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Egypt in Lost

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"Egypt in Lost" redirects here. For Egyptian broadcast and fan information, see Egypt.
TempleHiero
The Temple wall's hieroglyphs in ("This Place Is Death").


Evidence throughout Lost suggests that a group with a strong cultural relation to Ancient Egypt lived on the Island either before or after Jacob became protector of the Island, and before the arrival of the Black Rock. They presumably constructed the Statue of Taweret and other Island monuments, encountered previous versions or the current Man in Black version of the Monster, and left a number of hieroglyphic inscriptions. At some point at least some of them left the Island for unknown reasons, and their society disappeared.

Aside from these glimpses into the Island's past, Lost contains other allusions to Egypt. Any discussion of Egyptian mythology in Lost should be prefaced, however, with the warning that the Egyptian pantheon comprises over five thousand years of cultural evolution, and various gods were defined and worshiped differently depending on the time and place as well as the balance of power among the different city-states that made up Egypt.

Role in Island history

Evidence suggests that at some point a group of ancient Egyptians, or at least sharing traditions and practices with ancient Egypt, lived on the Island. The Egyptians were active on the Island after Mother slaughtered Claudia's people, Jacob became the Island's protector, and the Man in Black was transformed into the Monster. When Mother killed the intruders and filled in the well where the Man in Black was building the frozen wheel, the walls of the underground chamber were blank and the wheel was not yet put into place. ("Across the Sea") However, when Ben turned the wheel in 2004, and Locke did so at an unknown time, the wheel had been mounted and its mechanism completed, and the chamber has been inscribed with hieroglyphs. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 3")  ("This Place Is Death") It is unknown whether the Egyptians completed the wheel mechanism, but they visited and inscribed the chamber prior to 1867, for Locke entered the chamber in a time when the statue of Taweret was still visible.

RaMonster
Anubis and the Monster

The Egyptians may have built, or at least used, a number of other important Island structures. The most prominent was a statue of Tawaret, a deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth, whose ruins remain to this day. The Lighthouse, which is inscribed with hieroglyphs, seems similar in design to the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Classical World. Hieroglyphs also appear on the Temple, its wall, the Tunnels and Ben's secret room. ("The Shape of Things to Come")  ("Whatever Happened, Happened")  ("Dead Is Dead") However, hieroglyphs were also used by other groups on the Island. Jacob wove hieroglyphs into his tapestry. The DHARMA Initiative, prompted by hieroglyphics' place in Island history, taught students about them and used them to signal system failure on the Swan countdown timer. ("Lockdown")  ("Some Like It Hoth")  ("The Incident, Part 2") (Access: Granted#Hieroglyphics)

The Egyptians apparently encountered the Monster. In the chamber beneath the Temple wall, Ben discovered a mural appearing to depict the Monster facing the Egyptian god Anubis. ("Dead Is Dead")

At least some of the Egyptians seem to have left the Island. Jacob's tapestry, which includes hieroglyphs and the Eye of Horus, depicts figures on boats sailing away from the Island; the Statue of Taweret was portrayed on the Island, but this part of the tapestry was torn away and left in Jacob's cabin, where it was discovered by Ilana. ("The Incident, Part 1")  ("The Incident, Part 2") The time at which the Egyptians left is uncertain, but must have been before 1867 when the statue was destroyed. ("Ab Aeterno")

Religion

  • Paul, LaFleur's predecessor as DHARMA Initiative Chief of Security, was wearing an ankh around his neck when he was killed by the Others. ("LaFleur")
  • The first name of Horace Goodspeed is homonymous with "Horus", the Greek name for a falcon-headed Egyptian god. In myth, the eye of Horus was wounded when he battled with Seth for the throne of Egypt, but was healed by Hathor.
  • Jacob's tapestry depicts the "Eye of Horus" (also known as the Eye of Ra or the Wedjat), an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities. In the Egyptian language, the word for this symbol was "Wedjat". It originally was the eye of one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet, who later became associated with Bast, Mut, and Hathor as well. Wedjat was a solar deity and this symbol began as her eye, an all seeing eye.
  • Jacob handed Hurley a wooden ankh containing a piece of paper with a list. Hurley gave the wooden ankh to Dogen when they arrived at The Temple.


Other

Hurleysphinx
Hurley's painting
6x12 Egypt
Mr. Clucks in Egypt. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Trivia

  • The biblical Jacob spent his last 17 years living in Egypt.
  • In the tale of the shipwrecked sailor from Ancient Egypt's Middle Kingdom, a shipwrecked sailor confronts a monster, specifically a huge serpent on a mysterious and bountiful island, and the monster tells the sailor that once he leaves the island, it will become water and he will not be able to return. The sailor is scared from the monster at first but then the serpent starts helping the sailor survive on the Island.
  • Lost University offers a course on hieroglyphs.


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