In the last edition of the Western Cemeteries we visited the field itself with George Reisner and the Hearst Expedition.  We will be visiting Reisner quite a bit, later in this series, but this time we are going to look in particular at the Italian Turin Mission, led by Ernesto Schiaparelli.  Schiaparelli is perhaps more associated with his discovery of the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, but he did receive the concession to explore the Western Cemetery for Italy, and he did do some work there.  Let’s take a look.

Just a couple of notes beforehand.  First, this edition is dedicated to my friend and G.P., Dr. Akshaya Patel, who had blessed me with good health, counsel, and conversation.  I am a man of my word – Dr. Patel, this is for you.  Second, as I am bringing the site back into current service, I am slowly approving and responding to literally hundreds of pending posts.  Please be patient!  

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We have examined how George Reisner developed his concept of the nucleus cemeteries, and how these grew into what we now call the Western Field, or, Western Necropolis. We have examined how the field was divided into three tracts so that concessions could be assigned to international missions. We will now begin looking at an assortment of the tombs themselves, beginning with George Reisner and the Hearst Expedition.

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We have been introduced to the Western Cemetery of Khufu, and how it began as nucleus cemeteries that expanded as additional mastabas and burials were added, creating the not-always-so-neat mosaic of a history in stone of the Fourth Dynasty, beginning with the reign of Pharaoh Khufu. Now the Egyptian authorities were going to allow three international missions to begin excavation in the Western Cemetery. But how would the concessions be divided? How was the decision made, as regards who digs where? In Part 3, we begin to demystify at least how this process began. As we go, we will see that concessions get passed on, swapped, and at least temporarily, set aside. The concessions at Giza today may look somewhat differently, but at least in the beginning of the Twentieth Century, this is how it started.
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14
Jun

Khufu’s Western Cemetery Part 2: The Nucleus Cemeteries

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: Old Kingdom, Tombs


We introduced the subject of Khufu’s Western Cemetery in the last article of this series. Before we can begin an organized delve into the mastabas themselves, we first need to understand a couple of key concepts. We need to know about the nucleus cemeteries and how they expanded into the necropolis we seek to study (the subject of this article), and how the Western Cemetery was carved up into concessions (the subject of the next article). So, how did the Western Cemetery evolve?

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7
Jun

Khufu’s Western Cemetery Part 1: Introduction

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: Old Kingdom, Tombs

Khufu's Western Cemetery Part 1 - Introduction

With the Scan Pyramids project doing work in the field, and the Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts Boston Giza Archive Project being reinvented as Digital Giza, it seems the Old Kingdom is in the air. Many of you have been following my Western Cemetery series on Facebook in the Old Kingdom Egyptology Group, but there is a need for a more permanent home for the series, which is a great reason to jump start Em Hotep!

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11
Nov

Scan Pyramids Mission – A Preview

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: Egypt in the News

sp001 - tagThis is just a quick introduction to the Scan Pyramids Mission written by Marc Chartier and myself, in consultation with members of the Scan Pyramids Mission who have recently returned from Cairo.  Our intention is to put this project into the context of some of the theories that have been asserted about the Great Pyramid.  As this project unfolds, some of these theories may stand, some may fall.  Stay tuned to Em Hotep, Pyramidales, and Égypte actualités as the Scanning Pyramids Mission unfolds for exclusives.  They are just getting started…  Enjoy!

For the French version, Visit Marc Chartier’s Pyramidales, otherwise, read on..

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generic emhotep tab BHi There!  Em Hotep, which has been inactive for a year (the website, at least), is in the process of coming back to life.  While this is going on, some strange happenings may occur, such as you getting notice that a post you submitted a year ago has finally been approved.  Sorry about that.  I am wading through literally thousands of spam messages (it seems the filter broke somewhere along the way) looking for the genuine comments.  If I miss any of you, my apologies in advance.  I am working on a more detailed post of what I have been up to (for the short answer, go here, as well as here) and what you can expect from Em Hotep as we return to the online Egyptological community.

Again, if your post gets accidentally deleted as we clean things up, I apologize.  If, however, your post was some variety of conspiracy theory, new age manifesto, or anything to do with ancient aliens, it wasn’t overlooked, it went out with the spam.  Sorry.  This is a site for Egyptology, not quackery.  And on that note…

Thanks for checking back in!

–Keith

19
Apr

Sarah Korcz – A New Interview with Jean-Pierre Houdin

   Posted by: Sarah Korcz   

Categories: Egypt in the News, Pyramids

skjph tabSarah Korcz, a senior at Community Montessori School in New Albany, Indiana, and an aspiring Egyptologist, has shared several of her Egyptological research papers with me, and expressed an interest in doing an article for Em Hotep.  Since we were about due for a catch-up session with Jean-Pierre Houdin, and I knew from some of our conversations that Sarah is keenly interested in Jean-Pierre’s work with pyramids, I asked her if she would like to interview him for the website.  She was quite happy to oblige.

