Solar Burials and Death Rites

From: Anthony Bushell (Anthony.Bushell@anu.edu.au)
Date: Fri 18 Oct 1996 - 08:01:13 EEST


        I have been working on information about Teshnos and was thinking
about the Solar cults there when I came across this passage in "The Masks of
God" (page 49)
        "Graves in Egypt had formerly been of a simple "open-pit" variety,
rectangular in outline with round corners, or, in smaller burials, oval.
The body, wrapped in hide, in loose folds of linen, or in both, was placed
in a contracted posture on its left side, head south, facing west,and, after
household ceramic vessels had been stowed along the sides, the excavation
was filled and the surplus earth heaped above in amound, upon which
offerings could be set. Brick, however, made it possible for an earth-free
chamber to be constructed in the open pit below ground (the substructure),
as well as for the mound above to be raised and magnified into a large, or
even huge, brick-faced mastaba (the superstructure), to serve both as a
memorial to the personage dwelling beneath and as a chapel for his mortuary
cult."
        This led me to wonder about the burial methods of the Gloranthan
solar cults. Rivere of Cradles tells us that the Orlanthi of Sartar use sky
burials and cremation to bring their people closer to the wind and storm,
but what do the solar cults do? The passage above concerns Egypt which was a
big place for the worship of the Sun, so perhaps it is something similar to
this because it represents Yelm's descent into the Underworld after his death.
        I would be interested in hearing other peoples views on this matter
as it something that will play on my mind for some time now, I just know it.

                Anthony

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