Since the publication of my book in 2013 I have written a number of articles on the subject of pyramid construction. Some of these articles go into more detail about certain aspects of the construction that I could only briefly touch on in the book, while others deal with the bigger picture and some of the implications of my discoveries. The purpose of these articles, as always, is to assemble the facts and relations between facts that Egyptologists often ignore or whose existence they refuse to recognise. I also hope to post the occasional article by others, where the subject matter is relevant and adds to our understanding of these structures and the people who built them.
Posted 21st July 2016
“The Great Pyramid Mystery Solved,” was submitted to Nature Magazine,14th July 2016, and rejected within twenty four hours of submission. Now that it has been rejected I am free to publish it on my website.
The Great Pyramid Mystery Solved
What if we have been grossly misled about the pyramids at Giza, indeed, about the whole Old Kingdom Period? The evidence I have uncovered clearly indicates that Egyptologists have very little understanding of complex structures such as the pyramids at Giza; very little understanding of the capabilities and technical knowledge of the early pyramid builders; and very little understanding of the environmental conditions on the Giza Plateau c. 2,500 B.C.E. I invite you to take a look at the evidence I present to you in this article and make up your own mind as to the truth of the matter, for it really is all about the evidence… even though it does turn all current thinking on its head.
I am not an Egyptologist, I am a retired engineer (I am sixty seven) with a lifelong interest in ancient structures and the people who constructed them. Just before the new millennium I discovered the key to understanding the pyramids at Giza, and in 2013, I literally wrote the book(i) on how the Great Pyramid had been constructed after I had put most of the pieces of this very complex puzzle together. Firstly, however, I want to reveal a few home truths about these structures by means of an introduction to the subject of their construction.
These structures could not be constructed from the outside as the builders had no way of installing the polished outer casing blocks on a stepped inner core, therefore most of the masonry used in the construction of the Great Pyramid was taken into the pyramid on the courses below those double gables on its north side. We cannot build a structure today without leaving numerous clues as to how it was constructed and the Great Pyramid is no different, as there are numerous clues to be found within the structure. Unfortunately, early Egyptologists misinterpreted most of these clues and that is why Egyptologists are no nearer to understanding these structures today as they were one hundred years ago, in fact, since the very birth of Egyptology in the nineteenth century. When I first discovered that almost all of the masonry used in the construction had to be taken into the structure on the lower courses, it then followed that an internal transportation system must have been in operation within the pyramid itself when it was under construction. And if you have to instal such a transportation system, then the internal spaces have to be created to accommodate such a system. That was the true purpose of all the spaces we see within the Great Pyramid.
I made many attempts over the last few decades to figure out the true purpose of these inner spaces, however, although I formed some opinions as to what part certain features in the structure could have played in its construction, I could never piece them together into a coherent whole. Then, just before the new millennium, I got my first lucky break when I suddenly realised how the bulk of the masonry had been transported into the Great Pyramid. This was the key to understanding the true purpose of all these inner spaces, and over the next decade I was fortunate enough to solve most of the puzzles in this very complex structure and to finally understand how the Great Pyramid had been constructed; how all the pieces fit together to form a coherent whole.
There is one other piece of information that should help readers of this article to put much of what comes next into context. I have assumed that most readers of the article are familiar with the double gables that can be seen on the north face of the Great Pyramid above what I have termed the grand doorway, for it truly was a doorway when the structure was under construction. There are, in fact, many pairs of these double gables extending all the way into the structure as far as the bottom end of the grand gallery, and this entrance tunnel was wide enough to support two-way traffic when it was in use (the tunnel was only sealed up after the pyramid was complete). Prior to the construction of this tunnel the blocks of limestone were transported into the structure on each of the lower levels through an opening in the north wall of the structure, the gaps being sealed when each course had been completed. The tunnel was created after the eighteenth course of the structure was complete. The so called descending corridor had been extended up through the lower courses of the Great Pyramid and it finally breached the north face of the pyramid on this level at the doorway. This pipe and others were essential components of the hydraulic transportation system.
Strange as it may seem, the ancient pyramid builders blocked up the top end of this pipe (descending corridor) just as it reached the north face of the structure. This had always seemed totally illogical to me until I discovered the true purpose of these pipes, for the descending corridor was blocked up at this stage of the construction in order to divert the flow of water up the ascending corridor (the descending corridor was later opened up when it was extended as far as the north face of the structure at the final stage of the construction). The water that flowed up this pipe from the subterranean chamber was then discharged into the canal system deep inside the pyramid at the inner end of the entrance tunnel / supply canal (the horizontal passageway was a single width extension of the entrance tunnel, one course above the level of the floor in the tunnel). What is commonly referred to as the queen’s chamber (lower chamber) was the first of two central distribution hubs created deep within the structure. When the sidewalls of this chamber were just three courses high, the builders began to transport limestone into the chamber before hoisting the blocks up and onto the sidewalls. These blocks were then hauled up ramps on either side of the partially completed chamber to build up the outer levels of the courses above this level. These ramps were one or two courses above the water shafts that we see in the sidewalls of this chamber and water was pumped up these shafts to lubricate the ramps.
The pyramid took on a reverse pyramid shape at this stage of the construction as the perimeter levels of the structure were built up ahead of the inner levels, these courses being stepped upwards and outwards from the central distribution hub (see drawing Fig.44, The Stages of its Construction(ii)). I realised at this stage that the pyramid builders could then simply have built up the inner courses from the floor level of the distribution hub, so the fact that they went on to complete the lower chamber when operations in the hub were complete, indicated that this chamber must have played a role at some later stage of the construction. That they blocked up the water shafts in the sidewalls of this chamber to make it air and water tight was a clue to its later role as an expansion chamber.
The next stage of the construction involved building up the inner area levels above the lower chamber to around the fiftieth course of the construction, this is the level upon which the free-standing, granite upper (king’s) chamber was constructed and it was at this stage of the construction that the pump was brought into use. As the inner levels were built up the grand gallery was also extended and it was in this sloping chamber that a series of locks were created in order to extend the hydraulic transportation system up to the inner level beyond the top end of the gallery. This was not a system of locks such as we would normally see in our canals, as each lock or station here did not have lock gates attached. There were only ever two lock gates in use in the gallery and these were lowered into position from overhead carriages that travelled the length of the gallery. There is a channel cut into both sidewalls of the gallery just above the third step-out in the corbelling, and the carriages travelled up and down these channels on rollers (see drawing Figs. 10a, b, c & d(iii)). Both the carriages and the lock gates were manoeuvred by means of a windlass and these would have been mounted above the canal at the inner end of the entrance tunnel.
