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Lost LABYRINTH Of Egypt Scanned

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Bianca
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« on: September 28, 2008, 08:50:07 am »




                









                                             Lost Labyrinth Of Egypt Scanned






Mataha Expedition
Hawara 2008
Labyrinth of Egypt
NRIAG - Ghent University/Kunst-Zicht
A project funded by Louis De Cordier
www.louisdecordier.com

Pro Workshop
11-12.08.2008 Cairo Egypt
International Conference
28.10.2008 Ghent Belgium





intro


The Mataha-expedition discovered the lost labyrinth of Egypt at Hawara.

A colossal temple described by many classic authors like Herodotus and Strabo, to contain 3000 rooms full of hieroglyphs and paintings. A legendary building lost for 2 millenia under the ancient sands of Egypt. Bringing the highest level of technology to unlock the secrets of the past.

The sand of Hawara was scanned earlier this year (February-March 2008) by the Belgian Egyptian expedition team. Although ground penetrating techniques have been used by archaeologists for years, the Mataha-expedition (Mataha = labyrinth in Arabic) was the first to apply this technology at Hawara, to solve the enigma born in the Renaissance for once.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2008, 08:46:53 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 08:54:59 am »





               










Result



The conclusion of the Hawara geophysic-survey is officially released by the Egyptian authorities at the workshop in Cairo organized by the NRIAG on 11 of August 2008. This took place in the presence of some members of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, a representative of UNESCO, professors of international Universities, researchers of Cairo based archaeological institutes and a small selection of specialized archaeological press.

Before taking off with the conclusion, it needs to be said that the presented geo-archaeological results about the Labyrinth were received with positive scepticism by archaeologists and alike, who still prefer to believe actual excavation as confirmation of the discovery, without touching the integrity of the geophysic team professionalism. This feeling of doubt was expected like geophysic technics are new in the field of archaeology. Till very recently geophysics were namely only used by the military and oil industry. All geophysic results regarding the groundwater and the geologic situation, are in contrast fully taken for granted by all parties, and even formed the actual start of the existing preservation master plan for the Hawara archaeological site, by the Egyptian government and the Supreme council of Antiquities.

The mission of the Mataha-expedition was, besides preservation, to research the quarry theory by Petrie based on his finding of a great artificial stone surface (304meter on 244meter). Petrie interpreted the enormous artificial stone plateau he discovered at the depth of several meters, as the foundation of the labyrinth, concluding that the building itself was totally demolished, as a stone quarry in the Ptolemaic period. However, the “foundation” impenetrated by early expeditions, never lost the possibility of being the roof of the Labyrinth, described by Strabo as a great plain of stone.



The Mataha – expedition research confirms the presence of archaeological features at the labyrinth area south of the Hawara pyramid of Amenemhet III. These features covering an underground area of several hectares, have the prominent signature of vertical walls on the geophysical results. The vertical walls with an average thickness of several meters, are connected to shape nearly closed rooms, which are interpreted to be huge in number. Consequently, the geophysic survey initiated with the cordial permission of Dr. Zahi Hawass the president of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and conducted by the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (Helwan, Cairo) with the support of Ghent University/Kunst-Zicht, can now officially verify the occurrence of big parts of the Labyrinth as described by the classic authors at the study area. The Labyrinth data are acquired mainly from 2 scanned surfaces at the labyrinth area south of the pyramid. One scan survey of 150m by 100m on the right site of the Bahr Wahbi canal, and one on the left site (80m by 100m). Two considerations regarding the conclusion. Seen the survey provided only two big puzzles, the total size and shape of the labyrinth can not yet been concluded. Secondly, the data of the labyrinth are accurate, because of the exceptional dimensions of the structure, but the geophysic profiles still need some filtration to give more details. Groundwater affected the consistency of the survey. The partial defacement of the data is due to the high salinity of the shallow subsurface water and the seasonal fluctuation of this level. So we recommend also another episode of geophysical survey after the dewatering project to enhance the outcome to great extent.

