Sie sind auf Seite 1von 36

Trustees of Indiana University

Anthropological Linguistics

Egyptian Beliefs about the Bull's Spine: An Anatomical Origin for Ankh
Author(s): Calvin W. Schwabe, Joyce Adams and Carleton T. Hodge
Source: Anthropological Linguistics, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Winter, 1982), pp. 445-479
Published by: The Trustees of Indiana University on behalf of Anthropological Linguistics
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30027646 .
Accessed: 03/09/2013 13:40
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Trustees of Indiana University and Anthropological Linguistics are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize,
preserve and extend access to Anthropological Linguistics.

http://www.jstor.org

EGYPTIAN BELIEFS ABOUT THE BULL'S SPINE:


AN ANATOMICALORIGIN FOR ANKH
Calvin W. Schwabe and Joyce Adams
of California,
Davis
University
T. Hodge
Carleton
Indiana University

believed
that sperm was produced in the
Abstract.
Egyptians
a conviction
thoracic
based upon their
underspine,
apparently
of the anatomy of the bull.
texts
show the
standing
Egyptian
felt
to exist
close
between the backbone and life,
relationship
one's ability
to survive
after
death.
The spine is
including
shown to play a major role in after-life
as rerevivification,
both in the texts
and the iconography.
flected
Ankh is identified as a thoracic
vertebra
of an ungulate,
which explains
both
and
its
its shape
meaning.
texts
from the Old Kingdom on
0.
Introduction.
Egyptian
of an individual,
or the neck, trunk or
mention the back (spine)
vertebrae
in contexts
tail
which suggest
that they were
thereof,
believed
to fulfill
or physiological
in reprofunctions
magical
and in revivification
duction
of the dead.
As early as 1864
out that the Egyptians
endowed the spine with
Brugsch pointed
More
and
Sauneron (1960a)
life-giving
properties.
recently
have
shown
that
semen
was
(1962)
Yoyotte
thought to have come
from the interior
of bones.
Harris
mentions
that in
(1971:124)
late times the Egyptians
connected
the penis with the backbone.
It is the purpose here to bring these data together
and to consider them in the light
of the ancient
of the hieroglyphs
texts,
and of the anatomy of the bull.
in our
This last
involved,
is,
of apparently
disview, the clue to a coherent
interpretation
We believe
that the evidence
to an
parate data.
(1) is relevant
of how the early Egyptians
understanding
may have begun to
a rational
evolve
basis
for healing;2
a new origin
(2) suggests
for the ankh, the Egyptian
well as
(as
symbol for life,
live
on other hieroglyphs);
and (3) has important
imthrowing
light
for Egyptian
beliefs.
plications
religious,
especially
mortuary,
1.
and veterinary
It is clear
Egyptian
beliefs
anatomy.
from the anatomical
that the models for those reprehieroglyphs
internal
(as well as some external)
senting
organs were animals
slaughtered
to) the Egyptians.
by (and of religious
importance
Thus the hieroglyph
for uterus
the bicornate
depicts
organ of
the cow (Gardiner
and
was
in
it
not
until
Vesalius
1957:F45),3
the 16th century
A.D. that the mistaken
idea that the human
uterus was also bicornate
was corrected.
Gardiner
(1968:1.15-19;
445

446

Anthropological

Linguistics,

Vol.

24,

No.

has published
an onomasticon
which includes
an ana2.237-56*)
of the parts of a bovine animal.
tomical
list
Ghalioungui
concluded
that among the Egyptians,
(as have others)
(1973:47)
that of hu"knowledge of animal anatomy must have long preceded
man anatomy.
surwas more or less a veterinary
Every physician
who were entrusted
under the Ancient Emgeon, and Wabw Priests...,
must
of the sacrificial
beasts,
inspection
pire with the ritual
a fair knowledge of that art."
have possessed
Sauneron (1960b:
of Sekhmet
that both wab priests
and priests
161) also feels
functions.
important
religio-veterinary
performed
Manetho mentions
that Athothis,
the second king of the
books
and
First Dynasty,
medicine
wrote anatomical
practiced
hierothat the anatomical
It is possible
(Waddell 1940:31).
of such early works, since
during the compilation
glyphs evolved
information
Manetho recorded
little
about most pharaohs and what
as of some importance.
he did record he must have regarded
in
his
was
papystudy of Egyptian medical
Grapow
intrigued
Kahun
the
ri
that one of the two oldest
Veterinary
extant,
in the
is uniquely
physically
presented
1897),
Papyrus (Griffith
It resembles
the Coffin Texts with
text.
form of a religious
and with horizontal
to right,
left
written
its lines
vertically,
this vetericases.
for the individual
also,
Uniquely
headings
and although
in the first
only a
person,
nary papyrus is written
the Edwin Smith Surgical
few fragments
it rivals
Papysurvive,
Notand freedom from magic.
rus in its systematic
presentation
of
same
further
the
use
the
"patient")
(e.g.,
terminology
ing
for animals,
as for man in the other medical
Grapow conpapyri,
"the
that
thesis
the
as
but
unreasonable,
rejected
sidered,
medin
forms of the healer's
were
veterinary
developed
language
therehuman
to
and only from that transferred
icine
medicine,"
of man must have served as
book on the diseases
fore "a [lost]
italics
model" (Grapow 1935:22,
ours).
tr.,
[the Kahun Papyrus']
is of
in
found
motifs
One of the principal
thought
Egyptian
ancient
abound in the most
course the bovine one, and references
to gods or pharaoh as bull.
records
Apparently
early man generbravery and
speed,
strength,
ally was much in awe of the size,
Consecattle.
of domestic
libido
of the wild aurochs ancestor
such as
and cows as principal
in bulls
beliefs
deities,
quently
or men
and the idea that rulers
Apis and Hathor in Egypt, arose,
held
became widely
from them or from cattle
descended
generally
between
Connections
Egypt
1971:1.185-555).
(see,
e.g.,
Epstein
culture
area to the south have often been pointed
and the cattle
Frankfort
out (e.g.,
1948).
into
with respect
to this inquiry
interest
Of particular
of their
about the spine and the concerns
Egyptian beliefs
is a prominent
with veterinary
anatomy and medicine
priesthood
Unlike the
of the penis of bulls.
characteristic
anatomical
of the bull's
human organ, erection
penis occurs by its considOtherwise
the penis is
from the prepuce.
erable
protrusion
the prepuce by the robust retractor
penis muswithdrawn within
arises
sheath)
in a fibrous
This muscle (which is enclosed
cle.
vertebrae
first
two
the
of
surface
from the ventral
coccygeal

for

Origin

Ankh

447

to encompass the rectum


whence it splits
(the base of the tail),
from the second bend of its
to the penis
and attaches
laterally
The penis'
onto its free portion
flexure
1).
(Figure
sigmoid
curve below
in an S-shaped
is thus accommodated
length
surplus
the bull's
the sacrum.
penis and the attached
Upon dissection,
for a single
mistaken
orretractor
penis muscle can be readily
of
the
tail.
So
root
at
the
the
the
to
attached
spine
Egypgan
and dissected
who sacrificed
bulls,
appear to have retians,
to reuniting
the
for late texts
(see below) refer
garded it,
are
formed by
a belief
that sperm
back to the penis and indicate
in the marrow (i.e.,
marrow and are collected
the bones as their
This showed that they
column.
cord) of the vertebral
spinal
of the spine.
that the penis was a continuation
believed
clearly
a
that the penis of some mammals contains
One may note further
os
the
in
the
be
for
os
the
example,
dog
penis may
bone,
penis*
also known to the
This was possibly
up to 10 cm. in length.
Egyptians.
2.

Egyptian

beliefs

concerning

the

spine.

In examining

beliefs
to Egyptian
the spine
relative
the literature
concerning
it
that
becomes apparent
these beand its role in reproduction,
to a great deal of Egyptian
are central
liefs
religious
(especteem with translatable
The texts
but
thought.
mortuary)
ially
obscure references,
many of which,
along with associated
iconogwhen examined in the
raphy, become much more understandable
of
the
bull's
the
of
knowledge
Egyptians'
anatomy and
light
therefrom.
inferences
their
apparent
are concerned
with extending
or renewThe mortuary texts
the
deceased.
Various
means
are
used
to effect
life
of
the
ing
was
of
which
revivification.
It
is
this
motif
which
one
this,
A number of sub-motifs
the following
are
dominates
passages.
the quotations
for greater
ease in assohere used to classify
them with the physiologic
discussion.
Within each such
ciating
are given in rough chronological
but
order,
topic the passages
the relative
of
conthe
without
regarding
prejudice
antiquity
For the Pyramid and Coffin
Texts Faulkner's
cepts involved.
for
are
Book of the Dead
translations
the
1973-78)
used,
(1969,
otherwise
unless
Bracketed
additions
Allen's
(1974) noted.4
in
are
the
writers.
Translations
noted)
(unless
present
by
have been put into
other languages
(such as those of Chassinat)
English.
1.
Texts with this motif relate
to the putting
Reassemblage.
of the parts of the body of the deceased,
back together
usually
reflects
a prehistoric
This apparently
as bones.
period prior
care of the corpse.
or other appropriate
to mummification
"She [Nut] will
1.1.
prevent
you
protect
[hnm] you, she will
she will
from lacking
parts],
give you
[= having any missing
for you, she
reassemble
your bones [ki.w]
your head, she will
for
will
she
will join together
members
you,
bring your
your
heart into your body for you" (Pyr. 828).
for you, and
1.2.
"Your head is knit [ts]
to your bones [ki.w]
to your
are knit
bones
your
to tie
ts is common to both

for
head
you"
and vertebra.

(Pyr.

572c).

The

root

448

Linguistics,

Anthropological

Vol.

24,

No.

