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In Search of Khufu (cont.)
By Scott Creighton and Gary Osborn

The Seal Seals it.

Now, such a statement will be regarded as highly controversial, calling into question hundreds of years of Egyptological consensus that regards these two different cartouches as referring to the same king “Khufu”. There is, however, further compelling evidence to support our view that these two different inscriptions do indeed represent two different kings.

Consider the images below (figures 4 and 5) which show the impressions from a 4th dynasty cylinder seal supposedly depicting the term “Pyramid Town Akhet Khufu”. Note: the supposed ‘Khufu’ inscription is within the large oval-shaped cartouche.


Figure 4: Author’s Impression of Cylinder Seal and Impression Depicting “Raufu”
(Click for larger image)

Now, the purpose of a cylinder seal was to quickly and efficiently render the name of the king onto a wet clay tablet, usually for official business. This clay tablet would then be fired in a kiln. It would not be expected that each and every clay impression from such a seal – when fired and dried - would then have to be painted to finalize the precise detail of the king’s name since such an action would completely undermine the very purpose and efficiency of the seal. In order that such a seal could function as efficiently as possible it should be able to render the full, royal name of the king upon impression and without having to resort to painting additional detail afterwards in order to make the meaning of the name clear and unambiguous.

Simple common sense tells us that the most efficient and most practical way to render the full, unambiguous name of the king when using a seal would be to carve the full, unambiguous name of the king – hatchings and all - right into the seal from the start so that, upon impression the meaning is perfectly clear – ‘Kh’.

Now, observe the disc within the cartouche of the king’s name below (labeled ‘1’ in figure 5). Once again we see the disc within the royal cartouche has been rendered without the horizontal hatchings – it is a plain (unhatched, unpainted) disc that is identical in every way to the plain disc of Ra just as we find in the cartouche of this king in the Abydos table.


Figure 5: Author’s Impression of Cylinder Seal Impression “Raufu”
(Click for larger image)

All ambiguity could have very easily been removed from this seal (and, of course, its impressions) with the simple use of carved, horizontal lines within the disc of the king’s name. But these differentiating lines were not carved into this seal and we have to ask - why wasn’t this done? Why was the disc in the king’s cartouche of this seal finished without the absolutely essential hatched lines that would be needed to render the king’s name properly, efficiently and unambiguously?

Beside the cartouche (bottom right figure 5) we see another disc (labeled ‘2’) has been rendered very precisely with the intricate detail of a cross, carved into the disc’s interior. This is the ancient Egyptian word for “town” or “territory”. The point in highlighting this is to show that it is quite inconceivable that the maker of this seal would have remembered to carve the full, intricate line detail for the word “town” and yet completely forget to carve the full detail (i.e. hatched horizontal lines) within the disc of the God-King’s name.

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It has been argued by some that the disc of the king’s name in this particular seal is simply too small an area to have rendered such intricate detail. This argument makes little sense since, if such line detail were indeed required, then simply create a slightly larger disc, i.e. a disc of similar size to the “town” disc into which the horizontal line detail could have been carved.

There is but one inescapable conclusion that can be drawn from this evidence. It seems reasonably clear that the maker of this seal fully intended the disc within the cartouche of the king to be rendered as a plain disc to be read as “Ra”. There seems to be no mistake here on the part of the scribe or sculptor (as is often assumed by mainstream Egyptology). The name of the king on this seal seems to have been fully intended to be impressed as “Raufu” and, again, almost identical to the name we find inscribed within the cartouche of the second king of the 4th dynasty as presented in the Abydos King List (figure 3) – i.e., ‘Rauf’.

Naturally, this then leads us to the very obvious question – if Raufu was the 2nd king of the 4th dynasty ca.2550 BCE - as the evidence seems to suggest - who then was Khufu? When did he live? And why do we find his name (as opposed to Raufu’s name) painted in an inaccessible area (until 1837) of the Great Pyramid?

It seems to us that whilst Khufu may indeed have been the builder of the Great Pyramid he was not the 2nd king of the 4th dynasty ca.2550 BCE – this being Raufu. And since Khufu is not mentioned as being the king in earlier (or later) dynasties, we must further conclude that this king belonged to an age before the dynastic period of Ancient Egypt ever arose. And it stands to reason that if Khufu does not belong to dynastic Egypt then neither can the Great Pyramid (built by Khufu). And, by extension, neither can the other giant pyramids that preceded the Great Pyramid belong to the Old Kingdom period.

In short, Egyptologists have convinced themselves that this king Raufu of the 4th dynasty ca.2550 BCE was the same person that built the Great Pyramid (i.e. Khufu) who – in all probability - belonged to another, earlier age. This, of course, begs the further question – how far back might we have to go to find Khufu and the true date for the construction of his Great Pyramid?

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