Dr. Mario Beatty’s Comments

Dr Mario Beatty is Chair, Associate Professor of African-American Studies of Chicago State University. He is an authority of Ancient Kemet/Egypt and was kind enough to give the following comments.
Hotep Brother Reggie,
It’s wonderful to see Africans thinking deeply in this way about our cultural heritage. Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your theory. I will respond here in narrative form and I can provide more descriptive commentary in follow-up correspondence. First, I think it is important to clearly distinguish the two major assertions and lines of argument in your theory. One, the ANKH speaks to pre-creation, creation, and the afterlife. Two, the ANKH functions as a kind of mnemonic device to represent in abbreviated form the initial letters of the Ogdoad. I agree with your initial assertion that ANKH as life speaks to pre-creation, creation, and the afterlife. For the Ancient Egyptians, they are all simply phases or transitions of “life.” However, there are fundametal problems with the second assertion. First, the transcription of   imn into English as “Amun” is based upon an assessment of Greek pronunciation of Egyptian words during the Ptolemaic period. Since this point is so critical to your argument, you can not overlook that the Ancient Egyptian pronuncation of imn is emun (pronounce e as in beat). Moreover, the Egyptian language already has two “a” sounds: the Egyptian vulture and the extended arm. The “a” sound that begins the word ANKH is the extended arm. Of course, the initial glyph in imn is the flowering reed. Thus, from the Ancient Egyptian perspective, the word ANKH and the word Amun, although they provide the false appearance that they begin with the same sound due to how they are transcribed into English, begin with two completely different sounds. Hence, your assertion can only begin with an inaccurate premise: that the “a” in Amun is essentially the same as the “a” in the word ANKH. Second, I do not think it is accurate nor necessary to symbolically map the Ogdoad onto the ANKH symbol to prove your core thesis. Your thesis seeks to investigate more deeply what the Ancient Egyptians meant by “life.” And this is an ambitious and worthwhile project and you should consult all of the spiritual literature, wisdom texts, prayers, hymns, artistic represtentations, etc. to demonstrate the depth of the African worldview in conceptualizing “life” that clearly transcends are more limited undertandings in the West. I agree that the Ancient Egyptian conception of “life” has both a scientific and spiritual aspect and this assertion will certainly be made stronger in the process of consulting more texts. You have the makings of a great research topic here and I look forward to reading your future work.
In Maat,
Mario Beatty
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