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The Khafre Enigma


Thanos5150
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Khafre, son of Khufu and successor of Djedefre, ruled roughly 26yrs, a year or two less than Khufu builder of the Great Pyramid (G1), and is credited with building the "2nd" (G2) or "middle" pyramid at Giza. Originally G2 stood 448ft tall with a base length of 706ft. By comparison G1 stood at 481ft with a base of 756ft. Though slightly smaller with notably less mass and complex interior, unlike G1 G2 used the much more difficult to work and time consuming granite casing for part of its height and employed numerous massive blocks along its base, some weighing upwards of 100 tons. It is said Khufu built G1 in approximately 20yrs, which at the very least would have included the mortuary temple, causeway, and valley temple, yet little consideration is given to the works of Khafre. 

While Khafre would also have built a mortuary temple, causeway, valley temple, and acres of massive paving stones, etc, adding to Khafre's workload vs Khufu's would not only have been the Sphinx with its enclosure and harbor, but also the cutting out enormous amounts of bedrock from the slope around the base of the pyramid including the use of a large in situ sections of it carved into the shape of courses, the use of massive blocks in both the valley and mortuary temples the likes of which the DE did not use prior (of after) with many in the 100 ton range (highly unlikely the same to have been used for G1's temples as they have completely disappeared), at least one weighing roughly 400 tons, the Sphinx Temple, and the magnificent granite component of the Valley Temple interior as well as completely encasing the exterior in granite. 

To give some context, the base of G2 is again 706ft. From the remaining granite casing we can guestimate the average width of a block at 4-5ft. So at say 150 per side this would require approximately 600 granite blocks to make one course. Antiquarian reports say the detritus of fallen stone, including granite, was over 30ft on some sides so we know the granite went up at least several courses. If we say the granite went to at least 15 courses, like G3, this would leave us needing about 7,000-9,000 granite blocks. 

But then there is not only the interior granite pillars, walls, doorways, and lintels of the interior of the Valley Temple, but also the sheathing of the exterior in granite including curved pieces to emulate the corniced roof of the serekh building: HERE which I assume ran at least across the front façade of the temple.  

Valley Temple Photo Gallery

While maybe "only" a few hundred pieces were needed for the temple, they are much larger than those used for the casing stones. 

All things being equal, while it seems readily apparent G2 by the numbers would have taken less time to build than G1, we are left to wonder how much extra by comparison would have been required for Khafre not only to work so extensively in granite, but also the out of character use of numerous massive megalithic temple and pyramid base blocks as well as the carving of the Sphinx and building the Sphinx Temple. As difficult as it is to accept a 20yr timeline for Khufu, to consider the works attributed to Khafre, regardless of the "inferiority" of his pyramid, we are still left with the same reservations of being able to complete these works within the timely reign of one pharaoh.  

 

Edited by Thanos5150
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772px-S10.08_Gizeh,_image_9936.jpg

1e691fb9-973f-4650-b8fb-df930035f31c.jpg

khafre_valley_temple_facade.jpg

This is a poor quality photo but it gives some perspective of how deeply inset the later granite component is within the temple:

16368915454198025.jpg

 

Edited by Thanos5150
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On 9/18/2022 at 11:52 PM, Thanos5150 said:

Khafre, son of Khufu and successor of Djedefre, ruled roughly 26yrs, a year or two less than Khufu builder of the Great Pyramid (G1), and is credited with building the "2nd" (G2) or "middle" pyramid at Giza. Originally G2 stood 448ft tall with a base length of 706ft. By comparison G1 stood at 481ft with a base of 756ft. Though slightly smaller with notably less mass and complex interior, unlike G1 G2 used the much more difficult to work and time consuming granite casing for part of its height and employed numerous massive blocks along its base, some weighing upwards of 100 tons. It is said Khufu built G1 in approximately 20yrs, which at the very least would have included the mortuary temple, causeway, and valley temple, yet little consideration is given to the works of Khafre. 

While Khafre would also have built a mortuary temple, causeway, valley temple, and acres of massive paving stones, etc, adding to Khafre's workload vs Khufu's would not only have been the Sphinx with its enclosure and harbor, but also the cutting out enormous amounts of bedrock from the slope around the base of the pyramid including the use of a large in situ sections of it carved into the shape of courses, the use of massive blocks in both the valley and mortuary temples the likes of which the DE did not use prior (of after) with many in the 100 ton range (highly unlikely the same to have been used for G1's temples as they have completely disappeared), at least one weighing roughly 400 tons, the Sphinx Temple, and the magnificent granite component of the Valley Temple interior as well as completely encasing the exterior in granite. 

