I believe the inconsistency of Vyse's drawings with known context of the period, as well as the fact no other OK pyramids contain sarcophagi with decoration, presents several possibilities:
1) Vyse's drawings are not accurate and he used poetic license to recreate the lid and add the border pattern from later examples. Interesting to note that he just "had" to remove it from G3 for fear of damage (unlike G1 or G2?) and sure enough it was lost at sea, never to be seen again.
2) The sarcophagus is not original to G3 and dates to the MK or later.
3) The lid is not original and it and the border pattern were added later.
4) G3 predates the 4th Dynasty and originally had no sarcophagus which was added later by the mastaba culture of the which the cornice lid and triangular border pattern were added by the MK or later.
5) Menkaure's sarcophagus had features unique to the OK and were not seen again for another several hundred years.
6) (Pure unfounded speculation which I hate to even say) There was no sarcophagus in G3 and Vyse cobbled one together from various periods.
Personally, I am of the mind the sarcophagi was originally identical to that found at Abu Roash with a lid akin to Meresankh III's. The triangular border pattern and possibly the detail on the lid was added later during the intrusive burial. I believe the sarcophagus was added later when the core structure was converted to a pyramid as only the outer chamber in G3 has the same palace facade design. If it were original to the core it seems unlikely this theme would not have continued to the main chamber or elsewhere in the core structure.
Regardless, Menkaure's sarcophagus as depicted by Vyse seems incongruous to the time. The question is why?"
Hi Lee, good presentation.
Not sure if it matters here, but, most likely, Mr. Hill or Mr. Andrews drew the diagram, (from Ops) you posted. IMO, the differences between this and Gaspero's drawing are very small.
I agree w/ Vyse in that the sarcophagus was moved, and initially rested in room's center. The idea that treasure was buried beneath the floor under the sarcophagus was a common one.
Vyse, like all Egyptologists of his day were entitled to a share of the artifacts that were found, and he had the Pacha's permission to do so. Those who financed an Egyptoplogist's dig expected their man to bring them something(s) for their money spent.
In Vyse's case however, he footed his own bill, and he donated most-if not all-of his share of artifacts to the BM. The BM was paid by the insurance Co. for the loss of the sarcophagus...IIRC, it was 348 BPS...a paltry sum by today's standards for such an artifact. (I'd like to see the Beatrice raised as it was fully loaded w/ all manner of Egyptian artifacts.)
Not all sarcophagi and/or palace facades are exactly alike. It is a nearly identical OK sarcophagus found at Abu Roash. Probably the differences are intentional, or possibly due to a different artist, (stone carver).
Once a given tomb was entered by tomb-robbers, it ceased to be a pristine environment, so it's very difficult for us to tell who did what and when.
#s 2-5 are very real possibilities, and I favor #5. (King Tut's tomb also shows us examples of innovation, and of reverting back to older styles.)
Campbell's Chamber roof blocks are Tura Limestone until proven otherwise.
THE Cartouche in Campbell's Chamber IS Authentic, as are ALL other RC's Glyphs, until proven otherwise.
"This Forgery 'theory' has more holes than a sieve basket."