"My head is knit on for me by Shu, my neck is made firm


1.3.
I have received
cord through
for me by Tefenet....
my spinal
(CT 532).
Ptah-Sokar"
1.4:
your rope...
O you
O ferryman...
"O you who knot [ts]
of the celestial
I know you and I know
knots
seven
[ts.w]
kine,
may you make my bones and
your names, may you make me hale...
407
hale"
(CT
variant).
my members
for becoming a male...
I have knit together
the
"Spell
1.5.
(CT 584).
backbone of Osiris"
1.6.
"I have brought to him the [6] jaws (that were in)
I have brought to him the backbones
Rosetau;
[7] that were in
for
I
have
united
him
his
(BD 136B).
many (parts)"
Heliopolis.
for the pillar-amulet
1.7.
"Spell
[dd] of gold put at the
Thou hast thy backbone
of this blessed
one]...
[psd],
[throat
One; thou hast thy vertebrae
[ts.w],
Weary-hearted
Weary-hearted
See below for discussion
Allen's).
of
One" (BD 155, restoration
djed.

to you the gods of the North and present


1.8.
"I bring together
in their
of
of
the
body, assembled
all
your divine
parts
to you
from
Chassinat
(1966-68:11,624)).
translated
(Dendera,
place"
members
The sixteen
made of wood...
"The bread mold..,
1.9.
his
its
name...
of
them
each
designated
by
are carved on it,
column
his
his phallus
[pst]...
spinal
[d.t],
shin-bones
[ks.w]...
from Chassinat
translated
(Dendera,
(1966-68:II,
his neck [3t]"
of parts is
of the assemblage
This graphic
portrayal
365)).s
which has fourteen
at Dendera with the mold of Sokaris,
repeated
medearlier
Of these one is psd (Chassinat
1'1chine,
segments.
medical
earlier
la
3t
(Chassinat
another
nuque,
ical usage back,
usage spine (1966-68:II,493-7)).6
reand the backbone [pst],
"I have brought the phallus
1.10.
(translated
(Mendes)"
at
Per-khet
are
found
which
assembled,
1962:140).
see also Yoyotte
from Chassinat
(1966-68:I,160;II,370;
scatwere
of
Osiris
the
that
parts
While it has been well known
two
of these
nomes, the significance
tered over the various
In
seen
first
was
by
Yoyotte
together
being
(1962:139).7
parts
another text we find that the pst is in Busiris:
lord of Busiris
[ddw] with the
"The house of Osiris
1.11.
of
the
god" (Edfu,
the
backbone,
pst]
[or
spine
august dd,
of the
of Chassinat's
quotation
ours on the basis
translation
"dad auguste
translates
Chassinat
passage).
(1966-68:II,703)
that the
text
this
that
proves
divine
saying
Achine,"
et de la
is no
there
As
things.
djed and the spine are two different
in
be
to
as
are
likely
just
between the two, they
connective
and we have so translated.
apposition,
is
formulae,
common in magical
This motif,
Identification.
2.
beings.
living
the power of other,
to give the deceased
designed
concern the spine and are, of course,
selected
The passages
with reassembly.
associated
2.1.

"My spine

[ts]

is

[that

(Pyr.
is
Apis"
of]
[that
[hnn]
Sethe,
following
Faulkner,
sage
is Geb (?)]
(?)
2.2.
"[My back
1311c-1312a).
Two Enneads"
(Pyr.

of]

the

Wild

Bull...

My phallus

same pasIn the


1313c).
1308c,
his):
(brackets
restores
the
are
and [My vertebrae
(?)]
in
of)"
"(that
In translating

Origin

for

449

Ankh

of the simple identification


2.1 instead
preferred
by Faulkner
are
in
in
we
Allen
of like
his
treatment
(as
2.2),
following
in
of
the
the Book
Dead (see below).
passages
Grammatically
in these
this assumes that there was a morpheme (case ending?)
which indicated
this relationship.
Such an interearly texts
seems reasonable
but works better
in some passages
pretation
with Atum [Pyr. 135])
(such as the above and the identification
Sethe (followed
than in others
(e.g.,
Pyr. 148-149).
by Faulkbelieved
the identification
ner and others)
of the body part to
which eliminates
be with the entire
the need for a spedeity,
Either
will
cial morpheme.
serve our purpose
interpretation
here.
is the door-bolt
2.3.
"Your spine
of the god" (Pyr.
[bgl.w]
"The phallus
2128b).
Compare:
[hnn] of Babi is drawn back,
Faulkner notes (in
the doors of the sky are open" (Pyr. 502a).
with 502a) that the word hnn phalZus is used
connection
of spine and phalThe connection
for a door-bolt.
figuratively
the anatomy
in
2128b.
The
be
to
assumed
lus seems
imagery fits
man.
that
of
a
than
of a bull better
I am Re,
"Thou hast come to it,
2.4.
[rmarrow' of the eldest].
the
within
I am the God's vertebra
of favor;
[ts.t]
abiding
tamarisk...
[4nn]
My back [psd] is (that of) Suty; my Vhallus
are (those
and my backbone[13t]
is (that of) Osiris...
My belly
Allen's).
of) Sekhmet" (BD 42 S1, restorations
Ani
is (that of) Seth...
Osiris
of
back
"The
(m.h.)
2.5.
[psd]
and backbone [13t] of Osiris
the belly
ini (m.h.) is (that of
Ani (m.h.) is 'that
of Osiris
of) Osiris"
the phallus
Sekhmet...
from
translated
Budge (1899:118).
(BD 43 [Ani],
These texts
Marrow as source of life.
3.
support the view that
to be the
the marrow of the vertebrae
considered
the Egyptians
life.
of continuing
source of sperm and therefore
Specific
are
but when the texts
are late,
to this effect
statements
idea underlies
that the same basic
it is clear
viewed together,
them all.8
Their spirits
are in the King's belly,
souls
3.1.
"Lo, their
of his meal out of
As the surplus
are in the King's possession
bones
(?) the gods Which is cooked for the King out of their
to
refers
this
and
others
As
Sethe
note,
(Pyr. 413ab).
[k.w]"
making

a decoction

or

broth

with

the

in this
Utterance
[274]):
(earlier
back-bones
the
"He has broken
3.2.
of the
hearts
409bc).
the
gods"
(Pyr.

bones.

One may compare

And has
[ts.w
bk'.w]
The determinatives

taken
for

the
is to extract
The breaking
vertebrae.
bks.w are clearly
cord.
spinal
Hail to you, Brother of the God!
"Hail to you, Incense!
3.3.
Hail to you, Marrow (?) which is in the limbs of Horus!" (Pyr.
116a).
The incense
3.4.
"You are made strong by means of incense...
cord
there
comes
the
the
ear
of
corn
comes...
spinal
comes;
there comes the marwhich issued
from the backbone of Osiris,
row" (CT 530).

450

Anthropological

Vol.

Linguistics,

24,

No.

and Yoyotte
the conSauneron (1960a)
(1962) have discussed
in the backbone,
in texts
as reflected
cept of sperm production
as well as the Greek parallels.
Of the two
of the Late Period,
to
It is
the
one.
Yoyotte
gives
Egyptian
traditions,
primacy
the
discussion
that
the
idea
is
from
attestable
present
apparent
are the most
The late texts
back to the Pyramid Texts at least.
from
taken
Sauneron
are
and
the
passages
following
explicit,
as
illustrations.
(and translated)
the egg, who makes the chick grow, and
Khnum "who creates
3.5.
who creates
(Philae).
sperm in the bones and (?) in the belly"
with regard to bewas cited
This passage
by Grapow (1954:I,20)
here
but the translation
about reproductive
liefs
physiology
The latter
to the ambiguity
Sauneron (1960a:21).
follows
points
occurrence
where either
of m in m ksw m ht (both here and 3.6),
or
be
in
1960a:21).
(Sauneron
may
from
3.6.
(The king is) "the charitable
god, the heir of Khnum; it
of
his
semen in the bones and (?)
the
effects
who
is he
fixing
in the belly"
3.114.7).
(Edfu)
from
women by means of the semen (coming)
"You fertilize
3.7.
the bones" (Edfu 4.298.3-4).
all but
such citations,
Sauneron has seventeen
Altogether
in Upper Egypt (Hibis,
from sites
one (from Papyrus Insinger)
Dendera, Karnak, Edfu, Philae).
An animal-vertebra
4.
The snake as vertebrae.
association
in its
to sperm from bones that is highly
related
intriguing
A
of
snake.
the
that
is
implications
religio-magical
possible
this
resemblance
and
column
a living
snake is essentially
spinal
thus
A snake's
skeleton
did not escape the ancient
Egyptians.
resema
of
vertebrae
of
series
almost entirely
consists
compact
to
References
of
mammals.
vertebrae
bling the neck and tail
in Egyptian
to cattle
as references
snakes are as conspicuous
direlate
The following
and iconography.
literature
religious
to our thesis.
rectly
4.1.

