Religion & Physics Don't Mix 
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 Religion & Physics Don't Mix
Subject: Re: Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Quote:

>>won't last a tenth of the 7000 years the Great Pyramid's
>>owned the planet.

>Uh-oh.  7000?  I want to say 4500, but that's the
>Iceman's date.

>Nuts.  Anyone remember when the GP was completed?

The Great Pyramid was completed about 2650 B.C. by the Phaoroah
Cheops (aka Khufu) in the 4th dy{*filter*} of the Old Kingdom.

Your 4500 number is pretty much on the money.

John



Wed, 10 May 1995 02:14:41 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix
Subject: Re: Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Quote:

>>won't last a tenth of the 7000 years the Great Pyramid's
>>owned the planet.

>Uh-oh.  7000?  I want to say 4500, but that's the
>Iceman's date.

>Nuts.  Anyone remember when the GP was completed?

The Great Pyramid was completed about 2650 B.C. by the Phaoroah
Cheops (aka Khufu) in the 4th dy{*filter*} of the Old Kingdom.

Your 4500 number is pretty much on the money.

John



Wed, 10 May 1995 02:15:19 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix

Quote:

>>won't last a tenth of the 7000 years the Great Pyramid's
>>owned the planet.

>Uh-oh.  7000?  I want to say 4500, but that's the
>Iceman's date.

>Nuts.  Anyone remember when the GP was completed?

     Sure. It was supposedly completed in the 26th century BCE.

     Lemme see, you know for sure that it took 20 years to build, but
     don't know even the millenium in which it was built?

     Good work.

                           dale bass
--

Department of Mechanical,
     Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
University of {*filter*}ia                              (804) 924-7926



Thu, 11 May 1995 10:36:15 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix

     Followups have been set to sci.archaeology entirely since our
     previous debate seems to be entirely absent.

Quote:

>I did read the discussion concerning the building of the pyramid of Cheops.
>Now I would agree that we don't know how many man-hours it took to build this
>enormous 'rockpile'. Of course it is an oversimplification to describe the
>pyramids as 'rockpiles', because 1) There are not all built entirely of
>stone, 2) there is quite some architectional knowledge needed to build
>one, 3) They were surrounded by temples and other buildings.

     It *is* an enormous rockpile, of one form of rock or another.
     This certainly should not be construed to denigrate the achievement.
     The Caliph Malek al Azis Othman apparently ordered the
     pyramids to be destroyed in the eleventh century AD.  After
     large numbers of people worked on the pyramid of Menkaure for
     about eight months (on a much easier task that required to
     quarry and build them), they gave up in disgust having only
     put a small dent in one side.

     And I agree that the rest of the Giza necropolis (and
     Sakkara etc.) constitutes an additional amazing achievement.

     I just feel that twenty years is a bit to short to have done the
     deed, or alternatively, they had techniques that we did not know they
     had.  Also the idea that they are simply big rock tombs seems to me
     fantastic.

Quote:
>There have actually been speculations that one of the pyramids of Snofru (in
>Sakkara, I think) actually collapsed under its own weight because of bad
>calculations, and the pyramid of Cheops is not a simple rockpile.

     That is the pyramid at Meidum.  Seems like reasonable speculation,
     as does the speculation that the Bent Pyramid's angle was changed
     in the wake of such an event to avoid such an occurrence.  It is,
     however, still speculation.

     This manner of civil engineering is certainly not unprecedented.

Quote:
>The fact seemingly forgotten in this discussion is that while the exact
>people working on the pyramids is not exactly known, it is  generally agreed
>that many of them must have been skilled workers. They did have the

     The number of skilled workers 'agreed upon' has been the subject
     of a great deal of controversy.  Generally we have no good idea
     of numbers, methods, or much of anything else during Khufu's,
     or even Khafre's reigns.  And Snofru apparently built himself
     *three* large pyramids.  We know next to nothing, though, about
     Snofru's predecessor Huni who may have ruled for more than
     twenty years.

