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Hanslune

The Meidum Pyramid Mystery

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Megaro

Outstanding topic.  Let's get back to a serious discussion of AE pyramid construction.

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Kenemet

We should also place this in time (before we get into a huge misunderstanding)

DJOSER'S PYRAMID (step pyramid, first one in the world)

Sekhemkhet 2648-2640 BC

SNEFERU'S PYRAMIDS (son of Djoser) 2686 – 2667 BC

  1.  Medium pyramid (this one - second true pyramid)
  2. Bent pyramid (built after Medium and changed partway through, third true pyramid)
  3. Red pyramid (complete pyramid, first stable true pyramid)

GIZA: 

  1. Khufu's pyramid (great pyramid) plus satellite pyramids 2575-2566 BC
  2. Khafre's pyramid plus satellite pyramids 2558–2532 BC
  3. Menkaure's pyramid plus satellite pyramids 2532-2503 BC

DJEFRE'S PYRAMID

(etcetera)

https://discoveringegypt.com/pyramids-temples-of-egypt/pyramids-of-giza/

Edited by Kenemet
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kmt_sesh

Great idea, my good sir. I'm interested to see what other members have to say, rather than resorting to my usual tactic of burying everyone behind an avalanche of details. :D

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stereologist

This is the pyramid that is referred to as the Collapsed Pyramid?

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Hanslune
1 hour ago, kmt_sesh said:

Great idea, my good sir. I'm interested to see what other members have to say, rather than resorting to my usual tactic of burying everyone behind an avalanche of details. :D

Feel free to avalanche or at least create a smell dribble of details.

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ShadowSot

I was reading the wiki page tor efresh my memory on it, and since the last time I checked it there's been an image added of a waste block 1597724117_Sneferu_Pyramid_waste_limestone_block._Hole_in_bottom_used_as_pivot_block_to_turn_heavy_l-dum_Egypt._The_Petrie_Museum_of_Egyptian_Archaeology_London.jpg.e00976875b3b55494010abc3510da037.jpg

Quote

Sneferu Pyramid waste limestone block. Hole in bottom, used as pivot block on which to turn heavy levers in moving stones. 4th Dynasty. From Meidum, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

 

 

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jmccr8
1 hour ago, kmt_sesh said:

Why it collapsed is probably design errors—which resulted from numerous revisions during the construction The very foundation was not stable enough, and the exterior cladding was not properly anchored.

Hi Kmt_sesh

Just a thought but would it be a combination of what you have listed and earthquakes?

_book_edcoll_9789047441090_Bej.9789004178748.i-362_003-preview.pdf

 

Mediterranean archaeology is increasingly concerned with the impact of earthquakes on ancient
monuments and cultures, as demonstrated, for
example, by a conference on Archaeoseismology
in 1995 in Athens.2
 The fact that ancient Egypt
was not represented indicates that Egyptologists
have rarely observed or studied seismic events
in ancient times. Egypt, however, located at the
boundary of the African and the Arabian plates,
is an earthquake-prone land. An earthquake of
1992, during which about 500 people died, is still
vividly remembered.3
Though ancient Egyptians mentioned earthquakes (nwr-tA), it is not as historic and real events
but in a general, symbolic way. Several sites and
monuments attest that disastrous seismic events
occurred in pharaonic times,4
 though, without
careful archaeological observations, it is often difficult to distinguish between earthquake damage
and wreckage induced by other causes, such as
sagging of buildings or human quarrying activities. It is even more problematic to determine the
date of a seismic incident.
Numerous severe earthquakes in Egypt are
recorded from the Roman Period through the
Middle Ages and in modern times.5
 For example, a
strong earthquake in the year 27 BC caused heavy
damage in the Theban area, destroying, among
other monuments, the upper part of the northern
Memnon statue.6
 Around that time the same or
another earthquake destroyed the Iseum (Behbet
el-Hagar). The damage was recorded later by the
European traveler Paul Lucas (1664-1737).7
 The
huge pile of fallen blocks does not show heaps of
debris or other traces of quarrying activity, but the
temple seems to have collapsed on itself, a typical
earthquake scenario (fig. 1).The same event might
also have brought down the huge Delta temple of
Bubastis (Tell Basta).8
In a very few cases, an approximate date for an
earthquake in pharaonic times can be established.
For example, the huge funerary temple of Amenhotep III on the Theban west bank was apparently
toppled by a powerful earthquake in the early part
of the reign of Merenptah (1213-1203 BC), most
likely around 1210 BC.9
 One suspects that the
nearby Ramesseum was also heavily damaged by
the same seismic event, because this building was
soon afterward used as a quarry to supply stones
for the mortuary temples of succeeding kings.10
The same earthquake perhaps also triggered a rock
fall that damaged the temple of Mentuhotep at
Deir el-Bahri (and thereby instigating the repair
work of Siptah).11 This temple and the nearby
temple of Thutmose III were apparently finally
destroyed by another rock fall in later Ramesside times.12 Was this also the earthquake of 1210
BC that brought down the upper half of one of the
EARTHQUAKES IN EGYPT IN THE PHARAONIC PERIOD: THE EVIDENCE
AT DAHSHUR IN THE LATE MIDDLE KINGDOM1
D

