The name the ancient Egyptians gave to their abundant and fertile land was Kemet, the “Black Land”. We known this country today as Egypt, a name derived from the Greek mispronunciation of Hutkaptah, “The Spirit-Mansion of Ptah”³, the most ancient and monolithic temple to one of Egypt's oldest gods, Ptah. Kemet was a kingdom of startling contrasts: Hard amber cliffs and bone-dry, rocky wadis gave way to rich, silt-laden farmlands supporting thousands of peasants and skilled craftsmen. Slipping through this sun-baked landscape of desert and dôm-palms was the precious Nile, the longest river on earth and the lifeblood of Egypt. For the Egyptians, daily life in their homeland was like living on a knife's edge. It was feast or famine, high Nile or drought conditions, teeming life suddenly overtaken by the shadowy realm of death. The average life expectancy in these conditions was thirty-five years4, and it was because of this brief lifespan- and the often harrowing circumstances of nature and disease- that the Egyptians turned inwards, concentrating the bulk of their industries on the ethereal questions vexing the human condition.
1. De Lubicz, Schwaller R.A. 1949. The Temple in Man: Sacred Architecture and
the Perfect Man. Translation copyright 1977 by Autumn Press Inc. Published by
Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont. Pg 9.