The Great Pyramid a true masterpiece and has rightly earned the title of a “Wonder”. It was built with such precision that our current technology cannot replicate it.  Historical analysis shows suggests that the Pyramids were built between 2589 and 2504 BC. The problem with "Facts" is they are often presented authorativly when it is sometimes only conjecture and assumption that generate these conclusions.It is more fun to read when people tell a story, but this doesn't make the story true.

Did the Egyptians of 2589 BC actually make this structure, absolutely not. Did they take credit for it?.. YES.
It isn't the constructiuon of the pyramid that tells me they didn't build it, it's the math involved that could only be achieved by a knowledge of the planet that was simply unavailable at the time.

Here are the some facts:

  • The pyramid is estimated to have around 2,300,000 stone blocks that weigh from 2 to 30 tons each and there are even some blocks that weigh over 50 tons.
  • The Pyramid of Menkaure, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Great Pyramid of Khufu are precisely aligned with the Constellation of Orion.
  • The base of the pyramid covers 55,000 m2 (592,000 ft 2) with each side greater than 20,000 m2 (218,000 ft2) in area.
  • The interior temperature is constant and equals the average temperature of the earth, 20 Degrees Celsius (68 Degrees Fahrenheit).
  • The outer mantle was composed of 144,000 casing stones, all of them highly polished and flat to an accuracy of 1/100th of an inch, about 100 inches thick and weighing approx. 15 tons each.
  • The cornerstone foundations of the pyramid have ball and socket construction capable of dealing with heat expansion and earthquakes.
  • The mortar used is of an unknown origin (Yes, no explanation given). It has been analyzed and its chemical composition is known but it can’t be reproduced. It is stronger than the stone and still holding up today.
  • It was originally covered with casing stones (made of highly polished limestone). These casing stones reflected the sun’s light and made the pyramid shine like a jewel. They are no longer present being used by Arabs to build mosques after an earthquake in the 14th century loosened many of them. It has been calculated that the original pyramid with its casing stones would act like gigantic mirrors and reflect light so powerful that it would be visible from the moon as a shining star on earth. Appropriately, the ancient Egyptians called the Great Pyramid “Ikhet”, meaning the “Glorious Light”.  How these blocks were transported and assembled into the pyramid is still a mystery. –
  • Aligned True North: The Great Pyramid is the most accurately aligned structure in existence and faces true north with only 3/60th of a degree of error. The position of the North Pole moves over time and the pyramid was exactly aligned at one time.
  • Center of Land Mass: The Great Pyramid is located at the center of the land mass of the earth. The east/west parallel that crosses the most land and the north/south meridian that crosses the most land intersect in two places on the earth, one in the ocean and the other at the Great Pyramid.
  • The four faces of the pyramid are slightly concave, the only pyramid to have been built this way.
  • The centers of the four sides are indented with an extraordinary degree of precision forming the only 8 sided pyramid, this effect is not visible from the ground or from a distance but only from the air, and then only under the proper lighting conditions. This phenomenon is only detectable from the air at dawn and sunset on the spring and autumn equinoxes, when the sun casts shadows on the pyramid.
  • The granite coffer in the “King’s Chamber” is too big to fit through the passages and so it must have been put in place during construction.
  • The coffer was made out of a block of solid granite. This would have required bronze saws 8-9 ft. long set with teeth of sapphires. Hollowing out of the interior would require tubular drills of the same material applied with a tremendous vertical force.
  • Microscopic analysis of the coffer reveals that it was made with a fixed point drill that used hard jewel bits and a drilling force of 2 tons.
  • The Great Pyramid had a swivel door entrance at one time. Swivel doors were found in only two other pyramids: Khufu’s father and grandfather, Sneferu and Huni, respectively.
  • It is reported that when the pyramid was first broken into that the swivel door, weighing some 20 tons, was so well balanced that it could be opened by pushing out from the inside with only minimal force, but when closed, was so perfect a fit that it could scarcely be detected and there was not enough crack or crevice around the edges to gain a grasp from the outside.
  • With the mantle in place, the Great Pyramid could be seen from the mountains in Israel and probably the moon as well.
  • The weight of the pyramid is estimated at 5,955,000 tons. Multiplied by 10^8 gives a reasonable estimate of the earth’s mass.
  • The Descending Passage pointed to the pole star Alpha Draconis, circa 2170-2144 BCE. This was the North Star at that point in time. No other star has aligned with the passage since then.
  • The southern shaft in the King’s Chamber pointed to the star Al Nitak (Zeta Orionis) in the constellation Orion, circa 2450 BCE The Orion constellation was associated with the Egyptian god Osiris. No other star aligned with this shaft during that time in history.
  • Sun’s Radius: Twice the perimeter of the bottom of the granite coffer times 10^8 is the sun’s mean radius. [270.45378502 Pyramid Inches* 10^8 = 427,316 miles]
  • The curvature designed into the faces of the pyramid exactly matches the radius of the earth.
  • Khufu’s pyramid, known as the great pyramid of Giza, is the oldest and largest, rising at 481 feet (146 meters). Archaeologists say it was the tallest structure in the world for about 3, 800 years.
  • The relationship between Pi (p) and Phi (F) is expressed in the fundamental proportions of the Great Pyramid.

    The Pyramid of KheopsThe Pyramid of Kheops


    The Great Pyramid: A Miracle in Stone, 1973, Joseph A. Seiss

    Secrets of the Great Pyramid, 1978, Peter Tompkins

    Back in Time 3104 B.C. to the Great Pyramid, 1990, S. G. Taseos

    The Authorship and Message of the Great Pyramid, 1953, Julian T. Gray, E. Steinmann & Co.

    Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, 1891, C. Piazzi Smyth

    FAIR USE NOTICE: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.


At construction (vc) the Great Pyramid was 280 Egyptian Old Royal Cubits tall (146.5 metres or 481 feet), but due to erosion and the theft of its topmost stone (the so-called pyramidion) its current height is approximately 137 m. The Great Pyramid covers approximately 5.5 hectares (55,000 m²) at its base. As has been proven by papyrus documents, each side measured in Antiquity 440 Old Royal Cubits (230.5 m). Today each side has a length of approximately 227.5 m. The reduction in area and the current "rough hewn" appearance of the structure is due to the removal of the polished white limestone casing stones most of which were shaken loose by a massive earthquake in the 14th century and subsequently carted off and used as building material for much of early Cairo.

For four millennia it was the world's tallest building, not being surpassed until the 160-metre tall spire of Lincoln Cathedral was completed in around 1300CE. The accuracy of work is such that the four sides of the base have a mean error of only 15 mm in length, and 12 seconds in angle from a perfect square. The sides of the square are aligned quite precisely in North-South and East-West directions. The sides of the pyramid rise at an angle of approximately 51°51'.

A wonder of the ancient world in their own right, the casing stones of the Great Pyramid were cut with optical precision many of which being off of true plane for their entire surface area by as little as 1/50th of an inch as well as being fit so perfectly together that the tip of a knife could not be inserted between their joints along any edge even to this day. Another interesting feature is that the light reflected by the Great Pyramid being encased in this precision laid, highly polished, bone-white limestone could be seen miles away even under moonlight.

The Great Pyramid differs in its internal arrangement from the other pyramids in the area. The greater number of passages and chambers, the high finish of parts of the work, and the accuracy of construction all distinguish it. The walls throughout the pyramid are predominantly bare and uninscribed. Three chambers are arranged centrally, on the vertical axis of the pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut in the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built; it is the largest of the three and appears to be unfinished, roughly cut in stone. The middle chamber or "queen's chamber" is the smallest, measuring approximately 5.74 by 5.23 metres, and 4.57 metres in height. Its eastern wall has a large angular doorway or niche, and two narrow shafts, about 20 centimeters wide, extending from the chamber to the outer surface of the pyramid, blocked by limestone "doors" at several points

A descending passage leads from the entrance of the pyramid to the underground chamber. About half-way along, a second passage ascends towards the upper chambers. This again breaks into two corridors, one horizontal, leading to the 'queen' chamber, and the other still ascending, leading into the burial chamber. This final asscending corridor is a fantastic space with a height of aprox. 8 metres, which earned it a name of 'grand gallery'. The grand gallery leans next to the walls of the burial chambers, and is connected with it through a tiny, tight passageway.

This passageway once contained crude stone mechanisms for one-time release of huge granite blocks which sealed the entrance into the burial chamber. The grand gallery also contained some sort of mechanism for the release of a huge stone block which plugged the ascending passage. The entire upper part of the pyramid was thus sealed after the burial of the king. There was one secret passage that was not sealed, leading through the very rock upon which the pyramid was built, towards the descending passage and outside the pyramid, through which the last of the workers and funerary priests could escape after the burial of the king. Have to strike out the assumptions. Believeing that this edifice was used to bury a king who wasn't found in it, has no inscriptions of the king in it is a nice story, but certainly not fact.


Another interesting feature of the Great Pyramid are the so-called 'relieving chambers'. This is an ingenious system raised over the king's burial chamber, constructed to relieve vertical and horizontal loads. The relatively thin wall between the burial chamber and the grand gallery likely could not absorb all of the horizontal pressure from the granite roof of the chamber. Thus, the granite roof had to be raised above the level of grand gallery. However, this created another problem, since now the walls of the burial chamber would be more than 8 meters high, and thus very unstable. Thus, huge granite slabs were placed horizontally as stabilisers between the walls, one above another. The empty spaces between granite slabs today are called 'relieving' chambers, though they were never meant to be accessed; and were not until the 19th century, when they were opened by dynamite.