When the grand gallery was complete a huge lock gate was installed just beyond the top end of the gallery, and the water supply pipe, now hidden under the wooden floor in the locks in the gallery, was extended into this inner area (see drawing Fig. 45(iv)). The installation of this lock gate enabled the construction of the granite upper chamber and the tiered roof above it, as well as most of the area around the free-standing chamber. The upper chamber could not be placed below the peak of the pyramid as it had to be set back from the lock on the inner area to accommodate the barges that transported the long granite slabs that form the tiered roof above this chamber. These barges had to be traversed the short distance beyond the east end of the upper chamber (on the left, looking from the gallery) before they could be moved forward again, then raised up to the roof levels, before being traversed between the walls of the chamber to their final destinations (nine of these slabs make up the roof of the upper chamber and the five levels above).
After the upper chamber and its tiered roof had been constructed and the inner area around the upper chamber and the stack (tiered roof) had been built up, the lock gate beyond the gallery was dismantled. It was at this point that the docking stone (step-stone) at the top end of the gallery was installed, and the first course of the antechamber walls along with its granite floor were installed also at this time, after the step-stone had been manoeuvred into position. From this point onward barges could go no further than the docking stone and all of the limestone hauled up the ramps from the upper distribution hub was hauled from the barges docked at the top end of the gallery, then hauled into the upper chamber (distribution hub) prior to being hoisted up onto the openings in the sidewalls of the chamber en route to the upper levels.
The distribution hub that was set up in the upper chamber differed from the previous hub in that the upper chamber was almost complete when it functioned as a hub, with only an opening on each side of the chamber above the water shafts, where two granite blocks had been temporarily removed (the granite blocks used to construct the upper chamber are twice the height of the limestone blocks that surround the chamber). Limestone blocks were hauled up ramps from this hub to the perimeter levels in order to extend these levels to a greater elevation, the uppermost level being pushed beyond the elevation of the (still to be installed) gabled roof on top of the tiered upper chamber roof when work stopped here (the water shafts here ended just short of the outer casing blocks).
The next stage of the construction began with the completion of the antechamber walls and the wall at the top end of the grand gallery. All of the masonry to complete the antechamber walls and the top end wall of the gallery had been transported up and onto their respective stepped inner levels beyond the gallery, before the lock here had been dismantled. All of the masonry that had not been transported up and onto the inner stepped levels by this stage of the construction had then to be hoisted up from the floor level of the antechamber. A wooden derrick consisting of two ‘A’ frames and a number of cross-beams and rollers was set up above the antechamber, and in the antechamber itself a cradle was installed, as well as three cylindrical control weights and a two-piece granite counterweight that can still be seen in this chamber (on the side of these two blocks of granite nearest the grand gallery there is a boss in the centre of the topmost stone. Two metal hoops originally held these two pieces of granite together that formed the counterweight and the marks left by these hoops can be seen on either side of the boss).
The block size at this stage of the construction became slightly smaller as the hoist could not handle limestone blocks such as those used in the construction so far. Nonetheless, it took the combined strength of six men to operate the hoist mechanism; two men to each control weight. The granite counterweight was used to haul the lifting cradle and its loads up to the courses under construction, and the three control weights were used to push the cradle back down to the antechamber, simultaneously hauling the control weight back up to the top of the lift shaft. The cradle consisted of three lifting arms on either side and it was probably hinged along its central rib. Two brackets on top of each pair of lifting arms supported the cylindrical control weights, and these came to rest in the three pairs of semicircular depressions that we can see above the three channels cut into the antechamber walls when the cradle bottomed in the antechamber (the cradle had to be much deeper than the limestone blocks it had to transport in order to accommodate their extraction at the top of the lift-shaft).
The limestone blocks and their sleds were hauled into the antechamber from the barges docked at the docking stone when the cradle was at rest in the antechamber, and from here they were hauled up to the top of the lift shaft. When the cradle and the block cleared the top end of the shaft another sled was positioned across the opening and the limestone block was lowered onto this (longer) sled. When the lower end of the cradle had opened wide enough to clear the sides of the block it was hauled up clear of the block prior to it being hauled off to its destination. The control weights were then lowered onto the top of the cradle and the (now closed) cradle was pushed back down the shaft to the antechamber.
I realise that it will be difficult for readers of this short article to accept most of these findings initially, as they are so far removed from how Egyptologists view these structures, the pyramid builders, and the climate on the Giza Plateau at the time of their construction. However, these structures in the form that we see them today would never have existed had their builders not harnessed the power of water to move and instal such enormous blocks of limestone. And as for the free-standing, granite upper chamber and its tiered roof, it could never have been constructed, indeed, would not exist if the hydraulic transportation system had not been extended beyond the top end of the gallery and into the inner enclosed area at the heart of the structure. In fact, if the perimeter levels of the structure had not been built up ahead of the inner core it would have been impossible to pump water up into an enclosed area around the upper chamber in order to construct the five courses of its walls and the five-tiered roof structure above it. (It was the external shape of the structure that was all important therefore each course of the outer casing had to be surveyed before the core blocks were installed behind them. By taking the masonry into the structure prior to its transportation up to the courses under construction, it naturally followed that the structure was stepped upwards and outwards from the centre when these blocks of limestone were hauled up ramps to their respective levels.)
The pyramid builders could so easily have created another central distribution hub beyond the gallery to extend the perimeter levels up to a greater elevation, similar to the one they created earlier (lower chamber), but the barges could have gone no further than this hub. However, by extending the hydraulic system beyond the gallery into the inner area, this enabled the pyramid builders to transport a vast quantity of limestone and granite into this area on barges to build up approximately thirty courses of limestone, as well as construct the free-standing, granite upper chamber and its tiered roof. In fact, this is the sole reason for the existence of this granite edifice. And no matter how difficult it may be to accept my findings, the physical evidence is conclusive proof of how this magnificent monument was constructed. Furthermore, it is absolutely impossible to have so many features of this structure attest to how it was constructed simply by chance. Egyptologists will have to come to terms with this fact sooner or later if they ever hope to make any progress in this area of Egyptology in the future, for there is no mystery as to how this great monument was constructed when we abandon all of our preconceptions and take a long hard look at the evidence. The physical evidence is unequivocal and the bigger picture simply cannot be interpreted any other way.
How were the pyramids constructed? That seems to be a question that has puzzled Egyptologists for generations. I had been convinced for decades that most of the spaces we see within the Great Pyramid played some part in its construction.
Here I have shown that these structures could only be constructed by means of hydraulic power; that a hydraulic transportation system was set up inside the Great Pyramid; I have described the true purpose of the inner spaces mentioned in the article; and contend that the climate on the Giza Plateau at the time of its construction could not have been the hyper-arid climate found west of the plateau in the Western Desert at this time, as the physical evidence in the Great Pyramid proves conclusively (probably a wetter micro-climate on the plateau due to its proximity to the Nile Delta and River Nile, whose course was much nearer the pyramids than it is today).
