Third Dynasty of Egypt
The Third Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Other dynasties of the Old Kingdom include the Fourth and Sixth; the capital during the period of the Old Kingdom was at Memphis. After the turbulent last years of the Second Dynasty which might have included civil war, Egypt came under the rule of Djoser and this marks the beginning of the Third Dynasty. Both the Turin King List and the Abydos King List record five kings, while the Saqqara Tablet only records four; the Turin King List gives: Nebka, Djoserti, Hudjefa I, Huni The Abydos King List gives: Nebka, Teti and Neferkare The Saqqara Tablet gives: Djoser, Djoserteti and HuniThe archaeological evidence shows that Khasekhemwy, the last ruler of the Second Dynasty, was succeeded by Djoser, who at the time was only attested by his presumed Horus name Netjerikhet. Djoser's successor was Sekhemkhet; the last king of the dynasty is Huni. There are three remaining Horus names of known 3rd dynasty kings: Sanakht and Qahedjet.
One of these three went by the nebty name Nebka. Dating the Third Dynasty is challenging. Shaw gives the dates as being from 2686 to 2613 BC; the Turin King List suggests a total of 75 years for the third dynasty. Baines and Malek have placed the third dynasty as spanning the years 2650 – 2575 BC, while Dodson and Hilton date the dynasty to 2584 – 2520 BC, it is not uncommon for these estimates to differ by more than a century. The pharaohs of the Third Dynasty ruled for seventy-five years; the order of the kings is based on Wilkinson. The number of years as king, the regnal years, is based on Hilton, they have the dynasty lasting only 64 years. While Manetho names Necherophes, the Turin King List names Nebka, as the first pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, many contemporary Egyptologists believe Djoser was the first king of this dynasty, pointing out the order in which some predecessors of Khufu are mentioned in the Papyrus Westcar suggests that Nebka should be placed between Djoser and Huni, not before Djoser.
More seals naming Djoser were found at the entrance to Khasekhemwy's tomb at Abydos, which demonstrates that it was Djoser, rather than Sanakht, who buried and succeeded this king. The Turin King List scribe wrote Djoser's name in red ink, which indicates the Ancient Egyptians' recognition of this king's historical importance in their culture. In any case, Djoser is the best known king of this dynasty, for commissioning his vizier Imhotep to build the earliest surviving pyramids, the Step Pyramid; some authorities believe. Little is known for certain of Sekhemkhet. However, it is believed that Khaba built the Layer Pyramid at Zawyet el'Aryan
Basalt is a mafic extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of magnesium-rich and iron-rich lava exposed at or near the surface of a terrestrial planet or a moon. More than 90% of all volcanic rock on Earth is basalt. Basalt lava has a low viscosity, due to its low silica content, resulting in rapid lava flows that can spread over great areas before cooling and solidification. Flood basalt describes the formation in a series of lava basalt flows. By definition, basalt is an aphanitic igneous rock with 45–53% silica and less than 10% feldspathoid by volume, where at least 65% of the rock is feldspar in the form of plagioclase; this is as per definition of the International Union of Geological Sciences classification scheme. It is the most common volcanic rock type on Earth, being a key component of oceanic crust as well as the principal volcanic rock in many mid-oceanic islands, including Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Réunion and the islands of Hawaiʻi. Basalt features a fine-grained or glassy matrix interspersed with visible mineral grains.
The average density is 3.0 g/cm3. Basalt is defined by its mineral content and texture, physical descriptions without mineralogical context may be unreliable in some circumstances. Basalt is grey to black in colour, but weathers to brown or rust-red due to oxidation of its mafic minerals into hematite and other iron oxides and hydroxides. Although characterized as "dark", basaltic rocks exhibit a wide range of shading due to regional geochemical processes. Due to weathering or high concentrations of plagioclase, some basalts can be quite light-coloured, superficially resembling andesite to untrained eyes. Basalt has a fine-grained mineral texture due to the molten rock cooling too for large mineral crystals to grow; these phenocrysts are of olivine or a calcium-rich plagioclase, which have the highest melting temperatures of the typical minerals that can crystallize from the melt. Basalt with a vesicular texture is called vesicular basalt, when the bulk of the rock is solid; this texture forms when dissolved gases come out of solution and form bubbles as the magma decompresses as it reaches the surface, yet are trapped as the erupted lava hardens before the gases can escape.
