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Archaeology & History

Ancient 'machine' protected the Great Pyramid

By T.K. Randall
July 14, 2016 · Comment icon 19 comments

How did the pyramid builders protect what lay inside ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nina Aldin Thune
A special security system outside the King's Chamber was intended to prevent thieves from breaking in.
Described by Egyptologist Mark Lehner as a 'very primitive machine', this ancient mechanism consisted of a series of blocks and grooves hidden behind the pyramid's walls.

Acting as an additional barrier to prevent would-be thieves from accessing the tomb, the system would have enabled workers to drop large granite slabs in to place to block off the chamber's entrance once the pharaoh Khufu and his treasures had been safely placed inside.

Sadly though, given that the tomb now contains little more than a granite sarcophagus, it seems that this ancient protection mechanism may not have been too effective at keeping out looters.

But was the King's Chamber really Khufu's final resting place ?
Egypt's former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass believes that this chamber may have in fact been little more than decoy and that the real tomb and its treasures still lie hidden inside the pyramid.

Of particular interest to those who subscribe to this theory are four narrow shafts found leading away from both the King's chamber and the Queen's chamber.

By sending special robots in to investigate, researchers have found that three of these shafts appear to lead to mysterious doorways with copper handles which may conceal Khufu's actual tomb.

If this does turn out to be the case then, far from failing to protect Khufu's remains, the ancient pyramid builders may have actually managed to pull off the impossible by building a security mechanism that has managed to keep his tomb protected for over 4,000 years.

Source: Live Science | Comments (19)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by fightzone 8 years ago
still not what i am looking for but this proves knowledge of hidden tunnels in 2002 and 2011.  
Comment icon #11 Posted by fightzone 8 years ago
the french team that initially found the open spaces went in in 1986. they did not understand what they were looking at so they did not publish the finding. at approximately 28 minutes into this video they meet up with the architect that understands what they saw. i recommend watching the whole video. you dont have to believe it to find it interesting.  found this on houdins facebook page. it was posted last month.
Comment icon #12 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
I'm a fan of the inside-out theory of building the pyramid, but I don't agree with Houdin that the magnetic scans show evidence of hollow corridors.  Any huge pyramidal shape is going to have a spiraling magnetic fluctuation, due to the decreasing mass from bottom to top.  I'm also a bit puzzled how, assuming the corner break that is claimed to be a possible turning point for the ramp, can have been in plain view for millenia, and yet no one has bothered to hop up there and check if there was anything worth looking at.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Gingitsune 8 years ago
The video was well worth the 55 minutes it last. There are some extra feature after the credits, so stay tuned.
Comment icon #14 Posted by fightzone 8 years ago
the map is 3 dimensional and clearly shows missing density on the edges as much as it does toward the center. the break in the corner was noticed by an architect who is trained to have eye for details in a building. it never says nobody ever found that room before. perhaps someone else crawled up 100 years ago and found nothing. they wouldnt haave considered that to be some great find that needed to be published. heres the scans from 86 showing the spiraling lack of density. it seems some of it has caved in.  
Comment icon #15 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
There is really nothing surprising about seeing decreasing density on the edges of a pyramid.  Simply put, the edges are indeed decreasing in density, as the mass of the pyramid gets smaller and smaller the higher you go.  As for the corner room, again, it seems to me a fairly simplistic sort of exploration that would require much less effort and red tape, to say nothing of being the least destructive sort of investigation, to conduct, and I find it difficult to believe that a theory that could be so strongly supported by something it has proposed would not have taken that step to verify it.
Comment icon #16 Posted by fightzone 8 years ago
even if u look at it in 2 dimensions, you can see it has missing density in the center as much as at the edges.if you can see this image in 3 dimensions it helps. use the x in center of photo as walls reaching up to the peak in center
Comment icon #17 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
That's backwards. Only by looking at in in 2 dimensions can you mistake the missing density in the center.  Think about it:  If you are looking at this as a 2-d image, then it seems strange to see diminishing density from the outside to the inside.  If this was a 2d picture, then it would suggest that the area towards the center is less dense, and probably has a void of some kind.  But that is because you are seeing a small gradient on the outside going to the inside.  You are looking at it as if it were a 2d image.  However, if you look at this as a 3d picture, if you imagine this as a ... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by XClashGames 8 years ago
How long do you have to wait before graverobbing is considered historical science? As far as I see, scientists are essentially robbing the graves, putting all their valuables in a crap museum and storing the mummy on display for a bunch of tourists to gawk at, pretty disrespectful.
Comment icon #19 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
Whether it is graverobbing or historical science depends on what sort of claim the people complaining have to the remains.

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