In the upper ground zone above the water level, walls appear at the shallow depth ranging between 1,5 to 2,5 meters. These decayed mudbrick features are very chaotic and show no consistent grid structure and can be comfortably related with the historic period of the Ptolemaic and Roman times. A period in which is known, that the labyrinth area was used as a cemetery, and probably also changed to a living area in the Byzantine period. Underneath this upper zone, below the artificial stone surface appears (in spite of the turbid effect of the groundwater) at the depth of 8 to 12 meters a grid structure of gigantic size made of a very high resistivity material like granit stone. This states the presence of a colossal archaeological feature below the labyrinth “foundation” zone of Petrie, which has to be reconsidered as the roof of the still existing labyrinth. The conclusion of the geo-archaeological expedition counters in a scientific way the idea that the labyrinth was destructed as a stone quary in Ptolemaic times and validates the authenticity of the classical author reports. The massive grid structure of the labyrinth is also out of angle by 20° to 25° from the Hawara pyramid orientation. An analysis shifting the contemporary idea of the labyrinth as funerary temple and its supposed construction age, but on the other hand it hardens Herodotus accuracy, who described the nearby pyramid to be at the corner of the labyrinth. It might even be considered that the remains of the labyrinth run unaffectedly underneath the canal, which crosses the total Hawara area. Like the scanned Labyrinth sections on both sides of Bahr Wahbi canal have similar and parallel grids on the geophysical results.

From a preservative view of the Hawara archaeological site, humanity is now facing a great challenge. The water level, which raised dramatically since the last decades, is detected at a depth of about 4-5 meters below the ground surface at the labyrinth area. Drowning the whole site completely in the corrosive salty water, which agressively destructs the stones of the labyrinth on a great scale. Making environmental protection directly the utmost necessity. UNESCO committee members publicly considered after the official release of the research conclusion at the workshop in Cairo, to mark the total Hawara site “world heritage”, as the first UNESCO step towards the launch of an international safeguarding campaign. This should be a great honour en help, like Hawara not only contains important Middle Kingdom to late Roman antiquities, but also the greatest wonder of the classical world. With the words of Herodotus “surpassing even the great pyramids of Giza”. 

In contrast to many sites, which become vulnerable to illegal excavations and theft after the release of their discovery, the Labyrinth is contradictory protected from illegal human activity by the saline water that destroys it. A situation we can not push towards a next generation without presenting an empty box, like all hieroglyphic texts as described by the classic others will be very soon lost forever, eaten out by salt crystals.
An archaeological rescue operation as never seen before will therefore have to be organized, to raise the necessary media attention, experts, technology and funds to start the drainage, protection and the total excavation of the labyrinth of Egypt. The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities expressed their great devotion and responsibility by announcing the start of the actual renovate master plan for the site, but as a the labyrinth affects the whole world, we are responsible to work together with this great country that bears already the heavy weight to preserve and protect the remains of a giant civilization. A fantastic country with great people, that is reaching a warm hand to the rest of the world to share this new discovered global human heritage.

The Mataha-Expedition team therefore directs the need for any kind of support to all man. We believe that humanity reached the point of civilization to be able to work unconditional together at high efficiency with the honorary aim to protect and discover the colossal stone book that the ancients built with an unimaginable effort of love, to communicate with us from the deep black of time.
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2008, 08:56:35 am »









Workshop



The "Hawara: Past, Present and future" workshop in Cairo, organized by the National Research institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, presented the total outline of the expedition results (including a visit to Hawara), and the consequential Hawara rescue and renovate masterplan of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Workshop: 11-12 August 2008, NRIAG (Cairo)
Fore more info about this past workshop download > Hawara-Workshop.pdf

 