Quote:
>ability to cut these large stones precisely and transport them safely.
>Other people must have build the surrounding temples, embellish them, make
>the ritual boats that were buried around the pyramids, and do other work
>that we have no knowledge of. They can hardly have been all just temporarly
>workless farmers. Of course Cheops and his colleagues must have made good
>use of these people, but he couldn't rely on them to do all the work. It
>is speculation, but my guess is that he had a group of specialists working
>for him throughout the year, and used the farmers only for the transporting
>of the stones -- and to pay taxes. Under the reign of later pharaos there
>was actually a community of people, having their own little city, to dig
>the kings grave.

     You are correct, this is again speculation.

[stuff deleted]

Quote:

>It is not pure speculation to say that the pyramids were tombs.  Some
>sarcophagusses have been found. The pyramid of Djoser can be considered as a
>continuation of the Mastaba-grave. The grave of the king was always
>something of big importance in Egyptian culture. It is true that Snofru
>had three pyramids, two more than he needed. However, they are all
>different, and this suggests a seeking for improvement. Or maybe he wanted
>to demonstrate his power by exaggeration, or decided to be dead in good
>company and built one for some god. The fact that we don't know is not a
>good counterargument.

     A number of boxes have been found.  It is speculation to call
     them sarcophagi.  In the unfinished pyramid near Zoser's step
     pyramid, a sealed 'tomb' was found in 1954 to contain a sealed
     'sarcophagus' which contained, as usual, nothing.  Even the 'tomb'
     of Hetepheres (Khufu's mother), found at the base of the Great
     Pyramid in 1925 was found to have a sealed 'sarcophagus' that
     contained nothing.  Her viscera *were* found found in a chest
     in the tomb (as well as some rather beautiful furniture), but
     no body.  It is not unreasonable to suggest that our identification
     of every large box as a sarcophagus may well be flawed.

     In addition the pyramid of Khaba, the ruined one at Meidum, the Bent
     pyramid, the northern pyramid at Dahshur, and the pyramid of
     Djedefre at Abu Roash show no evidence of ever having had
     'sarcophagi'.   That means, of the nine large pyramids excluding
     Zoser's, only four even had the boxes.  And one of them, in the
     pyramid of Sekhemket, was another sealed empty box. Also, the
     one in Menkaure's pyramid was probably a Saite intrusion.  Unfortunately,
     it lies on the bottom of the Mediterranean, so we won't know
     with any certainty until and unless someone retrieves it.

     It is not unreasonable to suggest that the large pyramids held some
     liturgical purpose, but why no evidence of burial and why several per
     ruler at times?  The only body parts to ever be found in a large
     pyramid were intrusions dated to well after the time they were built.

     In any case, tradition has it that Khufu is buried *below* his
     pyramid.  While we can be pretty certain that there are
     no large chambers in most of the Great Pyramid (due to remote sensing),
     the same cannot be said for the ground under it.   I have
     this feeling that there are still interesting things to be
     discovered at Giza.

                               dale bass

--

Department of Mechanical,
     Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
University of {*filter*}ia                              (804) 924-7926



Fri, 12 May 1995 12:31:27 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix

Quote:
Emmanuel Gustin writes:
>for him throughout the year, and used the farmers only for the transporting
>of the stones -- and to pay taxes. Under the reign of later pharaos there

The newspaper article I referred to (only appeared in sci.archaeology)
would tend to cast doubt on this.


Sat, 13 May 1995 02:20:13 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix
Dale Bass writes,

        [much good material deleted]

     A number of boxes have been found.  It is speculation to call
     them sarcophagi.  In the unfinished pyramid near Zoser's step
     pyramid, a sealed 'tomb' was found in 1954 to contain a sealed
     'sarcophagus' which contained, as usual, nothing.  Even the 'tomb'
     of Hetepheres (Khufu's mother), found at the base of the Great
     Pyramid in 1925 was found to have a sealed 'sarcophagus' that
     contained nothing.  Her viscera *were* found found in a chest
     in the tomb (as well as some rather beautiful furniture), but
     no body.  It is not unreasonable to suggest that our identification
     of every large box as a sarcophagus may well be flawed.

