Please welcome our Author of the Month for March, Scott Creighton. In this article, Scott offers a fascinating new perspective on the Osiris myth and speaks of his search for the legendary hidden chamber. You can read more in his book The Secret Chamber of Osiris: Lost Knowledge of the Sixteen Pyramids.
The Pyramid Body of Osiris
I’d been travelling along the desert road for about a half hour and had now almost reached the vista point. About six or seven buses were bunched together in a makeshift bus park while dozens of tourists milled around taking snapshots of the pyramids, which thrust out of the desert sands about a mile in the distance. As I turned the sharp bend into the bus park’s entrance, from the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of an Antiquities Guard near the boundary wall at the far side, mounted on a camel, having his photograph taken with some tourists and more than happy to relieve them of some baksheesh for his trouble. Or perhaps it was the somewhat unsettling sight of his Glock handgun that compelled the tourists to part with their cash.
This was awkward and precisely the kind of situation I had hoped to avoid. I didn’t want to continue on my journey with the guard so near and so able to observe my movements. Not that I was doing or even about to do anything illegal, but it would have looked somewhat peculiar, a lone figure heading out onto the desert road on foot, and would surely have piqued the guard’s curiosity and no doubt his attention, which I could well have done without.
Thus, for the next half hour or so I had to stay put and content myself with some sandwiches and my bottle of water—killing time. It was also a convenient opportunity to join the frenzy of pyramid shooting. While this particular aspect of the pyramids—spread out north to south—was truly magnificent, it was not nearly as spectacular a view as the iconic, jaw-dropping, east-west panoramas to be seen from the vantage points to the south of the Giza pyramid field. From the location here the pyramids seemed somehow disjointed, like pieces of a gigantic geometric puzzle that had become scattered and disconnected and that needed to be picked up and reassembled (figure 1).
After having taken the third “pyramid-in-my-hand” photo for some grateful American tourists, I overheard the crackling of the guard’s radio. He took the radio from his belt and spoke into it briefly before signaling with a brush of his hand, “No more photos.” Before long, and with a considerable sense of relief, I watched as he exited from the bus park on his camel, heading out across the desert sand in a southeasterly direction—opposite to where I was headed. I didn’t waste any more time. I quickly packed my things and, with one final check that the guard was fully out of sight, made my way once more onto the dusty road.
A few hundred yards later the road took a sharp turn, heading almost exactly due south. In the distance I could see the rise of a small hill, beyond which was my goal. The feeling of excitement and exhilaration was building within me with each passing step. As I looked to the pyramids in the distance behind me, something rather remarkable was occurring. As I reached the point where I was almost perfectly in line with the diagonal of the three pyramids, the wide gaps between them had completely vanished, giving the illusion that the three individual structures had morphed into one giant, unified body. In this I was reminded of the legend of Osiris and Isis whereby Osiris (the ancient Egyptian god of rebirth and regeneration), having had his body cut into sixteen pieces (Plutarch states fourteen pieces) by his evil brother Seth, who then scattered them all across the land of Egypt, was made whole again after his wife (and sister) Isis found all the body parts (with the exception of one) and pieced them together again.
In this ancient myth I began to wonder if there was in fact a kernel of truth, whether it could be possible that this story was actually an allegorical tale pointing us toward a fundamental truth that the body of Osiris that had been cut into sixteen pieces and scattered across the land was not meant to be understood in terms of a human body but was perhaps a reference to the early, giant pyramids acting as the metaphorical body of Osiris, much in the same way that a Christian church today represents the allegorical “body of Christ”. And further still, could it be that the one piece of the “body” we are told from the myth that Isis could not find may be an allegorical reference to a hidden part, a subtle clue to a secret vault somewhere deep underground, awaiting discovery—the legendary hidden chamber of Osiris?
This may not be as radical a thought as it may at first seem. The idea that the scattered “body of pyramids” (i.e., the first sixteen or so pyramids built by the ancient Egyptians at Abu Roash, Saqqara, Meidum, Dahshur, and Giza) may represent, or may have come in later times to represent, the allegorical body of Osiris finds some support in our earliest religious texts, the ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, in which it is written, “This pyramid . . . is Osiris . . . this construction . . . is Osiris.”
This notion is given further support in Frank Cole Babbit’s translation of Plutarch’s Isis and Osiris, in which we read, “The traditional result of Osiris’s dismemberment is that there are many so-called tombs of Osiris in Egypt; for Isis held a funeral for each part when she had found it . . . all of them called the tomb of Osiris.”