To give some context, the base of G2 is again 706ft. From the remaining granite casing we can guestimate the average width of a block at 4-5ft. So at say 150 per side this would require approximately 600 granite blocks to make one course. Antiquarian reports say the detritus of fallen stone, including granite, was over 30ft on some sides so we know the granite went up at least several courses. If we say the granite went to at least 15 courses, like G3, this would leave us needing about 7,000-9,000 granite blocks. 

But then there is not only the interior granite pillars, walls, doorways, and lintels of the interior of the Valley Temple, but also the sheathing of the exterior in granite including curved pieces to emulate the corniced roof of the serekh building: HERE which I assume ran at least across the front façade of the temple.  

Valley Temple Photo Gallery

While maybe "only" a few hundred pieces were needed for the temple, they are much larger than those used for the casing stones. 

All things being equal, while it seems readily apparent G2 by the numbers would have taken less time to build than G1, we are left to wonder how much extra by comparison would have been required for Khafre not only to work so extensively in granite, but also the out of character use of numerous massive megalithic temple and pyramid base blocks as well as the carving of the Sphinx and building the Sphinx Temple. As difficult as it is to accept a 20yr timeline for Khufu, to consider the works attributed to Khafre, regardless of the "inferiority" of his pyramid, we are still left with the same reservations of being able to complete these works within the timely reign of one pharaoh.  

 

That's not such a little difference.  G1 required about 25% more lifting than G2 time the reciprocal of the efficiency.   Efficiency could have been as low as 5% if they used ramps which means lifting alone for G2 would have required five times as much work.   No matter how they did the work G1 probably required double the work.  

Edited by cladking
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On 9/18/2022 at 9:52 PM, Thanos5150 said:

Khafre, son of Khufu and successor of Djedefre, ruled roughly 26yrs, a year or two less than Khufu builder of the Great Pyramid (G1), and is credited with building the "2nd" (G2) or "middle" pyramid at Giza. Originally G2 stood 448ft tall with a base length of 706ft. By comparison G1 stood at 481ft with a base of 756ft. Though slightly smaller with notably less mass and complex interior, unlike G1 G2 used the much more difficult to work and time consuming granite casing for part of its height and employed numerous massive blocks along its base, some weighing upwards of 100 tons. It is said Khufu built G1 in approximately 20yrs, which at the very least would have included the mortuary temple, causeway, and valley temple, yet little consideration is given to the works of Khafre. 

While Khafre would also have built a mortuary temple, causeway, valley temple, and acres of massive paving stones, etc, adding to Khafre's workload vs Khufu's would not only have been the Sphinx with its enclosure and harbor, but also the cutting out enormous amounts of bedrock from the slope around the base of the pyramid including the use of a large in situ sections of it carved into the shape of courses, the use of massive blocks in both the valley and mortuary temples the likes of which the DE did not use prior (of after) with many in the 100 ton range (highly unlikely the same to have been used for G1's temples as they have completely disappeared), at least one weighing roughly 400 tons, the Sphinx Temple, and the magnificent granite component of the Valley Temple interior as well as completely encasing the exterior in granite. 

To give some context, the base of G2 is again 706ft. From the remaining granite casing we can guestimate the average width of a block at 4-5ft. So at say 150 per side this would require approximately 600 granite blocks to make one course. Antiquarian reports say the detritus of fallen stone, including granite, was over 30ft on some sides so we know the granite went up at least several courses. If we say the granite went to at least 15 courses, like G3, this would leave us needing about 7,000-9,000 granite blocks. 

But then there is not only the interior granite pillars, walls, doorways, and lintels of the interior of the Valley Temple, but also the sheathing of the exterior in granite including curved pieces to emulate the corniced roof of the serekh building: HERE which I assume ran at least across the front façade of the temple.  

Valley Temple Photo Gallery

While maybe "only" a few hundred pieces were needed for the temple, they are much larger than those used for the casing stones. 

All things being equal, while it seems readily apparent G2 by the numbers would have taken less time to build than G1, we are left to wonder how much extra by comparison would have been required for Khafre not only to work so extensively in granite, but also the out of character use of numerous massive megalithic temple and pyramid base blocks as well as the carving of the Sphinx and building the Sphinx Temple. As difficult as it is to accept a 20yr timeline for Khufu, to consider the works attributed to Khafre, regardless of the "inferiority" of his pyramid, we are still left with the same reservations of being able to complete these works within the timely reign of one pharaoh.  

