The wrong letters

On the last page I demonstrated, that the alleged spelling mistake in the Khufu cartouche does not exist. But I asked myself the question, why anybody should suggest, that Vyse could do such a thing.

Bad, bad Howard Vyse

Zecharia Sitchin explains it: Vyse was a really bad, bad boy. He had a bad character, and was "the black sheep of an English aristocratic family"[1].
He then continues to describe his by ambition torn character. In later books Vyse mutates to a monster who could be guilty of anything including the murder of Abraham Lincoln. But is this real?
I found a description in a book from science journalist Leonard Cottrell from 1953. He interviewed descendents of Vyse, including General Sir Richard Howard Vyse. Cottrell wrote, that Vyse came from a military family. The interviewed general told him, that Vyse had been better and more interested in archaeology instead of military business, therefore he had been "a trial" for the military family..[2]
So he was a "black sheep" because he was not interested in the "business" of his family, but only in "old stones". And not because he was a liar, gambler or impostor. Cottrell continues, that he was a very spiritual man who believed in the bible, and that his writings show a deep sympathy for the builders of the monuments.[3]
Peter Tompkins, main source of many pyramid writers, turns the whole characterisation around:
"Howard Vyse ... was a martinet with little humour. ... A trial to his family, who were pleased to have him away from the country seat ..., even if it cost them some of the family patrimony..."[4]
This characterisation seems to be the basis for all later stories. But even here I cannot see any source for the later characterisations by Sitchin and other authors.

The Birch-Expertise

But let's come back to the main topic of this page. There is, so Sitchin, more evidence for a fake of the inscriptions: an expertise made by the greatest expert of hieroglyphics at Vyses time, Samuel Birch. Birch had profound doubts about the authenticy of the inscriptions, because he noticed, that the texts were written with signs unknown at the time of Khufu!
Sitchin shows that by using passages from Birchs paper.[5].

The summary by Sitchin sounds so plausible that anyone reading it has to ask himself, why ANY Egyptologist ever believed, that Vyse found these signs instead of putting them there in the first place. Let's take a look at what Sitchin writes (unfortunately I do not have the English edition, so I have to translate back from the German one - difference in wording to the original is possible, maybe some reader can provide me with the quotes from the English edition):

"At first Birch had doubts about the orthography and the look of the signs. 'The Symbols or Hieroglyphics, traced in red by the Sculptor, or Mason, upon the stone in the Chambers of the Great Pyramid, are apparently quarry marks', he wrote in the first paragraph, directly followed by an evaluation: 'Although not very legible owing to their having been written in semi-hieratic or linear-hieroglyphic characters, they posses points of considerable interest...'
Birch was irritated that signs, that are allegedly from the beginning of dynasty 4 belong to a writing that came in unse hundreds of years later. [...] The symbols discovered by Vyse therefore belong to another epoch."[6]

The Birch-Expertise has been published in two books. In Perrings "The Pyramids of Gizeh" from 1839 - and in Vyses Book "Operations carried on..."! Would Vyse have been really so stupid to publish an expertise which debunks his major find in his own book? I think not.
But we can not exclude the possibility, so I read the whole paper carefully. Several times. And could not find ANY of the assertions Sitchin makes. Not a word of concern about the age of the signs. You can look for yourself, I have the expertise from Perrings book scanned and put to this Birch-page. Warning, large size!
Sitchin clearly turned around Birchs message, because he was not wondering about the letters but about the fact, that there are two cartouche names in the chamber. Not a syllable about diverging ages - it's a complete lie!

Hieratic writing

hieratic writing That Birch is concerned about the age of the writing seems to be a pure invention of Sitchin. No wonder, Birch had no reason to be concerned.
It is true that the fully developed hieratic writing came some 100 years after Khufu, but the letters in his pyramid are not these fully developed signs. They are written, as Birch writes, in a "semi-hieratic" or "linear-hieroglyphic" way, a precursor of the full hieratic writing (although Sitchin declares it to be even younger than the full hieratics - another lie). This linear writing existed in Egypt parallel to the hieroglyphics since earliest times, the picture on the side is a clay cylinder with semi-hieratic writing from a time about 200 years before Khufu!

For a better understanding: Like we the Egyptians used two systems of writing. The hieroglyphics were something like our print letters, standardised for official use on monuments. And they had a form of hand writing, which used a reduced set of signs that were abstract representations of the original hieroglyphs, made for the use of a quill or a brush. Egyptologist Maria Carmela Betro about these letters:

"That the hieroglyphs could conserve their expressive artistic nature to the end of its time is owned to the fact that almost at the same time a coursive script for writing down information was developed, which was easier and faster to use as the pretty but hard to write hieroglyphics. This writing is called "hieratics" (from the Greek "hieratikos" = priestly) ...
Very early half-coursive semi hieratic forms of hieroglyphics can be found, like an ink paint inscription on a vessel of the predynastic king Ka. ..."[7]

Egyptologist Adelheid Schlott also examined the topic. In her book Schrift und Schreiber im alten Ägypten she has a list which shows the development of several signs during time, from early (3rd dynasty) to full developed (5th dynasty) hieratics[8]:

signs compared

Please compare the signs on the table with those from the pyramid on the page before: the style is similar to the one in the column "3. Dynastie". The quail (sign on the lower left) is a perfect match to those used in the pyramid!
But not only did invent Sitchin Birchs "astonishment", the rest of Sitchins chapter about writing is a pure invention!