The concept of pyramids as arks or recovery vaults for the kingdom (containing all manner of seeds, tools, pottery, etc.) could not be better symbolized than by the ancient Egyptian god Osiris, their god of agriculture and of rebirth. These first pyramids contained, after all, the means by which the kingdom hoped to recover after the worst effects of “Thoth’s Flood” had passed. These “dismembered body parts” (i.e., the individual pyramids scattered along the length of the Nile) represented the agency through which the recovery or rebirth of the kingdom could occur.
In essence these first scattered pyramids along the Nile Valley were Osiris (i.e., his body cut into sixteen parts), just as the ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts and Plutarch’s Myth of Osiris inform us. As such it should be of little surprise then to find that when plotting the individual locations of the first, giant pyramids onto a map of Egypt, what we find is a crude “matchstick” outline of the classic Osiris figurine (figure 2a–e) complete with the distinctive three-pronged ‘Atef Crown’ of Osiris along with his symbols of power, the crook and flail.
Figure 2b. The most northern pyramids correlate with the Atef Crown of Osiris. Image by Scott Creighton.
Figure 2c. The middle pyramids correlate with the torso and the flail and crook of Osiris. Image by Scott Creighton.
Figure 2d. The southern pyramids correlate with the lower limbs of Osiris. Image by Scott Creighton.
Figure 2e. The first pyramids present an outline the classic figure of the god Osiris. Image by Scott Creighton.
These images demonstrate the locations of the pyramids listed below (with the name of the King that Egyptologists believe constructed each pyramid and its location in parentheses), which were constructed on the high plateaus along the lush green Nile Valley (Osiris is often painted with a green body depicting vegetation and rebirth) and are believed by Egyptologists to have been completed in the following order of construction:
1. Djoser (Saqqara)
2. Sekhemkhet (Saqqara, unfinished)
3. Khaba (Zawiyet al-Aryan, unfinished)
4. Sneferu (Meidum, farthest south)
5. Sneferu (Dahshur, the Bent Pyramid)
6. Sneferu (Dahshur, the Red Pyramid)
7. Khufu (Giza, with four satellite pyramids)
8. Djedefre (Abu Roash, farthest north)
9. Khafre (Giza, with one satellite pyramid)
10. Nebka (Zawiyet al-Aryan, unfinished)
11. Menkaure (Giza, with three satellite pyramids).
Thus in Dynasties Three and Four we have a grand total of nineteen pyramids, three of which were never finished, giving a total of sixteen completed pyramids. Which brings us back to this possibility: could the sixteen dismembered parts of the body of Osiris related to us in Plutarch’s Myth of Osiris actually have been an allegorical reference to the first sixteen pyramids that were completed by the ancient Egyptians? And, as suggested earlier, could there perhaps be a secret part of this dismembered body of Osiris yet to be discovered, the part that Isis could not find—the Secret Chamber of Osiris?
With each pyramid within the body of Osiris serving as an ark (securing seed such as wheat and barley, tools and other vital recovery items), it is unsurprising to find that in later dynasties during the Festival of Khoiak, small effigies of Osiris known as corn mummies would be created and packed full with grain and buried in the ground under a mound of earth or a large rock—the body of Osiris packed full with grain just like the ‘pyramid body’ of Osiris had once been.
As I gazed from the desert road along the diagonal of the pyramids, their appearance from this spot as a single giant body (of Osiris) made complete sense to me, and it also made sense of the religious festivals that had arisen in later dynasties in the name of this most ancient of Egyptian gods. Looking back toward these magnificent structures that had now seemingly morphed into a single, giant body, it almost seemed as though my hunch that these individual pyramids collectively represented the (dismembered) body of Osiris was being vindicated. It rather seemed to me that the conventional idea that these structures had been conceived and built as individual royal tombs by a succession of ancient Egyptian kings without any master plan having ever been involved was fundamentally wrong, an outdated premise that had served only to misdirect and misinform for almost two hundred years.
And now, as I turned my back on the pyramids to resume my hitherto trouble-free journey of discovery to seek the hidden chamber—the lost part of Osiris—it was at that moment that fate decided it would step in with a sharp wake-up call, bringing about a turn of events that would see matters take a sudden and distinct turn for the worse.
Scott Creighton is an amateur Egyptologist and independent researcher and writer. His books include The Giza Prophecy, The Secret Chamber of Osiris and Great Pyramid Hoax (due Dec 2016). Scott has also written numerous articles which offer some unique and original insights into the ancient Egyptian civilisation. Since 2007 he has hosted the alternative Egyptology forum on Abovetopsecret.com and is also a regular contributor here at GrahamHancock.com. Scott is married and lives with his wife and two children in Glasgow, Scotland.