Who Constructed the
It has been shown (with the exception of the 'well'-shaft,
'star' shafts and other minor features), that the architectural design features of
the Great pyramid are contemporary with those seen at other
'Memphite' pyramids in the region. However, when viewed together, the normal
evidence of the steps required to achieve such an imaginative
process are lacking, and neither the physical construction nor
the social philosophy behind it have no
historical precedent in Egypt. This fact has frequently led people to
suggest that the construction of the Giza pyramids (and therefore, all
early dynasty Egyptian pyramids), show an external influence as yet
unidentified. While there is little argument that they were constructed in
the time of the fourth dynasty pharaohs, the influences in design and
construction are debated.
The delicate distinction between evidence and proof appears
to be the reason why it has been so hard to determine the pyramids builder
exactly. The following section examines the 'evidence' to discover if it is
possible to ascertain, using currently available knowledge, who
constructed the great pyramid.
4th Dynasty Pharaohs at Giza:
The earliest solid evidence of association between the pyramids and the fourth dynasty
pharaohs comes from the 'Inventory stele' found between the sphinx's paws.
Although it is widely considered to be a later 'Saite' product, there is no
doubting its existence, nor the association between Khufu and Giza. There is also much local archaeological evidence
(cartouches and statues), that supports a clear and strong connection
between Giza and the fourth dynasty pharaohs. Added to the 'quarry-marks'
found in the relieving chambers above the Kings chamber, it is reasonable to
conclude that the Giza complex was essentially constructed by the fourth dynasty
We have already seen
that the 'inventory stella' contradicts the idea that Khafre built the
Sphinx. Rather, it suggests that Giza was in use prior to Khufu's time. (Sphinx,
Valley temple, etc).
Confirmation of 4th Dynasty activity at Giza:
Finding cartouches at the site is not proof of
construction, only of association.
(Father of Khufu). Petrie found a piece of bowl inscribed, 'nofru'
- (Wife of Snoferu). Inscription found in 'Burial' pit and Khufu
Found in the relieving chambers above the kings chamber, and on blocks of
the Great pyramid. Khufu himself calls the pyramid, the house of 'Isis' in
the inventory stele.
- Statue in valley temple, over 400 'figurines', a bowl and a mace-head
found in temple east of pyramid.
Cartouche found on roof stone of 'Solar barge' pit next to Central pyramid.
- Cartouche found in satellite pyramid.
- Cartouche found at Khafre's mortuary temple.
Khentkaues. - Rock tomb between Khafre and Menkaure's causeways.
An impressive list from
which we can determine that:
of almost all known fourth dynasty royals have been found at Ghiza.
pyramid contains original 'Khufu' (and Khnum-Khufu) cartouches.
Giza pyramids and their presumed builders, in chronological order:
The issue of the 'Khufu'
cartouches in the Great pyramid is covered more completely in the section
below. Mostly, it is their interpretation that is
One of the few other written references to Khufu is contained on the
'inventory stele', discovered at Giza in the 1850s. It commemorates the
restoration by Khuf... of a small temple near the Pyramid, and
indicates that the Sphinx, the Sphinx Temple, and possibly the Great Pyramid
itself, were already in existence in his day. The stele is written in a
later style of writing and whereas some Egyptologists regard it as a copy of
a 4th dynasty original, others consider it to be an original Saite product.
Either way, it contradicts the idea that the sphinx was built by Khafre, who
ruled after Khufu.
currently believe Hemiunu (fl. 2570 BC) to be the
architect of the Great pyramid. He was the son of Nefermaat, a relative of
Khufu. Archaeologists have found mentions of Hemiunu with titles roughly
Master of works and Vizier. His tomb lies close to
Khufu's pyramid, and contains reliefs of his image. Some stones of his
mastaba are marked with dates referring to Khufu's reign.
For the second pyramid (Khafre's),
and quoting Petrie - 'The only monumental evidences are the pieces of a
bowl and a mace head with his name found in the temple (east) of this
pyramid' (11). And from Fix - 'Statues of Khafre have been found in
the vicinity, but Khafra - whom Petrie thought reigned from 3908-3845 BC. -
was, like Khufu and Menkaure, also worshipped in later times (Petrie, A
Egypt, p.53) and there
is now no way of telling whether the artefacts and statues bearing his
cartouche are products of the pyramid age or a later era'.
