rising
from the east. If the god and the dead are all in the same boat, how
is it possible for the god to come out in the east, whereas the dead
people, who are with him in the same boat, to come out from the
netherworld in the west, 180 degrees in the opposite direction? This
assumption doesn't only conflict with the common sense, but also
isn't supported by anything in the Egyptian literature. The
netherworld journey is about the spirit of the sun, the dead sun
god, not about the sun disk, and since the god and his followers are
all in the same boat, so he must be reborn in the place where the
dead are reborn, in the west of the Nile, one rule applies for all
the dead, gods and people.
Nothing is left from the Egyptian religion except names of gods,
hymns and ritual texts, but no complete story of anything. The
basics of the religion and how the ancient Egyptians used to
practice it is still a mystery. Most ideas you read about the Egyptian
religion are no more than speculations and interpretations,
but no absolute facts. Some interpreters give you the evidence that
supports their views, while others don't, leaving you wondering
about the basis of the given opinion.
According to texts and pictures, the Egyptian religion basically is about life after
death. The god Ra (the sun) comes everyday after sunset to the
netherworld and takes with him in his boat (the boat of Maat) his followers who
died that day to a place where they are judged in the Judgment Hall
of Osiris, king of the dead.
Judgment Hall of Osiris -- Anubis is weighing the heart of
the deceased against the feather of Maat
The boat of Ra arriving at the fountain of the sun of
Amenta, and the baby Horus is born
The sun, Ra, is born
Some assumptions about
the Fountain of the Sun (the holy well) of Heliopolis do exist; they
are given in the following quote:
"Heliopolis contained the earthly proxy
of the tree of heaven, the holy Persea, and the
sacred well which to
this day is called "the Sun's Well" ('Ain Shams) and in which the sun
was believed either to bathe himself morning and night or to have been
born at the beginning of the world, when he arose from the abyss."
(W. Max Muller, The Methology of All Races, Vol.12, p.31)
The sun springing from an opening lotus flower in the form of
the child Horus.
It is not mentioned in the reference book of the quote above on what
basis these assumptions were made, "to bathe himself morning and
night or to have been born at the beginning of the world;" so we cannot discuss them in any
What we have in this report is that the Sun (Ra)
enters the netherworld from a blue lotus flower planted inside the
fountain of the sun of Heliopolis when the flower sinks under water
in the evening, and he is born from another lotus flower planted in
the fountain of the sun that was in Siwa Oasis when the flower rises
from water in the early morning. What applies to the god, also
applies to the dead people who travel with him in the boat of Maat,
the night boat, and every dead person uses a separate lotus flower.
It is assumed nowadays that Cleopatra's bath in Siwa Oasis is the
historical fountain of the sun. This is not the case; according to
two Greek historians the fountain of the sun was in the courtyard of Amun's
temple, a few meters from the entrance of the temple. We
will come back to this point later.
Many people think that the sun god
travels in the netherworld in the opposite direction of the sun
disk; starting from the west, and ending up in the east. In this report the sun god enters the netherworld from
Heliopolis and comes out in Siwa Oasis, which is a further western point. That
means the night journey is not
related to the direction of the
sun disk, but simply from one location to another.
Egyptian Gods and Goddess -- Horus and Ra look exactly the same,
but the emblem is different; the same is true for the three
goddess, Nephthys, Isis and Hathor, can be identified by the
emblem on their heads. Ra, Khepra, Auf, and Atum (Temu) are images
of the god Ra; Ra means sun.
The picture above shows the dead sun god after he left the sun
disk, and he is shown in the form of the god Temu (Atm)
between the hands of Nut. The night boat is shown at the right side.
The boat has two lotus flowers, one at the front end of the boat, and the other
the rear; the meaning of
the flowers is
explained in the picture below.
The picture to the left above shows the sun symbol entering from
one lotus flower and getting out from the second flower. The
standing lady is Isis and the man who is lying down is Osiris; they
are identified by their logos; the logo at the left is of Isis, and
the other is of Osiris
The picture to the
right above shows Osiris coming out from the second flower. The natural
explanation now is to say that Osiris must have entered from the first
flower; he came from one place, used a boat as a transportation
device, and then he came out in the second place from the second lotus flower.
This idea is illustrated in the opposite picture that shows the head
of a man at the rear and at the front of the
sun boat. Some may think the two heads in the picture are of two
different persons. This is the impression that we get at the first
glance. But this is just the same as the sun symbol in the picture
above, entering from one side and getting out from the other side; the
sky has only one sun; so this head has to be of the same person.
Now what is this colorful building shown in the opposite picture?
This is Rastau, a complex imaginary underground structure that
has many sections, gates and lakes. The
upper part of it that is shown with vertical lines is the fountain
of the sun. Everything below the vertical lines is imaginary, and
it contains many evil things that the deceased has to pass in order
to continue the netherworld journey with Ra.
In the Book of the Dead of Peter Renouf,
the author described Rastau as a gate between the netherworld and
heaven. We will come back to Rastau later, and we will see what the
author has written about it.