This, turned out to be an incredibly valuable discovery fraud. Since the 'relieving chambers' were never meant to be accessed, the stone blocks on their walls were not prepared and laid as carefully as those in the accessible interior of the pyramid. Thus, graffiti of the pyramid workers were found inscribed on some of the blocks, mentioning the names of the worker crews which built the pyramid (or at least placed these particular stones), and the year of rule and the name of the pharaoh who had the pyramid built: Khufu. The Great Pyramid is otherwise completely empty of any inscriptions or hieroglyphs whatsoever. This is the only evidence which proves that pharaoh Hor Medjedu Khnum Khufu had the Great Pyramid built, and that this is, in fact, the legendary king which Herodotus calls Kheops. This was actually proven to be a fraud see: Link


The following information can be found here: Link

I have no intention of ripping off the informaiton, merely duplicating it for archival purposes. Often this kind of research can be lost for the sake of political correctness or to "help" keep history the one the authorities want you to know.

Of all the monuments of ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza is by far the granddaddy of them all, and the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to survive to this day.

It is NOT my intent to prove who built the Great Pyramid and when, but to share compelling evidence that strongly suggests the cartouche of Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) that is inscribed inside the relieving chambers of the Great Pyramid (see image below) may have been fraudulently planted (painted.)

I conclude with compelling evidence (or lack thereof) and reasoning why the Great Pyramid was NOT a tomb. If the GP was not a tomb, then what was its purpose? you ask. Although my jury is still out debating that question, I am inclined to believe the original purpose of the Great Pyramid was lost, forgotten, unknown, or simply ignored over the years.

What is a Cartouche?

A cartouche is an ornate or ornamental oval or oblong figure (as seen on ancient Egyptian monuments) that encloses a sovereign's name, such as a Pharaoh.

Cross-section diagram of the Great Pyramid depicting a descending subterranean passage, an ascending passage (the Grand Gallery) two chambers named the "Queen's Chamber" and the "King's Chamber" and four (air?) shafts.

Located directly above the King's Chamber are five, granite, stress relieving chambers. Their structural function was/is to prevent the collapse of the King's Chamber from the tremendous weight of several million tons of the superincumbent masonry above the chamber area.

These four upper chambers were discovered by Col. Howard Vyse in 1837 and named by him.

We will be examining the hieroglyphic inscriptions in the uppermost relieving chambers, namely 'Lady Arbuthnot' and 'Campbell's Chamber.'

 Recorded May 10, 1837

The drawings below are the red, ochre-painted cartouches, hieroglyphic inscriptions, quarry marks, leveling lines, axis markers, directional notations, names of workgangs in the form of Khufu's name? and graffiti? that were found in Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber and drawn by Colonel William Howard Vyse in his journal on May 10, 1837, EXACTLY AS THEY WERE DISCOVERED on May 10, 1837.

This not only depicts what the inscriptions looked like on the day they were discovered, it also establishes an authentic historical record of the discovery.

This date is very important.


A sieve represents the letters "Kh." It is drawn as a circle with three crosshatches inside it. Remember this.

In 1837, Samuel Birch, a hieroglyphics expert at the British Museum in London wrote (please read this):

What Samuel Birch (and others) had discovered was that the inscriptions were NOT hieroglyphic but written in a semi-hieractic (linear) hieroglyphic characters (script) which was a form of shorthand that did not appear until the beginning of the Middle Kingdom (2000 BC.)

Additionally, Birch identified two royal names: Saufou or Shoufou (Suphis) and Khoufou (Cheops) and Senekhuf or SENeshoufou (that included the ram symbol of the God Khnum.)

Two different names identifying the same Pharaoh? And, as Birch explains, the presence of the Pharaoh's name "as a quarry mark in the Great Pyramid is an additional embarrassment."

Were these two people co-regents? Did they reign together?

These observations raise many RED flags.

Please continue. It gets more interesting.


No sieve is present.

There are no inscriptions of a sieve in these cartouches. Instead, they are clearly drawn with ONE crosshatch and ONE DOT.

Note the sieve? (Kh?) in the cartouche on the far right. The circle has only ONE DOT in the center. A circle with one dot in the center depicts the Solar Disk, the hieroglyphic symbol and phonetic sound for RA, the sun god, the supreme god of Egypt, NOT "Kh." This cartouche spells, Raufu, NOT Khufu.

What in the world is the symbol of "Ra" doing in this cartouche? How could this happen?

Had someone uneducated in hieroglyphics misspelled the Pharaoh's name?

Who would/could make such a misspelling mistake? Someone living during Khufu's reign? or someone living in the 1830s?

And why is this cartouche inconsistent with the other cartouches inscribed in the same chamber? Why is it incomplete?


This Drawing was Recorded May 27, 1837

The above hieroglyphic inscriptions were discovered in Campbell's Chamber and drawn on May 27, 1837. Again, this date is very important. This is exactly how they appeared when they were first discovered.

Note the cartouche of Khnem-Khufu inscribed on the South Side wall (far right top drawing - circled.)
This single cartouche is historically responsible for declaring Pharaoh Khufu as the builder of the Great Pyramid as his tomb!!

Now let's take a closer look at this cartouche.

The Smoking Gun

The drawing below is Khufu's cartouche as it was discovered in Campbell's Chamber and drawn
(physically recorded) in Col. Vyse's journal on MAY 27, 1837.

The sieve (a circle with three vertical or diagonal crosshatches) is clearly INCORRECTLY DRAWN. This cartouche even contradicts the cartouches found earlier in Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber!

Some people may think this incorrectly drawn sieve is insignificant, but I believe it is very significant. During Pharaonic times, the Pharaoh's name (the King of Egypt !) would never be misspelled like this.

Figure 3                                                  Figure 4

Fig. 3 is the drawing of the sieve of the cartouche in question. It was drawn in Col. Howard Vyse's journal on May 27, 1837. Fig. 4 is a modern-day "photograph" of the SAME sieve. The complete cartouche can be found on page 1 of this section.

Do the above sieves look the same to you?

No! They are significantly different. Why are they so different? If they are the same sieve, they should be nearly identical to each other, but they are not.

Under closer examination of the sieve in Fig.4, it appears to me that AT SOME POINT IN TIME THERE WAS ONE DOT in the center of that circle, which (coincidentally?) appears to match the center of the circle in Figure 3. Do you see what I see?

An Explanation for the Discrepancy ?

When was the modern-day photograph of the cartouche with the sieve (Fig.4) taken? Obviously it was not taken in 1837, therefore, we can accurately acknowledge that it was taken AFTER it was discovered (and drawn/recorded) by Vyse in 1837. This is very important to note.

Why is the photograph of the cartouche in Figure 4 NOT an accurate representation of the SAME CARTOUCHE as depicted in Figure 3?

Based on Col. Howard Vyse's authentic historical record (dated May 27, 1837) I believe the original cartouche discovered in Campbell's Chamber looked exactly like that drawn in Figure 3 (the glob of paint looks like excess paint to me.)

But why does the modern-day photograph look so different from the original drawing of the same cartouche?

It seems that days or years or centuries or millennia later, someone (Vyse? or a modern-day Egyptian restoration project?) realized the circle needed THREE crosshatches inside it in order to correctly spell the letters "Kh" (as in Khufu) and painted three (3) crosshatches in the circle, the middle crosshatch covering the ORIGINAL DOT in the center, which is depicted in Fig.3.

But, while the forger(s?) painted the new crosshatches, they inadvertently made another dreadful mistake -— They didn't quite cover up the entire DOT in the center that was originally drawn! (see Fig.3)

Examine Fig.4 again, this time VERY CLOSELY. The middle crosshatch has a very obvious and suspicious bulge in its center. I believe this bulge WAS originally A DOT at one time, particularly on May 27, 1837 when the historic discovery was first made and recorded (drawn.)

If those of you are wondering about the red, ochre paint used (by Vyse) to paint the inscriptions, interestingly enough, the same red, ochre paint the ancient Egyptians used was still in use in 1837.

When you look at ALL of the drawings of ALL the cartouches in ALL of the relieving chambers, you can easily see a pattern of discrepancies. If nothing else, the simple fact that the photographed cartouche (Fig.4) does not match Vyse's account of the SAME cartouche he found in May 1837 raises a RED FLAG all by itself!

I suspect SOMEONE at some point in time FORGED the cartouche of Khufu in Campbell's Chamber, as well as the cartouches discovered in Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber.

"But who would do such a criminal deed? and why?" you ask.

Many would, and many did. It is a historically known fact that plundering, forgery, bribery and other criminal acts ran rampant during the 1800s, especially when it came to ancient Egyptian artifacts. Additionally, Col. Vyse was under a lot of pressure from his British investors to discover something, especially when his adversary, Giovanni Belzoni was discovering a multitude of things all around the Great Pyramid while Vyse was discovering nothing.

The jealous rivalry between these Col. Vyse and Belzoni is worth reading about as it opens up a new can of worms about many of the [fraudulent?] discoveries these two men made during this period in an attempt to gain fame, fortune and glory.

Col. Howard Vyse had motive and opportunity to do the unthinkable.

However, to give Col. Vyse the benefit of some doubt, according to his drawings, some inscriptions in Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber (North Side) and in Campbell's Chamber (North Side) appear to be partially hidden behind blocks of granite. If there is NO space between the blocks of granite and the wall, AND it can be proven that these inscriptions continue behind the blocks, then THOSE inscriptions must have been made during the building of the Great Pyramid, and therefore, they must be authentic.

I believe some of these inscriptions have now been proven to continue behind the blocks so those must have been inscribed on the stone during the construction of the pyramid (before the stones were put into place.)

BUT that only proves THOSE INSCRIPTIONS were drawn when the Great Pyramid was built, and NOT ALL of the inscriptions, most importantly, the cartouche of Khufu in question !

Side fact: The relieving chambers were closed to public viewing for some time in the 1990s (for restoration work?) Figure 5 below is posted on Dr. Zahi Hawass' website as it supposedly appears in Campbell's Chamber TODAY. (Zahi Hawass is the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities — I love big fancy titles.)