Conference



The Ghent University conference will present the prominent persons related to the Mataha-expedition. The main focus will be the exhibit of the NRIAG research conclusion, framed by an outline of the history and the future of the labyrinth. The featured Mataha-expedition conference guestspeakers are; Prof. Dr. Paul Van Cauwenberge (Rector Ghent University), General Director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt Dr. Zahi Hawass (with all reserves), Prof. Dr. Salah M.Mahmoud (Ministery of Scientific Research, President of NRIAG), Prof. Dr. Moustafa Kamel El-Ghamrawy (Supreme Council of Antiquities), Associate Prof. Dr. Abbas Mohamed Abbas (National Research Institute of Astronomy & Geophysics, Director of the Hawara Geophysic Survey and Member of the Egyptian Committee of the Protection of Antiquities from Environmental Effects), Ghent University Prof. dr. Morgan De Dapper (Department of Geography: unit morphology & geo-archaelogy), Prof. Dr. Peter Vandenabeele (Ghent University, Department of Archaeology and ancient history of Europe), Prof. Dr. Johan Braeckman (Ghent University, Department of Philosophy) Guy Bovyn (Kunst-Zicht, Curator Mataha-project; curator Contemporary Art Ghent University; coordinator of the postgraduate program 'Exhibition and Conservation of Contemporary Art'), Louis De Cordier ( Mataha-expedition coordinator & funder ).



Conference: 28 th October 2008 18:00h-20:30h Ghent University (Belgium)

Aula Auditorium, Volderstraat 9, 9000 Gent, Belgium
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2008, 08:58:33 am »










Statement



Since Herodotus visited the legendary Labyrinth of Egypt 2500 years ago, the building dissapeared in the mist of time.

After millennia of desert winds the tip of its remains was finally found back by the famous archaeologist Flinders Petrie in 1889. Petrie interpreted the enormous artificial stone plateau he discovered at Hawara, as the foundation of the labyrinth and concluded, that the building itself was totally demolished, as a stone quarry in the Ptolemaic period.

The mission of the Mataha-expedition was, besides preservation, to question this theory. On account, the foundation impenetrated by early expeditions, could still be the roof of the Labyrinth, described by Strabo as a great plain of stone.

If this should indeed be the case, like it is proofed, it would not only be a historic discovery, but also
a huge challenge, because the whole area is seriously affected by corrosive salty groundwater.

Agressively destructing stone on a great scale, making environmental protection directly the utmost necessity. To be, or not to be anymore. A big question that is now scientifically answered by the geophysic survey, ending all contextual assumptions.

The Mataha-expedition made the statement to find this out with the realisation of a professional geo-archaeologic survey, and "watched with a qualified scientific team under the "foundation of Petrie. With the aim to unriddle the enigma of the lost labyrinth, full of hieroglyphs sculpted for enternity in its endless stone walls, as described by the classic authors, and believed today by many people to contain all knowledge of ancient Egypt.

After all, the principal aim of the Mataha-expedition is the search to better understand the history of Mankind.
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2008, 09:01:17 am »









Expedition



From the 18th of February until the 12th of March 2008 the geo-archaeological survey was conducted by the NRIAG (National Research institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Helwan, Egypt) on the archaeological site of Hawara (Faiyum oasis – Egypt).

Archaeological geophysics is a means to non-destructively gain information, about what features are below the ground to great depths without archaeological excavation.

Geophysics surveys are carried out to answer a specific question. This question is usually as simple as 'What is there?’.

The survey stood under the general direction of Associate Prof. Dr. Abbas Mohammed Abbas (NRIAG). Support and permission for this research was given by Mr. Zahi Hawass, General Director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, to conduct the geophysic research of the Hawara Necropolis in order to map the underground to prepare for preservation works.

Stating the integration of a huge drainage system, to protect the location against the environmental effect of salty groundwater.

Caused by the site crossing water channel, agricultural irrigation and the disappearance of the annual
9 month dry period since the construction of the Aswan dam.

The conservation works will open the way to archaeological excavation before the destruction of the effected antiquities, also mapped by the geo-archaeological survey.






People



The Mataha Expediton is an art & science project by:


NRIAG, Ghent University/Kunst-Zicht & Louis De Cordier,
with the cooperation of the Supreme Council of Antiquities,
Horus Foundation & Isel Foundation.