These are the three drawings referred to in the above article. They were originally published in my book, The Great Pyramid – The Inside Story, Pub. 2013.
Figures 10 a, b, c, d.
Posted 24th April 2016
Come Rain or Shine
In light of my discoveries regarding the construction of the pyramids at Giza in the first decade of the millennium, the Physical evidence indicates that there must have been a great deal more precipitation on the Giza Plateau during the Old Kingdom Period than we have been led to believe. Should this eventually prove to be the case then this surely calls into question the re-dating of the Sphinx based on the water erosion in the Sphinx Enclosure. Here is an extract from the biopic at the end of the essay “Thoughts on Parapsychology and Paranormal Phenomena”, by Dr Robert Schoch Ph.D. and published in The Divine Spark, edited by Graham Hancock.
‘In demonstrating that the leonine monument has been heavily eroded by water despite the fact that its location on the edge of the Sahara has endured hyper-arid climatic conditions for the past 5,000 years…’
There is a real conundrum here, for there is now an abundance of evidence indicating that the pyramids at Giza were constructed by means of hydraulic (water) power for which a great quantity of water would have been required for the construction of each of these structures (I cover this extensively in my book, The Great Pyramid – The Inside Story). There are some who believe that the pyramids are much older than Egyptologists insist, however, the carbon dating of the small remnants of charcoal in the mortar samples taken from these structures on at least two occasions, indicates that Egyptologists are correct in their assumption that these structures were most probably built during the Old Kingdom Period. Although my findings as to how the Great Pyramid was constructed have yet to be fully assessed and confirmed by construction engineers and academics, there is overwhelming evidence that points to hydraulic power being used within these structures for the transportation of masonry, and for the installation of many of the largest pieces of masonry within the Great Pyramid. I have absolutely no doubt that academics will come to these same conclusions when they have had the opportunity to fully examine all of the physical evidence (the physical evidence has been there for all to see since the very birth of Egyptology itself, but it was misinterpreted) for it is unequivocal.
If we accept that the carbon dating of the charcoal in the mortar samples is correct (I don’t intend to argue with the science) then it is obvious that there must have been no shortage of water resources on the plateau during this time if, as the evidence strongly indicates, hydraulic power was used extensively during the construction of all of the pyramids at Giza. In light of this information I would therefore question the re-dating of the Sphinx by Dr Robert Schoch Ph.D., as there is a distinct possibility that this re-dating may have been based on false premise with regard to the climatic conditions locally (on the Giza Plateau) during the Old Kingdom Period… and possibly earlier.
The extract from The Divine Spark mentioned above, i.e. ‘…despite its location on the edge of the Sahara…,’ may therefore be misleading in itself regarding the climatic conditions on the Giza Plateau during the Old Kingdom Period, for I have for some time believed that a micro-climate most probably existed in the Delta Region at this time. This would seem to be the most likely explanation as to why there were plentiful water supplies on the plateau at the time the pyramids were under construction – when the Western Desert (Sahara) was an arid wilderness. The above statement therefore may have been more accurately stated as ‘…despite its location on the edge of the Sahara it may not have endured hyper-arid climatic conditions due to its proximity to the Nile Delta’ as this would more than likely have had a greater influence on the weather patterns on the Giza Plateau than the Western Desert.
I have no doubt that Dr Schoch is correct in his assessment that the water erosion that can be seen in the Sphinx Enclosure occurred over a very long period of time, but likewise there is absolutely no doubt, given the physical evidence within the Great Pyramid, that hydraulic power was used extensively during the construction of all the principal pyramids at Giza (it was also utilised to build the Sphinx and valley temples using the masonry that was removed from the Sphinx Enclosure, with some of these limestone blocks weighing 200 tons).
It is obvious that something does not add up here and the only logical conclusion is that the climate on the edge of the Delta here at Giza, was very different from the climate that existed in the greater part of the Western Desert at the time the pyramids were under construction. However, as previously mentioned, if there was indeed considerable precipitation at this location during the Fourth Dynastic Period then this would surely bring the date for the creation of the Sphinx and its enclosure much nearer to the time of the construction of the pyramids on this very sacred site – there is certainly no doubt that a wetter climate would most obviously account for much of the erosion on the Sphinx Enclosure and the phenomenal hydraulic feats the ancient pyramid builders performed during the construction of the pyramids. (I do not doubt that the Sphinx was constructed prior to the construction of the pyramids here, given the erosion on the Sphinx Enclosure.)
For many decades we have been led to believe that the hyper-arid conditions that exist in this region today have existed for thousands of years, but I believe that my discovery of how the Great Pyramid was constructed proves conclusively that this could not have been the case on the Giza Plateau during the Old Kingdom Period. That is why I believe that climatologists and geologists will eventually have to re-examine the evidence with regard to the dating of the Sphinx and its enclosure again, for there is now an overwhelming body of evidence that proves that water was used for the transportation systems on the Giza Plateau and in the pyramid structures themselves – where hydraulic power was used in the construction of the free-standing upper (kings) chamber and the multi-tiered roof above this chamber. I must also make my position clear here; for I do not believe that the River Nile was the source of the water used in the canal and hydraulic systems employed on the plateau to build the pyramids; and I do not believe that the ancient pyramid builders could have pumped or hauled such enormous quantities of water up from the River Nile for this a purpose.
It is always possible, of course, that after all this time climatologists may be unable to determine the climate in this small area when the pyramids were under construction as the climatological data may not be nearly so specific. In the meantime, I sincerely hope that it will not be too long before academics assess my findings and draw their own conclusions from the evidence I present in my book, when hopefully they will also address this question of the climatic conditions on the Giza Plateau during the Old Kingdom Period.
My best guess is that the Giza Plateau sits on a weather boundary, with a hyper-arid climate on one side (the Sahara) and a micro-climate with some precipitation on the other (the Delta) during the Old Kingdom Period. It is known that the course of the Nile was much closer to the Giza Complex in ancient times and this may also have influenced the climate on the plateau at this time, leading to more precipitation than there is today at Giza. If this is found to be the case it would explain the water erosion on the Sphinx Enclosure and the source of the water for the hydraulic operations on the plateau and in the pyramids themselves when they were under construction. This would bring us full circle again to where we accept that the Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza are contemporary structures, this being the most logical conclusion. At the moment, and when we consider the climate on the Giza Plateau today, it may seem a bit of a stretch to believe that the climate on the western edge of the Delta was so very different. However, when we consider that a vast amount of grain and other crops was produced in North Africa in the countries that hug the southern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea more recently – in Roman times, less than two thousand years ago – it does not seem so difficult to believe. One way or another though, this is undoubtedly something that will be debated for a long time to come.