     In addition the pyramid of Khaba, the ruined one at Meidum, the Bent
     pyramid, the northern pyramid at Dahshur, and the pyramid of
     Djedefre at Abu Roash show no evidence of ever having had
     'sarcophagi'.   That means, of the nine large pyramids excluding
     Zoser's, only four even had the boxes.  And one of them, in the
     pyramid of Sekhemket, was another sealed empty box. Also, the
     one in Menkaure's pyramid was probably a Saite intrusion.  Unfortunately,
     it lies on the bottom of the Mediterranean, so we won't know
     with any certainty until and unless someone retrieves it.

     It is not unreasonable to suggest that the large pyramids held some
     liturgical purpose, but why no evidence of burial and why several per
     ruler at times?  The only body parts to ever be found in a large
     pyramid were intrusions dated to well after the time they were built.

     In any case, tradition has it that Khufu is buried *below* his
     pyramid.  While we can be pretty certain that there are
     no large chambers in most of the Great Pyramid (due to remote sensing),
     the same cannot be said for the ground under it.   I have
     this feeling that there are still interesting things to be
     discovered at Giza.

This relates to a couple of current threads here in sci.archeology

So now we have at least opened up the discussion about the use of the pyramids
as tombs.  I think these are the recent discoveries I remember reading about.

Withdrawing any previous statements about shreds of evidence, the evidence that
we do have that the pyramids were built as tombs is very questionable.  That they had a l
ot to do with death is certainly a reasonable conclusion, but the whole of
Egyptian culture was built around the cult of death and the relationship of
the living to the world on the other side of it. And on the basis of this culture,
which I suggest we don't understand, they built an astonishing civilization that
lasted for thousands of years. This again to point out that our image of a cruel
tyrant imposing his ego on the people against their will does not quite fit the
magnitude of what ancient Egypt was.

It is interesting that after the Old Kingdom the pyramid forms were never again
used, for tombs or anything else.  Question: Did all the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom
have pyramids, of whatever size?  This might help resolve the question of whether
the pyramids were built to bury the pharaohs or for other purposes of life.

The "tradition" that Khufu is buried *below* the pyramid is nothing but that, a
tradition.  Indeed, if he were buried in the grounds around the pyramid it would
be below the pyramid. I too have a feeling that there are still interesting things
to be discovered at Giza (and I am not looking for alien spacecraft).

I would appreciate it if you could cite some specific references for this material.

Thanks for the enlightenment.




Sat, 13 May 1995 02:08:10 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix

Quote:

>This relates to a couple of current threads here in sci.archeology

     Apparently.  Isn't serendipity wonderful.  However, though I have
     never read sci.archeology, I would suspect that y'all's thread
     is never-ending.

     Isn't there a FAQ with which to pummel people who suggest changes
     in nature's laws and space aliens?

Quote:
>So now we have at least opened up the discussion about the use of the pyramids
>as tombs.  I think these are the recent discoveries I remember reading about.

>Withdrawing any previous statements about shreds of evidence, the evidence that
>we do have that the pyramids were built as tombs is very questionable.  That they had a l

    The point is that *all* the evidence about this time is questionable.

Quote:
>It is interesting that after the Old Kingdom the pyramid forms were never again
>used, for tombs or anything else.  

     Not so.  The Saites loved to bury people in Pyramids, including
     the old ones.  In addition "private tombs of pyramidal form
     or incorporating a pyramid in their architectural design were
     built from the Middle Kingdom until Roman times." Edwards, "The
     Pyramids of Egypt".

Quote:
>Question: Did all the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom
>have pyramids, of whatever size?  This might help resolve the question of whether

     Who knows?  For instance, we have not found a pyramid of
     Huni who supposedly reigned over 20 years.  However, Snofru after him
     is now thought to have had three.  Zoser, Sekhemket, and
     Khaba (III dy{*filter*}) before him each supposedly had a large one.  
     So, during at least one period, we are left with too many for the number
     of kings.

Quote:
>the pyramids were built to bury the pharaohs or for other purposes of life.

>The "tradition" that Khufu is buried *below* the pyramid is nothing but that, a
>tradition.  Indeed, if he were buried in the grounds around the pyramid it would
>be below the pyramid. I too have a feeling that there are still interesting things
>to be discovered at Giza (and I am not looking for alien spacecraft).

     Of course it is nothing more than a tradition, it also has him
     buried on a subterranian island connected to the nile.

