Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, May 15, 2009

Off topic for this blog, but Dr Hawass has announced that a team and robot has been selected to penerate one of the second doors in the shafts from the Queen's Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza. That's interesting news in itself but I'm also delighted that Dr Hawass fully credits the work of Rudolf Gantenbrink - in fact, Dr Hawass's post is a very good summary of the story so far.

Anybody new to this story may want to catch up on the history on Gantenbrink's own site. It's also be definitive site for photos of the 1992 and 1993 explorations -like the one I've shown above. As Rudolf is an engineer, there are also proper scale diagrams of the shafts. I first saw these photos (actually in the form of video footage - which so far as I am aware isn't available online) in 1998/9 and decade on and we may finally get complete answers. It shows how patient we may need to be with the developments in the Valley of the Kings.
Gantenbrink's site is not quite complete as in 2002 Fox TV / National Geographic sponsored an expedition which drilled through one of the doors Gantenbrink found - and discovered a second door behind it. There's a blurry photo of the rear door (the conditions are cleary very difficult) in Hawass's article. That's the door which they are now planning to investigate.


Dennis said...

Interesting drawings. The bends in the King's chamber tunnel gives what appears to be much more clearance than is necessary to avoid the grand gallery. Wonder why?
The Queen's chamber explored tunnel seems to end very close to the surface of the pyramid. Someone had said 7 meters. Not much room hidden treasures.

tim said...

Hi Kate

Perhaps behind one of these doors we will find a sarcophagus containing the missing mummy of Khufu's mother Hetepheres and the shaft will turn out to be a symbolic corridor leading to her burial chamber.

We know Khufu's sarcophagus had to be placed into the Kings chamber at the time of that chambers construction the same may be true for his mother who may be in a chamber just big enough to hold a sarcophagus within the masonry of the pyramid.

Dennis said...

I was thinking more in the line of Geraldo Rivera, or Jimmy Hoffa. On the serious side the drawings sure punch holes in the loony star sighting alignment theory.

tim said...

Hi Kate and Dennis

I am not a big fan of the star alignment theory though I am not an astronomer. The drawings seem to indicate if they were meant as astronomical the arrangement of the direction the shafts were meant to go was not followed to rigid formality. A working machine requires precision which these shafts do not display. Awfully expensive project to say well close enough!

Kings of the earliest dynasties have been found to have 2 tombs including those of dynasty 1 at Abydos though by the time we come to Djoser,s step pyramid the complex has a second mirror tomb within the same complex. Khufu's father may have accomplished this with separate pyramids but Khufu may have accomplished this within the great pyramid.

The chambers we know being grand symbolic tombs while the shafts may be corridors to small for robbers to access leading to the real burial chambers only accessible through the dismantling of the pyramid itself.

I realize that the top of the pyramid would have had to be left unfinished at the time of the Kings death for his own burial, but from marks on the stones covering one of the pyramids boat pits we know that his son Djedefre had workmen working on his fathers pyramid complex until at least year 11 of his own reign plenty of time to complete Khufu's burial arrangements.

Just another out there theory with no proof to back it up. We may never know!

Anonymous said...

Interesting theory Tim. I have heard Dr Hawass speculate about inaccessible hidden burial chambers within the pyramid. The big question is what to do if the robots camera does spot an undisturbed burial chamber with fabulous treasures. I think even the SCA would balk at dismantling the pyramid to access the chamber. What would you suggest!

Dennis said...

Drawings which Kate has pointed to show a very wide bend to miss the grand gallery. Far more bend than would be necessary. There were some acoustic, GPR, and microgravity scans of the pyramid many years ago. I think one of them showed a sand filled room somewhere near the queen's chamber.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Whatever one's views on the astronomical alignment theories, perhaps their biggest value lies in demonstrating that established theories do not explain the internal architecture of the Great Pyramid, clearly suggesting that something more is needed.

The diagrams of the shafts demonstrate that in construction terms they required considerable effort and were technically very complex. It is also surprising that no debris was lost down them during construction, suggesting either extraodinary care or that somehow the shafts were swept before the 'exterior' ends were sealed. It's clear from the resources expended that they were considered an essential aspect of the design of the Great Pyramid. That in itself may explain why the feature doesn't appear in later pyramids - the Egyptian's demonstrated that approaches which were unduly onerous would be disarded, so there is no need to reach for any fancy theories about that.

Taking Tim's point, burial in a chamber towards the peripherary of the pyramid doesn't require much of the construction to have been deferred after death. It would have been easy to leave a rough shaft reaching up from a small chamber to the exterior. Once a body - or other goods - had been inserted into the chamber a capping stone could have been droppped into place and the rough shaft filled with rubble before the casing was completed. In short, appart from the "shafts" leading back down into the heart of the pyramid there could, in effect, by a good old-fashioned pit tomb high up on the shoulder of the pyramid.

Everything is conjecture until the scientists investigate further. Whatever is found may also indicate that our understanding of the other pyramids may be incomplete. For instance, if something important lies towards the surface of the Great Pyramid, couldn't his son have done likewise even if he abandoned the complexity of the 'shafts'?


Anonymous said...

the eqyptians didn't build, design, or understand how the pyramids were built. Eqyptians covered everything they touched with hieroglyphics. There are no, not even one, hieroglyphics inside the three great pyramids, sphinx or temple buildings. There are no tools and no references in any stelae that the Eqyptians built or worked on these monuments. Tom Trigg

Anonymous said...

I think you are just repeating old wild theories that many others before you have postulated Tom. I suppose you think that a technologically superior race, atlanteans or worse even aliens built them! Its the easiest thing in the world to do but remember this one bit of wisdom: absence of proof is not proof of absence!

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