BOOK: THE PYRAMIDS AN ENIGMA SOLVED
Prof. Joseph Davidovits
A Rebirth of Agglomerated Stone with AMENHOTEP III and AKHENATON
Twelve hundred years after the great pyramids, agglomerated stone was still in use under Amun's rulership. Because Amenhotep III (1410-1370 BC) was the son of a foreign princess and Tuthmosis IV, a king born under the Memphis god Ra-Harakhtes, he had little chance to succeed to the throne. To become pharaoh he had to legitimize his ancestry, and he did so by assuming the same circumstances surrounding Hatschepsut’s birth, which was Amun’s intervention in his inception.
Figure 97: Queen Montenowia with god Khnum and goddess Hathor (Lepsius). Figure 98: God Khnum fashions the body and the ka of Pharaoh Amenhotep III
The bas-reliefs at Luxor, like those at Deir el Bahari, show the Queen Moutenowia in the arms of the Divine Lover. The confinement was assisted by the god Khnum and the goddess Hathor (Fig. 97), and her son Amenhotep was given over to the hands of two Nile gods. Amenhotep III’s royal legitimacy was warranted due to his kinship to Amun. But it was Khnum who created Amenhotep’s divine body, and the body of his ka. His divine birth is shown in Fig. 98. The reign of Amenhotep III was a reign of peace, among the wealthiest that Egypt had ever known under the rulership of the Theban dynasties.Amenhotep III preferred to go hunting rather than to make war, and he married a Mitanian princess, the fascinating Queen Tiy (Teje). His harem consisted of alien princesses that various kings of the vassal countries sent to Thebes as a pledge of their alliance and obedience. During this period, Egypt was indeed prosperous, for unlike his predecessors, Amenhotep III reinvested part of the national wealth to enhance the industry and agriculture which yielded such good fortune.
To surround himself with wise and trusted assistants, Amenhotep III sought the help of an exceptional man named Huy, whom he later named Amenhotep, son of Hapu. Due to the genius of Amenhotep, son of Hapu, the glory of Amenhotep III’s reign was characterized by the magnificence of its buildings. The Temple of Luxor, dedicated to Amun, surpassed all of the Egyptian monuments built during the New Kingdom in elegance.
Amenhotep III returned the town of Elephantine to its original grandeur and dedicated two temples which he erected to the god Khnum. The Napoleonic work, Description de l’Egypte, is the only document which describes the Temples of Khnum at Elephantine in detail. One temple (Fig .99) was unique in its design, according to the texts of Jomard of the Napoleonic Egyptian Expedition :
“ ... I have noticed that this building is well preserved. Only two pillars were destroyed. What has suffered the most are the stairs which led to the Parvis. We only see the fifth and sixth upper steps, the rest were hidden by a large amount of rubble. Inside, there is practically no trace of destruction. The edges of the corners of the walls are still intact.The sculptures have been slightly damaged, especially on the side facing north.The dark color of all these walls indicates extreme age. There are very few Egyptian monuments where the color of the stone has been as darkened... ”
Figure 99: The Temple of the God Khnum at Elephantine (Description d'Egypte).
South Temple of Amenhotep III. at Elephantine.
The most simple temples were sometimes the most beautiful. This was the case as regards the sanctuaries erected by Amenhotep III. in the island of Elephantine, which were figured by the members of the French expedition at the end of the last century, and destroyed by the Turkish governor of Asûan in 1822. The best preserved, namely, the south temple consisted of but a single chamber of sandstone, 14 feet high, 31 feet wide, and 39 feet long. The walls, which were straight, and crowned with the usual cornice, rested on a platform of masonry some 8 feet above the ground. This platform was surrounded by a parapet wall, breast high. All around the temple ran a colonnade, the sides each consisting of seven square pillars, without capital or base, and the two façades, front and back, being supported by two columns with the lotus-bud capital.Both pillars and columns rose direct from the parapet; except on the east front, where a flight of ten or twelve steps, enclosed between two walls of the same height as the platform, led up to the cella. The two columns at the head of the steps were wider apart than those of the opposite face, and through the space thus opened was seen a richly- decorated door. A second door opened at the other end, beneath the portico. Later, in Roman times, this feature was utilised in altering the building. The inter-columnar space at the end was filled up, and thus was obtained a second hall, rough and bare, but useful for the purposes of the temple service.
