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Introduction

THE GREAT PYRAMID - THE QUEEN'S CHAMBER

Orthodox Theory

Egyptologists used to think that the Queen’s Chamber was an abandoned tomb chamber (the king having changed his mind as to his place of burial). But most experts now believe that the room was designed from the outset as a serdab, its corbelled niche containing a ka-statue of the king.

The Queen’s Chamber shafts are a real puzzle on account of the fact that they were sealed at their lower ends and blocked at their upper ends. It is generally believed that they are abandoned features – prototypes perhaps of the shafts in the King’s Chamber. Accordingly, it is suggested that they are unfinished ventilation shafts or unfinished soul-shafts. However, some Egyptologists claim that they are completed features (ka-shafts), and a minority even support the view that the southern shaft leads up to a small chamber, or serdab. All of these theories run into serious difficulties in explaining the fact that the shafts were sealed.

As regards the Queen’s Chamber Passage, it is recognised that this was sealed off by the bridging slab in the Grand Gallery. However, it is widely presumed that the chamber could be accessed at the time of the funeral.

Alford Theory

The Queen’s Chamber was a secret chamber in a sealed repository. As such, it was sealed at the time of construction, and could not be accessed except by breaking the bridging slab (there is strong evidence that this slab was slotted into the floor of the Gallery at the time of construction).

The corbelled niche contained a statue of the Great Goddess in geometric form, symbolising the mystery of creation.

The Queen’s Chamber shafts were secret passages to secret chambers, differing from the Pyramid’s other passages only in their miniature size. The idea was that the explorer use the shafts as guides to dig tunnels to the chambers above. The distance (213 feet in each case) made this the ultimate challenge, and tends to suggest that the chambers (which would still be intact) contain the ultimate prize (the identity of which is discussed in my book). The metal-handled ‘doors’ at the top of the shafts are probably the original aperture covers that were used during construction to prevent ingress of tools, detritus, and living organisms. The plugs beyond these ‘doors’ suggest a ritual sealing and future unsealing, reminiscent of the granite plugs in the Ascending Passage.

Anomalous joints and stones in the Queen’s Chamber Passage may indicate the presence of an undiscovered secret passage (J.P. Lepre, 1990).

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