From: dgerardo@ute.com.uy
Date: 09 Jun 1999
Time: 00:41:05
Remote Name:


The Pharaoh’s Strategy (La estrategia de los Faraones)

The main objectives of the egyptian engineers at the service of Pharaoh Kheops were: to construct the Great Pyramid, symbol of the Pharaoh’s power to be perpetuated over the times, and a safe funeral chamber able to resist the profanation attempts and to preserve his body and belongings for eternity.

Just keeping in mind the original problem of how to accomplish a safe funeral chamber we realise that it wasn’t an easy task and required a very well thought out and executed plan complemented with a well defined strategy.

They surely dedicated all their capabilities, experience and talent on this subject because it was a very important issue for the Pharaoh’s life in eternity.

From the very first tombs to the pyramids, they have to deal with this problem and the extreme need to resolve it gave them a great experience on the possible solutions.

Options for the construction of funeral chambers

For a funeral chamber was safe, it must be necessarily a secret one, so it’s place must be known only by a reduced number of people, whom must be reliable for the Pharaoh. These people must be the ones at charge of the planning and execution of the works together with a selected crew of workers. From the beginning of the chamber’s works all these people were kept isolated from the other workers, and after the Pharaoh’s death and the funeral rites, they surely must be sacrificed for keeping the secret of the chamber’s location.

The first pyramids had subterranean funeral chambers, excavated in the solid rock beneath the pyramid, and then another technique was developed for located the funeral chamber inside the pyramid. When the Great Pyramid was constructed they could have use any of these two options: excavated chamber or constructed chamber.

The constructed chamber presented one main difficulty; it required the installation of great stone slabs as ceiling, for supporting all the weight over it. The cutting of the stone slabs at the quarry, their movement until reaching the pyramid construction and their location as the chamber’s ceiling, required the participation of many workers. This was a conspicuous work and necessarily in simultaneous with the pyramid construction. All these facts enhanced the chamber’s construction and location, which make impossible to keep it secret. They have the alternative to excavate a chamber inside the pyramid after the construction, but the collocation of great stone slabs as ceiling was inevitable.

The other option for the funeral chamber making was the one excavated beneath the pyramid, which were the traditionally done.

The excavations had the difficulty that must be done when the pyramid construction could be enough progressed for having an isolated sector inside the pyramid where the excavation works could have been initiated. It must be an isolated sector because the excavation works couldn’t been saw by other workers than the selected crew and their activities couldn’t be detected. Besides they must be kept without any communication with the others. In addition there was another difficulty to cope with: it was necessary to remove all the excavated material without revealing the location and realisation of the works. But in spite of the difficulties, an excavated chamber could fulfil with the condition to be secret, if it’s realisation was accompanied with the adequate strategy, as we will see later.

At this point we could argue that the Pharaoh’s decision must be done taking into account the architectonic progress and the beauty of a whole granite chamber or the security of an excavated funeral chamber.

Analysis and interpretation of the known chambers

The analysis of the internal distribution of the pyramid allowed us to understand which was his final decision. The logical conclusion is to think that he opted for the secure chamber, which is his guarantee that his belongings remained with him for his eternal life. The so named King’s chamber is a constructed one and traditionally accepted as the Pharaoh’s funeral chamber. As we pointed before it couldn’t fulfil with the security condition and besides there are many evidences that the engineers intentionally exposed its location to the thieves. As we mentioned above, the installation of the stone slabs as the chamber’s ceiling, make evident the chamber’s construction and location. In the King’s chamber we found six ceilings superimposed, and only the one on top has the function of supporting weight. Structurally doesn’t exist any function for the other five roofs, so the engineers could avoid realising them. This point lead us to think that the only reason for their existence was a local enhancement for the chamber’s location during the pyramid construction. The ventilation airshafts were not usual in this chambers, and make evident again the location of the chamber during the construction of the pyramid. The detection of these airshafts by the thieves added another risk to the chamber’s safety. The airshafts weren’t necessary and the engineers could have avoided their construction. The antechamber entrance is at the end of the Grand Gallery, over a big stair step, eminently exposed unless they could have hide it. The pit cavity that was excavated by the constructors, as we can observe by the quality of its endings at the connection with the Grand Gallery allowed surrounding the ascending passageway obstruction, and reaching the antechamber without obstacles. The descending passageway must be obstructed, but it’s open. They leave it open and obstructed the ascending passageway, which was a more difficult thing to do. For all these reason, we can conclude that the King’s chamber is a false funeral chamber, done for discourage the thieves in their quest for the treasures. In the designing of their strategies over the times, the Egyptian engineers must have discovered this form to stop the robbery. The effectiveness of this false chamber is outstanding, what could the thieves look for if the chamber is empty? They surely thought that it has been stolen before and it’s worthless going on searching. This trick doesn’t stop archaeologists like Caviglia, Vyse, etc. The Pharaoh’s engineers were so evident in their intentions of demonstrate the chamber’s location, because they were thinking in cheating only thieves. This chamber could have only the function of receiving the funeral procession and then the Pharaoh’s body and his belongings would be moved in secret to the true funeral chamber. The Queen’s chamber has its entrance hidden below the Grand Gallery floor and it is better located than the King’s chamber. Nevertheless it is also a constructed chamber. It doesn’t have a defensive system nor a sarcophagus or the necessary dimension to be a funeral chamber. Traditionally it has been accepted as an accessory chamber. The subterranean chamber is not finished and couldn’t be used as a funeral chamber. Concluding: neither of the three chambers could be the funeral chamber because they don’t fulfil the condition for been safe or are not finished.

