Eden in Egypt – Part 2
(Read part 1 ) So if the Garden of Eden was located at Amarna, then what of Adam and Eve? The first thing to note is that Adam and Eve were the first man and first woman. But then so too were Pharaoh Akhenaton and Queen Nefertiti. Just as the American president and his wife are known as the First Man and the First Lady, so too were Akhenaton and Nefertiti. So the Genesis description of them was not wrong - just confusing (and deliberately so).
Note also that Adam and Eve were famed for being innocently naked in their idyllic Garden; but when they were eventually banished from this Garden they became embarrassed by their nakedness and were forced to cover up. This, I believe, is another direct allusion to the famous royal couple from Amarna. Yes, Akhenaton and Nefertiti did indeed float through their beautiful palaces at Amarna in a state of near nakedness, and scene after scene portrays the royal couple in either see-though diaphanous robes or being completely naked. And this probably did cause a bit of a stir in the Egyptian 'media' - the gossiping in the market squares. Think what a media storm would erupt today, if Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were photographed strolling naked through the gardens at Buckingham Palace!
Fig 2.5 A 'lumpy naked body' depiction of the Fall and Expulsion of Adam, by Michaelangelo.
Fig 2.6 Akhenaton and Nefertiti naked at Amarna, just as Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden. The third torso is of an unknown Amarna queen/princess in a diaphanous robe that is so revealing she might as well be naked.
However, when Amarna was destroyed and the royal couple were forced to flee from their palace (there is no evidence for their deaths there), they would have been forced out into the big wide world of sailors, artisans and farmers. Their usual nakedness, which seemed so respectable and befitting within the confines of the royal court at Amarna, would have looked positively indecent in a rural village or town. There was nothing else to do, except cover up!
Tower of Babel
The topic that inspired this article was actually the Tower of Babel, not the Genesis story, so how does this novel information about Eden effect the famous tower of many languages? Well, the story thus far is one with a distinctly Egyptian flavour, and so if we travel with the descendants of Adam and Eve (Akhenaton and Nefertiti) northwards from Amarna, we arrive at the land of Shiniar, the 'land of two rivers' where the Tower of Babel was built. Well, perhaps, but I rather think that the location they arrived at was actually Shiniyr, the land of the 'mountain of snow'. And where is the Mountain of Snow, where a massive 'tower' was to be built? Giza, of course.
Fig 2.7 The Tower of Babel at Giza. Originally, the two main pyramids at Giza would have been covered in pure white limestone, and known as the Snow Mountains, or Shiniyr.
Remember that the Great and Second pyramids were originally covered in pure white limestone, and so they would indeed have looked like two snow-covered peaks standing on the Giza plateau. And so it is likely that the Tower of Babel (the Migdal Babel) was one of the pyramids on the Giza plateau. But if that is so, then what does Migdal Babel mean?
The first thing to note is that migdal is an Egyptian word that is pronounced as maktal meaning 'tower'. Then we come to the Aramaic babel, which is said to mean 'confusion' or 'scatter', much as the biblical story relates. But anyone who has studied Egyptology would instantly know that the Egyptian word berber refers to a pyramid rather than a tower, just as its determinative hieroglyph demonstrates. Furthermore the 'r' to 'l' transliteration, that is so common when transposing from Egyptian to Aramaic, would render this word as belbel in the Torah, just as the Egyptian maktar was eventually rendered as maktal. And this Egyptian-to-Aramaic translation is further confirmed by the similar Egyptian and Coptic word berber ( belbel) meaning 'expel', which is exactly what happened to the people of Shiniyr.
Fig 2.8 The Egyptian berber (belbel) meaning 'expel' or perhaps 'scatter'. The similar Coptic word berber confirms this translation from the Egyptian.
Fig 2.9 The Egyptian maktar berber (maktal belbel) meaning 'tower pyramid'. The Tower of Babel was therefore a pyramid - the Great Pyramid of Giza.