I am not an archaeologist, climatologist or a geologist and only present my opinion here, based on logic and the physical evidence in the pyramids that is there for all to see. Hopefully academics will be able to bring some clarity to this matter in the course of time.
Posted 23rd April 2016
Pumps and Super Pumps: The Great Pyramid Story
In the late nineteen nineties I made a wonderful breakthrough in a project I had been involved with on and off for forty years or more, the discovery of how the Great Pyramid had been constructed. I had drawn a few conclusions over the years about certain features within the Great Pyramid but I had no way of knowing for sure if any of those conclusions were correct. That all changed when I made my breakthrough and discovered the key to how all the principal pyramids at Giza had been constructed. I then realised that it was only a matter of time before all the pieces of this great puzzle fell into place. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realised then that it would take more than ten years of further research to put all the major pieces of the puzzle together.
After I had discovered approximately fifty percent of these puzzle pieces I began to refer to these structures, not as pyramids, but as super pyramids for even at this early stage in the discovery process I realised that we truly had no real understanding of the phenomenal lengths the ancient pyramid builders had to go to in order to construct these magnificent monuments. Looking at them today we can only imagine how magnificent they must have looked when all of the pyramids on the Giza Plateau had just been completed. From an engineering perspective though, the true magnificence of the Great Pyramid lies within the structure for it is here that we can see the true mastery with which this pyramid was constructed. The true complexity of its design can only be fully appreciated once one fully understands why the ancient pyramid builders created all of the spaces and features within the structure… some of which still remain hidden at this time. The design and construction of the upper chamber, with the tiered roof above, was a true tour de force; the ultimate expression of what man was capable of when given the opportunity to excel. But there were many other great achievements during the construction that can all be traced back to the original design of the structure for this is where the true ingenuity of its builders is most clearly revealed. In fact, once one fully grasps how this structure was built it becomes patently clear that the ancient pyramid builders must have gained a wealth of engineering and technical experience over many generations prior to the construction of these pyramids. There is no clearer example of this than the pumping / hydraulic system described below, for this is a system that must have evolved over time as experience was gained from earlier experiments with hydraulics; it certainly did not suddenly spring into being as the complex system that the ancient pyramid builders once operated in the Great Pyramid.
When we look inside the Great Pyramid and discover its inner spaces the true magnificence of the structure is only revealed once we come to understand why each and every one of those spaces was designed and created, some of which are less well known… and others that have yet to be exposed. The first impression is that the internal design of the structure must seem overly complicated to anyone who bought into any of the Egyptological profession’s naïve theories of how such structures were built up, but I can assure you that everything that was created within these structures was absolutely vital to its construction. Each of its chambers, so called “passageways” and shafts played a specific role in the construction process, as did other less well known features of the Great Pyramid, such as the pump, the subject of this essay.
On first inspection the pump would seem to have been a fairly simple device that consisted of the pump body, a piston and a mechanical contraption to raise and lower the piston – a shadouf. However, although the pump itself was a fairly simple device we must look at it in the wider context, for the hydraulic system into which the pump was placed – and where it was placed – transformed this simple pump into a super pump. And a super pump it certainly had to be, for the complex hydraulic system within the Great Pyramid had to be capable of transporting barges and their loads, loads that exceeded fifty tons at times, up to and well beyond the fiftieth course of the structure. That is why I refer to the pump in the Great Pyramid as a “super pump” for I know of no other manually operated pump that was capable of such a feat. (The piston was most likely raised by means of a shadouf as the shape of the pump room lends itself to such a simple device being set up here. More than likely the shadouf was operated by two men, with the control rope at one end of the lever being released and the piston plunging down into the body of the pump. When the rope was then pulled in a downward direction again the piston would have been raised back up to the top of the body of well-shaft as it is commonly referred to, ready to plunge down into the shaft when the rope was released again.)
There were two reasons as to why the pump here was such a powerful device and the first of these is where the pump was situated – where it was inserted into the hydraulic system (see drawing below). The foundation level of the Great Pyramid is at the lowest elevation of the three principal pyramids, therefore the greatest head of water was available at this construction site. Water could flow freely up through the descending and ascending corridors in the Great Pyramid to feed the supply canal on the north side of the structure, and this was due solely to the great head of water that was available at this location. What should be noted here though is that when the pump was operated at the later stages of the construction it pumped water into the natural flow of water up through the lower courses of the structure, this would have generated a pulse – a pressure wave – in the hydraulic system adding a great impetus to the flow of water in the system.
It was only when the builders needed to extend the canal system up beyond the opening at the top end of the ascending corridor and the level of the entrance tunnel / supply canal that the pump was brought into use. Barges had been entering and exiting the Great Pyramid – and travelling along the entrance tunnel as far as the bottom of the partially constructed grand gallery – for some considerable time as the outer casing of the structure was gradually built up. But at the next stage of the construction, the builders had to transport masonry up the grand gallery to build up the inner levels until the fiftieth level was reached, for it was here that the free-standing upper chamber had to be constructed beyond the top end of the gallery. In order to transport masonry up to the top of the gallery the builders created a series of locks here, and in order to pump water up to the top of the gallery to feed this series of locks, twenty eight in all, the builders laid down a wooden floor in the gallery and created a supply pipe beneath the wooden floor; a channel runs up the centre of the floor in the gallery, with the addition of the wooden floor on top the channel became a pipe, an extension of the ascending corridor.
The partially constructed lower (queen’s) chamber had been used as a central distribution hub when the perimeter levels of the pyramid were being built up ahead of the inner core. When this hub was no longer required the builders went on to complete the lower chamber prior to building up the inner levels above the chamber up to the fiftieth course (it was when the lower chamber was being completed that at some point, the shafts in the sidewalls were sealed up). If the partially constructed lower chamber had only been required for use as a central distribution hub then the builders would simply have built up this inner area from the floor level of the hub and there would be no chamber here at all. However, the builders needed to complete the chamber here to serve a further purpose and that is why this chamber exists. It is also why its shafts had to be sealed, for they required this chamber to be air and water tight and its shafts, which had been used earlier when the hub was in use, had then to be sealed before the pump was pressed into use (water was pumped up the shafts in the sidewalls of the upper and lower chambers in the Great Pyramid to provide lubrication for the ramps on either side of these chambers).
