GREAT PYRAMID -
to Egyptologists, the Grand Gallery was a glorious passageway
to the king’s tomb chamber, but functioned also
as a slipway for the granite plugs that would block the mouth
of the passage below. The Great Step (at the southern end of
the Gallery) is not thought to have had any particular significance.
The long grooves in the side walls are a real puzzle, as they
seem to suggest a lower roof that was removed by intruders.
No satisfactory explanation has ever been offered for the fifty-four
niches in the side ramps, nor for the inset stones in the side
walls. The corbelled architecture remains a mystery, though
to J.P. Lepre it may have had ‘a high spiritual symbolism’.
Grand Gallery was the heart of the secret chamber system, but
was also a simulacrum of the creation of the Universe.
The Great Step was a platform for a statue of the Great
God in geometric
form, symbolising the mystery of creation. Dilapidation
of the Great Step was caused by the forceful removal of this
statue when the Pyramid was plundered in antiquity. The
in the side walls contained a lower roof that spanned the
Gallery at half its present height. This roof, probably
made of wood,
had its underside painted with stars – the images of
the gods – in the act of rising at the First Time.
Below, the fifty-four niches in the side ramps may have contained
of the gods, perhaps in the form of sanctified (spiritualised)
woods and minerals. Above, the upper roof demands to be removed
so that the full extent of the corbelling may be seen. The
corbelled architecture would indeed have had a high spiritual
and might encode the mystery of the creation, viewed from
a mathematical or geometrical perspective. Finally, on a
more mundane note,
the floor of the Gallery did indeed function as a slipway
for the granite plugs, whilst the inset stones in the side
might conceivably be the result of a planning error.