 

jmccr8

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Thanos5150
10 hours ago, Hanslune said:

So who built it? Why the strange design? Why did it collapse? Why was it abandoned instead of repaired and who was it for?

 

Pyramid at Meidum- A New Perspective

The Mastabas of Meidum- A New Perspective

I believe Meidum as we see it today is as it was originally intended and later converted to a pyramid. The notion of there being phases "E1, E2, and E3" are the invention of Borchardt in which Petrie, one of the first excavators of the site, did not even think there was such a thing as an "E2" layer and to him all of what was constructed before E3 was part of one construction phase with the latter, the pyramid conversion, being another (refer HERE for diagrams). 

Meidum was built using accretion layers, the 3rd Dynasty way, with the outermost layer being finished in the same manner casing stones are-installed rough and shaved flat in situ. There is no reasonable explanation for it to have been done this way only to have been covered by an outer pyramid layer. Also, there is a layer of casing stones not part of the outer collapsed pyramid layer still in situ just a few feet from the tower core:

UlQRaDE.jpg

img_7073.jpg

And oddly enough a second casing stone layer several feet from first that is also not part of the outer collapsed pyramid layer:

17-632eef95a2.jpg

This is truly senseless if the tower core was not meant to be the original finished structure. 

Sneferu did not use the accretion method for either the BP or RP and despite numerous graffiti found at the Medium site related to the construction of the outer layer, not one mentions Sneferu and the relation to him is by later inference from the 18th Dynasty and not contemporary. 

The other component of this site are the mastabas mentioned above which feature palace facade architecture which was not used in the 4th Dynasty but rather was abandoned in the early 3rd Dynasty. There is much evidence the tower core was not fully finished and as I argue these mastabas were left from this time as well only to be claimed later in the 4th or possibly as i argue even the 5th Dynasty.  Again:
The Mastabas of Meidum- A New Perspective;

The Palermo stone credits Khasekhemwy, the last pharoah of the 2nd Dynasty, with constructing an as yet unidentified stone building named "Men-Netjeret" which I am left to wonder if this building may in fact have been the tower core at Meidum in which the palace facade mastabas would fit in quite well as compared to the 4th Dynasty. We are also left with mastaba 17 at Meidum which in context fits in with the early 3rd Dynasty (or earlier) mastabas at Beit Khallaf and again not the 4th Dynasty. I believe it is possible the Meidum complex was begun and worked on from the end of the 2nd through 3rd Dynasty and at some point later, likely the 4th Dynasty, the true pyramid conversion layer was added.     

Edited by Thanos5150
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Hanslune

Excellent comments Thanos. Did you read the link I provided about mastaba 17 I believe and it containing the first known granite sarcophagus?