This Temple was still standing at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century. Yet, both of Khnum’s Temples were destroyed between 1822-1825 AD by the Turkish governor of Aswan, who built a garrison and storehouses at Syena from their stone. In the absence of any modern archaeological record, I may suppose that the Temple of Khnum was built with the agglomeration technique which characterized this god. The extremely dark color of the stone observed at the temple may indicate that it was produced by agglomeration, using perhaps loose sand and Nile silt of brownish color. The Temple had square pillars such as those of the Old Kingdom when agglomeration was in use. The quote from Jomard continues:
“ ... The pillars are decorated with two standing beings and several columns of hieroglyphic writing. A great vulture with his wings spread out is at the summit. Before describing other sculptures of the Temple, we have to examine the columns which are very unusual to find.. Here I can observe that the capitals of the pillars at Elephantine may represent reed stalks which are strongly tightened with links that form an angle, as was usually done with these plants... ”
In ancient Egypt, all things had a mythological significance. The capitals of these columns, representing reed stalks strongly tightened with links, may signify two of the alchemical products necessary to the agglomeration process characteristic of Khnum. These products were natron (caustic soda) and sodium silicate (see in Appendix I, The Alchemical Inventions). The ashes of the burnt reed contain a very high amount (70 to 75 per cent by weight) of reactive silica SiO2. Natron lakes were covered with reeds, and natron covered these plants in thin layers. To harvest natron, reed stalks were gathered and tightened into bundles, exactly like the stone images of bundles found in the pillars of the Temple of Khnum. The bas-reliefs in the Temple at Elephantine depict Amenhotep III being welcomed by Khnum and Khnum’s wives and daughters, as shown in Fig. 100. According to Jomard:
“ ... The main element in the bas-relief is a symbolic ark ornamented at the stern with a ram’s head facing the entrance of the temple. It [the ark] is laid on an altar which is shorter than it is wide... On the stern there is a different theme. A human carrying an ankh is standing between two figures, who both have one hand on his [Amenhotep III’s] shoulder and are welcoming him into their arms. A vulture spreads out its wings over him at the left of the bas-relief.The god [Khnum] has the head of a ram, and is painted with a blue color... ”
I mentioned previously the significance of the color blue associated with Khnum and later with the god Amun, when in Thebes he became Amun the progenitor. Amenhotep III established a religious compromise which allowed the worship of Amun and Ra-Harakhtes simultaneously. It was for “ political reasons ” that his scribe and architect, Amenhotep, son of Hapu, engineered the Temple of Luxor and one pylon at Karnak for the Temple of Amun. But Amenhotep III’s choice of personal worship was Ra- Harakhtes, of the Old Kingdom.
Figure 100: Pharaoh Amenhotep III is welcomed by the god Khnum at Elephantine (Description de l'Egypte). Figure 101: The colossi of Memnon; Northern on background and Southern on foreground, with author in foreground (1979).
The colossal statues of Memnon
Amenhotep III’s funeral temple (now destroyed) at the foot of the Valley of the Kings, must have been a tremendous monument. It stood behind two unusual colossal statues, the famous Colossi of Memnon, the sole remains of the Necropolis (Fig. 101). The dedication stele of this temple states : “ ... My majesty [Amenhotep III] filled it with monuments, with my statues from the mountain of gritstone [quartzite]... ”
These two colossal statues, representing Amenhotep III, were engineered as monolithic figures by Amenhotep, son of Hapu. They are made with an exceptionally hard stone, which is a siliceous quartzite conglomerate. These two colos- sal statues have suffered severely from the hand of time and have lost their artistic value. The two immense figures, the cubical thrones on which they are seated, the pedestals, are fashioned out of a pebbly and quartzose sandstone- conglomerate of a yellowish-brown color and very difficult if not impossible to carve. The Southern Colossus is in better preservation than the Northern one, but there is little difference between them in point of size. The dimensions of the former, in which the original form is more easily seen, are as follows: height of the figure 15.5 m (51 ft.), height of the pedestal (partly hidden) on which the feet rest 4 m (13 ft), height of the entire monument 19.5 m (64 ft). But when the figure was adorned with the long-since vanished crown, the original height may have reached 21 m (69 ft). The legs from the sole of the foot to the knee measure 6 m (19 1/2 ft.), and each foot is 3.2 m (10 1/2 ft). long. The breadth of the shoulders is 6 m (20 ft).; the middle finger on one hand is 1.4 m (4 1/2ft). long; and the arm from the tip of the finger to the elbow measures 4.7 m (15 1/2 ft).
