The Great Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu
It is the only surviving monument of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is located in the Giza pyramids in Egypt, which are registered within the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The construction of the pyramid dates back to about the year 2560 BC when it was built as a tomb for the fourth dynasty pharaoh Khufu, and its construction continued for a period of 20 years. The construction of the Great Pyramid is a major civilizational shift in the history of ancient Egypt, and Khufu was influenced by his father, King Senefru, in building his pyramid; After his death, Khufu became the ruling god on earth, and it became necessary for him to think about building his tomb, which is the first national project in ancient Egypt, which professional workers from all over Egypt jointly built. The Great Pyramid, with its original height of 148 meters, remained the tallest building that humans had ever completed on Earth over a period of 3,800 years.
Prince Ham Euro was the architect of King Khufu – his statue is larger than normal in limestone preserved in the Romer-Belizius Museum in Hildesheim, Germany. The priests and engineers were sent to the city of On to choose a name for the pyramid, and that name was: “Akht Khufu,” meaning “Khufu’s horizon”. It represents the horizon from which God Ra will board the boats of the sun to sail by them and the stars rowing for him. And King Khufu is the first king who considers himself the god Ra on earth [?]. We note that his son Khafre and his grandson Menkaure enter into their name the name of the god Ra.
History and description
The Great Pyramid of Giza on a postcard from the nineteenth century
The pyramid was built as a tomb for the fourth Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, and its construction continued for a period of 20 years. Some archaeologists believe that the Titi (vizier) Ham Ionu was the architect of the Great Pyramid. It is believed that the Great Pyramid during construction was 280 feet in length by the Egyptian scale 146.5 meters (480.6 feet), but with erosion and the absence of its own pyramid segment, its current height became 138.8 meters (455.4 Foot). Each side of the base was 440 cubits [?] 230.4 meters (755.9 ft) long. The pyramid’s mass is estimated at 5.9 million tons. The size of the pyramid, in addition to the inner hillock, is approximately 2.5 million cubic meters, and based on these estimates, building this pyramid in 20 years requires cutting, transporting and installing about 800 tons of stones per day. Likewise, because it consists of an estimated 2.3 million stone blocks, completing construction in 20 years requires moving about 12 stone blocks to their location every hour, day and night. The first accurate measurements of the pyramid were made by Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie from 1880 to 1882 and published under the title The Pyramids and Temples of Giza. Nearly all reports are based on his measurements. Many of the cladding stones and blocks of the interior room fit together very precisely. Based on the measurements taken for the cladding stones of the northeastern side, the main entrance joints are only 0.5 mm wide.
The Great Pyramid remained the tallest building in the world for 3,800 years; it was not surpassed by another building until the summit of Lincoln Cathedral was built at the height of 160 meters (in 1300 AD). Accuracy in mastering the construction of the pyramid is represented in the four sides of the base. The average error is 58 millimetres in length. The lengths of the sides of the pyramid, which were estimated to be “Petri” in 1925, are: 230.252 meters, 230.454 meters, 230.391 meters, and the base of the pyramid is horizontal and flat within ± 15 mm (0.6 Inches) and the sides of the square base aligned with the four original sides of the compass (within 4 arc minutes) based on true north, not magnetic north, and the final base was a square error in the angle with an average of 12 seconds, harsh as the dimensions of the final design were estimated, as suggested by the Petrie study and the following studies: The height was originally 280 cubits, and the length of a side of the pyramid was 440 cubits, so the perimeter of the pyramid would be 1760 ancient Egyptian cubits. The ratio between circumference to height is 1760/280, which is equivalent to 2 2, and it differs from the exact value of [i] by only 0.05%. Some Egyptologists consider this ratio to be intentional at the time of design. Referring to this fact, Werner wrote: “We can conclude that although the ancient Egyptians did not know the exact value of π (i), they did, in fact, use it.
Closets system
Some functions of the chamber system of the Great Pyramid remain obscure. Archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt tried to explain the function of the system according to the sequence of construction. Accordingly, it is believed that the construction was carried out in three stages: in the first stage, the rock room was built to be the king’s tomb room, then it was considered to be the queen’s room, and in the third stage, the great hall and the king’s room were built, but today scholars believe that the system of rooms was originally in place. As it is now and built according to this design. It seems that the room system was reflective of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, but due to the absence of writing in the pyramid, the secret of this system remains mysterious.
The systems of the chambers, as well as the tombs of the pharaohs of that period, were devoid of writing. And the writings inside the later pyramids began to appear about 250 years later during the Fifth Dynasty, starting with the Pharaoh Onas, where we find the pyramid texts. These texts show the ancient Egyptian conception of the afterlife and the sanctification of the king after his death in those covenants.
