Saturday, April 3, 2010

Egypt 41: Great Pyramid III

I exited the Queen's Chamber and headed down the small tunnel back towards the entrance.  This tunnel and the next one into the subterranean chamber were challenging for me, to say least.

I am so tall and all legs so that, bent over the way one must be to navigate these short tunnels, my knees almost literally hit my chin.  The others, being quite a bit shorter than me, were able to stand more upright and walk close to normally.  I was forced to duck walk using only my ankles and knees.

For those who are still holding on to the tomb theory of the Great Pyramid, just try to imagine bringing the nested sarcophagi of a pharaoh up through this tiny tunnel.  All I can say is good luck.  The smallest, innermost coffin belonging to Tutankhamen would barely fit in this tunnel.

Back toward the entrance, not the original entrance, the one cut by caliph Al Mamun cut his way into the structure in 832, we descended down stairs cut into the rock that connected with the original descending passageway from the original entrance.

Then it was down the short tunnel again at a 28 degree slope.  I got quite a workout.  All I can say is that all that walking in the Diamond Bar hills held me in good stead, otherwise I never would have made it.

If you look carefully you will see Melony descending into the shadows in front of me.  She is able to walk almost upright.  I was jealous.

Here we are in the subterranean chamber looking to the immediate right after entering.  They say it is unfinished and it is true that the room is by no means shaped like the King's or Queen's chambers.

Here is a shot taken from the opposite side.  Melony is looking down into the pit in the center.

Here's a shot of what she was looking at.  They (some place I read on the internet) say it descends down 60 feet, where it is blocked by a granite plug.  That same source also says that no attempt has been made to excavate down any further.
He thinks this is sad because in other places, lots of good things have been found at the bottom of deeper shafts of similar size.

As you can see, this shaft is blocked a long way before 60 feet down.  Was it filled in?  Was he wrong?  As is often the case, we'll never know.

Here is a shot showing the entrance tunnel.  I can't help but think the builders intended to leave this chamber in this specific condition.  In the Red Pyramid we noticed a similar unfinished room, that looked suspiciously like a tuning chamber that one might build into a modern speaker cabinet.

Directly behind me is a small, square, unfinished shaft is cut 100 feet into the bedrock.

Here is Mike coming out of it.  This, too looks like another form of sonic tuning.  But again, who knows?

The rest left and I followed.  They made better time up the ascending passageway than I did.  Lucky bums.  They could walk and I had to nearly crawl.  I had intended to make my way back up to the King's Chamber again, but when I reached the entrance Mohamed told me it was time to leave.  I looked at my watch.  He was right.

We all filed out past a line of regular folks who were waiting to get in.  Behind us, the gate to the Subterranean Chamber could be heard closing.  The sign disallowing photographs was in place.  I walked past all that with my camera safely tucked into my bag without incident.

Here we are sitting on a bit of the last remaining casing stones.  As you can see, I look like someone dumped a bucket of water over my head.  Still, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Here we are again with more of the pyramid in the background.  As you can see from our faces, we all appeared to have had a great time.

Next time, we walk around the Great Pyramid.

Continue on to Post 42: Around the Great Pyramid by clicking here.


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