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The shaft of Osiris in Egypt: the last refuge of the ancient Egyptian god

The so-called Osiris Shaft remains one of the most inaccessible Egyptian sites due to groundwater. Few people have the opportunity to visit this place.

Ancient Egypt has attracted people from all over the world for many centuries. Seekers of mysterious artifacts, wise knowledge of distant ancestors, fabulous treasures – they all aspire to the Land of the Pyramids, hoping to find there not only what they want, but something more.

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato also contributed to the popularization of Egypt. In his writings, he talks about the connection between the mysterious priests of the pharaohs and the mythological civilization of Atlantis.

Is this story true or a figment of the great thinker’s imagination? Anyone who has visited Egypt will know that he had every reason to associate the cultural and architectural achievements of the Black Country (as Egypt was called in ancient times) with “another, much more advanced civilization“.

There is a lesser known place in Egypt. It was discovered and excavated not so long ago, but it is absolutely amazing and magnificent – the so-called Osiris shaft.

According to one legend, this is where the ancient Egyptian god Osiris found his last refuge. The discovery is located near Cairo, on the Giza plateau, next to the Pyramid of Khafre.

The Osiris shaft is underground, and if you don’t know its exact location, you can pass the closed, inconspicuous door at the rocky base of the plateau dozens of times without noticing anything unusual.

The site was first noted on a map of Giza in 1837 by the British Egyptologist and engineer John Peering and was designated Tomb № 1 around 1933-1934.

Egyptian archaeologist Selim Hassan, in the process of clearing the road between the Pyramid of Khafre and the Temple of the Valley near the Sphinx, discovered a shaft under the road. It has several levels. Initially, the lowest level is full of water, which is an obstacle to further research.

It was not until 1999, under the leadership of Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass, that it was possible to pump water from the lowest level of the shaft. Archaeological excavations have not stopped since then.

Getting to the excavation site is extremely difficult even for an official archeological mission, as the work was carried out under the personal supervision of Havas. Ordinary tourists can only dream of visiting the shaft.

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Amulets with various shapes of obsidian, diorite, slate, faience and basalt were found at the site. The name “Shaft of Osiris” is due to the design of the tomb and the amulets depicting Osiris, found at the lowest level.

The descent into the shaft takes place in three stages. In the first stage of the front door you have to go down more than 10 meters on a vertical ladder. On a small platform there is another staircase that leads down. This descent ends in a rectangular room with seven niches, two of which contain high-quality basalt sarcophagi.

It is difficult to imagine how these massive large stone structures ended up at such a depth! From the very realization of this unusual fact it is worth going there, but that’s not all.

An extensive trace of iron oxide of unknown origin can be seen in the north-western niche under the ceiling. There are similar traces in some other cracks on the Giza plateau.

The most interesting thing, however, is after another descent another 12 meters down to the third and last level of the Shaft of Osiris. There, on an artificial island surrounded by water, is another sarcophagus, very similar to the others above, but made of granite.

The remains of rectangular columns that once towered over the stone sarcophagus can be seen on the island. It is not yet clear why stone sarcophagi were used in ancient times.

It is there, in the dim light, in the silence near the underground waters, in the oblivion of a bygone era of ancient gods and heroes, that one can realize the greatness of the colossal monuments of Egypt.

One can even capture the movement of the spirit of history, which is invisibly present somewhere nearby, existing at all times.

And how, among all the grandiose monuments and artifacts, can one not believe that the gods really lived among the people?


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