Sunday, July 21, 2013

Discover the secrets of the pyramid of Khafre

Discover the secrets of the pyramid of Khafre 

Because the top is in better condition and is located on a hill (about 10 meters) of Khafre is sometimes seen as the greatest of the three pyramids on the Giza plateau. However, originally, it was about three meters lower than its neighboring pyramid belonging to the father of Khafre , Khufu. In fact, the walls of the pyramid of Khafre are steeper than the Great Pyramid of Cheops (53o 10 'as opposed to 51o 40 of Cheops "), it contains much less mass. His name is "Khafre is great."Khafre may have, prior to his succession to the Egyptian throne in the fourth dynasty, was named Khafkhufu, and according to Stadelmann, perhaps built a large double mastaba (G 7130-40) in the eastern section of Giza. However, his older brothers, and Kauab Djedefre apparently died early and take the throne of Upper and Lower Egypt, its name was changed to Chephren.
The Pyramid of Khafre and Khfu, Khafre with that appearing more

As one of the great pyramids of Egypt, its construction has been studied extensively, with a history of modern research is reminiscent of the monument of Cheops. In 1818, the strong man of Egyptology, Giovanni Belzoni, managed to penetrate into the interior of the pyramid after a failed attempt by Giovanni Caviglia only a year earlier. Belzoni discovered "upper entrance" of the pyramid and was able to investigate its underground sections. However, the first comprehensive exploration of the monument was made in 1837 by Perring.

Mariette directed excavations of Valley Temple of the Pyramid, which is also linked to the Great Sphinx in 1853. A year later, he was responsible for finding one of the most beautiful and famous ancient Egyptian statues, that of Khafre on his throne with winds stretched protection falcon god, Horus, sheltering the head from behind. While Petrie has also worked on the pyramid complex at Giza all, the first modern systematic excavations did not take place until the German Ernst von Sieglin shipping 1909-1910 under the direction of Uvo Holscher. Later in the 1930s, Hassan unearthed the boat objects associated with the pyramid, and in recent times, Hawass and Lehner studied the pyramid complex under the auspices of American Giza Plateau Mapping Project. Their work has mainly centered around modern geodetic techniques, which gave a thorough knowledge of both the pyramid and the archeology of architecture.

Ground plane for the overall complex of Khafre

The Valley Temple

The valley temple of Khafre in Giza complex is one of the best preserved ancient temples of the Kingdom in Egypt. As a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian monumental architecture, he was cleared of sand and, in 1869, this temple and other monuments at Giza, became the backdrop for the opening ceremony of the channel Suez.

Ground plan of the Valley of the Temples

The temple was faced with is a large paved terrace with limestone slabs, through which two roads leading from the channel of the Nile. At about the middle of the terrace, fragments of what might have been a small, simple wooden structure and carpet were found that could have been the location of a statue of Khafre . However, others believe it is a tent used for purification, although the known examples of such a structure are found only in a few private tombs.In 1995, Zahi Hawass re-open the area to the Valley Temple and thereby discovered that the roads passed tunnels were made with adobe walls and paved with limestone. The tunnels have a slightly convex profile resembling that of a boat. They formed a narrow corridor channel or a north-south axis. Before Sphnix Temple, the channel flows into a drain leading northeast, probably a dock buried beneath the modern tourist site. Roadways connected to the channel of the Nile with two separate entrances on the facade of the Valley Temple, which were sealed by huge single leaf doors probably cedar wood and hung on hinges copper. Each of these gates were protected by a recumbent Sphinx. The northernmost of these portals were dedicated to the goddess Bastet, while the south gate was dedicated to Hathor.

Massive pillars in the Valley of the Temples
The temple was built in nearly a square. It is located right next to the Great Sphinx and its associated temple. It is not surprising, since the valley temple was a gateway or portal to the entire complex, it is very similar to the earlier part of the funerary temple of Khafre. Its base wall was built of huge blocks, which sometimes can weigh up to one hundred and fifty tons. This inner core was then covered by slabs of pink granite, a material widely used throughout the complex was extracted near Aswan further south. This wall was slightly inclined and rounded at the top, making the whole structure looks like a mastaba.Between the two inputs of the valley temple was a vestibule walls simple pink granite that were originally polished to a shine. Its floors were paved with white alabaster. A door then led to a T-shaped room that makes up the majority of the temple. This region was also wrapped pink polished granite and open with alabaster white, although it was also adorned with sixteen simple blocks of pink granite pillars, many of which are still in place today, which supported architrave blocks of the same material, bound with strips shaped copper swallow tail. These in turn supported the roof.