 

While Khafre is credited with these monuments, there is little to no evidence of him being part of their construction. As noted in Anubis-Lord of the Giza Necropolis, though the alleged builder of the Sphinx-there is no association of Khafre with this monument nor any Old Kingdom reference to the Sphinx or Sphinx Temple. While his name is supposedly found on a few backing blocks of a Giza mastaba, and apparently some blocks were found with his Horus name associated with the Valley Temple (which I have yet to track down), there is nothing to connect him to the building of the pyramid itself. While there is no doubt he was directly associated with G2, it is unclear what role he played in its construction. 

Another of Khafre's accomplishments is the unprecedented statuary program where the remains of at least 52 life sized statues were found and/or their existence inferred. Most if not all (?) made of laborious and time consuming igneous rock, quarried hundreds of miles away. By comparison, none have been found of Khufu or Sneferu. 

Some discrepancies are noted in the construction of the temples. Again, the use of massive megalithic blocks to construct the walls of the Valley Temple weighing upwards of 100+ tons. Other than G3's mortuary temple, which used blocks up to 220 tons, the DE did not build this way before or after. The Valley Temple was completed before the Sphinx Temple which was partly altered to accommodate the latter. It beggars belief Khafre would construct the VT with no regard for the Sphinx temple which was made from the very blocks of the Sphinx enclosure if he was the builder of both. The disparity of the different phases of the mortuary temple:

pyra-khafretemple.gif

The foreground is nearest to the pyramid and is poorly made of relatively smaller blocks. It is hard to imagine a scenario where this would not be the first section built. The back half, however, is absolutely enormous no different than that of the VT:

Pyramid-of-Khafre-47-copy.jpg 

Which the only other place these types of massive limestone blocks were used at Giza was the base of G2. It is hard to reconcile these were made at the same time by the same builder which leaves us to wonder if the same could be said for G2 itself. It has also been noted that the granite used on the VT and G3's mortuary temple were carved to conform to the already eroded limestone megalithic blocks. 

A detail often overlooked, as I have talked about before is the out of place archaic G2 sarcophagus:

Quote

Sarcophagi were often installed prior to completion of the tomb so Khufu's makes sense [it would be undecorated] as the few stone sarcophagi found prior are undecorated meaning it was put in place prior to such decoration becoming standard. Towards the end of his reign this was not the case at all and one is hard pressed to find a noble sarcophagus that is not similar to the examples I give above from this point onward at Giza. This quickly became the standard which was in full swing during Khafre's reign yet his sarcophagus is quite primitive compared to his contemporaries. His sarcophagus is out of place for the period which a "premature death" or "taste" in style does not explain. If one cannot reconcile the idea G2 is older than Khafre, then it would appear Khafre stole this sarcophagus from someone before his reign.   

Sarcophagus found at Abu Roash dated to the reign of Djedefre, son of Khufu:

201426.jpg

Sarcophagus of Khufu-ankh-son of Khufu:

pink-granite-sarcophagus.jpg

Queen Mereseankh III, wife of Khafre:

FbpFpGrWYAIod2b.jpg

Menkuare:

Mykerinossarkophag.jpg

 

Mastaba 17, attributed to the reign of Sneferu:

640px-MeidumMastaba17Sarcophagus.jpg 

Khufu:

The-granite-sarcophagus-of-the-Kings-Cha

Khafre:

khafre_sarcophagus.jpg

This is not "whim" or "preference". There has to be a reason why the God-king Khafre choose such an otherwise uncharacteristically primitive and inferior sarcophagus compared to all those directly before, during, and after him. I find no other conclusion that the sarcophagus (and at least the base of G2) predates Khafre.  

To look at G2:

Pyramid-Khafre2.jpg

We see there are two entrances with the lower entrance at ground level extending a ways beyond the pyramid itself. It is largely speculated the reason for this is because G2 was originally intended to be larger but was later reduced. By the same token G3 also has two entrances which some suggest (as do I) this is instead because of an expansion of the originally intended structure. At any rate, the main chamber would be built and at some point before it was roofed the sarcophagus would have been placed. Part of this phase of construction would also be to carve out the base from the bedrock and add the massive limestone blocks to shore up these sides.

