Though it has been assumed for quite a long time that the earliest civilizations in locations like Egypt and Mesopotamia dating back to 5,000-6,000 years, however, there is a shred of intriguing evidence that suggests a highly intelligent, technologically complex, and intensely social civilization existed far earlier—at least 10,000 BCE (or 12,000 years ago).
There are a certain number of mysteries that remain unknown to humans, and no wonder, the Giza Plateau of Egypt stands among those mysteries only. It is known to all that on the top of the Plateau, the Great Pyramids and their sculpted guardian, the Great Sphinx stands- however, the question is that for how long?
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Although the presence of the Great Pyramid is known to all, there is an ongoing controversy concerning who built the Giza pyramids or carved the sphinx. The creator of the sphinx is unknown to human civilization according to the researchers and the experts.
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Even though the Sphinx sits on the edge of the Sahara Desert which is a hyper-arid region for the last 5,000 years. The water weathering that is major precipitation, rainfall, and water runoff was visible on the monument’s body and the walls of its enclosure (to carve the body of the Sphinx, the creators had to cut down into the bedrock, so the statue sits in a hollow or enclosure). In addition to that, the Sphinx’s head appeared to be excessively small in comparison to its bulk.
The mysteries surrounding the structure of the great pyramid have been baffling the researchers for quite a long time now, and no concrete answers have been discovered as of now. The most intriguing area of the pyramid is its internal design. The three chambers, one of which is subterranean, and their connecting passageways, stand out more than anything else at Giza. The passage leads to the so-called king’s chamber which rises to a height of approximately thirty-six feet. While the most notable fact here is that no other passageways were built tall enough to accommodate an average man or a woman.
A unique arrangement was made for the King’s and the Queen’s chamber. Both the chambers consisted of two shafts which were located on each side of the chamber. The Queen’s chamber had a corbelled niche built into its east wall, whereas the ceiling of the King’s chamber was composed of five granite slabs stacked one atop the other. However, the purpose of such a construction is yet to be found.
The official theory is that the pyramids were tombs and that king Khufu kept changing his mind about where the burial chamber is to be located, thus explaining the necessity of three various chambers in the Great Pyramid. However, this theory fails when it comes to typical Egyptian Burial methods. The Giza Pyramids and particularly the Great Pyramid, do not fall within the scope of the Egyptian concept of Tomb.
Ancient Egyptians and Afterlife
The Egyptians believed in the afterlife and the tomb was an important part of it. The tomb of King Tutankhamun testifies that the chamber of the deceased was decorated with art and filled with that person’s possessions. This ritual is believed to be practiced for a spiritual connection. This process would keep the energy of the deceased from being re-absorbed into Nature’s spiritual force.
Ancient Egyptians were of the opinion that Ba, stands for a living person, and Ka was the energy emanating from the person. Ancient mythology linked these two as soul and spirit. Another important aspect of Egyptian belief represented immortality, the ankh depicted as the crested ibis.
The Ka as represented in art was believed to be a man’s consciousness and energy which is related to the immediate world. It belongs to the physical part of the body that establishes a connection with the physical world. It can be linked to somebody’s personality, which upon death is separated from the human body and finds a way naturally to seek a form.
However, Ba is represented as a winged human head, or sometimes a human-faced bird depicts that part of consciousness that is immortal. So when a person passed away, his or her belongings were kept close to them with the purpose of them being connected to this world. It was believed that being in close touch with their possessions, the deceased’s Ka could easily unite with Ba.
The mummification prevented the body from being decomposed, and the tomb served as a home for the possessions of the deceased. As consequence, Ka maintained its identity in the spiritual world and it could seek out its Ba in order to achieve ankh, which eventually resulted in the resurrected form of the dead beyond the limits of the realm.
Pyramids and the Ancient Tombs
Similar to pharaonic tombs erected in the valley of the kings, the royal mastabas which were built during the early dynasties were designed to have a home, and that home belonged to the ‘Ka’. Surprisingly, when it comes to the Great Pyramid of Giza, no such traces of domestic life are found. The Giza Pyramids do not consist of any art or holographs which is very much unlike the Egyptian beliefs. So the question here is that why the Giza Pyramids are considered to be tombs of fourth dynasty Pharaohs? The answer is that the Giza pyramids are associated with another development that is about ten miles south at Sakara where the Egyptians indeed built tombs as pyramids.
A French Egyptologist called, Gaston Maspero found that the subterranean chamber of the Pepi I Pyramid was engraved with hieroglyphics at Sakarra in 1881. In subsequent explorations, it was found that a total of five pyramids at Sakkarra also consisted of inscriptions belonging to the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth dynasties of the old kingdom.
In 1952, Samuel A. B. Mercer, Professor of Semitic lang. and Egyptology, Trinity College in the University of Toronto had published an English Translation of “The Pyramids Texts” in a volume of the same name. The book consisted of ‘words to be spoken’ concerning the funerary ritual, magical formulae, and religious hymns. It also contained prayers and petitions on behalf of the deceased king. When the pyramids at Sakkara came out as tombs, the most logical conclusion was that all the pyramids are tombs. In addition to that, there are two cemeteries to the east and the west of the northernmost Giza Pyramid, which made an impression that the conclusion by the historians was really true.
But the current condition of the Sakkara Pyramids possesses some serious problems in this logical association considering that these pyramids were built after the Giza Pyramids. Other than the Djoser ‘step pyramid’, which is actually not a true pyramid, is in decent shape. The rest of the pyramids, falling in the category of being built in some fifth and sixth dynasties, are now in remains and resemble rubble mounds.
Could the Great Pyramid be a Device?
The differences between the Giza and the Sakkara Pyramids which are easily observable are causing a major issue since these pyramids are believed to be built during the same era. However, the condition of both the pyramids is evident among the researchers. The construction techniques and the materials used to build the pyramids were extremely different from each other. If this was not the case, then both the pyramids would have stood fiercely in the test of time in the same manner. But it did not happen, which raises some serious questions.
Another point of concern is that why did not the workers of the fourth dynasty pass on their construction techniques from the fourth to the fifth dynasty? No other pyramid in the world stands put as the Giza Pyramid does. Also, there is no concrete evidence that proves that the pyramids were actually tombs. So, if the Great Pyramid was not a tomb, then what purpose did it serve? Was it a mystical temple for initiation ritual or a public works project designed to unify the country? or was it something else entirely?
There are several theories associated with it, but one theory that makes the most sense is Christopher Dunn’s theory that suggests that this pyramid was a mega device instead of a tomb. According to him, the great pyramid was a machine for producing power by converting tectonic vibration into electricity. Dunn has explained the interior of the pyramid in an extreme cohesive manner. He also have explained the technical skills that have been required during the construction. Thirdly, considering his skills and expertise, he is a good judge of the fabrication and manufacturing industry which makes him qualified to express his thoughts on the techniques and tools utilized by the builders who built the Giza Pyramid.
There is no chance that the modern day builders could erect the great pyramid without making special tools in order to deal with the blocks of stones that weighed quite heavy. Building such a magnificent pyramid is almost equal to building a hydroelectric dam or a nuclear power station. An excessive amount of resources would have been required. Heavy stones would have been carried and workers must have been paid. The main stream researchers have proposed that the Pyramids of Giza were erected in 24 years, however, considering the massiveness, it is impossible to erect such a grandeur building in such a short period of time. Hence it is believed that the Pyramid was utilitarian and was not made in the fourth dynasty pharaonic vanity of having the largest headstone in the world.