Tuesday, 4 February 2014


“The Pyramid which is the Place of Sunrise and Sunset”
Fourth dynasty; approx. 2575 BC ?

As the reader will know the pyramids at Giza are amongst the greatest and most mysterious structures ever built.  I hesitate before saying “ever built by man”.  We do not know who really built them, when or why!

Although it is generally believed that these massive structures were built over about 70 years, anyone with any knowledge of even the most up-to-date engineering technology available today will know that this would be an impossible task now, let alone thousands of years ago before they had even invented the wheel or the pulley.  Classic Egyptologists tend to rely on their readers ignorance or lack of imagination when they state figures like 100,000 men taking 20 years to build the Great Pyramid.

A quick calculation reveals the impossibility of such a feat, using ropes and rollers and dragging stones up to 70 tons up ramps, placing them in incredibly accurate positions which aligned perfectly with the stars.  They seldom consider how these ancient workers could have dragged and lifted the stones weighing 200 tons used to build the temples and causeways around the pyramids and Sphinx.

Although it is often stated that the Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure ordered the building of these wonders in the fourth dynasty, there is no actual evidence of this.  Quarry marks inside the Great Pyramid may be forgeries; the tiny statue of Khufu found, upside down as if dropped, in a crack in the ground outside the pyramid no more suggests that he was the builder than would the finding of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square suggest that Nelson engineered the Square.

Not only are these impressive structures surrounded by mystery, but it appears that even the Egyptian authorities are keen to suppress any new discoveries and many explorers have in recent days been stopped from continuing their work on the point of possibly momentous discoveries.  This is precisely what happened to the work of scientist Rudolf Gantenbrink who, using a robot, examined the so-called ventilation shafts leading from the so-called Queen’s Chamber in 1993.  Having found evidence of a small door at the end of one shaft and seen (through the robot eye) a piece of wood which could be dated to reveal the true age of the pyramid, his work was halted and he has not been allowed to continue since.  Others, like John West and the geologist Robert Schoch of Boston University, have been ignored, because the results of their work would seriously effect the classic Egyptologists view of the past;  their work on the weathering of the Sphinx would suggest it is much older than Egyptologists want it to be.  It certainly appears that either there is some hidden knowledge which us common folk are not privilege to, or else there is some sort of anti-intelligence conspiracy.

There are hundreds of books written on the Great Pyramid.  Authors approach the monuments from a variety of angles.  For some it is evidence of extra-terrestrial life or of an advanced civilisation from the past.  Others see the Pyramid as a cosmic message, either warning us of some great disaster or promising us the coming of a Messiah.   Measurements, undeniably precise, can be interpreted as magical, astronomical or numerological.  Some claim the Pyramid was a tomb, others an observatory of the stars and yet others believe it was a centre for mysterious initiation ceremonies.  Whatever its true purpose, it is now certain that  a great number of inscriptions, paintings and papyri refer to Giza in terms we are only just beginning to understand.

As the author of this presentation, I would have thought the whole thing was no more than science fantasy, if I had not myself been able to walk around, enter and climb upon the Great Pyramid.

Items found within the Great Pyramid of Giza

Iron Plate 2.6 cms x 8.6 cms, discovered by J.R.Hill (1837) stuck inside joint inside southern shaft from King’s Chamber.  Purpose and origin unknown.  Now in British Museum.
Three items found in northern ‘ventilation’ shaft from Queen’s Chamber: *
1.Piece of cedar wood: may have been a measure
2.Bronze forked hook-like item, believed to have been used for Opening of the Mouth ceremony, with part of wooden handle.
3.Green granite ball, 0.850 kg (1 lb 3 oz)
All discovered by Wayman Dixon and Grant in 1872.
 *NB  : These so-called ‘ventilation’ shafts where these objects were found do not appear to have run as far as the outside of the pyramid.
Size and comparison of size
Height 418.9 feet (146.0 m)
North side755 feet 4.9818 inches
West side755 feet 9.1551 inches
East side755 feet 10.4937 inches
South side756 feet 0.09739 inches
Corner Angles :  SE 89o 56’27”;   NE 90o 3’ 2”;  SW 90o 0’ 33”;  NW 89o 59’ 58”
Area  53,000 square metres
Estimated number of rocks = 2,500,000; average weight 2.6 tons
91,000,000 cubic feet
Estimate of tonnage of rock = 6,300,000 tons

The following size comparisons have been made:
The pyramid contains more solid masonry than all the cathedrals, churches and chapels built in Britain since the time of Christ.
The Great Pyramid could contain the cathedrals of Florence, Milan, St. Peter’s, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s.
The base of the pyramid occupies 13 acres, equivalent to 7 New York city blocks!
The casing blocks were removed by Arabs to build the mosques of Cairo; the mosques contain less material than than the outer casing of the pyramids..

