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The Puzzler

Great Pyramid not built by Khufu?

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Some of you will be p***ed off about this, and I'm sorry in advance... but the stuff around the pyramid has literally nothing to say about the age of the pyramid. It says when the area was developed around the pyramid, and that is all. The Sphinx looks well integrated but there are serious doubts about the age of that structure, as one example. I'd be receptive to a more solid argument though along these lines.

I'm not the least bit deterred by imperfection in the pyramid construction from believing the men who designed it were brilliant. So I will discontinue in that direction. (Sorry)

Likewise the date of all stone pyramids. It's plausible there were some built much later than the major works as part of pyramid infatuation. If I go make a stone circle somewhere in England today because I think Stonehenge is magical, it doesn't mean Stonehenge was built today too.

The tags above the king's chamber are indicative of a date because the places where they are would be very difficult to reach and there is no obvious motive for putting them there except as custom.

I've been trying to find this mortar-dating between the stones in the Great pyramid and haven't been able to find anything along those lines.... Instead I find reports of mortar found in construction sites around the pyramid. Something else was talking about "casing". Again, says nothing about the date of the GP. As far as I can tell there was absolutely no mortar used in the construction.

is that all there is?

Edited by onefourfour

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I'm linking you to a page refuting what fringe con men suggest concerning the evidence kmt_sesh mentioned, namely the worker's glyphs in the Great Pyramid.

Link.

While the glyphs don't say "built by Khufu," they do indicate the G.P. was built during his reign, based on content and context. Also, a 4th Dynasty date is supported by carbon dating of organic materials drilled out of the mortar found between all the stones in the Great Pyramid.

Harte

Hey Harte if you know a better source on this topic please post it. I can barely understand this page.

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I've been trying to find this mortar-dating between the stones in the Great pyramid and haven't been able to find anything along those lines.... Instead I find reports of mortar found in construction sites around the pyramid. Something else was talking about "casing". Again, says nothing about the date of the GP. As far as I can tell there was absolutely no mortar used in the construction.

http://www.aeraweb.org/projects/how-old-are-the-pyramids/

cormac

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Some of you will be p***ed off about this, and I'm sorry in advance... but the stuff around the pyramid has literally nothing to say about the age of the pyramid. It says when the area was developed around the pyramid, and that is all. The Sphinx looks well integrated but there are serious doubts about the age of that structure, as one example. I'd be receptive to a more solid argument though along these lines.

I wouldn't say we'd be p***ed off to hear this because most of us have heard this approximately a billion-plus times right here at UM. The first mistake would be to view the pyramids as isolates, as though they have nothing to do with the archaeological environment around them. That is demonstrably not the case. It's akin to looking at a human heart and thinking you can know all about human biology just from that, while ignoring everything else in the body. It's all a unit—as is the pyramid, adjacent satellite pyramids, the mortuary temple, causeway, valley temple, and adjacent cemeteries of family members and nobility. This is principally why pretty much all fringe arguments against the date and purpose of the Great Pyramid (or any pyramid) ultimately fail: they all ignore the plethora of adjoining and related evidence which helps us to understand the pyramid.

Doubts have been entertained about the date of the Sphinx—but not by vetted historians with an expertise in ancient Egypt. The only accredited scientist of whom I'm aware who's postulated a significantly older date for the Sphinx is the geologist Robert Schoch. But his argument is poorly framed and fails to take into account a significant amount of evidence that logically must be considered—as a result of which no one else in the legitimate scientific or historical community sides with Schoch. One needs to take into account the full scope of evidence, as well as other, more plausible geological explanations for wear patterns on the Sphinx. One must consider the archaeological and historical context. To that end the most credible investigations are those of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, headed by Mark Lehner. See their pages here for a proper archaeological approach to dating the Sphinx.

I'm not the least bit deterred by imperfection in the pyramid construction from believing the men who designed it were brilliant. So I will discontinue in that direction. (Sorry)

You should not be deterred. They were indeed brilliant. The Great Pyramid itself is the single most significant accomplishment of any Early Bronze Age civilization. But the Great Pyramid must be placed in its context as well as the wider view of pharaonic history, where later engineering projects such as the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes are significantly more sophisticated. What I (and others) would caution you and anyone else on is overplaying the "perfection" of the Great Pyramid. Indisputably that would be an exaggeration.

