Volume 15 issue 5 April 2015
ANCIENT EGYPT explores the WORLD WIDE WEB ...
THE PYRAMID BUILDERS
This month NETFISHING continues its look at the history of Egypt by seeing what the World Wide Web has to say about the pyramid builders of the Fourth Dynasty who reigned after Khufu.
Little is known of this king apart from the fact that he buried his father Khufu (Cheops) and built his own pyramid at the new site of Abu Roash. His pyramid was called ‘Djedefra is a sehedu star’ and yet this king was the first of the royal line to hold the title ‘Son of Ra’ which may indicate an increase in the power of the priesthood of Heliopolis, in that the king is no longer termed a god but is now merely seen as the son of a god by a human mother. Was the leaving of the royal burial ground of Giza, for a new site at Abu Roash, and the reference to a sehedu star in the name of his pyramid, an attempt by this king to distance himself from the priesthood of Ra? In any event it was at Abu Roash that the red quartzite statue head of the king was found, taken to be evidence of the pyramid’s owner, and one of the few portraits of this king to exist. Refer:
THE UNFINISHED PYRAMID OF ZAWIYET EL ARYAN
The Unfinished Pyramid of Zwiyet el Aryan, a site between Giza and Abusir, poses something of an enigma in that, although it was clearly constructed in the Fourth Dynasty, it was never finished and no king’s name has been found associated with it. Even so, it is a massive undertaking which, had it been completed, would have been almost as large as the Great Pyramid itself. The distinctive feature of this pyramid is a large trench, 78 ft long and 38 ft wide, which leads down to an unfinished cutting in the bedrock, intended to form the burial chamber itself (complete with an oval sarcophagus) some 69 ft below ground level. It has been suggested that this is actually another pyramid of Djedefra, but there is little to confirm this, even though architecturally it appears to be constructed for a Fourth Dynasty king who ruled prior to the reign of Khafra. Refer:
Khafra (Chephren), another son of Khufu, appears to have taken the throne after the death of Djedefra. Khafra returned to Giza to construct his burial place and built the famous Second Pyramid of Giza which is often depicted, because it still retains some of its outer casing blocks at the top of the pyramid. He also appears to have usurped the Valley Temple built for the Sphinx to form a part of his own Valley Temple complex, and to have rebuilt the ‘Upper Temple’ of the Sphinx complex to form the Eastern part of his own Mortuary Temple. The building of the Great Sphinx at Giza has long been accredited to this king, as it is so near his funerary complex, but this accreditation is now open to question as more is learnt about the Giza plateau and its complex history.
Menkaura (Mycerinus) was the builder of the Third Pyramid at Giza. This pyramid is far smaller than the others at Giza although its Mortuary Temple is by far the largest of the three, perhaps indicating that the king was placing more trust in the religious work of the priesthood in order to obtain his immortality, rather than simply relying on the size of his tomb. The Valley Temple of this pyramid has revealed much impressive statuary which rates amongst the finest to be discovered from the Old Kingdom. Refer:
The Pyramid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Menkaure
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