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Some Remarks on the Sky in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts
This paper will scrutinise, with reference to contextual arguments, a linguistic image of the sky as pictured by the Egyptians in the world's oldest religious texts - the Pyramid Texts. This is an image scattered in words and phrases, in language. It will discuss how the Egyptians described the sky, celestial spheres and stars, and what or who the sky represented according to their beliefs. How did it come into being? What name or names did the sky have? Was it personified? Furthermore, what was the sky to which the deceased pharaoh was ascending? The most significant aspect, however, is how different and original the Egyptian picturing of the sky was from those of other ancient civilisations. In addition the paper will attempt to define a linguistic and religious image of the celestial domain and cosmological correlation of elements of the created world, sky and Earth, as expressed through and in the Egyptian language of the religious texts. It is a worldview reconstituted from verbal messages and pictures recorded and preserved in language.