A view of the valley temple of Khafre

Here in the darkness provided by the slots on top of the walls, stood as twenty-four statues of the king (although a statue base in the middle which is larger than the others may have been counted twice) in diorite, slate and alabaster. This line of statues continues along the cross of the T-shaped hall ending at a door that leads into a hallway from which a staircase winding ramp to the right and above the corridor before ending on the roof of the temple of the valley.

On the south side of the roof was a small courtyard, located directly above six storage rooms also built of pink granite and arranged in two stories of three units each. These were incorporated into the masonry base of the T-shaped room Symbolic ducts lined with alabaster, a material specifically identified with purification, run from the court of the temple roof down into the deep, dark rooms below. These symbolic circuits traverse the entire temple, taking in both the chthonic and solar aspects of the beliefs of life after death and embalming ritual for which the valley temple was the scene, according to some Egyptologists .

Yet another view of the valley temple

Therefore, the Polish scientist Bernhardt Grdseloff proposed that purification rituals were carried out on the roof terrace in a tent specially built for this purpose. Then, it was hypothesized that the body was embalmed in the antechamber temple. A French Egyptologist, Etienne Drioton proposed a similar view, only the switching locations in the anteroom for the purification and embalming on the roof terrace. However, Ricke correctly noted that these types of rituals required considerable water was available near the canal, therefore, at best, the priests of the temple of the valley have performed the symbolic ritual.

At the other end of the cross in the T-shaped room (north), an opening gave way to a passage, also paved with alabaster, which led to the northwest corner of the temple and he joined the road.

 The Causeway

A corridor carved out separate from the floor of the ruined Temple of Great Sphinx and the valley temple rock. The floor extends some forty six meters connecting these structures with the mortuary temple just before the main pyramid. He did not run exactly in the east-west axis of the pyramid and mortuary temple, but a little south-east of it due to the fact that the valley temple was erected a little off of proportion to the Great Sphinx and the mortuary temple. Archaeologists believe that floor was probably a covered corridor built of limestone and bordered on the outside by blocks of pink granite. In what may have been decorated with bas-reliefs.

The mortuary temple

The road enters the mortuary temple near the southern end of the front facade.

Floor plan for the mortuary temple

The mortuary temple, the later pyramid complexes difference, does not border directly against the pyramid, but was rather separated from the wall by the court of the pyramid. Rectangular in its ground plan, it is oriented east-west and has built in local limestone walls that are cased in fine limestone, a technique introduced in this structure. Inside, the building was almost entirely surrounded by granite. The mortuary temple, in its basic design, the foundation for the mature mortuary temples ultimately developed by Sahure at Abusir, including an entrance hall, an open courtyard, five statue chapels, various shops and a hall offers. This structure marks a real architectural advance, being both larger than the previous examples and for the first time, including all five elements that would become the norm.

The entrance to the mortuary temple is run by a small anteroom decorated with a pair of monolithic pillars of pink granite. About the entrance area had few bedrooms (two granite immediately to the left of the entrance, and at the other end of a small corridor that runs along the front of the temple, four rooms lined with alabaster ) which are supposed to have been ancillary storage or serdabs. Ricke, in his investigation of the mortuary temple, found this area a striking resemblance to the valley temple, and felt it was a kind of rehearsal. He designated the area as "ante-temple" (Vortempel) and the remaining area of ​​mortuary temple as the "temple of worship" (Verehrungstempel).