And of the third
pyramid, again from Fix - 'The third pyramid has been attributed to
Menkaura only because Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus attributed it to him
and because the name Menkaura was found written in red paint on the ceiling
of a chamber of the three subsidiary pyramids south of the Third pyramid.
(Edwards, The Pyramids of Egypt, p. 120). No such
name was found in the third pyramid itself. It is quite likely that small
pyramid is not contemporary with the third pyramid'.
The lack of concrete evidence for the constructions at Giza explains why
people have been forced to recognise (Petrie, Breasted, Edwards, etc), that
beyond the traditional association between the Giza complex and the fourth
dynasty Pharaohs, there is very little actual evidence regarding the extent
of the 4th dynasty works at Giza. In fact, it has been suggested that the
4th dynasty were simply building over an already 'sacred' place, which shows
signs of use since at least the 1st dynasty.
Evidence of Occupation at Giza Before the 4th Dynasty:
It is worth recognising at this point
that Giza was occupied before the fourth dynasty. As it turns out, there
is plenty of evidence that clearly demonstrates this fact.
The earliest monument at Giza is 'mastaba
V' , which dates to the reign of the first dynasty pharaoh Djet.
'The Giza plateau is also home to many other ancient
Egyptian monuments, including the tomb of Pharaoh Djet of the First
dynasty as well as that of Pharaoh Ninetjer of the Second dynasty'.
Other pre-4th dynasty
discusses four ceramic jars, reportedly found in the late 1800's 'at
the foot of the Great Pyramid' (the exact location has not been
recorded). When these jars were first found, the Pre-dynastic period
was little understood and, given the accepted 4th Dynasty context of
the Giza site, the jars were assumed to be of 4th Dynasty date.
Mortensen, however, has re-examined these jars and considers them to
be typical of the late Pre-dynastic Ma'adi period. Given that the jars
were found intact, Mortensen has also argued that they were from a
burial rather than a settlement site. These jars, together with other
isolated finds at Giza, have been interpreted as evidence for a Ma'adi-period
settlement at Giza that was destroyed when the 4th Dynasty pyramids
Set against the context
of the 4th Dynasty development, the destruction of Pre-dynastic and
Early Dynastic artefacts within the Giza necropolis is an important
In the mid 1970's, Karl
Kromer, investigated one such area of debris, approximately one
kilometre south of the Great Pyramid.
(48) Within the fill, Kromer
reported finds from the Late Pre-dynastic, 1st, 2nd and 4th Dynasties.
We can be certain from this that Giza was occupied
before the fourth dynasty.
Quarry Marks (Cartouches):
The now famous 'Quarry-marks' were discovered inside
the Great pyramid, and above the King's chamber in one of the 'Relieving
Chambers'. In 1837 Col. Howard Vyse and his assistants, by passing the narrow crawl-way
leading from the top of the eastern wall of the Grand Gallery to the
compartment directly above the ceiling of the King's Chamber (without
inscriptions), managed to discover four more 'construction' chambers above
it, each two to four feet high. They had been sealed since the Pyramid was
built and gunpowder had to be used to gain access to them.
On some of the
walls and ceilings of these four chambers crude hieroglyphs were found (on
limestone blocks only), daubed in red paint, which are thought to have been
added by the work-crews. The inscriptions included two cartouches (royal
names enclosed in an oval) -- 'Khufu' (Shofo) and 'Khnum-Khufu'
(12), and Egyptologists have taken this as confirmation that the Pyramid was
built for the pharaoh Khufu.As
previously noted, the problems associated with the cartouches are two-fold,
firstly the question of their authenticity, and then their interpretation.
Perhaps it might be best to confirm their authenticity before attempting to
The Authenticity of the 'quarry-marks'.
As one might almost expect, these
inscriptions have become a point of contention, as it was been claimed that
they contain spelling errors from a well known book on hieroglyphics that
Col. Vyse was known to have had with him when he made the discoveries.
Other findings by Col.
Vyse have also been questioned over their authenticity, and therefore
It was also suggested by the grandson of Humphries Brewer, the master mason
who was engaged by Vsye to blow his way into the pyramid, and who was
witness to the cartouches being painted, was objected, and was expelled from
the site for disagreeing with the action. (Ref: Sitchin).