It appears possible that the limestone component of the VT, the Sphinx enclosure which the "island' was not a statue at this time but rather a dock (see the Sphinx 3500BC thread), causeway (which at that point was just a maintained road), the first half of the MT and G2 up to a height of beginning of the center band (where as noted before the discrepancy in methods/quality above and below this point Lehner suggests was possibly the result of a long hiatus in construction) were completed by a previous building program that predated Khafre.    

piramida.jpg

Khafre (and after through the 5th Dynasty) was responsible for completing the pyramid, removing the rest of the material from the Sphinx enclosure to build the Sphinx temple (which water did not come past the mouth of the Sphinx enclosure any longer), building the new Sphinx harbor, carving the Sphinx (Anubis), finishing the causeway, adding the forward half of the mortuary temple, and encasing the VT in granite which he also added the alabaster flooring. 

As noted before:

 

Quote

 

As to the rest of your comment: "...at the same time the archaeological record mainly supports only that construction started under Khufu..."

There is no archeology that supports this claim. It is an assumption based on the fact Khufu is associated with it. While this assumption may be true, it may also not be true in which G1 may have been started in some form or another before his reign as may have G2 and other structures at Giza. Giza was occupied since at least the 1st Dynasty including a 1st-3rd Dynasty cemetery with large 1st Dynasty serekh mastaba. There was a pre-Khufu cemetery, early 4th at best if not 3rd Dynasty, that would have been right where the G1 West Field is now that was demolished to make room for the "new" cemetery under Khufu. There is also evidence and/or Egyptological opinion some of the existing mastabas at Giza may date to the 3rd Dynasty if not earlier including some in the East Field.

To quote Petrie:

“It is a new view of Gizeh to see that it did not become occupied first by the Pyramid kings, but that it had a continuous history as a cemetery from the beginning of the 1st Dynasty". 

 

 

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On 9/21/2022 at 7:38 AM, Thanos5150 said:

A detail often overlooked, as I have talked about before is the out of place archaic G2 sarcophagus:

Sarcophagus found at Abu Roash dated to the reign of Djedefre, son of Khufu:

201426.jpg

Sarcophagus of Khufu-ankh-son of Khufu:

pink-granite-sarcophagus.jpg

Queen Mereseankh III, wife of Khafre:

FbpFpGrWYAIod2b.jpg

Menkuare:

Mykerinossarkophag.jpg

 

Mastaba 17, attributed to the reign of Sneferu:

640px-MeidumMastaba17Sarcophagus.jpg 

Khufu:

The-granite-sarcophagus-of-the-Kings-Cha

Khafre:

khafre_sarcophagus.jpg

This is not "whim" or "preference". There has to be a reason why the God-king Khafre choose such an otherwise uncharacteristically primitive and inferior sarcophagus compared to all those directly before, during, and after him. I find no other conclusion that the sarcophagus (and at least the base of G2) predates Khafre.  

 

Calling the sarcophagus of Khafre "uncharacteristically primitive and inferior" is an entirely subjective statement imho, it's just different compared to the other examples. There's another example (maybe even two) of a royal sarcophagus sunk into the floor with a protruding lid. It was found ritually sealed and buried in the T-shaped trench of the Unfinished Northern Pyramid of Zawyet el Aryan. This unfinished pyramid is generally attributed to a son of Djedefre, Baka or Setka and considered to be the predecessor or successor of Khafre. Main difference between the sarcophagi is the oval shaped lid of Baka's / Setka's compared to the rectangular lid of Kafre's. Based on granite fragments found at Djedefre's pyramid, many Egyptologists propose a similar sunk in the floor sarcophagus with an oval shaped protruding lid for this king. Conclusion, at least one, possibly two other kings who were immediate predecessor / successor of Khafre had a similar sunk in the floor sarcophagus with protruding lid; so there's nothing "archaic" about Khafre's sarcophagus and no need for it to be "older", it was rather "contemporary". The practice of sinking a sarcophagus into the floor became especially popular in private tombs of the late sixth dynasty (no protruding lid though). 

 

 

 

 

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Just a point.

I'm unaware that the 'unfinished northern pyramid' has any connecting evidence that it was, in fact, intended to be a pyramid, nor that the oval container therein was ever intended as a sarcophagus.

If only that bloody vandal Barsanti hadn't been able to destroy so much of it.

It's such a shame the Egyptians have no interest in looking at this site. The scenes from the movie it appeared in are fascinating and the huge  blocks of its pavement are worthy of proper scrutiny.