Likewise the date of all stone pyramids. It's plausible there were some built much later than the major works as part of pyramid infatuation. If I go make a stone circle somewhere in England today because I think Stonehenge is magical, it doesn't mean Stonehenge was built today too.

I'm a little confused over exactly what you're getting at here so I'll just emphasize that the major masonry pyramids are all dated to the beginning of the Old Kingdom: Step Pyramid of Djoser, Dynasty 3; Meidum Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, and Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Dynasty 4; Great Pyramid (G1) of Khufu, Dynasty 4; the second Giza pyramid (G2), of Khafre, Dynasty 4; the third Giza pyramid (G3), of Menkaure, Dynasty 4. In between these were a handful of masonry pyramids that were never completed by short-lived kings. The pyramids dating to late in the Old Kingdom are the smaller ones and built largely of mud brick (with stone exteriors and interior load-bearing masonry), with similar small pyramids erected into the Middle Kingdom. There are well-understood reasons that pyramid became smaller as time went on, but I needn't go off-topic.

The tags above the king's chamber are indicative of a date because the places where they are would be very difficult to reach and there is no obvious motive for putting them there except as custom.

Agreed. The workmen's graffiti provide solid attestation for Khufu's ownership of the Great Pyramid, and Khufu reigned in the mid-third millennium BCE,

I've been trying to find this mortar-dating between the stones in the Great pyramid and haven't been able to find anything along those lines.... Instead I find reports of mortar found in construction sites around the pyramid. Again, says nothing about the date of the GP.

I'll provide you a couple of ways to access the report. You can download the PDF directly by clicking this link, or see the link titled "radiocarbon dating of old and middle kingdom monuments" near the top of this Google page.

is that all there is?

LOL There is always more.

Edited by kmt_sesh
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Likewise the date of all stone pyramids. It's plausible there were some built much later than the major works as part of pyramid infatuation.

It sounds like your sources are exceedingly incomplete. The period of pyramid building extends from the 3rd Dynasty through 12th dynasty, at least one in the 18th dynasty and a resurgence under the Nubian Pharaohs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Egyptian_pyramids

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepsius_list_of_pyramids

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubian_pyramids

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Hey Harte if you know a better source on this topic please post it. I can barely understand this page.

It is a little hard to follow, isn't it? Issues with the language barrier, I imagine.

Off the top of my head I can't think of an academically grounded website in which the fringe stance against the graffiti is explained and refuted. To be honest no one in the professional academic community doubts the authenticity of the graffiti, and they pay little to no attention to the fringe stance against it.

However, there are a couple of UM threads that may be of help. I started this thread a long time ago to refute the fringe stance, which ultimately stems from the wild ideas of Zecharia Sitchin. More recently a UM member named Scott Creighton started this thread in favor of the hoax scenario, wherein he approaches the hoax from a different angle. You'll see both sides of the issue, but the two threads do contain overlap.

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It sounds like your sources are exceedingly incomplete. The period of pyramid building extends from the 3rd Dynasty through 12th dynasty, at least one in the 18th dynasty and a resurgence under the Nubian Pharaohs.

http://en.wikipedia....yptian_pyramids

http://en.wikipedia....ist_of_pyramids

http://en.wikipedia....Nubian_pyramids

No sorry, the problem isn't remotely that I'm unaware of the existence of more than a few pyramids.

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What am I supposed to be noticing on this page? Where is the mortar in the great pyramid?

I provided links in my longer post above, in the line beginning "I'll provide you a couple of ways to access the report," near the bottom.

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I wouldn't say we'd be p***ed off to hear this because most of us have heard this approximately a billion-plus times right here at UM. The first mistake would be to view the pyramids as isolates, as though they have nothing to do with the archaeological environment around them. That is demonstrably not the case. It's akin to looking at a human heart and thinking you can know all about human biology just from that, while ignoring everything else in the body. It's all a unit—as is the pyramid, adjacent satellite pyramids, the mortuary temple, causeway, valley temple, and adjacent cemeteries of family members and nobility. This is principally why pretty much all fringe arguments against the date and purpose of the Great Pyramid (or any pyramid) ultimately fail: they all ignore the plethora of adjoining and related evidence which helps us to understand the pyramid.

Don't you think it's entirely plausible that some structures (i.e, pyramids, sphinx) are there already and they develop and expand a major religious and ruling center around, and based on a mythos surrounding them?