     Other traditions have the blocks floating down a magic road.

Quote:
>I would appreciate it if you could cite some specific references for this material.

    Almost any legitimate comprehensive source on the pyramids has
    this information in it.  I have already given two that include
    such information.

    Have a good day.

                               dale bass
--

Department of Mechanical,
     Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
University of {*filter*}ia                              (804) 924-7926



Sat, 13 May 1995 05:37:22 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Quote:
>     Isn't there a FAQ with which to pummel people who suggest changes
>     in nature's laws and space aliens?

There's some material, specifically counter to Velikovskyite claims
(and a particularly pestiferous claimant) in talk.origins, but it is
diffuse, and I am not aware of any good FAQ-like general treaement.

Quote:

(Gerry Palo) writes:
>>Withdrawing any previous statements about shreds of evidence, the
>>evidence that we do have that the pyramids were built as tombs is very
>>questionable.

Or more to the point, exiguous and needful of *care* in interpretation,
while being traditionally (ab)used with sensationalism and speculation.

Quote:
>>It is interesting that after the Old Kingdom the pyramid forms were
>>never again used, for tombs or anything else.
>     Not so.  The Saites loved to bury people in Pyramids, including
>     the old ones.  In addition "private tombs of pyramidal form
>     or incorporating a pyramid in their architectural design were
>     built from the Middlearried for those facing stones.)  Further,

You have forgotten from Edwards the most crucial part of the history --
ALL the kings of the 12th dy{*filter*} have pyramids: what is notable is that
they were NOT full stone construction but rubble contained by interior
stone walls and an exterior stone facing (and have largely collapsed in
the centuries since they were quarried for those facing stones.)  Further,
the passage-ways get increasingly complex -- as if there were an arms
race between the grave-robbers and the pyramid builders.  As Egypt went
into terminal decline, the Nubians took up the practice of pyramid building
(for THEIR royal tombs.)

The New Kingdom appears to have abandoned the pyramid in favor of HIDDEN
tombs (with the funerary temple maintaining the cult) in the Valley of
Kings, again (speculatively) because the grave robbers won the race --
and by the end of THAT period, the priests had to save the mummies from
the already plundered tombs there and stack them out of the way for safe
keeping.  Afterwards, burials in the delta captials had the tomb IN the
funerary temple, where there were priests walking over it all the time.

The evidence for pyramid burial is quite decent, in fact.  And multiple
pyramids do not contradict it, for two reasons: a) that too could have
been a (failed) strategy against plundering and b) the multiple "tomb"
thing goes back to the 1st and 2nd dynasties, where there are tombs or
cenotaphs for all the kings at BOTH Abydos and Saqqara (these are mastabas
or pit tombs, not pyramids.)  The evidence for pyramids is inconclusive in
much the same way as it remains in dispute where the 1st and 2nd dy{*filter*}
kings were "really" buried.

By the 6th dy{*filter*}, the pyramids are decorated with "pyramid texts" which
are distinctly funeral in their obsessive spells.  I've been in the
pyramid of Teti, and it has a perfectly standard sarcophagus (let's drop
this guff about "boxes", please) of the same sort as are later used for
multiple nesting coffins containing a mummy.  It is *possible* that all
such were symbolic rather than really used to contain the bodies of the
kings -- but all but one were forced open in antiquity, so the modern
absence of a mummy is terribly poor evidence on the matter.  ALL the
(undoubted) tombs in the Valley of the Kings (save poor Tut's minor one)
are without their mummies -- specifically removed by the priests to save
them.  If huge granite "box" looks like a sarcophagus, one may reasonably
presume that it *is* one until a compelling counter-argument is made (none
has been, of course.)  Yes, the possibility exists that these are cenotaphs,
with the actual body elsewhere (below, perhaps -- as in the Taj Mahal and
lots of Muslim burials up through today; consider the Aga Khan's mausoleum
in Aswan.)  If so, that STILL makes the pyramids SOME part of the funeral
complex of the associated builders.  Other functions are also possible AT
THE SAME TIME.  People who think that complex human products have a single
cause or function are likely to be cranks.

