Numerals and constants tell the creations of numbers and world.
Maat soul-mate Seshat convicted for possessing pot and undeclared math.
Seshat's role and pedigree
Seshat was the ancient Egyptian goddess of temple layout and mistress of scribes, and she presided over the "House
of Life". This institution, also called the "House of Books", was a sort of library and proto- University
where knowledge was stored and taught, particularly knowledge about sacred traditions and rituals (1). Her most prominent
task was to assist the king in stretching the cord for the layout of all temples and other royal buildings, as shown on many
wall reliefs and mentioned in many texts from the earliest Palermo Stone Annals on.
In Egypt, as in most other ancient cultures, temples were designed as images of the cosmos, and building one was each
time equivalent to the creation of the cosmos it represented (2). The cord- stretching must therefore also have preceded
the original making of the universe. Its importance there still reverberates in the Bible when God asks Job:
Where were you when I laid the earths foundations? (...) Who stretched his measuring- line over it? (Job 38:4-5)
Being present at the beginning of the Egyptian creation was a privilege usually reserved for the creator god(dess) and
the few gods s/he made first. In one of the most popular versions of the myth, the only ones around back then were Atum and
his twin emanations Shu and Tefnut whom Coffin Texts Spell 80 calls "eternity" and "everlastingness".
However, Seshat's implied role there does not conflict with that usual telling. The same Spell also identified Shu's
sister Tefnut with Maat who personified the world order, and it quotes Atum himself as saying:
"Tefnut is my living daughter ... her name is Maat" (3).
The primordial Maat, in turn, manifested herself not only as Tefnut but also as Seshat. Seshat embodied the rightness
of temple geometry the way Maat personified the rightness of the entire cosmos which the temple was meant to mirror, so Seshat
was really a reflection of Maat.
Seshat was also the sister or daughter of Thoth (4), the god of measuring and numbers and calendrical order. She functioned
as patroness of scribes just as Thoth was their patron, and she allotted years to the king just as Thoth did. In other words,
Seshat the geometer was also a female version of Thoth the math, and she as well as Thoth both were manifestations of Maat
the cosmic harmony.
Like Maat and Thoth, Seshat is attested from the dawn of history on. Most probably, she goes back even much earlier,
to the beginnings of agriculture, or at least to the time when the growing population density first obliged farmers to protect
their acreage from encroachments by neighbors.
It is easy to understand how Seshat the cord- measuring goddess could have evolved from the recurring need to re-survey
the farmers fields after each annual inundation. This task was vitally important in a country where everyone depended on
the harvest from those fields.
To keep the peace, all parties needed to be convinced that the land allocations as well as the tax assessments were done
fairly, and this need must have led early on to great interest in the rope- stretching geometry and area calculations that
decided these matters on the spot and for all to see. Who would have wanted to waste their carefully saved seed grain on
ground that might later turn out to be not theirs?
Comparable to modern science, this math- based rope- stretchers' craft provided verifiable and repeatable results and
so became the ultimate arbiter of conflicting land claims. The respect its practitioners commanded rested not just on the
local chief's enforcement powers but above all on the infallible order of the mathematics behind their methods.
In tune with the ancient Egyptian view of nature, the geometers personified various aspects of this invisible but controlling
mathematical order in figures such as the generalists Maat and Thoth, and their more specialized facet Seshat.
It was also consistent with the ancient Egyptian visual canon that the artists who portrayed Seshat the rope- stretching
goddess of measuring and geometry would have labeled her with pictures of her principal tools, or with easily recognizable
symbols for these. Indeed, they combined evocations of these tools ingeniously in her emblem.
Seshat's rope in her emblem
Many Egyptologists have long speculated about the emblem which Seshat wore as her head dress. Sir Alan Gardiner described
it in his still category- leading Egyptian Grammar as a conventionalized flower (?) surmounted by horns(5). His question
mark after flower reflects the fact that there is no likely flower which resembles this design. Others have called it a star
surmounted by a bow(6), but stars in the ancient Egyptian convention had five points, not seven like the one in Seshat's emblem.
This number was so important that it caused king Tuthmosis III (1479 to 1425 BCE) to give her the name Sefkhet-Abwy, or "She
of the seven points". Also, in some detailed pictures of Seshat the canopy above that seven-pointed "flower?"
does not at all resemble "horns" or a "bow".
