Icons and symbols for the year
This section is about the Egyptian symbolism covering calendar and astronomy during the year. Scandinavia have got more than a third of the symbols from Egypt concerning ritual astronomy. Remember that Horus is time, so Isis was the mother of time
iset-step, ur-hill, stairway to the stars, obelisk, djed-pillar, natural resurrection, unification, watering, pick, Maiden of Underworld, bronze sickle, Seth, Karnak, AnubisEgyptian calendar | Isis' songs | Echnaton's Sun Song |Egyptian night sky | Time law ideas | Sumerian heritage |Sumerian astronomy |Inanna myth | Early Animal round | Indus Naked Gangaur | Indus symbols | Iconography | Lingua Franca | indexTL | home |
…We can start with the iset-step, symbol of Isis. It is a long step like the upper step on Sumerian ziggurats. It was only for gods to use that part of a staircase. Maybe it was symbolising the rain stepping down as well as the step to Underworld. The row of idols with stars as headgear may be from the ecliptic at regular intervals.
I am sure that the original constellation of Isis was Auriga. Especially from the New Kingdoms onwards they often mix symbols. We may see a female idol with the iset-step as headgear, but also with Hathor-horns and a child on knees. Of course a child needed milk, but the mother of Horus was Isis.
Then we have to remember that Horus is time, so Isis was the mother of time in our words. As Horus is time, it is also natural that a new child is born in the beginning of year, as we may understand from Christmas. Maybe they created this symbolism when most of the people were living in towns and not depending on the natural year. They had no special needs for the ritual but for the feast as breaks in everyday life.
…To understand the big step we have to know about the ur-hill or the original hill as symbol for man on earth. The consequence of this and also the myth about the Sumerian Oannes is that they thought mankind been coming out of the ocean. Was it a guess, intuition or knowledge by other means? Near the truth were they. Thinking about the biological cycle is easiest and not about their speculation about resurrection.
The cut above is fromBook of Death.
A half pyramid symbolises the shell with no life. The empty boat carries the growing part through the very narrow gate of truth "grow or grow not" and with the little germ inside ... In later symbolism we see Mithra be born out of a rock, but when we look closely it is corn, so Mithra is the germ. Sometimes we have to take our associations from other sources to understand.
… Stairs go up and down and from the connection we have to know when. The ziggurat and pyramid were meant as symbolic ur-hills and stairways to heaven. Yet to the symbolism much more than that was related. The tomb in them was place for the germ. To the pyramids belonged a temple mostly placed near the Nile but the idea was that it should be in the underworld.
In rituals they followed the crops or body to the underworld for special rites we do not know anything about. It is clearly in the logic and we see the same in some European passage graves. The symbolism was stairway towards the stars when corn grows from Underworld. However no being grow to the stars … it is only a pious hope.
During the period with pyramids and ziggurats the rituals were in the facilities around and maybe in river temples as in Egypt. Later the temples became the sites of the deities. The priests needed much space we can expect and in time they get gifts they had to store. Just a mention a figure Ramesses III gave enormous gifts to the temples mentioned in the Harris papyrus. For instance he gave 13568 statues of Hapi, the Nile made in lapis lazuli and turquoise ... Those who have much always believe that mass is the same as quality.
…The obelisk was a symbol and also in practice a steady tool in observing the shade of sun and as a needlepoint when looking at stars. In the middle of a city or a village it became the centre of the world, if wanted or not. In the hills around the valley there were cheaper obelisks than those made for the pharaohs. It became even a symbol for the pillar, which they began to produce in lots bearing temples. The idea is a symbol of bearing a huge world.
In the Egyptian ideology the gods were still among the people but mostly in temples and only the priests and sometimes the pharaoh could "speak" with them. Then they got the authority to tell the people what the gods wanted ... all that began in temples like the cellar in Eridu where the priest had feasts with the Fishman Oannes. In the late symbolism we see a pillar with a bird sitting on top. It was symbol for Crab/Cancer and also seen in Greece ... an import with Alexander?
… This symbols is of the same kind as the northern "i ban" and we see a bow crossed with lines. Probably it is a symbol of turning point at the winter solstice when the sun was at its lowest. We see it in the ceiling of Ramesses' IV tomb above Osiris with a crown in the picture. He has a star as headgear and is of course Orion or more exactly a chosen star in the constellation.
The picture proves the thought behind the Osiris ritual ... "grow or not grow"
The djed-pillar they set to slanting position as symbol "it grow now" ... maybe that is the "askew" they tell about in the Edda. They maybe symbolise it with the contoured footprint with a warped stroke.
