Template talk:Egyptian pyramids

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Mastabet el-Fara'un[edit]

Should Mastabet el-Fara'un really be included in the list of pyramids, as it isn't a pyramid but a mastaba? JanderVK (talk) 05:52, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

For me, yes and no. It wasn't a pyramid but was something similar in function and size. It also appears in Lepsius' list of pyramids (no. 43) Khruner (talk) 19:34, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's a mastaba, one that I can't see that's any different from any other. So wouldn't that mean we should include all mastaba as "pyramids"? I don't think that would be the case. So I'm not exactly sure why it should be included in the list. JanderVK (talk) 19:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
It's a mastaba, but so far the biggest mastaba ever discovered (the nature of the "pyramid" of Khui is still far from being defined) whose dimensions and hypogeum are comparable to those of the pyramids. So I really don't know. Maybe you should ask to the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ancient Egypt. Khruner (talk) 20:34, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I would think that the mastaba should stay in the list of pyramids, perhaps with a mention that it is only a mastaba, since it was the tomb of a pharaoh and may have been intended to be a pyramid (?). Iry-Hor (talk) 13:51, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

13th Dynasty pyramids[edit]

I just noticed that the 13th Dynasty row should be moved to the Middle Kingdom (and the SIP group removed) as reported by both the MK and 13th Dynasty articles. Any objection? --Khruner (talk) 10:34, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

