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Damage and Restoration
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the idea that the pyramids had a gold cap was just a fanciful myth...did they really have gold caps? Did obelisks have them too?

I always wondered what this 'white substance' they put on the pyramids was. One book said marble, another said gypsum. You say limestone? Reminds me of those rock formations I saw in one photo of the Egyptian desert that looked bizarrely like snow Confused but apparently they are made of chalk, which explains the white colour. Did all of the pyramids have white stone casings originally? I also heard that this casing reflected the sun so much that at in broad daylight they were blinding to look at directly and could be seen from very far distances (one site said as far as Israel, but that is possibly an exaggeration), and heated the air around the pyramids by 20 degrees! Not sure if it really got that hot, or what but add that reflected heat to the already toasty weather and it must have been like an oven around those 'mids!!!

I didn't know that ancient Egyptians themselves restored their own monuments. But considering the antiquity of most of them, it's possible. And you talk of Greek and Roman graffiti-apparently the Egyptians did grafitti too, and there is some in the pyramids with the names of workers.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read that he did any actual restoration work on the Sphinx, but Khaemweset did dig it out of the sand--seems as if it was always getting covered!
It wouldn't surprize me to find that he had restored it, though. Khaemweset has been called the world's first Egyptologist. He was extremely interested in, what to him, was the ancient Egyptians works--especially at Giza and also Saqqara, where he re-build several tombs and re-dedicated them--he was also a priest...was it Ptah? Can't recall right now.
Have you ever read Ray's "Reflections of Osiris"? It has an interesting chapter about Khaemwaset.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe Khaemweset did indeed work on the Sphinx, as one of numerous Giza projects. In more modern times, I remember reading that numerous Arabic peoples made at least half-hearted attempts at clearing away sand, to make the Sphinx more accessible to wealthy Western visitors. But it's not so much the named historical record as much as it is the evidence on the Sphinx itself--proof of numerous levels of restorations down through the ages.

And in case I failed to sign in correctly, this is kmt_sesh being a bad boy again and visiting Egyptian Dreams during work. Don't tell my boss or I might require restoration!
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is often mentioned that the pyramids had a special covering.
Did the Sphinx also have a special type of 'cover stone'?
I know it was painted, but what color did they paint the body?
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the pyramids had a covering of sorts, but I wanted to know what this covering was made of, since my books don't say what it was, that's all. Someone said the pyramids were gilded, though that is unlikely, unless that golden capstone thing is true. I'm still unsure about that.

Is it true that there were times (even in relatively modern times) when the entire sphinx was actually not seen, because it was under a sand dune?
As for paint, I saw one programme saying that it was painted red and that the eyes were green!!! I'm not sure where the green eyes bit came from but it was on a tv documentary.

I feel so dumb talking here when you two (Anneke and Kmt-sesh) know so much...so excuse my 'duh-brained' posts..
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I wrote
Quote:
It is often mentioned that the pyramids had a special covering.

I meant actually that I had seen the covering mentioned, but I don't know much more about it. I really don't know enough about the stones used in egypt to be able to imagine exactly what it would have looked like.
I have some vague memory of a description mentioning that they would have been light colored (white even) and would have shone in the sun?

The rumor about the gold tip of the pyramid sounds familiar. I have no idea if that is just some fancy rumour though. Are other pyramids rumored to have had a gold tip?
Would have no doubt been spectacular if they really were sporting a gold tip Wink

Quote:
Is it true that there were times (even in relatively modern times) when the entire sphinx was actually not seen, because it was under a sand dune?
As for paint, I saw one programme saying that it was painted red and that the eyes were green!!! I'm not sure where the green eyes bit came from but it was on a tv documentary.


I think the sand has covered the sphinx several times throughout history.

The painting on the Sphinx sounds quite colorful! I wonder if they ever repainted it in ancient times. The color must have faded even then.

Quote:
I feel so dumb talking here when you two (Anneke and Kmt-sesh) know so much...so excuse my 'duh-brained' posts..

Shocked I can't remember ever seeing you post anything that would qualify as duh-brained.
And I have to say that if anyone would ask me questions about religion, I would just refer them to you Isis Wink You know way more about that then I do....
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall ever reading anything that stated the pyramids were god-capped. I'm sure the obelisks were, though. Hapshepsut wanted to make hers all of Electrum, but had to settle for just the tip to be capped in that metal! (trying to cut down on expenses, I'm sure!)
Yeah, isisinacrisis--don't short-change yourself so much! You are extremely knowledgable in Egyptian circles, especially in any discussion on religion. I always enjoy reading any of your posts.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

god-
Oooops! GOLD!!
My fingers type with their own agenda...
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, were other pyramids, such as the stepped and bent ones etc, coated with this, erm, shiny stuff-it is limestone, for sure??? Not marble, or even, believe it or not, gold? (that would explain why the outer casing was stripped off-I'm sure the tomb robbers would want a bit of that gold for themselves!)

Please remind me what electrum is again as my memory is being funny now...hehehe every time I see the word 'electrum' written in conjunction with Egypt it always reminds me of those wacko websites that say the ancient Egyptians had electricity! Laughing I hope the reality is much more plausible!
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reality is much more mundane, isisinacrisis. Electrum is a mixture of silver and gold.
The casings for the pyramids were usually out of a very fine limestone--from Tura, for example. It is very white--almost a pure white. When it was in place on the pyramid, the joins were very close, and the entire surface of the limestone was polished, almost eliminating the seam. The effect, especially from a distance, was of a huge block of white stone.
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