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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The 2010 Excavation in Egypt

The Egyptian are digging up something. But, there are conflicting traditions as to who actually built it in the first place, much less where the door to labyrinth is. Someone dug the lake, built the labyrinth, pyramid and city. Sad is a planet that looses its history and hides its past.

Manetho Aegyptiaca (2, frag. 34) (3rd century BC):

Short fragment from his list of Egyptian kings

The fourth king in the dynasty from Diospolis, ruled eight years under the name Lamares. He built the Labyrinth in the Arsinoite Nome as a tomb for himself. His descendants,i.e., Ameres, Ammenemes and Scemiophris ruled for 20 years. The complete dynasty lasted 160 years.

N.B., Arsinoite was at that time situated at the border of Lake Moeris. The name "Moeris" is a Greek adaptation of ancient Egyptian Mer-Wer (= "The Great Lake"). Following a different tradition it is reported that king Menas,i.e., protodynastic rulers or maybe Ameres, built a square pyramid and the labyrinth. The chief archaeological reference to Menes is an ivory label from Naqada which shows the royal Horus-name Aha (the pharaoh Hor-Aha, 3100 BC) next to a building, within which is the royal nebty-name mn, generally taken to be Menes.

The labyrinth location is marked with the pyramid currently credited to Amenemhet III. Amenemhet III is a pharaoh of the 12th dynasty, circa 1800 BC, who built a mud brick Pyramid at Dahshur ruined by ground water.

The Labyrinth’s slow destruction is caused by the site crossing a water channel, agricultural irrigation and the disappearance of the annual 9 month dry period since the construction of the Aswan dam making the area salty.

The village Hw.t-wr.t/AuJh`riß (= great temple) is attested 119 times in 62 documents between 292 BC and 141 AD.

The concentration of documents in the 1st century BC is due to the the Hawara undertaker’s archives.

The Egyptian Labyrinth (Labuvrinqoß) appears 18 times in 16 papyri between 258 BC and the reign of Hadrian (117-138 AD).

All texts but one are Ptolemaic.

Though the names Hw.t-wr.t/AuJh`riß and Labuvrinqoß disappear early from our records, archaeological finds show that the site was continuously occupied up to the 7th century AD when Ancient Egypt finally disappeared due to conquest.

The Egyptian name Hw.t-wr.t corresponds to Greek ÔAuh`riß in several bilingual documents, e.g. P.Hawara Lüdd. III (233 BC), P.Ashm. I 14 and 15 (72/71 BC) and P.Ashm. I 16 (69/68 BC).

The aspiration at the beginning of the word shows in the phi in ajf&Mac198; ÔAgouhvrewß th`ß ÔHrakªleivdou merivdoߺ (where ÔAgouh`riß stands for AuJh`riß) in SB XIV 11303. Greek aJ for Egyptian hw.t is found in other toponyms as well (Clarysse-Quaegebeur 1982, p.78).

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