domingo, 11 de marzo de 2012


time in the history of Egyptian excavations an
opportunity of studying the burial of a great
N March 9, 1925, the Egyptian Government personage of this significant period, about fifteen
announced the discovery of a large intact hundred years older than the royal tombs of the
tomb of the time of Sneferuw, by the Harvard- New Kingdom, and the discovery aroused im-
Boston Expedition in its excavations at the Giza mediate interest in the historical material which
pyramids. Sneferuw was the first king of Dynasty the tomb might contain.
IV, about 3000 B.C., and was supposed to be the At the time of the discovery I was in America,
father of Cheops. He himself built the first true where I had gone at the end of January to resume
pyramid, the northern stone pyramid at Dahshur, my periodical duties at Harvard University and
while his immediate descendants constructed the the Museum of Fine Arts. I had left Mr. Alan
great pyramids at Giza and that at Abu Roash. Rowe, assisted by Mr. T. D. R. Greenlees, the
In Dynasty III the great architect Imhotep had head-reis Said Ahmed Said, and the rest of the
constructed the Step Pyramid at Saqqarah with regular organization, to finish the work planned
its wonderful temple for King Zoser, and had ap- for the season. Thus it was my assistants who had
parently translated for the first time the highly the pleasure of the first view of the tomb. Lookdeveloped
crude-brick architecture of that period ing into the burial chamber from a small opening
into finely dressed small blocks of limestone. In at the top of the doorway, the excavators had
Dynasty IV, a few generations later, the unknown seen a beautiful alabaster sarcophagus with its
architects of Sneferuw and Cheops had substi- lid in place. Partly on the sarcophagus and partly
tuted massive blocks of limestone for the small fallen behind it lay about twenty gold poles and
blocks of Imhotep and had also begun the trans- beams of a large canopy; on the western edge of
lation of the limestone architecture into granite. the lid were spread several sheets of gold inlaid
It was the architectural use of this obdurate with faience; on the floor, a confused mass was
material which gave so archaic an appearance to visible of parts of gold-cased chairs and other
the temples of the Giza pyramids, in particular objects, - lion -legs, palm -capitals, decorated
to the valley temple of Chephren beside the Great arms, bars and beams, all showing the yellow
Sphinx, and limited the use of inscriptions and glitter of gold; and amongst these lay copper and
reliefs in those temples. Dynasty IV was, how- alabaster vessels, while further back a mound of
ever, not the beginning but rather the culmina- pottery hid the southern part of the deposit.
tion of the great creative period of Egyptian arts The sheets of inlaid gold seized on the attention;
and crafts, and the great pyramids of three of its for, in a moment, the inlays were observed to
kings at Giza mark the place of the activities of form an inscription with the royal cartouche of
the foremost architects and sculptors of the age. King Sneferuw, and the excavators realized that
Thus the intact Giza tomb presented for the first they had an intact tomb of a royal personage of
The Discovery of the Tomb.

Reisner -Metropolitan M

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario