I hear ya Sargoth. It is confusing to sort out based on much of the "alternative" theories being pushed, but in the end I think science and even the
dreaded Hawass will prevail in this debate, and the Giza pyramids are dated correctly.
What hard evidence is there to support Khufu as the builder of the GP? Most of the evidence seems to fall into the category of "anecdotal" - for
instance the funerary boat Khufu buried outside the pyramid. It doesn't indicate he built
the GP since he could have done that with an older
pyramid he "re-purposed" for his tomb. There is however, evidence that could be considered "hard" evidence, such as
discovery of the graffiti above the King's
Chamber, where only the builder of the structure could have placed it. Was Vyse engaging in intellectual fraud? Vyse is an enigma since another of his
discoveries (a bit of iron plating) is
regarded as contrary to what is accepted as the "iron age" for Egypt (some 2,000 years later than the
building of the GP). Were both discoveries legitimate? Were both fraudulent? Why is one held up as being impeccable, and the other as being suspect?
Vyse hailed from an era before the advent of archeology as a science, and he may have been playing the "Gentleman adventurer" seeking to make a
grand discovery but no reason to suspect him of fraud, since he did make several well-accepted discoveries.
However, the above examples are simplistic and indicative of a non-Egyptologist's view. There is actually quiet a bit of hard evidence to support
Khufu as the builder, perhaps not within the walls of the pyramid itself (except of course for that bit of graffiti). There is the quarry from which
Khufu extracted most of his stone that bears his mark;
Khufu used the granite quarry in Aswan, basalt from the oasis, and white fine limestone from Tura. The name of Khufu has been found written in the
alabaster quarry at Hatnub. Two tablets bearing his name have been found in the Sinai. His name has also been found in Bubastis. It has also been
inscribed on a temple at Byblos (Lebanon), which might imply that he sent an expedition there to bring back cedar wood that was used in the
construction of his boats which were found in 1945 on the south side of his pyramid. Finally, his name was found written in the western desert to the
north of Abu Simbel and northwest of Toshka, where they took the diorite to be used in the statues.
Much of the worker's villages were built during Khufu's time as well, another strong indicator that this is when the GP was built.
There are also hieroglyphic texts to consider as well, such as the Westcar Papyrus, the Pyramid Texts, and the Inventory Stela.
The Pyramid texts:
"The Pyramid Texts reflect not only an Egyptian vision of the afterlife but also the entire background of Old Kingdom religious and social
structures, and they incorporate an ancient worldview much different from that of more familiar cultures."
I won't try to get into what the Pyramid Texts imply as far as Khufu goes, since I'm out of my league regarding that, but others have compared the
structure and layout of Khufu's pyramid to the texts and found them compatible - even to the reasons for the
existence of the doors in the shafts
leading from the
The Westcar Papyrus
relates of tales told at Khufu's court. It's thought to have been
written in the Middle Kingdom (around the 12th dynasty), some 500 years after Khufu. That should give you some indication how profound an impact Khufu
had on Egypt, that unlike most Pharaohs, they were still telling tales of him hundreds of years past his death. Then again, Khufu was more than just a
god-king, typical of the other Pharaohs. He declared himself the
god, Re, in the living flesh. The Inventory Stela (664-524 BC) was written in
the Late Period, nearly 2,000 years after his death, by the Cult dedicated to Khufu as a God. It may be written by the priests of the 26th Dynasty in
accordance with what they believed
of the 4th Dynasty - and not a factual record of the man's accomplishments. Is it possible they separated
Khufu, the Pharaoh, from Re, the God? Think of how nutty Christianity gets around the subject of the "transfiguration", Khufu/Re may be a prelude of
that line of convoluted thinking. It might help explain why his pyramid went a step above the others. But even so - his pyramid shared many traits
found in those of the Old Kingdom as well - Sneferu's bent pyramid, the North Pyramid, and those of his son.
Scroll down a few paragraphs on this page for an excellent analysis of Khufu's pyramid complex within the 4th Dynasty, and how nicely it aligns with
the religious descriptions of the Pyramid Texts and overall cultic practices of that time period; The
Pyramid Texts of UNAS - The Royal Ritual of Rebirth & Illumination
What is typical for these "Stellar" pyramids of Sneferu (Bent Pyramid as well as North Pyramid) and Khufu is the elevated position of the
King's Chamber. In both, the funerary symbolism is clearly celestial. The expanse of the sky was the celestial Nile, with banks on the West and on
the East. The Milky Way was called "the beaten path of stars" and paradise was invisioned as the Nile Valley at inundation : the Field of Reeds
(Osiris) on the eastern edge (i.e. the culminating moment in the movement from dusk to dawn) and the Field of Offering (Re) further North.
The kings of the IVth Dynasty (ca. 2600 - 2487 BCE) emphasized the Solar component of divine kingship, the direct manifestation of the supreme
deity on Earth.
I realize this response is a little disjointed, but I think when you begin looking at the (much) bigger picture of the 4th Dynasty and overall pyramid
building, you start to see that the Great Pyramid really does belong to the 4th Dynasty and no other time period. To try and remove it from that
period and place it, say, tens of thousands of years earlier, would cause far greater consternation in the established timeline of Egyptian
development. It would be like taking one of Picasso's "Blue Period" paintings, and claiming it was painted by his grandfather. (or space
The Inventory Stela
Khufu - Dr. Zahi Hawass
Studies in Ancient Egyptian Religion & Philosophy
Really consider reading this one:
The Pyramid Texts of UNAS