Doubts have been entertained about the date of the Sphinx—but not by vetted historians with an expertise in ancient Egypt. The only accredited scientist of whom I'm aware who's postulated a significantly older date for the Sphinx is the geologist Robert Schoch. But his argument is poorly framed and fails to take into account a significant amount of evidence that logically must be considered—as a result of which no one else in the legitimate scientific or historical community sides with Schoch. One needs to take into account the full scope of evidence, as well as other, more plausible geological explanations for wear patterns on the Sphinx. One must consider the archaeological and historical context. To that end the most credible investigations are those of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, headed by Mark Lehner. See their pages here for a proper archaeological approach to dating the Sphinx.

I come from a background in the study of human thought throughout history. The geological science behind dating the Sphinx holds much, much, more weight than arguments from historians. That is me, you are welcome to think otherwise, and I understand why you do.

the Great Pyramid must be placed in its context as well as the wider view of pharaonic history, where later engineering projects such as the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes are significantly more sophisticated. What I (and others) would caution you and anyone else on is overplaying the "perfection" of the Great Pyramid. Indisputably that would be an exaggeration.

No, that is only a valid line against people who are trying to say it was impossible for humans to build the pyramid but who accept that humans built Karnak and Luxor. I haven't got enough understanding of construction science to have much to say on that. I don't discount the dating to Khufu simply because it seems the Pyramids were too hard to build. (Although I think that is entirely possible!)

major masonry pyramids are all dated to the beginning of the Old Kingdom: Step Pyramid of Djoser, Dynasty 3; Meidum Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, and Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Dynasty 4; Great Pyramid (G1) of Khufu, Dynasty 4; the second Giza pyramid (G2), of Khafre, Dynasty 4; the third Giza pyramid (G3), of Menkaure, Dynasty 4.

I just can't find anything about masonry in the three major Giza pyramids. I found a study on work sights on the plateau, which means literally nothing except that some work on the giza plateau occurred. I don't have any problems with the wood-sourcing/age issue really, personally. I also found something about mortar on the pyramid facades. A good hint but not what I was looking for... interior block mortar would be much more solid. Restoration work and beautifying projects such as facade work are not good dating indicators.

Agreed. The workmen's graffiti provide solid attestation for Khufu's ownership of the Great Pyramid, and Khufu reigned in the mid-third millennium BCE,

Of everything mentioned it seems the best indicator.

Thanks for staying with it.

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I provided links in my longer post above, in the line beginning "I'll provide you a couple of ways to access the report," near the bottom.

There is nothing in there about mortar from inside the Giza pyramids. Instead they go and date "temples made from mud bricks", which they have already assumed are dated at the same time as the construction of the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx.

lol seriously laughable, and very obvious intentions.

Edited by onefourfour

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There is nothing in there about mortar from inside the Giza pyramids.

What do you mean? The summary of the Great Pyramid alone lists over forty samples and their respective C14 dates.

But if you're talking about mortar from deep inside the mass of the pyramid, then, no, such has not been sampled...because it's not accessible.

I'll leave it at that for the moment to see if I'm understanding you correctly.

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There is nothing in there about mortar from inside the Giza pyramids. Instead they go and date "temples made from mud bricks", which they have already assumed are dated at the same time as the construction of the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx.

lol seriously laughable, and very obvious intentions.

See my earlier link to the web pages of the GPMP. The Sphinx is datable to the reign of Khafre, Dynasty 4. No cohesive or credible argument has ever been forwarded to contradict that fact.

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Give me some time to recheck. I'm just heading out the door so probably will write more tomorrow. Thanks!

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The Sphinx looks well integrated but there are serious doubts about the age of that structure, as one example. I'd be receptive to a more solid argument though along these lines.

Well-integrated?

It's practically an after-thought. In modern parlance, it's "jammed in there". It's literally physically impossible (or rather, logically indefensible) for it to have been built prior to Khufu's walkway.

Don't you think it's entirely plausible that some structures (i.e, pyramids, sphinx) are there already and they develop and expand a major religious and ruling center around, and based on a mythos surrounding them?

Kmet has given you some great sources, but generally, it is so unlikely as to not be plausible. See, you can't isolate the pyramids from the society that built and surrounded them, and then ask if it is plausible that the pyramids were there first, and the society came second. That's like asking if, ignoring the entire population and history of the U.S. to that point, would it be plausible that the Capital building was there first, and the people of the U.S. built their country around it.

