isis unveiled: chapter xiv (ancient mysteries)

“In a lecture delivered in 1873, on the Cave-Men of Devonshire, Mr. W. Pengelly, F.R.S., stated on the authority of some Egyptologists that the first iron used in Egypt was meteoric iron, as the earliest mention of this metal is found in an Egyptian document, in which it is called the “stone from heaven.” This would imply the idea that the only iron which was in use in days of old was meteorite.

This may have been the case at the commencement of the period embraced in our present geological explorations, but till we can compute with at least approximate accuracy the age of our excavated relics, who can tell but that we are making a blunder of possibly several hundred thousand years?

The injudiciousness of dogmatizing upon what the ancient Chaldeans and Egyptians did not know about mining and metallurgy, is at least partially shown by the discoveries of Colonel Howard Vyse. Moreover, many of such precious stones as are only found at a great depth in mines are mentioned in Homer and the Hebrew Scriptures. Have scientists ascertained the precise time when mining-shafts were first sunk by mankind? According to Dr. A. C. Hamlin, in India, the arts of the goldsmith and lapidary have been practiced from an “unknown antiquity.”

That the Egyptians either knew from the remotes ages how to temper steel, or possessed something still better and more perfect than the implement necessary in our days for chiseling, is an alternative from which the archeologists cannot escape. How else could they have produced such artistic chiseling, or wrought such sculpture as they did?

The critics may take their choice of either; according to them, steel tools of the most exquisite temper, or some other means of cutting sienite, granite, and basalt; which, in the latter case, must be added to the long catalogue of lost arts.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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