Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch: Accuracy Issues

I’ve been reading this book on and off at my leisure and while I do believe that it is a valid introductory course to Egyptian mythology and I don’t want to take away from the author’s expertise; I must sadly point out a disappointing failing that is repeated in reference to how the Egyptian deities are related to food production and how they symbolize certain foods within Egyptian delicacies.

The author mistakenly refers to deities who produce “grain” as representing “corn” and “cornfields” but this cannot be, because corn was invented by Indigenous people in Mesoamerica approximately 10,000 or more years ago and are a scientific achievement of Native Americans with no influence from Egypt or the West. In some Indigenous cultures, corn is even represented as synonymous with human engineering through prayer or rituals such as in the Navajo Creation story’s reference to the birth of Changing Woman and White-Shell Woman by the Four Holy People of the Navajo.

I know that may seem pedantic to some people, but I feel it is genuinely important for academic integrity that we correctly refer to what type of “grain” each of the Egyptian deities authentically represented during the time of ancient Egypt. It is both false and wrong to claim ancient Egypt had any rituals or religious deification of anything related with corn and cornfields.

As such, while this is a good introductory to Egyptian mythology, people should be mindful for the accuracy insofar as references to how each of these deities were venerated by foodstuffs or food rituals that they represented in ancient Egypt. Corn actually has a heavy focus as a reference to spiritual forms of engineering and possibly creativity in Indigenous cultures and that is strictly unique to them as far as I am aware.

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