I come from a background in the study of human thought throughout history.

:huh:

Is that anything like behavioral psychology?

The geological science behind dating the Sphinx holds much, much, more weight than arguments from historians. That is me, you are welcome to think otherwise, and I understand why you do.

That's a curious thing to say. When it comes to human history, the weight of evidence is generally indicated by the credibility of the arguments supporting it, not by the field they come from. There is not really a whole lot of the ancient world left, to be able to say that evidence from any one field can incontestably establish any given point to the point of ruling out all debate.

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I found what you were talking about. I completely misunderstood the article. Provisionally, I'm very happy :)

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Well-integrated?

It's practically an after-thought. In modern parlance, it's "jammed in there". It's literally physically impossible (or rather, logically indefensible) for it to have been built prior to Khufu's walkway.

If you would like to expand on this or give me a link or something I'd appreciate it.

you can't isolate the pyramids from the society that built and surrounded them, and then ask if it is plausible that the pyramids were there first, and the society came second.

Absolutely you can and it's nothing like the Capitol building comparison. In fact I believe it's now consensus that temples came before settlement in human history, and that government and settlement were formed around temple sites.

Is that anything like behavioral psychology?

Gosh no. Behavioural psychology would be a form of thought. A theory of human action, and one of many.

When it comes to human history, the weight of evidence is generally indicated by the credibility of the arguments supporting it, not by the field they come from.

I'm saying history is not credible. It is closer to myth than truth.

Edited by onefourfour

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Don't you think it's entirely plausible that some structures (i.e, pyramids, sphinx) are there already and they develop and expand a major religious and ruling center around, and based on a mythos surrounding them?

Seems extremely unlikely.

Now, that said, we do know of cases where a religion (Christianity) appropriates symbols and areas used by other religions. However, they do not leave the old religion/old structure intact. There's a major redevelopment of the site and retooling of the structures to erase old symbols and incorporate new symbols. Furthermore, we also have examples in Egypt of where a structure was removed and then turned into something else (the White Chapel is one of those), as well as the re-designing of the tomb of King Den to a Tomb of Osiris.

I come from a background in the study of human thought throughout history. The geological science behind dating the Sphinx holds much, much, more weight than arguments from historians. That is me, you are welcome to think otherwise, and I understand why you do.

If so, then perhaps you will pay attention to the findings of the geologists who studied Egypt rather than tourist-geologist Schoh, who disagreed with the geologists-working-on-the-plateau's findings. Their comments (that he was not comparing two rock layers of the same strata, but rather different rocks from different layers) is a hallmark of the kind of sloppy research he has done in the past.

http://www.aeraweb.org/sphinx-project/geology-of-the-sphinx/

I don't discount the dating to Khufu simply because it seems the Pyramids were too hard to build. (Although I think that is entirely possible!)

Not 'too hard' but simply the product of a different time. For example, it would be a very difficult and overwhelmingly expensive task today to build one of the huge legendary cathedrals of Europe from the same materials.

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If you would like to expand on this or give me a link or something I'd appreciate it.

Sure. Which part?

Absolutely you can and it's nothing like the Capitol building comparison. In fact I believe it's now consensus that temples came before settlement in human history, and that government and settlement were formed around temple sites.

Asides from saying that you can, do you have anything that would give validity to the proposal of isolating a structure from the culture with the history of building those structures and wondering if they didn't build it?

Gosh no. Behavioural psychology would be a form of thought. A theory of human action, and one of many.

If you would like to expand, etc.

I'm saying history is not credible. It is closer to myth than truth.

Again, a rather curious thing to say. Evidence is not determined by field, but by support.

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Seems extremely unlikely.

Now, that said, we do know of cases where a religion (Christianity) appropriates symbols and areas used by other religions. However, they do not leave the old religion/old structure intact. There's a major redevelopment of the site and retooling of the structures to erase old symbols and incorporate new symbols. Furthermore, we also have examples in Egypt of where a structure was removed and then turned into something else (the White Chapel is one of those), as well as the re-designing of the tomb of King Den to a Tomb of Osiris.

Stone monuments have no religion structure to leave intact or not.

Have you heard of the people who worshiped a fellow who tossed a bottle out of a small plane? It was a long time ago I heard the story, so the details are fuzzy in my memory.