"The King

is

a serpent

[ncw],

the

Bull

of

the

Ennead,

who

his seven uraei that they might become his seven neckswallowed
and the Enneads are those who were aforevertebrae
[nhb.wt],
Here
of Him who was" (Pyr. 511abc).
affairs
the
who
heard
time,
of
the potency of the spine is recognized
by the swallowing
In the
vertebrae.
which are, so to speak, primarily
snakes,
be
a
to
seems
of our knowledge there
pun here on
state
present
whether
One
wonders
pid back and pid Ennead (from pod nine).
between the two and
connection
an etymological
there is rather
set of motifs.
whether the Ennead is also part of the sperm-spine
See 2.2 above.
and
his seven uraei,
who swallowed
"I am a new-snake...
4.2.
The snake
came into being" (CT 374).
his seven neck-vertebrae
in the
is the nCw, which occurs elsewhere
doing the swallowing
documents.
later
of
number
and
in
a
Pyramid Texts (as above)
The most

revealing

passage

as

to

this

snake's

nature

occurs in the Twelfth


with our thesis
connection
(Hornung
Book of That Which Is in the Underworld
Here we read:
ure 2).

and

role

Hour of the
1963; see Fig-

in

for

Origin

Ankh

451

4.3.
in this manner in this
"This god travels
locality
[niwt]
cord [im3h] of this secret
manifestation
through the spinal
while his gods pull him.
He en[ssm] of 'The-gods-live'-snare,
ters its tail
and goes out of its mouth, being born in his form
of Khepri...
This secret
manifestation
of 'The-gods-live'-snake
is at his place
in
the
underworld.
He goes to no other
[nst]
at
time
This
place
great god speaks to him in his
any
(day).
name of nCw-serpent
that he may make smooth (be smooth to) the
birth of the god.
He has a spinal
cord [Im3h] 1300 sacred ells
on the murmuring voices
ol the honored ones
long, and he lives
cord [Im3h], going out of his
[im3h.w] who are in his spinal
of Hornung's
mouth every day" (our translation
(1963:1,197-200)
Here we have the deceased,
identified
with the sun-god,
text).9
and his entire
sun-bark
crew going through the spinal
cord in
order to be reborn for the coming day.
From the perspective
of
the spinal
it seems probable
that the spinal
cord/life
motif,
cord (ms3h) is "that which makes one an 3h (a living
(see
soul)"
Helck and Otto 1975-,
sub Ach) and that an im3h.w is one who has
been revivified,
not just an "honored" or "revered"
one, as it
is usually
translated.
The frequent
phrase nb imsh (see Sethe
could therefore
be translated
either
1935-39,
1962.4:46;5.102)
as possessor
of
the being
made)

The "spinal
7).
to that of the
the same basic
living
spirit,
is the form in
1961: pl. 5).
(hr)

the

great

a spinal
a living

cord
spirit

or

possessor
of the making of
BM
1961:
157B)
(James
(e.g.,

(or,
pl.

cord" would be an active


participle,
comparable
Arabic second form, the other a verbal noun with
semantic
In Im3hw NN we have one made a
motif.
BM
NN (e.g.,
1262) (James 1961: pl. 37.2).
This
BM 1288) (James
Im3hw hr ntr C3 et sim. (e.g.,
It is to be read either
made a living
spirit
by
god

or made a living

spirit

along

with

(hr)

the

The latter
is more likely.
It takes hr in its more
great god.
common spatial
sense and implies
that the deceased
was made a
because
he was with (in the presence
living
spirit
of, hr) the
great god at the time of the latter's
transfor(regular/daily)
mation.10
These words imply that the individual
a
undergoes
A person (living
or dead) is not naturally
process.
an 3h but
must be made one.
The same root,
and the same implication,
occurs in s3h to make a living
one of the duties
of a lecspirit,
tor priest.
The full
form of the snake's
name in Amduat is k3 n rdl Cnh
ntr.w

the

ku

of

the

one

causing

the

gods

to

live

(Hornung

1963:

The direction
of passage,
II,189).11
from the tail
to the
the belief
that the snake's
mouth, reflects
venom was semen, or
to semen, the one associated
analogous
with death,
the other
with life.
Mtwt is used for both semen and poison,
including
snake's
venom (Sethe 1935-39,1962:2.222).12
The picture
illusthis hour of Amduat shows the bark of the deceased,
trating
the
the sun in that order,
snake, the hpr-beetle,
left
to right
The snake-beetle-sun
2).
(Figure
thus reflects
insemisequence
gestation
(hpr to become)
and birth.
nation,
This route through
the snake on the way to rebirth
is what is referred
to in BD 149:

452
"May there

4.4.

be

cleared

for

Vol.

Linguistics,

Anthropological
me the

path

of

the

No.

24,

nCw-snake,

transthe bull of Nut, Nehebkau" (text


Budge (1898:375.11-13),
lation
Allen).
found in
The word for path here is w3t, a word frequently
is
The jackal-god
of the necropolis
the mortuary literature.
and
4.4
From
one
4.3
the
the
quotations
wp w3wt
ways.
opener of
of
is
that
the
to
be
the
that
conclude
major "way"
opened
may
toward which such a large part of the
of the deceased,
rebirth
are directed.
An easy birth is therefore
and iconography
spells
4.
for in 4.3,
called
There is a striking
5.
to the
The bull as path.
parallel
medium.
This is the Double Bull platsnake as the rejuvenating
in the Second
form (or, rod) through which the deceased
passes
text
The
of the Book of Gates (Figure
Division
3).
accompanying
statement:
includes
the
5.1.
"Honored is the soul (b3) which the two bulls
have swalwith him whom he has created"
lowed, the god being content
and Rambova 1954:153-4,
ours)
(translation
(Piankoff
figs.
34,
The platMaspero, Daressy 1912:85-6,
37; Davis,
pls.
59,60).
form (or rod) is functioning
as a two-headed
with its vispine,
tal force.
in
connection
the spine-penis
(1962) recognized
Yoyotte
1.10 above as part of the sperm-bone
an
He
adds
intercomplex.
coifrom
that
the
act
of
the
esting
point
Papyrus Jumilhac,
by
tus the male furnished
and
the fetus'
the female its
bones
The male's
flesh.
A physiologic
thus becomes evident.
cycle
in the maof the fetus which,
sperm give rise to the skeleton
ture male offspring,
produces
sperm which pass from the central
atto the (so it is believed)
vertebral
column of the skeleton
on reassembly
of the bones and on the
The stress
tached penis.
in the above passages
backbone in particular
may now be seen
in Egyptian
more nearly
perspective.
such texts
Taken together,
we believe
strong eviprovide
from Old Kingdom times through the
dence for the continuity,
about
notions
Ptolemaic
of Egyptian
religio-physiologic
period,
in reand
revivification
of
the analogous
procreation
processes
a
and
thus
lation
to bones,
provide
spinal
bones,
especially
a
more
scienwhich
of
the
illustration
process
by
very early
from one
and medicine
could arise
tific
approach to biology
at one time
These ideas,
mixed with magic.
which was thoroughly
tradiin the hieroglyphic
scribal
the secrets
of those trained
of thought
schools
restricted
to certain
tion -- and probably
became more openly recorded
within
that tradition
apparently
and Greek rule,
and were a part of that medicalunder Persian
lore for which the Egyptians
intellectual
enjoyed such high repute.
3.

Beliefs

As collateral

about

evidence

sperm,

for

bones

this,

and

Sauneron

the

spine

outside

and Yoyotte

have

Egypt.

noted

Origin

for

Ankh

453

that similar
beliefs
about sperm, bones and the spine were curof Hippon, Plato and other
rent in the Greek world, writings
and
healers
cited
(Rostand 1936:7-34).
being
philosophers
for
characterized
example,
Plato,
specifically
sperm as "a soft
flow from the spine" and opined that the gods had made a connection from the spinal
"marrow" (spinal
of
cord) to the urethra
the penis through which the sperm could exit
(Lee 1965:120;
Cornford 1937:292
examination
of the late
Yoyotte's
ff.).'
and subsequent
Egyptian evidence,
along with the Greek sources
commentaries
-- even in the absence of the much earlier
Egyptian
we have adduced here -- led him to conclude
material
that the
of paternity
should definitely
be
"question
[for these ideas]
in favor of Egypt" (Yoyotte
settled
see also below).
1962:142;
Further search reveals
that such beliefs
about the role of
were even more widely
bones in procreation
held.
Thus, Keswani
treatise
the Aitareya
(1963) noted from the Sanskrit
Aranyaka
that "the woman contributes
the skin,
blood and flesh,
whereas
the fat,
the man contributes
bone and marrow parts of the fetus"
and from the Garbha Upanigad that from bones arise
"mar(218),
row (majja),
and from the marrow semen (Gukra)" (211).
The connection
of marrow and semen appears to be reflected
in Zoroastrianism,
as related
in the cosmological
the
treatise,
Bundahishn
"It is said in the religion:
When the
(Boyce 1975).
ox passed away, there where it sent forth its marrow,
created
the fifty-five
of grain grew up, and the twelve species
species
of healing
The
semen of the ox was borne up to the
plants...
moon station.
and he [Ohrmazd] created
There, they purified
it,
animals of all species
domestic
(Lincoln
1981:72).
[from it]"
In Judaic tradition
2:21-23
Genesis
has Eve created
from a

salac

a rib or thoracic

bone ("This

at last

is bone of my

bones" There is a Talmudic account


RSV).
(Graves and Patai
that says Eve was created
from Adam's tail,
which ended
1964:66)
in a sting.14
Of the coccygeal
vertebrae
the
after
remaining
the
called
in
had
Hebrew
remarkalmond
laz
tip
operation,
able qualities.
elaborates:
"The asserGinzberg
(1947:V,81)
tion found in Tehillim
that
the
soul
is
fastened
to
[11, 102]
the spine is probably
related
to the old view, according
to
which a part of the spine
is indestructa[the 'almond bone']...
ble and will,
in the time of resurrection,
furnish
the material
out of which the human body will be quickened."
Also in the
Talmud we find the idea that the male furnishes
the "white"
(semen) from which the bones,
nails
and ocular
brain,
sinews,
sclerae
come and that the female furnishes
the "red" (menstrual
for the skin,
blood)
hair and ocular corneas
(Zimmels
flesh,
In our opinion
1952:62).
this primitive
of white
correlation
with white sperm and red organs and tissues
organs and tissues
with red menstrual
blood may identify
the origin
for all of
these beliefs,
ones farther
south in Africa.
including
Among
the Venda, Herero,
and Ashanti,
for example,
it is
Congolese
held that the bones of the fetus
are contributed
by the male
(Baumann and Westermann 1962:142).
While the Dinka residing

sole-

454

Anthropological

Linguistics,

Vol.