The anteroom in turn leads into the entrance hall itself where there were more than twelve pairs of pillars similar to those in the antechamber. The lobby had an initial ground plane of an inverted T Therefore, the first part of the hall was transverse, with recessed bays. She in turn leads to a rectangular section. Off of the cross section of the room, two long narrow rooms branched off from each end, and it was suggested that huge statues of the king once graced these dark passages.
The ruins of the furneray temple today

After the lobby, there is a large open courtyard located near the middle of the temple. Paved in alabaster and oriented north-south slabs along its sides runs a covered walkway with a flat limestone slaps supported by broad pillars of pink granite roof. The lower part of this ambulatory was formed by a dado in red granite and limestone. It was covered with brightly colored reliefs which only fragments remain. Ricke thought that the ambulatory was led by 3.75 meters high statues of Khafre seated on his throne overlooking the courtyard, but Lehner believes these statues stood for the rule. Lehner bases his belief on the discovery of a small statuette in the workshops west of the pyramid. This artifact shows the king wearing the crown of Upper Egypt, standing in front of a kind of pillar. The remains of a small drainage channel was to suggest that an altar stood in the middle of the court.

 A door on the west side of the ambulatory contacted five chapels, long (actually niches) that also originally housed statues of the king. Another narrow corridor opens from the southwest corner of the court and led to a lobby offers located in the western part of the temple. The room was narrow, long room running north-south (as opposed to later mortuary temples) placed with a false door on the west wall, specifically the long axis of the pyramid. Between five cult chapels and lobby offers a group of five storage rooms were provided for vessels of worship and offerings used during various ceremonies.

A staircase in the northeast corner of the temple led to the roof terrace, while in the northwest corner of the courtyard, another corridor leads to the confines of the paved pyramid.
Although each of them had apparently been looted in antiquity, there were five bits boats found outside the mortuary temple. Two of them were on the north of the temple, while three were in the south. Another pit may have been expected. All these elements have been carved into the rock in the form of a boat. Two pits kept their capstones, although all stands were looted, probably during antiquity.


The correct pyramid

The pyramid is surrounded Khafre inside huge stone wall, in which is an open barely ten meters wide which defines the four sides of the pyramid it appropriate court. The courtyard is paved with limestone slabs of irregular shape.


Map showing the two entrance to the pyramid

Because of this structure in two different entries, some Egyptologists believe that the main pyramid of Chephren was originally designed to be big and stick a little further north then its position over. However, modern scholars with considerable expertise in this pyramid, as Lehner, doubt this hypothesis. As the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt and others, the structure of Khafre enjoys a rocky outcrop at the same time to increase the stability of its core, and to keep the amount of necessary construction materials needed for its construction . In fact, the lowest levels of their southwest corner are actually pirated the bedrock. The surface bedrock northwest had to be cut down some 10 meters of its ancient builders, while the south-eastern corner was to be built with huge blocks of masonry. However, by far the core material of the pyramid consists of blocks of limestone from local quarries having substantially the same height. Nearby to the north of their pyramid, you can still clearly see the traces of how these blocks were extracted. The blocks were not laid with the care that was given at the base of the pyramid of Khufu, for the layers do not always run exactly horizontal and the joints are sometimes very wide. Often there is no mortar between blocks. In fact, because the four corner angles are not quite properly aligned to meet the pyramid apex, there is a very slight twist at the top.


Rooms and corridors withing the pyramid
Baseline levels of the envelope were made of pink granite, while the upper layers, which become much smaller upward (thickness about a cubit) are Turah beautiful limestone. The outer faces of the housing blocks are often offset by a few millimeters instead of hunting, which may mean they have faced before placement. As the capstone and the summit were lost at the top of the pyramid, a small portion of the initial funding is in place, which helps us to see how the finishing blocks were laid and connected to the base of the pyramid. However, because it is clear that the remaining budget is eroding, recent investigations by Italian experts have shown that the remaining edges of the mantle are not completely right. The individual blocks are slightly turned in different directions. An analysis of this feature suggests that it was the result of seismic activity. Small earthquakes are not uncommon in ancient Egypt, as they are also known to occur in modern times.
The older of the two entries in the subterranean depths of the pyramid of Khafre is now in the ground a hundred feet north of the pyramid. Carved completely out of the basement rock, it is sometimes called the "lower entry." This portal communicates with a corridor down initially before running horizontally. Horizontal branch in this corridor, a passage gives way to the west wall in a small room off the base and with a pented roof, where part of the funerary equipment might be preserved. After the horizontal section of the hallway, he finally gets into a horizontal corridor shared by the "top entry".