@Khruner: Fine by me! Note, this touches a problem I have regarding the end of the MK: it varies depending on the scholars, 1) some include the 14th dynasty in the MK; 2) others put the 14th dynasty in the SIP; 3) some include the entire 13th dynasty in the MK; 4) others put the 13th dynasty pharaohs up to and including Merneferre Ay in the MK and in the SIP after that; 4) Ryhold puts the whole 13th dynasty in the SIP. I understand that this is a matter of choice by modern scholars however wikipedia should be consistent in its choices. The various articles on the MK, SIP, 13th, 14th dynasties and pharaohs make conflicting statement on where to put the end of the MK. Shouldn't we make a choice, stick to it and discuss the various possibilities only on the articles "Middle Kingdom" and "Second Intermediate Period"? Iry-Hor (talk) 12:39, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, in the light of that, I think that any decision should be taken by the Wikiproject..! Khruner (talk) 16:58, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
If it's just a matter of opinion, I prefer to put the 13th dynasty in the SIP after Merneferre Ay. What about you? Iry-Hor (talk) 07:45, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
My older, traditional vision of a SIP starting with the death of Neferusobek is long gone. As for you, I support the view that Merneferre likely was the last king of the Middle Kingdom (for the same reason I suggested above to put the 13th Dynasty pyramids into the MK, as these are almost certainly foregoing his reign). At the same time, knowing that it's a contradiction, it's hard for me to put the 14th Dynasty into the MK, but the evidence leaves no doubt. Khruner (talk) 09:58, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand the problem with the 14th Dynasty: it is clearly SIP and apart from Ryholt, I think a large majority of Egyptologists believe that it arose around the time of Merneferre Ay, or at the very least after the reign of Sobekhotep IV. Thus the 13th dynasty until Ay would be MK and the 13th after that and 14th dynasty entirely would be SIP. That said you are right that I know of no pyramid dating to after Ay (and before Ahmose) so that all 13th dynasty pyramids are MK. Iry-Hor (talk) 15:48, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
1) Start of the 13th Dynasty; 2) decline of power of the 13th Dynasty, increasing prominence of Avaris, already highly populated by "Asiatics"; 3) rise of the 14th Dynasty in Avaris (Nehesi), likely under Sobekhotep IV; 4) famine in Avaris, descent of the Hyksos sensu stricto (the future 15th Dynasty), the 14th Dynasty is wiped out, but Avaris is again chosen as capital; 5) reign of Merneferre, the 13th Dynasty is pushed southward by the Hyksos, fall of Itytawy etc. So in this reconstruction the 14th Dynasty started after the 13th and ended before the end of the 13th, thus making part of the MK as it ended before the reign of Merneferre. Maybe I messed (and mixed) up different interpretations, though. Khruner (talk) 19:02, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
@Khruner: About point 3), I think the reign of Sobekhotep IV is too early for the rise of the 14th Dynasty. As far as I can remember, i) he reigned for a decade c. 1720 while Nehesy reigned c. 1700 BC, placing him at the end of Merneferre Ay's reign. ii) Sobekhotep IV is attested in Lower Egypt and is considered the strongest ruler of the 13th dynasty while Merneferre Ay's successors are unattested outside Upper Egypt. iii) Nehesy is known to have been followed by many rulers and Ryholt and others have proposed that the dynasty existed until around 1650 BC, giving it c. 50 years beyond Merneferre Ay. If you try to put Nehesy and Sobekhotep IV as contemporaries and put the abandon of Itjtawy and Memphis at the hands of the Hyksos under Merneferre Ay, then the 14th dynasty would have existed only for less 20 years, starting at a time when the 13th dynasty was at its strongest. In addition the Hyksos would have had to be in Egypt c. 1700 BC. This seems too little time for the 14th dynasty (given the large number of rulers attested, even by crediting only 1 year per ruler) and too early for the Hyksos. Rather I think your point 5) is a result of the rise of the 14th dynasty: by the second half of Ay's reign, his hold onto lower Egypt would have been so weak as to face a new Semitic dynasty whose territorial extend immediately threatened Memphis and Itjtawy. He fled south and for the next 50 years his successors and Nehesy's successors coexisted. The Hyksos then entered Egypt c. 1650 BC, got rid of the 14th dynasty and went south. In this scenario, the 14th dynasty exists from Merneferre Ay's time until 1650 BC and is effectively SIP. Of course this scenario is riddled with conjectures but seems to me to resolve the need for at least 50 years for the 14th dynasty and goes well with a weak point of the 13th dynasty. As a final note, here is a riddle: many scholars have proposed that the 13th dynasty did not control Memphis from Ay's reign onwards, since he fled south and his successors are only attested in Lower Egypt. However, the stele of Seheqenre Sankhptahi, one of the very last 13th dynasty ruler, presents numerous hints that this king reigned from Memphis (see the article on this pharaoh). How can this be? I was wondering if Ay simply fled south by fear of the 14th dynasty, then couldn't it be that his foes never got Memphis, rather stopping their progression in the southern Delta? If so, Memphis remained under 13th dynasty control until the end, c. 1650 when it was overrun by the 15th dynasty. Of course this is speculation. Iry-Hor (talk) 21:49, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
I see, my interpretation of the point 3) is based on the claim that Sobekhotep IV already was no more the sole ruler of Egypt, as I found many times in literature. Furthermore, if we consider an interval between his middle reign to Merneferre's second half, we could virtually get a range well beyond 20 years, something up to 35 and over. Let's add that on a work I also found the suggestion that more rulers placed within the 14th Dynasty may have reigned in different parts of the Delta at the same time, but this is purely conjectural. About Seheqenre Sankhptahi, it seems that there is no direct evidence of his rule on Memphis, since the stela is of unknown provenance. The association is only suggested by 1) a stela on which he worship Ptah and 2) his theophorous birth name. Assuming the same criteria, I could suggest that 1) Nubkheperre Intef who is depicted with Sopdu, ruled the Eastern Delta (impossible), and 2) Sobekemsaf I was born in the Faiyum due to his name (unlikely). It seems to me that he was born with this name for some reason, and as a consequence he used this as a pretext for claiming authority where he could not have, or as a good omen for recovering a long lost sacred territory, I can't say. Alternatively, his name he may have been misreaded in the Turin canon (as only part of the throne name could be recognized) and might have been placed well previously and now in lacuna. Khruner (talk) 07:58, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
