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Update on big void in the Great Pyramid


Wistman

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16 minutes ago, cladking said:

funeral procession

Name a single person who has ever stated that the Grand Gallery was ever used for a "funeral procession", define "procession". Hint, nobody would who knows anything about their funeral practices.

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19 minutes ago, cladking said:

The idea that someone can look at evidence from causeways to big voids without understanding anything about Egyptology is  anathema to those who took the time to see what everyone else thinks first. 

I certainly notice that.    Ironically, most engineers, when noodling personal projects, enjoy the process of solving the problem themselves, and consider reading someone elses idea's as cheating.    Its a mentality designed as a polar opposite to research fields. 

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52 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

the stars are on the roof of the southern burial chamber

I am of course going by what Lehner states. I'll add this though, presuming that Lehner's terminology is the same as mine as regards what is a roof and what is a ceiling, if this chamber was also serving the purpose as a sarcophagus, then stars on the roof would make sense as we do see stars appear as decoration on the outside surface of some sarcophagi. They do of course appear all over the ceiling of Unas's burial chamber, and others.

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1 hour ago, Wepwawet said:

presuming that Lehner's terminology is the same as mine as regards what is a roof and what is a ceiling

He actually uses both terms for the same thing, however, the "south tomb" is illustrated showing the stars on the top external part of the chamber.

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16 hours ago, Open Mind OG said:

...  I would say a roughly constructed sarcophagus is convincing to me as a purpose built box for funerary purposes.   But a high precsion one has to be either a purpose built object for a reason we still don't understand, OR, the ability of high precision was so advanced and developed, that its applicaiton became completely ubiquitous in thier 'industry' to the point of application, not only on objects that required precision, but for any and all purposes.  ...

16 hours ago, Open Mind OG said:

... the freedom to consider all idea's on equal footing and developing a more accurate sense of Occam's razor. 

You mention Occam's razor, yet your stated position above flatly contradicts that principle.

Position 1: high-quality stoneworking is evidence of skilled craftsmen working for many hundreds hours to achieve a desirable product.  This implies a wealthy patron, or at least the hope of obtaining satisfactory renumeration or reward for their efforts.

Position 2: high-quality stoneworking is evidence of unskilled craftsmen using hitherto unknown devices and techniques (to circumvent the traditional practice of laborious effort) to achieve a desirable product.  This requires a BLIP that left no archaeological record related to its development, duration or demise, implying novel materials that leave no trace evidence. 

Coincident with this innovative technology was a need for high-precision stoneworking, creating items that ostensibly resemble sarcophagi and storage vessels (see other dumb thread) but clearly must be something else because - heck, it's obvious, innit?

Subsequent to this short BLIP (excuse the tautology) the new devices and techniques disappeared from use, so the craftsmen resumed their previous practices of painstakingly pounding and polishing rocks until they produced items that pleased people.

Occam's razor asks us to consider which position requires the fewer assumptions and leaps of faith.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tom1200 said:

Occam's razor asks us to consider which position requires the fewer assumptions and leaps of faith.

Consideration of evidence of precision work requires understanding of what precision work actually is.   The blissful misunderstanding of that half of the equation, means that all the 'leaps' involved in your version of 'all things being equal' aren't even added to the scale of evaluation.   Denial of this fact is demonstration of a commitment to a finger on the scale and eyes closed.  

Edited by Open Mind OG
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Has there been any consideration that there were decorations in the pyramids but these were removed or made of organic material that disintegrated with time?  For example maybe decorated false ceilings or wall coverings made of wood or fabric were installed while the stone surfaces were undecorated.  I think it was in 'History for Granite' that the idea of visitors being allowed in the pyramids to venerate the king, opening and closing the portcullis.  Before the final closure all the decorative elements were removed.

Maybe this is too out there....or not out there enough.

MDagger 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MDagger said:

Has there been any consideration that there were decorations in the pyramids but these were removed or made of organic material that disintegrated with time?  For example maybe decorated false ceilings or wall coverings made of wood or fabric were installed while the stone surfaces were undecorated.  I think it was in 'History for Granite' that the idea of visitors being allowed in the pyramids to venerate the king, opening and closing the portcullis.  Before the final closure all the decorative elements were removed.

Maybe this is too out there....or not out there enough.

MDagger 

Not sure, but I would be surprised as some form of evidence, even if textual, may be expected to survive.

