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Orthodox Theory

According to Egyptologists, the King’s Chamber was the king’s final resting place – the raison d’etre of the monument. Supposedly, his mummy was sealed inside the granite sarcophagus, which was broken and plundered in antiquity.

The two ‘airshafts’ in the King’s Chamber may have provided fresh air for the benefit of the funeral cortege, but most Egyptologists nowadays call them ‘soul-shafts’ on the assumption that the king’s soul used them for a direct ascent into the northern and southern skies.

The huge granite beams in the King’s Chamber superstructure – a unique feature of the Great Pyramid – are thought to have had a structural purpose – to protect the flat roof of the chamber from the superincumbent weight of masonry.

The use of granite in this chamber and its superstructure is thought to reflect that material’s protective strength, but religious symbolism might also have been a factor.

Alford Theory

The concept of burial at such a height inside a pyramid goes against a fundamental principle of Egyptian religion which dictated that the king’s body be buried at ground level or below. The soul-shaft theory is unacceptable too since the king’s soul could have used the Descending Passage for its ascent to the sky. Finally, the superstructure theory is problematic, since the raised roofs provided no additional weight relief.

The true purpose of the King’s Chamber, I suggest, was to effect a perpetual re-enactment of the myth of the creation.

The first key component of this re-enactment was sound. The granite beams in the superstructure were designed to vibrate in harmony with Earth resonance and transmit low frequency vibrations to the chamber below. The chamber, built of highly resonant granite, then amplified these vibrations and their harmonics, and transmitted audible sound via its so-called ‘airshafts’. The broadcasting of this low frequency sound re-enacted the sound of creation (the latter idea being attested in the Pyramid Texts).

The second key component of the re-enactment was meteoritic iron – the seed of creation – which was hermetically sealed inside the King’s Chamber sarcophagus (on the role of meteoritic iron in the creation myth, see my book). In a symbolic sense, the sound spiritualised the iron and ejected it into the northern and southern skies, via the shafts, thereby re-enacting the formation of the celestial bodies: the circumpolar stars in the northern sky, and the Sun, the Moon, and the rising-and-setting stars in the southern sky (in Egyptian myth, all of these bodies were said to be made of iron).

The King’s Chamber was therefore a ‘chamber of creation’, in keeping with the creational symbolism of the Pyramid, as illustrated in the diagram to the right.

It is important to realise that access to the King’s Chamber was not intended by the architect, but became possible after the acoustic system was damaged irreparably by an earthquake of exceptional force. The limit of the repository would therefore have been the Antechamber to the King’s Chamber.

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'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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