When Dorothy Eady arrived to Egypt for the first time, it was obvious to her that she had been there before. But her last visit near the Nile may have taken place thousands of years earlier.
Dorothy was born on January 16, 1904 in the London suburb of Blackhearth. Doctors believed that she would not survive a terrible fall when she was three years old. However, it seems that the accident she faced was the beginning of her unbelievable life - a moment of opening the gate to the memories of a past life. Over the years, many skeptics tried to disprove Eady’s mystifying tale, but nobody could ever fully negate that she was one of pharaoh Seti I’s (c. 1290 - 1279 BC) lovers.
An Ancient King’s Lover?
Dorothy grew up in a Christian family and she attended church regularly when she was young. One day, her parents took her to the British Museum. While looking at the photograph of the temple of Seti I, a pharaoh of the 19th dynasty of the New Kingdom Period (and the father of Rameses II), she said that it was her home. She couldn’t understand why there were no gardens and trees around the temple, but she recognized the monuments and other artifacts in the rooms of the Egyptian collection. She kissed the feet of the statues, and very soon after, decided to study ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Seti I making an offering to Osiris.
Seti I making an offering to Osiris. (CC BY-SA 2.5)
One of her teachers was the famous E.A. Wallis Budge, who encouraged her to study the history of ancient Egypt. Dorothy was 15 years old when she described the first dream “meeting” she had with the mummy of Pharaoh Seti I. She claimed that he made her remember her past life. With time, she turned more and more to the ancient religion and stopped feeling attached to Christianity.
Dorothy married the Egyptian Eman Abdel Meguid in 1931. This marriage was like a ticket to her beloved Egypt, where she became an English teacher. When her feet touched Egypt’s land for the first time she kissed the ground and felt like she was welcomed by her old home. She had a son who she called Sety. In this period, she reported having visions related to Hor-Ra. She also discovered her ancient Egyptian name - Bentreshyt meaning ‘Harp of Joy.’ In her visions she also saw her ancient family.
Dorothy said that she was a daughter of one of Seti I’s soldiers and a woman who sold vegetables. Her mother died when she was three years old, and she was given to the temple in Abydos, where she grew up and became a priestess. At 12 years old, she claimed she became a consecrated virgin, but a few years later she met ‘a living god’ - pharaoh Seti I. They became lovers, and Bentreshyt got pregnant. Unfortunately, the lovers’ fate was not a happy one. The High Priest of the temple told her that the situation was a huge offense against Isis and would cause many problems for pharaoh, so she decided to commit suicide.
The Eternal City of Abydos
After 19 years of living in Cairo, Dorothy Eady decided to move to Abydos. She was 52 years old, and she set up a home near the mountain Pega-the-Gap. According to ancient beliefs, it was a mountain which was the road to the afterlife. At this stage of life, she started to be called Omm Sety, meaning “mother of Sety”.
Omm Sety believed she was finally back home. During one of her visits to the temple, the chief inspector from the Antiquities Department decided to check her knowledge. He was curious how realistic her explanations were. Dorothy was asked to stand next to the wall paintings in the darkness. She was then asked to identify them with what she remembered from her past life.
When Eady accomplished the task without any mistakes, many people stopped doubting her story. Her life in Abydos was full of collaborations with Egyptologists who asked her for support. She published several books on her own, but also joined the works of other researchers. The most important subject of her works was, of course, the Temple of Seti I at Abydos. She helped to discover the garden, where she believed she met Seti I for the first time. The excavations uncovered the space, which would have looked exactly as she described during ancient times.
Eady also told other researchers what the prayers and traditional rituals looked like. She knew the plot of many religious papyri even before she read them. Her descriptions of the monuments, reliefs, and other things she saw during her previous life were repeatedly confirmed by excavations.
Researchers Couldn’t Believe it
Moreover, many Egyptologists couldn’t negate her words. Eady had knowledge which was not available to specialists who had worked in Egypt for many years. One of them is famous British Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen. Although he did not want to openly admit it, written resources suggest that he believed her. Nicholas Reeves also took her visions into account while searching for Nefertiti. According to Eady, the tomb is in the Valley of the Kings. She said:
“I did once ask His Majesty where it was, and he told me. He said, `Why do you want to know’? I said I would like to have it excavated, and he said, `No, you must not. We don’t want anything more of this family known`. But he did tell me where it was, and I can tell you this much. It’s in the Valley of the Kings, and it’s quite near to the Tutankhamun tomb. But it’s in a place where nobody would ever think of looking for it,” she laughed. “And apparently it is still intact” … “
For decades, Eady was an inspiration to many researchers. Her stories about life and death in the times of Seti I touched many hearts as well. Many discoveries were made based on her words. Following her information, researchers led by Otto Schaden discovered tomb KV63 in the Valley of the Kings, which is located near the tomb of Tutankhamun and contained burials of women from the times of the 18th dynasty.
A Reunion of Two Souls
Dorothy Eady died at age 81 and was buried in the Coptic cemetery in Abydos. She believed that death would allow her to reconnect with her beloved. Even now, researchers are still trying to prove that she was she a liar, who had somehow gotten access to the newest literature and had great acting skills. But others say that she was one of the most fascinating people they have ever met.
by Natalia Klimczak For Ancient Origins
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