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Old Kingdom Optical Devices
In Response To: Consuming Fire ()

If the "glory of the Lord" is a divine throne-chariot and part of its equipment is a system of lenses that concentrate the sun's rays to produce heat, smoke and fire (associated with trumpeting noises apparently, which could be the ancient equivalent of a fire brigade siren) then this has quite a few follow on implications.

The perfect glass eyes in ancient Egyptian statues suggests that the Old Kingdom probably also had telescopes, microscopes, and surveying theodolites.

When I dismantled an old malfunctioning SLR camera and its zoom lenses I quickly discovered the possibilities of mixing various lenses to create a primitive microscope and a primitive telescope (using old cardboard tubes and masking tape).

These discoveries and constructions of mine would certainly be easily duplicated by Old Kingdom priests or what might be called technicians.

This leads to the almost certain possibility that the Old Kingdom was using telescopes to study the night skies. The next implication is that such devices could be used to illuminate the various passages and chambers of the pyramids.

There is a remarkable similarity between a modern theodolite and what the ancient Egyptians called a djed (normally referred to in the references as a djed pillar).

A djed pillar could have been used to mount one or more telescopes so that they could be rotated through 360 degrees without interfering with each other. A bowl of water could have been placed on top to ensure that the pillar was positioned vertically.

For some unexplainable reason djed pillars were often "erected" at night, and became the basis of rituals and celebrations.

The best reference to the role of a djed is described in the Papyrus of Mut-hetep (Brit. Mus. No. 10,010, sheet 5).

In this manuscript a djed is associated with a statement that apparently says: "You that come quickly, I will make you retreat... and I will illuminate your hidden place... stand behind me on the day of turning back slaughters and I will protect you...".

A djed is apparently a very useful device that exposes invaders intent upon slaughter, if one stands behind it!

Logically, if you stood in front of it you would block the view!

Speculatively, a djed was a pillar or support for one or more optical devices that were used to locate enemy campsites at night, and was probably used as a primitive theodolite as well.

The djed was apparently accepted as a god and was associated with the power of Osiris.

It has been shown with human arms holding the symbols of the power of Osiris.

It is also interesting to notice that djed pillars were often drawn by the Egyptians with two eyes looking out from within the pillar. Are two eyes symbolic of one or more telescopes?

It is also interesting to note that djed pillars were also called "Eyes of Horace".

The Was Scepter:

A modern surveyor uses a ranging pole, otherwise known as a staff, in conjunction with a theodolite. The surveyor stands at the theodolite and takes a bearing on a ranging pole held by an assistant some distance away.

The equivalent to the ranging pole in ancient Egypt appears to be a was scepter.

Gods or "royalty" were defined by the was scepter; that is, only gods or "royalty" inevitably carried the scepter as a symbol of power.

Speculatively, a was scepter was a device that could have been used to create maps and define territories, and was probably used as in conjunction with a djed pillar.

Such a use of the scepter would make it a valuable piece of "royal" regalia.

There are some important things that modern humans wish to know on a regular basis; such as where they are (when not at home), the time of day and day of the year.

It is also possible that the scepter could have been used to determine time of day and day of the year.

Ancient Egyptians probably relied on their "royalty" to calibrate their calendars, or to define holidays or celebration days.

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