city also the archetype of the Celestial Jerusalem is Lanka, the capital
of Ravana's worldwide empire (Atlantis). This City (Pure Land) is illustrated
in the so-called Kalachakra mandalas, and its triple wall (trimekhala
in Sanskrit) is its most characteristic feature. By the way, the Celestial
Jerusalem is also traditionally equipped with a triple wall, like Atlantis.
The Meaning of the Temple's Pylons
The pylons of Egyptian Temples their
most outstanding feature have a very specific symbolic meaning. Before
entering their analysis, let us quote the excellent
British Museum Dictionary
of Ancient Egypt by I. Shaw and P. Nicholson (London, 1995) on the
entry "Pylon". Pylons are, according to this erudite source:
Massive ceremonial gateways
bekhenet) consisting of two tapering towers linked by
a bridge of masonry and surmounted by a cornice. Rituals relating to the
sun-god were evidently carried out on top of the gateway... The earliest
known pylons may have been constructed in the pyramid complex and sun temple
of the 5th Dynasty ruler Nyuserra (2445-2421 AC)
Many [pylons] also contained
internal stairs and rooms, the purpose of which is uncertain. Ancient depictions
of pylons show that the deep vertical recesses visible along the façades
of surviving examples were intended to hold flagstaffs... Such flags would
have had particular significance in the context of the temple, in that
the Egyptian word for "god" (netjer) took the form of a symbol usually
interpreted as a fluttering pennant.
Pylons were frequently decorated
with reliefs enhanced with bright paint and inlays, in which the scenes
tended to emphasize the theme of royal power... The most common motif on
the pylon was that of the king smiting foreign enemies or offering captives
to a god.
The illustrious authors go on to say further:
Many important temples
had only one pylon, but the more important religions complexes consisted
of long successions of pylons and courtyards, each added or embellished
by different rulers; the temple of Amun in Karnak, for instance, had ten
In the unusual temples dedicated
to Aten... the pylons consist of pairs of separate towers without any bridging
masonry between them. It is likely that the pylon represented the two mountains
of the horizon (akhet) between which the sun rose, thus contributing
to the temple's role as a symbol of the cosmos and the act of creation.
The towers were, each, identified with the goddesses Isis and Nephthys.
The Gerzean Connection
The Gerzeans were a civilization of pre-Dynastic Egypt during the Nagada II Period (3,500-3,000BC). The Gerzeans were probably Semitic, probably of proto-Phoenician stock, to judge from their symbols and their white, bearded figures. The Gerzeans invaded and conquered Upper Egypt, where they became established down to the start of dynastic period, when they were apparently expelled by King Menes, the unifier of ancient Egypt. Gerzean vase decorations are rather unique for their epoch. As can be seen in Fig.3(c), these decorations center on galley ships of up to 200 rowers each, which are amazing large for the epoch in question. These decorations also include a dancing naked goddess, the ithyphallic twins, palm-trees, twin pylons, peaked volcanic mountains, standards and streamers.
Other vases (not shown) display a hilly foreign country (Punt?), flamingos and tiger or leopard skins.