Drawing and translation of writing on the lid:
This is a common dedication found in Giza tombs in one form or another, commonly “A boon which the king gives and Anubis, he who is upon his hill, lord of the cemetery, that he may be buried”, that credits Anubis as "Lord of the Necropolis" in which Anubis is drawn as unusually large by comparison to other figures. For example:
From the tomb chapel of Khufukhaf I, thought to be the son of Khufu and brother of Khafre, alleged creator of the Sphinx:
Meresankh II is thought to be the daughter of Khufu, who became a queen, either the wife of Djedefre or Khafre.
What we have are two figures intimately contemporary with Khafre when not only he was supposedly carving out the Sphinx, but at a time, if this was in fact true, when this ideology would have been a burgeoning part of AE religious beliefs, the implied very impetus for carving it in the first place. And yet despite this both credit Anubis as being the "Lord of the Necropolis", not the Sphinx. In fact, neither of their tombs even mention the Sphinx as does no one else until the NK when it is named as Hor-em-akhet by Thutmose IV on the Dream Stele.
It goes without saying the Sphinx is undoubtedly the "Lord of the Necropolis" yet no one of the time seems to have noticed it was a lion and instead refer to it as Anubis, the dog. Maybe this is a nuance of this particular translation, but it is interesting to note Meresankh II's sarcophagus says that Anubis is the "lord of the necropolis, foremost of the divine booth". What "booth"-this booth:
The Sphinx enclosure?
At any rate, statues and depictions of recumbent lions are found since the very beginnings of Dynastic Egypt. Both from the 1st Dynasty:
And yet the lion is not associated with the dead or necropoli at any point until after the OK, but rather explicitly the jackal god Anubis. Statues of sphinxes in the OK are scant to say the least, and of the few that have been found, all at Abu Roash of all places, as I have argued their provenance dating to the 4th Dynasty is less than secure likely dating to the MK or NK. Most interesting is that despite several partial or full statues of Khafre being found unceremoniously dumped and buried nearby, not a one is a sphinx. Yet sometime in the beginnings of the MK, as far as I can tell specifically the 12th Dynasty some 500+yrs after it was supposedly carved, statues depicting pharaohs as a sphinx becomes commonplace yet there is still no connection to the supposed Sphinx at Giza. None. Yet in the NK, from the 18th Dynasty onward, the Giza Sphinx gets a name and becomes a symbol of kingship and reverence and is so old at that point requires restoration. It is also in the NK that the AE take a particular interest in older monuments, including Giza, and begin to restore and attribute many sites, the least of which clearing the Sphinx itself of sand.
Yet despite this "renaissance", nigh introduction, of pharaohs as sphinx statuary beginning in the MK 12th Dynasty, it appears that Giza was largely abandoned by the First Intermediate period, mostly long before, and by the MK they began to systematically rape and pillage the tombs and stonework, robbing and tearing down temples and ripping up walkways for building materials, showing a wanton disregard for this supposedly "sacred" site, the dead in general of whom they supposedly held in such high regard, not to mention these olden pharaohs who were otherwise supposedly revered as "gods".
What makes this more curious is the fact pyramid building in Egypt effectively ended in the 6th Dynasty only to abruptly begin again in earnest in the 12th Dynasty in which 9 primary pyramids were built. The point being is that on the one hand they had no respect for the funerary context at Giza, yet were obviously impressed by the grandeur of the building achievements and built several of their own in what would certainly be a "2nd Pyramid age". So they robbed from these pyramid "tombs" only to build inferior ones for themselves again and again thinking they would not suffer the same fate? Can't say that makes much sense....
It is worth noting the few pyramids supposedly built between the gap of the 6th and 12th Dynasties. The first would be the 8th Dynasty "pyramid" of Qakare Ibi at Saqqara:
It seems likely this was built in the 6th Dynasty by Pepi II for one of his queens and later appropriated by Ibi. This is the last known writing of the Pyramid Texts. An interesting note is one of the blocks was inscribed " chief of the Libyans" yet its exact meaning is not known.
Another 1st Intermediate period "pyramid" found in middle Egypt is attributed to a Khui, yet there is no basis for this as it was so badly damaged it is unrecognizable and could just as easily have been a mastaba. Not only do they not know what it was, or if it was even finished, it is attributed to "Khui" only because a cartouche was found with this name on a block at a tomb to the south of it.
The last of the pyramids of this span is attributed to the 10th Dynasty pharaoh Merikare yet it has never actually been found though it is mentioned in several inscriptions. Curiously though, it is mentioned often along with the 6th Dynasty pyramid of Teti and the inscriptions all date to the 12th Dynasty belonging to funerary cults of both rulers. Merikrare's name has not been identified on later King Lists and it has been argued that he actually belongs to the 6th Dynasty regardless.
Moral of noting this is that all things considered, pyramid building ended in the 6th Dynasty and yet 300yrs later began again in the 12th with Amenemhat I:
What is particularly interesting about Amenemhat I is that his cartouche depicts the very recumbent lion as seen in early Dynastic times (shown above):
Which again is not related to the dead or necropoli. I can't find examples of himself or the pharaoh directly after him, but at least by the 3rd pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty, Amenemhat II, depicting themselves as sphinxes became the norm for several pharaohs after:
This lion is not a symbol of the dead or a guardian of a cemetery, it never was, but one of power just as it had always been since the beginnings of Dynastic Egypt. I suggest the possibility that representations of MK sphinxes are not of the Sphinx at Giza, but an homage to the ancient lion as a symbol of power, not just in Egypt since the beginnings of Dynastic Egypt, but other lands of the time as well, as represented by the very cartouche of Amenemhat I himself. It was only later that this iconography of power was imposed on the Anubis Sphinx, found heavily damaged by the MK more than 500yrs later, and was converted from a dog to a lion with the head of the pharaoh. It no longer was a "guardian of the necropolis" but a symbol of the greatness of the achievements of the pyrmaid builders regardless of the earlier funerary context of the site. It is worth noting as well that in the MK and onward Osiris became the favored god of the dead, not Anubis, meaning if the Sphinx were originally Anubis it would not have the same relevance to the pharaohs of the MK.
I am not 100% sold on the idea, but present it as a possibility to reconcile why the OK not only had no regard for the Great Sphinx, as if they didn't even know it existed, but why on the tombs of the very people who lived when it was supposedly built, and for centuries after who also buried themselves there, did not think it was a lion guarding the necropolis, but rather the dog Anubis-unlike the lion, the universally accepted "Lord of the Underworld".
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 19-Nov-17 16:09 by Thanos5150.