Special thanks to:



dr. Zahi Hawass,

Prof. Dr. Moustafa Kamel El-Ghamrawy,

dr. Abbas Mohamed Abbas,

Prof. Dr. Alaaedin Shaheen,

Prof. Dr. Morgan De Dapper,

Guy Bovyn, Kaat Van de Velde,

Frank Clark,

Mark Beaver,

Seppe Slabbinck,

Peter Cooreman & Patrick Geryl
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2008, 09:05:04 am »











Art & Science



In the Mataha expedition, contemporary archaeology meets contemporary art. A cutting edge research featuring the relations between art, science and archaeology. The Mataha expedition is a total project mixing geophysicists, archaeologists, geomorphologists, artists, egyptologists, communicators, art curators, authors, aerospace and civil engineers, to create an innovative way of research. Louis De  Cordier felt that both the artist and scientist share the common believe in the impossible. Although these professions appear to be on the opposite side of the logic-creativity-spectrum, he recognized that they often use a similar language to communicate their ideas: they are both highly visual, comfortable with the abstract, and focused on the unknown. Fueled by the desire to express change, Louis De  Cordier realized the cooperation between the Ghent University and the NRIAG, which found enormous value in incorporating contemporary art as a catalyst to their traditional scientific process, inciting the evolution of the archaeologic research field. On balance, the historic relation between art research and archaeology is very close. Archaeology as a discipline has always been a department of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy. In the last decades archaeology evolved to a hard science by working together with departments like geology and geography. A great evolution bringing along technics as radio carbon dating and geophysics, but gradually loosing the factor of the artistic imagination. So inherent to understand long lost civilizations, which left us mainly...Art. The realization of the Mataha-expedition founds its origin in the imagination of artists dating back to the Renaissance period. The Renaissance stimulated rising interest in Antiquity, and brought back into circulation classical authors such as Herodotus. As a result, once again authors and artists were the first to be interested in the Egyptian Labyrinth. The scholar Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680 CE) produced one of the first pictorial reconstructions, based on the accounts in Herodotus. In the centuries to follow, the legendary labyrinth of Egypt continued to inspire Romantic artists and artistic explores to search in Egypt. Like Paul Lucas, artist and antiquary of king Louis XIV of France. Reaching its peak with the exploration of Egypt by Napoleon Bonaparte, who realized an expedition constituted of artists and scientists forming one team of "savants which localized the Labyrinth in Hawara.

In this state of mind the artist Louis De Cordier continued the labyrinth story on a contemporary archaeological way. Devoted to the preservation and investigation of Egyptian antiquities, Louis De Cordier started the Mataha Expedition with a series of private lectures, funding the project with the sale profits of the Golden Sun Disk. A timepiece designed by Louis De Cordier to ignite the global fire of comprehensive awareness and awakening. The vision of the Mataha-expedition by Louis De Cordier is not a solitary experiment, but an early foray of a holistic movement to enable research and innovation through the cooperation of varied art & science disciplines.
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2008, 09:06:50 am »










                                                       Labyrinth of Egypt






Location



The historic location of the labyrinth as described by the ancient authors has always been comfortably situated by most Egyptologists at Hawara in Egypt. There are several reasons for this. Like the described presence by Herodotus of the Pyramid (Amenemhet III) next to the water canal at the entrance of the nearby lake, called Lake Moeris and the town Medinet el-Faiyum which was also known as Crocodilopolis, the ancient town of Arsinoë. Reasons which where later supported by the archaeologic research of Flinders Petrie, who stated that the Labyrinth covered at Hawara an area of about 244m from east to west by 304m from north to south.