24,

No. 4

all portions
believe
of the fetus
today in the Upper Nile valley
from the sire and the dam, the origin
of sperm
originate
equally
from
to and
to be the spinal
whence
it
is believed
passes
cord,
in the testes
is stored
(Schwabe and Kuojok 1981:235).
of source and priority,
we
as in other questions
In this,
while Egypt has the earliest
to say that,
would prefer
evidence,
to ascertain.
of source is much more difficult
the question
It
that the Greek, Indian,
seems clear
Judaic,
Egyptian
Iranian,
In our
center.
are from the same cultural
and African
concepts
to have been in a prehistoric
view this is more likely
setting
As this
derived.
from which all three (and others)
ultimately
with the ideas
have been in Africa,
connections
would probably
These basic concepts
held there are to be expected.
probably
On
in
the other
Africa.
in
had their
times
prehistoric
origin
medical
Greek
in
which
the
details
one
note
should
thought
hand,
Steuer and Saunders
is apparently
(e.g.,
upon Egyptian
dependent
and influence.
contact
to much later
pointing
1959),
albeit
physiological
These rationally
erroneous,
derived,
in
vertebrate
namely, the
about
notions
animals,
reproduction
its colin
its
in
marrow,
of
presence
bones,
sperm
production
ureto
the
thence
cord
and
its
as the spinal
lection
passage
creation
acts of
to the analogous
related
thra inextricably
intact
more or less
death after
and of re-birth
persisted
the view that sperm
While Aristotle
for some time.
disputed
only with
from bone marrow (On the Parts of Animals),
arise
in the West that sperm
belief
Galen did the alternative
prevail
(Rostand 1936:19,
in the testes
produced solely
were, in fact,
38).
Relevant

4.

Egyptian

anatomical

hieroglyphs.

Of special

of
of a relationship
demonstration
to our intended
relevance
ideas about creation/procreation/
derived
these rationally
of
to the ankh symbol are the probable
revivification
origins
words
in writing
used ideographically
some of the hieroglyphs
of non-humans),
back (medically
such as psd back,
13t spine
S3
We add a related
and ts vertebra.1i
sign (2).
(1)

&

F39; M1ller 1965:1 #172; e.g.,

Sethe 1960: Pyr. 517 (psd).

(2)

F40; M'd~1ller
1965:II #172bis; e.g.,
).
(3wt gifts

Griffith

(3)

F38 (with three spinous processes)

Lefebvre 1955:F38; e.g.,

(4)

F37; e.g.,

Sethe 1905-09:614.7 (psd).

Newberry 1893:I,25.34

(13t).

1898: #61

for

Origin

(5)

455

Ankh

Chaine 1938:F37; see ITdller 1965:I #174; frequent in


hieratic.
Sethe 1960 (Pyr. 1547c); Pap. KahunVet. 1. 26 (Walker 1964).

(6)

(2) does not occur in writing


belongs
psd, 13t or 's3 but clearly
in
are four thoracic
vertebrae
to the group.
(1-3)
Represented
mammal (Figure
of an ungulate
1) shown in
(the number varies)
indicated
of
the
vertebrae
the
bodies
with
lateral
perspective
dorso-caudal.
the
processes
projecting
long spinous
(1, 2) and
the bull
would include
animals of origin
Possible
indigenous
ibex or hartebeest.
Signs (1) and (4)
ass,
sheep,
goat,
(cow),
from
have something
protruding
(which we assume to be a variant)
canal at the caudal end of the body of the posterthe vertebral
from both ends.
while
(2) has something
ior vertebra,
protruding
its distal
sometimes
the spinal
This is probably
cord, although
as
be
made by
such
as
a
"blob"
to
seems
might
enlarge
portion
of
the
contents
a
In
either
of
viscous
extrusion
case,
liquid.
of
to
the
to
be
related
canal appear
the vertebral
psd.
meaning
in the vertebral
canal (cereof a liquid
recognition
Egyptian
Both
in the Edwin Smith papyrus.'6
is attested
fluid)
brospinal
cord and ms3hw one who has been made a living
spirit
imsh spinal
with sign (5)
For sign (3) alternating
with (1).
are written
see the Karnak passages
quoted in Erman and Grapow Belegstellen
to
11,556.3).
(II,75
(6)

is

found

as the

"determinative"

of psd back

in

to Neith and Selket".


"its back belongs
(Sethe 1960),
Pyr. 1547c,
Sethe notes that the sign is followed
by the stroke
(ZI), which
of what
is a direct
that the hieroglyph
indicates
representation
It is, as Walker noted,
is written
(Sethe 1935-39,
1962:V,499).
of an ungulate
animal viewed in cethoracic
vertebra
a single
It shows the long spinous
or caudal perspective.
prophalic
canal which conthe vertebral
the two lateral
processes,
cess,
and
cord ("marrow") and cerebrospinal
tains
the spinal
fluid,
flared
as the slightly
correct
detail
even such an anatomically
in column 26
It occurs
end on its spinous
5).
(Figure
process
to
it
refers
where
of the Kahun veterinary
specifically
papyrus
7).
the bovine spine (Griffith
1897:pl.
and magical
that the special
infer
We therefore
physiologic
to the spine were by them
attributed
by the Egyptians
properties
With regard to
section.
with its thoracic
associated
especially
of many Egypwith the origin
consistent
the signs themselves,
are
the structures
tian anatomical
represented
hieroglyphs,
animal.
identifiable
as those of an ungulate
In this regard we note that hieroglyph
(2) above occurs in
The oca
wild
of ni3w ibex,
some spellings
species.
ungulate
currence
here and in the word 3wt offerings
may be more than a

456

Vol.

Linguistics,

Anthropological

No.

24,

It is found in connection
coincidence.
with absorbing
phonetic
the gods' creative
powers in the "Cannibal Hymn": "The King is
who knots [ts]
of offerings
the cord And who
a possessor
[btpt]
his
meal
Faulkner
himself
399cd:
1969).
[3wt]" (Pyr.
prepares
were eaten in early
that sacred bulls
It has been conjectured
We would like more direct
rituals
(Mond and Myers 1934:I,7).
such as the above would fit into
but passages
of this,
evidence
such a context.
Another

for

back

is

(7)

(Aal7,
form Aal8).
The Old Kingdom hieroM5ller 1965:1,
#594; later
an
favor
anatomical
for this sign,
do
not
origin
shapes
glyphic
an earlier
but the hieratic
forms, which may represent
shape,
Such a form,
base.
and a much shorter
show a long upright
occurs on the
from hieratic,
taken to be derived
usually
a single
of
stele
Eleventh
Tjetji,
crudely,
resembling,
Dynasty
614
1.
9:
in lateral
vertebra
(BM
thoracic
perspective
Budge
of this hierFor a very different
1914: pl. 8).
interpretation
oglyph see Montet (1925:224-5).
The

ts

hieroglyph

sign,

interest.
special
nhbt) and those of
meant in Pyr. 229:
is

(pressed)

on the

(8)

(S24)

vertebra,

knot

is

of

It is used of both the neck vertebrae


(ts n
The former is likely
the back (ts n psd).
of Atum which
"This here is the fingernail
spine

[ts

b~kw

knot

of

the

vertebrae]

of

There is a pun here on nhbt neck and the name of the


Nhbw-k3w".
4.1 above).
Nhbw-k3w (cf.
Examples of ts as spine are
serpent
lists
In
the bovine anatomical
and
2.4.
2.1
given above in 1.7,
the
cervical
tst is used to designate
by Gardiner,
published
of the
with the remainder
vertebrae
(neck) and thoracic
only,
otherwise
bovine spine identified
(Gardiner
1968:II,241*).
In
(on) are also relevant.
The uses of ts as tie,
fasten
we have ts used to bind the re1.3, etc.,
1.2,
1.1,
examples
of the
in 3.6 in the fixing
It also occurs
assembled
parts.
to knot
Note also the frequent
semen in the bones.
expression
1962:
Sethe (1935-39,
the cord, as in Pyr. 399 quoted above.
as one
action
to
this
our
attention
calls
to
234b)
Pyr.
1:201,
of ritual
significance.
is well known
cures (magically)
The use of knots to effect
(Ghalioungui
to have been practiced
Egyptians
by the ancient
it is reaare the same (ts),
As knot and vertebra
1973:18).17
the magic of the knot to the magic (i.e.,
to attribute
sonable
of the vertebra.
(1973:21)
the life-giving
force)
Ghalioungui
which
knots
these
seven
"If
the
the
pass
poison
passage:
quotes
not allow the sun to shine."
Horus has made in his body, I will
Here "poison" might also be "sperm," while the "seven knots" are
of the
Arab tribes
vertebrae.
the seven cervical
assuredly
Classical
knots
in
seven
believe
Sudan still
preventive
(cugda,
imrender him sexually
which if used to bind a man will
Cuqda),
this is an ancient
to el Safi (1970),
EgypAccording
potent.
he goes on to say that Arabic
In this connection
tian practice.

Origin

for

457

Ankh

sihr magic is related


to the ancient
of hk3w
Egyptian
practice
in
of
as
the
use
three
knots
indicated
that
knots,
e.g.,
magic,
of binding.
The seven knots may be blown
sihr is the strength
Sudanese healers,
upon by traditional
Fakki, and used to protect pregnant women.'8
knots
are
also used in the contemMagic
Sudan
to
cure
fevers
and
other
diseases.
porary
a flexible
The ts hieroglyph
resembles
bow or knot that
could be fashioned
from cloth,
leather
or reed, but it also
an ungulate's
resembles
thoracic
vertebra
viewed in dorclosely
sal perspective
Given its ritual
the
4).
(Figure
associations,
Given the
or ultimate
is the more likely
latter
origin.
origin,
that many represent
it is clear
known shapes of the hieroglyph,
substance.
It has long been rea knot formed of some flexible
that
a
number
of
in what may be
especially
hieroglyphs,
cognized
classic
not
the
their
called
object
shapes,
represent
original
of that object
used in ritual
but the imitation
(Sethe 1930:7-12).
a case in point.
The ts vertebra
This is apparently
(i.e.,
link,
connecting
boney ligature,
segment or knot of the spine)
with spells
knot used in connection
is imitated
by an amuletic
of bones,
the joining
etc.
together
regarding
It

is

possible

that

the

sign

(9)

s3

[z3]

of rope and
While it is clearly
may also be relevant.
S3
in writing
in
its
use
1470c)
(Pyr.
hobble,
protection
and
whether the rope version
is secondary
raises
the question
with
its
we
have
another
of
the
whether
spine
representation
vital
force (compare the other spine signs,
[5]
especially
above).
an apparently
evidence
This orthographic
special
supports
and very early association
of the thoracic
by the Egyptians
of
animals with the analogous
spine of ungulate
processes
procreation/revivification.
(V16)

used

5.
the

The ankh symbol.

ankh symbol,

has shown
made
ject
exposition

We come now to the


Cnh (S34).

