Passion for the PAST from historians of the FUTURE


Egyptian Gods: Thoth – Phillip, Megan, Bianca


Thoth is one of the chief egyptian gods in the Egyptian religion. He is the god of wisdom and the inventor of writing, and he is also the patron of scribes and the divine mediator. Thoth was the original god and was self-conceived at the beginning of time. After that, he created everything in existence and is often known as the chief god. He is commonly portrayed in the form of a human body with an ibis as his head (the ibis is also a holy animal in their religion), although there are also portrayals of him as a baboon. He is also credited to have invented the studies of astronomy, geometry and medicine. “Who knows the secrets, who records their expression, who distinguishes one speech from another, who is judge of everyone! O Thoth, you I adore, you I invoke!”

Book of Thoth

There was a book known as the book of Thoth, which had two powerful spells in it. The first gave you the ability to understand all the beasts. The second could make the dead come back to life. Prince Setna, who was the pharaoh’s son, knew the book was hidden in one of the tombs in the city of the dead. With his brother, Anhererau, he broke into the tomb of Neferkaptah where the previous pharaoh with his wife and son were buried. The wife warned them both about stealing the book because she too had tried to steal the book, but she and her son were drowned in the nile as part of Thoth’s fury. Setna ignored this and went straight to the book. The mummy then rose and challenged Setna to a game of draughts where if he won four games, he would receive the book. Setna lost the first two games and began to sink into the ground up to his knees. As he was losing the third game, he asked his brother to go get his magical amulet to break the spell and keep him safe. While playing his fourth game, he was very slow waiting for his brother to return. When his brother came, Setna was just about to lose, but with the amulet on he was safe and the curse was broken. When Setna tried to read the book, he had visions of a young and beautiful woman whom he could marry in turn for killing his present family. Realising he was being punished by Thoth for stealing his book, he returned it back to the tomb, and since then, no one has ever seen the book since.

Thoth Hymn

Thoth, son of Re, moon, of beautiful rising, lord of appearing, light of the gods, hail to you, moon, Thoth, bull in Khmun, dweller in Hesret, who makes way for the gods! O Thoth, you I adore, you I invoke!

Who knows the secrets, who records their expression, who distinguishes one speech from another,

who is judge of everyone! O Thoth, you I adore, you I invoke!

Keen-faced in the ship-of-millions, courier of humankind, who knows a man by his utterance, who makes the deed rise against the doer! O Thoth, you I adore, you I invoke!

Who contents Re, advises the sole lord, lets him know whatever happens; at dawn he summons in heaven, and forgets not yesterday’s report! O Thoth, you I adore, you I invoke!

Thoth as the patron of writing and teaching

Statue of Thoth

Thoth as an Ibis at the temple at Kom Ombo

Temple of Thoth at Hermopolis

Thoth records the judgements – Book of the Dead (Papyrus of Ani)



Egyptian Gods: Anubis – Tim, Rachel, Bree, Ashleigh


The Ancient Egyptian God Anubis was known as the God of the underworld who regulated mummification and assisted in the rites by which a dead man was admitted access to the underworld. He is worshiped as the inventor of embalming the dead thereby helping to preserve the dead. Anubis is depicted as a man with a jackal’s head who holds the divine scepter which is held by all Kings and Gods. Earlier in egyptian history, Anubis was known as the God of the dead however, this role was later taken over by Osiris due to his increasing popularity.


Further evidence of Anubis’ embalming can be seen within The Book of the Dead: “Anubis, who dwelleth in the region of the embalmed, the chief of the holy house, layeth his hands upon the lord of life [i.e., the mummy], … and provideth him with all that belongeth unto him, and saith: ‘Flail to thee, thou beautiful one, the lord! Thou hast been gazed upon by the Sun’s eye, thou hast been bound up by Ptah-Seker, thou hast been made whole by Anubis; breath hath been given unto thee by Shu, and thou hast been raised up by the fair one, the prince of eternity.”