Hawara is situated 90 km south of modern Cairo, at the entrance to the depression of the Faiyum oasis. The Egyptian name Hw.t-wr.t, "great temple", refers to the labyrinth. The location is marked with the pyramid of Amenemhet III, the last great king of the 12th dynasty (about 1855-1808 Before Common Era). The pyramid he built at Hawara is believed to post-date the so called "Black Pyramid" built by the same ruler at Dahshur. It is this pyramid that is believed to have been Amenemhet's final resting place. In common with the Middle Kingdom pyramids constructed after Amenemhet II, it was built of mudbrick round a core of limestone passages and burial chambers, and faced with limestone. Most of the facing stone was later pillaged for use in other buildings (a fate common to almost all of Egypt's pyramids) and today the pyramid is little more than an eroded, vaguely pyramidal mountain of mud brick.
The entrance to the pyramid is today flooded to a depth of 4-5 by groundwater. Queen Sobekneferu of the twelfth dynasty also built at the complex. Her name meant "most beautiful of Sobek", the sacred crocodile.

The archaeological site of Hawara, is situated on the border area between the cultivated land of the Faiyum oasis and the desert. The Bahr Yussuf, passing in the south, connected the site with the nearby metropolis Crocodilopolis (Arsinoë), once situated at the border of Lake Moeris. The name "Moeris" is a Greek adaptation of ancient Egyptian Mer-Wer (= "The Great Lake"). In ancient Egypt, the lake was also variously called "the Lake", "the Pure Lake", and "the Lake of Osiris". During the Middle Kingdom, the whole area around the lake was often referred to as Mer-Wer as well. Similarly, the Late Egyptian word "Faiyum" (the Sea) came to be used as a reference for the entire region in later times. In the north a small part of the Hawara site is cut by the road to the governate capital Medinet el-Faiyum, while the east side is defined by the entrance road to the site.  The southern and also partly the western border of the site is formed by the Bahr Wahbi, a 180 year old canal which continues towards the north of the Faiyum. During the rule of Mohammed Ali (1805-1848), the French engineer Linant de Bellefonds supervised a major program of canal construction (Linant de Bellefonds, 1854). As part of these hydrological improvements, the Bahr Wahbi was constructed as a subsidiary canal in the late 1820s, to take water from the Bahr Yussef to the northeastern part of the Faiyum.

South of the pyramid, on both sides of the Bahr Wahbi canal, the remains are traced of  the labyrinth, the assumed funerary temple of the pyramid complex.
North of the pyramid a huge cemetary is situated, recognizable by the mudbrick constructions, tombs, mummy wrappings and bones. On the North - Eastern corner of the site an area with tomb shafts which functioned as a cemetery for human and crocodile burials, can be defined. Although the extent of ancient Hawara remains problematic, (part of) the centre can be located on the archaeological site. In the Ptolemaic period living areas were located north-west and south of the pyramid. In the latter area part of the houses were built on top of the western aisle of the Labyrinth, others in the area south and south-east, which bordered the ‘temple area of Souchos’ mentioned in the Demotic texts.

The same areas were occupied during the early Roman period as shown by the surface ceramics. Strabo mentions a Roman village on (top) of the trapezium-shaped platform, where the Labyrinth was located, i.e. in the area south-west of the pyramid. All tombs in this extended necropolis have the usual SW-NE lay-out in a strange contrast to the pyramid of King Amenemhat III, which is symmetrical with the N.S. meridian. The Roman houses were also constructed north-west of the pyramid. The north-west probably stayed in use for late gold faced mask mummies datable between ca. 30 Before Common Era and 50 CE and the gilded mask mummies of the early imperial period. Similar gold-faced mask mummies were found in the Labyrinth area, south-east of the pyramid, where in an earlier phase crocodiles had been buried (Petrie 1889, pp.6 and 17). In the 5th century CE the village was centered around a small church. The mud brick buildings may have lost their funerary function in the Byzantine period (or even earlier) and have become a living area. During the Ptolemaic period three or four clearly defined burial areas were in use, though Ptolemaic tombs also spread to other places on the site.