The builders were almost ready to pump water up into the first few locks in the gallery now. By installing the wooden floor in the gallery the ascending corridor (pipe) was effectively extended up beneath the wooden floor… it would eventually reach the top end of the gallery when all of the locks had been installed. When the builders installed the wooden floor in the gallery they also created a sealed system in which the pump would operate, the pressure in the system only being relieved when the non-return valve opened in the topmost lock. To seal the top end of the pipe under the floor in the gallery as the locks were being installed one at a time as the builders built up the inner levels, they installed the non-return valve. This was a large limestone block that was pushed up the channel as water was pumped up into the locks, but stopped the water from flowing back down the pipe when the block came to rest against the buffer – the farthest edge of the wooden floor in the topmost lock – on the return stroke of the pump. This valve was temporarily removed from the pipe under the floor of the gallery after the topmost water lock in the gallery had been installed and a further lock was constructed on the inner platform, just beyond the top end of the gallery. This lock gate had a hinged flap at the bottom and it was this flap that acted as the non-return valve when the inner lock was in use. (The sliding block was re-installed in the channel up the middle of the gallery floor after the inner lock gate had been removed with the completion of the upper chamber and its tiered roof above, and prior to the next stage of the construction.)
The lower chamber formed part of this sealed system and it now functioned as an expansion chamber. As water was pumped up into the sealed system some of that water was pumped along the horizontal passageway (pipe) and into the lower chamber. As the water level increased in the lower chamber it compressed the air above, and as the pump began its return stroke – and with the air pressure in the chamber at its maximum – there was a violent and instant reaction as the process was reversed. The pressurized air in the chamber instantly, and violently, forced the water level in the chamber back down to its mean level; pushing water back along the horizontal pipe and up the pipe in the grand gallery. This secondary action extended the length of the pumping cycle by holding the non-return valve open for longer than would otherwise have been the case if the expansion chamber had not been part of this hydraulic system. It also ensured that a much greater volume of water was pumped up the pipe on each stroke of the pump than would otherwise have been the case if the builders had solely relied on the pump alone to pump water up into the locks. In fact, it was purely as a result of this further impetus generated in the expansion chamber – and the strong flow of water through the lower courses of the structure – that they were able to pump such huge volumes of water up to the inner lock beyond the gallery and construct the upper chamber and the tiered roof above.
The builders of the Great Pyramid transported one hundred granite blocks up beyond the top end of the gallery by barge in order to build up the upper chamber and this was only possible due to the installation of a series of locks in the gallery. The twenty eight locks here did not have hinged, lock gates such as those we normally see in our canals, but two lock gates were lowered into position one after the other, as water was pumped up to the top lock as the barges slowly made their way up the series of locks; after one lock gate had been moved forward to the next station, the trailing gate was then raised and moved to the station immediately behind the leading gate. When the water level in the lock had been increased and the barge had been moved forward again, the leading lock gate was raised and moved forward to the next station. This sequence of manoeuvres continued until the barges had reached the top end of the gallery. The return journey, however, was a much quicker affair as the barges were simply lowered to the bottom of the gallery, now devoid of water, by means of a tow line and a windlass.
The locks in the gallery were created to enable the transportation of the massive granite blocks and slabs that constitute the upper chamber and its multi-tiered roof. The water pipe in the gallery extended as far as the top end of the gallery and a great lock gate was placed just beyond the end of the gallery on the inner platform (as it was then). By means of this inner lock and the super pumping system the builders went on to build up the upper chamber and its extended roof (a gabled roof could not be installed above the upper chamber at this stage of the construction as it could not be supported over its full length. The roof was therefore extended up to a level whereby the builders knew they could install the gabled roof above the chamber at a later stage of the construction). Each tier of the extended roof was comprised of many granite blocks and nine granite slabs, and there are five tiers in the stack. The construction of the upper chamber and its multi-tiered roof was only made possible by means of hydraulic (water) power. Indeed, the configuration of the one hundred granite blocks in the walls of the upper chamber and the design of its tiered roof above, prove almost conclusively that this was how they were constructed.
Although it is true to say that the upper chamber and its tiered roof could not have been constructed without hydraulic power, the true reason for its construction was to extend the hydraulic transportation system beyond the top end of the grand gallery in order to transport the greatest volume of the largest limestone and granite blocks into the structure. To this end, a central distribution hub was set up in the upper chamber after it was almost complete (most of the area around the upper chamber had been built up by this time). From here the perimeter levels were extended further and built up to the maximum elevation possible using this system (see drawing, Fig.44).
The huge lock beyond the gallery had to be dismantled after the upper chamber and its tiered roof were complete, and prior to the upper chamber being set up as a distribution hub. The lower course of the sidewalls in the antechamber also had to be installed as well as its granite floor before the hub became operational. Limestone blocks were hauled from barges docked at the step-stone (docking stone) at the top end of the gallery at this time and these blocks were pulled through into the upper chamber on sleds or trolleys (The step-stone or docking stone was only installed at the top end of the gallery after the inner lock had been dismantled, and before the distribution hub here became operational. It could not have been installed earlier as the inner lock could only function when the water pipe was free from obstruction). From the sleds on the floor of the upper chamber the limestone blocks were lifted up onto platforms on either side of the chamber and these were then hauled through openings in the sidewalls of the chamber, before being hauled up the ramps on either side of the chamber to the perimeter levels under construction. This enabled the builders to use more of the largest limestone blocks to extend the outer perimeter (see drawing, Fig. 44) levels up beyond the level where the gabled roof could be installed above the upper chamber (the huge limestone beams that constitute the double gabled roof above the upper chamber had been transported up to their respective levels on the inner platform prior to the inner lock being dismantled). The water level in the upper chamber when the hub was in use was controlled by means of the pump and the lock gate at the top end of the gallery (not the inner lock, as this had been dismantled) at this stage of the construction. When the water level was at its maximum in the upper chamber water was manually pumped up the shafts in the sidewalls to the perimeter platform, where it was used to lubricate the ramps. A hydraulic crane – a specially modified shadouf – operated in the chamber and this was why the water levels here were being increased one moment, and decreased the next. The (sealed) granite coffer in the upper chamber was the counterweight used in the modified (shortened) shadouf (hydraulic crane) and this was capable of operating in small spaces as long as the water levels could be manipulated in order to raise and lower the lifting beam.
When the perimeter levels could be built up no further the openings in the sidewalls of the upper chamber were sealed and the distribution hub in the chamber was decommisioned, only then was the wall at the top end of the gallery built up and the walls of the antechamber completed (the masonry for these walls had already been transported up to their respective levels in the inner area east of the antechamber prior to the lock on the inner platform having been dismantled). From this point onward all of the masonry that arrived at the docking station at the top of the gallery had to be hauled up vertically to the upper levels of the structure, the block size now having been reduced to a size and weight that the hoist could accommodate. All of the limestone blocks that were hauled up to the upper levels were transported up to the docking stone at the top end of the grand gallery in the same manner as before, they were then hauled individually into the bottom of the lift shaft (the antechamber). The super pump remained in operation until the final stage of the construction was almost complete, when the pump and the locks in the gallery were no longer required. I will leave it to others to calculate how many years this pump could have been in operation, but when we consider the huge volumes of limestone and granite that had to be transported into the Great Pyramid from when the pump came into use, until it ceased, I would imagine that it was in operation for many years.