The Northern Colossus is the famous vocal statue of Memnon. To the left of the king stands his mother Montenowia, to the right his wife Teye; a third figure, between the legs, has been destroyed. On each side of the seat two Nile-gods were represented in sunken relief, twining the representative plants of Egypt (sedge and papyrus) round the hieroglyph for “ to unite ”, a symbol of the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. The statue in the north was damaged during an earthquake that occurred in 27 BC, when the upper part fell. After the earthquake, this statue became universally renowned. Attention began to be directed to the Musical Phenomenon, after it had been broken. When it became known that the Northern colossus emitted a musical note at sunrise, a new myth was invented to explain the fact. Mem- non, who had fallen at Troy, appeared as a stone image at Thebes and greeted his mother Eos with a sweet and plain- tive note when she appeared at dawn. The goddess heard the sound and the morning dews are the tears she shed upon her beloved child. If the sound was not heard, it was taken as a sign that the god was angry. The Greek geographer Strabo, who is the first author to mention the phenomenon, expres- ses doubt as to its genuineness. Owing to its extreme hardness, Plinius, in Natural History,  described the stone in the Colossi of Memnon as basalt: :
“ ... The Egyptians have found a stone in Ethiopia that has the color and hardness of iron, and consequently, it was called basalt. It is said that there exists at Thebes, in the Temple of Serapis, a statue which was made with this same stone. It represents Memnon, and makes a sound all during the day when touched by sunbeams... ”.
The phenomenon ceased altogether, in the middle of the Third Century AD, after the time of Septimius Severus, who caused the restoration of the upper portions. The restoration was rather clumsily carried out with five courses of quartzite blocks. None of the various attempts made to explain the resonance of the stone are scientifically satisfactory.
The numerous Greek and Latin inscriptions in prose and verse inscribed upon the legs of the figure by travelers under the Roman Empire, are peculiarly interesting. These are more numerous on the left than on the right leg, and none are beyond the reach of a man standing at the foot of the statue. The earliest was carved in the 11th year of the reign of Roman Emperor Nero, the latest in those of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus and Caracalla, and the most numerous in that of Hadrian (A.D. 130). The colossus was frequently dumb, in which case the visitor usually waited until a more favora- ble occasion. Some were so struck with the phenomenon that they were not content till they had heard it three or four times. Roman Emperor Hadrian spent several days here along with his wife Sahina and a large retinue.
Members of the Napoleonic Egyptian Expedition (1798-1802), documented the first precise description of the material which constitutes the Colossi. Before this investigation, the composition of this material was indefinite. The text of Jollois and Devilliers reads as follows :
“ ... The Colossi are facing the southeast, and are standing parallel to the Nile. They are known in this country by the names of Tama and Chama. Chama is the southern Colossus, and Tama is the northern Colossus. Both are alike in many ways. They show differences in their dimensions that we will indicate step by step: both are made from a variety of conglomerate consisting of a mass of agatized flint, bound together by a cement of exceptional hardness. This material is very dense, and has a highly heterogeneous structure which is much more difficult to sculpt than granite.What we have witnessed shows that the Egyptian sculptors have mastered their task with the greatest success... ”
The pedestal of the Southern Colossus consists of 216 cubic meters of stone weighing 556 metric tons. The monolithic statue itself consists of 292 cubic meters and weighs 749 metric tons, so that the pedestal and the Colossus together weigh more than 1,305 metric tons in total (four times the weight of the New-York Statue of Liberty). The Northern Colossus was broken in the middle. The upper part, beginning with the arms up to the head, was rebuilt with carved quartzite stones.
