Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ancient Egypt's Hathor, ‘Mistress of Turquoise’ in distant deserts



Hathor features in The Smiting Texts, The Hathor Holocaust and Hunting Hathor (Amazon Kindle)


From time immemorial Egyptians had penetrated the desert in search of her sacred stone, turquoise, particularly in the Sinai where mining expeditions built a distant shrine at Serabit el-Khadim, dedicated to the patron goddess of miners and quarrymen. 

The turquoise droplets must have seemed like a mockery of moisture to the ancient criminals and captives of war who dug the nodules out of fissures of sandstone in the desert. These same men prayed for the protection of Hathor, ‘Mistress of Turquoise’, ‘She who shows her loveliness when the rock is split’.
Would the goddess have cared that they gave their sweat and lives to mine her precious stones, so that rich ladies in Egypt, her devotees, could grace their necks with sumptuous broad collars of turquoise, their arms with turquoise bracelets, their fingers with rings inlaid with turquoise? Did the captives, dazed with thirst and heat, ever raise their eyes from their work in the mining camps to the turquoise sky and rock-strewn horizon and imagine that perhaps they glimpsed Hathor overlooking them from the dazzle? Did they picture her as an ardent young woman under a sycamore tree, or in the form of a lioness of the desert, Sekhmet-Hathor? 

‘She who shows her loveliness when the rock is split’


Excerpt from the Anson Hunter Egyptian adventure series.