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The remarkable South London woman who claimed to be the reincarnation of Ancient Egyptian priestess whose 'past life memories' left historians stunned

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The remarkable South London woman who claimed to be the reincarnation of Ancient Egyptian priestess whose 'past life memories' left historians stunned

London has been the birthplace of countless people who have gone on to make their mark on the world, but not many can be said to be as remarkable as one woman who hailed from South London.

Dorothy Eady was born in Blackheath, South East London, in 1904. Born to a religious family, she was the only child of Reuben Ernest Eady, a master tailor born in Woolwich, and her mother, Caroline Mary Eady.

Life was pretty normal for Dorothy until one fateful day in 1907, when she was just three years old. She took a terrible tumble down a flight of stairs and hit her head badly - so bad that she was declared dead before being miraculously revived. After this incident, she began to have vivid dreams and visions of ancient Egypt.

Dorothy Eady started experiencing strange visions of Ancient Egypt from a young age

Dorothy Eady started experiencing strange visions of Ancient Egypt from a young age© Getty Images

According to some accounts, when she came to, Dorothy began speaking with a foreign accent and often spoke at length about ‘going home’.

Not long after her close encounter with death, her parents took her to the British Museum where she saw a photograph of the Temple of Seti I in Abydos, Egypt.

She immediately recognised the temple and felt a strong connection to it, but felt disappointed by its appearance. On seeing the photograph, she is said to have asked: "Where are the trees? Where are the gardens?"

When her parents decided to get a psychiatrist to help her, Dorothy began identifying as an Ancient Egyptian priestess named Bentreshyt and claimed to have been a mistress of Seti I, a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt who was notably the father of Ramses the Great. 

See the ancient columns of Karnak temple in Luxor city
See the ancient columns of Karnak temple in Luxor city© Getty Images

She also claimed to have become pregnant with Seti I’s baby, which went against the laws of the Temple of Isis which she said she served. Instead of waiting around for her punishment, she claimed to have taken her own life.

In 1931, she travelled to Egypt and eventually settled in the village of Abydos, where she worked as a secretary and translator for the Egypt Exploration Society.

 

Eady spent the rest of her life in Egypt, living in a small house near the temple of Seti I. She changed her name to Omm Sety, which means "mother of Sety" in Arabic, in honour of the pharaoh who had built the temple she believed she had served in her past life.

She became a respected expert on ancient Egypt and authored several books on the subject. While some people were sceptical of Eady's claims, others believed that she had a genuine connection to the ancient world.

Her unique insights into Ancient Egypt helped scholars uncover a treasure trove of historical information they previously did not have access to. During one excavation at the Temple of Seti I, she helped archaeologists find the ruins of the lost garden she had described when she was a child. 

Dorothy was often spotted offering sacrifices to the Sphinx
Dorothy was often spotted offering sacrifices to the Sphinx© Getty Images

To test her credibility, the chief inspector from Egypt's Antiquities Department decided to take Dorothy into the temple and asked her to locate a series of wall paintings that hadn’t been seen in thousands of years, and she managed to find every single one of them!

Dorothy’s understanding of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics was also considered preternatural, which helped Egyptologists working with her in ways that cannot be measured. 

But locals were fearful of her. In her life she was regularly spotted by the Pyramids of Giza at night, making religious offers of sacrifice beneath the sphinx. When she died aged 77, neither Muslims nor Christians would accept to bury her in their cemeteries, so instead she was buried in an unmarked grave in Abydos.

To this day, experts are still baffled by the claims she made in her life. While many will dismiss it as pure conspiracy, the contributions Dorothy made to Egyptology are unquestionable. 

Reference: My London: Story by Ertan Karpazli 

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