Posts Tagged ‘Mark Lehner’

000 rus sphinx 000Last year during the premiere of Giza 3D, Marc Chartier of Pyramidales and I had a chance to talk with Egyptologist Rus Gant, lead technical artist for the Giza Archives Project and Giza 3D.  In transcribing presentations from last year, I came across this fascinating “lost” discussion, and after working with Rus and Marc to clarify some points, we can now present it in an interview format for your enjoyment.  From the resources used to create Giza 3D to George Reisner’s ongoing legacy, join us for a chat with Rus Gant.

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Exhibit — Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Mummies, Exhibitions

Lost Egypt:  Ancient Secrets, Modern Science is a guided interactive exhibit where visitors will be challenged to perform archaeological work such as reconstructing a 3D puzzle of a broken artifact and using computer simulations of the tools archaeologists use to discover and analyze sites and explore a recreation of an Egyptian tomb.

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riddles of the sphinx-tabWho built the Great Sphinx?  Why did they build it?  How did they build it?  These questions and more are addressed in Riddles of the Sphinx, by the PBS series NOVA.

Featuring Mark Lehner, Zahi Hawass, Rick Brown, Gunter Dreyer, Richard Redding, Rainer Stadelman, and Fathi Mohamed.

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In the first part of January the media began breaking the news that the old yarn about slaves having built the pyramids had finally been dispelled.  Dr. Zahi Hawass of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities announced that three large tombs had been newly discovered very close to the pyramid itself.  As the final resting place of some of the overseers of the workforce, both the structure and location of the tombs made it clear that these were no slaves.

Dr. Hawass’ statement that “These tombs were built beside the king’s pyramid, which indicates that these people were not by any means slaves” (source) was widely repeated in the press under headlines announcing that the belief that slaves had built the pyramids could now be retired.  But Egyptologists have long known that the Slave Hypothesis was pure Hollywood. 

Along with Hawass, Egyptologist Mark Lehner began uncovering the truth of the pyramid builders more than 20 years ago.  Lehner was consumed with the question of where such a large workforce could have lived.  After conducting the first detailed “to scale” survey of the Giza Plateau, he narrowed his focus to the area around the enigmatic Wall of the Crow, a colossal wall with no apparent related structures.

Lehner hit pay dirt, and his dogged pursuit of these ancient builders led to the excavation of the very city where they lived and worked—a large complex of barracks and permanent housing, distribution centers, industrial sites, and scribal workshops.  The recently discovered tombs tell us something of the status of the workers, but the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders gives us the everyday details of their lives.

Most of Em Hotep’s readers will be familiar with Dr. Lehner and his work.  But if you are not, then his total absence from the recent news stories may have left you with an incomplete picture of just how strong the case against the Slavery Hypothesis really is.  In this three-part series we will take a look at what Lehner discovered about the pyramid builders.  We will examine the evidence that the workforce had a surprisingly modern division of labor, followed by a tour of the city itself.

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spx-tabAlmost everybody knows what the Great Sphinx of Giza is, but how much do we really know about it? In this article we will be looking at the role of sphinxes in Egyptian mythology—what they are, what they mean, and what they did. We will also be taking an in depth look at the history of the Great Sphinx. Who may have built it and why? When was it built? Do we really know?

We will also look at how the Great Sphinx’s significance in both religion and politics has changed over the many centuries of its known lifetime. From the ancient days of early Egypt, when little is really said about the Sphinx and its existence seems to be taken for granted, to the height of Egyptian culture, when the Sphinx was synonymous with the great solar deities and had the power to legitimize a king’s reign, the more we learn about the Sphinx, the more we know about Egypt.

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