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There are several educative books that offer a great amount of insight into the construction of the Great Pyramids. One of those books worth mentioning (and one of the authors favorite) is The Egyptian Pyramids: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Reference by Author J. P. Lepre – this generously illustrated work is the most complete reference book ever published on these fascinating and compelling structures of the ancient world.
Facts on each of the 42 pharaohs and the monuments they constructed (and commentary from the author who has extensively explored them) include all elements of each pyramid complex that have been discovered, and whether a sarcophagus and mummy have been located. Cross-sectional diagrams and floor plans are provided for all pyramids so far uncovered, as well as photographs where available.
A lot of people who know about the eight sides of the pyramid believe it was discovered in 1940, but it was actually first mentioned in La Description de l’Egypte in the late 1700’s by Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie who was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of a systematic method in archaeology and preservation of artifacts.
He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom and excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt with his wife, Hilda Petrie Some consider his most famous discovery to be that of the Merneptah Stele, an opinion with which Petrie himself concurred. Petrie developed the system of dating layers based on pottery and ceramic findings.
During studies performed at the site, Petrie noticed a hollowing in the core masonry in the center of each face and it is actually measurable. This unique and relatively unknown feature is much easier sighted from the air, but under favorable lighting conditions, it can also be viewed from the ground.
Many theories were proposed as different researcher and archaeologists studied the Pyramids, but until today, no acceptable explanation has been given about why the Pyramid is built in such a way. Here are some of the theories proposed, (stating the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 20:1983, pp. 27-32) Martin Isler outlined several theories which he published in his work; “Concerning the Concave Faces on the Great Pyramid”:
- To give a curved form to the nucleus to prevent the faces from sliding.
- The casing block in the center would be larger and would serve more suitably as a guide for other blocks in the same course.
- To better bond the nucleus to the casing.
- For aesthetic reasons, as concave faces would make the structure more pleasing to the eye.
- When the casing stones were later removed, they were tumbled down the faces, and thereby wore down the center of the pyramids more than the edges.
- Natural erosion of wind-swept sand had a greater effect on the center.
But all of these given theories are improbable, as even Isler dismissed the above theories based on the idea that “what is proposed for the first pyramid should hold true for the others.” He did propose another theory, stating that “it could be a result of imperfect building method” theorizing that the concavity was an artifact of a compounding error in building technique, a sag in the mason’s line. But again these theories proposed seem to contradict themselves.
There are other researchers and authors who have proposed their own theories about the concavity of the Great Pyramid, some of these theories propose that this concavity in measurement could represent the three lengths of the year: solar, sidereal, and “anomalistic.”But this has not been proven. One of the theories that caught our attention is the one from John Williams, author of Williams’ Hydraulic Theory to Cheops’ Pyramid where he proposes that the concave face on the Great Pyramid was implemented to contain extremely high internal pressures (That makes you think about the Ancient Alien theory when researchers talk about the Great Pyramid acting as a power plant).
Most pyramids have individual peculiarities which are as yet difficult to explain. For instance, in the Great Pyramid, as possibly in certain others, a large depression in the packing-blocks runs down the middle of each face, implying a line of extra-thick facing there. Though there is no special difficulty in arranging the blocks of a course in such a way that they increase in size at the middle, there is no satisfactory explanation of the feature any more than there is of the ‘girdle-blocks’ [in the Great Pyramid’s ascending passage] already discussed. – Clarke and Englebach