I would assume that the pyramid was treated the same as any other tomb in that the public only got as far as the chapel, it being the interface between the world of the living and the dead. The funeral procession ends at the chapel, and it is here that the opening of the mouth ceremony takes place, the deceased not yet in their coffin/s. After that, while I'm sure a funeral liturgy would be constantly recited until the king had been placed in his sarcophagus, I imagine after that point we would have seen an ungainly sight of all the burial goods being moved in. Exactly what goods would depend on the space they had, and what they needed for the kings protection, and importantly, where these objects were placed. I know we only have Tutankhamun to go by, and a thousand years later, but what we see, and should expect in these type of "Pagan" burials for kings is the ritual placing of objects in various parts of the tomb. For instance in KV 62 Tutankhamun was surrounded by oars placed on the floor, and given the importance of boats to them going back far into their history, vide the boats at Abydos, long before Khufu, I would not be surprised if this formed a part of the burial of every king, space permitting. I can imagine them working back from the sarcophagus installing and placing all the various items, and I don't see them letting in slack jawed gawpers to trample over such a sacred space. There is also the fact of them seeing the burial chamber as an extension of the Duat, not the place they would want to visit, but avoid.

Edited by Wepwawet
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2 hours ago, MDagger said:

Maybe this is too out there....or not out there enough.

I think HfG's idea's about the portcullis being openable was a poorly thought out idea, personally.  He had the right intention, but his final idea as to how it was opened was not compelling. 

However, there was an idea, either I came up with, or he mentioned during that video that was interesting.  He mentions so many jars filled with various items for the journey of the king to the 'other side', (unsure of the specific esoteric terminology), and many of them were seemingly very unfancy in their stylings and materials.   To me, that appeared like gifts from the citizenry.  Like everyone is encouraged to make a contribution to the kings gifts, which would explain the range of value of those vessels.   Is that possible?

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On 5/14/2024 at 2:00 PM, Wepwawet said:

Name a single person who has ever stated that the Grand Gallery was ever used for a "funeral procession", define "procession". Hint, nobody would who knows anything about their funeral practices.

Yeah.

There's the problem of getting the funerary cortege in there in the first place... and then there's the accessories/additional material.

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3 hours ago, Open Mind OG said:

I think HfG's idea's about the portcullis being openable was a poorly thought out idea, personally.  He had the right intention, but his final idea as to how it was opened was not compelling. 

However, there was an idea, either I came up with, or he mentioned during that video that was interesting.  He mentions so many jars filled with various items for the journey of the king to the 'other side', (unsure of the specific esoteric terminology), and many of them were seemingly very unfancy in their stylings and materials.   To me, that appeared like gifts from the citizenry.  Like everyone is encouraged to make a contribution to the kings gifts, which would explain the range of value of those vessels.   Is that possible?

That would be correct for a different culture.  Not for the Egyptians.

Now... I haven't seen the video, but, when one of the upper class reached adulthood one of the first things they did was to plan for their burial.  They would commission stele, ushabtis, statues, and so forth along with a tomb and decorations.  In a time without money, such things would take years for the workshops to produce.

The plain jars were for offerings of food and other perishables (like wine.)  They used ordinary everyday containers produced locally (or by their own craftsmen) for that kind of offering.

Here's an article on this type of offering vessel:
https://web.williams.edu/wcma/modules/ancient/pdf/WCMA_SEG_10_24_b.pdf

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6 hours ago, MDagger said:

Has there been any consideration that there were decorations in the pyramids but these were removed or made of organic material that disintegrated with time?  For example maybe decorated false ceilings or wall coverings made of wood or fabric were installed while the stone surfaces were undecorated.  I think it was in 'History for Granite' that the idea of visitors being allowed in the pyramids to venerate the king, opening and closing the portcullis.  Before the final closure all the decorative elements were removed.

Maybe this is too out there....or not out there enough.

MDagger 

While the interior might have been plastered and decorated (I have speculated this myself), there is no indication of it today.  The idea of the portcullis being a place to allow visitors is not a good one.  They had a mortuary temple right in front of the pyramid where offerings to the ka of the king were made (https://www.britannica.com/topic/mortuary-temple).

Khufu's mortuary temple was on the east side of the pyramid: http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/sites/2750/full/  The other pyramids also have mortuary temples attached.

These were not tourist spots.  They were cemeteries and places where offerings were made to the kas of  the deceased pharaohs (and there was a dedicated group of priests called "ka priests" who carried out these ceremonies and either lived on the site or somewhere very close.)

https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1026/clergy-priests--priestesses-in-ancient-egypt/

 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, MDagger said:

Has there been any consideration that there were decorations in the pyramids but these were removed or made of organic material that disintegrated with time?  For example maybe decorated false ceilings or wall coverings made of wood or fabric were installed while the stone surfaces were undecorated. 

HERE.

