Of all the classically identified "Seven Wonders of the World", can the Great Pyramid once considered by the ancient Greeks as the first of the Seven Wonders, can it be considered the "greatest" for its enduring qualities? After all, it is the only extant classic wonder remaining. The Greek geographer Strabo (circa 64 BC to after 23 AD -- whose later years coincided with the little known early years of Jesus the Nazarene) wrote of the Great Pyramid, "It seems like a building let down from heaven... built without the aid of human hands".
Situated on the Giza Plateau flanked by the Sphinx (an ancient Egyptian momument constructed in the shape of an Egyptian virgin's head but with the body and tail of a Lion whose recently discovered chamber was opened in September 1996 -- being touted as one of the most significant archaeological finds in Egyptian history) along with other structures, it silently stands almost waiting to be discovered -- this majestic Great Pyramid.
In The Great Pyramid Decoded, Peter Lemesurier writes, "During the last hundred years or so of its known four thousand year history, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt -- the first, and last, of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world -- has attracted more than its fair share of cranks and pyramidomaniacs.... And yet, if the claims of the lunatic fringe are sometimes fantastic, the Pyramid itself is even more so. Few would care seriously to dispute that it is easily the most massive building ever known to have been erected on this planet -- having, for example, at least twice the volume and thirty times the mass of New York's Empire State Building. Again, it would be a rash man who undertook to find, even today, a building more accurately aligned to the True cardinal points of the compass, masonry more finely jointed, or facing-stones more immaculately dressed.... the sceptic may doubt that many of the Pyramid's stones -- some of them weighing up to seventy tons -- were so finely cut and positioned as to give joints of less than a fiftieth of an inch in thickness;
[An aside NOT by Lemesurier --Try this for an assignment: On a sheet of paper, draw a line one inch long and then divide it cutting it into fifty equal parts. Now try that using 70 ton stones. A bit challenging, right?]
"...he may scoff at the claim that a fine cement was run into these joints so expertly as to give an even coverage of single areas as big as five feet by seven in the verticle; he may express profound disbelief when it is pointed out to him that the building's now almost totally despoiled original outer casing of polished limestone (all twenty-one acres of it) was levelled and honed to the standard of accuracy normal in modern optical work. But these, as it happens, are facts which anybody may check who cares to.
"The stones speak for themselves. And we are talking, remember, not of the product of twentieth-century engineering, but of a building whose construction dates from the very edge of prehistory.
"The sober truth is, of course, that no historian has yet advanced any explanation of the Great Pyramid's construction that is at all convincing. Nobody alive today knows for certain how the Pyramid was erected, how long it was in the building, how its near-perfect alignments were achieved before the invention of the compass, or how its outer casing was jointed and polished with such unsurpassed accuracy, should have been deemed necessary for the construction of a mere tomb and funerary monument to a dead king who in any case apparently never occupied it.
"And the result? The Great Pyramid --
a building so perfect and yet so enormous that its construction would tax
the skills and resources even of today's technology almost to breaking-point.
Yet that -- or something very like it -- is offered as a sensible explanation
of the project; sensible -- when scarcely a hundred years separate this
supreme example of the stonemason's craft from the construction of King
Zoser's celebrated step-pyramid at Sakkara, said to be the first large
stone building ever raised on earth." -- Peter Lemesurier, (p 3f)
Even the Egyptian Book of the Dead (a title generally given to a collection of Egyptian inscriptions and papyri found in tombs or in mummy writings) suggests that the very construction of the Great Pyramid is a message written in stone. In it, descriptions of passage ways and interior chambers are alluded to. For instance, the first decending passage way leading to a dead end and a pit is called "The Descent of Man". When standing at the bottom of this passage and looking upward, you discover that it is directly aligned with the Pole star. Another passage way is "The Hall of Truth in Darkness" (the first upward passage way where to climb it one must stoop due to its narrowness). Of all the pyramids, the Great Pyramid is the only one that has an extensive upper passage way system in it.
Next, "The Hall of Truth in Light" (an extention of the upward passage way except that it has a raised ceiling) opens as a Grand Gallery. Other interior features include: a Great Step; a lower Queen's chamber; an upper King's chamber with an open tomb which was never used for burial; and, what was once thought were "air" passage ways (two passage ways which actually pinpoint Sirius and Ainitak in the "belt" of the Orion Constellation -- the other two precisely point to TThuban in the Draco Constellation which was the old North Star at the time of the Pyramid's supposed construction and the present North Star). According to the Book of the Dead, downward equals not good; upward = doing good; left (the old word for left = sinister) turn = not good; right turn = doing good.
