Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, who I had first encountered through his translation of the Kebra Nagast, but who had also been keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum, had this to say on the subject:

Moses was a skillful performer of magical rituals and was deeply learned in the knowledge of the accompanying spells, incantations, and magical formulas of every description . . . . [Moreover] the miracles which he wrought . . . suggest that he was not only a priest, but a magician of the highest order and perhaps even a Kher Heb.

As a Kher Heb (High Priest) of the Egyptian temple Moses would have undoubtedly have had access to a substantial corpus of esoteric wisdom and magico-religious “science” that the priestly guilds kept secret from the laity. I knew that modern Egyptologists accepted that such a body of knowledge had existed. I also knew that they had very little idea as to what it might have actually consisted of: obscure references to it appeared in inscriptions in the tombs of senior temple officials but almost nothing of any substance had survived in written form. A great deal was probably passed on in an exclusively oral tradition confined to initiates.

From The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant by Graham Hancock


The Secret Medicine of the Pharaohs

Cornelius Stetter

This historical study deals with all facets of the medical field in ancient Egypt. Stetter discusses the societal role doctors played and their place in the Egyptian court. There is much information on the treatment of bodies after death including embalming, entombment and the corresponding myths that accompanied them. Mundane medical treatments including dentistry are also covered. Stetter describes how the ancient Egyptians viewed the body, their ideal of health and the medicines and unusual implements they used. All the information is fully annotated and primary sources are translated and quoted. With many color photographs, this book is an insightful historical study. MM

Publisher: Quintessence
Paperback: 184 pages

Unwrapping a Mummy

John H. Taylor

The mummified remains of an Egyptian priest named Horemkenesi (11th century, Thebes) are beginning to crumble, so a museum team decides “it’s now or never,” and unravels him—and in the process Horemkenesi achieves his desired immortality with his identity “coming alive” 3,000 years later! The reader is shown in vast detail the city dig that led to Horemkenesi’s initial discovery—which through archeological and linguistic detective work also “unravels” all facets of life during his time (cultural, religious and economic), Egyptian medical knowledge, the significance of writings placed near Horemkenesi’s tomb, and why his brain remained but not other vital organs. MS

Publisher: University of Texas
Paperback: 116 pages