Figure 5 is suppose to be/represent/duplicate? the exact same cartouche that Vyse recorded in his journal in 1837 (Figure 6.)

Does the sieve look the same to you?

Figure 5 has three picture-perfect cross-hatches in the center of the circle, whereas I cannot see ANY cross-hatches in Figure 6. Perhaps restoration meant more than just preserving the paint?

Figure 5                                                         Figure 6

Zahi Hawass should be ashamed of himself. At least he should post an authentic photograph of the cartouche on his website, and not some silly artist rendition of it ! I post an authentic photograph on my website, yet he doesn't have the courage because he knows it will draw attention to something he wants to avoid at all cost. So I will do what the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass, will not. Below is an authentic photograph of the cartouche in question.

Photo by Rainer Stadelmann

Btw, I watched a television show (in 2007?) on the History Channel with Josh __ (can't remember his last name) and he and Zahi Hawass climbed up into the relieving chamber of Campbell's Chamber to view and photograph it. Josh made a big deal about the experience, stating that few people have ever had the chance to do something like this, and that he was very thankful for Hawass to allow him the honor. This is important to know to understand what happened next.

I sat glued to my television screen, watching with great anticipation as the video camera panned the ceiling where the cartouche of Khufu was painted. The establishing (longer shot) of the ceiling with the cartouche showed the sieve portion of the cartouche in (convenient?) shadow.

I waited with baited breath as the closer (close up) shot panned across the cartouche. But then, much to my great astonishment, the camera stopped just short of where the sieve was located. I couldn't believe my eyes! Josh and his camera crew were obviously not prepared, unknowledgeable about what they were suppose to photograph, or maybe they were intimidated by Hawass' presence?

Then, during this same episode, Josh pulls a very small mirror out of his pocket and tries to view behind a block of stone that is set in place to see if there are any inscriptions on the back side, as I suggest right here on this very page! Had he viewed/read my website prior to the making of the show?

In any event, it looked fairly obvious to me that Hawass was not expecting Josh to do something like this, and Josh gave me the impression (on camera) that he didn't tell Hawass that he was going to do this either.

So Josh made his move fast. He held the mirror behind the block for about 2 seconds then said, "It looks like there is some writing on the backside." Satisfied, he promptly put the mirror back into his pocket.

Two seconds? Satisfied? Josh had been waiting for this moment for weeks perhaps months, then when his opportunity arrived, he spent only two seconds to explore what, if anything, is written on the backside of the blocks!!!! Two seconds!

I feel the reason Josh spent so little time viewing behind the block and stating there was writing on the backside wasn't because he could easily decipher any inscriptions on the block but to avoid any confrontation with an uncomfortable Hawass who was staring at him with a 'what are you doing?' expression, after all, it was Hawass who had invited Josh up into Campell's Chamber, and for Josh to have seen or not seen anything that might have embarrassed Hawass on camera would have been extremely rude. But then Josh isn't an archeological researcher; he's a television documentary personality. Had he or his camera crew discovered something controversial, I'm sure that would have been the end of their ability to ever return to Egypt for any future documentary work.

Let's Review the Problems

1. Several cartouches with different forms/spellings were discovered (or fraudulently inscribed) on the walls of the relieving chambers. These names are suppose to identify the owner and purpose of the Great Pyramid. These names are: Saufou or Shoufou (Supis), Khoufou (Cheops), SENeshoufou, Raufu, Khnem-Khufu (Chephren?), and Khufu. Which one is it?

2. Hieroglyphic script was of a semi-hieratic style, which was not practiced until the Middle Kingdom (2000 BC.)

3. No funerary text, hieroglyphics, or frescoes exists to depict the GP as a tomb. For the ancient Egyptians to spend so much time, energy and money to build such a monument and not spend one ounce of time or energy to decorate it in their customary elaborate, ornate funeral-ritualistic style to depict the awe-inspiring structure as a tomb for their great Pharaoh (King!) makes no common sense at all, especially since that is one of the most famous things the ancient Egyptians are so famous for! Think about that.

4. No physical evidence exists that proves a mummy was entombed in the stone Coffer, and no physical evidence of any personal possessions (artifacts) that were customarily placed in the tomb with the deceased has ever been found. Nothing. Nada. It's as if someone went through the entire pyramid and swept it clean with a broom. I find these equally strange.

5. No inscriptions or designs exist on the exterior of the Coffer. This is explained in detail on the following page.

6. Nathaniel Davison discovered the first relieving chamber in 1765 (72 years before Vyse). No hieroglyphic inscriptions were discovered in this chamber. On the other hand, Col. Vyse discovered all the chambers above Davison's Chamber, and oddly enough, they are the ONLY chambers with the ONLY hieroglyphic inscriptions that have ever been found inside the GP. Coincidence?

7. Why is the most important cartouche of Khufu found inside Campbell's Chamber and drawn by Vyse at the time of the discovery unlike the same cartouche that is painted on the wall in the same chamber today? Why is there three crosshatches inside the circle, depicting a sieve in the cartouche today when they did NOT exist at the time of it was discovered in 1837? Did this cartouche undergo some form of (fraudulent?) restoration?

Of Gods and Kings

 The Great Pyramid stands at the extreme northeastern edge of a protrusion of the plateau; a few hundred feet to the north and east, sands and mud begin, making such massive structures impossible. One of the first scientists to have taken precise measurements, Charles Piazzi Smyth (Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid) established that the center of the Great Pyramid was at northern latitude 29° 58' 55"—a mere one-sixtieth of a degree off from exactly at the thirtieth parallel. The center of the second large pyramid was only thirteen seconds (13/3600 of a degree) to the south of that.

The alignment with the cardinal points of the compass; the inclination of the sides at the perfect angle of about 52° (at which the height of the pyramid in relation to its circumference is the same as that of a radius of a circle to its circumference); the square bases, set on perfectly level platforms—all bespeak of a high degree of scientific knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, geometry, geography and of course building and architecture, as well as the administrative ability to mobilize the necessary manpower, to plan and execute such massive and long-term projects.

The wonderment only increases as one realizes the interior complexities and precision of the galleries, corridors, chambers, shafts and openings that have been engineered within the pyramids, their hidden entrances (always on the north face), the locking and plugging systems—all unseen from the outside, all in perfect alignment with each other, all executed within these artificial mountains as they were being built layer after layer.

Though the Second Pyramid (that of Chefra) is only slightly smaller than the First, "Great Pyramid" (heights: 470 and 480 feet; sides at base 707 and 756 feet, respectively), it is the latter that has by and large captured the interest and imagination of scholars and laymen since men ever set their eyes upon these monuments. It has been and still remains the largest stone building in the world, having been constructed of an estimated 2,300,000 to 2,500,000 slabs of yellow limestone (the core), white limestone (the smooth facing or casing), and granite (for interior chambers and galleries, for roofing, etc.).

Its total mass, estimated at some 93 million cubic feet weighing 7 million tons, has been calculated to exceed that of all the cathedrals, churches and chapels combined that have been built in England since the beginning of Christianity.

On ground that has been artificially leveled, the Great Pyramid rises on a thin platform whose four corners are marked by sockets of no ascertained function. In spite of the passage of millennia, continental shifts, Earth's wobble around its own axis, earthquakes and the immense weight of the pyramid itself, the relatively thin platform (less than twenty-two inches thick) is still undamaged and perfectly level: the error or shift in its perfect horizontal alignment is less than a tenth of an inch over the 758 feet that each side of the platform measures.

From a distance, the Great Pyramid and its two companions appear to be true pyramids; but when approached it is realized that they too are a kind of step pyramid, built layer upon layer (scholars call them courses) of stone, each layer smaller than the one below it. Modern studies, in fact, suggest that the Great Pyramid is a step pyramid at its core, engineered to sustain great vertical stress (Fig. 129).

Figure 129

Figure 129

What gave it the smooth, inclined sides were the casing stones with which its sides were covered. These have been removed in Arab times and used for the construction of nearby Cairo; but a few can still be seen in position near the top of the Second Pyramid, and some were discovered at the base of the Great Pyramid (Fig. 130).

Figure 130

Figure 131

Figure 131

It is these casing stones which determined the angle of the pyramid's sides; they are the heaviest of all the stones used to build the pyramid proper; the six faces that each stone has have been cut and polished to an accuracy of optical standards—they fitted not only the core stones which they covered, but also each other on all four sides, forming a precision-made area of twenty-one acres of limestone blocks.

The Giza pyramids are nowadays also minus their apex or capstones, which were shaped as pyramidions and may have been either made of metal or covered with a shiny metal—as the similar pyramidion-shaped tips of obelisks were. Who, when and why they were removed from their great heights, no one knows. It is known however that in later times these apex stones, resembling the Ben-Ben at Heliopolis, were made of special granite and bore appropriate inscriptions.

The one from the pyramid of Amen-em-khet at Dahshur, which was found buried some distance away from the pyramid (Fig. 131), bore the emblem of the Winged Globe and the inscription,

        The face of king Amen-em-khet is opened,
        That he may behold the Lord of the Mountain of Light
        When he sails across the sky.


 Forging the Pharaoh's Name

Forgery as a means to fame and fortune is not uncommon in commerce and the arts, in science and antiquities. When exposed, it may cause loss and shame. When sustained, it may change the records of history. This, we believe, has happened to the Great Pyramid and its presumed builder, the Pharaoh named Khufu.

Systematic and disciplined archaeological re-examination of pyramid sites that were hurriedly excavated a century and a half ago (many times by treasure hunters), has raised numerous questions regarding some of the earlier conclusions. It has been held that the Pyramid Age began with Zoser's step pyramid, and was marked by successive progression toward a true pyramid, which finally succeeded. But why was it so important to achieve a true pyramid? If the art of pyramid building was progressively improved, why were the many pyramids which followed the Giza pyramids inferior, rather than superior to those of Giza?