The term basalt is at times applied to shallow intrusive rocks with a composition typical of basalt, but rocks of this composition with a phaneritic groundmass are referred to as diabase or, when more coarse-grained, as gabbro. Gabbro is marketed commercially as "black granite." In the Hadean and early Proterozoic eras of Earth's history, the chemistry of erupted magmas was different from today's, due to immature crustal and asthenosphere differentiation. These ultramafic volcanic rocks, with silica contents below 45% are classified as komatiites; the word "basalt" is derived from Late Latin basaltes, a misspelling of Latin basanites "very hard stone", imported from Ancient Greek βασανίτης, from βάσανος and originated in Egyptian bauhun "slate". The modern petrological term basalt describing a particular composition of lava-derived rock originates from its use by Georgius Agricola in 1556 in his famous work of mining and mineralogy De re metallica, libri XII. Agricola applied "basalt" to the volcanic black rock of the Schloßberg at Stolpen, believing it to be the same as the "very hard stone" described by Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historiae.
Tholeiitic basalt is rich in silica and poor in sodium. Included in this category are most basalts of the ocean floor, most large oceanic islands, continental flood basalts such as the Columbia River Plateau. High and low titanium basalts. Basalt rocks are in some cases classified after their titanium content in High-Ti and Low-Ti varieties. High-Ti and Low-Ti basalts have been distinguished in the Paraná and Etendeka traps and the Emeishan Traps. Mid-ocean ridge basalt is a tholeiitic basalt erupted only at ocean ridges and is characteristically low in incompatible elements. E-MORB, enriched MORB N-MORB, normal MORB D-MORB, depleted MORB High-alumina basalt may be silica-undersaturated or -oversaturated, it has greater than 17% alumina and is intermediate in composition between tholeiitic basalt and alkali basalt. Alkali basalt is poor in silica and rich in sodium, it may contain feldspathoids, alkali feldspar and phlogopite. Boninite is a high-magnesium form of basalt, erupted in back-arc basins, distinguished by its low titanium content and trace-element composition.
Ocean island basalt Lunar basalt The mineralogy of basalt is characterized by a preponderance of calcic plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene. Olivine can be a significant constituent. Accessory minerals present in minor amounts include iron oxides and iron-titanium oxides, such as magnetite and ilmenite; because of the presence of such oxide minerals, basalt can acquire strong magnetic signatures as it cools, paleomagnetic studies have made extensive use of basalt. In tholeiitic basalt and calcium-rich plagioclase are common phenocryst minerals. Olivine may be a phenocryst, when
Hotepsekhemwy is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king, the founder of the 2nd dynasty. The exact length of his reign is not known. Egyptologists consider both statements to be exaggerations, they credit Hotepsekhemwy with either a 25- or a 29-year rule. Hotepsekhemwy's name has been identified by archaeologists at Sakkara, Giza and Abydos from clay seal impressions, stone vessels and bone cylinders. Several stone vessel inscriptions mention Hotepsekhemwy along with the name of his successor Raneb; the Horus name of Hotepsekhemwy is the subject of particular interest to Egyptologists and historians, as it may hint at the turbulent politics of the time. The Egyptian word "Hotep" means "peaceful" and "to be pleased" though it can mean "conciliation" or "to be reconciled", too. So Hotepsekhemwy's full name may be read as "the two powers are reconciled" or "pleasing in powers", which suggests a significant political meaning. In this sense, "the two powers" could be a reference to Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt as well as to the major deities Horus and Seth.
