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Osiris - A real Pharaoh?

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Author Topic: Osiris - A real Pharaoh?  (Read 895 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2015, 03:08:12 am »

For dynastic Egypt, the origins of Osiris (as mythical father of Horus) are linked to the introduction of barley into Egypt, which occurred ca. 4000 BC. 

Osiris was most closely connected with barley agriculture.  But symbolically,  Osiris also represented germination of any kind throughout the land -- beginning from the time when barley was introduced into Egypt, in the Naqada periods, ca 4000 BC.

While barley was spreading rapidly throughout Egypt (and becoming the major grain crop in Egypt), Hierakonpolis (Nekken) quickly became the largest city in Egypt, by 3500 BC. At that time, Hierakonpolis's population was swelled by bands of people migrating into the Nile valley from outlying areas.
Hierakonpolis was a city whose totem was the falcon, personified by the falcon-god Horus. 

Based on the barley-revolution that was taking place throughout Egypt during the Naqada periods (and the rapid growth of Horus's city Hierakonpolis) -- it is entirely fitting that Egypt eventually developed a mythology where Horus was called the "son" of (barley) Osiris. 

quote about Osiris as both a barley-god and an agricultural germination god, from:

Osiris, however, did not return to this world but became king of the underworld. His death and revival were linked to the land's fertility. In a festival celebrated during the inundation, damp mud figures of Osiris were planted with barley, whose germination stood for the revival both of the god and of the land.

quote about bringing barley to Egypt from the place where barley was originally domesticated:

...The earliest domesticated barley (9,500–8,400 yBP) also had two-rowed spikes; cultivation of six-rowed barley started later, with estimated dates ranging from 8,800 to 8,000 yBP (1, 11). Around 7,000–6,000 yBP, when barley was cultivated in the alluvial soils of Mesopotamia and, later, in the soils of Lower Egypt, six-rowed barley soon became dominant, replaced two-rowed barley, and established itself as the most important crop for Near Eastern Neolithic civilizations (1, 11,12).

quote about a) Egypt's INDIGENOUS MILLET; B) introducing barley into Egypt ca 4000 BC; and c) that barley quickly more-than-doubled the grain production in Egypt; from:
....Wild millet and wild sorghum (Sorghum vulgare, also referred to as Kaffir corn or durra) were indigenous to Egypt..... 
[note:  Geese eat millet; and geese were the symbol of Geb, the ruler of Egypt who preceeded Osiris in Heliopolitan cosmology.  Today millet is only sold by pet stores and used as bird-feed. ] 
In legend the cultivation of cereals was introduced into Egypt during the mythical reign of King Osiris. The myth of Osiris claims that after his death his body was dismembered and scattered throughout Egypt. This could represent the sowing or winnowing of the grain. The death and resurrection of Osiris could symbolize the annual harvest, in which the cereal is destroyed and sowing, in which the seed is buried, then a few months later the cereal returns from the dead. In mythical terms this is a resurrection and a regeneration.
Historically cereals were first cultivated in the Fayum region of Egypt (just below the Nile delta) around 5,000 B.C. This was triggered by the introduction of domesticated animals from Mesopotamia. These animals were draughted into tilling the land and threshing the corn.
B) Type of cereals
The main cereals grown were barley and wheat, but there is some doubt whether millet was grown in pre-dynastic Egypt as the millet found might have been wild millet. Sorghum was also cultivated and used by poorer people for bread and cakes. Originally only emmer wheat was grown but around 4,000 B.C. barley was introduced and soon accounted for about sixty percent of the corn harvest. In ancient Egypt corn referred both to barley and wheat.

[note:  As stated in the previous paragraph, barley (which Osiris personified) was introduced into Egypt at 4000 BC, and quickly revolutionized Egyptian agriculture.  This agricultural revolution, due to barley, occurred during the Naqada I, II and III periods of Egyptian history.  ]

c) Origins of corn
The most ancient type of wheat was einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum), which started life as a wild wheat in northwestern Turkey. This wheat became useful as a food because the chaff and grain could easily be separated. Einkorn wheat has only one grain per ear and 7 chromosomes, but is still cultivated on poor soils. After wheat was cultivated, emmer wheat (Triticum diccoccum), from Armenia and northeastern Turkey, was found to produce higher yields than einkorn, if cultivated on favourable soils. It was the emmer variety which was grown in Mesopotamia then introduced into Egypt. Unlike einkorn, cultivated emmer is double grained and has 14 chromosomes.
Emmer wheat was grown in Egypt from pre-dynastic times until common wheat (Triticum aestivum) was introduced after the Persian invasion. Common wheat originated on the Russian steppes and unlike emmer, strains of common wheat can be grown as hard wheat.
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