GREAT PYRAMID -
to Egyptologists, the Well Shaft may have originally been cut
to supply air to workers in the Subterranean Chamber.
But it was then extended to provide an escape route for the
workmen who became trapped in the Grand Gallery when they released
granite plugs into the Ascending Passage, immediately after
the king’s burial in the King’s Chamber. These workmen
then concealed the shaft’s lower entrance by inserting
a secret door in the western wall of the Descending Passage.
As for the Grotto, which is accessed via the Well Shaft, this
cave-like feature is thought to be of little or no consequence
for our understanding of the Pyramid.
ventilation theory and the workmen’s evacuation
theory encounter a number of serious problems.
is more likely, in my view, that the lower section of the Well
was cut to provide access from
Passage to the Grotto, this room having been sacred for
centuries prior to the construction of the Pyramid. The need
access may be explained by the need for ongoing rituals,
but I favour
the idea of a one-off use for the secret burial of the
rough section of the Well Shaft above the Grotto, A-X, was probably
an inspection tunnel, dug by the Pyramid’s
guardians in order to inspect earthquake damage to the King’s
Chamber (in support of this idea, a second tunnel has been
cut from the
top of the Gallery into the lowermost cavity above
the roof of the King’s Chamber).
purpose of the upper section of the Well Shaft, X-Y-Z, immediately
beneath the Grand
Gallery, remains a puzzle.
burial of the king in the Grotto, with the Subterranean Chamber
acting as a decoy tomb, would have
ideal plan from a
security point of view. However, an even better
plan would have been to use the Grotto as a secondary
the deep hole
in its floor), with the real tomb being concealed
in the vicinity (suggestions for the real tomb’s
location are reserved for readers of my book).
burial of the king’s body in the Grotto – or in
its vicinity – would have accorded with
the religious axiom ‘the
body to earth, the spirit to the sky’,
but, more than that, the positioning of the tomb
the height of the stepped
plateau outcrop beneath the Pyramid would have
corresponded to the primeval mound (the risen
earth) of the creation myth.
addition, it may be significant that the total
distance from the Pyramid’s main entrance
to the Grotto, via the Descending Passage and
the Well Shaft, is almost exactly equal to the
of the Pyramid. Perhaps this amazing little fact
did not go unnoticed in the mind of the architect.