In the Book of the Dead of Wallis Budge it is spelled Rastau
or Ra-stau; and in the Book of the Dead of Peter Renouf it is
It seems that the Egyptian religion is based on the story of
Osiris and his brother Set. Here is the story as it is written in a book
issued by the British Museum.
Osiris and his wife Isis
"Osiris had a twin brother called Set,
the SETH of Plutarch, who was very jealous of him, and who lost no
opportunity of undermining his authority and reviling him, for he wished
to see Osiris removed from his path, so that he might seize his
brother's throne and wife. At length, by a stratagem, he managed to kill
Osiris, by drowning him in the Nile. The river, however, carried the
dead body of Osiris to the papyrus swamps in the Delta, where the waters
deposited it on the lower branches of an acacia tree, which grew up
round it and concealed it. Isis discovered, by magical means, where her
husband's body was, and went to the place and took possession of it.
Wishing to visit her son Horus, so that she might urge him to take
vengeance on Set, she hid the body in a secret spot, and went off to the
city of Buto to Horus. During her absence, Set found the body one night
when he was out hunting, and recognizing it, he tore it into fourteen
pieces, which he scattered about the country. Isis, having heard what
Set had done, set out and collected the portions of the body of Osiris,
and wherever she found one of them she buried it, and built a shrine
over it. Now Isis was a great enchantress, and she learned from Thoth
the knowledge of magical ceremonies and of most potent words of power.
She was able to transform herself into any kind of creature, and to
travel through earth, air, fire, or water with equal ease. Instructed by
his mother, Horus, with the assistance of a number of his "followers,"
performed a series of ceremonies connected with the burial of his
father, which had the effect of raising Osiris from the dead, and of
establishing him as king in Amenti, i.e., the " Hidden Place," or the
Other World." (Guide to the Egyptian collections in the British Museum,
Some hints to the story of Osiris can be found in the
"Asar... He was drowned in the Nile by
Set and suffered mutilation, but he rose from the dead, and having been
declared by the gods innocent of the charges brought against him by Set,
became King of the Dead and giver of immortality to all who believed in
him." (Budge, Dictionary, Vol.1, p.83)
Regardless of the details of the Plutarch story, which may or may
not be accurate, the point is that the dead body of Osiris was found in the Delta
(Heliopolis) after he was killed, and then he was appointed as a king
of the dead in Amenti (Ament, Amentet, Amenta). And based on the pictures that we
have already seen, we can say that he was
transferred from the Delta (Heliopolis) to Amenta in the sun boat;
and the picture that shows his head coming out from the second lotus
flower in the boat is actually about his night journey with the sun
god from the Delta to Amenta.
The picture to the right shows the souls of Ra (the sun god) and
Osiris, in the form of the Ba bird, standing on Rastau of Heliopolis.
door at the bottom leads to the netherworld. The
nearby tree is the Persea tree of Heliopolis. The cat is Ra cutting
the head of the snake Apep with a knife. Three other gods are also holding
knives.The Book of the Dead speaks about a battle
happened in Heliopolis -- Based on the context of the texts
below, and on the story of Osiris, we can say that the battle
happened on the night when Osiris was transferred from the Delta to
(1) "Hail, Thoth, who
madest to be true the word of Osiris against his enemies, make thou the
word of the scribe Nebseni to be true against his enemies, even as thou
didst make the word of Osiris to be true against his enemies, in the
presence of the Tchatcha Chiefs who are with Ra and Osiris in
the night of the (things of the night), and the night of battle, and of
the fettering of the Sebau fiends, and the day of the destruction of the
enemies of Neb-er-tcher." (Budge, Book of the Dead, Vol.2, p.424)
"I am the Cat which
fought near the Persea Tree in Anu (Heliopolis) on the night when the
foes of Neb-er-tcher were destroyed. Who is this Cat? This male Cat is
Ra himself..." (Budge, Book of the Dead, Papyrus of Ani, Vol.2, p.390).
(3) Another text from the Book of the Dead says the battle happened
inside Rastau: "Oh Thoth... as thou makest
Osiris triumphant over his adversaries before the Great Circle of gods
Book of the Dead, p.53)
(4) The Persea tree is inside Rastau: "And I have undergone the inspection
of the god Whose face is behind him, who awardeth my verdict (36),
so that I may behold what the Persea tree
covereth (37) in Restau."
(Renouf, Book of the Dead, Ch.cxxv, p.217)
Where is the location of Rastau?
We cannot just guess where Rastau is, but we have to use
landmarks to identify its location. We learn from the texts above
that the Persea tree is in Heliopolis (2); and the Persea tree is
in Rastau (4); this leads to a conclusion that the first Rastau is in Heliopolis.
The battle that the texts above are talking about has taken place
in Anu, inside Rastau. According to texts and pictures, the number
of Rastau is two; one for the entrance to the netherworld and the
second for the exit. We
will see as we go on in this article that Rastau of Heliopolis is the entrance gate and the
starting point of the netherworld.