Anachronistic titles

That is another thing Birch had found out. Sitchin writes:[9]:

"The hieroglyphics following the cartouche in the same linear writing were interpreted by Birch as a title which means something like "mighty one in upper and lower Egypt" The only similar inscription of this kind 'appears in a title on the coffin of the Queen of Amasis' - from the Saite epoch. He didn't care to explain that pharaoh Amasis .. ruled in the 6th century BC - more than 2000 years after Khufu."

Well, that's another direct lie, as you can see in the expertise for yourself. On page 2, paragraph 2, Birch writes:

"The same title appears on the coffin of the Queen of Amasis. ... These inscriptions are peculiar to this period, and to the era of the Saite dynasty, who revived many of the earlier prenomens, titles and offices."

Birch does not say, that the appearance on the Q.o.Amasis- coffin is the only one - that's a wrong interpretation and simplification by Sitchin. And also Birch does explain why it's there: because the Saites revived many of the old titles. That Birch "does not care to explain" is another blatant lie!
What Birch writes about the Saites is true. Many findings demonstrate, that these late period kings, which followed after hundreds of years of foreign invaders, wanted to make bounds to the earlier, glorious time and revived many old traditions and restored many old temples and pyramids. It is for example recorded, that they re-introduced the temple ceremonies on the pyramids of the 4h dynasty!

But Sitchin goes further[10]:

"Birch also found strange a 'curious sequence of symbols' in the upper chamber ... Here the hieroglyphic of "good, gracious" was used as number - a usage that was never found before or after. This unusual sequence was interpreted as 'eighteenth year' (of the reign of Khufu).

Well, that's heavy. As we have seen at the Isis stele he turns around he meaning of a word. Birch wrote, that "Gom" was used as a cipher - a code. And from the original Birch text it is clear that he meant something like a pronome, a code used before the real number. Which were written with totaly different signs, the Egyptian number signs.
And: You cn not find a single word abut "18th year" in this expertise. Look for yourself, I scanned the whole text of it. In fact, Birch interpreted the sign as symbol for a cardinal direction, and the signs behind as the number of the block in the row. Nofre" blocks were blocks of the south side, and "Gom"-blocks were placed on he north side. Which has been established as a fact today.
This means, that the whole story is an invention of Sitchin!

Two Pharaohs?

The last part of Sitchins source faking (it is nothing else) is the legend of the two kings. Because Sitchin claims[11], Birch's expertise had an impact "like a bomb". Because Birch had found two king's names, and not one. And:

"About his attempt to analyse the meaning of the ram symbol Birch writes: 'A Cartouche, similar to that which first occurs in Wellingtons chamber, had been published by Mr. Wilkinson as unidentified king ... who reads the phonetic elements of which it is composed "Seneschufo, which name is supposed by Mr. Wilkinson to mean "the Brother of Suphis""

The quote in question can be found in the third paragraph of Birchs page 1, and it can clearly be seen that Sitchin bends the passage a bit by leaving out parts without marking it.
Afterwards he philosophises on two pages hat those two names can mean for his faker hypothesis. But he "forgets", that Birch continues in the following line:

"Without entering into any discussion as to the etymology of the prefixed SEN .. it is to be observed that the reading of Sensaophis is false, owing to an error of the transcriber (Wilkinson, rem. FD), which has been adopted by subsequent editors through the want of a proper analysis of the passage."

So Birch writes the complete opposite of what Sitchin claims! He does not endorse the interpretation "Son of Khufu", he rejects it. Sitchin makes a right out of a wrong! Birch even continues to explain, that SEN is a normal pronomen which was pulled into the cartouche, a normal and even at Birch's time well documented procedure!

A complete analysis about Sitchins misrepresentation of Birch, and many other facts around Sitchin and Vyse were compilated on Martin Stower's homepage, which unfortunately is off-line at the moment. As soon as he has it up again you will find the link here.
But at this moment we can safely conclude: the faker's name is not Vyse, but Sitchin!

[1] Sitchin, Stufen, p. 292
[2] Cottrell, Leonard; Mountains of the Pharaos, p. 128
[3] ibd.
[4] Tompkins, Peter; Secrets of the Great Pyramid, p. 59
[5] Sitchin, Stufen p. 298 ff.
[6] ibd.
[7] Betro, Maria Carmela; Heilige Zeichen, p. 29 ff
[8] Schlott, Adelheid; Schrift und Schreiber im alten Ägypten, p. 78
[9] Sitchin, Stufen p. 299
[10] ibd.
[11] ibd. p. 300 f
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All pictures and texts © Frank Dörnenburg