For each obelisk and colossus made of pink syenite from the quarries near Aswan, there are visible traces which allow us to locate the exact site of quarrying. This is not the case for the Colossi of Memnon. Let us continue the study made by the Napoleonic Egyptian Expedition:
“ ... None of the quartzite hills or quarries show tool marks, as are so common in the sandstone and granite quarries.We have to conclude that a material so hard and unworkable by sharp tools must have been exploited by a process other than that generally used for sandstone, or even granite.... Even if we have not determined the means used, we are forced to admire the results. Nothing is more apt to give us an idea of the high level of the mechanical arts during antiquity than the beautiful execution of the figures, and the clean, pure sketch of the engraved hieroglyphs on this material. The hardness is such that it is more difficult to work than granite.That fact did not discourage the Egyptians who did not seem ever to be perplexed by difficulties that may have stood in their way. When the tool of the engraver in the middle of a hieroglyphic character hit a flint or an agate that constitutes this conglomerate, the line was never hindered, but on the contrary, continued in all its purity. Neither the agate fragments nor the stone itself was even slightly broken by engraving. ”
This exceptional method of “ engraving ” corresponds exactly to the result obtained with the technique of casting moldable stone. When the so called “ engraving ” is obtained by casting stone into a mold, the crystals and heterogeneous fragments of the conglomerate yield exactly to the shape of the mold. Do we have any clues that would suggest any usage of the agglomeration technique by Amenhotep, son of Hapu? Perhaps. On his third statue at Karnak, Amenhotep son of Hapu glorifies his third promotion:
“ ... My lord made me chief of all works ... I did not imitate that which had been done before. I fashioned for him a mountain of gritstone (quartzite) ... there was not one who had done the like since the time of the foundation of the Two Lands. I conducted the work of his statues, immense in width, taller than his column ... In the august mountain of gritstone [Gebel el Ahmar, near Cairo] (I found) material 40 cubits in length. I built an eight vessel, I brought it [the material or the statues?] up-river; it was set up in this great house... ”
Although this text seems very clear, several archaeologists and geologists disagree and do not take for granted that Amenhotep, son of Hapu, extracted the statues, at the Red Mountain of quartzite, Gebel el Ahmar, near Cairo.
For them, the 1,305 metric tons of each Colossus were not carried 440 miles up-river, against the flow of the Nile, from Cairo to Thebes, a truly incredible “ feat ”. Possible quarries might have been located only fifty miles south to Thebes, at Silsilis or at Aswan. The geologists from the Napoleonic expedition (Description de l’Egypte) favored the quarry found near Aswan as the likely origin. Modern French and German scholars follow De Rozière’s claim. On the other hand, English and American scholars defend the hypothesis that the quarry located at Gebel el Ahmar, a few kilometers from Cairo, is the accurate site.
A study carried out with neutronic activation by a team of American scientists from the University of California, Be- rkeley, (Heizer, Bowman, Stross, 1979, 1984, 1988), came to the conclusion that the quarry used for the monolithic southern Colossus was truly that of the Gebel el Ahmar . They confirmed Amenhotep’s statement. They also determined that the restoration performed by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus on the Northern Colossus, involved blocks extracted from a quarry near Aswan . More recently the investigations published by the German team from the University of Munich, D.D. Klemm (1993), reactivated the controversy . Klemm’s analysis connects both types of quartzite stone (the monolithic and the carved blocks) to the same quarry, Gebel Tingar, located on the west side of the Nile, not far from the Elephantine Island, at Aswan. Klemm performed geochemical analysis on trace elements like lead, copper, zinc, zirconium; he rejected the written historical evidence provided by Amenhotep son of Hapu.
The use of the agglomeration technique by Amenhotep, son of Hapu to fabricate quartzite stone, and cast the giant Colossi of Memnon could explain the manufacture and placement of these seven-storey high statues. It could also solve the dilemma generated by the contradictory analytical results of the various teams of scientists. The Gebel el Ahmar, or red mountain located near Cairo, is composed of a conglomerate of agateous silica quartzite which had close relationship with the stone of Gebel Tingar at Aswan. This conglomerate of agateous silica is a very hard stone composed of flint and agate, that is bound together by a natural cement, which is the result of a chemical precipitation of silica.