Early entries:
It seems likely that the Great Pyramid was open through most of the New Kingdom and then sealed up, maybe due to local superstitions that it housed powerful magic or a powerful and frightening magician.
Within the period of fairly ‘modern’ history there was a report by the historian Strabo in 24 BC, that the entrance to the Great Pyramid was through a hinged stone door, which, once replaced, was indistinguishable from the rest of the outside of the pyramid.  There is no evidence of this, although one of the pyramids at Dahshur does have such a doorway.  At this time it must have been an even more magnificent building since the outer layer of polished limestone was still intact.  Remember that the pyramid was, to Strabo, as ancient as Strabo is to us today.

The first major attempt to re-find or create an entrance after the original entrance was lost, was in 820 AD by the young caliph Abdullah Al Mamun.  Convinced that the pyramid contained much treasure the caliph used the services of many men to try to burrow in through the side.  Hammers and chisels failing they then tried cracking the stones by throwing cold vinegar onto the stones heated by red hot fires, knocking out the pieces.  This process enabled them to tunnel in one hundred feet.   They met up with a passageway 3_ feet wide by nearly  4 feet high, sloping at an angle of 26o.   They discovered a large stone on the floor, which seemed to have been dislodged from the roof.  They then discovered the original secret entrance ninety feet to the North and some forty-nine feet above the base of the pyramid.  Following this tunnel, the ‘Descending Passage’ as it became known later, they came upon the empty ‘pit’.  Returning to the fallen stone they attempted to dislodge further stones from the ceiling but were unable to do so.

They decided to dig in along side this huge ‘plug’.  After six feet they found another plug, then a third.  Eventually they came to limestone so hard that they could go no further so they forced there way into the ‘Ascending Passage’, again 4 feet high, at a slope of 26o again.  They crawled 150 feet along this slippery passageway, reaching a horizontal passage which itself led to a rectangular limestone chamber with a gabled limestone ceiling, which later became known as the ‘Queen’s Chamber’, although there was no evidence that it related to any ancient queen; in fact it was the Arabs who buried their women in tombs with gabled ceilings.  There was an empty niche in one of the walls, which attracted Mamun’s attention further, which could have once housed a statue or hidden another passage or chamber.  Mamun decided to get his men to burrow into this niche, but they gave up after 3 feet.

Returning to the Ascending Passage they discovered they were in a narrow gallery, some 28 feet high, stretching up at a slope of 28o.  This became known as the ‘Grand Gallery’. With great difficulty they climbed 150 feet to find a huge stone which they had to climb over.  Beyond this stone the passage levelled out, the ceiling now only 41 inches high.  The explorers found another chamber (the ‘Antechamber’) and a larger chamber made from massive polished granite blocks, 34 feet long, 17 feet wide and 19 feet high.  Notice the ratio of the length to breadth of this chamber  is  2 : 1.  The roof here was level and the chamber became known as the ‘King’s Chamber’ because that was the type of ceiling used in Arab tombs for the men.  Unfortunately this chamber was empty except for a sarcophagus without a lid, although this in itself became fascinating to later explorers because it is slightly too big to pass through the chamber door.  There were reports that a stone statue had been found in the sarcophagus although there is no other evidence of this.  Mamun and his men had become so frustrated with the lack of treasure that they attacked the floor!

Years later, after an earthquake had destroyed much of the Arab city El Kaherah, the Arabs removed 22 acres of outside covering from the pyramid, to rebuild the city, as well as two bridges!  In 1356 AD Sultan Hassan removed stone to build his mosque which still stands in modern Cairo.  There was much rubble left piled up and this eventually covered Al Mamun’s entrance  Although the removal of the outer layer had uncovered another two possible entrances, there were now rumours of black magic and nobody wanted to enter the pyramid.

The next entry of interest was made by John Greaves, a mathematician and astronomer.  He climbed the rubble and followed Mamun’s route to the Queen’s Chamber which now stank so bad he had to abandon it.  He visited the King’s Chamber and collected much data and measurements.  Greaves also discovered the ‘Well’ in the Grand Gallery.  He descended 60 feet into this well (there was no water in it) finding that it widened into a rough chamber later called the ‘Grotto’.  Unfortunately the stench and the large volume of bat dung forced his retreat.  He then climbed the outside of the pyramid counting the courses and estimating the height to be 481 feet without the missing top layers.