Edited by Jon101
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3 hours ago, Jon101 said:

Just a point.

I'm unaware that the 'unfinished northern pyramid' has any connecting evidence that it was, in fact, intended to be a pyramid, nor that the oval container therein was ever intended as a sarcophagus.

If only that bloody vandal Barsanti hadn't been able to destroy so much of it.

It's such a shame the Egyptians have no interest in looking at this site. The scenes from the movie it appeared in are fascinating and the huge  blocks of its pavement are worthy of proper scrutiny.

Barsanti didn't even realise he was excavating an unfinished pyramid, he thought it was some kind of mastaba. He also managed to identify the sarcophagus as some kind of "libation vessel" and the lid as an offering table. The man was clearly a total incompetent and later Egyptologists found his reports confusing and his excavation work incomplete and unscientific. All publications on pyramids that I know of identify the structure as an unfinished pyramid and the "oval container" as a sarcophagus. The T shaped construction of the substructure is very similar to that of Djedefre's pyramid who's cartouche has also been found on the site. 

The site is located on military terrain and over the years much of the site has been destroyed as a result of building activities (can be checked on google earth).

 

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https://www.academia.edu/resource/work/35033512

 

This is an excellent publication, by Keith Hamilton, on the great pit.

It also shows that Maspero labelled the site as an unfinished pyramid and also the 'libation trough' in his 1912 publication.

Keith makes a logical case for this never having been intended as a pyramid.

Edited by Jon101
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Keith's guides are indeed excellent but I don't agree with his reasoning regarding "the great pit of Zawijet el-Aryan" (and Djedefre's pyramid which he prefers to call "The Great Pit of Abu-Rawash"). 

The temple/observatory interpretation he seems to prefer doesn't make any sense imho, since those don't need a sarcophagus which the "oval tub" clearly is (4 lifting bosses included). Nor would it make any sense these kings would invest such effort and resources in structures that weren't meant to be their tombs. If these structures were temples/observatories, then we have another problem; where are the pyramids of these 2 kings? 

The observatory interpretation was, as Keith says, proposed by Robert Temple who is a well known "fringe" author, so I wouldn't put my money on that.

There is one Egyptologists Vasil Dobrev who claims "The Great Pit of Abu-Rawash" was some kind of sun temple but this idea is completely rejected by his colleagues.

 

 

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Quote

 

Keith's guides are indeed excellent but I don't agree with his reasoning regarding "the great pit of Zawijet el-Aryan" (and Djedefre's pyramid which he prefers to call "The Great Pit of Abu-Rawash"). 

The temple/observatory interpretation he seems to prefer doesn't make any sense imho, since those don't need a sarcophagus which the "oval tub" clearly is (4 lifting bosses included). Nor would it make any sense these kings would invest such effort and resources in structures that weren't meant to be their tombs. If these structures were temples/observatories, then we have another problem; where are the pyramids of these 2 kings? 

The observatory interpretation was, as Keith says, proposed by Robert Temple who is a well known "fringe" author, so I wouldn't put my money on that.

There is one Egyptologists Vasil Dobrev who claims "The Great Pit of Abu-Rawash" was some kind of sun temple but this idea is completely rejected by his colleagues.

 

No other pyramid has a constructed descending passage.  

The amount of work required to dig this pit is all wasted if it were filled in with a pyramid. 

Egyptology is obviously misinterpreting the evidence.  

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19 hours ago, Djedi said:

 

"There is one Egyptologists Vasil Dobrev who claims "The Great Pit of Abu-Rawash" was some kind of sun temple but this idea is completely rejected by his colleagues.".

 

Sorry, the quoting process went awry, I hope no-one minds.

I hope you don't think I'm some kind of Hamilton groupie, but here is Keith's guide to Abu Rawash. 

 

I'd like add that, while I've been interested in Egypt for many years, I'm very much a layman in terms of this kind of site.

 

https://www.academia.edu/resource/work/36551943

Edited by Jon101
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On 9/22/2022 at 4:38 AM, Djedi said:

Calling the sarcophagus of Khafre "uncharacteristically primitive and inferior" is an entirely subjective statement imho, it's just different compared to the other examples.

As I have shown this is clearly not the case. The "difference" is empirical, not "subjective" with the reason for this difference as I argued because the G2 sarcophagus predates Khafre.  