In Secrets of the Great Pyramid, Peter Tompkins describes Napoleon's military incursion into Egypt. "On the twenty-fifth of Thermidor (the Revolutionaires' August 12, 1799) the General-in-Chief visited the Pyramid with the Imam Muhammed as his guide; at a certain point Bonaparte asked to be left alone in the King's Chamber, as Alexander the Great was reported to have done before him.
"Coming out, the general is said to have been very pale and impressed. When an aide asked him in a jocular tone if he had witnessed anything mysterious, Bonaparte replied abruptly that he had no comment, adding in a gentler voice that he never wanted the incident mentioned again.
"Many years later, when he was emperor, Napoleon continued to refuse to speak of this strange occurrence in the Pyramid, merely hinting that he had received some presage of his destiny. At St. Helena, just before the end, he seems to have been on the point of confiding to Las Cases, but instead shook his head, saying, No. What's the use. You'd never believe me." -- Peter Tompkins, (p 40-41)
E. Raymond Capt, in his book, The Great Pyramid Decoded (p 59), points out that there would be "a stone-witness in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a monument at its border... for a sign." [Isaiah 19:19,20] A monument in the middle of Egypt bordering between Upper and Lower Egypt (much as if some sort of memorial made of stone was built in the middle of the Dakotas or the Carolinas -- bordering North and South Dakota or North and South Carolina).
For a sign. What kind of sign? Signs are for giving direction; for pointing out a way. To where?
The historian Josephus writes that the Pyramid of Giza was "built by descendants of Seth". The ancients called it the "Pillar of Enoch".
An interesting fact about the Great Pyramid: From corner to corner following along its base, each side is actually constructed in a curved line. (Most drawings of the Pyramid will exaggerate this angle.) In spite of that exaggeration, the real angle of the curve, if extended, would draw a circle the exact size of the circumference of the Earth.
For great PICTURES, check out Mystic Places -- Mysteries of the Unknown, by the Editors of Time-Life Books.
A newly published book about the Great Pyramid is The Orion Mystery, by R. Bauval and A. Gilbert. There are tremendous photos of the pyramid complex on the Giza plateau. The authors discuss the three stars in the belt of the Orion constellation and the seeming replication of the three principal structures of the Giza complex. Additionally, their research suggests that the river Nile and the proximity of several pyramids to it have an unusual correlation to the Milky Way and Orion -- the later being perhaps the most frequently referenced star cluster in ancient literature. -- Bauval, (pp 105; 222-223)
For the past two centuries, hundreds of archaeologists have measured and diagrammed every feature of the Great Pyramid. Some, including Royal Astronomers of Scotland, have even speculated that this Message in Stone is a map or time-line of history.
Using the sophisticated robotic technology, recent discoveries in March 1993 of what appears to be bronze door hinges in an otherwise inaccessible passage-way of the Pyramid has caused a stir in the scientific community. A problem is that the Bronze Age has historically been assigned a much later date than what is attributed to pyramid construction. It is until our lifetime, the last two decades of the twentieth century, that this secret in the Pyramid had been hidden and impossible to know.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is enormous; some 2,300,000 blocks which were quarried, dressed, transported and fitted together on site to a fraction of an inch. If as many as 10 blocks (each weighing several tons a piece) were precisely positioned daily, the building would take over 700 years to complete. And all this for an eccentric king who was never even buried in it?
In Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock writes, "the archaeological evidence [of Egypt] suggested that rather than developing slowly and painfully, as is normal with human societies, the civilization of Ancient Egypt... emerged all at once and fully formed.... Even the very earliest hieroglyphs were stylized and conventionalized; and it is clear that an advanced cursive script was in common usage by the dawn of the First Dynasty.
"What is remarkable is that there are no traces of evolution from simple to sophisticated, and the same is true of mathematics, medicine, astronomy and architecture and of Egypt's amazingly rich and convoluted religio-mythological system (even the central content of such refined works as the Book of the Dead existed right at the start of the dynastic period).
"The majority of Egyptologists will not consider the implications of Egypt's early sophistication. These implications are startling, according to a number of more daring thinkers. John Anthony West, an expert on the early dynastic period, asks:
I wonder about the Great Pyramid of Giza. Who built it? Why was it built? And what, if anything, can we learn from it?
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And Related Links:
The Seven Wonders: The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Papyrus Ipuwer
The Ancient World Web: The Ultimate Index of All Things Ancient
Papyrus of Ani; Egyptian Book of the Dead [Budge]
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