Westcar Papyrus translation by Mark-Jan Nederhof
'There is a commoner called Djedi who lives in Djed-Snofru. He is a commoner a hundred and ten years old, who eats five hundred loaves of bread, a shoulder of beef for meat, and drinks a hundred jars of beer, up to this day. He knows how to mend a severed head. He knows how to make a lion walk behind him, with its leash on the ground. He knows the number of chambers of the sanctuary of Thoth.'
Here again, we find the elements of mythological story-telling with elements appearing designed to be handed down verbally. Djedi is of an advanced age and yet has a ferocious appetite and is able to perform tricks such as the mending of a severed head. Here again, I will argue that this story is encoding astronomical details.
Westcar Papyrus translation by Mark-Jan Nederhof
'Is it the truth what they say, that you know how to mend a severed head?'
And Djedi said:
'Yes, I know how to, sovereign (l.p.h.!), my lord.'
Then His Majesty said:
'Let me be brought a criminal who is in prison, and let his sentence be executed.'
Whereupon Djedi said:
'But not to a human, sovereign (l.p.h.!), my lord! Look, doing something like that to the 'noble flock' is not ordained.'
Then a goose was brought to him and its head was cut off.
The goose was placed at the west side of the audience hall and its head at the east side of the audience hall.
Then Djedi said his magic spell, and the goose stood up, waddling, its head likewise. After one had reached the other, the goose stood up, cackling.
Then he had a hts3-goose brought to him, and the same was done to it.
Then His Majesty had a bull brought to him, and its head was felled to the ground.
Then Djedi said his magic spell, and the bull stood up behind him, its leash having fallen on the ground.
At this point, we have been introduced to the following characters which may represent asterisms:
1. A Goose which had its head cut off;
2. A hts3-Goose which also had its head cut off;
3. A Bull which was decapitated and brought back to life;
4. A Lion which follows Djedi; and
5. Djedi himeself.
Starting with the two Geese. Immediately prior to the first goose being decapitated, Djedi had pushed back against decapitating a prisoner claiming “doing something like that to the noble flock is not ordained”. To date, this has been interpreted as a reference to the superiority of humans. I argue it is a marker for an asterism of the sheep. Lull and Belmonte pp 172-173 discuss the astronomical ceilings associated with the lists of decals. In this discussion, certain clusters (known as “ht”) appear. On p173, the 3rd cluster (or “ht”) “appears in relation to the decan sit “sheep”, between smd and s3wi sit”. While I can’t show it in this text, s3wi sit is shown in hieroglyphs as two geese.
I argue therefore that the two geese are the geese of the s3wi sit Decan. Lull and Belmonte do not claim a known set of stars for this decan in their table 6.1, nor do suggestions appear in table 6.2. A claim is made for the sheep in table 6.1 and I argue that these Decan stars may be part of the sheep constellation. A point on the ht terminology - it appears with an undeline under the h in ht for the meaning described by Lull and Belmonte whereas the hts3-Goose in Nederhof has a semi-circle under the h in ht. As such, it is unclear whether there is any merit to associating the two forms of ht.
Referring to the bull, on p181 and with reference to the Zodiac of Dendera, Lull and Belmonte note that “the bull of Taurus, which is curiously represented in a very non-standard fashion, looking backwards and with its body extending to the east”
The lion is identified to Leo on p166, when discussing the position of the Lion constellations, they are in agreement the Lion constellations in Ancient Egyptian star charts refers to Leo. I note that in the case of the Lion and the Bull, the story uses the notion of a cord “fallen the ground” this means that the cord or leash is slack not taught and implies an elliptical shape, suggestive of the constellations movements through the sky.
I propose that Djed is an ancient name for a constellation. According to Buson, Djed “was the sacred sign of the god OSIRIS, considered the deity’s backbone… The Djed Pillar Festival, a cultic celebration of the symbol and its powers was held annually in Egypt… The priests raised up the Djed Pillar on the first day of SHOMU, the season of harvesting on the Nile.” I note that in the story, Hordedef raises up Djedi.
Using the triangulation of Djed being associated with Leo and Taurus, I identify a possible connection to a portion of Gemini. If we draw the constellation differently than the Graeco-Roman identification by drawing a line between Alhena and Propus, a line between Mebsuta and Mekbuda and a line between Castor and Pollux, we end up with a 4 tiered pillar similar to a Djed. The selection of these stars is somewhat arbritary but is used for illustration purposes that a Djed symbol could be identified to the Gemini constellation. Interestingly, if this holds true, according to Wikipedia, the star of Alhena which is part of the Gemini constellation is thought to be 109 +/- 8 Light Years distance from Earth. Djedi’s age is 110 years.
 Nederhof, Westcar Papyrus accessed from [mjn.host.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk] pp 122 - 207
 Lull and Belmonte, The Constellations of Ancient Egypt, accessed from [www.iac.es]
 Margaret Bunson, Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egypt, p101
 Wikipedia on Alhena
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26-Jul-19 15:10 by engbren.