Mon, 10 June 2013
Sahure, Neferirkare and Raneferef.
The long reign of Sahure now draws to a close, and his son Neferirkare Kakai takes the throne.
The wife of Neferirkare, Khentykaus II, wields enormous influence from her position of power.
But...with the Sun Temples playing a major religious role in this period, how much do they clash with the king's authority?
We investigate these institutions and their impact.
Miroslav Verner. Abusir III: the Pyramid of Khentykaus II. 1995.
Paule Posener-Kriéger. Les Archives du Temple Funéraire de Neferirkare Kakai - Les Papyrous d'Abousir. 1976.
Wed, 29 May 2013
Sahure and the Royal Fleet
A new ruler comes to power: Sahure, son of Userkaf.
The new king commissions a magnificent fleet to vist the mysterious land of Punt.
To commemorate the voyage the king decorates his pyramid at Abusir in lavish style.
The organisation of temples gets a look-in.
One of the ships of Sahure's great royal fleet, from the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Tue, 7 May 2013
The Fifth Dynasty Begins.
The end of the Fourth Dynasty comes with the reigns of Shepseskaf and his brother, Userkaf.
These two rulers are guided (or led?) by their mother, Khentykaus I.
We also amend some of our conclusions from the previous episode.
Userkaf, first ruler of the Fifth Dynasty, initiates a significant new institution: the Sun Temple.
The deification of the king proceeds aided by the rise of Osiris.
[Right] The Pyramid of Userkaf, near the Step Pyramid of Djoser [left].
The monuments seen from the north, showing the terrible state of Userkaf's tomb.
Thu, 18 April 2013
Royal Women, Dynasty IV Ends.
The power of the throne is now in the hands of the queen Khentykaus I, a mother of two kings.
Although she may not be a full-fledged king, the queen wields significant power and influence.
Khentykaus I from her tomb at Giza; image from Miroslav Verner's Forgotten Pharaohs, Lost Pyramids.
A seated scribe of the early Fifth Dynasty. Pharaonic-monuments.blogspot.com
Mon, 15 April 2013
Menkaure and the Egyptian Economy
The death of Khafre sees his elder son Menkaure take the throne.
His pyramid, the third and smallest of Giza, reveals the strain on the Egyptian economy.
We discuss the economic nature of the Egyptian state and its relationship to the people.
Menkaure's Triad Statues: Hathor at [our] left, a nome goddess at right.
The Pyramid of Menkaure viewed from the courtyard of his mortuary temple.
The Pyramid of Menkaure, viewed from Khafre's pyramid.
The gash in the side is the remnant of a twelfth century attempt to demolish the pyramid.
Workers struggled for eight months to tear the stones down, but only succeeded in removing these few.
Egyptian building practices win the day!
Sun, 7 April 2013
Khafre: Giza Part II
Khufu passes to the afterlife, succeeded by two sons: Djedefre and Khafre.
We continue our discusison of the royal funeral cult, and its relationship to the priests as a group.
Khafre immortalises himself in the Great Sphinx of Giza, a monument of beauty and theological importance.
Khufu's royal ship, above and below. Buried by Djedefre in a pit next to his father's monument.
A cross-section of the ship, in model. Planks and beams were lashed together tightly,
in a sophisticated arrangement designed to ensure no leakages.
Khafre's pyramid, seen from the mastaba field west of Khufu's Great Pyramid.
The pyramid of Khafre, viewed from the court of his mortuary temple.
This would have been roofed in antiquity, and the priests would offer to the king's statues, which look like.....
The quarrie in which Khafre's pyramid is built.
Here you see the shape of the limestone blocks being prepared by the monument builders.
This arrangement covers quite a large area; probably used more for Khufu's monument than Khafre's.
The passage into Khafre's chamber. Mind your head.
Khafre's burial chamber. The body is long-lost.
Dehumidifiers keep the air dry from people's breath.
Giovanni Belzoni's testament to his successful entrance of the chamber on 2 March, 1818.
195 years have passed since that day.
All images (except Khafre's statues) by Dominic Perry, 2013.
Fri, 29 March 2013
The Great Pyramid
Onwards to Giza, where Khnum-Khufu commissions the largest stone building in history.
Thousands of labourers toil under the sun, but it is the planning, organisation and
working environment into which we delve as we continue the narrative of the Old Kingdom.
A reconstructed carrying chair from the tomb of Queen Hetep-heres I. Pharaonic-monuments.blogspot.com
All photos by Dominic Perry, 2013.
Wed, 27 March 2013
The Prince Rahotep and the Princess Nofret
In the early Fourth Dynasty, Prince Rahotep, son of Sneferu, was embarking on his career in the government. This work would consume all his years, as he rose from post to post, finally reaching the highest offices of the land.
We know of Rahotep from his magnificent tomb at Meidum, which housed a pair of statues: Rahotep and his wife, Nofret, enthroned for eternity.
Rahotep and Nofret, via studyblue.com
Miroslav Barta, Journey to the West, 2011
Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2010
Gay Robins, The Art of Ancient Egypt, 1997.
Direct download: 5b._Mini_Episode_-_The_Prince_of_Beers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am FJT
Mon, 25 March 2013
Dynasty IV: Sneferu and the First Pyramid
A new dynasty has begun with the king Sneferu ("one who causes fine things").
The attempt to construct the world's first "true" pyramid would see numerous false starts
and catastrophes before the king's architects got it right.
Egypt also begins to raid the Nubians and Libyans.
Trade ships appear from Syria-Palestine, and at home the King's aura of mystical power is strengthened.
The collapsed Pyramid of Meidum. Strike I.
Direct download: Episode_5_-_He_Who_Makes_Beautiful_Things.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am FJT
Mon, 11 March 2013
Djoser (Part II): Imhotep and Elephantine.
Djoser's Step Pyramid is completed. Imhotep returns, and later becomes a patron deity of wisdom and learning.
Elephantine, one of the best sources for Old Kingdom villages and architecture, gets a look-in.
2014 update: a pyramid at Edfu has been revealed by Egyptologists! It may be one of the ceremonial pyramids commissioned by Huni up and down the Nile valley. View the photos below or on Live Science.
The ceremonial pyramid of Edfu.