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Hanslune
2 hours ago, Hanslune said:

Excellent comments Thanos. Did you read the link I provided about mastaba 17 I believe and it containing the first known granite sarcophagus?

https://www.academia.edu/35221693/Mastaba_17_at_Meidum_A_Laymans_guide

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Thanos5150
3 hours ago, Hanslune said:

Excellent comments Thanos. Did you read the link I provided about mastaba 17 I believe and it containing the first known granite sarcophagus?

Read it when Keith first published it. He has done us all a great service with his series of papers. 

Petrie: “The Great Mastaba No. 17 is the largest known, except that of Nefermaat. It was certainly by far the best built mastaba in Egypt, and it is the earliest private stone tomb known, and contains the oldest stone coffin. The chamber is far grander than that of the pyramid of Sneferu.”

Hamilton: "...whoever was buried in mastaba 17 was clearly a very important person, so important was he, that he could provide a chamber grander than the pyramid itself".

Pure speculation, but some early Egyptologists thought mastaba 17 was the tomb of Sneferu. 

Regarding being the first granite sarcophagus, Djoser's sarcophagus is commonly described as made of granite but it has always looked like diorite to me. HERE

I have never been able to find details of this sarcophagus, particualrly pictures. That would be a great reference if some one has it. 

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Kenemet
14 minutes ago, Thanos5150 said:

Regarding being the first granite sarcophagus, Djoser's sarcophagus is commonly described as made of granite but it has always looked like diorite to me. HERE

I have never been able to find details of this sarcophagus, particualrly pictures. That would be a great reference if some one has it. 

Looking at the break and at the finish, it looks to be the same kind of stone that they were quarrying out of the location where Hatshepsut's obelisk lies.  It's a very fine-grained granite.

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Thanos5150
On 11/12/2019 at 2:28 PM, Kenemet said:

We should also place this in time (before we get into a huge misunderstanding)

DJOSER'S PYRAMID (step pyramid, first one in the world)

 

 1st Dynasty tomb of Anedjib, mastaba 3038 at Saqqara:

2anedjib.jpg

Emery refers to this as a "pyramid" and notes the possibility of a few other 1st Dynasty tombs that may have been similar.  Quoting myself from GHMB:

I would highlight what you note below regarding Anedjib's pyramid is that what we see today is actually quite misleading:
2anedjib.jpg

This is only one of 3 phases of construction which at some point later, perhaps within Adnejib's reign, a palace facade mastaba was built around it otherwise completely obscuring it from view. Emery [Archaic Egypt] says:

When first excavated, the superstructure of the tomb appeared to follow the familiar design of a rectangular platform, with its exterior decorated with recessed paneling [palace facade]. But further digging revealed a stepped pyramid structure hidden within it. Only the lower part of the stepped structure was preserved and it is possible it continued upwards in pure pyramid form.

Fig 43,44,45 show proposed reconstructions which the pyramid is set within a palace facade mastaba built around it. He continues to say it is possible this was a common feature to the palace facade tombs of the latter half of the first Dynasty, with earlier tombs that encased tumulus mounds in mud brick the likely precursor noting in particular a "Queen Her-nit". I would add it is curious the opposite is true centuries later in the 3rd Dynasty at Saqqara where a mastaba was encased in a pyramid. Tomb 3038 is definitely curious for several reasons.

70654870_1297661684_Anedjib.jpg

Anedjib's succesor, Qa'a:

4d74c18c655490b3d5727d90ab8d654a--cleopa

fZ0wdJ0.png

Note the structure pictured with both Anedjib and Qa'a that shows a tower "core", like Meidum, flanked by steps- i.e a pyramid layer.  As per my comments in the other thread about pyramid cores being stepped towers with a pyramid layer added around these cores, these inscription may provide further interesting corroboration. 

 

 

  

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Thanos5150
23 hours ago, Kenemet said:

Looking at the break and at the finish, it looks to be the same kind of stone that they were quarrying out of the location where Hatshepsut's obelisk lies.  It's a very fine-grained granite.

Could be. As an aside, there is also supposedly writing on it including the names of queens.