The pump in the Great Pyramid was only one of three pumps installed in the pyramids at Giza. The pump piston in the smallest of the three principal pyramids at Giza has been destroyed at some time in the past when tomb robbers tried to gain access to the burial chamber, but I have identified the chamber where it once operated. Unfortunately, there are still a great many spaces within the middle pyramid at Giza to be revealed; these include a pump room, a grand gallery, an antechamber and an upper chamber but until these chambers are revealed we are unlikely to discover what the ancient pyramid builders left behind. If we could gain access to the pump room however, it may be possible that we could gain access to these larger chambers by this route. I certainly hope that I will still be around to see inside these chambers when Egyptologists finally gain access to them… and to see them just as the ancient pyramid builders left them when they exited the structure more than four thousand years ago.
It is absolutely astonishing to think about what these ancient pyramid builders achieved, some of which it took us another four thousand years – until the Industrial Revolution – to achieve again. Then again, it has taken us more than four thousand years just to figure out how it was possible to build these structures… so maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.
Note: See drawing below.
Posted 22nd April 2016
The Great Pyramid – The Stages of its Construction
The Great Pyramid was constructed in distinct stages which I have attempted to define in the drawing below (some of the internal features have been omitted from the drawing in the interests of clarity).
- The first and most colossal stage of the construction consisted of the building up of the lower courses until the level of the grand doorway was reached (all the construction materials from this moment on were transported through this doorway and the entrance tunnel to the lower end of the grand gallery and beyond as the structure was built up). When the first few courses of the sidewalls of the lower chamber had been completed the builders then began to build up the perimeter levels, hauling the limestone blocks up the ramps on either side of (what would become) the lower chamber (the lower hub).
- The second stage of the construction saw the completion of the lower chamber (Queen’s Chamber) and the building up of the inner levels above the chamber. The walls of the grand gallery (not shown) were further extended at this stage of the construction as the floor level of the inner platform was built up to the 49th course of masonry. This was the foundation level for the upper chamber (King’s Chamber).
- When the locks had been extended up to the top end of the gallery the foundation course of the upper chamber was then installed. An inner lock gate was then set up beyond the gallery and this lock gate was extended upwards as the upper chamber walls were built up. Eventually the lock gate completely sealed off the top end of gallery when it was lowered into position. The gate would have been raised and lowered by means of a shadouf placed at either side of the gate on the inner levels above the opening at the top end of the gallery. When the upper chamber walls were complete, and the five chambers above the upper chamber (the stack) had been completed, the inner lock gate would then have been dismantled. The lower course of the walls in the antechamber (not shown), the floor of the antechamber and the step stone (Docking stone) at the top of the grand gallery would then have been installed, prior to the limestone blocks being hauled into the upper chamber (the upper hub) en route to the inner stepped levels and the perimeter platforms once more.
- The large limestone blocks that had been used to build up the levels so far would have been hauled up the ramps on either side of the upper chamber at this stage of the construction in order to complete as much as possible of the structure using the largest blocks of limestone. The perimeter platform was further extended at this stage of the construction and the inner stepped levels were also built up further here. Most of the next section (5) of the structure was also built up at this stage of the work, but it could not be completed around the east end of the upper chamber prior to the completion of the antechamber.
- The next stage of the construction began with the completion of the antechamber walls and the wall at the top end of the gallery. A rig was then placed above the antechamber and a hoist was set up. Those spaces on all the inner levels that could not be completed at stage four were then built up until the inner platform was one or two courses above the elevation of the stack. All of this masonry was hauled up to the inner levels vertically as the ramps on either side of the upper chamber were no longer in operation.
- The builders were now able to do something they had been unable to do earlier when they completed the walls of the upper chamber. They could finally instal the gabled roof above the upper chamber and the stack, the latter having been constructed in order to extend the flat roof of the upper chamber up to this elevation. The gabled roof could not be installed above the upper chamber when its walls had been completed as the gabled roof could not be supported over its full length at this time (those areas above the ramps, the area adjacent to the east end of the chamber, and that area where the antechamber would later be installed, between the north wall of the chamber and the top end of the gallery).
When the double gabled roof was complete the inner platform was then built up to the level of the perimeter platform. Now, for the very first time since the construction of the Great Pyramid had begun, there was a complete platform on top that extended from one side of the structure to the other (if we overlook the small opening at the top end of the lift-shaft). All the builders had to do now was construct another pyramid on top of this platform to complete the structure.
- The final section of the Great Pyramid to be constructed was that section of the structure above the elevation of the outlets from the shafts that originated in the upper chamber (this is the level where the perimeter platform had been extended up to during the second phase of its construction). This upper section of the pyramid is composed of limestone blocks that were all hauled up the lift shaft above the antechamber (these were smaller blocks than those hauled up the ramps to build up the perimeter levels earlier). This was a tremendous feat when we consider that this section of the Great Pyramid is larger than the smallest of the three principal pyramids at Giza, and all of the blocks used to construct it had to be hauled up one at a time through one portal (the opening above the antechamber where a ceiling was later installed).
Note: The grand gallery, the antechamber, the lift shaft and the entrance tunnel have been omitted from this drawing.
Posted 22nd April 2016
The Giza Pyramids – Unravelling the Mystery (August 2014)
Over the course of my life (I am sixty-five) there have been many theories as to how the pyramids at Giza had been constructed. Most of those theories have been proffered by Egyptologists, but others out-with archaeology have also theorized as to how they were constructed. One of the most inspired and intriguing theories of recent times was put forward by Jean-Pierre Houdin some years ago. He maintained that a spiral ramp had been created within the Great Pyramid during its construction for the transportation of limestone blocks up to the upper levels of the structure. He had come to this conclusion after realising that most of the construction materials had to have been taken into the structure at a fairly low level, before being transported up to the higher levels.
This was a most logical conclusion, given that the ancient pyramid builders had no means of installing the outer casing stones on the stepped levels after the core of the structure had been built up. Indeed, it was absolutely imperative that the outer casing blocks were installed on each course of the structure first – before the rectangular core blocks were installed behind them – for this was the only way to accurately survey the structure and ensure that its pyramid shape was maintained throughout the construction process. An architect by profession, Jean-Pierre Houdin was well aware of the need to accurately survey a structure at all stages of its construction.
