Giants of ancient Egypt: The lost legacy of the “non-human” pharaohs

Egyptian Giant

How did humans move blocks of tons of weight when building the pyramids? That and other questions have led us to question the existence of giants in Ancient Egypt.

History has led one to think again and again that the rulers of ancient Kemet (ancient name for Egypt, which means the “black land”) were not ordinary humans. Some say them elongated skulls, others describe them as quasi-spiritual beings, and others as giants. And to support this theory is one of the legends that tells how the Pyramids of Giza were built at the hands of a race of giants.

This theory was shared during a lecture called “Atlantis and the Ancient Gods” by the occultist and Freemason, Manly P. Hall.

“We are told that in the year 820 AD… way back in the days of the glory of Baghdad, the great sultan, the follower and descendant of the great El-Rashid of Arabian Nights, the Sultan El-Rashid Al-Ma’mun, decided to open the Great Pyramid. He had been told that it had been built by giants, who were called the Sheddai, superhuman beings, and that within that pyramid and those pyramids, they had stored a great treasure beyond the knowledge of man.”

Although it is true that in the year 832 AD, Al-Ma’mun travelled to Egypt and was the first to explore the Great Pyramid in a time where it was still covered in white limestone, however, who the Sheddai are is a mystery that continues to this present day. According to some, it could be referring to another name of the Shemsu Hor, or ‘Followers of Horus’. While others say, it could refer to Shaddād bin ‘Ad (King of Ad), who was believed to be the king of the lost Arabian city of Iram of the Pillars, an account of which is mentioned in Sura 89 of the Qur’an. He is sometimes referred to as a giant.

The monumental constructions in Egypt and their relationship with the giants

Pyramid stones
Photo of the massive white stone blocks that covered the Great Pyramid © Hugh Newman

The Akhbār al-zamān,  also known as The Book of Wonders (ca.900 – 1100 AD), is an Arabic compilation of ancient traditions in Egypt and the prediluvian world. It claims that the people of ‘Ad were giants, so Shaddad could be one of them. It is said that he “built the monuments of Dahshur with the stones that had been carved in the time of his father.”

Before that, the giant Harjit had begun its construction. At a later date, Qofṭarīm, another giant, “placed secrets in the pyramids of Dahshur and other pyramids, to imitate what had been done of old. He founded the city of Dendera.” Dashur consists of the Red Pyramid and Bent Pyramid constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Sneferu (2613-2589 BC). On the other side, Dendera consists of highly decorated pillars dedicated to the Goddess Hathor.

The text also mentions that the city of Memphis was built by a group of giants who lived after the Great Flood and served King Misraim, who was also known as a giant. Even later still it describes the work of more of these colossi: “Adīm was a giant, with insurmountable strength, and the greatest of men. He ordered the quarrying of rocks and their transportation to build pyramids, as had been done in former times.”

So what do we make of these stories? It does seem that Manly P. Hall was aware of this text and attempted to summarize it in his lecture. It is the opinion of the author that all ancient ‘lore’ is worth acknowledging as many of these traditions were relied on it to carry knowledge and wisdom through the generations.

Were the ‘The Followers of Horus’ Giants?

skeletons of the followers of Horus
One of the supposed skeletons of the followers of Horus, discovered in the 1930s © Egypt Exploration Society

The followers of Horus, who may have created the main mound of Giza long before the pharaohs, are believed to be giants. This is believed because, at the end of the 4th millennium BC, those called Disciples of Horus were a powerful aristocracy that ruled Egypt.

“Towards the end of the IV millennium BC the people known as the Disciples of Horus appear as a highly dominant aristocracy that governed entire Egypt. The theory of the existence of this race is supported by the discovery in the Predynastic tombs, in the northern part of Higher Egypt, of the anatomical remains of individuals with bigger skulls and builds than the native population, with so much difference to exclude any hypothetical common racial strain.”

The theory about its existence is supported by the discovery of predynastic tombs north of Upper Egypt. From the remains, archaeologists found skulls and constructions much larger than the rest stand out. The difference is such that any kind of common racial strain is ruled out.

In fact, Professor Walter B. Emery, an Egyptologist who explored Saqqara in the 1930s, discovered the predynastic remains. Emery discovered that the abnormally large remains belonged to people with blond hair and a much more robust complexion.