Strategy used for the making of the funerary complex

Is traditionally accepted that the subterranean chamber is not finished because the Pharaoh had first decided to use an excavated chamber but then he change his mind and preferred the constructed one. The needing of a safe chamber was a primordial theme for the Pharaoh’s engineers and of course for the Pharaoh himself. It can’t be acceptable then that the funeral chamber could be as result from improvising or a change in strategy. They must resolve all this subjects first and then execute them carefully. How could we explain the existence of this unfinished chamber in a whole finished construction even on its minimal details? First we must understand that this subterranean chamber it’s not a chamber, it is only an excavation. It is evident that they have not intention to obtain a chamber from this. It is so irregular, so deformed and without any sense that is known as the “chaotic chamber”. This subterranean chamber is clear evidence that another chamber exists, the true funeral chamber and it is excavated in the solid rock beneath the pyramid. The excavated chambers as we’ve seen before had the difficulty that it was necessary to remove all the excavated material without revealing their location and realisation of the works. To be simultaneously doing another excavation (the excavation of the subterranean chamber, which was known by the workers) allowed having a good solution for this problem. The workers of the selected crew removed the material excavated from the true excavation to the false excavation (subterranean chamber) where it was remove to the outside by the common workers of the pyramid construction. This strategy allowed maintaining without connection the selected crew and the common workers, and also leading people to think that the removed materials were from the false excavation. The excavated pit at the false excavation was sufficiently deep, and the small passageway at the end, sufficiently long, to make impossible to estimate the size of the false excavation. All the material removed (a lot more than the material they could obtain from this false excavation) was then attributed to this work. So nobody could deduce that other excavation was taking place at the same moment. As we mentioned above, the excavations had the difficulty that must be done when the pyramid construction could be enough progressed for having an isolated sector inside the pyramid where the excavation works could have been initiated. It must be an isolated sector because the excavation works couldn’t been saw by other workers than the selected crew and their activities couldn’t be detected. Besides they must be kept without any communication with the other workers. The excavation of the pit cavity that was done by the constructors, as we can observe by the quality of its endings at the connection with the Gallery, was always an unanswered question. This airshaft communicates the descending passageway’s sector near the entrance of the false excavation (subterranean chamber) with the Queen’s chamber. This could be done because the Grand Gallery’s floor was lean on beams, and there was an empty space below. This empty space can’t have another mean than an intention of communicating the pit cavity with the Queen’s chamber, or otherwise they must have closed it with blocks. The Queen’s chamber with its horizontal passageway and the pit cavity is an isolated sector from the rest of the construction, very convenient and safe for initiating the excavation of the true funeral chamber. The pit cavity allowed removing material from the true excavation to the false excavation and the workers transit. The works on the true excavation could have been initiated as soon as this sector of the pyramid was constructed. There is an additional difficulty for the deeper excavations, for which the possible solution confirms our deductions about the location of the true excavation. It is the necessity of ventilation. If we think about the connection between the isolated sector of the Queen’s chamber and the true deep excavation, we can see that the air circulation is not possible. This justifies the works and troubles that the Pharaoh’s engineers must cope for realising the ventilation airshafts that reach the Queen’s chamber. These ventilation airshafts are also unanswered questions. They reach until the Queen’s chamber but ended into the wall six inch before opening into the chamber. This could be explained because they were used to ventilate the true excavation deep into the solid rock and not for ventilating the Queen’s chamber. The idea was to connect them later (when the pyramid would be closed) to the Queen’s chamber, so nobody could suspect that they were used for anything else. If they had connected them during the excavation the ventilation must have been less effective and they didn’t connect them later because they forgot to because of the time passed until the Pharaoh’s death. This was their great error. Another interesting detail to be explained is about the design of the airshafts, with an initial horizontal sector close to the chamber and then a sector that goes upwards in slope until outside. Why there is a horizontal sector at their beginning? We told that the true excavation begun at the isolated sector, and answering this question we can determine where, inside this sector, the excavation begun. The excavation was initiated vertically digging the air airshafts until reaching the depth at what the chamber must be done. It requires a similar excavation than the pit cavity but with better endings. We must think in an airshaft where a person could enter for doing the excavation. These airshafts were connected with the ones that reach the Queen’s chamber behind the wall. The horizontal sector of these airshafts was calculated thinking in the wall’s thickness and the airshaft’s width that is behind the wall, which descend vertically until the true chamber’s depth. This allowed us to understand why the airshafts are designed like this and their dimensions. The depth, at which the true funeral chamber is, can’t be more than the false excavation’s depth, because the ventilation airshafts could come trough it. This explains why the subterranean chamber wasn’t finished, because if it was well finished could be at risk of accidental excavations from the thieves.