Anubis is known to have three important functions. The first of which was his supervision to the embalming of bodies. This can be seen within the translated version of the Book of the Dead: “Anubis, who dwelleth in the region of the embalmed, the chief of the holy house, layeth his hands upon the lord of life [i.e., the mummy], … and provideth him with all that belongeth unto him, and saith: ‘Flail to thee, thou beautiful one, the lord! Thou hast been gazed upon by the Sun’s eye, thou hast been bound up by Ptah-Seker, thou hast been made whole by Anubis; breath hath been given unto thee by Shu, and thou hast been raised up by the fair one, the prince of eternity.” The second is his contribution to the Opening of the Mouth ceremony where he conducted the soul into the field of celestial offerings. The final and most important of Anubis’ roles is his his monitoring of the Scales of truth which can be seen in the following visual:


This depicts the Scales of Truth which is where a mans heart is put on a scale with a feather and if it lighter the man will be allowed access to the afterlife.

Myth about Anubis

Anubis was illegitimate son of Nephthys and her brother Osiris, this angered her husband Set and he planned to kill the child once he was born. Due to this Nephthys hid her newborn son in the marshes of the Nile, he was found by Isis, Osiris’ wife and raised by them. When he was grown up he went out with his father to conquer the world, but Osiris was killed by Set and his body torn apart and scattered. Anubis then set out to find all the pieces of Osiris and rebuild his body. He performed the first mummification and introduced the practice of embalming the dead to prevent decay and preserve the body.

437px-RPM_Ägypten_186Anubis Mask-Late Period. Made of clay and is 29cm tall. Kept at the  Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim,Germany.


A Picture of a wall painting from the tomb of Sennedjem.


A 1.55 metre tall, white marble statue of Anubis. Currently on display at the Gregorian Egyptian Museum.

Resources Used

Egyptian Gods: Seth – Richard, George, Max

Seth – Egyptian God of chaos
Set or Seth is the Egyptian god of storms and chaos. Seth is well known for killing and mutilating his own god brother Osiris. After Osiris’ death his son Horus sought revenge and the conflicts between him and Set were a common and interesting set of stories told by Egyptians of the time. Set is not depicted by a particular animal but by many. He is a mix of what is likely to be an aardvark, a donkey and a fox..
Seth wished to be the ruler of Egypt and so out of jealousy murdered his brother Osiris the ruler of Egypt at that time. The story goes: Seth convinced Osiris to lie down inside a large glorious box, by promising him it would be his if he could fit inside. As soon as Osiris lay down Seth and his collaborators nailed the lid shut and threw the box into the Nile. Isis (Osiris’ wife) then searched and found the box with Osiris’ body in it. Seth became mad at this and cut Osiris into 14 pieces, then scattered him across the land. Isis then managed to find enough parts of Osiris to bring him back to life and conceive a child with him, who was later known as Horus.
Before Set became the God of chaos and darkness he was effectively the bodyguard of Ra, he protected him and was believed to be the one who made the sun rise in the morning.

Picture1This a statue of set uncovered in Ancient Egypt. The original statue was in an Egyptian temple and only seen by the High Priest and a special priest named the Medjty. The High Priest was ordered to give sacrifices such as food and gold to the God. Whereas the Medjty was responsible for cleaning, washing and oiling the statue. The common folk only ever saw Seth when he was paraded around in large festivals.






Awake for Horus! Stand up for Seth! Raise yourself, you eldest son of Geb, at whom the Two Enneads tremble! Stand up, O! Herdsman, for whom the three-day festival is celebrated! May you appear for the monthly festival, may you be pure for the New Moon festival
This is a hymn to Seth to stand up and take what he deserves from Horus the son of Osiris’ whom Seth killed. Horus is angry at Seth and wishes to take his revenge. But Seth chooses to hide and cower away from Horus. This hymn or poem speaks of a three day festival held around the two conflicted , Set and Horus.

Myth of Set
Set was born of the earth god known as ‘Geb’ and the sky goddess ‘Nut’ along with his wife ‘Nephthys’, and the divine couple of ‘Osiris’ and ‘Isis’. Osiris was known as a great leader, civilised and fair, whereas Set was found to be considered wholly evil, exceptions are found in the glyphs suggesting he defended Ra from Apep. He was thought to be powerful due to his sexual orientation as shown when he apparently tried to sexually abuse Horus and was thought to be sexually immoral towards his wife. He grew jealous of his brother, Osiris as a leader and due to his wife. Set was said to have locked Osiris into a chest and thrown it into the sea for him to drown whilst other accounts suggest he mutilated him and killed him so he couldn’t stay with the living. Instead, Osiris was decidedly the god of the dead, having feasts with the purest of men in death.

