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Ancient Creation Stories told by the Numbers

by H. Peter Aleff

Numerals and constants  

 

 tell the creations of numbers and world

 
 


The inscriptions on the bases of King Khasekhem's two Heb-Sed statuettes
The numerals in the inscription at left, from the statuette in Oxford, add up to 47,209 slain rebels, illustrated by the three fallen bodies above the numerals, and 5,000 bound prisoners shown as one figure with a leash to his nose and five "1,000"- lotus stalks growing out of his head.  

The inscription at right is from the example in the Cairo Museum and may have given the same quantities if the headless lotus stalk in the clump at left is only a scratch and if the unit strokes continued into the abraded area at left.  Most of the bound prisoner at right is also missing, but his legs are preserved.

The inverted falcon on its "serekh" rectangle above both inscriptions is the Horus name of the king engraved into the top of the pedestal base.  

 

Both images according to Quibell, "Hierakonpolis", London, 1900, Plate LX, as reproduced in Marshall Clagett: Ancient Egyptian Science, a Source Book”, Volume 1: “Knowledge and Order”, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1989, Figure 1.11b, page 752.  Return to the story

 

 

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