This would also be the definition of stone obtained through an agglomeration process. I have learned through experience in my laboratory at the Geopolymer Institute, that flint is a mineral that lends itself best to the synthesis of hard stone. Amorphous silicates, such as opal, flint, and chalcedony are found in considerable quantities in Egypt. The Gebel Ahmar site is characterized by the presence of hard dense quartzite rock accompanied by a less dense, more porous variety which becomes eroded very easily. I could imagine that Amenhotep son of Hapu, did not excavate the statues in the hardest rock, but was lucky to find sufficient quantities of loose material (“ ... 40 cubits length... ”). If naturally loose aggregates originating from the Gebel el Ahmar quarry were agglomerated with a binder produced with minerals from practically any part of Egypt, preferably from Gebel Tingar, then the study of the artificially agglomerated stone of the Memnon Colossi would be compatible with the analysis of both American and German mineralogists and geochemists. Amenhotep’s description on his statue claimed the exceptional nature of this endeavor:
“ ... I did not imitate that which had been done before. I fashioned for him a mountain of gritstone (quartzite) ... there was not one who had done it the like since the time of the foundation of the Two Lands... ”
This latter sentence is reminiscent of the very significant translation of the Famine Stele, located on the island of Sehel, discussed in a previous chapter. God Khnum is giving Zoser a list of minerals and ores:
“ I am Khnum, your creator. I am putting my hands upon you in order to strengthen your body, to take care of your limbs. I give you rare ore after rare ore... Never before since creation has anyone processed them (to make stone) in order to build the temples of the gods or to rebuild the ruined temples... ”
An event occurred after Amenhotep III’s time that had a major impact on Egyptian history, and an influence on the nucleus of the Judeo-Christian civilization. The ancient worship of Ra-Harakhtes had regained an honorable place within the Egyptian society, but the Amun clergy was like a state within a state, and his power dictated all activities of spiritual life. The aging pharaoh, Amenhotep III, abdicated in 1370 BC in favor of his twelve year old son, Amenhotep IV. For four to five years, Amenhotep IV maintained a regency with the Queen Teye which was characterized by the official introduc- tion of the Ra-Harakhtes worship, popularly represented by the Sun Disk - Aton.
Amenhotep IV imparted many new rules of which two were exceptional. First, it became forbidden to represent gods using animal figures, especially to depict the Sun god in his usual anthropomorphic form of a human body with the head of a ram or falcon. Second, the finances of the different cults were centralized and reserved solely for the Sun Disk, Aton. These two new laws deeply affected the Amun clergy, especially combined with the fact that Amenhotep IV would build at least five monuments dedicated to the cult of Aton near the Temples of Karnak and Luxor. During the second and third years of his reign, Amenhotep IV held extravagant jubilees. It is estimated that Amenhotep IV dedicated eight monuments to Aton. They were later destroyed, but archaeologists have since located most of the stones, and all of them were engraved. The excavations undertaken by the Canadian archaeologist, Donald B. Redford, in 1972 at Kar- nak, enables a more precise location of these buildings. We know the names of five of these monuments: The two most important are Gem Po Atem, which means “ the Solar Disk is found ”, and Hatbenben, which represented the palace of the mythological Benben, the monument where, according to ancient mythology, the god Ra appeared for the first time. Since ancient times, Benben represented the sacred incarna- tion of Ra. In the fourth year of Amenhotep IV’s reign, he changed his name to Akhenaton.