Horus was miraculously conceived in the death of Osiris, and rivalled against Set, this feud was reason for the division of the Upper and Lower Egypts. Lower Egypt was Horus’s land whereas Set owned Upper Egypt. Horus and Set battled, in one account, Set sexually abused Horus, and Horus deflected his seed construed as the theft of Set’s powers. Others suggest that Set castrated Horus whilst Horus removed one of his eyeballs. In all accounts though, it is known that Horus bests Set and takes up the throne. Symbolic of the unity of the two nations.

























South Africa – A Background Look

Recently the entire class investigated some background information into the history and sociology of South Africa. A first attempt at PBL/CBL as an entire class. We have since discussed different ways of publishing in more appropriate and engaging/polished formats.

Demeter-Rachel and Ashleigh

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture, grain, bread and the prime sustenance of mankind.  Her parents were Cronus and Rhea. She was one of the gods that was swallowed by Cronus at birth however, she was eventually regurgitated.  Most of her attributes she developed were from her mother’s side as she had strong connections with nature and the world as the whole. She became a mother of two children Persephone and Dionysus.  Demeter’s symbol is the poppy as is grows along the barley.

Demeter’s birth:

As referenced from Hesiod, Theogony 453 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.):

“But Rhea was subject in love to Kronos and bare splendid children: Histia, Demeter, and gold-shod Hera and strong Aides, pitiless in heart, who dwells under the earth, and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, [Poseidon] and wise Zeus . . . These great Kronos swallowed as each came forth from the womb to his mother’s knees . . . Therefore he kept no blind outlook, but watched and swallowed down his children . . .

As the years rolled on, great Kronos the wily was beguiled by the deep suggestions of Gaia (Earth), and brought up again his offspring, vanquished by the arts and might of his own son, and he vomited up first the stone which he had swallowed last.”

Mint was also a major symbol for Demeter.

As referenced from the Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 205 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :

“Then Metaneira [Queen of Eleusis] filled a cup with sweet wine and offered it to her [Demeter]; but she refused it, for she said it was not lawful for her to drink red wine, but bade them mix meal and water with soft mint and give her to drink. And Metaneira mixed the draught and gave it to the goddess as she bade. So the great queen Deo received it to observe the sacrament.”


Statue of Demeter.                   Demeter and Persephone.

The myth of Persephone:

Persephone was Demeter’s daughter. One day, when she was picking flowers, her uncle, Hades (the god of the underworld) noticed her. Hades fell in love instantly and he kidnapped her, taking her to the underworld.

She was locked  room in the Hall of Hades and she cried and refused to speak or eat. But after a week, she was so hungry that she ate six pomegranite seeds.

 Meanwhile, on earth, Zeus was worried about the crops. The people would die if the crops failed. So he sent his youngest son, Hermes to make a deal with Hades.

When Hermes heared that Persephone had eaten in Hades realm, he had to think quickly. The deal that he made was that if Persephone would marry Hades, she would live as queen of the underworld for six months of the year and each spring would return to live on earth for the other six months. Everyone agreed.

Each spring, Demeter makes all the flowers bloom in welcome for her daughter when she returns from the underworld. Each Autumn, when Persephone returns to Hades, Demeter cries and lets all the crops die until spring.


Demeter on a chariot.                                  Demeter statue in the

                                                                 British museum.


A.Atsma. 2005. Demeter Estate . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 May 12]

Jastow, (2007), Triptolemos Louvre [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed 25 May 12]..

-, (2008), Deméter tipo Madrid-Capitolio (Museo del Prado) [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed 25 May 12].

-, (2008), Demeter in horse chariot w daughter [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed 25 May 12].

-, (2006), Demeter Greek Mythology [ONLINE]. Available at:,r:12,s:168,i:30&tx=31&ty=71 [Accessed 25 May 12].

Persephone & Demeter (myth) – Ancient Greek & Roman Gods for  Kids accessed (25/05/2012)


ANZAC Legend by Ally

What did the allies hope to achieve by attacking Gallipoli?


The idea to send the Australian troops to Gallipoli was planned by Winston Churchill, who in 1915 was a mid level English military leader, but who is better remembered as the Prime Minister of England during the Second World War.