775px-Planche_12_Monuments_Fun%C3%A9rair

Wood stele were common in the 3rd Dynasty before they began to decorate the walls directly. There is nothing to exclude this tradition having continued but there is no evidence it did. As far as removing the decorations, the only point would be to not let them get robbed and if so by the same token you'd remove the king's body along with it. So basically the pyramid would be left as a cenotaph and the contents taken to the "real tomb". As far these materials disintegrating, they are all still there in everyone else's tomb so it would be hard to understand what conditions would make the pyramids so special as to be any different.     

Quote

I think it was in 'History for Granite' that the idea of visitors being allowed in the pyramids to venerate the king, opening and closing the portcullis.  Before the final closure all the decorative elements were removed.

This is an interesting thought, but same answer as above. 

What this alludes to is the notion of an official "burial" in the tomb which the body would lay in state for a period of mourning which individuals would bear witness and at some point the contents secretly removed to the actual tomb and the pyramid sealed. As to why protect an empty tomb, in this scenario it would be to make sure people never knew it was empty and the king and all of his possessions were actually buried elsewhere. An interesting thought.... 

Edited by Thanos5150
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Thanos5150 said:

HERE.

775px-Planche_12_Monuments_Fun%C3%A9rair

Wood stele were common in the 3rd Dynasty before they began to decorate the walls directly. There is nothing to exclude this tradition having continued but there is no evidence it did. As far as removing the decorations, the only point would be to not let them get robbed and if so by the same token you'd remove the king's body along with it. So basically the pyramid would be left as a cenotaph and the contents taken to the "real tomb". As far these materials disintegrating, they are all still there in everyone else's tomb so it would be hard to understand what conditions would make the pyramids so special as to be any different.     

This is an interesting thought, but same answer as above. 

What this alludes to is the notion of an official "burial" in the tomb which the body would lay in state for a period of mourning which individuals would bear witness and at some point the contents secretly removed to the actual tomb and the pyramid sealed. As to why protect an empty tomb, in this scenario it would be to make sure people never knew it was empty and the king and all of his possessions were actually buried elsewhere. An interesting thought.... 

One thing to point out is the belief in an afterlife where personal items and sustenance were required after death goes back in Egypt well into predynastic times. If one thinks about it, it is this very belief system which required them to bury their dead and put a bunch of stuff in there is where the overwhelming majority of our understanding of these cultures comes from as they are often the only material goods to have survived to tell us about them. Even the poorest soul buried in a shallow pit grave would be buried with a piece of bread in his hand. The more society grew and hierarchies of wealth and power became more established "elite" burials begin to appear and so do more and more elaborate burials and abundance of grave goods. It is these very elite burials that are the benchmark of a growing culture. Royal tombs in early Dynastic Egypt, despite looting were filed with hundreds if not thousands of objects, often lots and lots of wine and food.  A recent discovery in Queen (may have ruled as king in her own right) Merneith's tomb at Abydos , several hundred sealed vases once filled with wine were discovered. 

Egypt-Abydos-Wine-Jars.jpg 

In here husband's tomb, the pharaoh Den, over 4,000 (IIRC) imported Syrian wine vases were discovered which I assume these are imported as well. There is no completed royal tomb that was not stuffed with the gills with "stuff" and no matter how much was robbed there are still things left over. But not the 4th Dynasty pyramids. Virtually nothing. Not a square to spare.  

Edited by Thanos5150
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16 hours ago, MDagger said:

Has there been any consideration that there were decorations in the pyramids but these were removed or made of organic material that disintegrated with time?  For example maybe decorated false ceilings or wall coverings made of wood or fabric were installed while the stone surfaces were undecorated.  I think it was in 'History for Granite' that the idea of visitors being allowed in the pyramids to venerate the king, opening and closing the portcullis.  Before the final closure all the decorative elements were removed.

Maybe this is too out there....or not out there enough.

MDagger 

This deserves another reply, the previous one I gave was addressing only pyramids.

While it's true that wooden panels appear in tombs in the 3rd Dynasty, the ones presented coming from the tomb of a man named Hesira, these panels are found in the chapel, not the burial chamber, and we already know that it was common by the pyramid age for chapels to be decorated, not so burial chambers, and none for kings until Unas, and, from memory, only five for commoners before him.

However, and this is intruiging, at the site known as Umm el-Qa‘ab at Abydos, we have in the tomb of an un-named king a wooden construction within the burial chamber, and I'll quote from "Journey to the West - The world of the Old KIngdom tombs in Ancient Egypt" by Miroslav Barter.