The netherworld journey and the battle with the snake and evil spirits
is repeated everyday with every dead person traveling with the sun
god from the Delta to Amenti, and it is also repeated with the sun god
And all of this is just a copy of the netherworld journey of Osiris with
the sun god Ra. The
picture above shows some examples; the man on the upper part of the
picture is Ani, the author of the Papyrus of Ani; he first fought
the snake Apep and then he rode the boat of Ra; the lady at the front of
the boat is Isis, the same goddess who supervised the transfer of
Osiris to Amenti. On the lower left
of the picture is the sun god in the form of Temu fighting the snake
Apep, and on the lower right is the
queen Nefertari standing on Rastau.
A question may be asked, if this rounded object is open from
the top, how could they stand on it without falling inside? They
are spirits anyway, without weight, and this could be the reason for
showing the spirits stand or sit on it; but there are also drawings
showing them standing at the edge or coming out from the top. And to
avoid a confusion, we have to take everything into account, texts and
pictures, before making any conclusion.
Below is a copy of the comment of Sir Peter Renouf on Rastau from
his book, Book of the Dead:
The plates VI,11 and VII b mentioned in the quote above are those
shown to the right.
In both of these two plates the sun god is leaving the
netherworld from Rastau.
Now we have to understand that if we evaluate things
independently, as separate things, we will not make any progress,
we will be lost, but only if we deal with them as a combination, and one
explains the other, then we can see the different parts that make up
the story; and this includes texts and pictures.
In the Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary of Wallis Budge, Rastau is
mentioned under many different words; below are some examples:
QUOTE: "The twelfth domain. O this
domain of Unt, within Restau, the heat of which is that of fire. No god
goes down into it, and the glorious ones do not gather into it"
(Renouf, Book of the Dead, Ch.cxlix, p.306)
The text above talks about heat somewhere in Rastau. Ancient
Greek historians have written that the fountain of the sun of Siwa
Oasis was boiling hot at midnight. The idea behind the text above
could have been based on the hot water of the fountain at midnight.
QUOTE: "I am he who is
Restau. Glory is given to me by those who are in their mummied forms in
Pu, at the sanctuary of Osiris." (Renouf, Book of the Dead, Ch.cxviii, p.206)
From Budge's dictionary and other texts we can say now that
Rastau has many different sections. In the quote above the dead man
says that he is born in Rastau. Pictures show people are born from
lotus flowers. So the lotus flowers must be somewhere in Rastau, and
we should put the lotus flowers in the upper part of it, in the place
where they are supposed to be. Rastau is also a gate between the netherworld and
heaven, so the sun god must be entering and leaving the netherworld
from Rastau. And if we continue collecting the attributes of Rastau in
this way, we will have a clear idea about it, and a better
understanding of the Egyptian religion.
A group of gods and people are born from Lotus flowers, in
Rastau (from the quote above: I am he who is born in Rastau).
(Renouf, Book of the Dead, Plate V)
The picture above contains many sections of Rastau, and each
section is shown in a separate block. The overall shape of Rastau is
shown in block 4b. The bottom part of the picture is about the entrance
Rastau (the entrance gate), where people and gods enter the netherworld. The
upper part is about the exit Rastau. The man sitting on the chair is
Osiris, and everything shown in the upper part of the picture is
supposed to be in
the place where Osiris is. Block 4a shows the sun god Ra entering the netherworld
from a lotus flower. Block 2b shows the sun god leaving the netherworld; and in this block (2b) we see the
symbol of the sun on top of water; and this block means fountain of the
The twin lion Aker is shown in blocks (5a, 8a and 1b). His
is to open the earth's gate; QUOTE: "Aker opens the earth’s gate
for the king to pass into the Underworld."
(George Hart, The Routledge
Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, p.10, 2nd Ed.)
The earth's gate is the gate between the netherworld and heaven,
The picture to the right shows the two lions in a different
representation, with lotus flowers in between; but the scene is
actually the same as shown in the picture above. This picture
combines blocks 5a and 8a in one scene.
Sometimes they draw Rastau as a part of the boat of Ra; some
other times it is replaced with a lotus flower; but neither Rastau
nor the flower are physically part of the boat; and the drawings are
just for showing how the dead come out from the netherworld.
Internal gates inside Rastau (Peter
Renouf, Book of the Dead, Ch.cxlvii, p.296 - 298)
Simplified scenes show gods and people come out from the
See block C and D in the picture above; in block D the Sun is
out from a cylindrical object, and in block C a person is coming out from the
same object; and this shows that
there is no difference between the god and his followers in the way
they enter and leave the netherworld.
We see sometimes the Fountain of the Sun drawn with a shape like a
curve on the upper part of it; as shown in the images above. But what is this curve for?
By looking at the color pictures above, we can see that the curved
object where the two men are standing is very similar to a water
well, with an outer edge that is just above their feet. The difference between a fountain
and a well of water is that
the well has its water contained inside, whereas the water of
the fountain flows to the outside. If you don't make a special arrangement
for the water coming out of the fountain, it will fill its
surroundings, and you will not be able to come close to the
source. The curve makes the water flow in a stream, like the
simplified drawing to the right.
If we look now at the above shapes all together, we will come up
with a conclusion that is different from looking at one shape only.
For example, if you look at shape A, you may think the sun enters a
room or a house. And if you look at the color pictures and picture
E, you may think that the curved object is a well of water, with a
vessel of water at the right and another vessel at the left.
