science

Researchers Probe the Mysteries of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Timothy Patterson

The Great Pyramid of Giza is among one of the greatest feats of engineering known to man, and is the last of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World.

It is located on the Giza Plateau, near Cairo, Egypt. According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, until the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889, the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world. https://www.ancient.eu/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza/ The Pyramid is 479 feet tall (or 146 meters), with a base of 754 feet (230 meters).

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The Great Pyramid of Giza (Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41845445)

One of the most baffling questions posed by modern man in his quest to understand the “secrets” of the Earth, is how was the Great Pyramid built? Ancient History Encyclopedia admits that it is comprised of over 2 million stone blocks, or, more precisely “estimated at 2,300,000 stone blocks weighing from 2-30 tons each with some weighing as much as 70 tons,” according to Crystalinks.com.  https://www.crystalinks.com/gpstats.html

Egyptologists are not clear on how the pyramid was built. Egyptologists Bob Brier and Hoyt Hobbs comment on this: “Millions of heavy stone blocks needed not only to be quarried and raised to great heights but also set together with precision in order to create the desired shape.” But, based on scientific theories, they have a few estimates on how it was- and wasn’t built.

One such theory was proposed by archeologists from the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo and the University of Liverpool, who discovered the remains of an ancient ramp system, used around the same time that scholars believe the Pyramid was built (around 2560 BC, as according to Ancient History Encyclopedia).

According to History.com, https://www.history.com/news/ancient-egypt-pyramid-ramp-discovery , this 4,500 year old ramp system may have been used to “haul alabaster stones out of a quarry,” providing clues as to how the pyramids were built.

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The “Ramp Theory” that some scientists describe was how the Great Pyramid was built (Source: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/pyramidlifts.htm )

Kara Cooney, a professor of Egyptian art and architecture at the University of California, L.A. admits, though, that the discovery of an ancient ramp system does not automatically mean that this is how the pyramids were built, because “It’s a stretch to take an alabaster quarry and say this is how the pyramids were built, because the pyramids weren’t built out of alabaster,” she says. “The way that the ancient Egyptians cut and moved stone is still very mysterious.”

Another flaw in the ramp theory, as the method theory is commonly called, is described by Egyptologists Brier and Hobbs as a problem with the physics. They state, “The steeper the angle of an incline, the more effort necessary to move an object up that incline. It has been calculated that building a mile-long ramp that rose as high as the Great Pyramid would require as much material as that needed for the pyramid itself – workers would have had to build the equivalent of two pyramids in the twenty-year time frame. https://www.ancient.eu/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza/

Researchers have many theories, but the truth of the matter is, man does not know how the Great Pyramid was built, or even why. According to Curiosmos.com, https://curiosmos.com/3-startling-reasons-why-the-great-pyramid-of-giza-was-not-a-tomb/ archeologists claim that the Great Pyramid, and, indeed all pyramids, was built as a tomb for Pharaohs.

Egyptologists believe the Great Pyramid was the tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu, who is believed to be the one who constructed it in his life time. But, there’s just one problem: the mummy of Khufu has never been found inside the Great Pyramid!

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The Empty King’s Chamber inside the Great Pyramid. Why isn’t a mummy here? Note the bare, non-decorated walls. (Source: https://www.quora.com/What-was-the-real-purpose-of-the-complex-King-s-chamber-in-the-Great-Pyramid)

Additionally, according to archeologists, two other pyramids are claimed to be tombs of the kings: both Pharoah Djoser’s Pyramid, and the Bent Pyramid of Sneferu. But, as according to Curiosmos.com, “The mummy of Pharaoh Djoser, the first pyramid-building Pharaoh of ancient Egypt has never been found. Archeologists argue that the Pharaoh was buried in a sarcophagus that was located inside the step pyramid at Saqqara. But once we entered the alleged burial chamber, there was no mummy there.”

And, in regards to the Bent Pyramid of Sneferu: “Archeologists have argued that the mummified remains of Pharaoh Sneferu were placed inside a burial chamber inside the Red Pyramid. But, the remains of King Sneferu have not yet been found.”

So, if all three pyramids are supposed to be tombs, why hasn’t anyone found the mummies? This means that the true purpose of these pyramids, including the Great Pyramid, are still unknown. The mystery, as according to the testimony of researchers, is still prevalent.

One more mystery adds to the well: in 2017, as reported by CNN.com, scientists discovered a “mysterious void” inside the pyramid. https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/02/world/new-void-in-pyramid-of-giza-trnd/index.html As initially reported on in the journal Nature, “the group applied a physics technique that allowed them to track particles called muons, which come from cosmic rays striking atoms in the upper atmosphere.

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An illustrated explanation of the mysterious void found inside the Great Pyramid (Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5040093/Hidden-structure-inside-Great-Pyramid-Giza.html)

By using detectors, scientists can count the number of muons passing through the pyramid. Muons are partially absorbed by stone, so any large holes in the pyramid would result in more muons than expected landing on the detectors.

The researchers realized they were on to something after they placed their detectors inside the Queen’s chamber of the pyramid and found an unexpectedly large number of muons passing through, suggesting there was a previously unidentified “void,” or empty space, above the chamber.”

The Great Pyramid is an imposing site, challenging our previously-conceived notions about the Ancient Egyptians. It is through fact-based, scientific research, that we must look at the data, and admit we know very little about the Pyramid. We do not know how it was built, why it was built, barely when it was built, or what is inside it. It then becomes the duty of the researchers and scientists to continue to probe the structure and reexamine the ancient hieroglyphics, to try to understand this massive mystery.

 

 

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