According to Petrie the most recent burials were in the northern part of the area of his 'tomb chambers', although it is not clear how far Petrie's excavation reached.  North-east of the pyramid Petrie discovered late burials with Coptic embroideries (Petrie 1889, p.Cool. The surface pottery in the rest of the area attests human occupation during the 6th-8th centuries CE, though it is unclear whether the activities were at this time still (exclusively) funerary.
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2008, 09:10:23 am »










Historic Accounts



The colossal Egyptian temple was named "Labyrinth by the Greeks after their legendary complex of meandering halls designed by Daedalus for King Minos of Crete (wherein the Minotaur dwelt).

Herodotus wrote of the Labyrinth after his visit of the building in the fifth century Before Common Era. Herodotos describes the Labyrinth as a grand monument for the twelve kings (dodecarchs), surpassing even the pyramids.

According to Manetho's Aegyptiaca, preserved in an epitome of the early 3rd century CE, the Labyrinth was the tomb of king Lachares.

For Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE) the enormous collective tomb of the twelve kings was built by Mendes, alias Marros. Following a different tradition he that king Menas built a square pyramid and the Labyrinth.

Strabo, who visited Egypt in 25-24 BCE, gives an accurate topographical description, locating the Labyrinth and the pyramid in a trapezium shaped area. He also mentions a nearby village. In Strabo’s view the Labyrinth was a palace, a place for assembling, speaking justice and bringing offerings for
the nomes of Egypt.

Pliny's Natural History (ca. CE 70) ascribes the great Labyrinth to king Petesouchos or Tithoes. His contemporary Pomponius Mela attributes it to Psammetichus.

In Aelius Aristides (CE 117-181) book "Aigyptios the Labyrinth is a mere rhetorical topic illustrating
the greatness of Egypt
(Aigyptios 48, 1).

According to the Historia Augusta (written early 4th century CE), the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus visited the Labyrinth site during his journey in Egypt in 199-200 CE. The state of preservation of the building at that time is not clear, but its symbolic meaning and fame have remained
(Historia Augusta 17, 4).
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2008, 09:13:25 am »











Herodotus (ca. 484-430 BCE): One passage in Histories, Book, II, 148.



In the second book of his History, the Greek writer Herodotus gave the following account of the Labyrinth:

148. Moreover they (the 12 kings) resolved to join all together and leave a memorial of themselves;
and having so resolved they caused to be made a labyrinth, situated a little above the lake of Moiris and nearly opposite to that which is called the City of Crocodiles.

This I saw myself, and I found it greater than words can say. For if one should put together and reckon up all the buildings and all the great works produced by the Hellenes, they would prove to be inferior in labour and expense to this labyrinth, though it is true that both the temple at Ephesos and that at Samos are works worthy of note.

The pyramids also were greater than words can say, and each one of them is equal to many works of the Hellenes, great as they may be; but the labyrinth surpasses even the pyramids. It has twelve courts covered in, with gates facing one another, six upon the North side and six upon the South, joining on one to another, and the same wall surrounds them all outside; and there are in it two kinds of chambers, the one kind below the ground and the other above upon these, three thousand in number, of each kind fifteen hundred.

The upper set of chambers we ourselves saw, going through them, and we tell of them having looked upon them with our own eyes; but the chambers under ground we heard about only; for the Egyptians who had charge of them were not willing on any account to show them, saying that here were the sepulchres of the kings who had first built this labyrinth and of the sacred crocodiles. Accordingly we speak of the chambers below by what we received from hearsay, while those above we saw ourselves and found them to be works of more than human greatness.

For the passages through the chambers, and the goings this way and that way through the courts, which were admirably adorned, afforded endless matter for marvel, as we went through from a court
to the chambers beyond it, and from the chambers to colonnades, and from the colonnades to other rooms, and then from the chambers again to other courts.

Over the whole of these is a roof made of stone like the walls; and the walls are covered with figures carved upon them, each court being surrounded with pillars of white stone fitted together most perfectly; and at the end of the labyrinth, by the corner of it, there is a pyramid of forty fathoms,
upon which large figures are carved, and to this there is a way made under ground.