This ritual was also to prove the germination. The crossbars may symbolise the staircase from the underworld towards heaven as we saw in Indus and Sumer. See also the early ANKH-symbol on the ivory tablet of Horus Den.
… Above the bowing woman we see the red crown of the Delta. However here it is a symbol for penetrating with the spiral IN in the crutch ... we have to always search for fertility acts in the natural resurrection.
… The crown with a cone is symbolising the corn or "what it shall be". Osiris is bearing the cone as the corn for sowing and what it shall be.
…It was also the crown of the land around Thebe in the early dynasties and maybe the dynastic Egypt started from there. I call it Bend-Egypt because of the bend of the Nile … otherwise I always mix upper and lower. In the third crown the two crowns of the growing season were set together as a symbol "for the united two lands". We also see the Falcon-head time/sun as symbol of "the marriage" between Sun and Earth under the real season.
…We see the sail on early pot paintings and it is above the fifth idol to the left from Osiris. They tell it was symbolising the unification of Ra the Sun and Osiris the Corns in the soil. Then the germ should be at its way. Among the constellations it is Argos and we saw it also in Indus seals.
…These are symbols of watering which they needed now and then depending on the year. The right figure is Crater/Beaker in the zodiac. However, this is also symbol for Nephthys, the Humidity. They mark it in the corner as if it were for a part of the season 1/8 or 1/16 perhaps or the crucial three to six weeks of growth. The other symbol heset means watering.
This pictures the co-operation between the Mights Isis, Osiris as the Djed and Nephthys. The fourth part the sun embraced by Ankh symbol of life. To my imagination the sun and the djed/plant unite in growth.
… Egyptian picks were quite effective although they were easily worn out. Mostly they used it to pick the soil after the real pick or plough had done the worst. In Scandinavia we have a special word "aarder" for this, which only loosen the soil. A plough is a tool to turn the ridge. The Egyptians were and are traditionalists. Still we see them using the simple plough they invented before 2000 BC. Outlook and economic efficiency are different things, when it comes to long-term ecological economy.
… At the same time came miu from somewhere and became an important assistant in hunting unwanted small guest. Naturally it was an important member of family and kept them company and was as always instead of a beloved.
It came to Bohuslaen and Austergautland too during Bronze Age. In Austergautland we see a bronze sickle imported from Egypt too.
This picture is from the 12th dynasty or about that time(2000-1800 BC). We see the three moments of preparing for sowing and them also needed the club if the soil were too dry or was clay.
In the upper row we see three crows, symbols of the pickers.
It was the last work before waiting for the two Maidens in Underworld to do their work. That meant rain in Sumer as an aspect of Inanna, but in Egypt it was Nephthys and her brother in the underground being the bearer of life.
Below is a row with eight identical idols and the rounded rectangle-symbol above them. Maybe they symbolise the division of the year into eighths.
The Hunting dogs/ Canes Venatici are still on the night sky. They are found above the crows and on the line that would have been the summer solstice about 4200 BC. Then I expect they created the modern calendar. It is as a zero-reference when calculating with precession.
In Revheim Norway we find something like these. The fourth pole there is a little different, but maybe the early Norwegians wanted to be special. I often note that they are not counting forward as we. They count down to zero as if some sport was to begin and a Norwegian rocket is launched to show superiority. Anyhow some Egyptian figures are found on the West Coast up to Traundelag.
Our Egyptologists call them "heaven-pillars" and we should understand that our ancestors believed they needed them to bear the vault. Then the scientists themselves are always talking about "weather-corners" when meaning the cardinal points of the compass?
Yet, that is only one of the paradoxes of life.
… Saying whether this is a tree or an ear is difficult. However, it is almost the same in ritual sense showing growth and life. Some Egyptian picture shows the goddess giving fruits from a tree and only the giving hands are seen. All eatable fruits and crops are of course life itself.
… Kheper, the dung-beetle is a very sophisticated symbol for the sun. When it rolls the dung-ball it is rolling the sun. It is not easy to understand for the technical westerners. It is a symbol of the invisible life going on in the night and in the soil. The Egyptians were clever biologists and knew that the dung was a product of sunshine and growth in soil. Simplifying is to say that the sun is in the dung and creates new life in the nest of the beetle. It is a clever lesson in echosophy.