Apart from the fact that
some inscriptions apparently continue beneath other blocks confirms
that they are genuine. (Which inscriptions and which chambers
exactly?), it is worth looking closer at the
accusations against Vyse:
The sketch appears for
the first time in Perrings
of Gizeh, published in 1839, and some years later in the book
of the alleged faker himself, in Vyses
Operations carried out on the great Pyramid of Giza in 1837,
published in 1842. (Perring has the cartouche in question on table VII),
Sitchin shows the drawing in
to heaven in a small and an enlarged version:
Sitchin, 'Stairway to Heaven' Table 146 a, b p. 301
Look at the small sketch
on the left side. Inside the circle you can see a small structure, which
condenses in the larger picture on the right to a dot. Let's compare this to
the pictures in the original reports: -
Khufu by Vyse Khufu by Perring
cartouche by Perring looks different than Sitchins picture. The tail of the
snake ends for example with an upward turn, whereas Sitchins snake bends the
tail down. Sitchins picture actually looks more like Vyses drawing.
But one thing is clearly visible: in both sources, Vyse and Perring, the
small structure in the circle are three horizontal lines. Both pictures
unmistakably show a "Kh" and not a "Re". And while we can see that Sitchins
small picture on the left comes from Vyses report, we can also see that his
"enlargement" on the right is no enlargement at all, but a new picture,
probably drawn by Sitchin himself - and faked! Sitchin did not find a
fake, he produced one himself to get his faker
cartouche was found at Ghiza. It is the same as Hawass' photo (a solid disc).
- We now have four variations of the same cartouche.
to Sitchin, Vyse believed that "Khufu" was written with a solar disc. And
because of that the faker had written it this way into the chamber. But
Vyses Journal tells another story:
On May 27th 1837 we find
the first entry dealing with the Khufu-cartouche. In the following days Vyse
begins with an analysis. And if one is able to read his hand writing he
finds out fascinating things. Yes, Vyse was no expert on hieroglyphics. And
yes, Vyse had the fatal book "Material Hieroglyphica" with him. And
because he HAD the book with him he expected a solar disc as the
first sign. And he was wondering, why this sign was NOT a solar disc. He
couldn't get a sense out of the "Kh", therefore he philosophises on this
page of his journal about the possibility to write a "Re" with lines in it
instead of a dot.
He even copied the
faulty picture from Wilkinson to this page of his notes, it's on the upper
left - the hollow solar disc is clearly visible. On the right side he notes,
that this disc can also be written with a dot in the middle (the small
circle on top) and that he had expected one of these two writings - and
notes, that he instead got a circle with three lines. This is clearly an
aberration from Wilkinson, a famous hieroglyphic expert. So Vyse did not
copy something from a book to the walls - he found something that completely
contradicted a table of a famous academic book.
It is interesting to
note that nothing more has been discovered since Vyse's original
The Interpretation of the 'quarry-marks'.
Analysis of the Cartouches from Perrings "Pyramids of Gizeh" from 1839)
A 'Khufu' cartouche was found on the southern roof blocks of Campbell's
chamber, the topmost one and a 'Khnum-Khuf' cartouche was found on
the south wall of 'Lady Arbuthnot's' chamber, the one below top.
We can see that the two cartouches do not appear side by side.
The style of writing is certainly hieroglyphics, but it also contains
characters that have yet to be translated.
Fix opens with the
following: 'In terms of direct and solid evidence, the association of
Khufu with the great pyramid rests entirely on the apparently
straightforward fact that there are cartouches reading "Khufu" painted on
the walls of hidden chambers inside the building. However, the general
controversy surrounding the pyramid extends even to the meaning of these
marks, and the evidence is not as straightforward as it may seem. The
cartouches reading Khufu are not the only cartouches in the relieving
chambers. There are others, more numerous, which read Khnum-Khuf. The
problem is that Egyptologists do not know who or what Khnum-Khuf was. As
Breasted has explained, the writing from these early dynasties "is in such
an archaic form that many of the scanty fragments which we possess from this
age are unintelligible to us". In addition, these cartouches are found
together in a few other places'
(11) (i.e. Mount Sinai).
This is not then, a
question of authenticity, but of interpretation. It is important to note
that he accepts (as do others), that the cartouches are genuine, what he
(and others) question, is their meaning.