Theories about the construction of the pyramids and their intended purpose range from the extremely naive to the faintly ridiculous, with the more reasoned theories, like the one mentioned above, somewhere in the middle. One would assume therefore that most of the theories that emanate from the archaeological profession would be somewhere in the middle also, but that is not the case for some of the most naive theories have come from Egyptologists. However, I do not wish to single out Egyptologists for criticism for they were in a most difficult position. Both the public and the media looked to Egyptologists to provide the answers to a myriad of questions regarding the pyramids at Giza, yet in many cases Egyptologists didn’t have the answers to those questions. The big problem for Egyptologists and other professionals is that they can only say they don’t have the answer very occasionally, for if a specialist says that they don’t know an answer to a question on too many occasions people begin to doubt their ability to do their job – and that’s the last thing any professional person would wish to bring upon themselves. So as long as the public believed that it was the responsibility of the Egyptological profession to provide them with answers to these questions Egyptologists were expected to come up with the answers.
There is a paradox here though, for the very people who have been put under most pressure to provide the answers to all of our questions regarding the construction of the Great Pyramid and its companions – the Egyptologists – are probably the last people we should be asking the questions of. After all, since when did archaeologists become experts in building and construction and civil engineering? This was not what they were trained to do, so is it any wonder that they show such little understanding of complex structures such as the pyramids at Giza? But Egyptologists must shoulder some of the blame for this situation having been allowed to get out of hand, for they should have brought it to the media’s attention long ago that this was not their speciality, and they should have consulted with other specialists on this at the very least. I personally believe that they should have gone much further however, and set up a multi-disciplinary working group to consider the implications of building the pyramids at Giza. Had they recognised the need to do so, they could probably have avoided much of the criticism that was levelled at them at the end of the last century and in the first decade of the twenty first century.
Egyptologists had come to believe that the Pyramids at Giza had been constructed as mausoleums for three successive Old Kingdom rulers therefore they reasoned that the chambers and passageways within these structures must have been created with this purpose in mind. They seemed unconcerned that many of these internal spaces seemed unsuited to the purpose. But this was all conjecture on their part, and based more on their belief system than on a thorough analysis of the physical evidence that was available. However, the media and the public expected them to know the purpose of these chambers, so why would they have doubted what Egyptologists had to say on the subject. After all, these were the experts on ancient Egypt.
I believe that their problems began with the discovery – and subsequent reporting in the western press – of a basalt sarcophagus found in the burial chamber deep below the foundations of the smallest of the three principal pyramids at Giza a long time ago. This sarcophagus was discovered during excavations in the small pyramid by English army officer, Colonel Howard Vyse, in 1837. The sarcophagus was decorated in what’s known as the “Palace Facade Style” but there were no hieroglyphs on the sarcophagus. Its lid was missing, but some fragments of the lid were found in the chamber. (This sarcophagus would have been a prime museum exhibit today had it not succumbed to misfortune on its journey to the British Museum. The ship transporting the sarcophagus to England sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea somewhere between Malta and Spain when it encountered bad weather.)
I think that many misconceptions about the Great Pyramid originate from the Vyse exploration of the small pyramid at Giza, for it was here that it was discovered that three “portcullis” slabs had been lowered into one of the passageways that blocked the entry to the passages and chambers beyond. In a chamber at the end of this passageway it was also discovered that a huge block of limestone had been slid down a ramp to block the entry to a passageway on a lower level where the burial chamber was to be found. This pyramid therefore contained all the elements that later contributed to the great muddying of the waters regarding the chambers and passageways in these structures, especially with regard to those in the Great Pyramid.
The smallest of the three large pyramids at Giza contained – among other passageways and chambers – a burial chamber, a sarcophagus, portcullis blocks/slabs and a blocking stone wasn’t it logical therefore to assume that similar features in the Great Pyramid also served the same purpose? I believe that this was the fundamental error made by Egyptologists that led to their subsequent theories regarding the Great Pyramid being challenged more and more, for the orthodox position on these structures simply did not stand up to scrutiny.
The smallest of the three principal pyramids at Giza does not contain a burial chamber – as far as we know – for the burial chamber mentioned above was discovered far below the foundation level of the small pyramid on the lowest subterranean level – it was not within the pyramid itself. A granite coffer was discovered in the upper chamber (King’s Chamber) of the Great Pyramid, so it was assumed that this chamber had been a burial chamber also. But where were the parallels here? The coffer found in the upper chamber of the Great Pyramid was a plain coffer with no decoration or inscriptions whatsoever. Was this really a sarcophagus? The other big question, of course, is why would the builders of the Great Pyramid create a burial chamber fifty metres or more above ground level, when they could put it fifty metres below ground level and then put a massive pyramid on top of it? After all, Egyptologists tell us that the pyramids evolved from the early mastabas and the later stepped pyramids, where the ancient Egyptians buried their dead deep underground beneath these structures. Why then would they change a practice that had probably endured for many generations and inter the body of a king in a chamber within the Great Pyramid? Hadn’t they shown that in the smallest of the three principal pyramids at Giza they had continued with the practice of placing the burial chamber far below ground level, just as they had done with these earlier structures?
The portcullis slabs are another feature of the small pyramid that archaeologists should have ignored until they better understood their function. However, that was not to be, and they went on to muddy the waters further when they concluded that portcullis slabs had also been installed in the “antechamber” in the Great Pyramid. There can be no comparison of chambers here, for the portcullis slabs were simply installed in three pairs of slots cut into the sidewalls of a horizontal passageway in the small pyramid, a passageway that was deep underground, not in the pyramid itself. The three pairs of empty slots (there is a granite counterweight in a fourth pair of vertical slots) in the Great Pyramid are cut into the granite sidewalls of the so called antechamber. It is also plain to see that this little chamber sustained considerable damage at some time in the past, unlike the small pyramid though no fragments of portcullis slabs were discovered in the inner chambers and passageways of the Great Pyramid. (As a matter of interest, the walls of the grand gallery in the Great Pyramid have also sustained considerable damage.) The thought that immediately springs to mind when one first learns of these facts is that maybe these inner spaces – the chambers, shafts and passageways in the Great Pyramid – served some other purpose… or is that just the engineer in me talking? Either way, surely archaeologists should have realised that something else may have been going on here – that these chambers and passageways may have been created for another purpose.
There is also another very significant factor that I believe Egyptologists should have been concerned about when these theories were first aired. All of the chambers and passageways mentioned above and discovered at the site of the small pyramid are below ground level – they are all subterranean. Why then should these chambers and passageways have been compared to those situated within the Great Pyramid? To my mind, this is a road down which Egyptologists should never have ventured. But little by little this is the road down which they travelled, and I believe their theories eventually became untenable for all of the reasons I have just mentioned. However, this failure to take account of the bigger picture and think things through also had other implications, for it meant that the Egyptological establishment had to expend a great deal of time and energy defending their flawed theories – time that could have been put to better use in an effort to discover the true purpose of these inner spaces. That, to my mind, is why no real progress was made in this area over the course of my lifetime… and longer. Egyptologists became distracted and eventually lost their way on this issue. They never seemed to accept that maybe it was their theories that were wrong and that maybe a complete rethink was called for. Egyptologists never came close to discovering how the pyramids at Giza had been constructed for no one was looking at the internal layout of the chambers and passageways in the Great Pyramid and trying to figure out their true purpose. That was left to others to do.
