Ancient Egypt, sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and religion?

This National Geographic video is about Queen Hatshepsut.

MSNBC reports:

Sex and booze figured in Egyptian rites

Archaeologists find evidence for ancient version of ‘Girls Gone Wild

… back in 1470 B.C., this was the agenda for one of ancient Egypt’s most raucous rituals, the “festival of drunkenness,” which celebrated nothing less than the salvation of humanity.

Archaeologists say they have found evidence amid the ruins of a temple in Luxor that the annual rite featured sex, drugs and the ancient equivalent of rock ‘n’ roll.

Johns Hopkins University’s Betsy Bryan, who has been leading an excavation effort at the Temple of Mut since 2001, laid out her team’s findings on the drinking festival here on Saturday during the annual New Horizons in Science briefing, presented by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

“We are talking about a festival in which people come together in a community to get drunk”, she said.

“Not high, not socially fun, but drunk — knee-walking, absolutely passed-out drunk.”

The temple excavations turned up what appears to have been a “porch of drunkenness,” associated with Hatshepsut, the wife and half-sister of Thutmose II.

After the death of Thutmose II in 1479 B.C., Hatshepsut ruled New Kingdom Egypt for about 20 years as a female pharaoh, and the porch was erected at the height of her reign.

Some of the inscriptions that were uncovered at the temple link the drunkenness festival with “traveling through the marshes”, which Bryan said was an ancient Egyptian euphemism for having sex.

The sexual connection is reinforced by graffiti depicting men and women in positions that might draw some tut-tutting today.

The rules for the ritual even called for a select few to stay sober — serving as “designated drivers” for the drunkards, she said.

On the morning after, musicians walked around, beating their drums to wake up the revelers.

Prayerful party

The point of all this wasn’t simply to have a good time, Bryan said.

Instead, the festival — which was held during the first month of the year, just after the first flooding of the Nile — re-enacted the myth of Sekhmet, a lion-headed war goddess.

According to the myth, the bloodthirsty Sekhmet nearly destroyed all humans, but the sun god Re tricked her into drinking mass quantities of ochre-colored beer, thinking it was blood.

Once Sekhmet passed out, she was transformed into a kinder, gentler goddess named Hathor, and humanity was saved.

See also here. And here.

Tomb of pharaonic beer-maker Khonso Em Heb found in Egypt’s temple city, Luxor – ABC Online: here.

Ancient wine: here.

Want To Try Ancient Sumerian Beer? Here.

Egyptian Middle Kingdom papyruses: here.

Mummy of Hatshepsut: here.

Mummy with golden mask found: here.

Tomb of Hatshepsut’s official, Djehuty: here.

Women pharaohs: here.

A very ancient Egyptian Easter: Sham El-Nasim: here.

Jane Peyton, 48, an author, said women created beer and for thousands of years it was only they who were allowed to operate breweries and drink beer: here.

The dawn of beer remains elusive in archaeological record: here.

A team of experts from Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing Company, along with archaeologists from the University of Chicago, have replicated 5,500-year-old beer from Mesopotamia using clay vessels, a wooden spoon, and an ancient recipe. But the end result left much to be desired: here.

Origins of Human Alcohol Consumption Revealed: here.

Lager’s mystery ingredient found: Missing ancestor of yeast used in cold-brewed beer is identified: here.

Archaeologists have found carbonized germinated grains showing that malt was produced for beer brewing as early as the Iron Age in the Nordic region. The findings made in Uppåkra in southern Sweden indicate a large-scale production of beer, possibly for feasting and trade: here.

11 thoughts on “Ancient Egypt, sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and religion?

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