Fischer's

consideration
treatment

of
of this

that
in early
times
this
was an obalready
dynastic
of something
such
as cloth
or reeds.
His
flexible,
centers
a beautiful
around
stone
of the
dish,
probably

First Dynasty,
with the ankh symbol in it.
A liquid
(Fischer
believes
water) was put into the loop of the ankh and then
ritual.
The ankh sympoured through the stem in a life-giving
bol is frequently
associated
with lustrations
(Fischer
1972).
As noted above, even very early hieroglyphs
be
based on
may
the stylized,
form
of
the
than
on
the
rather
ritual,
object
We are therefore
in
original
shape of the prototype.
justified
for an object
which has a loop at one end, projections
looking
to either
a straight
shank from the loop,
and which is
side,
associated
with a liquid
of life-giving
The most
properties.
obvious
answer, based upon the above information
regarding
Egyptian beliefs,
is a thoracic
vertebra
The ankh, like
5).
(Figure

458

Anthropological

Linguistics,

Vol.

24,

No. 4

a central
the vertebra,
two lateral
possesses
processes
canal,
and an elongated
a slightly
has
flared
(which
spinous
process
less exact feaThe anatomically
distal
end and a median line).
tures of sign (6) above and of the ankh symbol are the same,
and their
lateral
somewhat simplified
processes
namely their
that in preWe therefore
vertebral
less obvious
suggest
body.
was recognized
thoracic
vertebra
times an ungulate's
by
dynastic
excellence
as
the
sacred
secret?)
(and
symbol par
Egyptian
priests
of the
(powers)
properties
for the procreating/revivification
the eviof
Portions
of
life.
spine and thus for the mysteries
sexand
with creative
association
dence for the ankh symbol's
Baines
have been reviewed
by
of life
previously
ual aspects
(1975).19

thoracic
an ungulate
vertebra,
If the ankh was originally
and
rams were
Bulls
animal?
what
ungulate
the question
arises,
the
while
but,
gods,
fertility
both prominent
among Egyptian
the
ankh
the
resemble
symbol,
of
each
vertebrae
closely
thoracic
that
already
preof
including
more substantial
evidence,
body
with the
connection
seems to favor its particular
sented here,
the spine
of
the several
relationships
In noting
bull.
implied
after
death beof revivification
and its bones to the process
one is struck by the frequent
in Old Kingdom texts,
ginning
and
of both the back (and its bones)
in these texts
association
In the
2.1 above).
with bulls
quotation
e.g.,
the process
(see,
discussed
texts
by Sauneron the ram god Khnum is
sperm-from-bone
where he is the creator).
3.5
actor
the
(see
above,
frequently
is
above
1.10
in
Our citation
spoken by the Ram of Mendes, anseem to be another
would
therefore
ram
The
other fertility
god.
bone.
the
ankh
of
for the origin
candidate
is the size of an ankh symbol as
line of inquiry
A possible
source
In order for this to be a valid
held by some officiant.
ankh
one would have to assume that the ritual
of information,
of
the
sake
For
the size of its actual
prototype.
approximated
discussion
The
assume this to be the case.
argument we will
for
The average height
information.
add useful
at least
will
times
of Middle and Upper Egypt in early dynastic
inhabitants
the
On that scale
1957:88-95).
168 cm. (Seligman
approximated
Mea20 cm. or more in length.
ankh was almost always an object
of mature present-day
skeletons
of 26 mounted standing
surements
the length of the
for
cm.
to
36.9
20
a range of
cattle
provide
as high
standing
of
animals
vertebrae
or second thoracic
first
regresleast
the
squares
Using
as 167.5 cm. at the shoulder.20
=
measurefrom these
derived
+ 0.64x)
-2.92
sion equation
(y
of a length of 40.8 cm. for a thoracic
estimation
ments permits
as high as 182 cm., or approximately
of a bull standing
vertebra
anas did aurochs
(Bos primigenius)
at the shoulder
six feet,
the
until
at
least
in
Egypt
cattle
domestic
of
present
cestors
horn
has
boney
skull
aurochs
extant
One
end of the Old Kingdom.
circumin
cm.
43.8
horns
themselves)
cores (not the much larger
and Ulrik
and 98 cm. between tips21
91 cms. in length
ference,
in
Museum
Copenhagen
Zoologiske
M4hl of the Universitetets

Origin

for

Ankh

459

of the highest
informed us that the length
thoracic
verkindly
there
is
44.5
tebra from an old aurochs bull skeleton
preserved
vertebrae
of rams are considerably
cm! The thoracic
smaller
bull.
than those of the smallest
in which the spithe
opening or vertebral
canal,
Moreover,
in even a small bovine vertebra
the vertenal cord lies,
(e.g.,
is wide enough
bra in Figure 5 that is only 20 cm. in length),
and carry as the ankh symbol was
two fingers
for a man to insert
The vertebral
canal of the
carried.
That of the ram is not.
wild aurochs bull was, of course,
than that
considerably
larger
of the ankh symbol suggest
shown in Figure 5 and many portrayals
if the bone itself
was once carried
chiefs
by predynastic
that,
its vertebral
canal was enlarged
or filor priests,
by scraping
to
obtain
the
marrow
of
its
vertebral
(eat?)
ing, possibly
body,
to hold (Figure
to make the ankh even easier
6) or to deliberthe size of its magical
sperm-marrow contents,
exaggerate
ately
done too in exaggerated
of the
as was sometimes
portrayals
in the Early Dyas of Min.
There is too great variation
penis,
forms of ankh for us to use them as evidence
nastic
for the size
One must assume that at this period they alof the opening.
the ritual
object(s).22
ready represented
Some iconographic
The Metropolitan
Mu6.
implications.
dish discussed
illustrates
our concept
of
seum schist
by Fischer
Other fruitful
into the iconoankh iconographically.
essays
field
confined
to
may be made, but they must be narrowly
graphic
We therefore
to be convincing.
return to the
clear contexts
in which the snake clearly
snake-beetle-sun
sequence,
represents
4 of the text citations
There
the vertebrae
above).
(see Section
on this sequence,
are a number of iconographic
variations
of
the following.
We have also restricted
which we have selected
to what we consider
the key icons for our purpose.
ourselves
1.
Snake sequences
beetle
snake
sun
1.1. boat
snake
beetle
sun
1.2.
ithyphallic
Osiris
snake
beetle
sun
1.3.
2.
Djed sequences
2.1. boat
beetle
sun
djed
2.2.
beetle
sun
djed
ankh
sun
2.3.
djed
djed
2.4.
falcon-sun
Cartouche ring sequences
3.
beetle
sun
3.1. boat
ring
sun
3.2.
ring
beetle
4.
Shorter versions without snake, ankh or djed
4.1. boat
beetle
sun
These are exemplified
in the following:
1.1. Amduat, Hour Twelve (Figure 2).
1.2. Papyrus of Her-Uben B. The four sons of Horus stand in the snake's
coils.
The snake extends under the "Moundof Khepri," on which lies
an ithyphallic Osiris.
Above him is Khepri and the sun disc (Piankoff and
Rambova1957:76 and pl. 2 far left).

460

Anthropological

Linguistics,

Vol.

24,

No. 4

1.3. Papyrus of Pa-Neb-en-Kemet-Nekht (Piankoff and Rambova1957:pl. 25).


Book of Caverns, Sixth Division, Tombof Ramses VI (Piankoff and Rambova
Snake encircling sun with beetle in it:
1954:124 and fig. 20 [opp. 117]).
and
Rambova1957:pl. 20).
Bak-en-Mut
of
(Piankoff
Papyrus
and Rambova1957:63 and fig. 48,
of
2.1.
(Piankoff
Khonsu-Renep
Papyrus
of
Stela
our
Ptolemy V (Mondand Myers 1934:III, pl.
Figure 7).
pl. 11;

40).

