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The Celestial Spheres of the Great Pyramid; The Truth Behind the Legends
By Richard E. Ford

It is one of the most investigated and studied structures in the world, yet Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza retains an almost impenetrable air of mystery about it to this day. There are no contemporary records of its construction and almost no mention of it in any subsequent record for thousands of years thereafter, until Herodotus wrote of it in his History in the 5th century B.C.E. Although it has long been commonly agreed that Egypt's 4th Dynasty Pharaoh Khufu built the Pyramid as a tomb for himself, these facts are not universally accepted, as great controversy surrounds both its age and purpose-controversy born of persistent legends that the Pyramid was built to memorialize certain knowledge and preserve it from the world-wide destruction wrought by the Great Flood.

John Greaves, a seventeenth century English astronomer and mathematician, who had traveled to Egypt to measure its ancient buildings, including the Pyramid, for the purpose of learning Egypt's ancient system of measures, which were reportedly based on the dimensions of the Earth, was the first European in modern times to systematically investigate it. He later published his findings, which excited great interest amongst scholars, including Sir Isaac Newton, who was searching for accurate measurements of the Earth for his theories regarding gravity. Greaves entered the Pyramid, but found it empty and learned that it had been empty for centuries, ever since the 8th century Abbasid Caliph Abdallah al-Mamun had tunneled his way into it. Al-Mamun was looking for the knowledge that the Pyramid reportedly held and particularly for knowledge of the Earth and its dimensions, but apparently he, too, found the Pyramid empty. If the Pyramid had held anything, whatever it was had been removed long before al-Mamun's time. Only the legends of its contents remained and these Greaves dutifully recorded during his visit, as did others who came after him.

The legends all told essentially much the same story: an ante-diluvian king foresaw in a dream that a huge celestial body would fall to the Earth, and would cause fire and flooding world-wide that would destroy much of the Earth. On awakening, the king consulted with his counselors, who faithfully took measurements of the heavens and proclaimed that the king's premonition was indeed true: the Earth would be destroyed. With the time remaining, the king set about building the pyramids, including the Great Pyramid, in order to preserve that portion of the accumulated knowledge of mankind deemed worth saving against the pending destruction, including the secrets of geometry and astronomy, star charts, and celestial spheres and terrestrial globes, as well as iron that wouldn't rust and malleable glass. The focus of this legendary knowledge on the heavens is readily apparent, as might be expected in view of the fact that it was the source of Earth's pending destruction. However, there is no record-even in the legends-that any of this material was ever found in any of the pyramids and so the legends have invariably been dismissed as little more than fanciful tales.

Curiously, archaeological excavations over the past century have revealed that a number of ship-shaped, stone-lined pits had been dug near the Great Pyramid. These excavations have also revealed the existence of two complete, but dismantled ships that had been buried in sealed chambers next to the Pyramid. One of the dismantled ships was subsequently removed and patiently reassembled, and then placed on exhibit in a specially designed building next to it, where today it is one of the most interesting attractions on the Giza plateau. The Pyramid's maritime connections are obvious. It is a connection that clearly harks back to a time long before modern astronomy became a highly specialized science, when only two groups of people watched the heavens regularly and studied the stars intently: mariners and priests-the heaven gazers. The priests had an interest in the heavens for time keeping and calendar tracking purposes, which were directly related to their observance and practice of prescribed religious rites and to their commemoration and celebration of the calendar's religious festivals. Mariners, on the other hand, watched the heavens to help them to navigate to distant lands, as well as to mark the passage of time. The two groups obviously must have been deeply dependent upon one another, with the knowledge and experience gained by the one systematically advancing that of the other, to the benefit of both. It was a symbiotic relationship that would endure for thousands of years.

But what does this have to do with the legends? Everything, because it leads to the door to the surprising truths behind some of the legends of the Great Pyramid, and the key that unlocks this door is to be found in the customary and most fundamental procedure of celestial observation, as practiced by both priests and mariners from time immemorial. This procedure, which precisely affixes the location of a given heavenly body in the celestial firmament, is performed by measuring its angle of altitude above the horizon and its angle of azimuth along the horizon east or west of true north or south. (See following graphic of celestial dome, with measures of altitude and azimuth enumerated.) This key reveals the celestial spheres of the legends, which were coded into the stones of the walls of the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid. But why, you might ask, were the spheres coded in this manner? Because measures of altitude and azimuth are based on number and geometry, which give form to a universal language that transcends both time and circumstance and is known to all men-the language of mathematics. The architects of the Great Pyramid were speaking to the ages when they designed this chamber and the wealth of information that was so cleverly coded into it.


Celestial dome with measures of altitude and azimuth

The King's Chamber is rectangular in shape, with its longer axis running east-west and the shorter north-south. All of the stones in the walls, the ceiling and the floor are fashioned of precisely cut granite, most weighing many tons, but all cut and set with astonishing precision. The ceiling has nine stones that span the east-west axis of the chamber. The walls have exactly 100 stones, set in five even courses or rows from floor to ceiling. The north face of the chamber has 27 stones, the south 36, the east 18, and the west 19. A closer examination of these numbers reveals that each wall, with the exception of the west wall, is a multiple of the number 9, strongly suggesting that it was intended to be a factor in the Chamber's design. And even the number of blocks in the west wall could be considered to be a multiple of the number 9, if a unique stone set in the lowest course is omitted from the sum. This stone, located adjacent to the south wall, is fitted with a noticeably less-exacting standard than that of any of the others in the chamber, a feature that can only have been intended by the builders in order to draw attention to it for the purpose of omitting or including the stone in the count.


Arrangement of stones in the King's Chamber
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