But if you look at the picture of the lions only, and nothing else,
you may get confused, and then you may think of the curved object as
mountain, assuming that the ancient Egyptians 5000 years ago thought of
the Sun to set in mountains.
And if someone who has no idea at all
about the Egyptian religion might think of the lions as they
are in a show, playing with a ball, and the lady is the lions
trainer! Different people get different conclusions when they look
at an issue from one angle only.
The curved object between the two lions is nothing but the same
curved object shown in the other pictures above; it is the same
curved object that looks like a well of water with men standing
Now this symbol
is interpreted to mean mountain. Another very close and related
is interpreted to mean horizon; the horizon above the mountain of
sunrise and the mountain of sunset. These interpretations give the
impression that the interpreters are talking about the sun disk. The night journey has nothing to do with
the sun disk. The sun disk
is swallowed by the sky goddess Nut and doesn't set in mountains.
The spirit of the disk doesn't have to be the same size as the
sun disk itself. And because of these misinterpretations, Rastau lost its meaning and the Egyptian
religion lost its concept!
Let's see now an example of the symbol that is incorrectly
interpreted to mean a mountain.
The picture to the right is from Budge's dictionary; he
defines the first term to mean the two mountains of sunrise and
The second term is identical to the first one, but the
interpretation is somehow different!
The symbols are the same; and the two curved symbols in each
term mean one for the entrance to the netherworld, and the
other for the exit. And of course they are not mountains.
The first term above also shows two rectangular symbols, one
above the other (on the right side above). And this means they are
equivalent to the curved symbols.
the Egyptians draw two symbols for one thing; one symbol explains
the other, a determinative sign to avoid confusion; and that is the purpose of the two rectangular symbols. The two symbols are equal; see the picture to the right.
Elsewhere in the dictionary, Wallis Budge defined the rectangular
symbol to mean stone; regardless whether of a mountain rock or not.
Notice that the height of the curved object is just
above the foot and below the ankle. Can this be
Maybe a stone or maybe not, one word can have different meanings, and the translation depends
on the context of the text, just like translations of modern
languages; if you don't know what the text is about, you may use
wrong words; and then the translated text may not make sense with
the wrong words; so you may think of inserting additional words from
your mind to make the overall text make sense; and if you do so, you
may end up destroying the meaning of the whole text completely. This
kind of text corruption happens in translations of modern and active
languages, so it shouldn't be a surprise if it happens in
translations from obsolete languages.
The picture to the right magnifies the two rectangular symbols,
one above the other, and
the symbol of water can be seen clearly inside, instead of lines in
the small rectangles.
The second definition from the dictionary above, that says, "the
two mountains between which the deceased emerges" is explained in
the picture below; the standing man is a deceased; the blue man is
the god of primeval water, Nun -- the primeval water is simply the
muddy water where lotus flowers grow. Now compare the man in lotus
(above) and the object where the lotus is planted, to these
rectangular objects, and you will see the rectangular object is the
The two red highlighted rectangles in the
picture to the right, which is a part of the picture above, they look the same as the ones we have seen in the term Tui,
and they are supposed
to be equivalent to the curved symbol
but even if they are not, there is no
definition for the small rectangle, whether it has lines inside or
not, except stone. But the blue boxes are not stones or
mountains, and the text above the blue boxes must be saying
something about them, and the small rectangles in the text have to
be symbols for these
The sky goddess Nut from the Temple of Hathor at Dendera
Below are links to the original pictures from which the picture
of Nut above was constructed:
In the picture above the supposed mountain (Tui) is shown on one
side, and Rastau is shown on the other side of Nut.
The B/W picture (right) shows Tui on the left side of Nut, on the
opposite side of Tui in the previous picture!
The born goddess is Hathor in both pictures, and both of them are
from the same temple of Hathor at Dendera. The point is that these two things are exactly the same,
and can be demonstrated interchangeably. They are the
same as the blue water boxes that we have already seen. And the water boxes certainly
are NOT mountains.
The god Anubis is described in a text from the Book of the Dead
as the one upon his mountain; QUOTE: "He that is upon his
(i.e., Anpu) keepeth watch
44. over thee ready for the moment when thy foes shall attack thee, and
he shall repulse them for thee."
(Budge, Book of the Dead, Vol.2, Ch.137A, p.662)
Below is the original text; the curved symbol and the rectangular
symbol are drawn together.
Anubis is usually drawn sitting on Rastau or on a rectangular
coffin, but not on a mountain! If his title is the one upon his
mountain, some paintings should show him in that scene, but nothing
could be found.
Misinterpretation of one very important symbol led to countless
mistakes, and also led to misunderstanding of the entire Egyptian
Anubis is not only a protector of tombs, as described in many
contemporary writings, but also protecting the souls entering or leaving
Rastau. However, he is not protecting Rastau or tombs by directly
sitting on them as shown in paintings, but providing spiritual
protection in one way or another; otherwise he cannot be present in
many different locations at the same time.
Rastau on the Sphinx Stele; the original drawing is on the right;
the picture to the left is an explanatory sketch
Things can be represented in different ways; the picture of the
lion Aker above is an example; and the various representations shown
in the picture are of the same event, same thing, and in the same
Rastau could be the most important part of the Egyptian religion; on
the picture above it is carved on the Sphinx Stele; and on the
picture to the right, it is painted on the chair of Osiris. Wherever
you look into the Egyptian religion you will find Rastau in front of
you in one form or another.