He said that the strain was not native to Egypt, but that it was very important in Egypt’s government. He discovered that this group only mixed with other equally important aristocracies and were believed to be part of the Followers of Horus.

The 2.5-meter tall king

Giants of ancient Egypt: The lost legacy of the "non-human" pharaohs 2
Limestone statue of Khasekhemui at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford © Wikimedia Commons

Khasekhemui was the last ruler of the Second Dynasty of Egypt, with its epicentre near Abydos. He was present in the construction of Hierakonpolis, the predynastic capital.

He was buried in the necropolis of Umm el-Qa’ab. His limestone tomb was investigated in 2001, surprising experts by the quality of the construction compared to the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, which was dated to the beginning of the Third Dynasty. Khasekhemui’s remains were never found, so it is believed that it was looted long before.

Flinders Petrie, who was the first to excavate the site, found evidence from the 3rd century BC, that the pharaoh almost reached 2.5 meters in height.

Representation of a giant in Saqqara

Giants of ancient Egypt: The lost legacy of the "non-human" pharaohs 3
A depiction of a possible giant at Saqqara © Remiren

The third dynasty was responsible for the construction of the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, built with other temples in the complex. Djoser, who was in charge of burying Khasekhemui, who is suspected of being his son, ruled Saqqara during the construction of the pyramid.

Within this complex, it was possible to photograph a painting of a giant that clearly seemed to have an elongated skull. However, this could be a representation of skeletons that were excavated in the 1930s of individuals with large skulls and complexions.

The Temple of Isis

Temple of Isis
An article from 1895 and 1986 mentioned the discovery of skeletons up to 11 feet tall. © Viajesyturismoaldia/Flickr

In 1895 and 1896, the world’s newspapers published a strange story about a photograph of the Temple of Isis. The first time the article appeared was in the Arizona Silver Belt, November 16th, 1895, under the headline “Prehistoric Egyptian Giants.” The article read the following:

“In 1881, when professor Timmerman was engaged in exploring the ruins of an ancient temple of Isis on the banks of the Nile, 16 miles below Najar Djfard, he opened a row of tombs in which some prehistoric race of giants had been buried. The smallest skeleton out of some 60 odd, which were examined during the time Timmerman was excavating at Najar Djfard, measured seven feet and eight inches in length and the largest eleven feet one inch. Memorial tablets were discovered in great numbers, but there was no record that even hinted that they were in the memory of men of extraordinary size. It is believed that the tombs date back to the year 1043 BC.”

Giant mummified finger

Giant finger found in Egypt
Giant finger found in Egypt revealed in 2002.

According to the German newspaper BILD.de, Gregor Spörri, a millionaire who owns a Swiss nightclub, took several photos of a mummified giant finger in the late 1980s. The owner was a retired grave robber who lived in Bir Hooker, near Sadat City, about 100 kilometres from Cairo.

The finger was 35 centimetres long, so it belonged to someone who easily exceeded 4 meters in height. However, this finding was barely made public in 2012, 24 years later and, since then, it has not been made official. According to Spörri, the finger was found 150 years ago and had been in the family of the owner, who took the trouble to X-Ray the finger to confirm its authenticity. Read this article to know more about the Egyptian giant mummified finger.

Giant Sarcophagi of Egypt: Three examples of massive coffins from ancient Egypt. © Muhammad Abdo
Giant Sarcophagi of Egypt: Three examples of massive coffins from ancient Egypt. © Muhammad Abdo

According to some researchers, gigantic coffins are proof of giants in Egypt. Though it simply could be the case that they made them bigger than required to impress others or to make it clear to the gods in the afterlife that they were of royal stock. On the other hand, there are a few accounts of gigantism in the historical record, Egypt has too. Many unusually large skeletons and mummies could be just an example of gigantism. But many have thrown questions as being without signs of any pituitary irregularity.

Conclusion

Anyway, with these discoveries presented in this article, it simply builds the case for the existence of giants in prehistoric Egypt and around the world, and the more we explore the records of each country, the more examples we find. Yes, some have nothing to do with the mysterious lost part of our history, but some have. It may even shed light on how such large stones were quarried and lifted in to place, as only giants, very advanced technology, or ingenious architects, could have achieved such a gargantuan task in the distant past.

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