June 21, 2012

The Unsolved Problems about Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P1

Excavation, accurate measurement and their correlation with inscriptions have provided a large body of information about the pyramids, the gist of which has been recorded in the previous chapter. Nevertheless, the number of questions that have been answered is matched by at least as many new questions which have arisen from this research. The great antiquity of the pyramids has taught us to be very careful about the evidence which the archaeologist’s spade is turning up. The pyramids are separated from our own time by almost 5,000 years and a lot has happened to them during this interval. Much of the vital evidence has been destroyed or irretrievably lost, but equally dangerous is, as we shall presently see, the extraneous evidence which has been added.

Ancient Egyptian Pyramid

Again and again we have had to use the words ‘robbed in antiquity’; in fact, it appears that all the great pyramids had already been entered and despoiled almost a thousand years before Tutankhamun was laid in his tomb. The solid confidence in the eternity of divine power which the pharaohs of the Fourth Dynasty expressed in their gigantic pyramids did not outlast them for more than three centuries. Towards the end of the Sixth Dynasty one king, Pepi 11, reigned for no less than ninety years. It seems that during the last decades of his long life corruption and regionalism gained the upper hand in an already decadent administration. After Pepi’s death the woman of the royal blood, Nitokerti - Queen Nitocris of Herodotus’ history - had herself proclaimed pharaoh in the hope of saving the dynasty. However, she failed in her efforts and the different lists now mention a host of kings who may have reigned for very short times and probably simultaneously. The historical record becomes hopelessly blurred as the country entered into what the Egyptologists call ‘the First Intermediate Period’. It lasted for about two centuries and evidently was a time of internecine warfare and general civil disorder. In spite of Manetho’s list of four dynasties covering this interim period, it is fairly certain that no central authority operated during this time.

The contemporary account of one Ipu-wer, preserved in a Middle Kingdom papyrus at Leiden, is a long list of lament, revealing a state of turmoil and revolt. ‘All is ruin,’ he said, ‘A man kills his brother. Blood is everywhere. A few lawless men have ventured to despoil the land of the kingdom. The laws of the judgment hall are cast forth. Officials are slain and their records are taken away. The secrets of the kings of Upper and Lower Egypt are divulged. What the pyramid concealed has become empty and the palace is destroyed’.

Ancient Egyptian Pyramid :
The Unsolved Problems about Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P1
The Unsolved Problems about Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P2
The Unsolved Problems about Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P3
The Unsolved Problems about Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P4
The Unsolved Problems about Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P5
The Unsolved Problems about Ancient Egyptian Pyramids P6

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