> So many questions - but I can offer an idea for the last one :
> "but where is the evidence of what the builders
> actually intended it all to be?"
> We need to go back to before the first pyramid -
> the Step pyramid of Djoser.
> Khasekemwy (and the earlier kings) constructed a
> moderately sized tomb for his burial in the
> cemetery at Abydos.
> Not far away was his huge enclosure. This was used
> for Sed Festivals in his lifetime and after= death.
> It would have contained wooden temples and shrines
> to the gods and other buildings for the ceremonies.
> The two structures worked together to help achieve
> eternal life in the stars.
> With the help of Imhotep, the tomb and the
> enclosure were brought together at Saqqara and
> made of stone.
> Djoser's complex had a mastaba in the centre of a
> huge enclosure. The mastaba was extended and
> enlarged to become the first pyramid - the step pyramid.
> The buildings in the enclosure and the underground
> tombs were clearly created for use in the Sed Festivals.
> From this first pyramid complex the later
> complexes evolved, but the main purposes remained.
> Some of the questions you asked can best be
> answered with reference to the initial purposes of
> the structures at Saqqara.
Thanks Graham. I appreciate your explanation. You might recall that I have questioned the nature of the funerary context in terms of its provenance vs. the provenance of the great monuments. I am not aware that the interpretation you described is clearly attested by the ancients themselves, circa 4th Dynasty 3rd millennium BC Egypt. Rather, your interpretaion seems to be more of an inference drawn in an attempt to make sense of the indirect evidence. But other interpretations can be drawn from that same evidence and, in some cases, arguable do a better job at reconciling some of the contradictions that confront the traditional notions you described. I am not saying that in an effort to discredit your perspective, I'm only pointing out that your interpretation is not a lockout bid on the evidence and that the evidence can accommodate other interpretations.
And so, for example, I don't doubt that Djoser claimed the Step Pyramid as his own, but I question whether he built it vs. claimed a pre-existing structure. Likewise, I don't doubt the funerary rituals you described during Khasekemwy's time, but I believe it's possible (and perhaps even necessary) to separate that funerary context from the construction of that infrastructure on which that funerary context may have been based. The enigmas surrounding the stonework, timeline, known capabilities, and lack of contemporaneous references to those monuments impose enough contradiction to warrant alternate interpretations.
How can any of us ever know, when all we can do is think?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02-Feb-17 15:42 by Origyptian.