From the reign of Hotepsekhemwy onward it became a tradition to write the Horus name and the nebty name in the same way. It is thought that some kind of philosophic background affected that choice, since the Horus name reveals a defined, symbolic meaning in its translation. Horus- and nebty names being the same might indicate, that the Horus name was adopted after ascending the throne; the name of Hotepsekhemwy's wife is unknown. A “son of the king” and “priest of Sopdu” named Perneb might have been his son, but since the clay seals providing his name and titles were found in a gallery tomb, attributed to two kings it is uncertain whose son Perneb was. Hotepsekhemwy is identified with the Ramesside cartouche names Bedjau from the Abydos king list, Bedjatau from Giza, Netjer-Bau from the Sakkara king list and the name Bau-hetepju from the royal canon of Turin. Egyptologist Wolfgang Helck points to the similar name Bedjatau, which appears in a short king list found on a writing board from the mastaba tomb G1001 of the high official Mesdjeru.
"Bedjatau" means "the foundryman" and is thought to be a misreading of the name "Hotepsekhemwy", since the hieroglyphic signs used to write "Hotep" in its full form are similar to the signs of a pottery kiln and a chick in hieratic writings. The signs of two Sekhem sceptres were misread as a drill. A similar phenomenon might have occurred in the case of King Khasekhemwy, where the two sceptres in the Horus name were misread as two leg-symbols or two drill-signs; the Abydos king list imitates this Old Kingdom name form of “Bedjatau”. The names "Netjerbau" and "Bau-hetepju" are problematic, since Egyptologists can't find any name source from Hotepsekhemwy's time that could have been used to form them. Little is known about Hotepsekhemwy's reign. Contemporary sources show that he may have gained the throne after a period of political strife, including ephemeral rulers such as Horus "Bird" and Sneferka; as evidence of this, Egyptologists Wolfgang Helck, Dietrich Wildung and George Reisner point to the tomb of king Qaa, plundered at the end of 1st dynasty and was restored during the reign of Hotepsekhemwy.
The plundering of the cemetery and the unusually conciliatory meaning of the name Hotepsekhemwy may be clues of a dynastic struggle. Additionally, Helck assumes that the kings Sneferka and Horus “Bird” were omitted from king lists because their struggles for the Egyptian throne were factors in the collapse of the first dynasty. Seal impressions provide evidence of a new royal residence called "Horus the shining star", constructed by Hotepsekhemwy, he built a temple near Buto for the little-known deity Netjer-Achty and founded the "Chapel of the White Crown". The white crown is a symbol of Upper Egypt; this is thought to be another clue to the origin of Hotepsekhemwy's dynasty, indicating a source of political power. Egyptologists such as Nabil Swelim point out that there is no inscription from Hotepsekhemwy's reign mentioning a Sed festival, indicating the ruler cannot have ruled longer than 30 years; the ancient Egyptian historian Manetho called Hotepsekhemwy Boëthôs and reported that during this ruler's reign "a chasm opened near Bubastis and many perished".
Although Manetho wrote in the 3rd century BC – over two millennia after the king's actual reign – some Egyptologists think it possible that this anecdote may have been based on fact, since the region near Bubastis is known to be seismically active. The location of Hotepsekhemwy's tomb is unknown. Egyptologists such as Flinders Petrie, Alessandro Barsanti and Toby Wilkinson believe it could be the giant underground Gallery Tomb B beneath the funeral passage of the Unas-necropolis at Saqqara. Many seal impressions of king Hotepsekhemwy have been found in these galleries. Egyptologists such as Wolfgang Helck and Peter Munro are not convinced and think that Gallery Tomb B is instead the burial site of king Raneb, as several seal impressions of this ruler were found there. Francesco Raffaele: Hotepsekhemwy - Hotep
Saqqara spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English, is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas. Located some 30 km south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km. At Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built: Djoser's step pyramid, built during the Third Dynasty. Another 16 Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now in various states of preservation or dilapidation. High officials added private funeral monuments to this necropolis during the entire pharaonic period, it remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times. North of the area known as Saqqara lies Abusir; the area running from Giza to Dahshur has been used as a necropolis by the inhabitants of Memphis at different times, it was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
Some scholars believe that the name Saqqara is not derived from the ancient Egyptian funerary deity, but from a local Berber Tribe called Beni Saqqar. The earliest burials of nobles can be traced back to the First Dynasty, at the northern side of the Saqqara plateau. During this time, the royal burial ground was at Abydos; the first royal burials at Saqqara, comprising underground galleries, date to the Second Dynasty. The last Second Dynasty king, was buried in his tomb at Abydos, but built a funerary monument at Saqqara consisting of a large rectangular enclosure, known as Gisr el-Mudir, it inspired the monumental enclosure wall around the Step Pyramid complex. Djoser's funerary complex, built by the royal architect Imhotep, further comprises a large number of dummy buildings and a secondary mastaba. French architect and Egyptologist Jean-Philippe Lauer spent the greater part of his life excavating and restoring Djoser's funerary complex. Tomb of king Hotepsekhemwy tomb of king Nynetjer Buried Pyramid, funerary complex of king Sekhemkhet Gisr el-Mudir, funerary complex of king Khasekhemwy Step Pyramid, funerary complex of king Djoser Nearly all Fourth Dynasty kings chose a different location for their pyramids.
