GREAT PYRAMID -
THE KING'S CHAMBERS
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.
two ‘airshafts’ in the King’s Chamber
may have provided fresh air for the benefit of the funeral
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.
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
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
concept of burial at such a height inside a pyramid goes against
a fundamental principle of Egyptian religion
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
the raised roofs provided no additional weight relief.
true purpose of the King’s Chamber, I suggest,
was to effect a perpetual re-enactment of the myth
of the creation.
first key component of this re-enactment was sound. The granite
beams in the
with Earth resonance and transmit low frequency
vibrations to the chamber below. The chamber,
built of highly
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).
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).
Chamber was therefore a ‘chamber of
in keeping with the creational symbolism
of the Pyramid, as illustrated in the diagram
to the right.
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
of exceptional force. The limit of the repository
would therefore have been the Antechamber to the King’s Chamber.