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Egyptologists Decode LOST’s Symbolisms

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost Theories
  Comments: 22

Popular Mechanics managed to wrangle an expert on egyptology who, in turn, went on to crack the mysteries of LOST’s egyptian influences wide open. Check it out.

losts5_ep12_430_0409The big question on last night’s Lost, “Dead is Dead” might have been “What’s in the shadow of the statue?” but our question is “What is the statue, and what does it have to do with the smoke monster?” To get the answer, PM turned to James P. Allen, a Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and Chair of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University.

As Ben explored the chamber beneath the Others’ temple that seems to be Smokey’s lair, he comes across a variety of hieroglyphics etched into the walls. But one in particular caught his eye: A strange creature kneeling in front of a snake-like (Smokey-the-monster-like?) entity. The creature on the right looks like it could easily resemble the four-toed statue. Even though the only full-size glimpse we’ve had of the statue was from the back, many are speculating that the statue is of Anubis, the Egyptian god associated with the afterlife who protects the deceased and guides them to the great beyond. Anubis is usually portrayed as half-jackal (top), half-human (bottom).

Allen agrees that the animal-headed human in the hieroglyphic Ben is fixated on is probably based on Anubis, though he says in actuality, no Egyptian scene looks like what’s shown on Lost. “I suspect that the colossus is also meant to be Anubis, too,” he says. But he points out, it’s actually more of a hybrid of Anubis and Taweret, the demon-wife of the Apep, the Egyptian’s original god of evil. (It’s said that Apep was only present at night, and therefore any evil happenings during the daytime were attributed to Taweret). “The thing on the head definitely looks like Taweret’s, but she never wears a kilt, which is clearly there in the back shot of the colossus. The colossus is probably holding two ankh-signs, like the one Anubis holds in this image, but he’s holding them like Taweret holds the two signs she holds, which are ‘protection’ signs, not ankhs.” Allen also notes that “the four toes on the statue fragment are more Taweret than Anubis, who has a human body and therefore five toes.”

Another interesting fact about Taweret: She’s the goddess of maternity and childbirth, the protector of women and children who was said to guard mothers and their newborn children. The creatures she’s made up of—hippopotamus, crocodile and lion— are all animals that would kill to protect their young. So if the statue does have elements of Taweret, and it was destroyed, could that explain why mothers who conceive on the island can’t carry to term?

Allen notes that the other hieroglyphics in Smokey’s Lair are actually quite good, even though they don’t really say anything. He suspects they were copied from some publication of the Book of the Dead, the ancient Egyptian funerary text.

We could theorize until the cows come home about what this all means—is the smoke monster supposed to represent Apep, the god of evil, or is he more akin to Anubis, determining the afterlife of the dead? —but we’ll leave that up to you

From TVFrenzy:

  • There any books on Atlantean translations???

    • neoloki

      Give it up. It want be as obvious as “The Island is Atlantis” It won’t happen. The Island could very well be Atlantis like, but definitely not Atlantis itself. Too obvious.

      • Nothing wrong with “obvious.”

        What’s the matter with “obvious?”

        Like, a piece of Egypt (?) ‘won’t’ be obvious?

        Personally I favor the “alien” factor.

        But can’t be said that aliens weren’t the founders of Atlantis (or even humans!

  • veryinformedaboutlost

    could’ve swore a few posts back that many people, including myself, already theorized and said the EXACT SAME things…

  • veryinformedaboutlost

    but it’s good that our efforts didn’t go unnoticed or in vain..and that someone else agrees or theorizes the same thing based on evidence….and plz no1 think i’m asking for credit…it’s just that for several posts we’ve said the same things…and many of my friends thought me crazy for my possible belief.. but it seems like the more we get into season 5…the more it’s coming to light with the hieroglyphics as proof, that more and more people are possibly concluding/theorizing/thinking that it maybe Taweret…but one detail i’ve never paid attention to now, until this post, is that doc or allen is right, taweret never wore a kilt…i think she/it was always depicted naked or wearing a gown..i’d personally just like some answers by now..which i know isn’t going to happen until the end…hopefully..