Quote:
>>Question: Did all the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom  have pyramids,
>>whatever size?  This might help resolve the question of whether the
>>pyramids were built to bury the pharaohs or for other purposes of life.
>     Who knows?  For instance, we have not found a pyramid of Huni who
>     supposedly reigned over 20 years.  However, Snofru after him is now
>     thought to have had three.  Zoser, Sekhemket, and Khaba (III dy{*filter*})
>     before him each supposedly had a large one.
>     So, during at least one period, we are left with too many for the
>     number of kings.

Some further comments here.  My source is Dr. Nabil Shwelim (one of the
recent workers in this field, acknowledged in Edwards' revision of his
classic book (this is a Penguin paperback, and definitely the ONE book on
pyramids that people should read before claiming to have studied the field).

The census of pyramids is still incomplete (some originally reported over a
century ago have only recently been refound; most of these are not
excavated.  Dr. Shwelim has himself located 6 pyramids, most previously
unknown.)  Names on these demonstrate that the kinglists are INCORRECT for
at least the 3rd dy{*filter*} (and earlier -- German archaeologists have unearthed
tombs in Abydos from before the 1st dy{*filter*} with titulature as kings over
upper and lower Egypt.)

The earliest pyramids were definitely NOT tombs, but solar monuments --
recreations of the primeval mound of Heliopolitan cosmology.  This was NOT
the state cult of the first two dynasties (which dervied from Nekhen), but
gradually assumed prominence through the 3rd dy{*filter*} (Imhoptep is a major
influence here.)  Zoser's step pyramid (which IMHO is as impressive as the
Giza pyramids) was not originally in that form, but a gradual accretion on
a mastaba base -- and that same form is traceable in later pyramids as well
(one more bit of evidence for use as tombs.)  There is a conflation of use
in these structures, as the new cult of Ra assimilates itself to the already
prominent immortality cult of the kings.  They definitely serve "purposes
of life" as well as death (though the claim of specifically initiatory use
strikes me as totally without foundation.)

Quote:
>>The "tradition" that Khufu is buried *below* the pyramid is nothing but
>>that, a tradition.  Indeed, if he were buried in the grounds around the
>>pyramid it would be below the pyramid.

Well, yes.  The various shafts are all subterranean (though some pyramids
have extensions of these into the stone superstructures.)  Flinders-Petrie
found exact duplicates of the Great Pyramid shafts displaced just a bit
to the east of the actual ones -- they are quite visible (Dr. Shwelim
pointed them out to us.)

Quote:
>>I too have a feeling that there are still interesting things
>>to be discovered at Giza (and I am not looking for alien spacecraft).

Indeed.  Dr. Shwelim again just noticed another previously unknown
pyramid a month ago at excavations a colleague is carrying out near the
auxiliary pyramids to the Khufu pyramid (the colleague is looking for boat
pits and didn't notice the tell-tale lower courses of a pyramid till
Nabil came through with the group before ours ["ours" being the American
Museum of Natural History tour just concluded.]
--
Michael L. Siemon                  "Oh, stand, stand at the window,
                                        As the tears scald and start;

standard disclaimer                     With your crooked heart."


Sun, 14 May 1995 00:51:56 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix

Quote:



>>>Withdrawing any previous statements about shreds of evidence, the
>>>evidence that we do have that the pyramids were built as tombs is very
>>>questionable.

>Or more to the point, exiguous and needful of *care* in interpretation,
>while being traditionally (ab)used with sensationalism and speculation.

    But of course.  However, speculation is basically all that we
    have about most of the earlier times.  I just wish that everything
    speculative would be presented as speculation, including speculation
    that they were tombs.

Quote:
>>>It is interesting that after the Old Kingdom the pyramid forms were
>>>never again used, for tombs or anything else.

>>     Not so.  The Saites loved to bury people in Pyramids, including
>>     the old ones.  In addition "private tombs of pyramidal form
>>     or incorporating a pyramid in their architectural design were
>>     built from the Middlearried for those facing stones.)  Further,

>You have forgotten from Edwards the most crucial part of the history --
>ALL the kings of the 12th dy{*filter*} have pyramids: what is notable is that
>they were NOT full stone construction but rubble contained by interior
>stone walls and an exterior stone facing (and have largely collapsed in
>the centuries since they were quarried for those facing stones.)  Further,
>the passage-ways get increasingly complex -- as if there were an arms
>race between the grave-robbers and the pyramid builders.  As Egypt went
>into terminal decline, the Nubians took up the practice of pyramid building
>(for THEIR royal tombs.)