There is no need for such groping speculations because the various elements in Seshat's emblem simply depict the tools
of her geometer's trade in the hieroglyphic manner.
Her seven- pointed flower or star is an accurate image of a hemp leaf. This leaf is made up of seven pointed leaf parts
that are arranged in the same pattern as the most prominent sign in Seshat's emblem. Hemp is, and has long been, an excellent
material for making ropes with the low- stretch quality required for measuring cords, particularly when these are greased
to reduce variations in their moisture content which would influence elongation.
The characteristic leaf of the plant used in making these ropes was thus a logical choice for the emblem designer who
wanted an easily recognized reference to Seshat's job. This leaf is so unique that its picture allows no confusion with other
Hemp is said to be native to Central Asia, and its presence in pre- Dynastic Egypt is not otherwise documented. However,
the hemp leaf in Seshat's emblem is unmistakable evidence that the ancient Egyptian rope- stretchers used hemp for their measuring
cords, and that Seshat cannot deny her now illegal patronage and ownership of this psycho- active plant.
Add to this flagrant evidence that in Coffin Texts Spell 10, "Seshat opens the door of heaven for you" (7),
and the case against her is solid enough to get her busted if she still plied her trade today.
Seshat as the Ten of Tens
Even worse, the other elements of Seshat's emblem openly reveal that she taught and practiced mathematical skills and
analytical thinking, abject anachronisms which today's mainstream scholarship has strictly forbidden to her and her rogue
architects' gang. This devious divinity dares to undermine the authority of those who guard today's academic dogmas, never
mind that she had performed that same guardian job back when she still had tenure and helped their predecessors to preserve
their traditions and beliefs. See for yourself how subversive she is now:
In some detailed pictures of Seshat, the horns& or bow that formed a vaulted frame around the hemp leaf in Seshats
head- dress resembles neither of these but is simply a large numeral ten with a much smaller ten perched on its top. You
can see this, for instance, in a carefully sculpted and well preserved picture of her among reliefs from around 1250 BCE in
the Luxor temple(8).
This double picture of the base for the ancient Egyptian decimal system is plainly an allusion to the numbers that governed
Seshats sacred geometry, from the largest powers of ten that encompassed the universe to their and its reduced replication
in the temples she helped to lay out.
The powers of ten that formed the ancient Egyptian numeral system counted all there was, and they also illustrated how
all that got there in the first place. Indeed, the sequence of the signs for these powers described the creation of the universe
from those very numerals, plus the origin of the numbers themselves. When read with the ancient symbolic meanings of its
signs, that sequence organizes into a coherent and logical narrative many surviving bits and pieces of seemingly separate
Egyptian creation myths which we know only from later fragments.
You find the unique picture strip tale of this dual creation by and of the numbers beginning at www.recoveredscience.com/const101egynumeralsintro.htm
These numeral signs were in place from the beginning of the pharaonic civilization, and they already spelled out the
timeless idea that numbers form a separate and permanent reality which rules the fleeting one we live in, and that ultimately
"All is number".
The same idea of a number world ruling ours behind the scenes supplied five thousand years later the screen script for
"The Matrix", except that the number machines in this modern movie are evil.
In the Egyptian version, by contrast, numbers were benevolent. The largest among them held up the sky and the other ones
helped with creating the world. Moreover, their interplay produced the ankh symbol for life and breath which was at the core
of the pharaonic ideology and provided its long untiring drive. So much for five millennia of efforts to tackle what makes
the world tick.
Modern scholars credit this sophisticated recognition of a hidden numerical order behind the tangible world to the Pythagoreans
and their pupil Plato, even though the ancient biographers of the cult leader Pythagoras all say that he had picked up most
of his mathematical knowledge in Egypt.
The creation stories built into the pharaonic signs for the powers of ten demonstrate now clearly that the famous doctrine
"Number is the principle, the source, and the root of all things" dates back to the beginnings of hieroglyphic writing,
and that Pythagoras had learned it from the Egyptians, at a time halfway between us and the numeral designer(s) who had first
recorded the ancient beliefs about the nature of numbers in a few simple symbols their followers used daily from then on.