Was Zoser's step pyramid the model for others, or was it itself an emulation of an earlier model? Scholars now believe that the first, smaller step pyramid that Imhotep built over the mastaba "was cased with beautiful, fine white limestone" (Ahmed Fakhry, The Pyramids); "before this casing was complete, however, he planned another alteration"—the superimposition of an even larger pyramid. However, as new evidence suggests, even that final step pyramid was cased, to look like a true pyramid.

The casing, uncovered by archaeological missions of Harvard University led by George Reisner, was primitively made of mud bricks, which of course crumbled soon enough—leaving the impression that Zoser built a step pyramid. Moreover, these mud bricks, it was found, were whitewashed to simulate a casing of white limestone.

Whom then was Zoser trying to emulate? Where had Imhotep seen a true pyramid already up and complete, smooth sides and limestone casing and all? And another question: If, as the present theory holds, the attempts at Maidum and Sakkara to build a smooth, 52° pyramid had failed, and Sneferu had to "cheat" and build the presumed first true pyramid at an angle of only 43°—why did his son at once proceed to build a much larger pyramid at the precarious angle of 52°—and supposedly managed to achieve that with no problem at all?

If the pyramids of Giza were only "usual" pyramids in the successive chain of pyramid-per-Pharaoh—why did Khufu's son Radedef not build his pyramid next to his father's, at Giza? Remember—the other two Giza pyramids were supposedly not there yet, so Radedef had the whole site free to build as he pleased. And if his father's architects and engineers mastered the art of building the Great Pyramid, where were they to help Radedef build a similar imposing pyramid, rather than the inferior and quickly crumbling one that bears his name?

Was the reason that no other pyramid but the Great Pyramid possessed an Ascending Passage, that its unique Ascending Passage was successfully blocked and hidden until AD. 820—so that all who emulated this pyramid knew of a Descending Passage only?

The absence of hieroglyphic inscriptions in the three pyramids of Giza is also a reason for wondering, as James Bonwick did a century ago
(Pyramid Facts and Fancies):

    "Who can persuade himself that the Egyptians would have left such superb monuments without at least hieroglyphical inscriptions—they who were profuse of hieroglyphics upon all the edifices of any consideration?"

The absence, one must surmise, stems from the fact that the pyramids had either been built before the development of hieroglyphic writing, or were not built by the Egyptians.

These are some of the points that strengthen our belief that when Zoser and his successors began the custom of pyramid building, they set out to emulate the models that had already existed: the pyramids of Giza. They were not improvements on Zoser's earlier efforts; rather, they were the prototypes which Zoser, and Pharaohs after him, attempted to emulate.

Some scholars have suggested that the small satellite pyramids at Giza were really scale models (about 1:5) that were used by the ancients exactly as today's architects use scale models for evaluation and guidance; but it is now known that they were later augmentations. However, we think that there was indeed such a scale model; the Third Pyramid, with its obvious structural experiments. Then, we believe, the larger two were built as a pair of guiding beacons for the Anunnaki.

But what about Menkara, Chefra and Khufu, who (we have been told by Herodotus) were the builders of these pyramids?

Well indeed—what about them? The temples and causeway attached to the Third Pyramid do bear evidence that their builder was Menkara— evidence that includes inscriptions bearing his name and several exquisite statues showing him embraced by Hathor and another Goddess. But all that this attests to is that Menkara built these auxiliary structures, associating himself with the pyramid—not that he built it.

What then, about Khufu?

With one exception, which we will expose as a probable forgery, the only claim that he built the Great Pyramid is reported by Herodotus (and, based on his writings, by a Roman historian). Herodotus described him as a ruler who enslaved his people for thirty years to build the causeway and the pyramid. Yet by every other account, Khufu reigned for only twenty-three years. If he were such a grandiose builder, blessed with the greatest of architects and masons, where are his other monuments, where are his bigger-than-life statues?

There are none; and it would seem from the absence of such commemorative remains that Khufu was a very poor builder, not a majestic one. But he had a bright idea: our guess is that having seen the crumbled mud-brick casings of the step pyramids, the collapsed pyramid at Maidum, the hurried bending of the first pyramid of Sneferu, the improper inclination of Sneferu's second pyramid—Khufu hit upon a great idea.

Out there, at Giza, there stood perfect and unspoken of pyramids. Could he not ask the Gods' permission to attach to one of them the funerary temples which his Journey to the Afterlife required? There was no intrusion upon the sanctity of the pyramid itself: all the temples, including the Valley Temple in which Khufu was probably buried, were on the outside: adjoining, but not even touching, the Great Pyramid. Thus had the Great Pyramid become known as Khufu's.

Khufu's successor, Radedef, shunned his father's idea and preferred to raise his own pyramid, as Sneferu had done. But why had he gone to the north of Giza, rather than place his shrine next to his father's? The simple explanation is that the promontory of Giza was already fully occupied—by three olden pyramids plus the satellite structures erected nearby by Khufu... .

Witnessing Radedef's failure, the next Pharaoh—Chefra—preferred Khufu's solution. When his time came to need a pyramid, he saw no harm in appropriating for himself the ready-made second large pyramid, sur-rounding it with his own temples and satellites. Menkara, his successor, then attached himself to the last available pyramid, the so-called Third Pyramid.

With the ready-made pyramids thus taken, the Pharaohs who followed were forced to obtain pyramids the hard way: by trying to build them... . As those who had tried this before (Zoser, Sneferu, Radedef), their own efforts too ended with inferior emulations of the three olden pyramids.

At first blush, our suggestion that Khufu (as the other two) had nothing to do with building the pyramid associated with him may sound very farfetched. It is hardly so. In evidence, we call upon Khufu himself.

Whether Khufu had really built the Great Pyramid was a question that began to perplex serious Egyptologists more than a century and a quarter ago, when the only object mentioning Khufu and connecting him with the pyramid was discovered. Puzzlingly, it affirmed that he did not build it: it already existed when he reigned!

The damning evidence is a limestone stela (Fig. 141) which was discovered by Auguste Mariette in the 1850s in the ruins of the temple of Isis, near the Great Pyramid. Its inscription identifies it as a self-laudatory monument by Khufu, erected to commemorate the restoration by him of the temple of Isis and of images and emblems of the Gods which Khufu found inside the crumbling temple.

Figure 141

The opening verses unmistakably identify Khufu by his cartouche:

The common opening, invoking Horus and proclaiming long life for the king, then packs explosive statements:

According to the inscription on this stela (which is in the Cairo Museum), the Great Pyramid was already standing when Khufu arrived on the scene.

Its mistress was the Goddess Isis—it belonged to this Goddess, and not to Khufu. Furthermore, the Sphinx too—which has been attributed to Chefra, who presumably built it together with the Second Pyramid—was also already crouching at its present location. The continuation of the inscription pinpoints the position of the Sphinx accurately, and records the fact that part of it was damaged by lightning—a damage perceivable to this very day.

Khufu continues to state in his inscription that he built a pyramid for the Princess Henutsen "beside the temple of the Goddess." Archaeologists have found independent evidence that the southernmost of the three small pyramids flanking the Great Pyramid—the small pyramid nearest the temple of Isis—was in fact dedicated to Henutsen, a wife of Khufu.

Everything in the inscription thus matches the known facts; but the only pyramid-building claim made by Khufu is that he built the small pyramid for the princess. The Great Pyramid, he states, was already there, as was the Sphinx (and, by inference, the other two pyramids as well).

Such support for our theories is even further strengthened, as we read in another portion of the inscription that the Great Pyramid was also called "The Western Mountain of Hathor":

        Live Horus Mezdau;
        To King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khufu,
        Life is given.
        For his mother Isis, the Divine Mother,
        Mistress of "The Western Mountain of Hathor,"
        he made (this) writing on a stela.
        He gave (her) a new sacred offering.
        He built (her) a House (temple) of stone,
        renewed the Gods that were found in her temple.

Hathor, we will recall, was the mistress of the Sinai peninsula. If the highest peak of the peninsula was her Eastern Mountain, the Great Pyramid was her Western Mountain—the two acting as the anchors for the Landing Corridor.

This "Inventory Stela," as it came to be called, bears all the marks of authenticity. Yet scholars at the time of its discovery (and many ever since) have been unable to reconcile themselves to its unavoidable conclusions. Unwilling to upset the whole structure of Pyramidology, they proclaimed the Inventory Stela a forgery—an inscription made "long after the death of Khufu" (to quote Selim Hassan, Excavations at Giza), but invoking his name "to support some fictitious claim of the local priests."

James H. Breasted, whose Ancient Records of Egypt is the standard work on ancient Egyptian inscriptions, wrote in 1906 that,

    "the references to the Sphinx, and the so-called temple beside it in the time of Khufu, have made this monument from the first an object of great interest. These references would be of the highest importance if the monument were contemporaneous with Khufu; but the orthographic evidences of its late date are entirely conclusive."

He disagreed with Gaston Maspero, a leading Egyptologist of the time, who had earlier suggested that the stela, if indeed of late orthography, was a copy of an earlier and authentic original. In spite of the doubts, Breasted included the inscription among the records of the Fourth Dynasty. And Maspero, when he wrote his comprehensive The Dawn of Civilization in 1920, accepted the contents of the Inventory Stela as factual data concerning the life and activities of Khufu.

Why then the reluctance to call the artifact authentic?

The Inventory Stela was condemned as a forgery because only a decade or so earlier the identification of Khufu as the builder of the Great Pyramid appeared to have been undisputably established. The seemingly conclusive evidence was markings in red paint, discovered in sealed chambers above the King's Chamber, which could be interpreted as masons' markings made in the eighteenth year of the reign of Khufu (Fig. 142).