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14
Apr

Em Hotep: Getting Caught Up!

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: Announcements

generic emhotep tab BFirst I just want to apologize for the long radio silence…  All is well, and some exciting things are on the way..

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20
Oct

The New Kingdom Chariot – An Em Hotep Interview with Kathy Hansen

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: New Kingdom

NKC - 000You have seen the ancient depictions of the pharaoh alone in his chariot with his bow drawn, the horses running in lockstep, as the battle raged around him.  And if you are like me, you have wondered if these are historical depictions or artistic license.  Few people know the specifics of New Kingdom chariots like Kathy Hansen, who appeared as one of the experts in the NOVA special “Building Pharaoh’s Chariot”.  Last Spring Kathy took some time to answer these questions and others for Em Hotep.  After some delays (all of them my fault) we are finally able to bring the results to you…

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jphspx-00With the support of architectural and topographic evidence, Jean-Pierre Houdin is convinced that the Giza Sphinx represents King Khufu.

For the last fifteen years, Jean-Pierre Houdin has considered the Giza Plateau to be an area particularly rich and fruitful for research.  The architect has notably focused on the star of the site: the Great Pyramid, to which he has devoted an evolving theory, developed in Khufu Revealed, then in Khufu Reborn; these are two installments in the ongoing story of the reconstruction of the building site of this marvel of stone, which was largely echoed by Pyramidales.

Broadening his focus to the whole Giza Plateau, but without moving away from his “preferred” building site, Jean-Pierre Houdin came naturally to integrate in his research another major piece of the great jigsaw puzzle that the Giza site represents: the Sphinx. Jean-Pierre’s research into the Sphinx is guided by these two recurrent questions: What is the meaning of this colossal sculpture? To which King should it be tied?

Loyal to the techniques and teachings from his own profession as a builder, Jean-Pierre Houdin doesn’t take the risk of following the “traditional operating mode” of Egyptologists and other patented archaeologists.

Every man to his own trade…Jean-Pierre intends first of all, while taking into consideration the developments from those Egyptologists, to allow the topography of the Plateau to speak, examining how it evolved according to weather conditions and progress of building projects on the site such as the opening of quarries, the building of the ramps for the transport of materials, the construction of pyramids and in particular, the appearance of a certain…Sphinx!

At the end of the study, a conclusion will prevail: that the Sphinx is inseparable from Khufu. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Jean-Pierre Houdin agreed to describe his development, exclusively for Pyramidales (French version) and Em Hotep (English version), through an interview conducted through an exchange of e-mails. With regards to the technical nature of the topic, this method was imperative. This explains the sometimes “didactic” nature of the answers which was required for clarity.

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jphspx2 - 00Last week we published Part One of Marc Chartier’s interview with Jean-Pierre Houdin regarding the Great Sphinx.  In that installment Jean-Pierre made the case for Khufu being the face which adorns the mighty guardian of the Memphis Necropolis.  This week, in Part Two, we will be looking at the physical evidence for setting a date for the Sphinx’s construction.  Enjoy!

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jphspx3 - 00We have seen over the past weeks the case for the Great Sphinx having been constructed during the Fourth Dynasty in honor of Pharaoh Khufu, based on the evidence of the Plateau itself.  In Part Three Jean-Pierre Houdin examines the evidence of other features of the Giza Plateau where the ancient builders seem to have labored to channel the water runoff that threatened their monuments.

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6
Jun

ARCE 2013 – The Em Hotep Synopsis

   Posted by: Keith Payne   

Categories: Egypt in the News

000 - arce synopsisBetter late than ever, the synopses for eleven of the ARCE 2013 panel sessions is now ready for your enjoyment.  Wonderful memories of some of the brightest Egyptologists now working in the field, many of these summaries were written with the direct assistance of the presenters themselves, and we are sure there is something (if not several somethings) here that will be of interest to you and your own passions in this very wide field.   Nighttime at ancient Deir el-Medina, ritual battle scenes on tomb walls, ancient graffiti at Senwosret’s pyramid complex, coffin reuse, New Kingdom chariots, tomb robbery, and much more awaits you within…

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fsi-000What was the order of operations when it came to installing the facing stones on the large pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty?  Were they just ornamental or did they serve a larger purpose in the engineering of the pyramids themselves?  Was there a difference between how the rare instances of granite facing stones were installed and the Tura limestone facing blocks still visible on parts of the pyramids today?  Join us as we probe the thoughts of a man who spends more time systematically and scientifically studying the large pyramids than any other person alive, Jean-Pierre Houdin.

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