Quote

The tomb-pit was lined with bricks and measured approximately 10 × 8 m. It lay on an approximately northeast-southwest axis, and was over two metres deep. Inside the pit the whole space was divided by brick walls into ten, later twelve rooms. In the southwestern corner was the burial chamber itself, and to the north of it nine storage rooms of smaller dimensions. In the eastern part were two further rooms, longish in shape, which were added at a later date. The greatest area was naturally taken up by the above-mentioned burial chamber, with a ground plan of 5 × 3 m. In its centre was a wooden construction that protected the buried ruler. It might be imagined as a large wooden cube turned upside down, with strengthened corners.

The question is, is this decoration, forming a type of sarcophagus, or an unknown structural purpose. The burial chamber in the Great Pyramid shows signs of large wooden beams having been in place at one time, though likely a form of support during construction, and removed before the chamber was enclosed as they would be too big to get out, unless sawed up in situ.

Otherwise, any form of clear decoration in a king's burial chamber before Unas is still elusive.

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7 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

One thing to point out is the belief in an afterlife where personal items and sustenance were required after death goes back in Egypt well into predynastic times. If one thinks about it, it is this very belief system which required them to bury their dead and put a bunch of stuff in there is where the overwhelming majority of our understanding of these cultures comes from as they are often the only material goods to have survived to tell us about them. Even the poorest soul buried in a shallow pit grave would be buried with a piece of bread in his hand. The more society grew and hierarchies of wealth and power became more established "elite" burials begin to appear and so do more and more elaborate burials and abundance of grave goods. It is these very elite burials that are the benchmark of a growing culture. Royal tombs in early Dynastic Egypt, despite looting were filed with hundreds if not thousands of objects, often lots and lots of wine and food.  A recent discovery in Queen (may have ruled as king in her own right) Merneith's tomb at Abydos , several hundred sealed vases once filled with wine were discovered. 

Egypt-Abydos-Wine-Jars.jpg 

In here husband's tomb, the pharaoh Den, over 4,000 (IIRC) imported Syrian wine vases were discovered which I assume these are imported as well. There is no completed royal tomb that was not stuffed with the gills with "stuff" and no matter how much was robbed there are still things left over. But not the 4th Dynasty pyramids. Virtually nothing. Not a square to spare.  

You’ve also pointed out elsewhere, and I think it’s an excellent point, that tomb robbers couldn’t have stolen or erased any potential inscriptions even if every trace of paint had disappeared off the walls.

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11 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

HERE.

775px-Planche_12_Monuments_Fun%C3%A9rair

 

If you follow the link provided it tells you this comes from the tomb of man named Hesy-Ra which that post includes the link to the Wikipedia page so one can read all about him. It also includes another relevant point about his tomb that the interior corridors were painted in lavish serekh building motif: 

To digress, Hesy-Ra has a unique mastaba with interesting painted palace facade corridor emulating the grand 1st Dynasty serekh mastabas. 

640px-Mastaba_of_Hesy-Ra.jpg

md_PE-SaqqaraHesy2.jpg&ehk=tddbw3DDgojA8

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17 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

HERE.

775px-Planche_12_Monuments_Fun%C3%A9rair

Wood stele were common in the 3rd Dynasty before they began to decorate the walls directly. There is nothing to exclude this tradition having continued but there is no evidence it did. As far as removing the decorations, the only point would be to not let them get robbed and if so by the same token you'd remove the king's body along with it. So basically the pyramid would be left as a cenotaph and the contents taken to the "real tomb". As far these materials disintegrating, they are all still there in everyone else's tomb so it would be hard to understand what conditions would make the pyramids so special as to be any different.     

This is an interesting thought, but same answer as above. 

What this alludes to is the notion of an official "burial" in the tomb which the body would lay in state for a period of mourning which individuals would bear witness and at some point the contents secretly removed to the actual tomb and the pyramid sealed. As to why protect an empty tomb, in this scenario it would be to make sure people never knew it was empty and the king and all of his possessions were actually buried elsewhere. An interesting thought.... 

Also from Hesy-Ra's tombs:

f369dc3a8be94ca32f3f5e658dd87f46.jpg

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17 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

Also from Hesy-Ra's tombs:

f369dc3a8be94ca32f3f5e658dd87f46.jpg

Should be "tomb" not "tombs".  

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On 5/15/2024 at 7:34 PM, Wepwawet said:

I would assume that the pyramid was treated the same as any other tomb in that the public only got as far as the chapel, it being the interface between the world of the living and the dead.

What did I write here, an "interface between the living and the dead", yes, I thought so, why, because the living enter the chapel to place offerings for the dead. It is where the ka of the dead accepts the offerings, and where the ba leaves and re-enters the tomb. Are the decorations in the chapel for the living, did I write that, anywhere, no, I thought not, so why are deliberate lies told.....

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