The burial chamber in the pyramid of Khafre

The second portal, known as the "upper entrance" is located in the north wall of the pyramid face about twelve meters above ground level. It communicates with a corridor lined with pink granite that descends from first before extending horizontally at the base of the pyramid. At the transition point between the descending and horizontal sections, there is a barrier made of pink granite, which in ancient grave robbers managed to dig around. The horizontal passage continues south after the barrier, to finally reach the burial chamber, which lies on the vertical axis of the pyramid. Given the location and relatively simple construction of the access corridor and the burial chamber it is likely that the architects of this pyramid sought to avoid the complications that the builders of the pyramid of Cheops had met with their system technically difficult passages, obstacles and rooms.As in previous pyramids, the burial chamber has a floor plan east-west rectangular which places at a right angle with the passage system. With the exception of the ceiling, it was completely excavated out of the rock. Located on the base of the pyramid, the gear ceiling of the burial chamber is constructed from huge blocks of limestone pented. Originally, the intention was perhaps to cover the walls of the burial chamber of the room in pink granite.There are tree entries in both the north and south walls of the burial chamber, which at first seem similar to those of the Queen and King cambers of the Great Pyramid, but are rather short horizontal openings that could be used to build a wooden structure inside the tomb.


The Sarcophagus

Near the west wall of the burial chamber, almost directly under the vertical axis of the pyramid located in a niche is the black granite sarcophagus of the king who was originally topped by a sliding cover. The lid was found in two parts nearby. Near the sarcophagus, a small tree in the ground probably held royal canopic vessel, which was the first instance of the funerary equipment placed in a pyramid .. Not positively identified the mummy of the king or his other funerary equipment remains were found in the pyramid.
The pyramid of worship

A small pyramid of worship almost completely destroyed (G 2a) is located on the axis of the southern shore of the main pyramid Khafre . Cult or satellites as they are sometimes called pyramids are considered derivative of southern tomb complex of Djoser at Saqqara, and perhaps for the burial of statues dedicated to spiritual ka or double, the king. Originally, he was surrounded by its own wall. It has a simple structure that consists of a descending corridor gives way to an underground chamber with a ground plane in the form of T. Because this room contained pieces of wood, beads carnelian, animal bones and tank covers, and Maragioglio Rinaldi concluded fragments that must have served as a tomb for one of the spouses Khafre. However, Stadelmann opposed this view, arguing that it was a pyramid of worship. His opinion is supported by the cult pyramid attached to the complex of Khufu on the southeast corner.Specifically, Lehner believes that the wood consists of a frame of cedar wood in the form of a divine or sah netjer stand, which was used to transport a statue to be buried in the section of this small pyramid. 

Other structures

In the early 1880s, Petrie also found west of the Pyramid of Khafre beyond the outside wall itself, the ruins of a structure containing many, mainly east-west facing rooms. He assumed, as some later investigators such as Holscher, it was the village of a worker who has filed the largest number four to five thousand men in 111 large rooms. However, later work by Lehner and Hawass seems to suggest that this installation, rather than regulation, was rather a warehouse and workshops for the pyramid complex. Interestingly, the number of mollusc shells that were found here also suggest that the surrounding area was arid desert rather than as it is today, a kind of savannah flora and fauna matching.
Violation of the Pyramid

Maybe from the First Intermediate Period, as in the case of other pyramids, the thieves had probably broken into the tomb of Khafre. Registration by the "overseer of temple construction" indicate that already during the 19th Dynasty, considerable damage has already occurred. Actually written sources indicate that, on the orders of Ramses II, the case of the pyramid Khafre was used for the construction of a temple in Heliopolis. Other sources indicate that a large part of the envelope of the pyramid was removed between 1356 and 1362 for use in the al-Hassan mosque.In any case, the Arab historian Ibn Abd as-Salaam records that the pyramid was opened in 774 AH (1372 CE), during the reign of Grand Emir el-Jalburgh Khassaki. It is possible that the tunnels that go around barriers granite in the inlet passage had been dug at the time.

 The Great Sphinx 

Boundary walls outside may be extended around the pyramid complex of Chephren, including the Great Sphinx. Close study by geologist Thmas Aigner geological layers of the Sphinx show it was closely related to the extraction and construction of the complex of Chephren.
Thus, it seems that it was a part of the complex of the Pyramid of Khafre. However, it is far from certain, here we have avoided the question for the moment, the election rather to discuss the Great Sphinx separately.

No comments:

Post a Comment