2.2. Papyrus of Khonsu-Renep (Piankoff and Rambova1957:125 and p1. 11).


Paser Chapel (Schott 1957:20).
2.3. Papyrus of Ani (Budge 1913:pl. 2; see our Figure 8). Greenfield
Papyrus (Budge 1912:pl. 4).
2.4. Papyrus of Hunefer (Budge 1899:pl. 1). With sun disc, Theban Tomb
(Piankoff and Rambova1957: 41, fig. 26).
3.1. Sarcophagus in Turin (Piankoff and Rambova1957:64, fig. 52).
3.2. Sarcophagi in British Museumand Metropolitan Museum(Piankoff and
Rambova1957:35, figs. 17b [our Figure 91, 18).
4.1.
Papyrus of Anhai (Budge 1899:pl. 8).
who is usually
of the deceased,
the presence
The boat represents
He or she may be otherwise
in it.
repretraveling
depicted
role
the
or
presumed.
sented,
of the same sequence
variants
(and
As the above are clearly
same
the
is
seen
be
could
performing
more
djed
found),
many
the backbone with its
as the snake,
providing
function
i.e.,
It is reasonankh
have
also
We
involved.
core.24
life-giving
are
ankh)
all
three
symbolic
that
assume
(snake,
djed,
able to
The
desired
the
examples
effect
and
regeneration.
of the spine
is
also rethis
that
with the cartouche
ring (Enw, V9) suggest
of
this
version
The
of the same concept.
rope
presentative
forebear
We
of a ritual
is again suggestive
object.
hieroglyph
time.
at this
ultimate
on its possible
origin
to speculate
on the
literature
controversial,
There is considerable,
is it
times
in
late
on
is
as
there
Only
ankh.25
djed (dd, R11),
idenused in writing
psd back, but there is a strong tradition
This is genof Osiris.
the
as
it
especially
backbone,
tifying
needs reexambut
the
evidence
by Egyptologists,
rejected
erally
and 1.11
1.7
evidence
(see
The
quotations
ination.
literary
of
use
The
as
late.
djed paraldiscounted
are
above)
generally
hieroThe
the
tradition.
snake
Egyptian
lel to the
supports
not
is
recognized
readily
usual
its
of
allographs
glyph in any
of
kind
the
shows
precisely
its
but
iconography
as a backbone,
as
such
cult
of a secondary
symbol,
one would
expect
variation
of
a bundle
like
looks
which
a djed
If we find
in ankh.
we have
used
to have
for
the
than
Egyptians
is more natural
what
reeds,
straw
the
phalcompare
(One
may
a
cult
object?
in making
reeds
straw
representthe
and
figures
of the
Polynesians
lic
symbols
a
If we find
1887:89].)
in India
[Campbell
and female
ing male

development.
it too is a natural
with multiple
capitals,
pillar
of
representations
If, on the other hand, we go to the earliest
djed, we find that it looks far more like a segment of spine
(Kaplony 1963:
10,12)
(Figures
than a bundle of reeds or a pillar
also the
Compare
Fischer
15,16).
1972:figs.
746,747;
figs.
III,

for

Origin

Ankh

461

forms in Mtller
hieroglyphic
#541(Dyn 4), II, #541 (Dyn
1965:I,
#541 (Dyn 25), where the last
is most like a spine in
18), III,
The early
could be interpreted
11).
allographs
as
shape (Figure
a close
vertebrae
several
examination
of the
plus an extension,
of the texts.
combination
The extension
spine-penis
may extend
(Figure
into what appears to be ankh (Figure
10) or tit
12i V39
If the tit symbol is a ritual
after
S34).
object
originally
the vulva,
we have in Figure 12 an Egyptian
representing
On the other hand, the djed
to the Saiva linga/yoni.26
parallel
and sacrum of an
vertebrae
lumbar
last
three
the
could represent
the terminal
is
simply
the
extension
in which case
ungulate,
in the bull,
note
that,
We should also
of the latter.
portion
vertebra
fused sacral
or last
of its fifth
the terminal
portion
the
of
portrayals
13), as in the more standard
flares
(Figure
8, 11).
base of the djed (Figures
is not
sequences
The role of ankh in our set of parallel
beetle
the
to
replace
it
appears
cases
In
some
clear.
entirely
as
be
it
to
take
functioning
also
We
and
2.3).
might
2.2
(cf.
associit
is
case
In
Osiris.
closely
any
the
does
ithyphallic
[Cnh] as the Beetle
ated with djed.
Compare, "may you live
Here ankh
a
as
stable
(Pyr. 2107c).
dd-pillar"
[dd]
[Cnh] being
on
Ankh
djed is a
parallel.
and djed are clearly
poetically
if one is
is
natural
8), which
(Figure
grouping
very frequent
to
(note that ts does not refer
spine
the lumbar plus sacral
and the other a "knot" of the thoracic
sections)
these spinal
of the thoracic
a
vertebra
of
out
spine (ankh) through
spine
One
is reborn the sun.
cord of the lower back (djed)
the spinal
under
ankh
with
(or
snakes
near)
the
numerous
also
notice
should
to djeda parallel
heads in New Kingdom iconography,
their
ankh.2

ankh,

djed

with the djed


of the ankh vertebra
association
The natural
was
the
that
certain
S40) scepter
spine makes it virtually
(w3s,
to the
In addition
associated.
closely
something
represents
formula "I have given you all ankh, djed [and] was, all
standard
of
one has the combination
(and variants),
(inb)"
well-being
and was

held

by a deity,

sometimes

with

the

ankh

at

We are
in a revivifying
ritual.28
the nose of the deceased
looks remarkto find that this scepter
not surprised
therefore
on dissection
(see Figure 14).
penis,
ably like a bull's
In

gods.

the Tomb of Seti


same tomb
In the

I djed
a serpent

is

called
is called

the

of
father
n
Cnh
s3-t3

the
snake

of

1886: Appen.,
(Lefibure
pl. 3; Snake, pt. 4, pl. 46).
reof ankh assume a closer
of the origin
Other discussions
origin
forms and its ultimate
between its familiar
lationship
these
to refute
It is not necessary
than we consider
likely.
of our
inherent
show
the
to
probability
but
only
interpretations
we have done.
This we believe
construct.
own formal/semantic
symbol remained
that the nature of the original
We also believe
the students
not
unreasonably,
unknown so long simply because,
in veterinary
anatomy.
have not been versed
of the subject
are far-reaching.
of these identifications
The ramifications
been
for what have hitherto
a raison
They have provided
d'etre
life

462

Anthropological

Linguistics,

Vol.

24,

No. 4

At the same time they emphasize


the known pracicons.
bizarre
Each
has
its
the
of
symbol
Egyptians.
purpose.
ticality
of this inquiry
in terms
We may also summarize the results
of
that
the
of
first
understanding
development
objective,
of our
the
ancient
for
basis
healing
among
Egyptians:
a rational
from the cited
and related
texts
eviIt appears probable
derived
their
very early
physiologipriests
dence that Egyptian
from
of the male role in procreation
chiefly
cal conception
of
dissections
made during sacrificial
observations
anatomical
for
their
and
emulated
admired
they especially
animals
bulls,
This rationally
explanaacquired
and bravery.
strength
libido,
bull's
the
that
conclusions
arose from
origin
tion for life's
with its
as well as physically
functionally
was
connected
penis
was
bones
(the
marrow of its
gelatinous
that the white,
spine,
of
the
the
"marrow"
as
cord
the
that
and
spinal
of) sperm
origin
colthe many-boned vertebral
support,
skeletal
body's central
or
magic
"essence"
life's
which
through
umn, was the channel
into its penis.
discharged
between bull and
in many other contexts
Frequent analogies
this
to
key three-way
ample parallels
man and bull and god offer
informahalf
the
which provided
priests
analogy,
reproductive
a god afas
a pharoah's
revivification
to explain
tion required
rebirths
god's successive
as well as the sun (bull)
ter death,
in the heavens.
was proapparently
cycle
The other half of a death-rebirth
and
anatomical
physiological
and
complementary
vided by a second
and "snake-asspine-semen-life
between the bull's
similarity
as a
drawn
been
have
originally
must
which
spine"-venom-rebirth
mechanism
a
and
of
life
analogy between the mechanism
rational
in Egypt.
Together
a common experience
death
by snakebite,
of
alternate
death
that
might
a
belief
for
basis
the
these provided
this
of
religiously
Dually symbolic
with rebirth.
cyclically
head)
(cobra
uraeus
the
was
concept
important
and politically
the
and
of the pharoah
worn upon the brow (top of the spine)
would
It
(base of the spine).
to his kilt
attached
tail
bull's
represents
cycle
erroneous
physiologic
appear that this albeit
comparathrough
the
of
acquisition
instance
known
the earliest
a theoof
surmises
and
analogical
observations
tive biological
an essential
a bodily
process,
for understanding
basis
retical
of healing.
practice
of a rational
to development
prerequisite

Origin

for

Ankh

463
Figure 1

464

Anthropological
Figure

Linguistics,
2

Vol.

24,

No.

Origin

for

Ankh

465

Figure

Figure

466

Anthropological

Figure 5

Linguistics,

Vol.

24,

No.

Origin

for Ankh

467

Figure 6

468

Anthropological

Linguistics,

Vol.

Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 9

24,

No. 4

Origin

for Ankh

Figure 10

469
Figure 11

Figure 12

470

Anthropological

Linguistics,

Figure 14

cI

Vol.

24,

No.

for

Origin

471

Ankh

CITED
WORKS
Aldred, C.
Hill.

Egypt to the End of the Old Kingdom. New York: McGraw-

1965.

1974. The Book of the Dead or Going Forth


Allen, Thomas George (transl.).
by Day. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [BD]
Baines, John. 1975. CAnkh-sign, belt and penis sheath.
altdgyptischen Kultur 3:1-24.
Baumann, H. and D. Westermann. 1962.
Paris: Payot.
l'Afrique.

Studien zur

Les peuples et les civilisations

de

In Handbuch der Orientalistik


Boyce, Mary. 1975. A history of Zoroastrianism.
Leiden: E.J. Brill.
1.8.1.2.2A.
pp. 130-46.
1864. Ueber Aussprache und Bedeutung des Knotens [V17]
Brugsch, Heinrich.
fur aegyptische Sprache und
und seiner Variante [V16]. Zeitschrift
Altertumskunde 2:1-7,13-19.
Buck, Adriaan de. 1935-61.
sity of Chicago Press.

The Egyptian Coffin Texts.


Vol. I-VII.
[CT].

1898. The Book of the Dead.


Budge, E.A. Wallis.
Trench, Trubner. [Text].
.

1899.

Netchemet.

London: Kegan Paul,

of the Papyri of Hunefer,

Facsimilies

London: British

British

London:

1912.

The Greenfield

1913.

The Book of the Dead, Papyrus of Ani.

d 1914.

ish Museum.

Egyptian

Papyrus.