The Well was entered again in 1765 by Nathaniel Davison, an explorer, only to find the bottom blocked in.  Davison also made another remarkable discovery, the area above the roof of the King’s Chamber, by climbing the Grand Gallery and crawling down a hole only 2 foot wide.  The chamber he found had been  made from rough granite slabs, weighing each some 70 tons.  How these slabs could ever have been lifted and placed so perfectly is yet another mystery.  The chamber is now known as ‘Davison’s Chamber’.  The ceiling of this low crawl space is also made from 70 ton slabs.

In 1798 Napoleon arrived in Egypt and visited the Pyramid with a unique group of scientists and soldiers, to search for knowledge of the ancient past.  Napoleon was a man convinced of supernatural powers and fascinated by magic, but they found nothing more except even more bat dung.  On August 12 1799 Napoleon himself entered the King’s Chamber and asked to be left alone.  Upon exiting he was asked what he had found as he looked shocked and pale.  He answered nothing and never spoke about his experience, until his dying day when he started to speak but then said “What’s the use, you’d never believe me” (in French, of course).

The next discovery was made by an Italian, Caviglia, who cleared the bat dung from Davison’s Chamber and dug a tunnel off it, finding nothing.  Then Caviglia descended the Well and tried to clear the rubble that had collected  since Mamun’s men had burrowed up into the ceiling.  He struggled 150 feet down a stifling passage, the Ascending Passage and, despite sickness from heat and smell, he pressed on another 50 feet, finding a low doorway leading into a hole.  Digging into this they emerged into the bottom of the Well.

About  this time an Englishman, Colonel Howard-Hyse, arrived on the scene at Giza.  His team dug up the floor of the Queen’s Chamber but found nothing there, so thoughtfully refilled the holes!  Discovering a crack in the roof of Davison’s Chamber they tried to dig into the roof, but were unable to do and so blasted their way up.  Here Hyse discovered another chamber, the floor of which was the roof of Davison’s Chamber.  The ceiling was made of 50 ton blocks.  Continuing upwards they found another similar chamber made of 8 granite blocks.  Over the next four moths they found three more chambers, all empty, except for a fine black dust originating from decayed insects.  Howard-Hyse named these chambers after Nelson, Lady Ann Arbuthnot and Colonel Campbell.  They are now seen to be a means of relieving the immense pressure that would otherwise be directly on the roof of the King’s Chamber; the topmost chamber also had a gabled roof.  Red painted cartouches (upside down so probably quarry marks rather that decoration), were found on some of the stones up here and proved to be of a fourth dynasty Pharaoh called Khufu.  Khufu was believed to be the Cheops whom the historian Herodotus had heard of and reported.  It was therefore concluded that Khufu built the Great Pyramid, although there is very little direct evidence to support this conclusion.  Howard- Hyse also found two shafts running from the King’s Chamber through 200 feet of solid masonry to the outside of the pyramid; there is no knowing whether they ever went through the original outer layer, although it is now widely accepted that these were ventilation shafts - air poured through when they were unblocked.  Incidentally Howard-Hyse also took the sarcophagus from the third pyramid at Giza, that of Menkaure, but this was lost off the coast of Spain in a shipwreck and now lies deep in Davy Jones’ Locker.

The Subterranean Chamber
A passage only 3 feet 6 inches (1.1 m) wide and 3 feet 11 inches (1.2 m) high,  at an angle of 26o, descends 345 feet (105 m) from the true entrance, into the bedrock.  It ends in a roughly hewn  pit measuring 46’ x 27’1” x 11’ 6” (14 m x 8.3 m x 3.5 m), 600 feet (183 m) below the apex of the pyramid.  There is a hole sunk into the floor, leading nowhere.  In the western side there is a squared, polished, passage, cut horizontally, 100 feet (30 m) long, leading nowhere. In 1992 Professor Jean Kerisel used radar to examine the walls and floor of the subterranean chamber and reported that he found evidence of an undiscovered system of corridors within the Great Pyramid.  Unfortunately the Egyptian Government has not allowed this to be further investigated.  Strangely Herodotus had reported being told of an underground chamber at Giza.