During the second half of the Old Kingdom, under the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties, Saqqara was again the royal burial ground. The Fifth and Sixth Dynasty pyramids are not built wholly of massive stone blocks, but instead with a core consisting of rubble, they are less well preserved than the world-famous pyramids built by the Fourth Dynasty kings at Giza. Unas, the last ruler of the Fifth Dynasty, was the first king to adorn the chambers in his pyramid with Pyramid Texts. During the Old Kingdom, it was customary for courtiers to be buried in mastaba tombs close to the pyramid of their king. Thus, clusters of private tombs were formed in Saqqara around the pyramid complexes of Unas and Teti. Mastabet el-Fara'un, tomb of king Shepseskaf Pyramid complex of king Userkaf Haram el-Shawaf, pyramid complex of king Djedkare Pyramid of king Menkauhor Mastaba of Ti Mastaba of the Two Brothers Pyramid complex of king Unas Mastaba of Ptahhotep Pyramid complex of king Teti Mastaba of Mereruka Mastaba of Kagemni Mastaba of Akhethetep Pyramid complex of king Pepi I Pyramid complex of king Merenre Pyramid complex of king Pepi II Tomb of Perneb Pyramid of king Ibi From the Middle Kingdom onward, Memphis was no longer the capital of the country, kings built their funerary complexes elsewhere.
Few private monuments from this period have been found at Saqqara. Pyramid of king Khendjer Pyramid of an unknown king During the New Kingdom Memphis was an important administrative and military centre, being the capital after the Amaran Period. From the Eighteenth Dynasty onward many high officials built tombs at Saqqara. While still a general, Horemheb built a large tomb here, although he was buried as pharaoh in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. Other important tombs belong to the vizier Aperel, the vizier Neferrenpet, the artist Thutmose, the wet-nurse of Tutankhamun, Maia. Many monuments from earlier periods were still standing, but dilapidated by this period. Prince Khaemweset, son of Pharaoh Ramesses II, made repairs to buildings at Saqqara. Among other things, he restored the Pyramid of Unas and added an inscription to its south face to commemorate the restoration, he enlarged the Serapeum, the burial site of the mummified Apis bulls, was buried in the catacombs. The Serapeum, containing one undisturbed interment of an Apis bull and the tomb of Khaemweset, were rediscovered by the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette in 1851.