Their aim was to destroy the triple alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy and they planned to occupy the area, thereby causing the Turkish army to abandon their largest city, Istanbul (Constantinople). This would cut off all supply from Europe, including Germany, to Central Power armies in areas such as Asia Minor, Syria and Arabia. This would aid the Allied armies who would be able to quickly overrun these areas, achieving a swift and great victory.

The Turks proved to be excellent fighters and quickly contained the British positions. In the Mediterranean, German submarines destroyed many Allied warships in the close quarters. Ultimately, the entire fiasco was cancelled by the Allies and the survivors withdrawn.

The landing and the retreat

25 April, 1915, was the first day of the landing, but the process of landing and the initial fighting to secure as much land as possible lasted for several days.

There were heavy casualties on the first day, but the worst fighting and greatest casualties came as the Turkish defenders counterattacked. An estimated 2,300 Australians were killed in the Anzac Cove

area between 25 April and 3 May, 1915.

The landing scheme itself was, in theory, relatively simple. The 3rd Brigade’s 4,000 men would land as a covering force to secure a beachhead for two Australasian divisions made up of six brigades. Those 4,000 would go in two waves. The first, consisting of 1500 men, was to start from three battleships, the Queen, Prince of Wales and London, then be distributed between twelve tows, each made up of a steamboat, a cutter, a lifeboat and either a launch or a pinnace . The remaining 2,500 men who formed the second wave, were to land from seven destroyers shortly afterwards. Those destroyers would wait near the island of Imbros and join the battleships, one and a half miles from the mainland, at 4.15 am. The first wave was scheduled to land a few minutes earlier, and the destroyers would then sail in, full speed ahead, adding a number of lifeboats borrowed from transport vessels to the tows that had been used by the first wave. Once the whole 3rd Brigade was ashore, the rest of the 1st Division would arrive on transports, grouped in fours and coming in at regular intervals.

This was the outline of the plan and its first stage was achieved without difficulty. Troops on the battleships were woken at 1 am, given a hot meal and a drink while the tows were being made ready, and by 1.30 am were ready for mustering into companies. This operation was carried out with impressive efficiency: no one spoke; orders were given in

whispers. The only sounds were shuffling boots and muttered curses as men slipped on the ladders leading down to the boats. It is not difficult to imagine the fear and tension as the troops set out on that still April night.

Daily life of the soldiers

Among the many reasons that thousands of men volunteered to go to war in 1914 was that they thought it would be an adventure and a great chance to travel and see the world. For many of these men, the possibility of traveling to another country was limited and the armed forces offered an opportunity to combine a sense of duty with a sense of adventure. What they did not take into consideration, nor could have possibly imagined, were the conditions they would face while they were overseas.

The soldier’s life was affected by the climate of the area. When the soldiers landed on the shore at Gallipoli in late spring the climate was at its most pleasant. During summer, the temperature soared and remained high during the night, making it difficult to sleep. During winter, the freezing blizzards and frost, caused illness, and damp and unpleasant living conditions.

In Gallipoli, clean water was not sufficient, even in the spring months. Wells did provide enough water, meaning that water had to be shipped in.

Food was not varied. The ANZAC’s primary diet consisted of bully beef, hard biscuits, some tea and sugar and some jam. Small quantities of bread sometimes came through, with bacon and cheese also being made available at times. Vegetables were scarce. In the early days the men resorted to eating ‘Julienne,’ which was flaked and dried pieces of various vegetables in a tin. ‘Machonochies’ was a tinned meat product that also contained some potato and other vegetables.

The soldiers lived in crowded trenches filled with stagnant water. Sanitation was inadequate and vermin, such as flies, lice, mosquitoes and rats, attracted to the rotting food scraps and empty tins, and to the dead bodies that lay unburied in the area between the trenches known as no man’s land, caused the spread of disease.

The rats were particularly unpleasant for two reasons. Firstly, they would often move from eating the leftover remnants of food in the discarded tins that had been thrown into no man’s land to feed on the stored supplies in the dug-outs. Secondly, the rats would eat the eyeballs of decaying soldiers laying in no-man’s land, before they commenced to eat the decomposing flesh, a sight that was particularly sad and gruesome for their comrades.