Extract from Petrie: - 'Another
name is found on the blocks in the Pyramid, side by side with those bearing
the name of Khufu. This other name is the same as that of Khufu, with the
prefix of two hieroglyphs,
a jug and a ram and it
is variously rendered Khnumu-Khufu, Nh-Shufu, and Shu-Shufu. The most
destructive theory about this king is that he is identical with Khufu, and
that the ram is merely a symbol of the god Shu, and put as the determinative
in this place of the first syllable of the name. But against this hypothesis
it must be observed (1) that the pronunciation was Khufu, and not Shufu, in
the early times; (2) that the first hieroglyph, the jug, is thus
unexplained; and (3) that there is no similar prefix of a determinative to a
king's name, in any other instance out of the hundreds of names, and
thousands of variants, known.***
(*** Sent is sometimes named by a fish, a determinative without
hieroglyphics; and An sometimes has a fish as a determinative in the name;
but there is no case of a determinative prefixed).
Petrie also says of this
'The only great royal inscription (of Khufu) is on the rocks of Sinai.
There are two tablets: one with the name and titles of Khufu, the other with
the king smiting an enemy, and the name Khnum-khufu The name is found in
five places The two names being placed in succession in one inscription
cannot be mere chance variants of the same. Either they must be two distinct
and independent names of one king, or else two separate kings. If they were
Khnum-khuf must have
been the most important.
Fix also points out that while the 'Khnum-Khufu' inscription occurs more
frequently than Khufu's, the name does not appear on any of the Kings-lists.
Manetho's king list
names the two pharaohs, 'Suphis I and II', the first of which,
etymologically connects from 'Raufu- Khufu' through 'Shoufu' and 'Shuphis'
to Suphis. We are left with the other 'Khnum-Khufu' cartouche, which only
requires identifying the 'Khnum' part.
says of the cartouches, 'Suphis II, called Num Shufu, Is shown to have
been co-regent with Suphis, and to have co-operated with him in the
construction of the great pyramid; the two names being constantly found on
its masonry with
the mark indicating them
to be joint rulers'
. (He references Osborn's Monumental History of Egypt, Vol 1, pp
There is then, an
argument that the cartouches were for two Co-regents. On the monuments
bearing the name of Khnumu-Khufu at Gizeh, and at Wady Maghara, there also
occurs with different titles, the name of Khufu himself. 'That the names
should thus be found together is very likely, if they were co-regents, as
their joint occurrence in the Pyramid, and elsewhere, would lead us to
expect. Such co-regencies often existed.
Max Muller thought that
'Khnum-Khufu' represented a God. Fix also noted the association between
Khufu and Hermes. He said: 'One scholar (Stewart?) says there was a god
called Khnemu who was the embodiment of intellect itself. Alternative names
for Khnemu were Khnum, and Chnuphis or Chnouphis which is etymologically
similar to Souphis'.
'Khufu' is an
abbreviated form of 'Khnum-Khufu', which means 'Khnum protects me'. The god
Khnum was the divine potter who carried out the works of creation planned by
Thoth. Thoth (or Djehuti) was the god of wisdom, the directing intelligence
of the universe, and was known in later times as Hermes, Mercury, and Enoch.
Thoth-Hermes was the inventor of the arts and sciences, the patron of the
secret wisdom, and an initiator. The name was adopted by many initiated
adepts, who were known as 'serpents of wisdom'; the caduceus or staff of
Hermes is entwined with either one or two serpents. Khnum later became known
as Kneph or Chnuphis, who was represented as a huge serpent; he stood for
divine creative wisdom, and was the patron of the initiates.
It has also been argued
that the presence of the Khufu and Khnum-Khufu cartouches inside the Great
Pyramid and on some of the core masonry stones on the exterior does not
prove that it was the 4th-dynasty pharaoh Khufu who built it; he may have
been named after the Pyramid, rather than the other way around.
Khufu's cartouche has been found on dozens of tombs and monuments in Egypt,
some of them from later than the 4th dynasty.
This disparity between
argument highlights exactly how little people
understand the events of the fourth dynasty. We are left with the following
may have been
named after or associated with a god called 'Khnum' or 'Khnum-Khufu', but why put a gods name
in a cartouche.
'Khnum-Khufu' or 'Num-Shufu' was a co-regent. Possibly 'Suphis II', Khafre,
(both), or another unknown person. Explain why the cartouche/name doesn't
exist in ANY of the Kings-lists.
and the Jug have a different, non-literal meaning.