Since the chambers were not entered until discovered in 1837, the markings must have been authentic; and if the Inventory Stela offered contradictory information, the Stela must have been a forgery.

But as we probe the circumstances of the red-paint markings, and ascertain who the discoverers were—an inquiry somehow never under-taken before—the conclusion that emerges is this: if a forgery had taken place, it occurred not in ancient times but in the year A.D. 1837; and the forgers were not "some local priests," but two (or three) unscrupulous Englishmen... .

The story begins with the arrival in Egypt on December 29, 1835 of Colonel Richard Howard Vyse, a "black sheep" of an aristocratic English family. At that time, other officers of Her Majesty's Army had become prominent in the ranks of "antiquarians" (as archaeologists were then called), reading papers before distinguished societies and receiving due public accolade.

Whether or not Vyse had gone to Egypt with such notions in mind, the fact is that visiting the pyramids of Giza, he was at once caught by the fever of daily discoveries by scholars and laymen alike. He was especially thrilled by the tales and theories of one Giovanni Battista Caviglia, who had been searching for a hidden chamber inside the Great Pyramid.

Within days, Vyse offered to provide the funds for Caviglia's search, if he were accepted as a co-discoverer. Caviglia rejected the offer outright; and the offended Vyse sailed off to Beirut at the end of February 1836, to visit Syria and Asia Minor.

But the long trip did not cure the craving that was aroused within him. Instead of returning to England, he showed up back in Egypt in October 1836. On the earlier visit, he had befriended a crafty go-between by the name of J. R. Hill, then a copper mill superintendent. Now he was introduced to a "Mr. Sloane," who whispered that there were ways to get a Firman—a concession decree—from the Egyptian government to sole excavation rights at Giza.

Thus guided, Vyse went to the British Consul, Col. Campbell, for the necessary documentation. To his great shock, the Firman named Campbell and Sloane as co-permitees, and designated Caviglia as the works' supervisor. On November 2, 1836, the disappointed Vyse paid over to Caviglia "my first subscription of 200 dollars" and left in disgust on a sightseeing trip to Upper Egypt.

As chronicled by Vyse in his Operations Carried on at the Pyramids of Gizeh in 1837, he returned to Giza on January 24, 1837, "extremely anxious to see what progress had been made." But instead of searching for the hidden chamber, Caviglia and his workmen were busy digging up mummies from tombs around the pyramids. Vyse's fury subsided only when Caviglia asserted that he had something important to show him: writing by the pyramids' builders!

The excavations at the tombs showed that the ancient masons sometimes marked the pre-cut stones with red paint. Such markings, Caviglia said, he found at the base of the Second Pyramid. But when examined with Vyse, the "red paint" turned out to be natural discolorations in the stone.

What about the Great Pyramid? Caviglia, working there to discover where the "air channels" were leading from the "King's Chamber," was more than ever convinced that there were secret chambers higher up. One such compartment, reachable via a crawlway, was discovered by Nathaniel Davison in 1765 (Fig. 143).

Vyse demanded that work be concentrated there; he was dismayed to find out that Caviglia and Campbell were more interested in finding mummies, which every museum then desired. Caviglia had even gone so far as to name a large tomb he had found "Campbell's Tomb."

Determined to run his own show, Vyse moved from Cairo to the site of the pyramids. "I naturally wished to make some discoveries before 1 returned to England," he admitted in his journal on January 27, 1837. At great expense to his family, he was now gone for well over a year.

In the following weeks, the rift with Caviglia widened as Vyse hurled at him various accusations. On February 11, the two had a violent argument. On the twelfth, Caviglia made major discoveries in Campbell's Tomb: a sarcophagus inscribed with hieroglyphs and masons' red-paint markings on the stone walls of the tomb. On the thirteenth, Vyse summarily discharged Caviglia and ordered him away from the site. Caviglia returned only once, on the fifteenth, to pick up his belongings; for years thereafter, he made "dishonorable accusations" against Vyse, whose nature Vyse's chronicles do not care to detail.

Was the row a genuine disagreement, or did Vyse artificially bring matters to a head in order to get Caviglia off the site?

As it turned out, Vyse secretly entered the Great Pyramid on the night of February 12, accompanied by one John Perring—an engineer with the Egyptian Public Works Department and a dabbler in Egyptology—whom Vyse met through the resourceful Mr. Hill. The two examined an intriguing crevice that had developed in a granite block above Davison's Chamber; when a reed was pushed in, it went through unbent; there was obviously some space beyond.

What schemes did the two concoct during that secret night visit? We can only guess from future events. The facts are that Vyse dismissed Caviglia the next morning and put Perring on his payroll. In his journal, Vyse confided: "I am determined to carry on the excavations above the roof of (Davison's) Chamber, where I expect to find a sepulchral apartment." As Vyse threw more men and money behind this search, royalty and other dignitaries came to inspect the finds at Campbell's Tomb; there was little new that Vyse could show them inside the pyramid. In frustration, Vyse ordered his men to bore into the shoulder of the Sphinx, hoping to find its masons' markings. Unsuccessful, he refocused his attention on the Hidden Chamber.

By mid-March, Vyse faced a new problem: other projects were luring away his workmen. He doubled their pay, if only they would work day and night: time, he realized, was running out. In desperation, Vyse threw caution to the winds, and ordered the use of explosives to blast his way through the stones that blocked his progress.

By March 27, the workmen managed to cut a small hole through the granite slabs. Illogically, Vyse thereupon discharged the foreman, one named Paulo. On the following day, Vyse wrote, "I inserted a candle at the end of a rod through a small hole that had been made in the chamber above Davison's, and I had the mortification of finding that it was a chamber of construction like that below it." He had found the Hidden Chamber! (Fig. 144.)

Using gunpowder to enlarge the hole, Vyse entered the newly discovered chamber on March 30—accompanied by Mr. Hill. They examined it thoroughly. It was hermetically sealed, with no opening whatsoever. Its floor consisted of the rough side of the large granite slabs that formed the ceiling of Davison's Chamber below.

    "A black sediment was equally distributed all over the floor, showing each footstep." (The nature of this black powder, which was "accumulated to some depth," has never been ascertained.) "The ceiling was beautifully polished and had the finest joints."

The chamber, it was clear, had never been entered before; yet it contained neither sarcophagus nor treasure. It was bare—completely empty.

Vyse ordered the hole enlarged, and sent a message to the British Consul announcing that he had named the new compartment "Wellington's Chamber." In the evening,

    "Mr. Perring and Mr. Mash having arrived, we went into Wellington's Chamber and took various measurements, and in doing so we found the quarry marks."

What a sudden stroke of luck!

They were similar to the red-painted quarry marks found in tombs outside the pyramid. Somehow, Vyse and Hill missed them entirely when they thoroughly inspected the chamber by themselves. But joined by Mr. Perring and by Mr. Mash—a civil engineer who was present at Perring's invitation—there were four witnesses to the unique discovery.

The fact that Wellington's Chamber was almost identical to Davison's led Vyse to suspect that there was yet another chamber above it. For no given reason Vyse dismissed on April 4 the remaining foreman, one named Giachino. On April 14, the British Consul and the Austrian Consul General visited the site. They requested that copies be made of the masons' markings. Vyse put Perring and Mash to work—but instructed them to copy first the earlier-discovered markings in Campbell's tomb; the unique ones inside the Great Pyramid could somehow wait.

With liberal use of gunpowder, the compartment above Wellington's (Vyse named it after Lord Nelson) was broken into on April 25. It was as empty as the others, its floor also covered with the mysterious black dust. Vyse reported that he found "several quarry marks inscribed in red upon the blocks, particularly on the west side."

All along, Mr. Hill was going in and out of the newly found chambers, ostensibly to inscribe in them (how?) the names of Wellington and Nelson. On the twenty-seventh Mr. Hill—not Perring or Mash—copied the quarry marks. Vyse reproduced the ones from Nelson's Chamber (though not the ones from Wellington's) in his book (Fig. 145a).

On May 7, the way was blasted through into one more chamber above Nelson's, which Vyse named temporarily after Lady Arbuthnot. The journal entry makes no mention of any quarry marks, although they were later on found there in profusion. What was striking about the new markings was that they included cartouches—which could only mean royal names (Fig. 145b)—in profusion. Has Vyse come upon the actual written name of the Pharaoh who had built the pyramid?

On May 18, a Dr. Walni "applied for copies of the characters found in the Great Pyramid, in order to send them to Mr. Rosellini," an Egyptologist who had specialized in the decipherment of royal names. Vyse turned the request down outrightly.

The next day, in the company of Lord Arbuthnot, a Mr. Brethel and a Mr. Raven, Vyse entered Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber and the four "compared Mr. Hill's drawings with the quarry marks in the Great Pyramid; and we afterward signed an attestation to their accuracy." Soon thereafter, the final vaulted chamber was broken into, and more mark-ings—including a royal cartouche—were found. Vyse then proceeded to Cairo and submitted the authenticated copies of the writings on the stones to the British Embassy, for official forwarding to London.

His work was done: he found hitherto unknown chambers, and he proved the identity of the builder of the Great Pyramid; for within the cartouches was written the royal name Kh-u-f-u.

To this discovery, every textbook has been attesting to this very day.

The impact of Vyse's discoveries was great, and their acceptance assured, after he managed to quickly obtain a confirmation from the experts of the British Museum in London.

When the facsimiles made by Mr. Hill reached the Museum, and when exactly their analysis reached Vyse, is not clear; but he made the Museum's opinion (by the hand of its hieroglyphics expert Samuel Birch) part of his chronicle of May 27, 1837. On the face of it, the long analysis confirmed Vyse's expectations: the names in the cartouches could be read as Khufu or variations thereof: just as Herodotus had written, Cheops was the builder of the Great Pyramid.