     I just forgot exactly which dy{*filter*} we had solid evidence
     for and was too lazy to look it up.  I prefer early Old Kingdom history
     since there is so little of it to remember.

Quote:
>The evidence for pyramid burial is quite decent, in fact.  And multiple
>pyramids do not contradict it, for two reasons: a) that too could have
>been a (failed) strategy against plundering and b) the multiple "tomb"
>thing goes back to the 1st and 2nd dynasties, where there are tombs or
>cenotaphs for all the kings at BOTH Abydos and Saqqara (these are mastabas
>or pit tombs, not pyramids.)  The evidence for pyramids is inconclusive in
>much the same way as it remains in dispute where the 1st and 2nd dy{*filter*}
>kings were "really" buried.

     Absolutely, the evidence in the Old Kindom of anything is quite sketchy.
     It will probably get a bit better as we dig more.  I keep hoping
     we find a big cache of Old Kingdom historical writing.  A text
     on Old Kingdom grammar would be nice too.

Quote:
>By the 6th dy{*filter*}, the pyramids are decorated with "pyramid texts" which
>are distinctly funeral in their obsessive spells.  I've been in the
>pyramid of Teti, and it has a perfectly standard sarcophagus (let's drop
>this guff about "boxes", please) of the same sort as are later used for
>multiple nesting coffins containing a mummy.  It is *possible* that all
>such were symbolic rather than really used to contain the bodies of the
>kings -- but all but one were forced open in antiquity, so the modern
>absence of a mummy is terribly poor evidence on the matter.  ALL the

     However, the sealed one we did have from the early Old Kingdom was
     apparently sealed empty in antiquity.  So modern extrapolation
     of a body back to the Old Kingdom 'sarcophagi' seems even more poor.

Quote:
>(undoubted) tombs in the Valley of the Kings (save poor Tut's minor one)
>are without their mummies -- specifically removed by the priests to save
>them.  If huge granite "box" looks like a sarcophagus, one may reasonably
>presume that it *is* one until a compelling counter-argument is made (none
>has been, of course.)  Yes, the possibility exists that these are cenotaphs,

     This is like taking Athanasius Kircher's translations at face
     value until a better complete system shows up.   I believe they
     were rejected long before translation of hieroglyphs was possible.

     And the argument that they were cenotaphs or some other sort of monuments
     seems highly likely to me.  Or, maybe they displayed the bodies in
     a plexiglas coffin, like Lenin (humor inferred).  Or more appropriately,
     we could go with the argument 'we just don't really know' at this
     point.

Quote:
>with the actual body elsewhere (below, perhaps -- as in the Taj Mahal and
>lots of Muslim burials up through today; consider the Aga Khan's mausoleum
>in Aswan.)  If so, that STILL makes the pyramids SOME part of the funeral
>complex of the associated builders.  Other functions are also possible AT
>THE SAME TIME.  People who think that complex human products have a single
>cause or function are likely to be cranks.

     There is probably no doubt they held some funerary function.  The
     problem I have is the traditional 'cranks' who seem to claim that
     they were solely and explicitly tombs, and nothing more.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>>>Question: Did all the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom  have pyramids,
>>>whatever size?  This might help resolve the question of whether the
>>>pyramids were built to bury the pharaohs or for other purposes of life.

>>     Who knows?  For instance, we have not found a pyramid of Huni who
>>     supposedly reigned over 20 years.  However, Snofru after him is now
>>     thought to have had three.  Zoser, Sekhemket, and Khaba (III dy{*filter*})
>>     before him each supposedly had a large one.

>>     So, during at least one period, we are left with too many for the
>>     number of kings.

>Some further comments here.  My source is Dr. Nabil Shwelim (one of the
>recent workers in this field, acknowledged in Edwards' revision of his
>classic book (this is a Penguin paperback, and definitely the ONE book on
>pyramids that people should read before claiming to have studied the field).

