Snowcase #7 • 14 August 2007 • The SnowBlog
Snowcase #7 is from David Stockley, and is called The Re-Birth. It is the first historical novel to have been written using Graham Hancock's extraordinary 'alternative history' as its main source and inspiration.
A lifelong student of ancient history, David has long been fascinated by the research of Hancock, Bauval and others. The Re-Birth is his second novel. The crowd had been gathering at the field of the gods throughout the morning, as all sought to gain a prime position ahead of the ceremony. Kathan sighed as the deep, eerie sound of the priests' trumpets cut across the silence, their droning noise filling the air with a strange vibration that seemed to relax and please the crowd in equal measure. As the hypnotic tones grew louder, they began to sway, while the priests took up their places around the base of the pyramid which dominated this highest point of the city. The trumpets were soon joined by the deep base voices of the senior priests, as they chanted their prayers on arrival, swaying gently back and forth, as they moved to take up their positions.
As the herald blew his horn, the crowd joined in the chants, and as if by some strange force the people in front of him parted. A grim looking Kathan walked from the north corner of the field, together with the rest of the city's dignitaries and their families, to take up their places on the large flat stone, raised above the crowd, from which they, and they alone, could watch the ceremony. In front of him stood the great pyramid; situated at highest point of the city, it towered over all other buildings in Sippar. Made of stone and painted white, the top twenty blocks at it apex were covered in gold, which gave it a shimmering, celestial appearance, as it reflected the midday sun. Kathan, not for the first time, gazed up in awe at this man made splendour. It had been built many years ago by Adapa, the first of the great priest-kings, to honour the old gods of the city, who it was said had given the people the land they lived on, when life had first began. How times had changed, thought Kathan sourly, and the old ways had gone, ever since Toran had taken control of the city. Sippar had grown old and tired, and Toran's promise that it would once again be great and prosperous had been good enough for most.
Anticipation mounted within the crowd as they gazed up at the gleaming monument, many shielding their eyes from its glare. This was not just the centre of their city, but of their entire world, from which all the power of the gods emanated, where all came to pray; the place where all things mystical and mysterious happened, and where the ritual of human sacrifice was about to take place.
At a second blast from the herald's horn, the entire crowd fall silent, for now the high priests entered the field, dressed in pure white robes. All looked on quietly as these strange, bald men moved to take up their positions, in front of the city dignitaries. A third blast and they began to bow, as from the same corner of the field came Toran, high priest and king of Sippar, and the man who would perform today's ritual.
Author: David Stockley