There are a lot of evidences that they want to protect the sector above the subterranean chamber. First of all, the horizontal passageway that leads to the subterranean chamber has the function of putting further away this sector from the descending passageway. The pit cavity, which could have been done vertically, was also put away as much as they can from the sector located above the subterranean chamber; they deviate it to the North. The ceiling of the subterranean chamber, that is the last place where an accidental excavation could have done by the thieves, was finished with inclination for avoiding risks. The ventilation airshafts of the King’s chamber, which were truly opened into the chamber, could have been used for ventilating the whole internal distribution of the pyramid. If this is true, they must have placed them at the same vertical level where the Queen’s chamber airshafts are, because it could have been the easier way to construct them. But they put them in another level, slightly deviated to the East. This issue indicates us that they were used for reinforcing the ventilation in the true funeral chamber excavation. This level deviation prevented that the vertical airshafts, which come from the King’s chamber, intercept the airshaft that reaches the south wall of the Queen’s chamber. This ventilation system demonstrate without any dude that we are talking about a funerary complex and not about a simple funeral chamber. The excavation was connected with the internal distribution by an excavated passageway from inside to outside. Its entrance must be done inside the constructed sector because it is better for hiding it than in the excavated sector. The three blocks that obstruct the ascending passageway seem to be put there for avoiding the access to the Grand Gallery from the descending passageway. The strategy of the Pharaoh’s engineers was to intentionally induce the thieves to think so. Is quite evident too, that these blocks never could had that function, because the pit cavity allows to surround them and reach to the Gallery without difficulty. Those blocks were put there for protecting that passageway’s sector. The mentioned sector is also the most proximate constructed zone of the internal distribution, to the solid rock. From this zone we can have access directly to the stuffing layer (earth and rocky terrain) that exists below the pyramid which oddly has the same high used for the passageways. The passageway was excavated through the solid rock and when they reached the stuffing layer they continued until the zone where it is the obstruction. This has an advantage, after doing this, the passageway is stuffed and it disappears. The thieves wouldn’t try to excavate in this zone because of the possibility of collapse. Analysing the internal distribution of the Kheops pyramid, we could deduce that exist a whole funerary complex, and to determine its location. We can also see that their strategy was based on many ingenious resources, as result of the experience acquired from previous constructions. This is the reason for many false issues in the pyramid: the false funeral chamber with its false ceilings, the false subterranean excavation, and the false connection of the ventilation airshafts, the false obstruction of the ascending passageway. The only true thing is the existence of a funerary complex for been discovered.

The main goal of their strategy consists in hiding their talent and to convince us that the thieves beat them. The Pharaoh’s engineers couldn’t construct a safe funerary complex without sacrificing the Pharaoh’s pride, and we can’t fell in their trap, because we will be very unjust with them. The Ancient Pharaoh will recover the lost pride, unless this means to sacrifice their sacred tombs.

Daniel Gerardo All Rights Registered e-mail: dgerardo@ute.com.uy