     Geez, one should probably look at Gardiner's book, and a couple of the
     myriad thousand recent books (including probably a crackpot
     book, to get the flavor of the argumentation on this subject)
     before doing this.  If one does read a crackpot book and one does not
     have any technical background, keep in mind that most of the
     numerology and technical 'details' alluded to are probably incorrect,
     innacurate or misleading (and sometimes all three).

     The mythology that has surrounded pi and the pyramids is simply amazing.
     The creativity of the human mind is enormous.

Quote:
>The census of pyramids is still incomplete (some originally reported over a
>century ago have only recently been refound; most of these are not
>excavated.  Dr. Shwelim has himself located 6 pyramids, most previously
>unknown.)  Names on these demonstrate that the kinglists are INCORRECT for
>at least the 3rd dy{*filter*} (and earlier -- German archaeologists have unearthed
>tombs in Abydos from before the 1st dy{*filter*} with titulature as kings over
>upper and lower Egypt.)

    It is probably important to reiterate that none of this is fixed.
    What I have always said about experimental data also applies to
    archaeology, 'like cheese, better when aged'.

    The kinglists have fallen in and out of favor depending on what
    stuff we have found recently.  It is also highly likely that the
    dim reaches of antiquity were no more than guesses in the 'canonical'
    kinglists.

    It is also interesting that there are apparently at least several
    unfinished and completely uninvestigated pyramids that have only
    been imaged from the air.

Quote:
>The earliest pyramids were definitely NOT tombs, but solar monuments --
>recreations of the primeval mound of Heliopolitan cosmology.  This was NOT

    All the more reason to assume that the large pyramids of the Old Kingdom
    were monuments, not tombs, and they the only evolved to tombs later.

Quote:
>the state cult of the first two dynasties (which dervied from Nekhen), but
>gradually assumed prominence through the 3rd dy{*filter*} (Imhoptep is a major
>influence here.)  Zoser's step pyramid (which IMHO is as impressive as the
>Giza pyramids) was not originally in that form, but a gradual accretion on
>a mastaba base -- and that same form is traceable in later pyramids as well
>(one more bit of evidence for use as tombs.)  There is a conflation of use
>in these structures, as the new cult of Ra assimilates itself to the already
>prominent immortality cult of the kings.  They definitely serve "purposes
>of life" as well as death (though the claim of specifically initiatory use
>strikes me as totally without foundation.)

    Absolutely.  It seems like meaningless extrapolation of mystery cults
    back several thousand years to an area where they do not apply.

Quote:
>>>The "tradition" that Khufu is buried *below* the pyramid is nothing but
>>>that, a tradition.  Indeed, if he were buried in the grounds around the
>>>pyramid it would be below the pyramid.

>Well, yes.  The various shafts are all subterranean (though some pyramids
>have extensions of these into the stone superstructures.)  Flinders-Petrie

    I don't exactly understand this.  The 'ruined' one at Meidum,
    the Bent Pyramid, and the Northern Pyramid at Dahshur have
    shafts from higher levels that basically end in chambers at ground level.  
    Khafre's shafts basically run at ground level.  In Khufu's, one
    runs up, and one runs down, with the big chambers in the up section.
    Zoser's step pyramid and the Bent pyramid do have shafts that end
    below ground level, and Menkaure's pyramid has shafts that end below
    ground level, but it certainly does not seem like a compelling trend.

    Basically what I was talking about was the possibility that there
    are further undiscovered subterranean shafts at Giza to make a more
    compelling trend of this.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>>>I too have a feeling that there are still

...

read more »



Sun, 14 May 1995 02:48:11 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix

Quote:


>>>Uh-oh.  7000?  I want to say 4500, but that's the
>>>Iceman's date.

>>     Lemme see, you know for sure that it took 20 years to build, but
>>     don't know even the millenium in which it was built?

>At least I bother to check my facts.

     You haven't bothered to post any.  What's there to check?

                         dale bass
--

Department of Mechanical,
     Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
University of {*filter*}ia                              (804) 924-7926



Sun, 14 May 1995 05:17:20 GMT
 Religion & Physics Don't Mix


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 
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