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Introduction

Ancient Egypt has a profound fascination for the modern world, which only seems to increase the more we find out about it. My own interest in this mysterious land probably stems from a school cruise trip to the Pyramids of Giza when I was just fourteen years old. Little did I know then that I would return to Egypt twenty years later as a researcher and author on the subject of the pyramids and their role in ancient Egyptian religion.

My first book dedicated to ancient Egypt was ‘The Phoenix Solution’, which was published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1998. But more recently I have written and self-published two further books: ‘Pyramid of Secrets’ (2003) and ‘The Midnight Sun’ (planned 2004), both of which are available exclusively via this website. In these books, I argue that ancient Egyptian religion was not a Sun cult, but a ‘cult of creation’, and that the pyramids symbolised not the Sun, but the creation of the Universe. In ‘Pyramid of Secrets’, I apply this hypothesis to the Great Pyramid of Giza, and propose a fundamental reassessment of the purpose and meaning of its interior architecture.

This set of web-pages provides a synopsis of my findings, categorised under the headings: ‘Egyptian Religion’, ‘The Great Pyramid’, ‘Giza Adoption Theory’, and ‘Lost Civilisation Critique’.

Egyptian Religion

According to Egyptology, ancient Egyptian religion was substantially a Sun cult for the latter two thirds of its four-thousand-year history. It is this view which has informed modern opinion on the significance of the pyramids, the temples, and the tombs. However, in my books ‘Pyramid of Secrets’ and ‘The Midnight Sun’, I argue that Egyptian religion was in fact a cult of creation, i.e. a cult whose primary aim was to celebrate and re-enact perpetually the myth of the creation of the Universe. Egyptian pyramids, temples and obelisks were thus memorials in stone to the rising of the earth and the seeding of the sky. This reappraisal of Egyptian architecture sets the scene for a fundamental reappraisal of the Great Pyramid of Giza (see below).

For a more detailed explanation of the cult of creation theory, please click on the link below.

Egyptian Religion

The Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid of Giza is an exceptional pyramid, not just in the scale and precision of its construction but also in the pattern of its chambers, some of which have been built at an unprecedented height in the superstructure. According to Egyptology, the highest of these chambers – the King’s Chamber – was the final resting place of king Khufu, who was buried in its granite sarcophagus. Hence, the Pyramid is assumed to be ‘a tomb and nothing but a tomb’ (Wallis Budge, 1893).

The harsh truth, however, is that no trace of Khufu’s mummy has ever been found in the Pyramid, no direct evidence exists of a human burial in the King’s Chamber, and no reliable record has ever been unearthed of Khufu having being buried in, or removed from, either the sarcophagus or the Pyramid. Moreover, it was not the Egyptian practice to entomb the king’s body at a great height inside the pyramid, but rather to place it beneath the pyramid, at ground level or below (in accordance with the religious axiom ‘the body to earth, the spirit to the sky’).

Was the Pyramid really just a tomb? In order to persuade Egyptologists that it was something more, it is necessary to address two crux questions: (1) if the king’s body was not buried in the King’s Chamber sarcophagus, then where was it buried?; and (2) if the king’s body was buried elsewhere, then what was buried in the King’s Chamber sarcophagus? In my book ‘Pyramid of Secrets’ (2003), I provide compelling answers to these questions, in accordance with my theory that ancient Egyptian religion was a cult of creation and the pyramid a symbol of the creation of the Universe.

My conclusion is twofold.

Firstly, that the Pyramid in its lower parts was a tomb, incorporating an ingenious decoy arrangement. It is probable, in my view, that the king’s true burial chamber remains intact to this day, in a place that has never been properly investigated.

Secondly, that the Pyramid in its upper parts was built as a sealed repository, and that, despite the looting of this repository in antiquity, some contents remain intact in chambers that have not yet been discovered.

For a detailed rundown of my theory, please click on the link below.

Great Pyramid

Giza Adoption Theory

Who built the great monuments at Giza? According to Egyptologists, all of the pyramids, along with their associated temples and causeways, were built by kings of the 4th dynasty between 2550 and 2500 BC. Thus the Great Pyramid was built by Khufu (or Cheops, as the Greeks called him); the Second Pyramid was built by Khafre (or Chephren); and the Third Pyramid (the small one) was built by Menkaure (or Mycerinus). In addition, Khafre, the builder of the Second Pyramid, is said to have carved the Sphinx.