Several clusters of tombs of high officials, among which the tombs of Horemheb and of Maya and Merit. Reliefs and statues from these two tombs are on display in the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden, the Netherlands, in the British Museum, London. During the periods after the New Kingdom, when several cities in the Delta served as capital of Egypt, Saqqara remained in use as a burial ground for nobles. Moreover, the area became an important destination for pilgrims to a number of cult centres. Activities sprang up around the Serapeum, extensive underground galleries were cut into the rock as burial sites for large numbers of mummified ibises, cats and falcons. Several shaft tombs of officials o
Nynetjer is the Horus name of the third pharaoh of the Second Dynasty of Egypt. The length of his reign is unknown; the Turin Canon suggests an improbable reign of 96 years and Egyptian historian Manetho suggested that Nynetjer's reign lasted 47 years. Egyptologists question both statements as exaggerations, they credit Nynetjer with a reign of either 43 years or 45 years. Their estimation is based on the reconstructions of the well known Palermo Stone inscription reporting the years 7–21, the Cairo Stone inscription reporting the years 36–44. According to different authors, Nynetjer ruled Egypt from c. 2850 BC to 2760 BC or from c. 2760 BC to 2715 BC. Nynetjer is one of the best archaeologically attested kings of 2nd dynasty, his name appears in inscriptions on stone vessels and clay sealings in large numbers from his tomb at Sakkara. A large number of artifacts bearing his name were found in the tomb of king Peribsen at Abydos and in the galleries beneath the step pyramid of king Djoser. However, the datings of some inscriptions those made of black ink, caused some problems.
Writing experts and archaeologists such as Ilona Regulski point out that the ink inscriptions are of a somewhat date than the stone and seal inscriptions. She dates the ink markings to the reigns of kings such as Khasekhemwy and Djoser and assumes that the artifacts originated from Abydos. In fact, alabaster vessels and earthen jars with black ink inscriptions with similar font design showing Nynetjer's name were found in Peribsen's tomb. Nynetjer's name appears on a rock inscription near Abu Handal in Lower Nubia; this might represent a clue that Nynetjer sent a military expedition into this region, though the inscription only provides limited information. Nynetjer is identified with the Ramesside cartouche names Banetjer from the Abydos King List, Banetjeru from the Sakkara table and Netjer-ren from the Royal Canon of Turin; the Palermo Stone inscription presents an unusual goldname of Nynetjer: Ren-nebu, meaning "golden offspring" or "golden calf". This name appears on artefacts surviving from Nynetjer's lifetime and Egyptologists such as Wolfgang Helck and Toby Wilkinson think that it could be some kind of forerunner of the golden-Horus-name, established in the royal titulature at the beginning of 3rd dynasty under king Djoser.
Most of the information known about Nynetjer's reign are found on the main fragments of the Annal Stone of the 5th dynasty. The Palermo Stone lists the following events: 7th year: Escort of Horus... 8th year: Appearance of the king. Flood level: 1.57 metres. 9th year: Escort of Horus. Flood level: 1.09 metres 10th year: Appearance of the king of Lower- and Upper Egypt. Flood level: 1.09 metres. 11th year: Escort of Horus. Flood level: 1.98 metres. 12th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt. Flood level: 1.92 metres. 13th year: Escort of Horus. Flood level: 0.52 metres. 14th year: First celebration of "Hor-seba-pet". 15th year: Escort of Horus. Flood level: 2.15 metres. 16th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt. Flood level: 1.92 metres. 17th year: Escort of Horus. Flood level: 2.40 metres. 18th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt. Flood level: 2.21 metres. 19th year: Escort of Horus. Flood level: 2.25 metres. 20th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt. 21st year: Escort of Horus....
The Cairo Stone gives the years 36–44. The surface of the stone slab is damaged. Therefore, most of the events are illegible, except for the "birth" of an Anubis fetish and parts of a "Appearance of the king of Lower- and Upper Egypt"; the ancient Egyptian historian Manetho, over 2000 years called Nynetjer Binôthrís and said that during this ruler's reign "women received the right to gain royal dignity", meaning that women were allowed to reign like a king. Egyptologists such as Walter Bryan Emery assume that this reference was an obituary to the queens Meritneith and Neithhotep from the early 1st dynasty, both of whom are believed to have held the Egyptian throne for several years because their sons were too young to rule. During the reign of Nynetjer the yearly event'Escort of Horus' was replenished by an event called'cattle count', of highest economic importance to the Egyptian realm, because it was the official implementation of the yearly tax collections; this new state sourcing was held for all times from now on.
