December 13, 2012 16:28
Experts restore the largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus of red granite, which rested mummy Merneptah, son and successor, Ramses II. Striking not only the external dimensions of the sarcophagus, but also the fact that the sarcophagus — four, one inside the other. But the images on them to tell scientists what purpose it was made.
Thirteenth son of Pharaoh Ramses II of the 19th dynasty Merneptah rules about about ten years, from 1212 to 1202 years BC. e. Or on the dating of the modern German Egyptologist Thomas Schneider (Thomas Schneider): 1213-1204 years BC. e. By the time of the death of Ramses II, who ruled the country for so long, his eldest sons had already pass away.
Tron got Merneptah, resides not in the youthful years, when the northern border with Syria unrest broke out, and the tribes in western Asia rebelled against Egyptian colonizers.
In 1886, a prominent British archaeologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie) made a plan and described the ruins of the temple of Merneptah. According to the scientist, he was almost entirely built of stones taken from the nearby temple of Amenhotep III. However, not Merneptah broke temple predecessor, which has already started to break down during heavy flooding. He had only to carry the stone blocks and statues to his temple. In fact, his father, Ramses II, was doing the same thing with the older sanctuaries.
On the wall behind the sixth pylon at Karnak and a large stele, known as the "Stele of Israel" — because it is the first mention of Israel is found in Egyptian texts — Merneptah ordered to cut text in prose and verse, which lists the areas and communities that fall under the Egyptian authorities. From this we know that his army severely punished the rebels in Syria, Palestine, and even capture. Managed to repel the invasion of the so-called "Sea Peoples." In the fifth year of Merneptah defeated in a bloody battle Libyans. For his successful military campaign Merneptah was named "victorious", "worthy of the gods."
Earlier Egyptologists assumed that Merneptah was the "Pharaoh of the Exodus," drowned in the Red Sea. However, it strongly damaged mummy Tomb Raider with 12 other found in the Valley of the Kings in the tomb of Amenhotep II. In all likelihood, the priests put away his mummy to four stone boxes, one inside the other. Currently remodel external of them — 4 meters long, 2.3 meters wide and 2.5 meters high. The sarcophagus was brightly colored and had a cover that has been preserved intact. Specialists embalming claim that Pharaoh Merneptah suffered from toothache, suffered from arthritis and atherosclerosis, and hip fractures.
"As far as I know — told LiveScience head of works on the reconstruction of Edwin Brock (Edwin Brock), — it is the largest of all the king's sarcophagus." Researcher Canadian Royal Ontario Museum suggests that the sarcophagi in the tomb were already nested. Holes in the input shaft indicates that the system was used blocks and pulleys, through which coffins lowered into the tomb. When the workers reached the burial chamber, they found that the sarcophagi in the door does not pass. Had to destroy the door, but then again it sealed. "This study has revealed some interesting aspects of life in ancient Egypt, which makes them look less godlike" — believes Edwin Brock.
The study of the fragments from the tomb of Merenptah began in the 1980s. Then they lay in a funeral chamber disorderly heap. When they managed to put together, there was only a third of the sarcophagus. Its full-scale reconstruction began in March last year.
Striking is not only the size of the outer sarcophagus, unusually, they are four. Following the outer box is a second granite sarcophagus lid with oval cartouche enclosing the name of Merneptah. The third coffin was laid out as early as the reign of the Pharaoh of the 21st dynasty Psusennes I (reigned about 1040-994 years BC. Oe.).
In the fourth, made of travertine (tufa), was a mummy. From last only a few fragments, and mummy was reburied after more than three thousand years ago in a tomb robbers entered. The first two boxes smashed to get to the third, which was intended to Psusennes I. Traces from the effects of fire and hacking, according to Brock, suggest that the granite first heated and then cooled rapidly with water to give it brittle.
Egyptologists are not able to answer the question why Merneptah needed such a large sarcophagus. Some kings also buried in several sarcophagi, but none of them had a large external. Brock recalls that his father Ramses II and Merenptah grandfather Networks I (both — great builders), each of which was buried in a coffin made of travertine. Find help for clues try through images on the sarcophagi Merneptah. They depict two texts.
Funerary text of the "Book of Gates" tells the story of the transition of the soul of the deceased in the other world, like the journey of the sun, head to the underworld at night. The book "Amduat" also refers to the mortuary texts inscribed on the walls of the tomb of Pharaoh. Both literary works consist of 12 chapters, or "clock."
Edwin Brock notes that that the same hours are shown in the boxes and lids of sarcophagi Merneptah. One motive of the first scenes, "Book of Gates", including image area that existed before the sun-god came to the underworld, the king seems to be particularly fond of. According to the point of view of a large modern connoisseur of Egyptian theology, the German scientist Erik Hornung (Erik Hornung), after entering into the area of the Sun god of the underworld, he is greeted not a separate deity, and the dead, which outlined the "gods of the West." Merneptah for these repetitive scenes may provide a resurrection from the dead.