In the late 20th-century, alternative writers raised some awkward questions on the provenance of these mighty structures, particularly the Sphinx which appeared to have been eroded by rainwater (there having been negligible rainfall in Egypt prior to 2500 BC).

Egyptology, in response, provided no new evidence or argumentation, but merely insisted, with the full weight of its authority, that its own hard-earned chronology was correct. The alternative writers, one and all, were dismissed as cranks and ‘Pyramidiots’.

The result was an impasse in which crucial anomalies were left unresolved, as the late science fiction writer Douglas Adams observed:

I read with a sharply cocked eye some of the recent highly speculative books about the pyramids and how old they might really be. I found them to be frustrating. This was not just because the level of argument came across as tosh but because it sounded as though there might be some stuff that should be analysed in a more rigorous way. However, it seems that the battle lines between the mavericks and the Egyptological establishment were much too deeply drawn to allow any information to pass either way.

I happened to run into an archaeologist who specialised in the Middle East, and he confirmed what I had been wondering, which was that when you looked at it freshly the assumptions on which a lot of Egyptology is based are actually no more or less conjectural than a lot of what the mavericks are saying – just an awful lot more entrenched. Hence the hostile defensiveness.

It’s just a pity that the alternative viewpoints are not better served by the level of argument with which they are presented. If they were, the Establishment would have to put up a much more rigorous defence, which might in turn winnow out some of the conjecture.

Much the same thoughts had occurred to me in 1997, and prompted me to choose Egypt as the subject for my book ‘The Phoenix Solution’ (published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1998). In this book, I attempted to bring a little more intelligence and fair-mindedness to the “how old are the pyramids” debate, and penned what is probably the most thorough and unbiased assessment yet of this complex controversy. My conclusion? That the giant pyramids and Sphinx at Giza had probably been adopted, rather than built, by Khufu and Khafre, but that they were nowhere near as old as certain alternative writers were claiming.

This balanced approach won me the support of the English historian Michael Rice (the author of several books on Egyptology), who in his Foreword to ‘The Phoenix Solution’ wrote:

It is well to remember that this season’s heterodoxy is next season’s orthodoxy. What is required is a little objective analysis, and such analysis is, in large part, what Alford provides. He has demonstrated, abundantly, that there are considerable anomalies in the evidence of Egypt’s past, which, to put it no higher, require a critical response and not merely an abrupt dismissal... ‘The Phoenix Solution’ may prompt some of the researchers in the field to look again at all the evidence, firmly in the eye, preferably with as few prejudices as it may ever be possible for humans to display. If so, Alan Alford will have rendered a lasting service to the study of the greatest, most mysterious of ancient civilisations.

For a summary of my Giza Adoption theory, please click on the link below.

Giza Adoption Theory

Lost Civilisation Critique

Whilst I do support the idea that the Pyramids and Sphinx predate the 4th dynasty, I am not impressed by Bauval and Hancock’s theory of a lost civilisation dating back to 10500 BC. Indeed, I was one of the first researchers to speak out against this so-called ‘panleonist’ theory a full year before it was savaged by the BBC in its Horizon documentary of 4th November 1999. For my critique of the panleonist theory, please click on the link below.

Lost Civilisation

Further Information

The theories expressed on this website count for little in the absence of the detailed books that support them. To gain a proper understanding of my theories, the reader needs to consult the appropriate volume.

On the Giza Adoption Theory, see ‘The Phoenix Solution’ (1998).

On the Great Pyramid, see ‘Pyramid of Secrets’ (2003).

On ancient Egyptian religion, see ‘Pyramid of Secrets’ (2003) and ‘The Midnight Sun’ (2004).

The Eridu Bookshop provides further information on these books (e.g. contents and reviews), and a secure on-line facility for credit card transactions. Please click below.

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Copyright Notice

'These pages are the copyright of Eridu Books 2004. The images and diagrams are the copyright of Alan Alford or of other photographers, where indicated. Eridu Books welcomes the reproduction and dissemination of these pages, in original, unaltered form, for non-commercial purposes, but permission must be sought for any other usage, other than 'fair dealing' quotations.'

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