  • DarthBubba

    It’s Mu dagnabit! “Churchward claimed that Mu was the common origin of the great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Central America, India, Burma and others, including Easter Island, and was in particular the source of ancient megalithic architecture. As evidence for his claims, he pointed to symbols from throughout the world, in which he saw common themes of birds, the relation of the Earth and the sky, and especially the Sun. Churchward claims the king of Mu was Ra and he relates this to the Egyptian god of the sun, Ra, and the Rapanui word for Sun, ra’a, which he incorrectly spells “raa.”[7]: p. 48 He claimed to have found symbols of the Sun in “Egypt, Babylonia, Peru and all ancient lands and countries – it was a universal symbol.”” (from the wiki entry)

  • Beena

    I went to a site (link below), looking for what the glyphs meant. But I was tired after the show, and gave up after a while. Maybe somebody else will have better luck….it’s interesting anyway.

  • Dharma Adept

    Hmmm…Not much of a “decoding,” there… maybe Allen is a lazy Egyptologist or maybe he doesn’t want to reveal what he really knows. The key to the episode is the inference that Smokey is a form of Anubis, who judges the dead (whose realm he reigns over) and knows what lurks in the hearts of men. If smokey is the temple’s guardian, it’s reasonable to conclude that the temple was/is dedicated to Anubis, which gives another reading to the phrase “this place is death” : more likely, this place is where judgment happens, and where enternal life (and even Osiris-like resurrection are possible, for those whose hearts are pure. Ben’s heart was clearly impure, but he lightened it by admitting the truth to Alex/Smokey. Locke may be altruistic, but he’s never been deceitful, so therefore he’s worthy of resurrection and of ruling the Others. but getting back to the Egyptology, which is starting to emerge as an overriding, yet subtle theme, Smokey/Anubis could easily be one of the 10 plagues of Egypt–he’s already been somewhat of a “creeping death” to several unfortunate souls.

    • Five-O

      Seriously? “Lazy Egyptologist”? Hasn’t anyone considered that maybe the LOST writers are not experts in Egyptian art and mythology, and so maybe their work is hard to decipher because it’s not real? They’re making it up. They can make things look however they want, and if it’s Anubis they’ll let us know. I doubt that they spend all of their time creating walls of meaningful hieroglyphics and archaeologically accurate statues. This is a TV show. It’s fun, but not the Discovery Channel.

      • Unbeliever

        I think the production artists who make the sets just take a bunch of hieroglyphs and put it in the set. Then folks on the web go crazy trying to decipher them. The writers of LOST are not omniscient beings. I’ve heard some of their podcasts. I think they are having a great time putting together a story with a lot of unanswered questions and leaving all of the details to the wild imaginations of the fans.

        • KissyS006

          Being a designer myself, I’d hope the production team would do their research and not just “take a bunch of heiroglyphics and put it in the set.” Otherwise, I should be designing on LOST. 🙂

  • This picture was brought to my attention in an episode of the Jay & Jack podcast:

    • neoloki

      What are you trying to say. It is a statue without feet and has a mini-skirt. Is it twat or whatever she’s called.

    • tanside

      now that is pretty darn cool, it looks exactly like the statue we saw, and the fact that its missing it’s feet, even cooler.

    • JJStrange

      I sent the very pic to my friend John Lachonis on FB back on March 5th. Caught my attention way back when.

      Good stuff! =)

      • JJStrange

        lol and no he’s not my real friend, just fb 😉

  • neoloki

    Yeah, faulty advertising in the title of the article. I didn’t get much translation from the article. Ok, they got the pictographs from the book of the dead, but what do they mean individually if not as a whole.

  • chad

    I just hope the Statue is not the monster from Cloverfield…….

    • Dolce


  • You’d think the producers would have hired a professional to do the hieroglyphics.

    But then, maybe the amateurish glyphs are part of the truth. Doc or someone has suggested that it could be a red herring meant to throw off the Dharmaists or other off-islanders.

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