Quote

There's another example (maybe even two) of a royal sarcophagus sunk into the floor with a protruding lid. It was found ritually sealed and buried in the T-shaped trench of the Unfinished Northern Pyramid of Zawyet el Aryan. This unfinished pyramid is generally attributed to a son of Djedefre, Baka or Setka and considered to be the predecessor or successor of Khafre. Main difference between the sarcophagi is the oval shaped lid of Baka's / Setka's compared to the rectangular lid of Kafre's. Based on granite fragments found at Djedefre's pyramid, many Egyptologists propose a similar sunk in the floor sarcophagus with an oval shaped protruding lid for this king. Conclusion, at least one, possibly two other kings who were immediate predecessor / successor of Khafre had a similar sunk in the floor sarcophagus with protruding lid; so there's nothing "archaic" about Khafre's sarcophagus and no need for it to be "older", it was rather "contemporary". The practice of sinking a sarcophagus into the floor became especially popular in private tombs of the late sixth dynasty (no protruding lid though). 

....? Apparently you do not understand. It has nothing to do with whether the sarcophagus was sunk in the floor or not but rather the style of the sarcophagus. i.e. decorated with the serekh building and not decorated with the serekh building. This was the entire point for all of the pictures in the post you responded to as well at all of the text related to it. Again:

Quote

Sarcophagi were often installed prior to completion of the tomb so Khufu's makes sense [it would be undecorated] as the few stone sarcophagi found prior are undecorated meaning it was put in place prior to such decoration becoming standard. Towards the end of his reign this was not the case at all and one is hard pressed to find a noble sarcophagus that is not similar to the examples I give above from this point onward at Giza. This quickly became the standard which was in full swing during Khafre's reign yet his sarcophagus is quite primitive compared to his contemporaries. His sarcophagus is out of place for the period which a "premature death" or "taste" in style does not explain. If one cannot reconcile the idea G2 is older than Khafre, then it would appear Khafre stole this sarcophagus from someone before his reign.    

There is no reference to the sarcophagus being sunk in the floor. 

As far as  Zawyet el Aryan, which ironically along with Abu Roash is suggested by some to both predate Khafre as well, as discussed before in a post to you:

Quote

Abu Roash has its own dating problems, which Zawyet El Aryan must have been built around the same time, and both in some form are argued to predate the 4th Dynasty. I agree and as others, including some Egyptologists, do not believe either were pyramids. Regardless, the unusual "sarcophagi", also referred to as a "tank" or "vat", is thought by some Egyptologists to have been added after the fact made out of one of the foundation blocks which given the superstructure above it was never added, most likely there was never meant to be one, there is no reason to believe there was ever a burial there. Regarding the "sarcophagus", Barsanti did not think it was such but rather "a libation vessel whose lid served as an offering table".  The lid was plastered to the oval tank and when removed was empty except for a black sludge of sorts.  

Regarding Baka (Bikheris):

"....Bikheris is virtually unattested as a historical figure with no legitimate link to having built Zawyet El Aryan". 

You say: "generally attributed to a son of Djedefre, Baka or Setka and considered to be the predecessor or successor of Khafre." Stadelmann and Reisner suggested it was Baka and the bit about Setka comes from one source, Aidan Dodson, not widely accepted.  

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23 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

As I have shown this is clearly not the case. The "difference" is empirical, not "subjective" with the reason for this difference as I argued because the G2 sarcophagus predates Khafre.  

....? Apparently you do not understand. It has nothing to do with whether the sarcophagus was sunk in the floor or not but rather the style of the sarcophagus. i.e. decorated with the serekh building and not decorated with the serekh building. This was the entire point for all of the pictures in the post you responded to as well at all of the text related to it. Again:

There is no reference to the sarcophagus being sunk in the floor. 

As far as  Zawyet el Aryan, which ironically along with Abu Roash is suggested by some to both predate Khafre as well, as discussed before in a post to you:

Regarding Baka (Bikheris):

"....Bikheris is virtually unattested as a historical figure with no legitimate link to having built Zawyet El Aryan". 

You say: "generally attributed to a son of Djedefre, Baka or Setka and considered to be the predecessor or successor of Khafre." Stadelmann and Reisner suggested it was Baka and the bit about Setka comes from one source, Aidan Dodson, not widely accepted.  