Sculptures

in the British

1973 [1911].

Osiris

and the Egyptian

Campbell, Robert Allen.

1887.

Phallic

Dover.

Vol. I.

Chaine, M. 1938.

Worship.

Notions de langue egyptienne.

d'Osiris
Chassinat, Emile. 1966-68. Le
Mystere
Orientale.
Francais
Institut
d'Arch'eologie
Childe, V.G.
Norton.

1953.

Anhai, Karasher and

Museum.

Warner.

Univer-

Chicago:

Museum.

London:

Museum.

Resurrection.

St. Louis:
Paris:

London:

Brit-

New York:

R.A. Campbell.

Paul Geuthner.

au mois de Khoiak.
Vol. I-II.

New Light on the Most Ancient East.

Lee

Philip

Cairo:

New York: W.W.

Cornford, Francis M. 1937. Plato's Cosmology: The Timaeus of Plato.


don: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Lon-

472

Anthropological

Vol.

Linguistics,

Davis, Theodore M., Gaston Maspero and George Daressy.


Harmhabi and Touatankhamanou. London: Constable.

1912.

No.

24,

The Tombs of

Deines, Hildegard von and Wolfhart Westendorf. 1961-62. W'*rterbuch der


medizinischen Texte. Berlin:
[W'drterAkademie-Verlag. Vol. I-II.
buch].
Deng, F.M. 1971. Tradition and Modernization, a Challenge for Law Among
the Dinka of the Sudan. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Grammatik. Rome: Pontifical

Edel, Elmar. 1955-64. Altagyptische


Vol. I-II.
Institute.

Biblical
New York:

Epstein, H. 1971. The Origin of the Domestic Animals of Africa.


Africana. Vol. I.
Demotisches Glossar.

Erichsen, W. 1954.

Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard.

[1926-40].
Erman, Adolf and HermanGrapow. `
Berlin:
Akademie-Verlag.
Sprache.

1969. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts.


[Pyr.].
Vol. I-II.

Faulkner, R.O.
don Press.

The Ancient

1973-78.

Wdrterbuch der *dgyptischen

Vol. I-III.

and Phillips.

Egyptian

Coffin

Oxford:

Claren-

Warminster:

Texts.

Aris

[CT].

Fischer, Henry G. 1972. Some emblematic uses of hieroglyphs with particular reference to an archaic ritual vessel.
Metropolitan MuseumJournal
in
Ancient
in
the
5:5-23.
Egypt
Metropolitan MuseumJour(Reprinted
Vol.
1977).
1-11, [1968-76],
nal,
Frankfort, H. 1948.
Chicago Press.

Kingship and the Gods.

The RamesseumPapyri.

Gardiner, Alan H.

1955.

Egyptian

1957.

Chicago:

Grammar. 3rd ed.

University

Oxford:

London:

of

Unversity Press.

Oxford University

Press.
.

1968 [1947].

University

Ancient

Egyptian

London:

Oxford

Press.

ST. Eric Peet and Jaroslav

Part I.

Onomastica.

Cernp.

1952.

London: Egypt Exploration Society.

The inscriptions

of Sinai2

Ghalioungui, P. 1973. The House of Life, Per Ankh: Magic and Medical
Science in Ancient Egypt. Amsterdam: Israel.
Ginzberg, Louis. 1947 [1909]. The Legends of The Jews.
Jewish Publication Society of America.
delphia:

7 vols.

Phila-

for

Origin

Ankh

473

Grapow, Hermann. 1935. Untersuchungen Uber die altagyptischen medizinischen Papyri. Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen-Aegyptischen
Gesellschaft 40.1.
J.C. Hinrichs.
Vol. I.
Leipzig:
.

1954.

Grundriss

Akademie-Verlag.

der Medizin der alten

1964.
Graves, Robert and Raphael Patai.
sis.
Garden City: Doubleday.
Griffith, F. LI. 1897. Hieratic
Bernard Quaritch. Vol. I.
.
Fund.

1898.

Harris, J.R.,
Press.

ed.

A Collection

1971.

Berlin:

Agypter.

Vol. I.

Hebrew Myths:

The Book of Gene-

Papyri from Kahun and Gurob. London:

of Hieroglyphs.

The Legacy of Egypt.

Helck, Wolfgang and Eberhard Otto, eds.


Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

London:

Egypt Exploration

2nd ed.

Oxford:

Clarendon

Lexikon der Agyptologie.

1975-.

Hornung, Erik. 1963. Das Amduat, Die Schrift des verborgenen Raumes.
Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
Vol. I-II.
[Amduat].
.

1981.

Zu den Schlussszenen

der UnterweltsbUcher.

des Deutschenarch'dologischen Instituts.


Huffman, Ray.

1929.

Abteilung Kairo.
Berlin:

Nuer-English Dictionary.

Mitteilungen

37:217-26.

Dietrich Reimer.

James, T.G.H. 1961. Hieroglyphic Texts From Egyptian Stelae.


British Museum. Vol. I., 2nd ed.
1963.
Kaplony, Peter.
Otto Harrassowitz.

Die Inschriften

London:

der dgyptischen Friihzeit.

Wiesbaden:

Keswani, N.H. 1963. The concepts of generation, reproduction, evolution


and human development as found in the writings of Indian (Hindu) scholars during the early period (up to 1200 A.D.) of Indian history.
Bulletin of the National Institute of Science, India 21:206-55.
Kramer, Samuel. 1945. Enki and Ninhursag.
of Oriental Research, Supplement 1.
Lee, HD.P.

(transl.).

Lefibure, M.G. 1886.


Laroux.

1965.

Plato.

Bulletin

Timaeus.

Le tombeau de S~ti
Ier.

of the American Schools

Baltimore:
MMAFC
2.1.

Lefebvre, Gustave. 1955. Grammairede l'8gyptien


Institut Francais d'Archeologie Orientale.

classique.

Penguin.
Paris:

Ernest

Cairo:

474

Anthropological

Mahi,

Tigani el.
Journal 7(3).

Warriors, and Cattle.

Priests,
Press.

n.d.

24,

Food customs and cultural

Univer-

Berkeley:

Al Hakeem

taboos.

Wien:

Marmo, E. 1874. Reisen im Gebiete des blauen und weissen Nil.


C. Gerhold's Sohn.
Hieratische

Midller, Georg. 1965 [1927].


Vol. I-III.
Zeller.

Mond, Robert and Oliver H. Myers.


Egypt Exploration Society.

Osnabruck: Otto

Pal'dographie.

London:

The Bucheum, Vol. I-III.

1934.

No. 4

the Religion of the Dinka.

Lienhardt, G. 1961. Divinity and Experience,


London: Oxford University Press.
Lincoln, Bruce. 1981.
sity of California

Vol.

Linguistics,

1925. Les scenes de la vie privee dans les tombeaux


Montet, Pierre.
de
egyptiens
l'ancien empire. Paris: Istra.
Morgan, J. de 1895. Fouilles
Adolphe Holzhausen.
Newberry, Percy E.
Fund.

1893.

N Dahchour. Mars-Juin 1894.

Beni Hasan.

Part I.

Vienna:

London: Egypt Exploration


Mainz:

Osing, Jurgen. 1976. Die Nominalbildung des Agyptischen.


von Zabern. Vol. I-II.

Philipp

Piankoff, Alexandre and N. Rambova. 1954. The Tombof Ramesses VI.


Billingen Series XL.1. New York: Pantheon Books.
.

1957.

Pantheon.
Rostand, J.
Safi,

1936.

Mythological

Papyri.

Bollingen

La formation de l'tre.

Series

Paris:

Ahmedel.
1970. Native Medicine in the Sudan.
Research Unit, University of Khartoum.

Sauneron, Serge. 1960a. Le germe dans les os.


Francais d'Archeologie Orientale 60:19-27.
.

1960b.

The Priests

of Ancient

Egypt.

XL.3.

New York:

Hachette.
Khartoum: Sudan

Bulletin

de l'Institut

New York:

Grove Press.

1957. Wall Scenes from the Mortuary Chapel of the


Schott, Sietfried.
Mayor Paser at Medinet Habu. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations 30. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Schwabe, Calvin W. 1958. Notes on ancient Egyptian veterinary
Auburn Veterinarian 15:1-6.

practices.

for

Origin

Ankh

475

Schwabe, Calvin W. 1978. Cattle, Priests, and Progress in Medicine.


Spink Lectures on Comparative Medicine. Minneapolis:
University
Minnesota Press.
and Isaac

Makuet Kuojok.

Practices

1981.

and beliefs

4th
of

of the

traditional Dinka healer in relation to provision of modern medical


and veterinary services for the southern Sudan. HumanOrganization.
40:231-38.
Seligman, C.G.
Sethe, Kurt.

Urkunden der 18.

1905-09.

1930.

1935-39,

und Ulteste

Urgeschichte

F.A. Brockhaus.

1962.

1960.

"ibersetzung

Dynastie.
Religion

[1908-22].

George Olm. Vol. I-III.

Leipzig:

J.C. Hinrichs.

der Agypter.

Leipzig:

and Kommentar zu den altagy^ptischen

Hamburg: J.J. Augustin.

Pyramidentexte.

Press.

London: Oxford University

Races of Africa.

1957.

Die altagyptische

Vol. 1-4. Vol. 5-6.

Pyramidentexte.

[Komm.].

Hildesheim:

Steuer, R.O. and J.B.C.M. Saunders. 1959. Ancient Egyptian and Cnidian
Medicine. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Waddell, W.G. (transl.).
Harvard University

1940.
Press.

Manetho.

Walker, R.E. 1964. A determinative


Archaelogy 50:177.
Wood, J.B.

1897.

Bible Animals.

Loeb Classical

of psd 'back'.
Philadelphia:

Library.

Cambridge:

Journal of Egyptian
Bradley, Garretson.

