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Hanslune

A different sort of Egyptian pyramid idea

129 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

I really don't know what became of the mystery mummy. Sounds like you've done a decent job of tracking it as much as you have; let us know if the dean you contacted replies to your query.

Since writing my earlier post I was reminded of Mastaba 17 at Meidum. Supposedly it's not clear who was buried in this large tomb but I remembered some people's belief that Sneferu's mummy ended up in there, for some reason. Human remains were found in Mastaba 17 and were commented on as early as Petrie (see the scant info in my link). I don't personally find that argument terribly convincing but I wanted to put it out there. Personally I believe the Red Pyramid was Sneferu's resting place and the mummy was removed and/or destroyed at some point.

Very few pyramids have rendered contemporary human remains, but several intrusive burials. That said, despite what "our mutual friend" wrote over at Historium, on average I've found that there's confidence the mummified foot found in the Step Pyramid belonged to Djoser and the somewhat more plentiful (although fragmentary) human remains found in Unis' pyramid were in fact his.

Very interesting.  Thank you for the link and information.  I am also inclined to believe that Sneferu was buried in the Red Pyramid, and his body either removed or destroyed.  It would seem to have been such a tremendous effort in order to construct a mere cenotaph.   Though we are discussing a king who constructed three pyramids after he was unsatisfied with the first two, so I suppose it is not entirely outside the realm of possibility. 

I am still awaiting my reply from the Dean of el-Eini.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find the names and addresses of any museum officials, the Dean himself is a surgeon in charge of the medical school.  So he may lack both the information and interest in archaeological remains.  Actually, in recent days our mutual friend has reluctantly conceded that the Step Pyramid was most likely intended as a royal tomb.  Though he still insists the purpose was merely ritualistic, and that the Egyptians of that era lacked any sort of religious beliefs.

The discovery of human remains in Unas's pyramid in 1881 by Gaston Maspero was an amazing discovery.  The current consensus is that these remains are indeed the royal mummy of Unas.  Though I am unaware whether his royal mummy is on display, or if examination of it would be only upon request by qualified professionals. 

Edited by Lord Harry

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10 hours ago, Khaemwaset said:

Didn't Belzoni supposedly find a small piece of Menkaure inside the pyramid?  I know the ship carrying the beautiful sarcophagus sunk off Gibraltar, so the mummy bit probably went down with it.   (I could be wrong though...I'm old, and I have gas  - I can't help it.)

Actually, the mummified remains of which you speak were discovered by Colonel Howard Vyse during his excavations of G3 in 1837.  The remarkable alabaster sarcophagus, was in the palace facade style that was fairly common during the Old Kingdom.  It was unfortunately lost at sea when the ship carrying it to Britain, the HMS Beatrice, sunk off the coast of Corsica during a storm.  The fragments of the coffin are believed to date to the Twenty Sixth Dynasty due to its characteristic mummiform design, while the human remains were radiocarbon dated to the Roman period.

However, it should be pointed out that C-14 dating of human remains is not always reliable, as the samples tested can easily become contaminated.  So it is possible, in my opinion, that these remains could in fact be the royal mummy of Menkaure. The original gold-inlaid cedar coffin from the Fourth Dynasty may have deteriorated, and pious priests of the Saite Period could have provided Menkaure with a new coffin.  This is just one of many possible scenarios.

Both the mummified remains and the fragments of the coffin are on display in the British Museum in London.

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Posted (edited)

39 minutes ago, Lord Harry said:

Actually, the mummified remains of which you speak were discovered by Colonel Howard Vyse during his excavations of G3 in 1837.  The remarkable alabaster sarcophagus, was in the palace facade style that was fairly common during the Old Kingdom.  It was unfortunately lost at sea when the ship carrying it to Britain, the HMS Beatrice, sunk off the coast of Corsica during a storm.  The fragments of the coffin are believed to date to the Twenty Sixth Dynasty due to its characteristic mummiform design, while the human remains were radiocarbon dated to the Roman period.

However, it should be pointed out that C-14 dating of human remains is not always reliable, as the samples tested can easily become contaminated.  So it is possible, in my opinion, that these remains could in fact be the royal mummy of Menkaure. The original gold-inlaid cedar coffin from the Fourth Dynasty may have deteriorated, and pious priests of the Saite Period could have provided Menkaure with a new coffin.  This is just one of many possible scenarios.

Both the mummified remains and the fragments of the coffin are on display in the British Museum in London.

Thanks for the correction!  I had thought the sarcophagus was basalt, but I shall revise my poor memory.  :)

Edited by Khaemwaset

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1 hour ago, Khaemwaset said:

Thanks for the correction!  I had thought the sarcophagus was basalt, but I shall revise my poor memory.  :)

Actually, the sarcophagus was basalt.  My mistake.

http://egyptologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2011/01/lost-sarcophagus.html

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