The original entrance
The original entrance to the pyramid chambers was located 17 meters above the ground, at the stratum stone covering 19. It is on the northern side and about 7 meters from the centre line to the east. [14] The reason for this displacement is not yet known. [23] Above the entrance pass, there are two layers of large stones in the form of a pitched gable roof, each 2 meters thick. This gabled roof may extend along this downward sloping corridor at the heart of the pyramid. [24] The stone slab that used to block the entry pass from the outside no longer exists. Vito Maragioglio and Celeste Rinaldi believe that the entrance to the pyramid was covered with a stone slab 1.2 meters high.
The historian “Strabon” visited the pyramid in 25 BC and described it in his book “Geography” that its entrance was covered with a stone that could be opened. [25] But the German archaeologist “Stadlman” disagrees with him in that, and he believes that the door was closed with stone pieces like the rest of the pyramid to camouflage and conceal it. It is believed that the pyramid door was closed after it was stolen during the first transitional period with a stone slab and then closed with stones from the casing stones, as finding the entrance during the reign of the Caliph Al-Mamun was difficult.
Current entry (safe entrance)
Today, tourists enter the pyramid through a tunnel dug by workers employed by the Caliph al-Mamunwithin the year 820. The original entrance was unknown during the reign of the Caliph al-Ma’ mun, and the workers dug a tunnel at the seventh layer of the pyramid and shifted about 7 meters to the west. The tunnel enters the body of the pyramid horizontally for a distance of 27 meters (89 feet), then tends sharply to the left to meet the stones blocking the ascending path. Because of their inability to penetrate these hard stones, the workers dug up the limestones that were easier to penetrate until they reached the ascending corridor. The descending passage could be entered from this entrance, but entry is usually prohibited.
Descending corridor
The descending corridor is 1.09 meters wide and 1.20 meters high. It is inclined down at an angle of 26 ° and a length of 34 meters inside the pyramid, where it meets the ascending path 28 meters after its start. After reaching the depth of the pyramid’s floor, it continues to descend about an additional 70 meters in the floor of the rocky pyramid, meaning that its entire length is about 105 meters, at a depth of 30 meters under the pyramid. Then it extends another 9 meters horizontally to reach the rocky room.
There is a small incomplete angle before the rocky compartment on the western side, which is still unknown. Due to its similarity to a corner in Meidum’s pyramid, the German researcher, Michael Haas, believes that it was intended to contain a stone to close the stone chamber, and despite finding remnants of granite debris in the passage, the German researcher, Rainer Stadleman, does not believe that this passage was blocked by stone blocks Large. It appears that debris originated in the upper third of the corridor.
Horizontal corridor of the queen’s room
At the beginning of the corridor ascending to the Great Bahar, a horizontal corridor 38 meters long leads to the queen’s room. The first 5 meters of this pass open up. To the right and left of her, two holes were made in the walls. The German researcher “Michael Haas” believes that they are to preserve devices used to move the locking stones stored in the central corridor in the large foyer.
The corridor is 1.05 meters wide (equivalent to two ancient royal arms) and 1.17 meters high, which is thus three centimetres lower than the height of the closing stones, so these stones were not stored in it. The corridor tilts slightly towards the queen’s room, and at the last 5.5 meters, it tilts by 0.5 meters, and the floor of the queen’s room rests at this height.
Queen’s room
The Queen’s Chamber is located halfway between the north and south face of the pyramid: the dimensions of the queen’s chamber are 5.75 meters (18.9 feet) from north to south and 5.23 meters (17.2 feet) from east to east-west. It is lined with white limestone and has a gabled roof 6.23 meters high.
The gable roof angle is 30.5 ° and starts at 4.77 m from the room floor difference. This room was the first to be built in a pyramid, and its roof was in the form of a gable.
In the eastern wall of the room, a corner is 4.7 meters high and 1 meter deep in the wall and is decorated on both sides with a stepped dome. And you don’t know what that angle does. The researcher “Petrie” believes that the corner was devoted to a statue, where Petri found sepals and debris of diorite outside the pyramid from the north. This also fits the idea of ​​the basement, which is a room in which a statue of ka of the king or queen is placed, and the ka represents a “twin of the human soul” starting from that Al-Zawiya is a narrow tunnel 15.30 meters long inside the heart of the pyramid. Scholars differ in their functions.
Rock room
The descending corridor ends in the rocky room. The room appears unfinished, and the floor is not levelled to the level it should have been. The western part of it had not taken the shape of a polygon in the rock. On its wall, there are longitudinal pits that were a preparation for removing the rest of the rocks and completing the digging of the room. Archaeologist Michael Haas believes that the workers faced severe difficulties to work at that depth, as there was less oxygen due to breathing and torches that they used to illuminate the place during work, and especially that they were away from the exit and source of fresh air by about 105 meters underground, in addition to the fumes of torches.