The sun-beetle and the sun-falcon were naturally always present picturing action. Yet the main idea was time as a doer, but time is abstract and do nothing physical. It is awkward for us to remember that we are expecting some mighty doer. Then it is that old time going faster and faster with age.
… Archer is not seen in the Egyptian symbolism, but they picture Neith with a bow and arrows. Maybe they did not need a special guard on the fields. But at the place are a sitting female and a companion with animal head. Perhaps Neith gave the Greeks the idea Artemis?
… These arms are difficult to understand, but a pair read KA and two pairs KAKA. In the calendar of Senenmut they are above the first wheel of achet or when the inundation begins. Maybe it is so simple that we can translate it to "go go". That is a verb and could be written "going" too.
The inundation is understood as everyone knows. The Ka is the spirit soul or the go in human, while the Ba is the mortal soul they saw as living in the soil or mummy. Since KA also is on a standard both shows moving from a stage to another. We could also see the harvest as going to another stage.
Occasionally the translation is the same as our Scandinavian symbol with two crossed circles each read KA. On the rock-carvings they are used in the same way, but on the calendar-stick it marks beginning of year. In late age they said Olof's kaka and that may come from an old saying about KAKA at harvest. Then at the same time as in Egypt.
In old Scandinavian language we have words like "vilald and apald" meaning that a package of a space-time is at rest or off, like the harvested corn or other crops.
… This is a bronze sickle and dates it to Egyptian metal age. Nearly exact the same shape we see on a rock in Austergautland. It is my finest evidence that there has been some trade between at least that place and Egypt. Somehow the shape is typical Egyptian.
Now it was the time for harvest and the earliest symbol was perhaps the Scorpio as "the killer" and the "Big Man" and his mates were workers. They are Hercules and Opiuchos, bearer of the harvest in the guise of Serpent.
Seth we know from early dynastic time and he was a symbol for the Mights such as bad weather. Seth kills Osiris, the crops and then Horus, the Time defends his father. Yet Osiris' corpse is like the harvest sent to different storehouses. They normally tell us another tale but if we stay in reality this must have been the case.
The Babylonians created a mourning mother Ishtar and Isis was also mourning but began to gather the divided parts again. We see some mourning scenes on our rocks and some place name is about a questioning goddess.
… The Seth-animal seems to be an imagination. The proves are its ears and the tail. Neither is that kind of nose seen in Egypt, but it is maybe that of an ant-eater? In suites and processions the head is on a man, let us say a mask in reality.
The real battle with Horus took place due to their calendar 26th in achet and onwards when the inundation was in the race. They took the guise of hippopotamus ... it is something in the horse-way says those who have seen. Horus won the fight and the valley, while Seth got the desert. However, not for long since the cycle begin again.
At first Seth was not more evil than some pharaoh named himself Seth as the title. If someone expects the worst we could translate it to a Greek tyrant, but that is only for the speculative mind learned out by the Greeks.
The result of the work in a season was like a race with Time/Horus and the Mights.
We cannot imagine the enormous work they did to form the land to be corn-land. The picture is from the 18th dynasty about 1500 BC. However, the methods go back thousands of years and are in use in some places still.
Drying the Faiyum Lake is one of the projects we easily can see and imagine. Nevertheless if they could build the pyramids it is just a game for children to create corn-land in comparison. The Assuan project is very small in comparison but Faiyum might have inspired Nasser.
In Scandinavia we have some projects, which are relatively, mega-class when compared to estimated population. Most of them are in Denmark such as Sarup, Illerup, Borremose to mention a few.
…They mention the Sun-Falcon together with Kheper, the Beetle during New Kingdom. They used the falcon in early symbolism as we see it on the stela of Horus Djet in the first dynasty. It was a title and the profession of the pharaoh. He was simply leading the time like aldermen in our past.
… We seldom see this god from Coptos and Ipu in books about Egypt. Still, it was an important idol in the late New Kingdom. Min, the Engender, "his mothers bull", "father of Africans" and one of the original gods with his insigne and appearance partly tied to the Africans. They were once active in creating the two lands. The mix with Nubia was current as long as Egypt expanded southwards or in time from the first cataract to the fourth.
To his appearance came an African cone-shaped hut and in connection a horned pillar and a mast with four ropes in which Africans were climbing ... this associates to the volador at Gerum Bohuslaen.
There should be a bench of lettuce too as it was the secret about his erection. His first feast was in beginning of the harvest season schemu. The pharaoh was of course the stand in and made the first cut with a copper sickle.
