Between the hectic work at the end of the season and the terrible internet connection, I wasn’t able to post about our final results for the season. So in the next few days, I’ll write about where things stand and our plans for next season.
Our most dramatic result was in the burial chamber of the pyramid. After two years of work, and about 250 tons of sand removed by hand, we came down on a big granite slab, about 10 feet (3.3 meters) long that was aligned between the door and the “stele niche” in the back of the burial chamber.
|Granite slab when first cleaned (Jaffar Madani of El Kurru village at left)|
Would this be the inscribed stele that would finally give us the name of the king who built the pyramid?
Well, we cleaned off the stone and it was pretty roughly finished. So we thought maybe on the other face…so we looked underneath, but the space was too confined for us to see.
|Me and Mahmoud Suliman Bashir, my Sudanese friend and colleague|
(and the project's Inspector from the Department of Antiquities)
trying to see under the stele
So we got all our strongest guys and turned it so it was vertical.
And that face was unfinished too! Here's what I thought about that:
When we excavated the rest of the room, the granite slab turned out to be resting right on an unfinished sandstone "coffin bench" that was originally intended to support the coffin of the king. But the rest of the room was completely empty, showing that the pyramid burial chamber was NEVER USED!
|Granite slab on top of the coffin bench, with the beginnings of the "stele niche" at the back wall|