The event'Escort of Horus' was abandoned at the beginning of 3rd dynasty. Egyptologists such as Wolfgang Helck, Nicolas Grimal, Hermann Alexander Schlögl and Francesco Tiradritti believe that Nynetjer left a realm, suffering from an overly complex state administration and that Nynetjer decided to split Egypt to leave it to his two sons who would rule two separate kingdoms, in the hope that the two rulers could better administer the states. In contrast, Egyptologists such as Barbara Bell believe that an economic catastrophe such as a famine or
The Buried Pyramid is an unfinished step pyramid constructed ca. 2645 BC for Sekhemkhet Djoserty. This pharaoh was the second of the Third Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, which reigned over Egypt circa 2686–2613 BC and is placed at the beginning of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Many historians believe that the third dynasty played an important role in the transition from Early Dynastic Period of Egypt to the Age of the Pyramids; the pyramid may be visited. Sekhemkhet Djoserty was the successor to the better-known pharaoh Djoser, buried in his famous step pyramid at Saqqara; the buried pyramid was modelled after Djoser's step pyramid and is located several hundred metres southwest. It is arguable that the pyramid of Sekhemkhet was designed to surpass the step pyramid of Djoser but made it above ground level and hence was given the name the Buried Pyramid, its incompletion is thought to have been due to Sekhemkhet's short reign as ruler, six years. The Buried Pyramid was a unknown structure until, in 1951, Egyptologist Zakaria Goneim noticed the odd rectangular shape in the desert while excavating the nearby Unas complex.
A three part rubble-coursed enclosure wall was first discovered, by digging to its bottom, it was found to be 5,18 m tall and 18,28 m thick. He discovered that the wall further extended on both sides to dimensions of 518 m in the north-south axis and 182,8 m to the east-west and was full of false doors and niches; the pyramid itself was located at the centre of the complex, with a base length of 115 m, it had only one step and was unfinished. During the next stage of excavation, Goneim discovered a descending passage to the north side which led to a gallery blocked with rubble and masonry. There were a number of objects found during the excavation of this gallery including animal bones, demotic papyri, Third Dynasty stone vessels. In a decayed wooden casket, gold was discovered which included gold bracelets, cosmetic cases and jars inscribed with Sekhemkhet's name; when the blocked wall was breached, on May 31, 1954, an unfinished and undecorated burial chamber was discovered. Inside it, lay an alabaster sarcophagus cut from a single block with a vertical lid which seemed to still be sealed.
However, on June 26, 1954, after great difficulties to unblock and raise the lid, the sarcophagus was opened and to everyone's disappointment, it was empty. Criticism of Goneim and his subsequent suicide on January 12, 1959 dampened the interest in the pyramid and investigation was left incomplete. In 1963, the excavation was re-opened by Jean-Philippe Lauer due to the possibility of a south tomb and his desire to find the missing mummy. Lauer did indeed find a destroyed tomb under the southern side that at some point had been looted by robbers, he found a wooden coffin with the remains of an unidentified two-year-old child and gold leaf fragments. Sekhemkhet's pyramid complex was built southwest of Djoser's at Saqqara, it includes a pyramid, a subterranean structure and a necropolis complex; the name Imhotep appears on a section of the complex's enclosure wall. While the name itself contains no titles and thus it is uncertain if this is the same architect that planned Djoser's Step Pyramid, the line of succession and similar architectural features suggest such possibility.
The ancient name of Sekhemkhet's pyramid is unknown. Its present state is more similar to a mastaba; the pyramid's foundations stand upon an uneven rock surface, leading the builders to try to level the terrain by building terraces, some reaching ten metres high. The pyramid was to be stepped right from its inception. With a base 115 metres in length, it suggests that, if it had been completed, the superstructure would be taller than its neighbour, with seven steps and rising to 70 metres; as the pyramid was unfinished, it never received its limestone casing, but the construction technique can be still be made out: the limestone blocks are inclined inwards by 15°, with sloping courses of stone laid at right angles to the incline. The entrance to the subterranean structure lies to the north, starting with a narrow passage that descends for about 60,96 m until meeting a vertical shaft from the top of the corridor. At this spot, another passage leads down to a row of 136 unfinished galleries which forms a U shape around the pyramid.