The room measures 8.36 meters north, and 14.08 meters east and west, and its height is almost 5.03 meters. The floor in the eastern part of the room is uneven. It is 1.3 meters lower than the floor of the corridor, which indicates that the floor of the room was planned to be paved, and in the southeast corner, there is an extension of the corridor up to 16.41 meters in the direction to the south, where the workers stopped working. His job is unknown. It contains traces of a single worker who was hardly dug into the rock with a hammer and chisel, and there is a deep pit in the eastern part of the stone chamber. The pit walls are not parallel to the walls of the room but are inclined to 45 degrees. The archaeologist “Bering” descended into the crater to a depth of 11 meters, looking for perhaps another room, but he did not find anything.
Tunnel ventilation, exit and cave
There is a tunnel for ventilation and preparation for the exit of priests and workers after burying Pharaoh and blocking the rooms; this tunnel connects between the great hall and the descending corridor. The lower entrance is located about 1 meter below the entrance to the descending corridor. It seems that work began on the rock at the height of 5.7 meters from the pyramid’s base. And this tunnel passes down what looks like a “cave” in the rock.
The cave was thought to be the remains of an initial mummy chamber, but there is no evidence for this because the design and construction method of the cave does not support this conjecture. A large granite stone was found in the cave, possibly to close the queen and king’s chambers.
After descending about 5.2 meters (that is, about 10 ancient royal arms) vertically down from the cave, the tunnel runs as follows: 26 meters down at an angle of about 45 degrees toward the south, then 9.5 meters at an angle of about 75 ° and a section of the length of 2.3 meters to the southeast direction horizontally. To meet the descending corridor. From the cave to the top, the tunnel passes through the stones of the heart of the pyramid with a length of 61 meters to reach a height of 21.80 meters inside the pyramid until it exits from the floor of the grand hall.
Researchers believe that the tunnel was intended for ventilation for workers in the rock room and at the same time to exit. If the tunnel’s purpose was to exit only, the ancient engineers chose a shorter path to build it and connect it to the descending path.
Exit idea
After the priests and workers put the mummy of a pharaoh or the queen’s mummy in its place, the workers close the room with huge granite stones (one of them was found in the cave). After placing the mummy of Pharaoh in its place, his room is also closed, and the ascending passage from the bottom is closed with huge granite stones (these stones are stored in the great hall). Workers exit through the tunnel down to the descending corridor and from there to the outside. Then, the pyramid entrance is closed.
The ascending corridor
Under the original entrance, 27.4 meters inside the pyramid, there is at the descending corridor’s ceiling; the ascending corridor’s branching. This branching connects between the lower structure in the rock and the building of the upper pyramid and its system of chambers. The corridor is 1.2 meters high and 1.05 meters wide, and after a distance of 37.7 meters, it connects to the Grand Foyer. The pass narrows at its beginning to about 0.97 to block the dam stones. Three large granite blocks remain to this day, and the passage is inaccessible to the tunnel dug by the workers of the Caliph Al-Mamun.
What distinguishes the upper corridor is four huge limestone stones erect vertically and penetrate by the corridor. Researchers “Maragoglio” and “Rinaldi” interpret them as being to protect the descending corridor. It gives them stability and distributes the weight of the pyramid on it and the neighbouring structure.
The Grand Foyer Now (2007)
The large foyer extends along the ascending corridor but bends slightly 1′20 ″ from the north direction, and the width of the lobby is twice the width of the corridor, and its ceiling is much higher than the one. It has a gabled dome (the rows of stones shift over the left and right walls gradually so that the distance between them narrows towards the ceiling.) At the same time, this structure leads to stability and the weight of the higher stones is distributed on both sides of the lobby. After a height of 8 and 1 meter for the two walls of the lobby, the rows of stones move inward by 8 centimetres gradually, and so on until the seventh layer of the two sides walls until the ceiling width reaches about 1 meter. The ceiling height of the grand foyer is about 5 and 8 meters; It is 46 meters long, and the large foyer leads to the king’s room.
The central part of the lobby is 05 and 1 meters wide, and on each side of a berth, it is 52 and 0 meters high and 52 and 0 meters wide. On the sidewalks and the two walls close to them, there are 25 holes on each side. The distance between the pits is 4 and 1 meter, and some of them are 5 and 1 meter. The digging in the two walls is in the form of “false” windows with a width of 0,67 by 0,20 meters, and the ribbed pits in the two sidewalks measuring 0,52 0,18 meters. It seems that the pits of the walls were filled with gypsum.
The researchers, “Flanders Petrie” and “Noel Wheeler”, considered that these false windows and pits were intended to stabilize the foyer embankments that block the lower part of the hallway corridor.
In 2017, while working on the Scan Pyramids Project, scientists detected a new cavity and hall in the Great Pyramid, using tomography technology using muon radiation. It is found that the new foyer or foyer has a length of about 30 meters, and its cross-section is similar to a large foyer. The existence of this new foyer or cavity was confirmed using three techniques: They are using nuclear emulsion films, scintillator hodoscope and gas detectors. The purpose and purpose of the existence of this new foyer are not yet clear, and there is no current possibility to access it. However, according to Zahi Hawass, it is possible that it was a structural gap used to rebuild the grand lobby.