Paul Charman: Those 'secret' pyramid rooms

By Paul Charman

Though officially 4500 years old, alternative archaeology people claim the Great Pyramid is much older.
Though officially 4500 years old, alternative archaeology people claim the Great Pyramid is much older.

It came as no surprise to pyramid buffs that scans picked up previously unknown "passages" or "rooms" in the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Scientists have used infrared thermography, 3-D simulation and muon radiography imaging to confirmed the voids exist.

But alternative archaeology types (less politely - kooks) had been expecting such developments for quite a while.

Some pyramid buffs claim Egyptologist Richard Vyse was a forger.
Some pyramid buffs claim Egyptologist Richard Vyse was a forger.

Pyramid of Giza buffs are disparate bunch, including fringe theologians like me; believers in Atlantis and - though I've never met one personally - folk who worry "reptile people" are out and about among us. Others theorise the Great Pyramid was designed to somehow pump water, or perhaps even to store grain . . .

I don't see much commonality in our beliefs, except perhaps for the assumption that the Great Pyramid is, in fact, much older than the 4500 years generally assumed.

So what eventually gets discovered in the "hidden pyramid rooms" may well prove, or possibly disprove this basic tenant of the pyramid people.

For example, discovery of some secret room, nicely tucked well away from grave robbers, with Pharaoh Khufu's mummy inside it.

That would prove the Great Pyramid is exactly the age they say it is - and that it was built for the purpose long stated.

But to me, if it turns out the structure was indeed built circa 2500 BC as a tomb for Khufu, then fine; the worst will be that some of us will to have to find a new hobby.

Personally, I still suspect this pyramid was built for a purpose other than burial, but more on that later.

And while we're awaiting a verdict, it's worth reiterating what an engineering masterpiece this thing really is.

Theologian Clarence Larkin had a huge following in the 20th Century.
Theologian Clarence Larkin had a huge following in the 20th Century.

Astonishing design

We're talking the largest and best-designed of all the pyramids; sole survivor of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World"; an astronomical marvel, built to near exact dimensions that mirror both earth and cosmos ...

The builders oriented the great structure almost perfectly north, with many additional alignments to stars and planets claimed.

The massive structure incorporates 2.3 million stone blocks - weighing an average of 2.5 to 15 tonnes each - with cornerstone foundations of a ball and socket design, capable of dealing with heat expansion and earthquakes.

It's even claimed that the relationship between Pi (p) and Phi (F) is expressed in the fundamental proportions of the Great Pyramid.

And though now appearing old and gnarled, the Pyramid of Giza was once shining and beautiful.

They say when clothed in its original smooth limestone casing that the structure caught the sun, appearing like a flame from the far mountains of Israel.

So I suppose it's natural that some folk assume this formidable structure still has lessons yet to teach.

During the Victorian era the Pyramid of Giza and its wonders were a popular obsession, one which seems to have revived today due to cascading "pyramid stories" in the media.

Larkin's intricate charts provided interpreted complex biblical prophecies.
Larkin's intricate charts provided interpreted complex biblical prophecies.

Vyse the villain

I mean like those accounts of robots exploring tiny passages hundreds of metres long in the thing, only to be stumped but tiny doors with tiny copper handles; like Jean-Pierre Houdin's findings, the Frenchman who theorises (quite plausibly) that the giant blocks were set in place using a yet-to-be-discovered internal spiral ramp; like those two Germans who entered the pyramid in 2013, to sample the writing "discovered" by Richard Vyse (1784 - 1853).

Egyptologist Vyse, a British major general, is the villain of the piece if you're into alternative pyramid archaeology.

Known as "the dynamite archaeologist" this chap came up with the main - some say only - "evidence" linking the Great Pyramid to Pharaoh Khufu.

Apparently Vyse was a real bounder, a man who desperately needed to make some great discovery to further his career.

In a nutshell, he blasted his way into the ingeniously designed "stress-relieving chamber" - the cavity built to lighten pressure on the so-called "king's chamber" below.

Then, according to the alternative people anyway, he forged the "Khufu cartouche", a short inscription linking the Pyramid of Giza with workers who built a tomb for Khufu.

The Great Pyramid of Giza lacks images and hieroglyphics seen in other pyramids.
The Great Pyramid of Giza lacks images and hieroglyphics seen in other pyramids.

Giza a one-off

But the Great Pyramid doesn't look much like a tomb to me - for starters no body has ever been discovered inside it.

Rather, it appears to be entirely a one-off - the only Egyptian pyramid with eight sides, ventilation shafts and ascending passages.

What's more, unlike all the other pyramids it is without artwork depicting the Egyptian afterlife.

In fact, it seems to be without decoration of any kind.

Baptist theologian Rev Clarence Larkin (1850-1924) postulated that the Almighty somehow had a hand in the construction of this masterpiece, possibly by guiding the hand of Job, or one of the other Patriarchs.

I've long admired Larkin's writings, especially the fascinating "dispensational charts" he drew.

Larkin's intricate charts provided interpreted complex biblical prophecies.
Larkin's intricate charts provided interpreted complex biblical prophecies.

And while he admits that the Bible doesn't explicitly mention the Great Pyramid - Larkin suggests that it may be the "monument to the Lord", mentioned in Isaiah 19:19-20.

He points out in his writings that during the so-called end times, some great structure is going to be "a sign and witness to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt". He writes that the significance of the Great Pyramid is really in its layout - the configuration of the passages pointing to the fallen nature of man, and his need for a Saviour.

Well, that's my take on the Great Pyramid too.

But regardless, we'll all be watching to see what happens next.

- NZ Herald

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