> In the words of Alan H. Gardiner, Journal of
> Egyptian Archaeology, 1925: "...what
> ambition could have fired Khufu more than
> to possess in his own pyramid a replica of
> the mysterious chambers in the hoary sanctuary of
> the god of Wisdom..?"
> The sanctuary... of the god of Wisdom, no
> less... Secret chambers (in the famous
> world heritage monument) undiscovered,
> invaluable treasure...
> "...Khufu was seeking for details concerning
> the secret chambers of the primeval sanctuary of
> The PapyrusWestcar is potent - an epic.
> ps. For what its worth, the time Giza is designed
> for is 1250 B.C.
Here, I dissent from Gardiner's view, being informed by the excellent paper by Berrgren. You see the chamber interpretation is just one such interpretation of the phrase Ipwt. Berrgren presents multiple possible alternative translations and reveiws them from various perspectives. The approach Berrgren has taken is to review the roots of the word and there are two possible roots:
on p12: "ip means to 1) count, reckon up, make reckoning (with), assess (dues), pay, allot (to), exact (from), detail (s’one for work), claim (from), examine (persons), recognize (s’one), revise (schedules), take heed of, set in order (bones of decapitated body), muster, assemble (of persons)."
on p22 "ipt meaning an enclosed space"
So a valid interpretation is that Khufu is seeking the numbers from the accounts of the House of Thoth in the inventory of Heliopolis. Khufu wants to use these numbers in his Horizon (aka Pyramid).
This leads to the question what is the House of Thoth. Boylan p83 argues “The ancient Egyptians were an agricultural people. They were interested, therefore, in setting up an exact calendar. The moon would naturally play a chief part in fixing the details of the calendar. The easily observed regularity of the moon’s phases furnished a better basis for marking of periods of time than the variations of solar phenomena. Hence at a very early period in Egypt, as elsewhere, the moon was taken as the chief measurer of time.” and on p84 "But, as we have seen, Thoth is Iooh, the moon."
There are a great many cultures which operate a lunar calendar. Perhaps the most famous is the Chinese Lunar New Year. In the Chinese Zodiac, the asterism or constellation that the moon is sitting in determines which "animal" the year represents. The Egyptians had a similar calendar, based on the Decan stars. A house of Thoth therefore could be the house (or station/palace) of the moon meaning the constellation or asterism which is housing the moon at a specific time.
Thus, my interpretation is that Khufu is seeking the numbers from the accounts of the House of Thoth (stations of the moon). Those numbers are kept in a chest in the inventory of Heliopolis, a city known for its star-gazing priests. Khufu wants to use these numbers in his Horizon (aka Pyramid) in some way.
The reckoning up or exacting from interpretation could also refer to measurements of some kind.
Berrgren, Jenny, “The ‘Ipwt in Papyrus Westcar (7,5-8; 9,1-5)”, Uppsala University Department of Archeology and Ancient History accessed from [web.archive.org]
Boylan, Patrick “Thoth, the Hermes of Egypt : a study of some aspects of theological thought in ancient Egypt” accessed from [archive.org]
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13-Aug-19 12:40 by engbren.