Thursday, January 21, 2010

In the field: Update re Giza from Hawass

Press Release. Here's an extract. There are more details and photos on the above page.

The most important tomb is the one belonging to Idu. It is rectangular in structure with a mud brick outside casing covered with plaster. It has several burial shafts cased with white limestone, as well as niches in front of each shaft.

Adel Okasha, supervisor of the excavation, said that the upper part of Idu’s tomb had a vaulted shape, symbolizing the eternal hill from which the human creation began, according to the Memphis religious tradition. This shape, said Okasha, is strong evidence that this tomb dates to the early 4th Dynasty. This shape is also similar to those of tombs located beside Snefru’s pyramid in Dahshur.

On the western side of Idu’s tomb, the mission uncovered another collection of workmen’s tombs as well as the remains of coffins, while on its southern side another large tomb has been found. It is a rectangular shaped tomb built of mud brick with several burial shafts, each one containing a bent skeleton along with sherds of clay.

Evidence uncovered also revealed that the families in the Delta and Upper Egypt sent 21 cattle and 23 sheep to the plateau every day to feed the workers. Hawass pointed out that the families who sent these were not paying their taxes to the Egyptian government, but rather they were sharing in one of Egypt’s national projects. The number of workers did not exceeded 10,000, said Hawass, contradictory to Herodotus, who recorded that the number of workers reached 100,000.

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