The worship of Amun was forbidden during Akhenaton’s reign, and Amun’s name was not to be spoken or written. Amun’s name was destroyed everywhere possi- ble. The clergy of the new god Aton was not satisfied to remain in Thebes, alongside the immense temples of Amun. So, Akhe- naton decided to create a new town dedicated to his one god. This town (el Armana) was named “ Khouit-Atonou ”, meaning “ the horizon of Aton ”. There, Akhenaton built a palace for himself and a temple called “ Hatbenben ”, for his unique god. This temple was made mainly of fine white limestone, and was 800 m (2,620 feet) in length (including extensions). Akhenaton was a prolific builder due to the as- sistance he received from his grand viziers, Huy and Ay. Each large town in Egypt received a temple to Aton. Thebes alone acquired eight great temples. The town Khouit-Atonou (now called el Armana) is exemplary of the euphoric building atti- tude of Akhenaton. Its temple was vast and its palace was (in its time) the most glorious secular building in the world. The enormous dimensions of the pylons found in the ruins were surprising to the members of the Napoleonic Egyptian Expedition. Akhenaton’s palace was built with bricks dried in the sun like all secular buildings, but the bricks found at el Armana were really very special. They were very hard and according to the Description de l’Egypte:
“ ...The bricks themselves are gigantic. Indeed they are thirty- five to thirty-eight centimeters [fourteen to fifteen inches) long, and thirteen centimeters [five inches] wide, and sixteen to twenty centimeters [6.3 to 7.9 inches] high.They were very carefully piled in alternate layers, laid flat. Although they were made with a slightly sandy earth and are very old, these bricks are still very hard today... ”
Man-made statues: Mansoor's collection
Let us consider the cultural and artistic explosion which characterizes the el Armana period. Ceramic and glass tech- niques were at their paramount. The bust of Queen Nefertiti, discovered in the ruins of el Armana, is a lasting testimony to the high level of the arts during this period. It is one of the most gracious and charming sculptures to have survived since antiquity to our times. It was found in the workshop of the Chief Sculptor Tuthmosis. This very busy master sculptor was helped in his task by numerous apprentices. In his studio, there were master portraits intended for copying by lesser craftsmen, plaster casts taken from sculpture, heads in a variety of materials (agglomerated stones?) in all stages of production, parts of composites statues, and plaster masks. These plaster masks were casts of clay or wax likenesses. The casting of stone slurries with geopolymeric binders in molds based on these plaster masks was feasible and would have yielded various artifacts in stone. This process, while retaining the spontaneity of the original clay, also enables the desired subtleties to be reproduced in a faithful way. Was it actually used? Probably yes, indeed.
The ancient Egyptian Limestone sculptures from Tel- El-Armana, representing Akhenaton, Nefertiti and members of their family I am referring to, are known as the Mansoor Collection (Fig. 102). They were brought to the United States at various times between 1947 and 1950. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York wanted to see some of the Armana sculptures. The Museum’s curator could not make up his mind about their authenticity and asked that they be sent to Mr. William J. Young, Director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ Laboratory, for examination. Young’s report was a terrible shock to the Mansoors [100-101]. He wrote:
“ The larger of the two heads was examined from a minute fragment and appears not to be a natural material. It shows all the indications of being a made stone which could have been fabricated in a great many ways. ”
Zaki Iskandar, former Chief Chemist of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities, who examined 66 of the objects for the Cairo Museum and wrote a report in 1950, supported the genuineness of the Mansoor’s collection . Several geologists confirmed Iskandar’s study and tried to convince the Boston Museum, in vain. The German Palaeoanthropolgist Reiner Protsch , 26 years later, subjected 18 of the sculptures to what he called an “anthropological-morphological” examination an made the following assumption: the “astonishing ” anatomical knowledge of the sculptor who had carved the pieces he saw could be explained only by the assumption that the “ Royal family was sitting for the artist ” because such verisimilitude could be achieved only by copying “ from a living individual ”. Protsch’s assumption that the members of the royal family might have sat for their portraits is not taken seriously by the Egyptologists. In his catalogue for the 1973 Brooklyn Museum “ Akhenaten and Nefertiti ” exhibition, Cyril Aldred wrote that “ no sitter could pose long enough for his statue to be chipped in stone or chiseled in wood ”, and certainly not the members of the royal family. Aldred believes the sculptors modeled their subjects very rapidly in clay or wax and then transferred the likenesses, suitably idealized, to more durable materials. These clay or wax models might have been used for the casting of plaster molds.
