by. Dr. Zahi Hawass
The year 2016 revealed many secrets and we heard about many important discoveries. I will choose a few of these discoveries, such as the discovery made by Miroslav Barta from Prague University. The university found the remains of a large wooden boat. This boat was not royal and it is the first time to discover an Old Kingdom boat near a non-royal tomb, which could indicate the importance of its owner.
The Spanish Mission who was working at the Nobles Cemetery in Aswan found a mummy of a lady called “Satshiny,” dated to Dynasty 12 and she was one of the important ladies of the Middle Kingdom. She was the mother of two famous rulers of Aswan during the reign of king Amenmhat III. They were Heqaib III and Amini-Snb. Also, she was the daughter of Prince Seranput II.
Also, the German Expedition of Bonn University found a group of rock inscriptions dated to Prehistoric Period in the area of the Nobles tombs in Aswan. These are the oldest inscriptions to be discovered at this site, which can prove that people inhabited the area during this period.
But I think that the most important discovery that happened in the last few years is the discovery of the large papyrus in Wadi el-Jerf at the Red Sea. This papyrus is telling us about an overseer of the workmen called Mrr, who went with his group of workmen to Tureh , where the quarries of the white fine limestone that was used for the casing of the pyramids were. Also, he went to Sinai, maybe to bring copper from there. Mrr said that he was working on the construction of Khufu’s pyramid under the supervision of the architect Ankh-kaf and this happened in year 27 of Khufu’s reign and that they came back to a place called r-S, which means the “Mouth of the Lake,” and t it took them one day to go from r-S to the top of the plateau or more specifically to Khufu’s Pyramid.
During the Japanese work at the second boat pit located to the south of the Great Pyramid, the team found several copper tools buried in the pit. Were these made of the copper that Mrr brought from Sinai?
Also, Mrr stated that he was working under Anh-kaf. We previosuly thought that Ankh-Kaf was the architect who designed Khafre’s Pyramid, but it seems that Hemiunu, the architect of cousin of Khufu, who started the construction of the Great Pyramid when he was 25 years old, died during the construction of the pyramid. Also, this is the second time the year 27 of Khufu’s reign is found in inscriptions. The first occurance was found in a quarry in the Western Desert. Now why does the Turin Papyri mentione that Khufu ruled for 23 years. I think we have to believe now that the years that the king reigned were counted when they count the cattle. This should have happened every two years. Therefore, maybe every two years were counted for Khufu as one. In this case, Khufu could have ruled for more than 46 years. Some Egyptologists believe that he ruled between 30-32 years.
r-S, that translated to the “Mouth of the Lake,” was also mentioned in the Abusir papyri. The Mouth of the Lake should be the area in front of the harbor. Some scholars believe that r-S was in front of the harbor located at the Valley temple of Khafre. But, it was impossible for Mrr and his workmen to go from down the plateau to the top in one day only. The only logical idea is that r-S was located in Abusir.
I believe that the Red Sea papyrus is strong evidence for those pyramidiots who still believe that the aliens and other ancient civilizations built the pyramids. We as Egyptologists have concrete evidence that the builders of the pyramid were the ancient Egyptians.
I still cannot believe the two Germans who came to Egypt during the troubled time that Egypt had and entered inside the Great Pyramid with the help of some dishonest inspectors to take a sample from the red paint used to write one of the names of the workmen gangs who were building the pyramid. The name from which they took the sample was “ Friends of Khufu” gang. They went back to Germany and announced that the analysis of the red paint proved that the pyramid was 15,000 years old.
First, I would like to say that Khufu sent an expedition to the Western Desert to bring this red paint that was known to the ancient Egyptians as “Mefat.” It is very important to know that this quarry from which they brought the “Mefat” could be dated back to 15,000 years old. Therefore, the red paint has nothing to do with the age of the pyramid.
There are any people all over the world who still provide the public with wrong information. I heard an American tour guide telling his group that the Great Pyramid was built in 23 years and that the workmen only worked during the 4 months of the flood and all the stones that were used in the construction came from Tureh and also that the stones of the pyramid were 2,300,000 blocks. If one thinks according to this information, then it means that the Egyptians must have moved a stone every second. No human being can do that.
But all what he said is completely wrong because the stones used in the construction of the pyramid were quarried from the Giza plateau and only the blocks used in the casing were brought from Tureh. Also, the workmen worked everyday of the year, but their numbers could have increased during the flood time. We found the tombs of the pyramid builders that proved to everyone that the pyramids were actually built by Egyptians and not by slaves because the workmen were buried near the pyramid and if they were slaves they would never have been buried near the pyramid, and also they would have never prepared their tombs with artifacts that would be used in their afterlife. Also, we re-counted the stones of the pyramid; they do not exceed one million, especially if one took into consideration that the base is about 8 meters of solid rock. We do not have any evidence to show that the stones are more than two million. The weight of the stones can be between half a ton to two and a half tons. We mentioned that Khufu did not rule for 23 years. I wrote this for the public but it is important to know that the pyramid was a national project of the whole nation. Every household in Upper and Lower Egypt participated in the construction of the Pyramid by sending food, and workmen in return for not paying taxes. Thus, building the pyramids built Egypt.