For perspective, the Zawyet el Aryan "sarcophagus":

unfinished-pyramid-at-zawyet-el-aryan-7c

621px-Sarcophage-grande-excavation.jpg

Compare to Khafre:

khafre_sarcophagus.jpg

Its not just that the ZeA "sarcophagus", which is just as likely this was not its function, is "sunk into the floor"-it is the floor and is an oval "tub" cut into a large block. Regardless, it makes little sense to ignore otherwise literally the entire context of 4th Dynasty stone sarcophagi only to compare these two as is they are "apples to apples" because they have some relation to being "set into the floor".  

Regarding the dating, Wikipedia has a decent summary:

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Kurt Sethe, Nabil M.A. Swelim and Wolfgang Helck contradict the former arguments [that ZeA dates to the 4th Dynasty] and date the shaft to the late 3rd Dynasty. They point out that, in general, the use of hewn granite as a floor covering in royal tombs was a tradition since the reign of king Khasekhemwy, the last pharaoh of 2nd Dynasty. Furthermore, the tradition of building shaft-like tombs beneath a pyramid was a tradition of the 3rd Dynasty, not of the 4th Dynasty. The alignment of the pyramid complex on a South to North axis was also a common during the 3rd Dynasty.[2][8] Additionally, W. Helck and Eberhard Otto point out, that the design similarities between the pyramid of Baka and that of Djedefre might be striking, but the design of Djedefre's pyramid was atypical for the 4th Dynasty anyway. Thus, to use Djedefre's tomb design as a comparison argument cannot confirm a 4th Dynasty datation. Finally, egyptologists doubt the evaluations of Barsanti concerning the size of the pyramid base. They think that the pyramid was not so big as Lepsius and Barsanti evaluated. They also doubt the finding of Djedefre's dedication tablet, because this artifact was never published.[2][8]

 

Edited by Thanos5150
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On 9/26/2022 at 5:34 AM, Djedi said:

Keith's guides are indeed excellent but I don't agree with his reasoning regarding "the great pit of Zawijet el-Aryan" (and Djedefre's pyramid which he prefers to call "The Great Pit of Abu-Rawash"). 

As Verner says it is a "structure assumed to be an unfinished pyramid". We do not know if it was ever intended to be a pyramid, regardless of what "most Egyptologists" say who are just parroting each other because they have no other explanation, which there are reasons to think it was not meant to be a pyramid but rather an open air structure. The "trench", or descending ramp at Abu Roash is 18-22ft wide along its 160ft length which I believe it's deepest height (as is the pit) is around 65ft. I assume Zawayet el-Aryan is the same or larger. By comparison the Grand Gallery of G1 is 6.8ft wide at its base. I have been to Abu Roash and even with casing the walls the possibility of the trench or pit ever having a roof seems highly unlikely. 

We are also left with why would they excavate this enormous "T" shaped structure only to build it back up with blocks:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRSp8A9am3SSBeTX1WO9Ba

pyramid-djedefre-map.jpg

42bab337415121b11b250d8140b510a9.jpg

ZeA:

Yhk_FlFJEVfxfuqbOjpbjkPz9sU8td-RHfq9BxHv

350px-Vue-grande-excavation.jpg

Why would Djedefre build this way, and other than supposedly some other unknown pharaoh of the time, no one else did? Khafre didn't think this was a good idea?

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The temple/observatory interpretation he seems to prefer doesn't make any sense imho, since those don't need a sarcophagus which the "oval tub" clearly is (4 lifting bosses included). Nor would it make any sense these kings would invest such effort and resources in structures that weren't meant to be their tombs. If these structures were temples/observatories, then we have another problem; where are the pyramids of these 2 kings? 

It is not "clearly" a sarcophagus i.e. meant to inter the pharaoh, which the fact it has a heavy stone lid necessitates the need for the bosses not because it is a "sarcophagus". Petrie noted the remains of a similar oval "sarcophagus" at Abu Roash which as I show neither have any known corollary within the sarcophagi program of this or any period. 

Shepseskaf has no pyramid but rather a mastaba and there are several other pharaohs of the time that are "pyramid less". And Sneferu supposedly built 3 so who is to say one pharaoh did not build them both particularly given their uncanny similarities? And by the same token, given ZeA (if not both) were not finished and had no burial-where is the tomb of "Baka"? And, again, lets not forget some Egyptologists date ZeA to the 3rd Dynasty which by extension among other reasons would also likely date Abu Roash which I would note both locations have significant cemeteries dating back to the 1st Dynasty. Why did Djedfre, if a pyramid, choose to build there at all? Or "Baka" at  Zawayet el-Aryan not even close to Abu Roash let alone Giza? Another curious feature of Abu Roash:

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Unlike the fourth dynasty mastabas of Giza which sit very close to the pyramids and seem to have been built to a plan in advance, the fourth dynasty necropolis at Abu Rawash (cemetery F) lies some distance from Djedefre’s pyramid and the mastabas seem to have been built to order and laid out in a more haphazard manner.