'Khnum' or 'Noum' means something as yet translated incorrectly.
It is noticeable that the extra
symbols on the cartouche were a 'Ram' and a 'Jug'. Both of which are
Astronomical symbols (Aries is symbolized by a Ram and Pisces comes from the
Jug of Aquarius). There is also a viable association between the 'Hyksos' or
'Shepherd-Kings' and the 'Ram'.
There are several remains of 'King-lists' available. There is
the one at Abydoss, the Palermo Stone, Manetho's versions and several
others. Unfortunately, no two are the same, although they all clearly
originate from an original 'King-List'. Deciding which is the more accurate
has been a matter of debate since Egyptology became an intellectual sport.
Petrie quotes Manetho from an extract in 'Fragments'
from 1832. He notes that while the 3rd
kingdom is said to be composed of Memphite kings, and the 5th
dynasty of Elephantine rulers, the 4th dynasty was supposed to
have been composed of 'eight Memphite Kings of a different race'.
It has already been noted that 'Khnum-Kufu' is not mentioned
on any of the known king-lists, which makes it unlikely that there ever was
a Pharaoh with that name (or he was deleted earlier than the known
We know that the Lists were 'manipulated', and that in
certain cases, names have been omitted. Fortunately, the fourth dynasty
appears to be without too many conflicts:
Saophis I (29)
Suphis II (66)
Saophis II (27)
of the major chronologies of the 4th dynasty.
It was argued, by Davidson
(2), that the 'king-list' composed by
Eusebius, was in fact composed 200 years earlier than that of Manetho. He
made a strong case for the Kings-list representing a mnemonic aid for the
raw-data of the measurements of the pyramid. He believed that whereas the
King-lists of Abydoss and the Palermo stone etc, were genuine historical
records, the 'dated' kings-lists of Manetho, Eusibius, Josephus etc, had
been dated specifically for a purpose. He claimed that the resultant dates
for the Eusebius kings-list bore uncanny resemblances to some of the Great
Pyramids dimensions. The confusion over dating methods was a result of
deliberately changes, placed in order to attain certain representative
numerical figures. In other words, as he put it; 'Supposing that the Great
pyramid had been demolished, its principal features, dimensions and its
units could be reconstructed from the Egyptian King-List'
- Davidson makes mention that one of the key figures of measurement included
in the King-list was that of
Precession. It is
said that the same number exists in the dimensions of the pyramid in
'pyramid inches'. This number, which he finds in the sum of the base
diagonals is 25,826.5 P".
The importance of precessionary figures in the king lists of Manetho,
Eusibius and Josephus should not be under-estimated.
Were the Hyksos: 'The Shepherd Kings'
'This invading nation was styled Hycsos, that is
Shepherd Kings; for the first syllable, 'Hyc', in the sacred dialect denotes
a king: and 'Sos' signifies a shepherd, but only according to the vulgar
The Shepherd Kings are referred to at least twice in
Egyptian history. While most agree that they occupied Egypt in about the 15th,
16th and possibly 17th dynasties. Any association with
the Giza pyramids must come from an earlier time or previous occupation.
The problem remains Proving that they were
there then too.
The earliest evidence of
the 4th dynasty Hyksos comes from 'Fragments' by Isaac
Cory. 1832. In which Manetho clearly states that the 3rd dynastic
rulers were composed of Memphite kings and the 5th dynasty of
Elephantine Kings. The 4th dynasty however, was said to be
'composed of eight Memphite kings of a different race'. Manetho also says that 'Choeps', was 'arrogant
towards the gods', 'closed the temples', and 'wrote
the sacred book'.
interpretation (from Miracle of Ages), adequately describes the now famous
conversation between Herodotus and Manetho. - 'In the course of his
questioning he (Herodotus) encountered one Manetho, an Egyptian High
Priest, scholar and Historian, with whom he conversed at length thru the
agency of an interpreter. Manetho informed his distinguished guest that the
architect of the huge mass of stone was one "Philition", or "Suphis", of a
people known as the "Hyksos", that is "Shepherd Kings". According to
Manetho, the Shepherd Kings were "a people of ignoble race" who came from
some unknown land in the
East; they were a
nomadic band who numbered not less than 280,000 souls; they brought with
them their families and all mobile possessions, including vast flocks of
sheep and herds of cattle; and they "had the confidence to invade Egypt, and
subdued it without a battle". this same people, said Manetho, overthrew the
then-reigning Dynasty, stamped out idolatry and endeavoured to firmly
establish in the place thereof the worship of the One true God having
completed the Great pyramid, migrated eastward into the land afterwards
known as Judea and founded there the city of Salem, which later became
Jerusalem, the Holy city.'