He did the cut in the Coptic style taking only the ear and kept the sheaf of grain as symbol of fertility in the fields. He made an offer as foregoing so that the people would not forget the temple of Min. If they did not give fees to the pharaoh, they gave to the deities and they were naturally hidden in the temples.
The last feast with rituals was in the end of schemu and it was mostly for the pharaoh and the upper class. They name it "going-forth of Min" in the Old Kingdom with rituals in the tombs. Nevertheless it was for the fertility not to decrease. Secondly it was an appeal to eat more lettuce. The pharaoh had a long staff in one hand and an ancient battle-club in the other. In processions was a white bull symbol of animal fertility.
This short section is meant to remind that one part of the people was the upper class and sometimes with their own rituals and secrets. The rituals are pictured in Karnak and Medinet-Habu with no ordinary people in the processions. The last feast was perhaps a meeting for officials and priest to discuss tactics for next season.
At that time of year they could overlook the harvest and see how much would come to the storehouses of the pharaoh, the temples and other big men.
Some elements in the procession show that it perhaps also was ritual of the New-year with the astronomic observations or rituals implied. Another secret of nobility was why the upper class worshipped Min as ruler of mountains, while Isis was the popular goddess of fertility in goldmining in the mines, somewhere between Coptos and the Red Sea. In the golden age of Tutankahmun Isis and her sister sit on the symbol for gold.
…The crocodile Sobek is upon a chapel model mastaba, i.e. grave or store. We see Sobek in an inscription from the Middle Kingdom and it says, "gives life and power". Another says, "to gather" as when it eats the moons (also seen far in Tibet?). Then it is also a symbol for storehouses wherever they are small or big.
… Anubis, master of mummifying in his aspect of transferring dead flesh to nutrition and life again. He is also a symbol of storing. On the standard it is a time mark after harvest and the same as the Sumerian Rahu which became Sagittarius.
…We see Anubis on a standard with the cobra Jaret on Den's tablet. They said "She rises" and then used so symbolise that act. The first symbol is the sound DJ and might have been the Lynx in predynastic time. We see the coiled snake in texts about Underworld and it is perhaps Water-snake.
… Renpet, the palm-leaf symbolises normally year or ending of the year. It is one of the very old symbols seen on pot paintings and rock carvings too.
From the very beginning they cut marks on it to keep account of years or seasons. To keep account of time they had no common reference, but referred to the reign of each pharaoh. They set it also on Hathor, the Cow and perhaps to mark the cow half year during on inundation. Then waiting for a new season, i.e. from beginning of August to beginning of January.
During the inundation the followed the evening sun Atum. Maybe the symbol of Hathor horns with a the sun between is similar to the symbol of two hills with a sun between. The period was symbol for pregnancy and maybe for "afterlife" too.
…Now it was time to go to the hill or leaf-hut as the Nile might rise ten metres very fast. Around Thebe they waited for Opet the Abu ´l Haggag feast lasting for a month.
Most of them had surely a house made of bricks. Those taking after the nobility maybe had a pillar in a window or perhaps somewhere in the yard. The symbol is a house with a yard for small animals and perhaps a garden with a dam if the owner were wealthy.
…Horus, the Falcon was in "the other" time symbolised by the square around. This was the time for the battle with Seth. Perhaps it was as among Celts that they saw battle as "another world" ... in the world of battle no civilised rules are valid. In modern worlds it is another relative living space.
…The bird with feathers is perhaps an owl and in sky above Capricorn. We see the owl on the Narmer palette and it is the end of season.
I have not yet found a good explanation to the Amun-feathers, but they are usually in the end of season or the beginning of the inundation.
The Amun-feast lasted for ten days, when the pharaoh visited the other side and the valley. It must have been to remember the ancestors in the ritual year. We know Amun as the winner against the only sun god Aton.
The paradox is that Amun become nearly the god of state and the only real god in administration as long as Thebe was the centre. The issue was that the old system won. He had no special feature and was like an abstraction. Mostly pictured as a man and the crown with feathers, but sometimes as a ram or goose.
In Haugsbyn it is Lyra with the known star Vega. If I read it right, they followed it as star of winter and the birds in the same section was a sign of autumn. Even in Scandinavia they had to look for the wet season, as there were only natural ditches. That is why they build their houses on hills or high slopes. In Bohuslaen is a figure looking as if it has Amun feathers as headgear.
To this normal season we have to remember that they talk about seven fat and seven meagre years in Egypt. They were depending on the Nile or the rains in the wells of it.
