> > LIkewise, it's not clear when the Khufu Stela was engraved.
> > It's only clear that the stone is gneiss and could have
> > originated from that area, and was likely not standing in the
> > position Engelbach found it for the past 4500 years.
> I agree with this, but I see no reason it couldn't be from the
> 4th Dynasty either. At any point in time someone could have
> come across the stele in the rubble and thought it would be
> cool to prop it up there. Assuming it was not made by
> antiquarian forgers, a question to ask if not from the 4th
> Dynasty then why would it be there at all? What would possess
> someone say in the MK to engrave Khufu's name on it or even
> worse bring it already carved to that location?
As you said, the Khufu Stele "could" be form the 4th Dynasty...but we do not know that for sure. It "could" just as easily be a fragment from a more ancient block. It could have been put there by a few kids as a prop for their role playing game. Can we really say beyond a reasonable doubt?
A 4th Dynasty provenance for that Stele must consider its composition and whether the 4th Dynasty had the tools and methods to work such a stone. The extremely shallow engraving suggests that whoever did the engraving did not have the proper tools to make a deeper cut and, instead, perhaps used a piece of flint or basalt shard lying around to brute force the surface sketch. Also, is that stone a fragment from a larger finished block? The engravings appear to be on a flat planar surface. If so, what technology was required to make such a cut block.
Regarding why anyone in the Middle Kingdom (or any other period) would engrave a reference to "Khufu", perhaps for the same reason anyone would write a book about Winston Churchill, Ghengis Khan, or Santa Claus today? Why would parents today buy a swing set designed with a castle theme? It's fair to assume that later periods knew of "Khufu", had their own history and belief system surrounding Khufu, and reproduced histories, games, stories about Khufu for their children, etc. There is certainly no reason at all to believe that every single cartouche that references Khufu necessarily has a provenance back to the time when a man named Khufu was alive and well. As I said elsewhere in this discussion, a father might have made that as part of his storytelling to his children. Who can say for sure without definitive evidence?
> > From what I've gleaned from posts in this discussion, there is
> > not enough data to reliably assign provenance to the quarry,
> > the Khafre statue, or the Khufu Stela.
> Its a particular kind of gneiss though. The answer to this
> question is geologically could it have come from
> somewhere else.
I actually was corrected by Dr. Trog; we apparently do not know for sure whether the Stele is gneiss. It looks more like basalt but I've not actually read anything that indicates this has been determined. sfbey claims that Shaw says it's basalt, but I cannot access the article.
> > If anything, the
> > scarcity of artifacts in the quarry dating it at least across a
> > several millennia of the dynastic period, and the out of
> > character engraving on the Khafre gneiss, and the unlikely
> > positioning of the Khufu Stela, all cast a strong doubt on
> > their alleged provenance.
> But there are artifacts representing this whole time period,
> regardless of how scant, implying it was used throughout this
> time. Khufu's name is found as far afield as Byblos among
> others so finding it at an AE gneiss quarry shouldn't be all
> that mysterious. The positioning of the stele doesn't mean it
> wasn't from there just that it is unlikely that was its
> original position. The Khafre engraving isn't out of character
> as on many statues from this period and later you find this
> kind of work. The quality of working in raised relief doesn't
> seem to translate well with engravings on some kinds of stone.
Since the Khafre statue has plenty of precision reliefs, there's no reason to believe that the commemorative glpyhs could not have been put into relief as well. An objective, non-biased observer will notice immediately that those glyphs are non-sequitur with the rest of the workmanship on that statue. I'd love to know what experts have scrutinized those glyphs as being authentic to the proposed provenance.
My take on this is that many of the OK artifacts may have been far more ancient than their currently attributed provenance, and that an adaption society saw those artifacts and made them their own. Pyramids, Spinx, buildings, the relatively small number of statues (compared to later periods). The early dynastics saw these things and repurposed them. As farfetched as this is to some, the alternative -- that these were indeed made during the 4th Dynasty -- is even more farfetched in that there is zero evidence that the tools and methods required to construct that stuff existed at that time. It's not logical to contend the reason we don't see any evidence of the proper tools and methods is that they were all lost. The reason it's illogical is that every other significant aspect of dynastic life has been documented in the glyphs, with the conspicuous exception of tools and building methods to accomplish what has arguable become the things that the AEs are best known for today. That is an enormous conflict that must be reconciled in a rational way. I believe the proposition of an adaption society that inherited the products of a more ancient society reconciles that conflict.
> Though my head spins a little bit, I understand the argument
> you are making, but it seems unbelievable to say the least to
> think that for at least 2,000yrs years one pharaoh after
> another just so happened to adopt all the stuff and likenesses
> of an individual king from a lost civilization from thousands
> of years before their time. So, you have Khafre who has to find
> his own stuff, then Menkaure finds another kings stuff
> including as luck would have it several statues of what are
> obviously the same individual. On and on and on and even by the
> time of Ramses II there is still enough left over that he can
> even find 1,000 ton virgin statues to put his name on. And not
> only that, but according to you all the buildings as well.
> Every amazing stone vase or bowl or statue or building or laser
> like engraving. For thousands of years these stumbling bumbling
> ignorant squatters just keep on squatting completely oblivious
> to the how of the world of artificial stone they enveloped
> themselves in.
I now see why it seemed to be head spinning. I never said I believed that everything we see from AE came from an earlier pre-dynastic civilization. I'm only focusing on the initial monuments during a time when statues of humans were relatively rare, and most of the stone engineering focused on architecture, not art. Meanwhile, I think it's quite possible that the Middle and New Kingdoms achieved the necessary technological advances to do their own stonework as they became influenced by the Romans, Hyksos, Assyrians, etc. In other words, I'm far more skeptical about much of the traditional tenets regarding the Old Kingdom, including Giza, the first, best pyramids, perhaps Edfu & Philae, the Fayum reservoir's regulation of the Nile (not to mention other locations like Baalbek). These are the artifacts which are incompatible with the tools and methods and needs known to exist at the time to which these artifacts have been attributed. That conflict must be reconciled somehow. In these discussions I share my own thoughts about one way to reconcile that conflict.
Some users here seem to think I WANT there to be an earlier civilization; that for some reason I have something against the Dynastics and refuse to believe they could do anything at all. But this is not at all the context of my posts. All I WANT is a credible answer to account for what we see over there, so that we have an accurate understanding of the that part of our beginnings. I have nothing against the Dynastics. I simply want to know about what we see there today, and the traditional thinking is far too problematic to be a credible solution. There must be some other explanation. I realize that some of what I propose seems unlikely, but what's being proposed by traditionalists seems even LESS likely, in my view. What I propose is not contradicted by physical evidence the way some current tenets are contradicted by the evidence. Meanwhile, my perspective of the Old Kingdom is at least possible. I don't believe we can say the same thing about some traditional hypotheses.
> There is no doubt to me Dynastic Egypt is the product of an
> earlier foreign influence, but there is nothing in reality to
> separate them so far in time as to be completely disconnected
> from one another particularly throughout the whole of AE
> history as you wish to do.
Again, think Old Kingdom, not the entire Dynastic era.
The traditionally accepted early timeline (by Lehner) is wrong and needs some major reconciliation.