@Khruner: I do not think Sobekhotep IV shared Egypt with another ruler: 1) the Egyptologists who think so fall into 2 categories disagreeing with one another, a) Ryholt and a few others believing the 14th dynaty started c. 1800 BC, a view rejected by most scholars; b) those arguing that seals of Khyan and Sobekhotep IV found together in a sealed context mean that these kings are contemporaries. While Ryholt view has been convincingly rejected by many, the second view is being heavily disputed, in particular since up to this discovery virtually everyone in the field put 100 years between Khyan and Sobekhotep IV. Hence if does not agree with Ryholt and believe, like the recent critics have argued, that seals of Sobekhotep IV were used long after his death, then there is no obvious candidate for an independent ruler of the Delta during Sobekhotep's reign. Before Ryholt's study and the seals discovery, the traditional view was that the Memphite region was abandonned during Merneferry Ay's reign, not before. 2) The strongest argument against an independent Delta during Sobekhotep IV's reign is that Neferhotep I is known to have had the governor of Byblos Yantinu as vassal (Yantinu himself had a stele made were he declares to be a subject of Neferhotep). In addition, trade relations with the Levantine coast and Sinai are known during the reigns of Neferhotep and Sobekhotep. How could this be possible if the Nile Delta was not under their control? All the Egyptian ports required by such relations (trade and vassals) are on the Delta coast. Ryholt acknowledges this problem in his book and argues (since he believes the 14th dynasty started c. 1800 BC) that the 13th and 14th dynasty must have had strong economic ties permitting the use of the ports by 13th dynasty officials/tradesmen. Ok but this seems a bit far fetched, especially since Byblos was under direct 13th dynasty control, yet well beyond their immediate Egyptian territories, had they not controlled the Delta. I thus see not serious argument for Sobekhotep to have shared Egypt and would stick with the pre-Ryholt view that Egypt stayed united until some time in Ay's reign. Concerning Sankhptahi, the point is I agree quite weak so I assume he was indeed only an Upper Egyptian ruler. About Sobekemsaf, how do we know that he was born with this name? After all, Egyptians tended to change name upon taking an important office or simply at key points during their lives (e.g. upon switching allegiance). Some pharaohs are known to have adopted a different name from their birth-name altogether upon taking the throne (e.g. Ranefer becoming Neferirkare Kakai) so that "Sobekemsaf" could well have been chosen as a name upon taking the throne, especially if this name had political implications. Iry-Hor (talk) 20:30, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
@Iry-Hor: I have found the reason why I originally thought about some important event during the reign of Khaneferre Sobekhotep. Grimal states that the "Hyksos" came during his reign (he probably was not referring to the Hyksos s.s. of the 15th Dynasty, in any case he was not in agreement with either Ryholt's theory nor with the Khyan-Sobekhotep theory); another source that has influenced me in the past was a work by Cimmino, on which all the successors of Sobekhotep IV are given a reign over only part of Egypt. I have dismissed most of this work times ago (still useful when talking about attestations though), but evidently I am still influenced a bit. Egyptologists associated the Sa-Ra with the birth name, so we can only assume that Sobekemsaf was a birth name. It seems that Ranefer becoming Kakai is a conjecture, I'm not excluding that, but the best example was probably Amenhotep IV. However, for few pharaonic changes of Sa-Ra, we have probably many crown princes of the NK and not, that retained their birth name once they became pharaohs. I think they were more susceptible to changing, for political reasons, their throne name (Mentuhotep II, Apophis) or their Horus name (Amenemhat I, Kamose). Khruner (talk) 11:10, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
@Khruner: So in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Detlef Franke puts the end of the Middle Kingdom c. 1650BC at which point he dates the fall of Memphis at the hands of the 15th dynasty Hyksos. He also states that the 14th dynasty took hold in the Eastern Nile Delta from c. 1700 BC and thus includes it implicitely in the Middle Kingdom. In the same book, but this time in the article on the 13th Dynasty, Stephen Quirke states that Egypt remained culturally homogeneous until after Soebkehotep IV except for the Easter Nile Delta, which presented a Semitic culture since the days of the 12th dynasty. He falls short of stating when the 14th dynasty arose though. In the article on the SIP he writes : "Historians disagree on the point within the thirteenth dynasty when unity ended at the secession of the eastern Delta. Foreign sculpture appears in early thirteenth dynasty archaeological levels at Tell ed-Dab'a, indicating a non-Egyptian elite expressing different traditions in monumental form soon after the end of the twelfth dynasty. Yet the thirteenth dynasty brother kings Neferhotpe I and Sobekhotpe IV are attested in the eastern Delta and, significantly, at Byblos in Lebanon. The pyramidion of .king Memeferre Aya is the latest thirteenth dynasty monument found in the Delta, and his reign also seems last in a group of kings attested from distinctive royal scarabs. Byblos may have provided a model for thirteenth dynasty relations with Tell ed-Dab'a, with a foreign governor in control of a local population but acknowledging his nonroyal status before the Egyptian king. On available evidence, Nehesy was the first Delta ruler to claim kingship, marking a visible end to the unity of the Middle Kingdom. The relation of these early Delta kings (fourteenth dynasty) to the Hyksos (fifteenth dynasty) is unclear, as is the manner in which the first Hyksos became king." Interestingly Ryholt believes that Ay's pyramidion was originally in Memphis and later brought to Avaris by the Hyksos. Regarding the names of pharaohs, the case of Ranefer is not conjectural but rather it is attested by a relief from Sahure's causeway. Immediately next to Ranefer's figure and name, the text "Neferirkare king of Upper and Lower Egypt" had been added after the initial carving of the relief as indicated by the odd placement of Neferirkare's cartouche. This discovery is detailed in El-Awady's article "The royal family of Sahure. New evidence.". Thus I have come to think that what we call "birth name" (the nomen) wasn't the actual name given at birth for the pharaoh. I will try to find more evidence on this. Iry-Hor (talk) 13:33, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Returning to the topic, it seems that no one else want/can to join the discussion. I think I will perform the proposed changes tomorrow... Khruner (talk) 23:01, 7 April 2015 (UTC)