Citizens of today are as far as they can come from the rural world and the distance is about the same to the Egyptian cities. Still, the time and rituals followed the Nile and nature and the origins of the rituals were to follow the natural resurrection. However those working as craftsmen and as servants everywhere had no real sense for the nature any longer. They needed not to know and had only to follow the main stream.
This is a simplified picture of Hathor Cow in the tomb of Seti I.
Here we see Tefnut, the Moisture with a renpet as headgear. We can interpret it as his season or half-year. At left is a vulture below and it might be the star constellation. We see Tefnut, the Moisture bearing the cow as is natural if we want milk. There are other helpers too, caring for the cow and making butter and other product from the cow.
The gesture with hands up means joy and admiration. We have to know their attitude to life to understand they were positive and happy in general. This means that they at least picture it as joy. In some countries and times near ours they were forced to show admiration when the Big Man came.
We may compare this with the "boat-lifter" in our carvings.
This chapter is a summary of the structures in Egyptian symbolism as a bias for analysing rock carvings. Some of the symbols and structures we see also in Scandinavia. We can never be sure if it is a coincidence depending on likeness in the issues. Alternatively it may be a loan directly or indirectly via Hittites and the Aegean sphere. We can also learn about the evolution from rural people "i(n) ban" to city-dwellers "ur ban" with the ties fading out.
The gods become ever more abstractions with many skills. On the opposite they became simply iconic words in vocabulary. It is hard to understand why the ibis became the symbol of Toth, the moon god. Perhaps it was because the bird searches for food under the surface and gets nourishment out of it. The moon is varying in appearance and is sometimes a dark moon, and it was associated to fertility, which also has hidden moments.
Thot became the account as the moon is counting time and with it the result of fertility and understood the work of man too. It has been a difficult task to abstract languages and symbols to describe all works of a season. Then it is understandable that they could not always see the difference between abstraction and realty.
Egypt was developing towards monotheism. Some gods became more popular than others and took more and more of the "responsibilities". They became the virtual doer or as we say a god, which they worshipped or invoked for help.
From the relief picturing the sed-feast of Ramesses II
Thot stands with the insignia ankh-sign for life, (cultivators)djed-pillar, (shep)herd's crook, (driver's) scourge, (leader's) was-sceptre, the menit-collar of Hathor, the Cow ... shortly if Thot were not the god he kept book of it all. His star was above Sagittarius. He was "born" in Memphis in the very beginning of the Egyptian civilisation. Thot got early temples and priests bearing him as an aid for people and priests.
Anubis kept his job as abstraction for mummifying, storing and skill to make flesh out of carcasses. The later was the original association for an abstraction. It was natural that his star was in the end of growing season, when the crops turned to rest or "carrion" for the winter. Not every corn might be new life but can still be used as food.
The baboon became a symbol of morning and awakening because the chatting of them was the alarm(clock). Perhaps the same was case with the morning boat of sun with the swallow in front. Kheper the Beetle was transferring the sunbeam to new life ... it cannot be that he is slow, because he reaches an amazing speed with a ball bigger than himself. A cobra is a symbol of rising and understood is the fast hit. The crocodile was gathering and that association is very puzzling.
Eskimos picture the shifting winds with a woman with her eyes crossed, the diddies flying in different directions and so the hair ... that is very understandable. We call them variable women winds with a nasty touch.
Sumer and Egypt created many mysterious beings when they created virtual beings by using known and unknown animals as bricks in their puzzle. The season symbols from Sumer are examples Goatfish and the original Sagittarius were used until Middle Age. Oannes disappeared early and instead Babylonians set "the noble family" and Egypt preserved Isis and Osiris in that corner.
When we have learnt our words, we never reflect about what we are really saying. Only when some foreigner misunderstands our concepts we become aware of our sense of humour. The Icelandic people are caring for their national monument the language and create many funny words too. And Norwegians are casting their TV all around ... when it is sport it is always red, I see.
Here we see the season in good Egyptian symbolism with Horus, the Time as leader of ingoing and birth of the crops and Water-snake as womb.
Under the staircase to Underworld are symbols of "marriage" or uniting. The outer figures show it is about vegetation. A symbol in the middle consists of two lungs and the windpipe, which unite two equal parts. It tells us that they saw it natural that equality is the base.
We cannot imagine their everyday language and their imagination up to the yearly ritual. It must have been double thinking all the time. Animals and gods with animal heads were a living part of their imagination. It filled the living space with humanlike life and spirit everywhere. Once they loved and respected all living and the godlike animals they perhaps saw spirit everywhere.
The rituals in growing crops were animated with half human gods. Then when harvest time came they had to kill the humanlike they earlier cared for during the growing.
To that we can add the rituals of funeral aiming at a real afterlife. Rituals were before and after harvest and they could never forget all the intellectual thoughts as they had it around them always.
We have to expect that peasants are peasants everywhere in every time. They are not caring for more than the daily work and how to get food on the table. Their spiritual life is mostly outside the seasons.
But, in every time and every place there is also a part of sensible people with a lively imagination. They are always the carriers of rituals and mystic in culture. Some cultures saw the most spiritual as witches and shamans if we look at it overall. No statistics tell us, but up to my experience just before the old natural society died, I think there were only a minority of religious and spiritual people in society those days.
We have no facts and artefacts showing that kind of phenomenon. Since we can only register rituals with manifestos we have to estimate and know about the rest by diffuse evidence. We must value proportions to get a picture of the normal being.
In the Hittitian symbolism we see that it shows man made a living space for himself. Above the ram-horns on the pillars of village or society were the gods. Our old rituals show that they "cut out" a space for the villages or for sowing. The symbolic act shows that people wanted a space of their own ... as well as many today make fences around their house and garden.
In Egypt the gods ever more dwelled in the temples. A "stand in" priest/priestess/pharaoh a few times a year reminded the people when travelling or making processions due to the calendar. There were small temples everywhere so those who wanted to talk with their god had it nearby. Others maybe had some altar or god at home, but as a whole if they wanted they could keep their god from the working field.
In the old law from Vaestergautland is a chapter about keeping jokers and fiddlers from the working field of peasants. Originally they had been a part of the ritual and the work, but were not allowed in the organised society. This is a local variant. In TV, where else, I saw that old men with fiddle or other instruments keep the workers company in the wine fields somewhere in Europe. Africa is known for the collective work with them all singing to the work. Customs are different and the level of tolerance too.
I suppose no one in our most effective world has measured the efficiency difference in work with or without fiddlers. Then we should calculate it as quality of life as a whole and not just the working moments, of course.
When the Egyptians picture man at work, they also write all normal comments in working. They are like invisible bubbles on the walls but it should be so that we could see it. Mostly the rustic comments are well organised in the texts, as everything in Egypt seems to have been in strict frames.
These ivory models are from the earliest culture in the Nile valley.
The upper boat has many strokes along the rail. The lower has pins and they are maybe furnishing details. So it is always in the Egyptian art that we never know if it is real details or symbolism referring to a greater existence.
However, is it not the nature of life. In written texts we can select what we want to see ... what we want others to see ... or what we see at first and then with comments about details. Still, life itself is always a mix of reality and imagination of old believes and conventions.
Individual life always infers other people and communities in some way. We see community only occasionally. Nevertheless, it is there when we use the services or express our opinion in some actual matter and so on.
In opinions capitalists and neo liberals try to take a monopoly and tell us that life should only concern the individual. They tell that word like common and social are plagues. That is because they are only interested if they directly can earn some money in manipulating us. Capitalists and their ideological brothers ... they are always brothers ... are very far from the pure ritual state.
However, they perhaps dream about leading people by propaganda to buy maximal goods. Very little they care about eternal life or if the biosphere can stand consumption and its backside the wastes and pollution. As ever the Egyptians were first and had an idol Hapi the Big-Eater too.
Capitalists are also far from the early thinking. Earliest thinkers and rulers mostly wanted to do everything right and take care also of the concerned world around. We know it from the principle "third man should not suffer when two struggles". The logic in our monoculture is that no other should exist and less they care for the affliction on surrounding in long terms.
Still, the Egyptians managed to keep a culture going for three thousand years. If there were some depression, it was mostly because of early capitalists and feudalists, which disturbed the balance between power and people. It must be hard for capitalist to see that already in third millennium they managed great common "social" projects like the pyramids without private enterprises.
This book is not about politics. At least not about politics in states with millions of people. Egypt was geographically of the size of Sweden but in the end with much bigger population. However it could be interesting to study the evolution of feudalism and capitalism and compare it to common/social ideas in the past.
My theory is that the evolution has been from communities with equality as base to the fascistic societies manipulating the people. Many of our sciences have feudalism as base and they use blue filters in their looking glasses. True science it is not. They are not interested in the question Plutharkos always asked was it good or bad and what were the consequences? Ordinary people are most and we should tie some objectivity to that fact. If we should name it science I suppose?