A Novel of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad Order your copy now!Hammersmith is determined to find the missing Inspector Day.
We depart from the premise that we, as human beings, are attempting to become more spiritual, and instead begin with the premise that we are Infinite Beings negotiating with Life as a sexual body.
Inscriptions reveal that both men held the title of Royal Manicurist and Chief of Palace Manicurists; and the tomb dates from the reign of Niuserre (2453-2422 B.
C.), in the 3rd Dynasty in the latter half of the Old Kingdom.
The two men, Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, ingenuously had their names decoratively intertwined above the entrance to the inner chambers as “Niankh-Khnum-Hotep,”, which may be translated “joined in life and joined in death [or ‘peace’].” Both men are identified as derives from the common hieroglyph for “female,” but drops the feminine ending.
This pictograph was used in a variety of senses, including “coward,” more generally “eunuch” (more in the sense of one being born a male biologically but having changed one’s gender, than being castrated), and commonly “priest” in tomb inscriptions.
How these males were changed into is not clear, although such androgynous servants have often played a role in cultic rituals related to death and burial. Both men, as palace officials, enjoyed a high social status; and they also were counted as members of a large favored circle of priests, who performed a significant religious role. Various explanations have been offered for the relationship between Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep – that they were brothers, twins, related by marriage, close relatives, business associates, or members of the same guild – yet, as William Naphy notes (2004), the unique nature of the iconography (images and symbols) here and their closeness (especially their embracing) point to a more strong emotional bond. Also, both of them being called Egyptian art rarely depicted figures embracing, and scenes of two men doing so are virtually unknown. If these men were lovers, it would demonstrate that homosexual love did express itself on some occasions in ancient Egypt and also found some acceptance. In the outer part of the tomb, the two men are seen seated together, arm in arm, greeting offering-bearers and visitors to their burial place, and also walking, hand in hand, touring and inspecting their tomb.