The Origin of the Word "Egypt"

We all recognize the word "Egypt" as the name of a modern country in North Africa, not a part of the Middle East as is commonly misperceived. Most Egyptologists and lay people know that Egypt is derived from the Greek word Aegyptos. But few have ever traced the origin of this word.

Aegyptos is a contraction of the Greek term Hi-Gi-Ptos. Hi-Gi-Ptos was a Greek transliteration of the ancient term Het-Ka-Ptah. Het (Hit, Hat) meant "place," and Ka is a term that has been subjected to many translations by Egyptologists. We choose the indigenous definition, "the physical projection of the soul"—not the body, which was Khat or Khet but the personality that attaches itself to the body. Ptah was the title of one of the so-called "Creator Gods" or Neters. R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz translated Neter to mean "principle or an attribute of divinity, an aspect of God," not the whole concept itself. The Greeks derived their word "nature" from Neter, therefore receiving the teaching from the ancient Egyptians of there not being a separation of nature and the divine.

So the term Het-Ka-Ptah meant the "Place of the Projection of the Principle of Ptah" or the "Place where the Projection of Ptah Manifested." This term is found as an inscription on a stela near the modern Egyptian village of Mit Rahaina situated near the ruins of the ancient Egyptian capital city the Greeks named Memphis, known to the ancients as Men-Nefer (The Generation of Harmony).

Therefore, the term Het-Ka-Ptah referred only to one site, one city that was the first capital of Dynastic Egypt, not the whole country or civilization. The ancients referred to their "country" as KMT, which has been written many different ways: Kemet, Kemit, Khemet, Khem, Al Khem—and the form we prefer, Khemit. It literally meant "the Black Land" and referred to the rich, black alluvial soil deposited by the Nile River, which allowed the agricultural basis of the civilization to flourish. The indigenous tradition of Egypt tells us the civilization was Khemit, the people and language were called Khemitian.

Therefore, what I study and teach is Khemitology, not Egyptology. This is a beginning paradigm for the presentation of a whole new discipline, based on the teachings of indigenous wisdom keepers, not Greco-Roman historians as espoused by academic Egyptology.

Stephen S. Mehler, M.A.
Director of Research
The Land of Osiris Research Project


Photo below  Christopher Dunn and Stephen Mehler in front of the Great Pyramid after just finishing their work inside.  (During the "EGYPT IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM" conference in May, 1999)