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Hanslune

A map of the area around the Meidum pyramid called on the Map Pyramid of Sneferu:

meidum%20map.jpg

This next map shows where Mastaba 16 was and is shown also in the map above in the center and is called Nefer-Maat

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nefermaat

 

Meidum_pyramid_map_cemetery.gif

It is at the mastaba of Nefer-Maat and Itet that the famous 'Geese of Meidum' were found. This painting is considered one of the great masterpieces of the old Kingdom.

Nefer-maat was buried in Mastaba 16 at this location . Nefer-maat was one of several relatives of Pharaoh Sneferu who was buried in Meidum.

1920px-Maler_der_Grabkammer_der_Itet_002

 

1920px-Mastaba-M16-nefermaat-Meidoum.jpg

 

 

1920px-%C3%84gyptisches_Museum_Kairo_201

 

 

 

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Hanslune

A bit more on Nefer-maat . The mastaba tomb is located in center of the image below, I visited here in 1992.

meidum%20mastaba%20field%20north_640.jpg

meidum%20mastaba%20nefer-maat%20and%20it

meidum%20mastaba%20nefer-maat%20and%20it

The entrance to Nefermaat's masataba below. It has a palace facade motif , made of what appears to be whitewashed over mudbrick. A small enclosed area, possibly a an offering is in front of the entrance. Itet's section is in the north section of the large mastaba.

meidum%20mastaba%20of%20nefer-maat%20and

 

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kmt_sesh
6 minutes ago, Hanslune said:

A bit more on Nefer-maat . The mastaba tomb is located in center of the image below, I visited here in 1992...

Lucky you! Why didn't you take me? This is one I've always wanted to see. We have one of the inscribed wall panels on display at the O.I. The inscriptions were done in a unique way: figures and hieroglyphs were carved into the limestone backing and then filled in with colored paste. It was hoped this would thwart the possibility of someone taking the limestone and reinscribing it for his own tomb. A lot of the original coloration is still there. The panel includes an oversized image of Nefermaat, a much smaller image of hi wife, and several still-smaller images of their sons.

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Hanslune
28 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

Lucky you! Why didn't you take me? This is one I've always wanted to see. We have one of the inscribed wall panels on display at the O.I. The inscriptions were done in a unique way: figures and hieroglyphs were carved into the limestone backing and then filled in with colored paste. It was hoped this would thwart the possibility of someone taking the limestone and reinscribing it for his own tomb. A lot of the original coloration is still there. The panel includes an oversized image of Nefermaat, a much smaller image of hi wife, and several still-smaller images of their sons.

Three's a crowd son. At that time I had a new girlfriend - an Egyptologist to boot. She would have wanted to remove your wrappings and we couldn't have that now could we? I'd would have had to leave you in an abandoned mastaba somewhere........

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kmt_sesh
1 hour ago, Hanslune said:

Three's a crowd son. At that time I had a new girlfriend - an Egyptologist to boot. She would have wanted to remove your wrappings and we couldn't have that now could we? I'd would have had to leave you in an abandoned mastaba somewhere........

A mastaba can be prime real estate.  But, no, leave the wrappings in place. They're the best part of me.

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Thanos5150
23 hours ago, Hanslune said:

This next map shows where Mastaba 16 was and is shown also in the map above in the center and is called Nefer-Maat

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nefermaat

 

Meidum_pyramid_map_cemetery.gif

It is at the mastaba of Nefer-Maat and Itet that the famous 'Geese of Meidum' were found. This painting is considered one of the great masterpieces of the old Kingdom.

Nefer-maat was buried in Mastaba 16 at this location . Nefer-maat was one of several relatives of Pharaoh Sneferu who was buried in Meidum.

