Forging The Pharaoh’s Name

“Forgery as a means to fame and fortune is not uncommon in commerce and the arts, in science and antiquities. When exposed, it may cause loss and shame. When sustained, it may change the records of history.

“This, we believe, has happened to the Great Pyramid and its presumed builder, the Pharaoh named Khufu.

“Systematic and disciplined archaeological re-examination of pyramid sites that were hurriedly excavated a century and a half ago (many times by treasure hunters), has raised numerous questions regarding some of the earlier conclusions. It has been held that the Pyramid Age began withZoser’s step pyramid and was marked by successive progression toward a true pyramid, which finally succeeded. But why was it so important to achieve a true pyramid? If the art of pyramid building was progressively improved, why were the many pyramids which followed the Giza pyramids inferior, rather than superior to those of Giza?

“Was Zoser’s step pyramid the model for others, or was it itself an emulation of an earlier model? Scholars now believe that the first, smaller step pyramid that Imhotep built over the mastaba “was cased with beautiful, fine white limestone” (Ahmed FakhryThe Pyramids), “before this casing was complete, however, he planned another alteration” – the superimposition of an even larger pyramid. However, as new evidence suggests, even that final step pyramid was cased, to look like a true pyramid. The casing uncovered by archaeological missions of Harvard University led by George Reisner, was primitively made of mud bricks, which of course crumbled soon enough – leaving the impression that Zoser built a step pyramid. Moreover, these mud bricks, it was found, were whitewashed to simulate a casing of white limestone.

“Whom then was Zoser trying to emulate? Where had Imhotep seen a true pyramid already up and complete, smooth side and limestone casing and all? And another question: If, as the present theory holds, the attempts at Maidum and Sakkara to build a smooth, 52 degree pyramid had failed, and Sneferu had to “cheat” and build the presumed first true pyramid at an angle of only 43 degree – why did his son at once proceed to build a much larger pyramid at the precarious 52 degree – and supposedly managed to achieve that with no problem at all?j11129579isishorus

“If the pyramids at Giza were only “usual” pyramids in the successive chain of pyramid-per-Pharaoh – why did Khufu’s son Radedef not build his pyramid next to his father’s at Giza? Remember – the other two Giza pyramids were supposedly not be there yet, so Radedef had the whole site free to build as he pleased. And if his father’s architects and engineers mastered the art of building the Great Pyramid, where were they to help Radedef build a similar imposing pyramid, rather than the inferior and quickly crumbling one that bears his name?

“Was the reason that no other pyramid but the Great Pyramid possessed an Ascending Passage, that its unique Ascending Passage was successfully blocked until A.D. 820 – so that all who emulated this pyramid knew of a Descending Passage only?

“The absence of hieroglyphic inscriptions in the three pyramids of Giza is also a reason for wondering, as James Bonwick did a century ago (Pyramid Facts and Fancies):

“Who can persuade himself that the Egyptians would have left such superb monuments without at least hieroglyphical inscriptions – they who were profuse of hieroglyphics upon all the edifices of any consideration?”

The absence, one must surmise, stems from the fact that the pyramids had either:

  • been built before the development of hieroglyphic writing,
  • Or were not built by the Egyptians.

“These are some of the points that strengthen our belief that when Zoser and his successors began the custom of pyramid building, they set out to emulate the models that had already existed: the pyramids of Giza. They were not improvements on Zoser’s earlier efforts; rather, they wereprototypes which Zoser, and Pharaohs after him, attempted to emulate. 

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Ragnar Larsen

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