The Ascending Passage
This passage leads up into the pyramid, at an angle of 26o, matching the Descending Passage.  It is 129 feet (39 m) long, but too low to stand up in.  Where the passage levels out, it forks, one way to the Queen’s Chamber, the other down steps to the Grand Gallery.

The Grand Gallery
Height   28 feet  (8.52 metres)
Length 157 feet (48 m)
Angle of ascent 26o
Seven courses of limestone, each course corbelled in 3 inches over the lower course..  The gallery is 62” wide (1.6 m) at the bottom but only 41” (1 m) at the top.  In present times the gallery is fitted with a wooden ramp.

The King’s Chamber
Size :  34’4”  (10.45 m) E-W;  17’2” (5.23 m) N-S;  height  19’1” (5.81 m)
 = 20 x 10 Egyptian Cubits
Reached by a passageway from the top of the Grand Gallery, it is empty, apart from a broken sarcophagus which is too wide to have been carried through the passageway.  The passage leads to an antechamber with three deeply cut grooves, which may have been to house a portcullis. A pair of granite leaves are set above the portcullis entrance, with a small protuberance or seal on the granite face, on the lower leaf.  The meaning of this is unknown, it is not hieroglyphic.  The antechamber becomes a restricted passage for a few feet, then opens up to the King’s Chamber.
The floor is made from 15 massive granite paving stones.  The floor plan of the chamber is the ratio 2:1; the height is in the ratio of the diagonal of the floor, representing the Golden Section, or Phi, the formula _(1+˚5) .

The walls are formed from 5 courses of stone containing exactly 100 blocks, each about 70 tons.  The ceiling is formed from nine immense red granite stones, some of which weigh over 50 tons.
The sarcophagus is still inside the King’s Chamber.  As mentioned already it is bigger than the doorway so it could not be moved out.  The sarcophagus has inside measurements of 6 foot 6.6 inches  long, 2 foot 2.81 inches wide and 2 foot 10.42 inches deep, whilst its outside measurements are 7 foot 5.63 inches long, 3 foot 2.5 inches wide and 3 foot 5.31 inches deep.  This makes it about an inch wider than the doorway, so it could not have been carried through the lower entrance (now plugged).  The sarcophagus is made of chocolate coloured granite with hard granules of feldspar, quartz and mica.  It is wondrous how such a piece could ever have been cut in the Stone Age.  It would require saws 8 feet long, made of some material such as bronze and jewels - diamond was extremely rare in those days.  How on earth such a block could be hollowed out remains a mystery, as no saws or drills have ever been found.
There are small ‘ventilation holes’ on the North and South walls, although these may have been wrongly named.

The Queen’s Chamber
A horizontal passage, 127 feet (39 m) long,  from the Grand gallery leads to the Queen’s Chamber; the floor of this passage drops two feet towards its end.  There is a stepped niche cut into the chamber’s southern wall.  The floor of the chamber has been left rough.  Two ‘ventilation shafts’, left sealed at the outer extremity, run from the walls.

Davison’s Chamber
Above the roofing slabs of the King’s Chamber, closed to the public, a series of rough hewn blocks set in 4 layers, rise to a roofed compartment.  This causes an echo in the King’s Chamber.  It was discovered by Davison in the eighteenth century and it is believed to be a device for relieving the pressure on the roof of the King’s Chamber.  On one of the upper levels were found quarry marks containing the cartouche of Cheops - Khufu.

The Well or Grotto
At the junction of the Ascending Passage and the passage to the Queen’s Chamber is a sealed entrance to a narrow, roughly hewn, shaft, running partly perpendicular, partly obliquely, to the Descending Passage, near its lowest point in the bedrock.

How Did They Build It?
Bearing in mind the huge size of the pyramids, classical Egyptologists have kindly calculated that it must have taken something like twenty years and 100, 000 men to build the Great Pyramid of Giza.  I think this statement must require some quantitative analysis.

Firstly we must not, of course, forget that this building was achieved (we think) in the Stone Age, before (we think) the invention of the pulley or the wheel.  However the work was done it would involve (as far as we know) only the power of human and animal muscles, along with basic rollers, ramps and levers.  We do not know whether such human muscle would have been provided by reluctant slaves or devoted servants, but one thing is sure, it would take several highly experienced generals of the calibre of Napoleon or Caesar to organise such a work-force in one place.  Then there is the question of the number of highly trained engineers needed constantly on site, supervisors for lifting and dragging the stones weighing from 1 to 25 tons each.  We must not, of course, forget the huge task force required to feed the workers.