Yoyotte, Jean. 1962. Les os et la semence masculine a propos d'une theorie


Bulletin d l'Institut
Francais d'Archeologie
physiologique egyptienne.
Orientale

Zimmels, H.J.
ston.

61:139-46.

1952.

Magicians, Theologians and Doctors.

London: E. Gold-

NOTES
1. The authors wish to express their appreciation to EdmundS. Meltzer
for reading and commenting on the manuscript. The present text, while profof the authors.
iting from his comments, is entirely the responsibility
2. By rational basis for healing is meant anatomical knowledge of the
body's normal structure and physiological knowledge of its normal function
so as to permit descriptions of abnormalities and symptomatic and systemic
ways to counteract them.
3. References such as F45 are to the Sign List in Gardiner 1957 unless
otherwise attributed.

476

Anthropological

Vol.

Linguistics,

24,

No.

4. For the hieroglyphic texts see: Pyramid Texts: Sethe (1960); Coffin Texts: Buck (1935-61); Book of the Dead: Budge (1898).
5. The entire land of Egypt is considered to be the body of Osiris,
each province being one of the members of the god (Chassinat 1966-68: I,

195).

6.
7.
paper.

For Chassinat's

translations

of [i]3t

We thank Paul Ghalioungui for first

and psd see 1966-68:

I, 372.

our attention

to this

directing

8. The study of oral tradition has given us greater confidence in the


ability of man to transmit ideas for long lengths of time in unwritten form.
An apparent Egyptian example is the belief that Thoth invented writing.
This is assumed to be what the Egyptians thought, but the earliest datable
statements to this effect are late and non-Egyptian (Plato, Phaedrus 274D
and Sanchuniatun).
9. For Hornung's translation
p. 149 (# 606).

see II, pp. 188-90.

For

nlwt

see II,

10. For hr by see Edel (1955-64: II, 395). For hr with cf. Pyr. 894a
hr k3.f with Z7is ku (Sethe 1935-39, 1962: VI, 196).
11. On ka vs. ku see Osing (1976: II, 380). The present writers preIn any case
fer to withhold judgment and use the cuneiform transcription.
k3.
Greek ke:r
or
written
like
Cf.
*k-r(-)
it was something
kk-i(-), being
deceased
of
persons).
spirit (usually
12. Sethe is probably correct not only in connecting Pyr. 681d with
443a but in translating "Die Schlange, Voegelfang mit dem Phallus" (1935-39,
1962: III, 245-47), as against Faulkner (1969:128) "festal of Phallus."
The image is apparently that of the snake's head as similar to the glans
(von Deines and Westendorf 1961Comparealso C3C Samen, Giftstoff
penis.
62: I, 129-33) and the use of the hieroglyph spitting (D26) for mwsemen
Possibly related is the use of saliva in healing and
(Erichsen 1954:154).
blessing.
13. The ancients commonly equated the bone-enclosed
cord substances with the marrow of other bones.

brain and spinal

14. On Genesis 2.23: Although noted by Sheil in 1915, it was Samuel


Kramer's work which drew general attention to the fact that Sumerian TI
See Kramer (1945) and later works.
means both rib and to make live.
15. Medically psd is used for the humanback, ss for animal backs and
13t for the spine (Deines and Westendorf 1961-62 sub voce).
Of special interest,
too, is the passage
16. CGhalioungui (1973:40).
emissions with fracseminal
and
(S31) in this papyrus associating priapism
association
a
correct
(Ghalioungui 1973:
tures of the cervical vertebrae,
126).

Origin

for

477

Ankh

17. An example is the magic spell in Papyrus Ramses X: "To be recited


Protection of the members
over a strip (?) of cloth made with two knots...
against every male snake and every female snake" Gardiner (1955:13).
18. El Safi (1970), partially
by the present authors.

from el Mahi (n.d.)

the latter

not seen

of the ankh symbol with the un19. The senior author's identification
in
occurred
thoracic
vertebra
1961, during a period in which he was
gulate
engaged in Kenya, the Sudan and Egypt in simultaneous studies on diseases
of African ungulates, current Nilotic folk veterinary practices and ancient
has
Egyptian veterinary medicine (see Schwabe 1958). This identification
been mentioned in passing in Schwabe 1978.
20. We are grateful for these measurements to the following veteriR.C. Williams, Tuskegee Institute;
H.E. Evans, Cornell
nary anatomists:
University; G.R. Bratton, University of Tennessee; W.C. Wagner, University
R.M. Liptrap, University of Guelph; J.H. Venable, Colorado
of Illinois;
State University; R.P. Worthman, Washington State University; C.D. Diesem,
Ohio State University; P. Dodson, University of Pennsylvania; J.K. Malone,
University of Minnesota; R.F. Sis, Texas A&MUniversity; H.R. Oyer, Michigan State University; A.E. Marshall, University of Georgia; L.F. Faulkin,
University of California; L.E. Freeman, Oklahoma State University; W.K. Latshaw, University of Saskatchewan; J. Pierard, Universite de Montreal and
R. Dembinski, Iowa State University; and also to M. Pappaioanou of University of California, Davis.
21. See Wood (1897).
by Epstein (1971:227).

The largest

known aurochs measurements are given

22. We have also explored a whole line of collateral


supporting evidence for ankh as bull's vertebra from the beliefs and practices of presentpeoples which space considerations prevent
day Nilotic "cattle-culture"
for their use, see among others, Frank(In justification
elaborating here.
fort [1948:162 ff.], Aldred [1965:21,50], Childe [1953:7] and Schwabe and
As a few examples, in passing, that relate especially to
Kuojok [1981].)
this thesis, current African beliefs that the male contributes the fetus'
bones associate this power originally with the sacred bull (Baumannand
Westermann 1962:142), the Dinka sometimes apply their word aciek creator to
cattle (Deng 1971:243) and, in some of their traditional hymns, associate
including rain (e.g., "Garang, son of Deng [both
bulls, sky and fertility
fallen from above...,
has
leading divinities],
come, diffuse and bring coolabove" (Lienhardt 1961:
the
creator
has
fallen
from
ness.
The great bull,
the centre and sire of the herd, is associated with
86-8)).
"The...bull,
The bull represents virility"
man of the camp....
(Lienhardt
the...senior
Similarly, the Nuer called their largest and finest bull
1961:17,20).
"guardian genius," using a word also meaning "god" and "thunder" (Marmo
Considerable evidence also exists that equivalents of
1874:343, 349-50).
and
are
still believed in by some of these peoples (Schwabe
ku
ba
Egyptian
In this connection, the Nuer word jok usually translated as
1978:56-8).
ghost
i.e.,

also, quite amazingly, means back and bones of the cervical


neck vertebrae
(Huffman 1929:21).

region,

478

Anthropological

Vol.

Linguistics,

24,

No. 4

23. See also Piankoff and Rambova (1954:312-16, Fig. 87). Hornung
(1981) has recently discussed the final frame of the underworld sequences,
the one in which the snake-beetle-sun appears in Amduat. The variety is
he provides.
even greater than the illustrations
24. The Double Bull platform or rod also performs this function but
is not part of the twelfth hour activity.
25.

See the relevant

articles

in Helck and Otto (1975).

26. Djed is often together with tit.


bova 1957: pl. 7).
27. E.g.,
pl. 23.

Djed over tit

(Piankoff and Ram-

Lef'ebure 1886: pt. 1, pl. 27 et passim; ncw with ankh, pt. 1,

"Given all was, djed, ankh,


28. E.g., the Snofru inscription at Sinai:
of
heart
(?) forever"; Gardiner, Peet and
well-being ('snb), expansion
No. 5, pl. 2. The scepter is seen in Sinai 89 (AmenemhetIII),
Cerny 1952:
pl. 25.
OF FIGURES
NOTESONANDSOURCES
Figure 1. Skeleton and penis of the bull showing
(1) the four largest thoracic vertebrae seen in ideograms psd and
3W for "spine" and "offerings,"
(2) the mesehtiu bovine fore-limb, the bone of which covers (protects) these largest thoracic vertebrae,
(3) the penis, with its sigmoid flexure and attached ensheathed
retractor penis muscle, whose anatomical origin is shown on the ventral surface of the first two coccygeal (tail) vertebrae.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.
153, fig. 37.

Piankoff and Rambova1954:

fig.

The Double-Bull Platform or Rod.

87.
Piankoff and Rambova1954:

Figure 4. A bovine thoracic vertebra viewed in dorsal perspective as


The spinous process is the central oval extending toward
in the ideogram ts.
the viewer, while the lateral processes extend on each side.
Figure 5. The second bovine thoracic vertebra viewed with the spinous
Note
process down and the vertebral canal between the lateral processes.
median
and
the
ridge
the
of
distal
sharp
the flared
processes
portions
(line) on the spinous process.
vertebra with the vertebral

Figure 6.
by filing.

A bovine thoracic

Figure 7.
48 (p. 61).

2.1 Boat-Djed-Beetle-Sun.

canal enlarged

Piankoff and Rambova1957: fig.

Origin

for

479

Ankh

Figure 8.

2.3 Djed-Ankh-Sun.

Figure 9.

3.2 Ring-Beetle-Sun.

(p. 35).

Redrawn from Budge 1973:I1, 51.


Piankoff and Rambova1957: fig.

Figure 10.

Djed in Ankh. After Fischer 1977: fig.

Figure 11.

Djed.

Figure 12.

Djed in Tit.

Figure 13.

Sacrum and last three lumbar vertebrae of the bull.

17b

15 (p. 39).

After M'dller 1965.


After Fischer 1977: fig.

16 (p. 39).

a. Was scepter (Morgan 1895: fig. 223, p. 96), and


b. dissected bull's penis with attached insertions of the
The twisted and angled
paired retractor penis and ischiocavernosus muscles.
and
is
about
8
in
the
cm.
entire
length
glans penis
penis about 1 meter.
Figure 14.