From Thebes, Egypt 18th Dynasty, around 1300 BC Boston Museum
The God Bes
A guardian god. Bes was a foreign god, an import from the land of Nubia. He was jolly, fond of music, and dancing. He was a popular god who was adopted by the middle classes; he was considered a tutelary god of childbirth and, strangely enough, of cosmetics and female adornments. Bes chased away demons of the night and guarded men from dangerous animals. His image was carved on bedpost. He eventually became a protector of the dead and, amazingly, competed with even the refined and magnificent god Osiris for the attentions of men. He was originally the protective deity of the royal house of Egypt, but came to be a popular household deity throughout Egypt.
The oldest known fossil remains, according to Dr. Louis Leakey, were found in the Olduvai Gorge region in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. These first "small stature" people were known as the "Twa", who worshipped the God Bes, a primitive human form of Horus I, being the earliest form of Ptah the God of Gods. The Twa, are modern humans or Homo sapiens sapiens. They are a diminutive Africoid people residing in the rain forests of Central Africa. Related groups live in South and Southeast Asia.
We also find this same black God, Ptah, symbolized in the mystery system in Egypt. The Twa are said to have migrated the four thousand one hundred miles of the Nile river, establishing what was later to become the Egyptian civilization.
Horus temple in Dendera Egypt
Bes carving at the Hathor Temple.
Amulet of Bes with wedjat on the reverse side
Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BCE)
National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden
This powerful amulet combined the protective powers of the god Bes and the Eye of Horus, or wedjat.
© National Museum of Antiquities, the Netherlands
The Dwarf Seneb And His Family
Painted limestone. Old Kingdom.
Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
Photo © Kodansha Ltd 1969
SENEB - A Dwarf in EgyptSeneb was a 4th or early 5th Dynasty dwarf and was chief of the royal wardrobe and priest of the funerary cults of Khufu. A statue still exists of him and it depicts him with his family - including his wife who was of normal stature. Also, the Egyptian gods Bes and Ptah were often depicted as dwarves. To say that dwarves were accepted and often revered members of ancient Egyptian society would be an understatement.
Amenemope at the end of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. set down laws to protect those born different from the norm:
‘Mock not the blind nor deride the dwarf nor block the cripple’s path; don’t tease a man made ill by a god nor make outcry when he blunders.’
Dwarfism was unusually common in ancient Egypt – in fact, over 150 mummified dwarves and skeletons are currently in museum collections and scenes depicting dwarfs often adorned tomb walls. The reason for this is quite simple. The specific form of dwarfism that was present was achondroplasia – which is one of many forms of dwarfism. But Achondroplasia, which is characterized by abnormal bone growth that results in short stature with disproportionately short arms and legs, a large head, and characteristic facial features, is a dominant genetic mutation – thus there is a 50% chance of passing the trait to offspring. Considering the fact that Egypt was a closed society for quite some time and the total acceptance of dwarfs, the chance for these individuals to procreate without prejudice was favorable.
To be honest I'm not even sure what "alien" means. Alien to what? The universe is teeming with life.
Iran: "Mummified Dwarf" from the Sassanid era unearthed in Kerman
Kerman, Oct 29,
IRNA-Kerman province Police Chief, Brigadier Hamid Gorizan, on October 29, 2005, exposed to reporters the corpse of a 25-cm dwarf unearthed in Shahdad area in the southeastern Kerman province.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, he said that the dwarf, whose corpse was discovered recently, is estimated to be 12-16 years old and dates back to 1,000 years ago.
Two months ago some illegal excavations in the historical fortress of Gudiz near Shahdad dating back to the Sassanid era led to the discovery of a 25-centimeter corpse now known as the "mummified dwarf."
"The discovery of the mummified dwarf in the province and rumors of the existence of an ancient dwarf city in Kerman has posed numerous questions to archaeologists and served to arouse sensations among the public.
Ancient Art from Africa - Benin & Ife
This object, estimated at circa 700 years old, is one of the oldest in the exhibition. Certain of its attributes - the deformation of the spine and head, the compressed forearms and the sunken chest - indicate that it depicts a dwarf. In Benin, physical deformities were traditionally associated with specific functions at the palace. Little people often lived at the royal palace of Benin as court dwarves and jugglers, their mere appearance apparently considered amusing (an historical assumption that is feasible but not verifiable).
The unusually individualistic rendering of physical traits in this sculpture - the hair, for example, the accentuation of the beard and the special posture typical of little people - attests not only to a high level of artistic skill on the part of the casting guilds, but also to the prestige of this dwarf. In fact, the responsibilities of the dwarf extended beyond entertainment to care of shrines, market surveillance and intelligence gathering for the Oba. That this dwarf was accorded the honour of having a memorial made for him from the then-precious material bronze is a clear indication of his important position at the royal palace.
Though statues of dwarves were not part of the standard inventory of an altar, this bronze was probably made for an ancestral shrine; the very individualized traits indicate a concrete portrait, for the most part uncommon in Beninese art. Evidently, the casting tradition in Benin was not yet as scrupulously codified at the time of the creation of this object as it later would become.
