Monday, June 20, 2016

Middle Kingdom Pyramids

     Adela Oppenheim also spoke at the ARCE pyramid conference in Philadelphia. Her topic was the Metroplitan Museum’s work at the pyramid of Senwosret III and her lecture was entitled “Looking Back, Moving Forward: The Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III as Dashur”. Dr. Oppenheim mentioned some interesting things:

·               The pyramid of Userkaf (Fifth Dynasty) appears to be the first pyramid with an extensive decorative scheme

·               Amenemhat I started a pyramid at Thebes (I did not know this), but then moves the capital north and built a pyramid at Lisht. The subsidiary burials around his Lisht pyramid do not seem to have ever had superstructures. A two volume set detailing the Met’s findings at Amenemhat’s pyramid was published earlier this year

·               De Morgan did some sloppy excavations of the pyramids of Amenemhat II and III as well as at the pyramid of Senwosret III, excavating all three in less than two seasons (!!!)

·             The enclosure wall at the pyramid of Senwosret III was similar in style to that of the step pyramid of Djoser; the wall was originally plastered and white washed

·              Senwosret III’s burial chamber shows no evidence that it was ever used; was the king buried at Abydos?

·              This pyramid (Senwosret's) had a scene of “starving foreigners" on the walls of its causeway (like the one on the causeway of Unas' pyramid); this scene was for many years thought to be unique to the causeway of Unas’ pyramid. We now know that the causeway of Sahure’s pyramid also had such a scene, so it must now be considered a “stock scene” and not something that reflects an actual event during the reign of Unas

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