149. Such is this labyrinth; but a cause for marvel even greater than this is afforded by the lake,
which is called the lake of Moiris, along the side of which this labyrinth is built…
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 09:15:00 am »










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






Short fragment from his list of Egyptian kings.



"Fourth King. Lamares, eight years. He built the Labyrinth in the Arsinoite Nome as a tomb for himself."
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2008, 09:18:33 am »










Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE): Two passages in his history, Book I 61.1-2 and 66.3-6.



"When the king died the government was recovered by Egyptians and they appointed a native king Mendes, whom some call Mares. Although he was responsible for no military achievements whatsoever, he did build himself what is called the Labyrinth as a tomb, an edifice which is wonderful not so much
for its size as for the inimitable skill with which it was build; for once in, it is impossible to find one's
way out again without difficulty, unless one lights upon a guide who is perfectly acquainted with it.

It is even said by some that Daedalus crossed over to Egypt and, in wonder at the skill shown in the building, built for Minos, King of Crete, a labyrinth like that in Egypt, in which, so the tales goes, the creature called the Minotaur was kept.

Be that as it may, the Cretan Labyrinth has completely disappeared, either through the destruction wrought by some ruler or through the ravages of time; but the Egyptian Labyrinth remains absolutely perfect in its entire construction down to my time.

And seized with enthusiasm for this enterprise they strove eagerly to surpass all their predecessors in the seize of their building.

For they chose a site beside the channel leading into Lake Moeris in Libya and there constructed their tomb of the finest stone, laying down an oblong as the shape and a stade as the size of each side, while in respect of carving and other works of craftsmanship they left no room for their successors to surpass them.

For, when one had entered the sacred enclosure, one found a temple surrounded by columns, 40 to each side, and this building had a roof made of a single stone, carved with panels and richly adorned with excellent paintings.

It contained memorials of the homeland of each of the kings as well as of the temples and sacrifices carried out in it, all skillfully worked in paintings of the greatest beauty.

Generally it is said that the king conceived their tomb on such an expensive and prodigious scale that if they had not been deposed before its completion, they would not have been able to give their successors any opportunity to surpass them in architectural feats.
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2008, 09:57:20 am »










Strabo (ca. 64 BCE - CE 19): Three passages in his geography, Book 17, I, 3 and 37 and 42.




"... the total number of nomes was equal to the number of the courts in the Labyrinth; these are fewer than 30. In addition to these things there is the edifice of the Labyrinth which is a building quite equal to the Pyramids and nearby the tomb of the king who built the Labyrinth.

There is at the point where one first enters the channel, about 30 or 40 stades along the way, a flat trapezium-shaped site which contains both a village and a great palace made up of many palaces equal in number to that of the nomes in former times; for such is the number of peristyle courts which lie contiguous with one another, all in one row and backing on one wall, as though one had a long wall with the courts lying before it, and the passages into the courts lie opposite the wall.

Before the entrances there lie what might be called hidden chambers which are long and many in number and have paths running through one another which twist and turn, so that no one can enter or leave any court without a guide.

And the wonder of it is the roofs of each chambers are made of single stones and the width of the hidden chambers is spanned in the same way by monolithic beams of outstanding size; for nowhere is wood or any other material included. And if one mounts onto the roof, at no great height because the building has only one storey, it is possible to get a view of a plain of masonry made of such stones, and, if one drops back down from there into the courts, it is possible to see them lying there in row each supported be 27 monolithic pillars; the walls too are made up in stones of no less a size.


At the end of this building, which occupies an area of more than a stade, stands the tomb, a pyramid on a oblong base, each side about 4 "plethra" in length and the height about the same; the name of the man buried there was Imandes.

The reason for making the courts so many is said to be the fact that it was customary for all nomes to gather there according to rank with their own priests and priestesses, for the purpose of sacrifice, divine-offering, and judgement on the most important matters. And each of the nomes was lodged in the court appointed to it.