Two further such magazine galleries appear right before the entrance to the burial chamber with a similar disposition, like their counterparts, they were never finished. The burial chamber has a base measurement of a height of 4,5 m, it was left unfinished, yet, it contained a complete burial arrangement. The sarcophagus is cut from a single block of fine alabaster; the complex is oriented with a north-south axis, but with an accuracy deviation of about 11°. One notable feature of this complex is an inner wall known as "White Wall" made out of limestone covered with red mason's lines and graffiti, it remain unknown whether Sekhemkhet's complex would include any mortuary temples or other features found in Djoser's complex. Its unfinished state presents difficulty for such conjectures; the actual entrance to the complex is unknown. In 1963, J. P. Lauer found, offset from the center to west axis of the pyramid and under a mastaba-like structur
Mark Lehner is an American archaeologist with more than 30 years of experience excavating in Egypt. He was born in North Dakota in 1950, his approach, as director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, is to conduct interdisciplinary archaeological investigation. Every excavated object is examined by specialists to create an overall picture of an archaeological site—from the buildings down to the pollen spores, his international team runs the Giza Plateau Mapping Project and mapping the ancient city of the builders of the Giza pyramid complex, which dates to the fourth dynasty of Egypt. He discovered that Pyramid G1-a, one of the subsidiary pyramids of the Great Pyramid, belonged to Hetepheres I. Lehner first went to Egypt as a student in the 1970s. Intrigued by the mysteries of the "Sleeping Prophet", Edgar Cayce, Lehner "found that initial notions about the ancient civilization along the Nile could not stand up to the bedrock reality of the Giza Plateau", he turned to the scientific method of discovery in order to understand the culture better, returning some years to complete a doctoral degree at Yale University.
Lehner's 1991 dissertation was titled Archaeology of an image: The Great Sphinx of Giza. Lehner's team has more included parts of Menkaure's valley temple and the town attached to the monument of Queen Khentkawes in their excavations. AERA's 2009 field season was recorded in a blog. AERA has conducted a number of archaeological field schools for Egyptian antiquities inspectors under the auspices of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities; the AERA team has run basic and advanced courses at Giza, as well as courses in salvage archaeology along the Avenue of Sphinxes north of Luxor Temple in the city of Luxor. Among his other work in Egypt, Lehner has produced the only known scale maps of the Giza Sphinx. Lehner's book, "The Complete Pyramids", is an exhaustive catalogue of Egypt's many pyramid sites, he has appeared in many television programs about Ancient Egypt. He is a visiting assistant professor of Egyptian archaeology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Lehner took part in an American Association for the Advancement of Science debate centered around controversy surrounding the age of the Sphinx at Giza.
Lehner has starred and aided in the production of several documentaries about the pyramids which are aired on the National Geographic Channel. He has insisted that the Giza Necropolis was built in a span of 85 years between 2589 and 2504 BC, despite continued opposition from fringe theorists who believe them to be much older. Into the Great Pyramid Mysteries of Egypt Saving the Sphinx Riddles of the Sphinx Heritage Key: Pyramid Builders Into the Great Pyramid Secrets of the Pharaohs: Lost City of the Pyramids Saving the Sphinx Egypt: Secrets of the Pharaohs Mummies: Tales from the Egyptian Crypts The Mystery of the Sphinx This Old Pyramid Mysteries of the Pyramids, LIVE The Egyptian Heritage: Based on the Edgar Cayce Readings, Virginia Beach: A. R. E. Press. ISBN 0-87604-071-7 The Complete Pyramids, Slovenia: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05084-8 AERA - includes links to Lehner videos at YouTube The Giza Plateau Mapping Project at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute Mark Lehner on IMDb Scholars Dispute Claim that Sphinx is Much Older