If so, then perhaps you will pay attention to the findings of the geologists who studied Egypt rather than tourist-geologist Schoh, who disagreed with the geologists-working-on-the-plateau's findings. Their comments (that he was not comparing two rock layers of the same strata, but rather different rocks from different layers) is a hallmark of the kind of sloppy research he has done in the past.

I've never found a problem with the water erosion idea, just character bashing. Sure I'll check it out.

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Sure. Which part?

How is the Sphinx being older than Khufu's walkway impossible.

Asides from saying that you can, do you have anything that would give validity to the proposal of isolating a structure from the culture with the history of building those structures and wondering if they didn't build it?

It's not a question of isolating, it's a question of what comes first. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gobekli-tepe-the-worlds-first-temple-83613665/?no-ist

If you would like to expand, etc.

PM me, get my email, and I'll correspond if you're interested. Start by reading all the work of Jose Ortega y Gasset.

Again, a rather curious thing to say. Evidence is not determined by field, but by support.

History is not a field. It is a practice, like religion. The kind of history you are thinking of is a modern invention and has had very little to do with our species' past.

Edited by onefourfour

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you can't isolate the pyramids from the society that built and surrounded them, and then ask if it is plausible that the pyramids were there first, and the society came second.

Absolutely you can and it's nothing like the Capitol building comparison. In fact I believe it's now consensus that temples came before settlement in human history, and that government and settlement were formed around temple sites.

As aquatus1 has said, you can't. Particularly when the radiometric tests performed on samples taken from the Great Pyramid give it a date with a range that well covers the reign of the pharaoh Khufu, combined with the graffiti from the relieving chambers which include cartouches that bear several versions of his name and in inaccessable places that continue in between blocks, particularly those at the lower wall/floor seams. The recently found 'Diary of Merrer" from the Wadi al-Jarf site on the western shores of the Red Sea, which details the delivery of blocks for the construction of Khufu's pyramid during the 27th year of his reign, also must be taken into account before attempting to isolate the GP from the culture and time of its construction which is the Egyptian 4th Dynasty.

I have to wonder how this is concensus as (for example) the site of Hierakonpolis, ancient Nekhen, was settled as early as the mid-5th millenium BC IIRC whereas the earliest and oldest evidence for a temple anywhere in Egypt also dates from there and is no later than c.3500 BC/3400 BC which is about 1000 years later.

cormac

Edited by cormac mac airt

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Stone monuments have no religion structure to leave intact or not.

My point was that when a culture appropriates something for a religious or ceremonial purpose, they repurpose the site. And they rebuild stone monuments (there are many ancient temples and monuments that were rebuilt to become Christian chapels and shrines and chapels and shrines of many other religions.

Nobody walks in and worships/appropriates a monument and leaves it unchanged. If the Egyptians had "found" the monuments (unlikely, since the area is one of the earliest settled) then there would be a lot of evidence of constant reworking and constant Pharonic rebuilding. Such a site (ancient site, reworked several times by various succeeding pharaohs) is Karnak.

Giza does not show any of the reworking that Karnak does.

Have you heard of the people who worshiped a fellow who tossed a bottle out of a small plane? It was a long time ago I heard the story, so the details are fuzzy in my memory.

A famous (fiction) movie called "The Gods Must Be Crazy." One of my favorites, and fictional.

I've never found a problem with the water erosion idea, just character bashing. Sure I'll check it out.

Ah. When it was proposed, the archaeological community pointed out the problems with it, as did a number of geologists who had worked the site. However, their words didn't get as much attention as Schoch's shocking claims.

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cormac, it sounds like you're saying that for some very specific reasons you don't think the Great Pyramid predates dynastic Egypt, and that's fine. If you conclude from that though that it's impossible for any temple to predate a government or a local domestic economy, that's not fine. Read Fustel de Coulanges "The Ancient City". Religion, temple, and ritual predate civilization.

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Kenemet, I understand what you are saying, and I just don't agree at all that there is some force that makes humans constantly repurpose a site. I understand why you think that, and that there are in fact cases of that happening, it just simply isn't writ law that it always will be.

I'm sure there is actually a tribe which was making little model aircraft trying to bring back the "god" they had seen. Maybe I'm confusing the bottle with the fiction, but I'm sure there was a real case of this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

The trend here is that you want to make humans what you think they are, and demand they always do what you think they will do, and they simply don't.

Edited by onefourfour

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