1. What was your prime inspiration and motivation for creating the book “Imhotep The African Architect of the Cosmos” with Robert Bauval?
This is my second book as a team with Robert Bauval. Our collaboration began in earnest with our 2008 expedition to the very remote Gebel Uwainat region of southwest Egypt (the northern Sahara desert). There we investigated newly discovered prehistoric rock art and pharaonic inscriptions that link the earliest Nile Valley civilization people with even earlier prehistoric peoples in that region, and with the very ancient megalithic site Nabta Playa. A primary aspect of that link is the evident astro-ceremonial bases of the culture that moved to the Nile Valley and created what we know as Ancient Egyptian civilization. While researching and writing that book “Black Genesis”, it became clear to us that a major product of that movement was the magnificent Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara, designed and envisioned by the great polymath of antiquity, Imhotep. We became more intrigued with the question of who this character is, revered through millennia, famous icon of antiquity, and yet still largely mysterious and little known, Imhotep. We explore that question in our current book.
2. Could you go a bit into your background with us and about your PhD?
I received a PhD in physics, with research in planetary astrophysics, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. That was an exciting time, working with NASA planetary exploration spacecraft projects, studying for the first time close-up the outer planets of our solar system. I continued that work as research staff, and then as an exchange scientist at the University of Tokyo working with Japanese space exploration projects. As an undergraduate I was a sort of dual-major in physics and ancient philosophy (with the philosophy undeclared). In later work I re-integrated with my earlier interests, teaching Integral Studies, and eventually developing an interest in archaeoastronomy which is the basis of my work in these books with Robert Bauval.
3. Why do you think Imhotep was black and could you share some information about his origins with us?
Thousands of years after his time, Imhotep was deified by the ancient Greeks and Romans as the father of medicine and healing, as well as the father of sacred architecture. He was known to have been high priest of Heliopolis, the “holy of holies” of Old Kingdom Egyptian religious-culture. And we found that the monumental complexes Imhotep is known to have designed and envisioned, most embody and express the sacred astro-ceremonialism that links Old Kingdom Egypt to the earlier cultures of the central Sahara who built the sacred megalithic astro-ceremonial site Nabta Playa. Anthropologists know the people of Nabta Playa were black. We think, as the great polymath of earliest Nile Valley Egyptian civilization, it is likely Imhotep was himself from that same cultural background.
4. What do you call him Architect of the Cosmos for?
Imhotep envisioned and expressed in earliest monumental architecture, in a manner that has kept his name revered for five millennia, mans’ linkages both exoteric and esoteric with the cycles of the Cosmos.
5. How was life on the Nile more advanced and sophisticated than previously imagined?
We are all familiar with the Great Pyramids as one of the Wonders of the Ancient World. We now know that the minds and culture behind the building of those monuments, were expressing something far beyond an effort to create a gigantic pile of stones for a grandiose king (as some seem to assert). They were expressing a sacred science of mankind’s place in deeply connected cycles of Cosmos and Earth.
6. This is a wildcard question. What would you like to share with us from the book that our readers might find interesting?
In addition to bringing new light onto the extraordinary personage of Imhotep, we also tie him into the context of many historical aspects readers may find fascinating such as the following. Imhotep was early high priest of the great Ancient Egyptian University at Heliopolis, which many centuries later was frequented by early ancient Greek luminaries such as Pythagoras. We deepen the connection of Nile Valley civilization to the earlier culture at Nabta Playa, and the prehistoric people who made the beautiful rock art in the central Sahara. We look at a 6500 year old artificial human tooth found at Nabta Playa that the dental anthropologist who discovered it suggests may have been 6000 years ahead of its time. We also consider further possible evidence the very ancient Zep Tepi or “First Time” culture, usually thought to be “mythical”, may have been Imhotep’s ancient ancestors. And much more…
7. What can you share with about your research at the Step Pyramid Complex of Saqqara?
For that, please see our book, and my replies to the above questions.
8. What future projects are you working on and do you have any website links you would like to share with us? Thanks.
As far as writing, I am working on an essay for a book chapter that explores more deeply one of the prehistoric features we discuss in these two books. Also I am developing a new book that will be more philosophical (along the lines of my book The Mechanism Demands a Mysticism) addressing a gap in our contemporary scientific view of reality, which will also speculate on connections of that to the geniuses like Imhotep who created the wonders of the ancient world.
I encourage readers to connect with me on facebook (thomas.brophy), or thomasgbrophy.com, also Robert Bauval’s very active facebook page.
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