> Funny. Could also be the industrial district
> located at the outskirts of the big city, for food
> processing, textile manufacturing, construction
> materials production, animal husbandry, etc. to
> service the local "metropolis". And yet even if it
> was an OK cemetery for a smaller support
> workforce, i.e., for custodial and restoration
> purposes related to the already ancient pyramid,
> where are the bodies?
What is your malfunction? Despite the fact these things have been talked about here many times before it is amazing how much you simply refuse to educate yourself, or be educated, on even the most fundamental of topics yet somehow only you are the only one who has it all figured out despite purposefully knowing nothing? It's frickin bewildering.
Based on the pottery, names, and titles found in association with the tombs, the cemetery was begun as early as the reign of Khufu in Dynasty 4 and continued through the end of Dynasty 5, from ca. 2551 to 2323 B.C. The cemetery probably extends across the escarpment above the low desert plain where we have found production and storage facilities. It seems to be an Old Kingdom version of the New Kingdom (ca.1500-1163 B.C.) cemetery at Deir el-Medineh, where workers who excavated and decorated the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings were buried. We believe that so far we have found only 20 percent of the tombs buried under the sand along this slope.
None of the workers was mummified, a prerogative of royalty and nobility, but many tombs in this cemetery contained skeletal remains that tell us much about the lives of these people. Study of the remains by Azza Sarry el-Din and Fawziya Hussein of Egypt's National Research Center reveals that males and females were equally represented, mostly buried in fetal positions, with face to the east and head to the north. Many of the men died between age 30 and 35. Below the age of 30 a higher mortality was found in females than in males, a statistic undoubtedly reflecting the hazards of childbirth.
[Bodies found within the main cemetery]
Skeletons from the great mastaba cemetery west of the Khufu pyramid, in which members of the upper class were buried, reflect a healthier population whose women lived five to ten years longer than those of the artisan and worker community.
Degenerative arthritis occurred in the vertebral column, particularly in the lumbar region, and in the knees. It was frequent and more severe than in the skeletons from the mastaba cemetery. Skeletons of both men and women, particularly those from the lower burials, show such signs of heavy labor.
Simple and multiple limb fractures were found in skeletons from both the lower and upper burials. The most frequent were fractures of the ulna and radius, the bones of the upper arm, and of the fibula, the more delicate of the two lower leg bones. Most of the fractures had healed completely, with good realignment of the bone, indicating that the fractures had been set with a splint. We found two cases, both male, that suggested amputation, of a left leg and a right arm. The healed ends of the bones indicate that the amputations were successful. Few other cases of amputation have been recorded in Egyptian archaeology. Depressed fractures of the frontal or parietal skull bones were found in skulls of both males and females. The parietal lesions tended to be left-sided, which may indicate that the injuries resulted from face to face assault by right-handed attackers.
We should contrast the evidence of the tombs and of medical treatment with the notion that pharaohs used slave labor to build the giant pyramids, an idea as old as Herodotus. The scenario of whip-drive slaves received support from the biblical account of Moses and the Exodus and the first-century A.D. historian Josephus. In our era, Cecil B. de Mille's galvanizing screen images reinforced this popular misconception.
> So sure, it "could be" a lot of things. But
> what does the evidence say about what it
> "is be"?
When you know nothing and refuse to educate yourself or be educated apparently it can be whatever one wants it to be. Which seems to be the only point of remaining ignorant.