Seshat's geometry in her emblem
The same portrait of Seshat in Luxor also documents another debt that Pythagoras owed to his Egyptian teachers. At the
center of the rope- representing hemp leaf in her emblem you find a pentagram. Its design is slightly distorted to accommodate
the stem on which it perches above her head, but it is cut well enough to allow no doubt what figure the artist meant to show.
The pentagram is a mathematically astonishing figure which is closely linked to the "golden ratio" phi. As
illustrated on the page www.recoveredscience.com/const305goldendrawings.htm , and as explained in the chapter about the prehistory
of that ratio, at www.recoveredscience.com/const305goldenprehistory.htm , the construction of a pentagram requires a knowledge
of the golden ratio and thus of analytical geometry (9). The two are so interwoven that some disciples of Pythagoras used
the pentagram as a symbol for this geometry and as a recognition sign among fellow members of his mathematical cult.
It also appears that the Luxor sculptor cut this symbol in Seshat's head dress already with the same meaning of "geometry",
some seven centuries before Pythagoras.
Hieroglyph designers never picked their emblem pictures at random but always invested much thought into how best to distill
the essence of what they wanted to convey. Seshat's pentagram in her Luxor portrait works as a perfectly context- fitting
symbol for advanced geometry, used as an additional determinative for that hemp- rope- stretching and number- crunching "Ten
of Tens", the mistress of cutting- edge temple geometry.
This is where Seshat commits the unpardonable crime of lèse faculté (10) against those mainstream historians of science
who claim that the "golden ratio" and any analytical geometry were unknown in pre- Hellenic Egypt.
These absolute authorities base their claim for the alleged absence of phi from pharaonic Egypt on the fact that it is
not mentioned in the exactly eight mostly fragmentary documents with obvious mathematical content that survive from thousands
of years of mathematical activities by millions of people in a country a thousand kilometers long. See www.recoveredscience.com/const131egyptiansources.htm
for a list and discussion of those eight scraps.
This minuscule sampling of mathematical traces is limited mostly to papyrus and leather which do not survive well in the
moisture of the habitable areas along the Nile. The few documents we have were preserved in the dry desert sands where the
dead got buried. Strangely enough, very few tomb owners seem to have picked mathematical page- turners as their favorite
reading material for potentially boring stretches among the millions upon millions of years in their afterlife.
However bizarre any argument from absence may be under these circumstances, some mainstream writers use it to prove the
poverty of Egyptian math with the time- tested academic proof methods of forceful assertion and frequent repetition in chorus.
After all, an academic discipline has been defined as a group of scholars who have agreed not to ask certain embarrassing
questions about key assumptions (11), and this is how the colonialist denial of non- European achievements remains today's
Ignoring the lack of surviving documents from Egypt allows these historians thus to continue crediting the invention of
analytical thinking to the glorious Greeks. Instead of examining their own assumptions, they summarily dismiss as "extreme
Afro- centrists" (12) all those who dare to suggest that the ancient Egyptians may have known phi, or, perish the thought,
even a decent approximation to the circle ratio pi.
On the other hand, if we replace this lingering Euro- centrist dogma with logic and reason, then we must include in our
sampling the examples of Seshat's work that were preserved in stone, such as her pentagram in Luxor, or the architectural
layouts of many temples and tombs. We must also consider the proportions in much pharaonic art, from paintings to furniture,
as illustrated, for instance, in Else Christie Kiellands Geometry in Egyptian Art (13).
In some of these structures or objects, phi and other mathematical constants pop up much too frequently for said scholars'
automatic claim that all these occurrences are random, and that the Egyptian builders and craftsmen were unaware of what they
In addition to these mathematical fingerprints in buildings and art, it also turns out that the entries in various ceremonial
number groups, such as the so-called "booty lists" in some royal inscriptions, were carefully crafted to produce
striking and symbolically significant combinations of constants with the quantities listed and/or the ratios between them.
All this evidence strongly suggests that there existed an unrecognized body of mathematical knowledge which was not included
in those eight surviving scraps.
An analysis of such an expanded sampling shows beyond reasonable doubt that Seshat is guilty of having practiced much
symbolic numerology and undeclared analytical mathematics, as you can see in the chapters about king Narmer's mace, beginning
at www.recoveredscience.com/const122Narmermaceconstants.htm , and about some other meticulously composed ceremonial number
groups that were based on Egyptian methods and appear to have influenced some important passages in the Bible.