Rastau painted on the chair of Osiris
Anubis (Anpu) is also associated with
Rastau, so he is drawn with it in various forms, including his
If we compare now the symbol of Anubis, with the text we saw
earlier, that says "upon his mountain", the given symbols have to
mean the same thing; here is the text again:
The dead enter the netherworld from Rastau, not from a mountain, so
the text should read: the one upon Rastau keeps watching you, ready
for the moment when your enemies attack you...
It is thought that the Sun (Ra) sets in a mountain called Manu.
But this doesn't agree with the text:
"Adoration to Tmu as he setteth in the
Land of Life.
The Osiris N; he saith, adoring Tmu, when setting in the
Land of Life and
shedding his rays on the Tuat;
Hail to thee setting in the Land of Life, O
Father of the gods, thou art united to thy mother in
(Peter Page Renouf, Book of the Dead, p.27)
As we have seen earlier the sun disk doesn't set anywhere on
earth, but swallowed by the sky goddess. So the quote above must be
about the spirit of the sun disk, in the form of Tmu, he sets in the Land of Life, and
united to his mother (the sky goddess Nut) in Manu. It seems that
Manu is the western horizon or an area somewhere in ancient Egypt.
The picture to the right is a copy from Budge's dictionary; it is
about a place called "Ta en ankh", and means Land of Life; Ta means
land; ankh means Life. Budge defines it as a district of Heliopolis.
We have already seen that the first Rastau is in Heliopolis. This
place, the land of life, is most likely the one meant in the text
Notice that they say "set" and not "enter" when they
actually talk about
the god entering the netherworld!
A dead man coming from the Land of Life: "I have
come today from the land of life"
(Rune Nyord, Breathing Flesh:
Conceptions of the Body in the Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts, p.355);
The author, Rune Nyord, commented on the phrase Land of Life in
the quote above and said "is regarded as the point of origin, and
not destination" -- and must be the point of origin because the
dead man has
come with Ra in the same boat, from the same place, and Ra sets in
the Land of Life.
The place where the god Ra comes out from the netherworld is called
(Amenti, Amenta, Amentet) -- Amen means Hidden; ta or tet means Land.
Amenta is mentioned in many places in the Book of
the Dead, and described as a beautiful place, the place where the
dead live, and Osiris is the Lord of Amenta.
The Egyptian religion was a mysterious, secret religion; only
high priests knew the details of it; and because of this they
wanted the land of the dead to be hidden, secret land. The Greek historian Plutarch wrote
the story of Osiris, and he wrote that Osiris was established as a
king in Amenti, but he doesn't seem to know where Amenti is. Ancient
Greek and Roman officials used to visit Siwa Oasis for future
prophecies or predictions in the temple of Amun-Ra, but most likely
they knew nothing about the religion itself.
The picture to the right contains definitions from Budge's
Dictionary; one for Amentet and the other for Ta Amentet. Not much in these definitions but they tell us that it is the
abode of the dead and it is on the west of the Nile.
In the picture above we see Isis and Nephthys with the god Ra (the
sun) at sunset, at sunrise, and behind the chair of Osiris. Osiris
hands can be seen clearly under the so-called djed-pillar raising the god Ra at dawn, and this shows that it is Osiris who helps
Ra to come out of the netherworld at dawn.
This Amenta is the same place where Osiris was established as a king
of the dead, and we will see now that it is Siwa Oasis.
If we say the god Ra
enters the netherworld in the temple of Heliopolis, it is very logical
to assume he comes out from the netherworld in another temple; in a place
where people can do prayers and religious ceremonies.
The netherworld is shown sometimes with an emblem that contains a
disk with a bird and feather on it. The picture to the right
shows this symbol. The young lady in the picture is the goddess Ament (feminine of the god
Amen). The god Amen (Amun) also has this logo attached to his name in one
of his symbols, and it means Amen in Amentet.
There was a nome (province) in ancient Egypt that has the
name Ament, with the same emblem that is used for the netherworld (see
the picture); and this indicates that the netherworld is a place on
the earth and it is inside the borders of Egypt.
The picture to the right shows that the capital of Nome Ament is
Hapi; Hapi is Apis in Greek.
The Roman map below shows Apis in a blue circle; according to
Wikipedia at the link below, it was a seaport. Siwa Oasis is shown on the map in a red
Since we are looking for landmarks of a religion that started at
least 5000 years ago, the map we have can be considered very recent
relatively. Things must have gone major changes since the start of
the religion. So it looks like the name Ament was given initially to
Siwa Oasis, and after so many centuries the name Ament was applied
to the whole desert west to the Nile, the Libyan Desert, and the
seaport Apis has become the capital of the province Ament. However,
regardless of the geographical changes, the religious belief must have
remained the same, and Siwa Oasis must have remained Amenta, the hidden land,
In the book (Egyptian Mythology A to Z) the author described the
goddess Ament, and wrote in a sentence: "From her home in the
branches of a tree at the edge of
the desert, Amentet watched for the souls as they approached the
entrance to the Netherworld, or next world."