But in the excitement which understandably followed, little attention was paid to the many if's and but's in the Museum's opinion. It also contained the clue that tipped us off to the forgery: the forger's clumsy mistake.

To begin with, Mr. Birch was uneasy about the orthography and script of the many markings.

    "The symbols or hieroglpyhs traced in red by the sculptor, or mason, upon the stones in the chambers of the Great Pyramid are apparently quarry marks," he observed in his opening paragraph; the qualification at once followed: "Although not very legible, owing to their having been written in semi-hieratic or linear-hieroglyphic characters, they possess points of considerable interest... . "

What puzzled Mr. Birch was that markings presumably from the beginning of the Fourth Dynasty were made in a script that started to appear only centuries later. Originating as pictographs—"written pictures"—the writing of hieroglyphic symbols required great skill and long training; so, in time, in commercial transactions, a more quickly written and simpler, more linear script referred to as hieratic came into use. The hieroglyphic symbols discovered by Vyse thus belonged to another period.

They were also very indistinct and Mr. Birch had great difficulty in reading them:

    "The meaning of the hieroglyphics following the prenomen in the same linear hand as the cartouche, is not very obvious... . The symbols following the name are very indistinct."

Many of them looked to him "written in characters very nearly hieratic"—from an even much later period than the semi-hieratic characters. Some of the symbols were very unusual, never seen in any other inscription in Egypt:

    "The cartouche of Suphis" (Cheops), he wrote, "is followed by a hieroglyphic to which it would be difficult to find a parallel."

Other symbols were "equally difficult of solution."

Mr. Birch was also puzzled by "a curious sequence of symbols" in the upper-most, vaulted chamber (named by Vyse "Campbell's Chamber"). There, the hieroglyphic symbol for "good, gracious" was used as a numeral—a usage never discovered before or since. Those unusually written numerals were assumed to mean "eighteenth year" (of Khufu's reign).

No less puzzling to him were the symbols which followed the royal cartouche and which were "in the same linear hand as the cartouche." He assumed that they spelled out a royal title, such as "Mighty in Upper and Lower Egypt." The only similarity that he could find to this row of symbols was that of "a title that appears on the coffin of the queen of Amasis" of the Saitic period. He saw no need to stress that the Pharaoh Amasis had reigned in the sixth century B.C.—more than 2,000 years after Khufu!

Whoever daubed the red-paint markings reported by Vyse had thus employed a writing method (linear), scripts (semi-hieratic and hieratic) and titles from various periods—but none from the time of Khufu, and all from later periods. Their writer was also not too literate: many of his hieroglyphs were either unclear, incomplete, out of place, erroneously employed or completely unknown.

(Analyzing these inscriptions a year later, the leading German Egyptologist of the time, Carl Bichard Lepsius, was likewise puzzled by the fact that the inscriptions "were traced with a brush in red paint in a cursive manner, so much so that they resemble hieratic signs." Some of the hieroglyphs following the cartouches, he declared, were totally unknown, and "I am unable to explain them.")

Turning to the main issue on which he was requested to give an opinion—the identity of the Pharaoh named in the inscriptions—Birch threw a bombshell: there were two, and not just one, royal names within the pyramid!

Was it possible that two kings had built the same pyramid? And if so, who were they?

The two royal names appearing in the inscriptions, Samuel Birch reported, were not unknown: "they had already been found in the tombs of functionaries employed by monarchs of that dynasty," namely the Fourth Dynasty to whose Pharaohs the pyramids of Giza were attributed. One cartouche (Fig. 146a) was then read Saufou or Shoufou; the other (146b) included the ram symbol of the God Khnum and was then read Senekhuf or Seneshoufou.

Figure 146

Figure 146

Attempting to analyze the meaning of the name with the ram symbol, Birch noted that "a cartouche, similar to that which first occurs in Wellington's Chamber, had been published by Mr. Wilkinson, mater. Hieroglyph, Plate of Unplaced Kings E; and also by Mr. Rosellini, torn. i. tav.1,3, who reads the phonetic elements of which it is composed 'Seneshufo,' which name is supposed by Mr. Wilkinson to mean 'the Brother of Suphis.'"

That one Pharaoh might have completed a pyramid begun by his predecessor has been a theory accepted by Egyptologists (as in the case of the pyramid at Maidum). Could not this account for two royal names within the same pyramid? Perhaps—but certainly not in our case.

The impossibility in the case of the Great Pyramid stems from the location of the various cartouches (Fig. 147). The cartouche that is presumed to have belonged in the pyramid, that of Cheops/Khufu, was found only in the uppermost, vaulted chamber, the one named Campbell's Chamber. The several cartouches which spelled out the second name (nowadays read Khnem-khuf) appeared in Wellington's Chamber and in Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber (no cartouches were inscribed in Nelson's Chamber).

Figure 147

 In other words, the lower chambers bore the name of a Pharaoh who lived and reigned after Cheops. As there was no way to build the pyramid except from its base upward, the location of the cartouches meant that Cheops, who reigned before Chephren, completed a pyramid begun by a Pharaoh who succeeded him. That, of course, was not possible.

Conceding that the two names could have stood for what the ancient King Lists had called Suphis I (Cheops) and Suphis II (Chephren), Birch tried to resolve the problem by wondering whether both names, somehow, belonged to Cheops alone—one as his actual name, the other as his "prenomen." But his final conclusion was that "the presence of this (second) name, as a quarry-mark, in the Great Pyramid, is an additional embarrass-ment" on top of the other embarrassing features of the inscriptions.

The "Problem of the Second Name" was still unresolved when England's most noted Egyptologist, Flinders Petrie, spent months measuring the pyramids a half century later. "The most destructive theory about this king (Khnem-khuf) is that he is identical with Khufu," Petrie wrote in The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh, giving the many reasons voiced by then by other Egyptologists against such a theory. For any number of reasons, Petrie showed, the two names belonged to two separate kings. Why then did both names appear within the Great Pyramid in the locations in which they did? Petrie believed that the only plausible explanation would be that Cheops and Chephren were co-regents, reigning together.

Since no evidence to support Petrie's theory has been found, Gaston Maspero wrote almost a century after the discovery by Vyse that "the existence of the two cartouches Khufui and Khnem-Khufui on the same monuments has caused much embarrassment to Egyptologists" (The Dawn of Civilization). The problem, in spite of all suggested solutions, is still an embarrassing one.

But a solution, we believe, can be offered—if we stop attributing the inscriptions to ancient masons, and begin to look at the facts.

The pyramids of Giza are unique, among other things, for the complete absence of any decoration or inscription within them—with the outstanding exception of the inscriptions found by Vyse. Why the exception? If the masons felt no qualms about daubing in red paint inscriptions upon the blocks of stones hidden away in the compartments above the "King's Chamber," why were there absolutely no such inscriptions found in the first compartment, the one discovered by Davison in 1765—but only in the compartments found by Vyse?

In addition to the inscriptions reported by Vyse, there have been found in the various compartments true masons' markings—positioning lines and arrows. They are all drawn as one would expect, with the right side up; for when they were drawn, the compartment in which the masons worked was not yet roofed: they could stand up, move about and draw the markings without encumberment.

But all the inscriptions—drawn over and around the masons' markings (Fig. 145)—are either upside down or vertical, as though whoever drew them had to bend or crouch within the low compartments (their height varied from one foot four inches to four feet five inches in Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber, from two feet two inches to three feet eight inches in Wellington's Chamber).

The cartouches and royal titles daubed upon the walls of the compartments were imprecise, crude and extra large. Most cartouches were two and a half to three feet long and about a foot wide, sometimes occupying the better part of the face of the stone block on which they were painted—as though the inscriber had needed all the space he could get. They are in sharp contrast to the precision and delicacy and perfect sense of proportion of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, evident in the true masons' markings found in those same compartments.

With the exception of a few markings on a corner of the eastern wall in Wellington's Chamber, no inscriptions were found on the eastern walls of any other chamber; nor were there any other symbols (other than the original masons' markings) found on any of these other eastern walls, except for a few meaningless lines and a partial outline of a bird on the vaulted eastern end of Campbell's Chamber.

This is odd, especially if one realizes that it was from the eastern side that Vyse had tunneled to and broken into these compartments. Did the ancient masons anticipate that Vyse would break in through the eastern walls, and obliged by not putting inscriptions on them? Or does the absence of such inscriptions suggest that whoever daubed them preferred to write on the intact walls to the north, south and west, rather than on the damaged east walls?

In other words: cannot all the puzzles be solved, if we assume that the inscriptions were not made in antiquity, when the pyramid was being built, but only after Vyse had blasted his way into the compartments?

The atmosphere that surrounded Vyse's operations in those hectic days is well described by the Colonel himself. Major discoveries were being made all around the pyramids, but not within them. Campbell's Tomb, discovered by the detested Caviglia, was yielding not only artifacts but also masons' markings and hieroglyphics in red paint. Vyse was becoming desperate to achieve his own discovery. Finally he broke through to hitherto unknown chambers; but they only duplicated one after the other a previously discovered chamber (Davison's) and were bare and empty. What could he show for all the effort and expenditure? For what would he be honored, by what would he be remembered?

We know from Vyse's chronicles that, by day, he had sent in Mr. Hill to inscribe the chambers with the names of the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Nelson, heroes of the victories over Napoleon. By night, we suspect, Mr. Hill also entered the chambers—to "christen" the pyramid with the cartouches of its presumed ancient builder.

    "The two royal names," Birch pointed out in his Opinion, "had already been found in the tombs of functionaries employed by the monarchs of that dynasty under which these Pyramids were erected."

The Pharaoh's artisans surely knew the correct name of their king. But in the 1830s Egyptology was still in its infancy; and no one could yet tell for sure which was the correct hieroglyphic design of the king whom Herodotus called "Cheops."

