The Orion Key: Unlocking the Mystery of Giza (cont.)
By Scott Creighton
As already mentioned, if the final resting place of the Pharaoh was simply a matter of personal choice then we have to ask ourselves why Khufu should have chosen to locate his Great Pyramid (G1) at the very edge of the north-east corner of the Giza plateau. On the surface this would not seem a particularly odd choice. Looking closer, however, we find that the high, dominant ground lies in the center of the plateau where Khafre’s pyramid (G2), the second to be built at Giza, now stands. Not only is this central area the commanding ground on the plateau but it benefits also from having a ‘natural causeway’ that runs from the area of the Sphinx up to the east face of Khafre’s Pyramid. Even today, Egyptologists refer to this natural causeway as the 'gateway to Giza’.
Why then, we ask, would Khufu choose to construct a quite monumental artificial causeway deep into the valley with all the costs and logistical problems such would incur when a natural causeway already existed up to the high, commanding ground of the plateau and which - had Khufu utilized it for himself - would have eased considerably the construction burden of his funerary complex?
Furthermore, by failing to claim for himself the highest ground on the plateau, Khufu would have been fully aware that he was leaving the door open for some future king to trump his own achievement by potentially building a higher pyramid in the highest ground of the plateau, which - as matters transpired - is precisely what happened – G2 (although slightly smaller) appears larger than G1 due to it having been built on the central high ground of the plateau.
The Ancient Egyptians were - first and foremost - very practical builders. And their kings clearly had egos to rival their monumental constructions. For Khufu to have decided against building his pyramid in the most practical and prestigious location on the plateau completely defies all rational thinking. Why would Khufu have risked having the magnificence of his own grand structure eclipsed by leaving the Giza door wide open for a future king to come along and surpass his own achievement? It makes no sense.
Turning now to Khafre, the builder of the second Giza pyramid (G2) – why did he decide to return to Giza when his older brother and predecessor, Djedfre, did not build at Giza like his father, Khufu, but instead opted to build his pyramid at Abu Rawash? Indeed, Khafre was the first King of the 4th Dynasty to ‘co-locate’ at the site of another Pharaoh (Khufu). Why did Khaf-RE (and indeed, Menkau-RE) decide to build at Giza when – from a religious perspective - it would have seemed more ‘appropriate’ for these two kings to have co-located with Djedf-RE (the first king of the emerging solar cult to have the name of the sun god ‘Re’ incorporated into the royal cartouche) at Abu Rawash?
And finally, we have Menkaure’s pyramid (G3) – the smallest of the three great pyramids at Giza. Once again it defies basic human instinct that Menkaure would have wished to locate his own infinitely smaller structure in the towering shadow of G1 and G2 where its relative diminutive stature would only have been exacerbated by its close proximity to its two illustrious neighbors. Had Menkaure sited his own structure at a virgin site he could have avoided the ignoble fate that assuredly awaited his pyramid by deciding to build at Giza. Why would Menkaure commit to Giza in the full knowledge that the pyramid he planned to build there would forever suffer the ignominy of having failed to match the very high standards set by his two predecessors? Again, it makes little sense.