(12) (It is noted that although Manetho is a proud Egyptian, he still
stated that the pyramids were built by foreigners).
The following extract is
from Rawlinson's 'Phoenecia' concerning the architecture of
Jerusalem. 'The wall had an original height of from seventy to one
hundred and fourty feet. In places it is built from bottom to top of large
squared stones, bevelled at the edges and varying between 3 ft 3 inches and 6
ft in height. The stones are laid without cement. The longest hitherto
discovered measures 38 ft 9 inches in length (not less than one hundred
tonnes). Many of the other blocks are from half to two thirds of this
The massiveness of the work is on par with the Egyptian pyramid-Kings; and
the perfection of the cutting and fitting of the stones is nearly equal.'
Note - Garnier
concluded the following:- 'Suphis I, the builder of the great pyramid, and
the over-thrower of Egyptian idolatry, was none other than the Shepherd
patriarch Shem, i.e. Typhon, or Set, the over-thrower of Osiris; and the
same Shepherd King "Set the Powerful", who overthrew the same idolatry; and
that Philition "The lover of right", the shepherd after whom the pyramid, or
its builders, were called, was the same Shepherd patriarch, Shem, the
righteous king and founder of Jerusalem'. He translated 'Philition'
as 'The lover of right', using the Greek words 'Philo',
meaning 'I love', and 'ithus', meaning 'upright', 'just',
Smyth says: 'Some
strangers from the Eastern direction were, indeed, continually filtering
into Lower Egypt through the Isthmus of Suez, the natural channel of
immigration in all ages from Asia, and the path from which the Egyptians
themselves had originally come'.
The following extract is
from Seiss (15) - 'Wilford, in his Asiatic researches, vol. iii, p.225,
give an extract from the Hindoo records which seem to support certain
factors of Manetho's idea that they were of 'Arabian' origin. The extract
says that one Tamo-vasta, a child of prayer, wise and devout, prayed for
certain successes, and that God granted his requests, and that he came to
Egypt with a chosen company, entered it "without any declaration of war, and
began to administer justice among the people, to give them a specimen of a
good king" This Tamo-vasta is represented in the account as a good king of
the powerful people called the
Pali, Shepherds, who in
ancient times governed the whole country from the Indus to the mouth of the
Ganges, and spread themselves, mainly by colonization and commerce, very far
through Asia, Africa and Europe. They colonised the coasts of the Persian
Gulf and the Sea-Coasts of Arabia, Palestine, and Africa, and ere the
long-haired people called the Berbers in North Africa. They are likewise
called Palestinae, which name has close affinity with the Philition of
Herodotus. These Pali of the Hindoo records are plainly identical with some
of the Joktanic peoples.'
Extract from Smyth's
'The great pyramid' - Herodotus elaborates by explaining that 'Cheops, on
ascending the throne, plunged into all manner of wickedness. He closed the
temples, and forbade all Egyptians to offer sacrifice, compelling them
instead to labour one and all in his service; viz. in building the great
pyramid Choeps was succeeded by his
brother Chephren, who
imitated the conduct of his predecessor, built a pyramid - but smaller than
his brothers - and reigned 56 years. Thus during 106 years the temples were
shut and never opened'.
And he says, 'The Egyptians so detest the memory of those kings (Cheops
and Cephren), that they do not much like even to mention their names. Hence
they commonly call the pyramids after Philiton (or Philitis), a shepherd who
at that time fed his flocks about the place'. Piazzi points out that the
following two pharaohs (according to Manetho), Mycerinus and Asychis, also
built pyramids, but were praised for re-opening the temples, so it was not
the act of building that made the people hate them (Cheops and Chephren),
but more likely, the religious aspect of closing the temples. He also
suggests that the animosity towards the 15th-17th
dynasty Hyksos may have been caused by the experience of the 4th
It is a little peculiar
that the changes at that time 'coincided with the ascendancy of the
Heliopolis as a major
political force in Egypt. Their domination over the
power of the pharaoh had certainly become fully established in the fifth
And yet most authors
seem to avoid the idea that these priests and the Hyksos and the change in
design and religion, (Sun worship instead of animal-totem-multiple-god
worship), (and the change in name) might all be related.