(Pat Remler, Egyptian Mythology A to Z,
3rd Ed. p.10)
It is not mentioned in the reference book above whether the given description is a translation
of a hieroglyphic text, or based on interpretation of pictures only, but at least we have a source that agrees with what we have
in this article. If you look now at the map above, you will see Siwa
Oasis (the red circle) at the edge of the Egyptian desert.
The name Bakhau (Bakha, Bachau) is thought to be the
mountain of sunrise in the east; just like thinking of Manu as the mountain of the
sunset in the west; Bakhau and Manu are thought to be the most
easterly and westerly points of the sun's course.
Unlike Manu, Bakhau indeed is a mountain, but NOT in the east, in
the west of the Nile.
The picture above is a copy from the dictionary of Wallis Budge.
As you can see, the word bakh means "to give birth to"; and the word
Bakhau is derived from the word bakh; this is confirmed
by the pictured quote below. The meaning of birth is important because it
lets us think about the birth of the god, instead of thinking about
the rise of the sun disk.
Based on the definitions we see here, Bakhau is clearly
associated with the birth of the god Ra in the early morning, but that
birth doesn't have to take place in the east, where the actual sun
is seen rising in the morning. And since we are talking about a
spirit, the spirit can be born anywhere on earth and then flies to
the disk at the speed of light.
There is a holy hill in Amenta, the land of the dead; QUOTE: "Homage to thee, O
thou who dwellest in the Holy Hill (Set-Tchesert) of
Book of the Dead, Vol.2, p.365)
is walking near the holy hill after he passed the trial
before the god Osiris
is coming out from the holy hill
is sitting in his temple on the Holy Hill of Amentet
or Sebak, a crocodile god, a form of Osiris
The picture to the right above shows Sebak, a crocodile god, a form of Osiris, sitting on
Rastau; that doesn't mean Rastau is there; this is just to show his
relation with it, as it appears with his name (right); Anubis is
also shown (right) for comparison; many drawings show Rastau in different places.
This holy hill is the Hill of Bakhau, the assumed mountain of
sunrise in the east. See the eye painted on this mountain, behind Osiris; it resembles the eye that is drawn
with the symbols of
Bakhau; shown below:
This symbol () is not a part of the word Bakhau, but a
determinative sign of it, as mentioned in the quote above from the
book of Peter Renouf.
Notice that the mountain symbol
in Bakhau is different from the single curved symbol
Now we have a painting of a mountain that we can see, which
indicates that this is the correct symbol for mountain, but there is
no painting of a mountain for the single curved symbol
The following quote is about this hill, the hill of Bakhau:
"In respect of the Hill of
Bachau (i) upon which heaven resteth, it presenteth itself (2) three
hundred cubits in length (3) and two hundred cubits in breadth. Sebak,
the Lord of Bachau, is at the east of the Hill, and his temple is upon
it. There is a serpent on the brow of that hill, five hundred cubits in
length, three cubits of his forepart are pierced with swords."
Page Renouf, Book of the Dead, Ch. cviii, p.178)
Below are the dimensions of the hill from the quote above:
Length: 300 cubits; about 160 meters (300 x 52.8 / 100 = 158.4)
Width: 200 cubits; about 106 meters (200 x 52.8 / 100 = 105.6)
1 cubit = 52.8 cm
The author commented on the dimensions of the hill and wrote:
"The earliest Papyri give the
dimensions of both, but make the hill so absurdly small that the serpent
could not rest upon it. Later papyri beginning with Pf have corrected
the texts so as to give the hill a length of 300 cubits... The Papyrus
of Nebseni gives the hill 300 cubits in breadth. The Totenbuch of Turin
reads 370 in length, and 140 cubits in breadth." (Peter
Renouf, Book of
the Dead, p.180)
There is a rocky hill in Siwa Oasis called Hill of the Dead, or
Mountain of the Dead. Using wikimapia, we got the dimensions shown
on the picture below.
As you can see, the width and length we found, they match, at least,
one of the given numbers in the quote about Sebak or in the author
comments. The ones who wrote the original texts did not agree on
certain numbers anyway, so if we get numbers that match any of the given
possibilities should be accepted, right?
The quote about Sebak talks about a snake sitting on the hill, "There
is a serpent on the brow of that hill,
five hundred cubits [260m] in length, three cubits of his forepart are
pierced with swords."
If you look now at the picture of the hill (right), you can
see it rounded and naturally carved at the top. This rounded
and carved shape could be the reason for them
to believe in a big snake sitting there.
The quote also says that Sebak has a temple on the eastern side
of the Hill, "Sebak,
the Lord of Bachau, is at the east of the Hill, and his temple is upon
is a form of Osiris in the belief of some religious groups; the
details of this point are beyond this article. There is no temple for
Osiris in the Oasis now, but there are traces of one he had
The picture to the right is of a tomb of a man on the Hill of the
Dead, and from the link below the picture, we have this quote: "It
belonged to a man whose chief title was 'Prophet of Osiris', and
this shows that a temple for the god Osiris
existed in the Oasis during his lifetime."