Photograph courtesy Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities
"Dressed" in Roman robes, a 2,000-year-old coffin stares back from a rare Egyptian grave in the Bahariya Oasis, about 225 miles (362 kilometers) southwest of Cairo (Egypt map).
The as yet unopened plaster sarcophagus, believed to contain a mummy, is among the ancient treasures uncovered at a newfound cemetery, Egyptian officials announced on April 12.
The site contains at least 14 tombs from the era when ancient Rome controlled Egypt, from 30 B.C. to A.D. 395. Jewelry, funerary masks, and pottery were also found, though the sand-covered tombs have been damaged by humidity and seeping groundwater.
Measuring just 3.2 feet (97 centimeters) long and carved with the finery of an influential woman, the sarcophagus remains something of a mystery.
"When I saw it for the first time, I thought it was a dwarf. ... ," said Mahmoud Affifi, director of Cairo and Giza antiquities for Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. "Maybe she was a small girl, but [even] now we don't know," he said.
(See pictures of more tomb finds in Egypt's Bahariya Oasis.)
—Andrew Bossone in Cairo
Published April 20, 2010
Oral traditions of many Native American tribes, including the Arapaho, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Crow, tell of "little people” who stand from just 20 inches to three feet tall. In some tribes they are known as "tiny people eaters,” in others they were known to have been spirits and healers, and some believed them to be magical, similar to leprechauns or fairies. In any event, the legends were well known among Indians across the nation, long before the Europeans set foot upon these lands.
To the Shoshone Indians of Wyoming , this small race of people were known as the Nimerigar and their legends told of the little people attacking them with tiny bows and poisoned arrows.
The Pedro Mountains of south central Wyoming photo
courtesy Bureau of Land Management.
The Nimerigar were also known to kill their own kind with a blow to the head when they became too ill to be an active part of their society. Though part of the legend, this practice of sometimes killing the infirmed was a also a regular part of life for many of the nomadic Indian tribes.
Though many believe these "little people” to be only the stuff of legends, several discoveries point to the contrary, the most significant of which, was a 14” inch fully formed mummy found in 1932. Called the Pedro Mountains Mummy, he was discovered when two men were digging for gold in the San Pedro Mountains about 60 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming .
After continually working a rich vein and running only into more and more rock, Cecil Main and Frank Carr used dynamite to blast a section of the mountainside to get at the gold. After the dust cleared, a cave could be seen in the rock face. The small cavern was about 15 feet long and 4 feet high and had been totally sealed off from the outside world by a thick wall of rock.
As the men entered the cave they were surprised to see a small a pygmy-like man sitting cross-legged upon a ledge. The tiny mummy was only about 6 ½ inches tall in its seated position, and estimated at 14 inches tall in a standing position. Its skin was brown and wrinkled, its forehead low and flat, its features displaying a flat nose, heavy-lidded eyes and a very wide mouth with thin lips. The face looked like of an old man. It was so well preserved, its fingernails could still been on its hands and the top of its head was covered in a dark jelly-like substance that was still pliable.
The two prospectors took their find to Casper, Wyoming and in no time, scientists came from all over the nation to have a look at the mummy. Sure that it was a hoax, extensive tests were performed when the professionals assumed it was a pieced-together work of taxidermy. However, the anthropologists would soon be surprised to see that x-rays displayed a perfectly formed, manlike skeleton. The tests also showed that the mummy had been killed violently, as the spine was damaged, a collarbone broken, and the skull had been smashed in by a heavy blow. The soft substance at the top of the head exposed brain tissue and congealed blood. After the tests were complete, the scientists estimated that the mummy was a full grown adult who was approximately 65 years old at the time of his death. One odd finding was that its teeth were overly pointed, having a full set of canines.
These examinations were allegedly performed by the American Museum of Natural History and certified genuine by the Anthropology Department of Harvard University. However, alternate reports also say when the mummy was examined by the University of Wyoming , the body was found to be that of a diseased child.
The mummy was displayed in sideshows for years, before it was purchased by a Casper businessman named Ivan T. Goodman. When Goodman died in 1950, the mummy passed into the hands of one Leonard Walder and eventually disappeared.
Other skeletons of the "little people” have said to have been found in other areas of the U.S. Near Cochocton, Ohio, a burial ground was reportedly discovered that contained the numerous remains of a pygmy race of people only about three feet tall. In 1876, another ancient graveyard was documented as having been discovered in Coffee County, Tennessee. The reports indicated the cemetery, covering some six acres, held the remains of thousands of dwarf like people.
Though the "little mummy” has been lost in history, it continues to be a scientific curiosity and to many, and to others, only the stuff of legends. Allegedly, the Pedro Mountains Mummy brought bad luck to those who possessed it and Native Americans continue to warn their people to be aware of the "tiny people eaters” who are still said to live in the mountains and high places of Wyoming .
As to the prospectors who originally found the mummy, they soon returned to continue their search for gold. They registered their claim in Carbon County as the "Little Man Mine" but it never produced the gold that they had hoped for. Today, a sign still stands in Shirley Basin that signifies the location of the mine.
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