Figure 102: MANSOOR'S Collection: Akhenaton and Nefertiti
In 1973, a sculpture from the Mansoor collection was tested when it was submitted by its owner to the International Foundation for Art Research NewYork-based non-profit art authentication service . The unnamed investigator who carried out the examination surprisingly brought the argument round full circle: 27 years after Young’s original and much-scorned report, the foundation’s expert seemed to vindicate his conclusions. The sculpture, a head of Akhenaton, was made, he said, of “ Artificial Stone — or a man made product rather than a natural limestone. The composition was most probably crushed limestone with some bright red pigment to give it a pale pink tone and held together with organic adhesive ”.
The owner sent the sculpture to yet another examiner, a prominent geologist, Richard L. Hay, Professor of Geology, University of California, Berkeley. This investigator disagreed violently with the foundation’s expert. The material of the head, he said, was most certainly natural limestone . In his summary he stated (Feb. 10, 1975):
“ I have gone farther than necessary in documenting what is really a simple matter. The intact nature of the delicate foram tests (shells) together with the euhedral shape (rhomb- shaped) dolomite crystals shows that this limestone could not have been made by cementing crushed limestone; ... It can perhaps be conjectured that a technology might exist (say beings from another planet technologically much more highly advanced than Homo sapiens) for artificially duplicating the several geological processes required... ”
I would like to reply to R. Lay that this method existed and was probably used by Hatschepsut’s architects who build her terrace Temple at Deir-el-Bahari. R. Lay (Mansoor's col- lection) and D.D. Klemm (Hatschepsut's Temple) investigated their stones with the same technique. They microscopically identified the same rhomb-shaped dolomite crystals. The Mansoor collection consists entirely of royal portraits made of an unusual pinkish limestone material that was not used by Egyptian sculptors from other epochs.A more recent comparative analysis performed by mycropaleontologist P. Blanc (1986) on the fossil remains states : “ a probable locality for the limestone raw material would be in the Luxor vicinity ”. In other words, in all likelihood, the limestone could come from Hatschepsut’s quarry.As mentioned previously this raw material is so friable that it is easily disaggregated with water. It does not need to be crushed, i.e. foram tests and rhomb- shaped dolomite crystals will remain intact. The outer space beings of R. Lay were Hatschepsut’s Homo-faber.
For Mr.Young,because they were“ made ston”implied that the objects were of fairly modern origin, and thus forgeries. Several geological studies mandated by the Mansoors showed that the patina bore all the signs of a very antique and genuine “ desert varnish ” that could not be replicated by a modern forger. My conclusion to this study of the Mansoor collection confirms that these objects are genuine antique copies fabricated in one of the workshops of El-Armana, 3350 years ago, copies probably obtained by casting a geopolymeric limestone slurry in plaster molds. They are old, and could at the same time be “ made-stone ”. Chief sculptor Tuthmosis and his colleagues had replicated a technique described 700 years earlier by sculptor Irtysen in his Stele C14 (see in previous chapter). Irtysen wrote:
“ ... I know the parts belonging to the technique of molding... I know the making of molds to make repro- ductions cast in a material that will not be consumed by fire, nor washed by water either... ”
In the temples of this period, Khnum, the ram-headed anthropomorphic god, has been forgotten and was obsolete, and it was the god Aton who was the creator of men. The doctrine of Akhenaton was absolutely monotheistic. Egypt and the exterior provinces had no more than one god — Aton, the setting sun, and this was by decree of the King. Akhena- ton was not the originator of the monotheistic doctrine, which previously existed in philosophical form in the Books of Wisdom.
The rise of the Amun clergy introduced another system of worship, thus perpetuating polytheism in Egypt. Akhena- ton died in about the eighteenth year of his reign at thirty years of age, and was buried east of el Armana. He had no sons, therefore two of his sons-in-law succeeded him to the throne. The first to reign was Semenkhekare from 1356-1352 BC, who continued the religious politics of Akhenaton. Next, the famous Tutankhamun reigned from 1352-1344 BC. He visited Thebes and established a compromise with the powerful Amun clergy and the Egyptian army.