1920px-Maler_der_Grabkammer_der_Itet_002

 

1920px-Mastaba-M16-nefermaat-Meidoum.jpg

 

 

1920px-%C3%84gyptisches_Museum_Kairo_201

 

 

 

 

Help a brother out here. The Mastabas of Meidum- A New Perspective

Quote

M16: Mastaba of Nefermaat I and Atet:
panorama.jpg
img_6494.jpg
img_6518.jpg
Proposed reconstruction:
01953f5ba6d604da06f82fbf6f75c245.jpg

Mastaba 16 is famous for its painting "The Geese of Meidum":
tumblr_m95uecrwij1ryfivao1_1280.jpg
Which interestingly has recently been suggested is a modern FAKE.
Though some, like Hawass, disagree of course, comparing it to the other paintings found in the mastaba and of the period at large it is certainly unusual: 
fig06.jpg?w=500&h=445
254px-thumbnail.jpg

Regardless, the fact there are paintings inside this tomb at all is unusual which to my knowledge would make it one of the first if not the first of its kind as the 3rd Dynasty and earlier as a rule did not paint on their tomb walls.

Also found was the stele of Nefermaat I: 
Nefermaat-stele.jpg

Note there are no cartouches or even serekhs and makes no mention of any pharaoh otherwise. 

Unlike M17, the interior is rough cut and whatever fine cut limestone was there that had paintings on it has apparently since been removed. It contains no sarcophagus and I have found no mention that it ever did. Nefermaat I is said to likely be the son of Snefru, and half brother of Khufu, yet this is claimed for no other reason than because his mastaba is near the pyramid of Meidum which they also say was built by Sneferu. Otherwise the mastaba itself is anonymous as to the reign of the pharaoh in which Nefermaat I lived. Of note there is a mastaba (mastaba G 7060) at Giza attributed to a "Nefermaat II" though there is no designation of the "II" I can find find beyond that arbitrarily given by Egyptologists. It is suggested his father may have been Khufu.

 


 

Edited by Thanos5150
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Thanos5150

Quoting myself:

Which brings me to the next point which Reader speaks of extensively (p211-213) which is the state which Meidum exists today being the product of "stone robbers". Reader notes the unlikelihood and lack of evidence to support this notion if only to the contrary suggesting this favors Mendelssohn's theory, also not directly supported, that Meidum collapsed sometime shortly after construction. Quoting Reader:


This OK workshop was found at the base of E3, the true pyramid layer, in which dozens of blocks were found with graffiti and cattle counts most ranging from the 15th-17th count, none earlier, meaning, if a 2yr application is accurate, the 30th and 34th years of the pharaoh's reign as each count is understood to be a 2yr period. Unfortunately, as far as we know as not all the graffiti found has been published, is otherwise anonymous. Sneferu is credited with building, perhaps finishing Meidum, yet no quarry marks bear his name nor is his name found at the workshop. Also, there were some 3,000 blocks found in this workshop area which is implied were left there unused. Regardless, according to Reader: 

It is also noteworthy that whilst a number of well-attested examples of quarry marks from Dashur have been found to contain Snefru’s cartouche, Snefru’s name does not appear on any of the quarry marks found at Meidum.
60
 After completing a detailed assessment of quarry marks from Meidum, Paule Posener-Kriéger, concluded that “Despite some similarities between the graffiti of Dashur-North and Meidum … the identical signs do not appear with sufficient frequency.”

Whatever inscriptions there are of Sneferu are found at the small chapel abutting the E3 layer and were written in the MK and later, otherwise there is nothing contemporary to link Sneferu to Meidum. Also, according to Stadelmann the only quarry marks found are associated with phase E3, something I find quite telling.  

All things considered, I think it is possible that the Medium true pyramid conversion was never fully completed and is not in the state it is in today because the rest of it "collapsed", but rather because it collapsed at some point during this conversion and the project abandoned.

To have survived the depredations of stone-robbers of any era, the Old Kingdom workshop must have been rendered inaccessible over a relatively short timescale, raising the possibility that, as first suggested by Mendelssohn, the construction of the Meidum pyramid was indeed interrupted by a sudden and unplanned event, such as a collapse or partial collapse of the structure.

 

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Piney
On 11/15/2019 at 11:41 AM, Thanos5150 said:

Which interestingly has recently been suggested is a modern FAKE.

I wondered about that. I think it is. 

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