And so it was, we suspect, that Mr. Hill—probably alone, certainly at night when all others were gone—had entered the newly discovered chambers. Using the imperative red paint, by torchlight, crouching and bending in the low compartments, he strained to copy hieroglyphic symbols from some source; and he drew on the walls that were intact what seemed to him appropriate markings. He ended up inscribing, in Wellington's Chamber as in Lady Arbuthnot's, the wrong name.

With inscriptions of royal names of the Fourth Dynasty popping up in the tombs surrounding the pyramids of Giza, which were the right cartouches to be inscribed by Hill? Unschooled in hieroglyphic writing, he must have taken with him into the pyramid some source book from which to copy the intricate symbols. The one and only book repeatedly mentioned in Vyse's chronicles is (Sir) John Gardner Wilkinson's Materia Hieroglyphica. As its title page declared, it aimed to update the reader on "the Egyptian Pantheon and the Succession of the Pharaohs from the earliest times to the conquest of Alexander." Published in 1828—nine years before Vyse's assault on the pyramids—it was a standard book for English Egyptologists.

Birch had stated in his report, "a cartouche, similar to that which first occurs in Wellington's Chamber, had been published by Mr. Wilkinson Mater. Hieroglyph." We thus have a clear indication of the probable source of the cartouche inscribed by Hill in the very first chamber (Wellington's) found by Vyse (Fig. 146b).

Having looked up Wilkinson's Materia Hieroglyphica, we can sympathize with Vyse and Hill: its text and presentation are disorganized, and its plates reproducing cartouches are small, ill-copied and badly printed. Wilkinson appears to have been uncertain not only regarding the reading of royal names, but also regarding the correct manner by which hieroglyphs carved or sculpted on stone should be transcribed in linear writing. The problem was most acute concerning the disk sign, which on such monuments appeared as either a solid disk or as a void sphere , and in linear (or brushed-on) writing as a circle with a dot in its center .

In his works, he transcribed the royal cartouches in question in some instances as a solid disk, and in others as a circle with a dot in its center.

Hill had followed Wilkinson's guidance. But all of these cartouches were of the Khnum variety. Timewise, it means that by May 7 only the "ram" cartouches were inscribed. Then on May 27, when Campbell's Chamber was broken into, the vital and conclusive cartouche spelling Kh-u-f-u was found. How did the miracle happen?

A clue is hidden in a suspicious segment in Vyse's chronicles, in an entry devoted to the fact that the casing stones "did not show the slightest trace of inscription or of sculpture, nor, indeed, was any to be found upon any stone belonging to the pyramid, or near it (with the exception of the quarry-marks already described)." Vyse noted that there was one other exception: "part of a cartouche of Suphis, engraved on a brown stone, six inches long by four broad. This fragment was dug out of the mound at the northern side on June 2." Vyse reproduced a sketch of the fragment (Fig. 148a).

How did Vyse know—even before the communication from the British Museum—that this was "part of a cartouche of Suphis?" Vyse would like us to believe it was because a week earlier (on May 27) he had found the complete cartouche (Fig. 148b) in Campbell's Chamber.

Fig. 148

But here is the suspicious aspect. Vyse claims in the above-quoted entry that the stone with the partial Khufu cartouche was found on June 2. Yet his entry is dated May 9! Vyse's manipulation of dates would have us believe that the partial cartouche found outside the pyramid corroborated the earlier find of the complete cartouche inside the pyramid.

But the dates suggest that it was the other way around: Vyse had already realized on May 9—a full eighteen days before the discovery of Campbell's Chamber— what the crucial cartouche had to look like. Somehow, on May 9, Vyse and Hill had realized that they had missed out on the correct name of Cheops.

This realization could explain the frantic, daily commuting by Vyse and Hill to Cairo right after the discovery of Lady Arbuthnot's Chamber. Why they had left when so badly needed at the pyramids, the Chronicles do not state. We believe that the "bombshell" that hit them was yet another, new work by Wilkinson, the three-volume Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians.

Published in London earlier that year (1837), it must have reached Cairo right during those dramatic and tense days. And, neatly and clearly printed for a change, it reproduced in a chapter on early sculptures both the ram cartouche which Vyse-Hill had already copied—and a new cartouche, one which Wilkinson read "Shufu or Suphis" (Fig. 149).

Fig 149

Wilkinson's new presentation must have shocked Vyse and Hill, because he appeared to have changed his mind regarding the ram cartouche (No. 2 in his Plate). He now read it "Numba-khufu or Chembes" rather than "Sen-Suphis." These names, he wrote, were found inscribed in tombs in the vicinity of the Great Pyramid; and it was in cartouche la that "we perceive Suphis, or, as the hieroglyphics wrote it, Shufu or Khufu, a name easily converted into Suphis or Cheops." So that was the correct name that had to be inscribed!

For whom, then, did the ram cartouche (his fig. 2) stand? Explaining the difficulties of identification, Wilkinson admitted that he could not decide "whether the first two names here introduced are both of Suphis, or if the second one is of the founder of the other pyramid."

With this unsettling news, what were Vyse and Hill to do? Wilkinson's narrative gave them a lead, which they hurried to follow. The two names, he wrote on, "occur again at Mount Sinai."

Somewhat inaccurately—a fault common in his work—Wilkinson was referring to hieroglyphic inscriptions found not actually at Mount Sinai, but in the Sinai's area of the turquoise mines. The inscriptions became known in those years due to the magnificently illustrated Voyage de l'Arabie Petrie in which Leon de Laborde et Linat described the Sinai peninsula.

Published in 1832, its drawings included reproductions of monuments and inscriptions in the wadi leading to the mining area, Wadi Maghara. There, Pharaoh after Pharaoh carved on the rocks mementoes of their achievements in holding the mines against marauding Asiatics. One such depiction (Fig. 150) included the two cartouches of which Wilkinson wrote.

Vyse and Hill should have had little difficulty in locating a copy of de Laborde's Voyage in French-speaking Cairo. The particular drawing seemed to answer Wilkinson's doubt: the same Pharaoh appeared to have two names, one with the ram symbol and the other that spelt out Kh-u-f-u. Thus, by May 9, Vyse-Hill-Perring had learned that one more cartouche was needed, and what it had to look like.

When Campbell's Chamber was broken into on May 27, the three must have asked themselves: what are we waiting for? And so it was that the final conclusive cartouche appeared on the uppermost wall (Fig. 146a). Fame, if not fortune, was assured for Vyse; Mr. Hill, on his part, did not come out of the adventure empty-handed.

How sure can we be of our accusations, a century and a half after the event?

Sure enough. For, as most forgers, Mr. Hill made, on top of all the other embarrassments, one grave mistake: a mistake that no ancient scribe could have possibly committed.

As it turned out, both source books by which Vyse-Hill were guided (Wilkinson's Materia Hieroglyphica and then de Laborde's Voyage) contained spelling errors; the unsuspecting team embodied the errors in the pyramid's inscriptions.

Samuel Birch himself pointed out in his report that the hieroglyph for Kh (the first consonant in the name Kh-u-f-u), which is (representing pictorially a sieve), "appears in Mr. Wilkinson's work without distinction from the solar disk." The Kh hieroglyph had to be employed in all the cartouches (spelling Khnem-Kh-u-f) which were inscribed in the two lower chambers. But the correct sieve symbol was not employed even once. Instead, the consonant Kh was represented by the symbol for the Solar Disk: whoever inscribed these cartouches made the same error as Wilkinson had made... .

When Vyse and Hill got hold of de Laborde's book, its sketch only deepened the error. The rock carvings depicted by him included the cartouche Kh-u-f-u on the right, and Khnum-kh-u-f on the left. In both instances, de Laborde—who admitted to ignorance of hieroglyphics and who made no attempt to read the symbols—rendered the Kh sign as a void circle (see Fig. 150).

Fig 150

(The Kh symbol was correctly spelled in the rock carvings, as has been verified by all scholarly authorities—viz. Lepsius in Denkmaler, Kurt Sethe in Urkunden des Alten Reich, and The Inscriptions of Sinai by A. H. Gardiner and T. E, Peet. De Laborde made another fateful error: He depicted as one Pharaoh's inscription, with two royal names, what were in effect two adjoining inscriptions, in different script styles, by two different Pharaohs—as is clearly seen in Fig. 151).

Fig 151

His depiction thus served to enhance Vyse's and Hill's notion that the crucial cartouche of Kh-u-f-u should be inscribed in the uppermost chamber with the symbol for the Solar Disk (146a). But in doing so, the inscriber had employed the hieroglyphic symbol and phonetic sound for RA, the supreme God of Egypt! He had unwittingly spelled out not Khnem-Khuf, but Khnem-Rauf; not Khufu, but Raufu. He had used the name of the great God incorrectly and in vain; it was blasphemy in ancient Egypt.

It was also an error inconceivable for an Egyptian scribe of the times of the Pharaohs. As monument after monument and inscription after inscription make clear, the symbol for Ra and the symbol for Kh were always correctly employed—not only in different inscrip-tions, but also in the same inscription by the same scribe.

And, therefore, the substitution of Ra for Kh was an error that could not have been committed in the time of Khufu, nor of any other ancient Pharaoh. Only a stranger to hieroglyphics, a stranger to Khufu, and a stranger to the overpowering worship of Ra, could have committed such a grave error.

Added to all the other puzzling or inexplicable aspects of the discovery reported by Vyse, this final mistake establishes conclusively, we believe, that Vyse and his aides, not the original builders of the Great Pyramid, caused the red-painted markings to be inscribed.

But, one may ask, was there no risk that outside visitors—such as the British and Austrian consuls, or Lord and Lady Arbuthnot—would notice that the inscriptions were so much fresher-looking than the masons' true markings? The question was answered at the time by one of the men involved, Mr. Perring, in his own volume on the subject (The Pyramids of Gizeh).