In summer the ANZACs also had to cope with swarms of flies. Apart from the annoyance, they were quickly spreading disease by moving between rotten leftover food and human excrement, and open wounds and decaying corpses. This brought about infestations of maggots. Dysentery and a number of other diseases raged as a result of inadequate diet and impure water.

The Battles

The Nek was a narrow stretch of ridge connecting the Anzac trenches on a ridge known as ‘Russell’s Top’ to the knoll called Baby 700, which was controlled by the Turks. The area is about the size of three tennis courts.

The attack at The Nek was planned to coincide with an attack by New Zealand troops from Chunuk Bair, which they intended to attack from the front, with the New Zealanders firing on Baby 700 from the height behind. The Light Horse would then go in to attack. The intention was to trap the enemy by fire from front and rear. At the same time there would be an attack from Steele’s Post against German Officers’ Trench, which would stop the Turkish machine guns covering the open ground of The Nek. The attack was to start immediately after a naval bombardmentof the enemy lines. The Australians would advance across an 80 metre front, in four waves of 150 men each. They would carry coloured marker flags to show when they captured a trench.

Everything went wrong. The New Zealanders failed in their attempt to take Chunuk Bair. The artillery barrage ended seven minutes before the Light Horse attack, allowing Turkish defenders to move into their firing positions. The Australian attack from Quinn’s Post did not succeed, leaving the Turkish machine gunners with a clear field of fire into The Nek.

The first wave of attackers was cut down, including the commander, Colonel White. The second wave was also cut down. The 10th Light Horse commander attempted to have the third wave cancelled, but his superior officer claimed to have received reports of

marker flags in the enemy trench, indicating success. The third wave was sent forward, knowing what was in store. The attack was then called off, but poor communication meant that about 75 men of the fourth wave also advanced, and were cut down. There were 372 Australian casualties, and very few Turkish ones. In 1919 a Commonwealth burial party returned to The Nek, and found the bleaching bones of 316 bodies.

The enemy

The Turks and the Australians had much respect for one another. Even though they were enemies, they respected how hard they both fought for their countries. Whenever there was a ceasefire to collect their dead, neither side broke the promise and shot anyone, they fought with respect for the enemy as hard as they could. The soldiers regarded one another as brave men, fighting for their country.

The Turkish army had many techniques that they used to counter attack the Anzacs. They would camp stay on guard waiting for a chance to attack. They had also planned to let the Anzacs land on shore before eliminating them. Another technique used by the Turks was to situate their bases on high grounds so attacks from the Anzacs would be difficult, and they would have an open space to fire down at. Although the Anzacs’ counter attacks were effective and destroyed between five and ten thousand Turks at a time, the Turks attacked up to five times more than the Anzacs, ultimately making them victorious.

The slaughter

Many people died and were badly injured as a result from this campaign. The lucky ones who did survive were left with terrible traumatic experiences which would have been with them until the day they died.

Total Allies killed-44,092 injured-96,937 total-141,029 France (estimated) killed-10,000 injured-17,000 total-27,000 Australia killed-8,709 injured-19,441 total-28,150 United Kingdom killed-21,255 injured-52,230 total73,485 New Zealand killed-2,721 injured-4,752 total-7,473 British India killed-1,358 injured-3,421 total-4,779 Newfoundland killed-49 injured-93 total-142 Ottoman empire (estimated) killed-86,692 injured-164,617 total-251,309 Total (both sides) killed-130,784 injured-261,554 total-392,338

The ANZAC legend

The Australian and New Zealand troops helped to establish their countries’ reputations in the world through qualities of strength and bravery when faced with adversity. In fact, it is much more than that. The legend of these men who endured so much has given something of which Australians can be proud. It put Australia’s mark on the world as something other than a nation descended from convicts.

Bes- Monica


Bes was an Egyptian god of the old Kingdom. Bes warded off
evil from family and childbirth. He protected pregnant mothers and their babies
from being cursed by bad spirits. Bes danced and sang to scare off any of the
bad spirits that may have wanted to curse the newborn child or pregnant mother.
Apparently Bes may have also helped increase the women’s fertility. Bes’s image
became a popular symbol of protection against evil and dancers and prostitutes
began to tattoo his picture on them because it was believed to protect from
demons and curses.