Regarding the Abydos enclosures:
Each royal monument consisted of a ritual
precinct open to the sky enclosed by massive
mudbrick walls. The Institute’s excavations have
resulted in the discovery of the earliest royal
enclosures yet known, dating to the reign of king
Aha at the beginning of the 1st Dynasty (ca. 3050
BCE). The Institute’s work has also revealed
important aspects of how these structures were
used as the setting for ritual. Most surprisingly,
it appears that these important royal monuments
appear to have been deliberately, even ritually
demolished and symbolically buried after only a
short period of use, probably limited to the reign
of the king for whom each was built.
The known enclosures of the 1st Dynasty (ca.
3050-2900 BCE) were regularly accompanied by
important ancillary features. Most were surrounded
by lines of tombs, and the Institute’s work has
produced important new evidence that courtiers and
retainers were sacrificed and entombed around the
royal enclosure, probably so that they could
accompany the king into the next world. In one
instance a royal enclosure was accompanied by the
burials of ten donkeys in three brick tomb
chambers, the earliest complete donkey skeletons
ever discovered in the world. In another, one of
the enclosures had associated graves that
contained, not humans or animals, but,
spectacularly, the wooden hulls of a fleet of
fourteen large boats, the oldest built boats
known. The boats and donkeys, like the sacrificed
courtiers, were probably buried to be symbolically
translated from this world to the next, to be
available to the king there.
What I forgot to point out as well, is here in the 1st Dynasty we have these monumental "mortuary complex enclosures" for each pharaoh which "most were surrounded by lines of tombs". The gruesome ritual of sacrificing select subjects, and there were many, to be buried alongside them notwithstanding, a notably Mesopotamian custom mind you, here we have the practice from the beginnings of Dynastic Egypt built on a foundation of monumental supposedly funerary structures built for the pharaoh in which the people are buried around it. BUT-it is not a tomb. The actual tomb of the pharaoh is elsewhere in this case located a mile away. If in fact the pyramids were part of this long tradition, as many will claim (Warwick), then what expectation would there be that pyramids were ever intended to be tombs either? Again, we have a large monumental structure surrounded by the pharaohs subjects yet there is no pharaoh to be found buried inside.
I am reminded once again of the words of Herodotus and Diodorus.
For this, they [the Egyptian priests] said, the ten years were spent [to build the causeway], and for the underground chambers on the hill upon which the pyramids stand, which he [Khufu] caused to be made as sepulchral chambers for himself in an island, having conducted thither a channel from the Nile….
This king [Khafre] followed the same manner as the other, both in all the rest and also in that he made a pyramid, not indeed attaining to the measurements of that which was built by the former [Khufu] (this I know, having myself also measured it), and moreover there are no underground chambers beneath nor does a channel come from the Nile flowing to this one as to the other, in which the water coming through a conduit built for it flows round an island within, where they say that Cheops himself is laid: but for a basement he built the first course of Ethiopian stone of divers colours; and this pyramid he made forty feet lower than the other as regards size, building it close to the great pyramid.
Although these kings [Khufu and Khafre] intended these [G1 and G2] for their sepulchres, yet it happened that neither of them were buried there. For the people being exasperated against them by reason of the toilsomness of these works [building the pyramids], and for their cruelty and oppression, threatened to tear in pieces their dead bodies, and with ignominy to throw them out of their sepulchres. Wherefore both of them, dying, commanded their friends to bury them in an obscure place.
Giza Pyramids as Tombs in the Words of Herodotus and DiodorusQuote
Regardless of the validity of either of these tales, one thing that is common to both is they specifically make note of the fact the pharaohs were not buried within the pyramids themselves. This information came to Herodotus from Egyptian priests and Diodorus, I am assuming, from the histories of other writers before him which at their root would have come from earlier Egyptian sources as well. It is interesting then that the AE of these periods did not consider the pyramids of at least Khufu and Khafre, which neither source mention Menkaure's burial place, to be the actual places they were buried.
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07-Jun-16 05:28 by Thanos5150.