We could not find where that temple was, but if the conclusions
we are arriving at are correct, it should be on the eastern part of
the Hill of the Dead. It might have been destroyed; or it might have
been built inside the mountain like a cave, and now its entrance is
blocked with rocks and sands. In any case, more
information about it may exist in the oasis somewhere, but hasn't
been discovered yet.
The god Amun-Min is shown all the time with his
penis exposed. He is shown in one image, at least, from a
temple in Egypt, in the form of the lion goddess Sekhmet (lioness);
maybe the religious group in that part of Egypt wanted to see him in this
Because of his uncovered penis, he is described in contemporary
writings as the god of fertility.
The uncovered penis is not the only attribute that appears with
him all the time, but there is also a cylindrical object behind him
with a lotus flower on top of it. Most pictures show the lotus
between two trees.
Since the Egyptologists who know how to read hieroglyphic
language do not say anything about the cylindrical object, we assume
that there is no description written about it on walls or papyrus,
so they bypassed it without any comment.
By looking at the visible features of this cylindrical object,
and comparing it with other similar objects, we can say that it is the fountain of the sun in Siwa Oasis.
The object behind Amun-Min looks very similar to the one next to
it in the picture above near the Persea tree of Heliopolis. In the picture to the right,
the goddess Hathor is
born from an object that has a tree on each site of it. The two
trees almost identical to the ones that are on the object of Amun-Min.
More pictures of the cylindrical object are shown above. This object
is in the place where the
god Ra is reborn daily, plus the righteous people who pass the
trial before Osiris. The door at the bottom of the object leads to the
The first picture to the right shows the sun symbol coming out of a
lotus flower. See the circle at the lower part of the flower
stem, and compare it to the circle of the flower stem of the object
behind Amun-Min; they are the same. The circle is most likely the
Ankh symbol; the second picture to the right explains it.
picture (right) shows the full view. The door is
very likely facing the boat, but it seems that the artist who made
this picture wanted to show it clearly, so he drew it as shown.
The picture to the left above shows the god Ra, and the disk of
the morning sun is on his head, meeting the dead queen Nefertari.
The goddess sitting next to him and holding his arm is Ament, a
goddess of the west.
The other picture shows the god Ra giving the
to a dead king, the disk of the morning sun is on his head, and the
is sitting behind him. The Ankh is a symbol of life; the dead are
awarded this symbol after they pass the trial before Osiris. All of this shows that the god Ra
meets Amun and the dead people in the early morning, in the place
where Amun and the dead people are, in the west of the Nile.
The morning sun giving the ankh to Alexander the Great, after his
death, in the place where Amun is.
The dead Alexander the Great and a dead king meet
The pictures to the right shows Amun-Min and his fountain of the
sun, with dead people; which indicates that the fountain of the sun
is in the place where the dead people are.
It is very logical to have all the dead, gods and people, to
enter and leave the netherworld from the same points. The sun god in
his night journey is dead; so why should he be excluded?
Many think that the
so-called Cleopatra's Bath is actually the historical fountain of
the sun. By looking at pictures of this bath, and comparing it to
what we think is the fountain of the sun, the two things look
completely different; see the pictures below.
of the Sun as shown in Egyptian paintings
Cleopatra's Bath doesn't only look different, but it is also located
about one km away from the temple of Amun.
this issue, we found a reference book on Google Books with
information that agrees with the paintings and the location; the
book suggests that it is similar to a well of water, and located
about 37 meters only from the entrance of the temple:
"in the middle of the holy
precinct" and in the "immediate neighbourhood of the sanctuary"
(Annales Du Service Des Antiquites de L'Egypte, Volume 82, p.191, By The
Supreme Council of Antiquities)
The internet search for the suggested, the presumably, Holy Well,
resulted in one picture only (below); from an Arabic web page about
tourism in Siwa and about its history.
There is no curve
that we can see in this picture; but it seems that extra rocks have
been added to the outer edge; the original rocks are cemented
together, while the added rocks are loose. Maybe the Egyptian
administration in Siwa have added the extra rocks to prevent sands
from falling inside, or maybe it had water until very recently, but
the water did not have enough pressure to come out of it, and the
locals were utilizing it, so they put the extra rocks in order to
take care of it.
There is a dark rectangle carved on the internal wall at the bottom of
this hole. Could this be the imaginary door that appears in
pictures? The Egyptians made real boats imitating the sun boat, so it is very possible that they made what looks like a door
in the direction of the water flow, to imitate their belief in the
supposed night journey.
The second thing that is worth noting is the internal structure
of the fountain; it is made of rings of rock blocks. Compare this to
the blue painting above; it is also made of rings of rock blocks.
And with the door at the bottom, this painting
seems to be an image of this hole.
The picture to the right shows a gate on top of the fountain of
the sun, to mean that the fountain is a gate to
the netherworld. The picture next to the gate is just for
comparison. Note that there are dots on the fountain's outer edge.
Egyptologists who have interpreted this shape as mountain might have
thought of these dots as mountain rocks. The picture of the fountain
above shows that it was made of rocks; so there is no difference in
terms of rocks/dots between the actual picture of the fountain and
the pictures of it in the Egyptian literature.
