Helicopter Hieroglyphs – Markaz Al Belina, Egypt - Atlas Obscura
✨ Online experience gift cards are here! Buy Now »

Helicopter Hieroglyphs

Temple of Seti I
Markaz Al Belina, Egypt

An unusual image believed by some to depict an ancient Egyptian helicopter. 

18
119

The Temple of Seti I in Abydos features an ancient Egyptian frieze that is believed by UFO enthusiasts to be an out-of-place artifact, not unlike the infamous Dendera Light.

Created during the reign of Seti I, the original carving translated to “He who repulses the nine enemies of Egypt.” It was later remade by artists during the reign of Rameses II to read, “He who protects Egypt and overthrows foreign countries.” The plaster the artist used in the second carving has eroded away over time, and the result are quite interesting.

Among ordinary hieroglyphs such as the fly, the carving shows what seems to be a helicopter, as well as airplanes and a submarine. In some pseudoscientific circles, these hieroglyphs have been interpreted as a representation of modern technology in antiquity, knowledge perhaps given to the Egyptians by extraterrestrial entities.

But most archaeologists believe that the carvings are nothing unusual. The hieroglyphs depicting “modern technology” are likely a pareidolia, or incorrect interpretation. In ancient Egypt, it was common for hieroglyphs to be redone over time, especially when a new Pharaoh came into power. The plaster of the second carving has worn away, creating a “palimpsest” or layered image.