The paint used for the ancient inscriptions, he wrote, was a "composition of red ochre called by the Arabs moghrah (which) is still in use." Not only was the same red ochre paint available, Perring stated, but "such is the state of preservation of the marks in the quarries, that it is difficult to distinguish the mark of yesterday from one of three thousand years."

The forgers, in other words, were sure of their ink.

Were Vyse and Hill—possibly with the tacit connivance of Perring— morally capable of perpetrating such a forgery?

The circumstances of Vyse launching into this adventure of discovery, his treatment of Caviglia, the chronology of events, his determination to obtain a major find as time and money were running out—bespeak a character capable of such a deed. As to Mr. Hill—whom Vyse endlessly thanks in his foreword—the fact is that having been a copper mill employee when he first met Vyse, he ended up owning the Cairo Hotel when Vyse left Egypt. And as to Mr. Perring, a civil engineer turned Egyptologist—well, let subse-quent events speak for themselves. For, encouraged by the success of one forgery, the Vyse team attempted one and probably two more... .

All along, as the discoveries were being made in the Great Pyramid, Vyse half-heartedly continued Caviglia's work in and around the other two pyramids. Encouraged by his newly won fame by the Great Pyramid discoveries, Vyse decided to postpone his return to England and instead engage in concerted efforts to uncover the secrets of the other two pyramids.

With the exception of red-painted markings on stones, which experts from Cairo determined were from tombs or structures outside the pyramids and not from within the pyramids, nothing of importance was found in the Second Pyramid. But inside the Third Pyramid, Vyse's efforts paid off. At the end of July, 1837—as we have briefly mentioned earlier—his workmen broke into its "sepulchral chamber," finding there a beautifully decorated but empty stone "sarcophagus" (Fig. 152).

Fig 152

Arabic inscriptions on the walls and other evidence suggested this pyramid "to have been much frequented," the floor stones of its chambers and passages "worn and glazed over by the constant passing and repassing of a concourse of people."

Yet in this much frequented pyramid, and in spite of the empty stone coffer, Vyse managed to find proof of its builder—a feat equaling the discovery within the Great Pyramid.

In another rectangular chamber which Vyse called "the large apartment." great piles of rubbish were found, along with the telltale scrawled Arabic-graffiti. Vyse at once concluded that this chamber "was probably intended for funeral ceremonies, like those at Abou Simbel, Thebes, etc."

When the rubbish was cleared out, the greater part of the lid of the sarcophagus was found ... and close to it, fragments of the top of a mummy-case (inscribed with hieroglyphics, and amongst them, with the cartouche of Menkahre) were discovered upon a block of stone, together with part of a skeleton, consisting of ribs and vertebrae, and the bones of the legs and feet enveloped in coarse woollen cloth of a yellow color ...

More of the board and cloth were afterwards taken out of the rubbish. It would therefore seem that, as the sarcophagus could not be removed, the wooden case containing the body had been brought into the large apartment for examination.

This, then, was the scenario outlined by Vyse: Centuries earlier, Arabs had broken in the sepulchral chamber. They found the sarcophagus and removed its lid. Inside there was a mummy within a wooden coffin—the mummy of the pyramid's builder. The Arabs removed coffin and mummy to the large apartment to examine them, breaking them in the process. Now Vyse found all these remains; and a cartouche on a fragment of the mummy-case (Fig. 153) spelled out "Men-ka-ra"—the very Mycerinus of Herodotus. He proved the identity of the builders of both pyramids!

Fig 153

The sarcophagus was lost at sea during its transportation to England. But the mummy-case and bones reached safely the British Museum, where Samuel Birch could examine the actual inscription, rather than work from facsimiles (as was the case of the inscriptions within the chambers in the Great Pyramid). He soon voiced his doubts: "the coffin of Mycerinus," he said, "manifests considerable difference of style" from monuments of the Fourth Dynasty. Wilkinson, on the other hand, accepted the mummy-case as authentic proof of the identity of the builder of the Third Pyramid; but had doubts regarding the mummy itself: its cloth wrappings did not look to him as being of the claimed antiquity.

In 1883, Gaston Maspero concurred "that the wooden coffer-cover of king Menchere is not of the Fourth Dynasty times;" he deemed it a restoration carried out in the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty. In 1892, Kurt Sethe summed up the majority opinion, that the coffin-cover "could have been fashioned only after Twentieth Dynasty times."

As is now well known, both mummy-case and bones were not the remains of an original burial. In the words of I.E.S. Edwards (The Pyramids of Egypt),

    "In the original burial chamber, Col. Vyse had discovered some human bones and the lid of a wooden anthropoid coffin inscribed with the name of Mycerinus. This lid, which is now in the British Museum, cannot have been made in the time of Mycerinus, for it is of a pattern not used before the Saite Period. Radiocarbon tests have shown that the bones date from early Christian times."

The mere statement negating the authenticity of the find does not, however, go to the core of the matter. If the remains were not of an original burial, then they must have been of an intrusive burial; but in such a case, mummy and coffin would be of the same period. This was not the case: here, someone had put together a mummy unearthed in one place, a coffin from another place. The unavoidable conclusion is that the find represented a deliberate archaeological fraud.

Could the mismatching have been a coincidence—the genuine remains within the pyramid of two intrusive burials, from different times? This must be doubted, in view of the fact that the coffin fragment bore the cartouche of Men-ka-ra. This cartouche has been found on statues and in inscriptions all around the Third Pyramid and its temples (but not inside it), and it is probable that the coffin bearing the cartouche was also found in those surroundings.

The coffin's attribution to later times stems not only from its-pattern, but also from the wording of the inscription: it is a prayer to Osiris from the Book of the Dead; its appearance on a Fourth Dynasty coffin has been termed remarkable even by the trusting (yet knowledgeable) Samuel Birch (Ancient History from the Monuments). Yet it need not have been "a restoration," as some scholars have suggested, from the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. We know from the King List of Seti I from Abydos that the eighth Pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty was also called Men-ka-ra, and spelled his name in a similar manner.

It is clear, then, that someone had first found, in the vicinity of the pyramid, the coffin. Its importance was surely realized, for—as Vyse himself has reported—he had found just a month previously the name of Men-ka-ra (Mycerinus) written in red paint on the roof of the burial chamber of the middle one of the three small pyramids, south of the Third Pyramid. It must have been this find that gave the team the idea of creating a discovery within the Third Pyramid itself... .

The credit for the discovery has been claimed by Vyse and Perring. How could they have perpetrated the fraud, with or without the help of Mr. Hill?

Once again, Vyse s own chronicles hint at the truth.

    "Not being present when they (the relics) were found," Col. Vyse wrote, he "requested Mr. Raven, when that gentleman was in England, to write an account of the discovery" as an independent witness.

Somehow invited to be present at the right moment, Mr. H. Raven, who addressed Col. Vyse as "Sir" and signed the Letter of Evidence "your most obedient servant," attested as follows:

        In clearing the rubbish out of the large entrance-room, after the men
        had been employed there several days and had advanced some distance
        towards the south-eastern corner, some bones were first discovered at
        the bottom of the rubbish; and the remaining bones and parts of the coffin
        were immediately discovered altogether: no other parts of the coffin or
        bones could be found in the room.

        I therefore had the rubbish, which had been previously turned out of
        the same room, carefully re-examined, when several pieces of the coffin
        and of the mummy-cloth were found; but
        In no other part of the pyramid were any parts of it to be discovered,
        although every place was most minutely examined to make the coffin as
        complete as possible.

We now get a better grasp of what had happened. For several days, workmen were clearing rubbish from the Large Apartment, piling it up nearby. Though carefully examined, nothing was found. Then, on the last day, as only the southeastern corner of the room remained to be cleared, some bones and fragments of a wooden coffin were discovered. "No other parts of the coffin or bones could be discovered in the room."

It was then wisely suggested that the rubbish which had been turned out of the room— a three-foot-high pile—be "carefully re-examined"—not examined, but RE-examined; and—lo and behold—more bones, and coffin fragments with the all-important cartouche, were found!

Where were the remaining parts of the skeleton and coffin? "Although every place was minutely examined to make the coffin as complete as possible," nothing was found in any other part of the pyramid. So, unless we are to believe that bones and coffin fragments were hauled away as souvenirs in centuries past, we can only assume that whoever hauled in the discovered parts, brought in just enough fragments to create the discovery: a complete coffin and a complete mummy were either unavailable, or too cumbersome to be smuggled in.

Hailed for this second major discovery—he was soon thereafter promoted to the rank of general—Col. Vyse and Perring proceeded to produce at the site of Zoser's step pyramid a stone bearing Zoser's name—written in red paint, of course. There is not enough detail in the chronicles to ascertain  whether or not that too was a forgery; but it is indeed incredible that it was again the same team who managed to unearth proof of yet one more pyramid builder.

(While most Egyptologists have accepted without further investigation the claim that Khufu's name was inscribed in the Great Pyramid, the works of Sir Alan Gardiner suggest that he had doubts on the subject. In his Egypt of the Pharaohs, he reproduced royal cartouches with a clear distinction between the hieroglyphs for Ra and Kh. The cartouche of Cheops, he wrote, "is found in various quarries, in the tombs of his kinfolk and nobles, and in certain writing of later date." Conspicuous by its absence in this list is the inscription in the Great Pyramid ... Also omitted by Sir Alan were any mention of Vyse's discoveries in the Third Pyramid and even of Vyse's name as such).

If the proof of the construction of the Giza pyramids by the presumed Pharaohs stands shattered, there is no longer reason to suspect the authenticity of the Inventory Stela, which stated that the pyramids and the Sphinx were already there when Khufu came to pay homage to Isis and Osiris.

There is nothing left to contradict our contention that these three pyramids were built by the "Gods." On the contrary: everything about them suggests that they were not conceived by men for men's use.

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