Why would it make no sense for them to invest in structures other than their tombs when we have no idea why Djedfre built at Abu Roash in the first place (which clearly ZeA was built with the same ideology)?     

Edited by Thanos5150
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On 9/30/2022 at 5:43 PM, Thanos5150 said:

As I have shown this is clearly not the case. The "difference" is empirical, not "subjective" with the reason for this difference as I argued because the G2 sarcophagus predates Khafre.  

....? Apparently you do not understand. It has nothing to do with whether the sarcophagus was sunk in the floor or not but rather the style of the sarcophagus. i.e. decorated with the serekh building and not decorated with the serekh building. This was the entire point for all of the pictures in the post you responded to as well at all of the text related to it. 

 

It may seem empirical to you but that's because your methodology is flawed, you compare a sarcophagus from a royal tomb with those from private-elite tombs. Because some members of the high elite begin to inscribe and / or decorate their sarcophagi with a palace facade motif during / near the end of Khufu's reign doesn't mean the kings had to do the same. For some reason you think they had to and when you see they didn't you simply conclude there's something unusual going on and decide to claim Khafre's sarcophagus is "uncharacteristically primitive and inferior" and therefore predates Khafre. The sarcophagi of some members of high elite that were inscribed and / or decorated are a new development at this stage in the 4th dynasty, the majority of private stone sarcophagi are still undecorated and this remains the case until the end of the Old kingdom when the undecorated ones become a minority. Because some new type of sarcophagus is introduced doesn't make all plain undecorated sarcophagi all of a sudden "uncharacteristically primitive and inferior"; they are still mainstream, it is in fact the decorated type that is "uncharacteristically" new.

Point is; developments in private architecture don't dictate the rules for developments in the architecture of the royal tomb and vice versa; what they do is sometimes influence each other and this influence is not necessarily picked up at the same time, it may take a while. It was Menkaure who picked up on the new development somewhat later and decided to have a sarcophagus decorated in palace facade style, his predecessors simply decided not to.

Another example is the origin of the false door. The false door was developed in private architecture from the palace facade decoration of the mastabas in the first dynasty. The royal tombs did not pick this up until much later and continued to use a pair of stelae with the serekh of the king until the reign of Sneferu (last examples). Then probably from the reign of Khafre (certainly from the reign of Userkaf), the false door was used in the royal mortuary temple.

The type of flawed reasoning you use can also be found in point 4 of Scott Creighton's "10 Facts that Contradict the Pyramid Tomb Theory"

He uses it to “demonstrate” that Khufu's sarcophagus is out of place, like you do with Khafre's.

By a similar flawed reasoning he expects to find decorated chambers in pyramids predating Unas, a reasoning you also share in your OP of the If Pyramids not tombs where are the Pharaoh's thread.

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Abu Roash has its own dating problems, which Zawyet El Aryan must have been built around the same time, and both in some form are argued to predate the 4th Dynasty. I agree and as others, including some Egyptologists, do not believe either were pyramids.

Trying to date the Abu Roash structure to an earlier period is a non starter. Not a single Egyptologists dates Abu Roash to an earlier period since Djedefre's name has been found in situ as has the pyramid name, not to mention all the fragmentary statuary bearing his name. There's no doubt whatsoever this site belongs to Djedefre. As for not being a pyramid, that's the opinion of only one Egyptologist, Vasil Dobrev (who thinks it's some kind of sun temple), and is rejected by all his colleagues.

The remains of a robbers tunnel also indicate that the funerary apartments in the pit were finished and that it was never meant to be and 'open air' trench.

Cobbling together a theory based on fringe “methodology” and outdated and minority views within Egyptology, won't lead to something approaching an accurate reconstruction of the past I'm afraid.

 

Edited by Djedi
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5 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

 I have been to Abu Roash and even with casing the walls the possibility of the trench or pit ever having a roof seems highly unlikely. 

42bab337415121b11b250d8140b510a9.jpg

 

I've also been to Abu Roash and completely disagree. In fact this picture you yourself posted (see above) shows some blocks that still protrude above the pit (modern safety nets installed below), clearly indicating a roof was in place in the past.

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