Next consider how the stones were actually lifted and moved.  “Dragged up ramps”, the Egyptologists explain.  But here we are considering dragging huge stones along rollers, probably wooden and constantly in need of replacement, up a ramp from river level to an eventual height of hundreds of feet, to be then placed perfectly.  Such a ramp would in fact involve something like three times the material involved in the pyramid itself  - some 8 million cubic metres - and would need to be something like 4800 feet long.   This material would need to be very strong and hard and would itself require a huge task force to transport it ( and, presumably move it away afterwards, since it doesn’t seem to be around any more).   Now for a little mathematics.  It is estimated that the Great Pyramid contains some 2,5000,000 stones, a total weight of about 6,300,000 tons ( an average of about 2.6 tons each).  The 23rd course alone consists of several hundred 5 ton limestone blocks.  Now we are told that the workers built only during the time of the annual inundation, when they were not required on the land.  But let’s be generous and assume that the work force worked 365 days a year for the twenty years and each day they worked 16 hours.  This gives us a total of about 116,800 hours.  So they had to cut, transport, drag, lift and place some two and a half million 2.6 ton (average - a lot weighed over 20 tons) stones in 116,800 hours.  That is one stone every 3 minutes!   Quite a feat trying to imagine the large numbers of men crowded into the available places, pulling and pushing to the shouts of their supervisors  “Left a bit, up a bit, back a bit, down - no, up and forward a bit - now down again -  oh sand, we’ll have to move that one again!”.  I very much doubt that any construction company in the world today, with all the technology and power available, would take on the task.  54 tons of solid stones moved each hour, 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 20 years.   Obviously, we cannot sensibly accept these figures based on what we know today, let alone in Stone Age times.  

Now here we have a problem.  How can we cook the books?  How can we adjust the figures to make this construction more feasible.  To increase the work force would be difficult, since only so many men can occupy the space.  We do not know any way of making the stones smaller or lighter.  We cannot increase the hours worked per day, or the number of days in a year, so the number of years must be changed.  So far we calculated the time taken to lift and place a stone to be 3 minutes.  This in itself cannot be possible given our technological knowledge.  Safely lifting huge stones takes a lot longer.  But if we estimate 30 minutes the overall time factor is increased tenfold, that is it will take 200 years.  This is all being on the generous side; it would, of course, have taken longer still.  This means workers and bosses alike dying off, as well as the Pharaoh himself.  Then there would be the Second Pyramid of Giza, as huge as Cheop’s,  to build - another few hundred years.  We are now faced with the prospect of a huge organisation spanning over several hundreds or a thousand years and many successive Pharaohs (many of whose names we seem  to have lost).  Do you believe it?

Personally I can only conclude that such as feat as the building of three pyramids at Giza is physically impossible given our technological knowledge ( hardly considering the other 70 odd pyramids in Egypt).  The problem is that the pyramids are not science fiction, but real, I have been inside them, like millions of tourists over the last few hundred years.  Sure, there must be some explanation, it was done.  But how?  Alien technology, lost magic, the will of the gods?  I’ll leave you to think about that one!

The Valley Temple
Almost as fascinating as the pyramid is the nearby so-called Valley Temple, composed of hundreds of limestone blocks as large as 30 feet by 12  feet by 10 feet and weighing up to 200 tons each (yes 200!).   How could these blocks be lifted 40 feet into the air and placed so precisely.  In 1997 AD there are only two cranes in the world capable of lifting such a massive stone and these require 6 weeks preparation by a team of 20 specialised men, as well as a huge counter-weight.  Egyptologists seem to ignore these questions.

The Ground Plan of Giza

There are a remarkable number of coincidences in the way in which the three main pyramids at Giza are laid out.  As well as the representation of mathematical concepts such as PI (22/7) and the alignment of the pyramids with the poles, it has now been suggested that the ground plan may be a representation of part of the sky at night.  Certainly an aerial photograph of the pyramid plateau reveals a great similarity with the shape of the stars in the belt of the constellation of Orion, with the third pyramid slightly out of line with the other two.  Recently, with the aid of computer generated images of the sky thousand of years ago, it seems that at least one of the so-called ventilation shafts pointed directly at Orion.  What is even more incredible is that if you look at the situation of the other pyramids in that part of Egypt, they represent even more stars of Orion, with the Nile representing the Milky Way.  Maybe there is some significance in this, because we know the Ancient Egyptians were fascinated by the night sky.  Why Orion?  Could it have been the home of Osiris?


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