It was suggested by
Garnier, that 'Shufu', is a soubriquet meaning 'Long
indicating that both these kings possessed that peculiarity, which
distinguished them from other Pharaohs. He also notes that Apepi, the
pharaoh under whom Josephus was ruler, although a pure Egyptian, and at
first a supporter of the Egyptian gods, was also called a shepherd king,
because he afterwards rejected idolatry.
We are told that pyramid
building began before the Hyksos invasion. However, the history of
'memphite' pyramid building was a short lived one
(5), and it may yet turn
out that the proximity of the timing with the Hyksos is not such a
co-incidence. For while the pyramids were, in probability, constructed at
the time of Khufu and Khafre, there are still important questions such as
when that was and the extent of the Hyksos influence on the country
(specifically pyramid building), after they arrived. It is necessary to
create a clear picture of pre-dynastic Egypt, in order to determine what
'Most Egyptologists are
inclined to think that at about 3,400 B.C. a large-scale invasion of Egypt took
place the invading dynastic race which was to usher in the pharaohic
civilization of Egypt called themselves the followers of Horus...'(5).
Could this be the first Hyksos invasion?
Glyn Daniels(1), response to
the question of the 'spontaneous' emergence of Egyptian civilisation, was
that it is reasonably accepted that this process did not take place without
some direct influence from Mesopotamia (Sumeria). Evidence includes:-
Three Mesopotamian cylinder
seals of the later Uruk or proto-literate period have been found in Egypt:
One was from Naqada. From then onwards the Egyptians used the cylinder
seal - a Mesopotamian invention.
Mesopotamian motifs appear
in Egyptian art. On the ivory handle of a flint knife from
Abydoss (above), there
is represented the Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh, subduing two lions,
the same theme is repeated on a wall painting from Hierakonpolis,
belonging to one of the earliest brick buildings in southern Egypt.
There appeared suddenly in
Egypt the monumental style of building based on mud-brick, and we find the
ancient Egyptians abandoning reed, papyrus, palm branches and rush matting
in favour of sun-dried bricks made in wooden rectangular moulds. And in
using bricks in their buildings they also incorporated recessed facades
and pilasters such as were used in early Mesopotamian buildings.
Hieroglyphic writing is
first found on the slate palettes of late pre-dynastic times; where it is
already well advanced and is using ideograms and phonograms. This first
Egyptian writing must surely have derived from another, as yet,
unidentified source such as earlier Mesopotamian writing.
(Other Examples of
the known royal members of the 4th dynasty are represented by cartouche at Ghiza.
Khufu's pyramid, the other two larger pyramids have no other 'markings' in
them to identify their builders.
'inventory' Stella suggests that the Sphinx (and valley temple) were built
before Khufu's reign.
two different cartouches in the 'relieving chambers'.
They appear to be original features of the pyramid.
cartouche from Vyses' 'Materia Hieroglyphica' reads 'Ra-ufu',
(with a plain solar disc).
cartouche Vyse describes from the pyramid has three lines in the solar disc
(and two extra 'symbols').
upon them have been variously translated as: Khufu and
Khnumu-Khufu, Shufu and
Shofo' and 'Noum-shofo',
Nh-Shufu, and Shu-Shufu .
The same two cartouches have been found together at 5 other sites in Egypt.
pyramid, they do not appear side by side.
Abydoss cartouche reads as 'Ra-ufu',
cartouche does not appear on any kings-list.
appears more frequently than 'Khufu'.
section is a prefix, composed of two symbols: a Ram's head and a Jug. There
is no consensus over the interpretation of these symbols.
different King-lists appear to originate from a common source.
states that the fourth dynasty builders were of a different race.
earliest accounts (Manetho, Herodotus, Diodorus), associate the 'Hyksos' or
'Shepherd-kings with a 'shift' in power/religion at the time of Khufu and
came from the East.
said that the people detested the memory of Choeps and Chephren.
were said to have left to create Jeru-salem.
There is a similarity in the style of construction between
Giza and early foundation stones at Jerusalem.
There are similarities between the early Mesopotamian (Sumerian),
civilisation and early dynastic Egypt.
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