When looking at the sun god coming out of a lotus flower, then we
have to assume that the flower is planted in muddy water. Mud
doesn't come from under ground, but as a result of mixing a special
type of soil with water.
The second picture to the right above shows two vessels above the
fountain; one of them contains a dark substance. This dark substance
most likely the mud required for the lotus flower. The other vessel
also seems to contain a substance needed for the lotus flower, but we don't
know what it is.
The third picture above shows the fountain's outer edge, and two
women pouring the substances inside the fountain. The substances
reach the bottom of the fountain. As the time goes and the water flows, the mud comes out of
it; so they do it again; and the process continues; and because it
is a continuous process, they drew it like a circle.
The internet search did not produce any result for the fountain
of the sun that used to exist in ancient Heliopolis; but if
excavations found it in the future, it should be just the same as this
one; because the Egyptian drawings show that the two fountains are
identical in shape, with a door at the bottom.
The moon in his boat on top of Rastau; and
this shows the moon's relation with it
The moon boat landing at fountain of
The moon boat is sailing with no
passengers except the moon alone
Full moon on top of a crescent moon is the symbol of the moon.
Based on the moon's pictures, we can say that the moon uses
Rastau to enter and exit from the netherworld.
Ancient Egypt had two types of lotus flowers, but with
a contradicting behavior; the blue water lily sinks under water at
sunset and rises from water at dawn, while the white water lily
sinks under water at dawn and rises from it at sunset. Maybe the
moon uses the white water lily, or maybe not.
Not much about the moon is in the book of the dead, but there are
several chapters to be recited on the first day of the moon. So
maybe the moon enters the netherworld once in a month only.
If we say the netherworld journey is a copy of the journey of
then what is the purpose of the journey of the moon? Since the
starting and ending point of the moon's journey are the same as that
of the sun, then it has to be related to Osiris by some means.
This is all we have to say about the moon and the fountain of the
sun, because our topic is about the function of the fountain of the
sun, and not about the function of each god associated with it. A
separate research about each god is required in order to know the
exact role of each god in the netherworld.
In the picture above, which is from the temple of Hathor at
Dendera, the goddess Hathor, the daughter of Ra, is
welcoming the rebirth of the dead; the one at the left side is her
father Ra, and the other is Horus. But why is she naked?
In other pictures from tomb paintings we see naked women dancing
and playing music. What can be concluded from this is that the ancient
Egyptians used to greet the rising lotus flower from water with
music and nude dance; the rise of the flower is a sign signaling the
rebirth of the dead.
The story of this nudity goes to Hathor and her father Ra; QUOTE: "In the myth of the contest for
power between Horus and SETH it is the goddess [Hathor] herself, 'lady
of the southern sycamore', who cures her father Ra of a fit of sulking
by dancing naked in front of him until he bursts into laughter."
Hart, The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, 2nd ed.,
|King Ramses III is completely naked with the exception of
the hip belt; behind him baboons and in front of him is a
cartouche with the symbol of the rising sun inside.
||This tomb painting shows that they also welcome the rising
flower (the rebirth of the dead) with gifts.
The picture to the right is a very simple sketch, but it
summarizes the whole night journey of the sun god Ra. The god enters the netherworld from a lotus
flower, and he comes out of it from another lotus flower; he uses a
boat as a transportation device in the netherworld. What applies to
the god, applies also to the dead people who travel with him in his
boat; and every dead person uses a separate lotus flower. The night
journey that every dead person goes through is a copy of the
night journey of Osiris.
We have texts from the book of the dead stating it clearly that
the first Rastau is in Heliopolis, but there are no such clear texts
about Siwa Oasis. However, instead of the clear texts, we could find
physical evidence that shows that the exit Rastau is in Siwa Oasis;
the dimensions of the Hill of the Dead, and the structure of the
fountain of the sun that appears almost identical to the one shown
The fountain of the sun (Rastau), the lotus flower, Heliopolis,
and Amenta (Siwa Oasis), seem to be the most important components
that make up the Egyptian religion. Ignoring any of them leads to
misunderstanding the whole religion. And since the modern researchers are
unaware of the importance of these pillars, and they haven't studied them carefully, the Egyptian
religious literature is still fuzzy for them. ☼
Same event, different representations; Isis and Nephthys greeting Ra at
dawn when he comes out of Rastau
Same event, different representations; Aker opens the earth's gate
for the dead to pass into the netherworld; the earth's gate is Rastau,
it the gate between the netherworld and heaven
|Rastau may be drawn
anywhere, even inside the
sun boat. This indicates a relation, and not a physical
All the dead, gods and people, are welcomed with nude dance
(dancing for the rising lotus flower from water; the rise of
the flower is a sign signaling the rebirth of the dead)
|Dead gods and dead people come out from the netherworld in
the land of the dead; one place common for all, gods and
Same thing demonstrated differently; Rastau = Tui = Fountain of the
All in one
Most reference books mentioned in this article are available for
download from 4shared.com at the link below:
The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Papyrus Of Ani, 1240 BC, html format,
Most black and white pictures used in this article are from the
Book of the Dead of Peter Renouf, which can be downloaded from
4shared.com at the link above.