Looking back at how little progress was made over the last century on this issue however, it must come as a great shock for Egyptologists to learn now that almost all of the clues as to how the Great Pyramid had been constructed have been hiding in plain sight for decades. The physical evidence that I uncovered over a ten year period – after I had discovered the key to how these structures had been constructed – literally turns just about everything we thought we understood about these structures – and the people who built them – on its head. Egyptologists failed to spot all of these physical clues for the simple reason that they believed they had it all worked out. Unfortunately – for Egyptology – they had made the most fundamental error of all, they believed their theories to be infallible despite the fact they were unproven.
The unpalatable truth (for Egyptologists) is that there is no king’s chamber, queen’s chamber or antechamber to be found in the Great Pyramid in the twenty first century, for we now know the true purpose of all of its chambers and so called “passageways”. Jean-Pierre Houdin was indeed correct when he concluded that the overwhelming bulk of the masonry used in the construction of the Great Pyramid was taken into the structure at a low level, before being transported up through the structure to its final destination. What Jean-Pierre failed to discover, however, was that the chambers, passageways and shafts inside the structure constituted the internal infrastructure required for the transportation of all the construction materials (it was not an internal spiral ramp, as Jean-Pierre had assumed). What Egyptologists and most of us had failed to understand for so long was that these massive structures could only be constructed from the inside. Had we grasped this fundamental fact earlier the internal features of the Great Pyramid and its companions may have made much more sense to us long ago. As it was, we had to wait until the twenty first century for the Great Pyramid to give up its secrets.
Posted 15th July 2013
Fingerprints of The Gods-The Opener of The Ways
Graham Hancock has done more than most in recent years to enlighten us as to the true capabilities of the Giza pyramid builders. In Fingerprints of The Gods Graham dug deep to ferret out the most amazing facts concerning the Great Pyramid, facts that Egyptologists had ignored or underplayed for years. It was Graham who awakened many in the nineties to the true complexities of this structure and, indeed, it was the publication of Fingerprints of The Gods that ultimately led to my breakthrough as to how the Great Pyramid had been constructed.
I would never have believed then that within a few years of the publication of Fingerprints of The Gods we would discover the true purpose of all the chambers, corridors (pipes) and shafts within this structure. That the Great Pyramid itself would finally reveal the secret of its construction is astonishing for little did we realise that all of the evidence as to how this pyramid had been constructed had been there for all to see since the birth of Egyptology itself – it had been hiding in plain view. When my breakthrough finally confirmed my long held belief that the chambers and corridors had been created to facilitate the construction of the structure, it not only led to the discovery of how the Great Pyramid had been pieced together, it also indicated most strongly that all of the internal features within all of these large stone pyramids on the west bank had almost certainly been created for the same purpose.
There is a great deal of variation within the chambers, shafts and passageways within these large stone structures, none more so than in the three principal structures at Giza. However, once I understood the true function of all the features of the Great Pyramid I was well on my way to making sense of the features within most of the other structures of this type – the Super Pyramids – for the same methods were employed to create all of these structures. Prior to my discovery of the key (the pyramid code) we had simply no way of knowing why the internal layouts of the principal structures at Giza varied so widely, for we did not know how the pyramids had been pieced together. It was only when we began to understand the reasons for the creation of all the internal spaces within the Great Pyramid that the reasons for the variations in the internal layouts of these other structures became clear.
The elevations of the three principal pyramids on the plateau is probably the main contributing factor as to why their internal layouts vary so much, but we also have to bear in mind that the pyramid designs were also evolving as the builders gained greater experience with the construction of each new pyramid. For instance, after the builders had constructed the Middle Pyramid – the first pyramid to be constructed on the Giza Plateau – they made a very slight adjustment to the sides of the other two pyramids – the Great Pyramid and the Small Pyramid – to improve the standard of surveying on these structures (these structures have eight sides). Sometime during the construction of the Middle Pyramid they also realised that the construction of a dual width entrance tunnel would speed up the construction process considerably. The design of these structures evolved here again and that is why we see in the Great Pyramid the very first installation of a series of double gables above a double width entrance tunnel, a tunnel that would have accommodated two-way traffic. (The Great Pyramid is the only pyramid to have this feature, although the pyramid at Abu Roash may possibly have had such an entrance tunnel also, but there is no way to determine this now as little remains of this structure.)
We must also remember that the variation in the internal layouts of the chambers and corridors in the two largest structures at Giza may not be nearly so great as it seems at present, for much of the internal layout of the chambers and passageways in the Middle Pyramid still remain hidden. Caliph Al Ma’moun, no doubt having been greatly disappointed that there was no treasure to be found within the inner chambers of the Great Pyramid, didn’t take the trouble to hack his way into the inner passageways and chambers of the Middle Pyramid – denying us the opportunity to see for ourselves that this pyramid also has an upper chamber and a grand gallery, just like its larger companion.
These are just some of the reasons why the internal layouts of these structures differ from one another, but they are not the only reasons. Fingerprints of The Gods, truly was the “Opener of the Ways” for it opened my eyes to the true nature of the Great Pyramid. And although I fully appreciated and understood the phenomenal contribution Graham Hancock had made to our understanding of the pyramids with Fingerprints of The Gods, little did I realise when I first read this book that it would lead to the breakthrough that would, in time, lead to a complete understanding of all the features of this structure and the part they played in its construction.
The best that any student or enthusiast for the mysteries of the past can hope for is to follow in a master’s footsteps and Graham Hancock is undoubtedly a master, a man with the ability to look at the world’s ancient structures from the perspective of the intelligent and informed sceptic. He doesn’t come to these structures with any of the baggage or theories of archaeologists he simply tries to make sense of what he can see with his own eyes. I must admit to being baffled as to why Egyptologists and academics do not view his writings on subjects of this type as a great resource for they are the intelligent and logical observations of an unbiased outsider, something that cannot be obtained from within their own ranks.
Egyptologists are specialists in the past they are not experts in building and construction, engineering, surveying, geology and astronomy. In failing to come to terms with their own limitations they have simply ignored many of the great contributions that others have made to our understanding of the pyramids at Giza. That is their loss, and I suspect that one day Egyptologists will discover that their naive theories regarding the pyramids at Giza have become totally irrelevant for independent researchers and other specialists have simply got on with the job of trying to better understand the myriad structures that comprise the Giza Necropolis. After all, these structures are not the sole preserve of Egyptologists they belong to all of us.