And above this city stands Abydos, in which there is the Memnonium, a palace wonderfully constructed of massive stonework in the same way as we have said the Labyrinth was built, though the Memnonium differs in being simple in structure.
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2008, 10:01:58 am »











Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79): One passage in his Natural History, Book 36, 84-89



"Let us speak also of labyrinths, quite the most extraordinary works on which men have spent their money, but not, as may be thought, figments of the imagination.

There still exists even now in Egypt in the Heracleopolite Nome the one which was built first, according to tradition 3,600 years ago by king Petesuchis or Tithois, though Herodotus ascribes the whole work to Twelve Kings and Psammetichus, the latest of them.

Various reasons are given for building it.

Demoteles claims that it was the palace of Moteris, Lyceas the tomb of Moeris, but the majority of writers take the view that it was build as a temple to the Sun, and this is generally accepted. At any rate, that Daedalus used this as the model for the Labyrinth which he built in Crete is beyond doubt, but it is equally clear that he imitated only 100th part of it which contains twisting paths and passages which advance and retreat-all impossible to negotiate.

The reason for this is not that within a small compass it involves one in mile upon of walking, as we see in tessellated floors or the displays given by boys on the Campus, but that frequently doors are buried in it to beguile the visitor into going forward and then force him to return into the same winding paths.

This was the second to be built after the Egyptian Labyrinth, the third being in Lemnos and the fourth
in Italy, all roofed with vaults of polished stone, though the Egyptian specimen, to my considerable astonishment, has its entrance and columns made of Parian marble, while the rest is of Aswan granite, such masses being put together as time itself cannot dissolve even with the help of the Heracleopolitans; for they have regarded the building with extraordinary hatred.

It would be impossible to describe in detail the layout of that building and its individual parts, since it is divided into regions and administrative districts which are called nomes, each of the 21 nomes giving its names to one of the houses.

A further reason is the fact that it also contains temples of all the gods of Egypt while, in addition, Nemesis placed in the building's 40 chapels many pyramids of 40 ells each covering an area of 6 arourae with their base.

Men are already weary with travelling when they reach that bewildering maze of paths; indeed, there are also lofty upper rooms reached by ramps and porticoes from which one descends on stairways which have 90 steps each; inside are columns of imperial porphyry, images of the gods, statues of kings and representations of monsters.

Certain of the halls are arranged in such way that as one throws open the door there arises within a fearful noise of thunder; moreover one passes through most of them in darkness.

There are again other massive buildings outside the wall of the Labyrinth; they call them "the Wing".

Then there are other subterranean chambers made by excavating galleries in the soil.

One person only has done any repairs there-and they were few in number. He was Chaermon, the eunoch of king Necthebis, 500 years before Alexander the Great. A tradition is also current that he supported the roofs with beams of acacia wood boiled in oil, until squared stones could be raised up
into the vaults.
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2008, 10:03:31 am »










Pomponius Mela (1st century CE): One passage in his chorographia, Book I, 9, 56.



"The building of Psammetich, the Labyrinth, includes within the circuit of one unbroken wall 1000 houses and 12 palaces, and is built of marble as well as being roofed with the same material.

It has one descending way into it, and contains within almost innumerable paths, which have many convolutions twisting hither and thither.

These paths, however, cause great perplexity both because of their continual winding and because of their porticoes which often reverse their direction, continually running through one circle after another and continually turning and retracing their steps as far as they have gone forwards with the result that the Labyrinth is fraught with confusion by reason of its perpetual meandering, though it is possible to extricate oneself.
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2008, 10:06:06 am »










Papyri



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

The concentration of documents in the 1st century BCE is due to the Hawara undertakers archives.

The Egyptian Labyrinth (Labuvrinqo") appears 18 times in 16 papyri between 258 BCE and the reign
of Hadrian (117-138 CE).

All texts but one are Ptolemaic.

Though the names Hw.t-wr.t/AuJh`riß and Labuvrinqoß disappear early from our records, archaeo-
logical finds show that the site was continuously occupied up to the 7th century CE.

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

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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