The Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figures are representations of the moving caisson and its granite weight that were operated inside the Grand Gallery at the Great Pyramid of Khufu ©2021

Ptah Sokar Osiris Figures Metropolitan Museum

The rectangular shape empty of any decoration on the base of the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figurine (highlighted in red), indicates where was inserted the granite weight that transformed the caisson into a piston/impactor, that was projected inside the inclined well of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The piece on the photograph was the half bottom part of the complete wooden cradle float, and the white arrow shows where the second and top part of the cradle float would have been inserted in.

The 2 parts of the figurine base, with no decoration at all, were 2 hollow parts of the wooden cradle.

Photograph credit : Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure, 306–30 B.C. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue. 


Most of ancient Egyptian gods and artifacts didn't exist at the time of Sneferu's reign

The first thing we should have in mind in regards to ancient Egyptian studies, is that pretty much everything we can think of nowadays with religious significance, didn't exist at the time when Sneferu was building his pyramids and planning for the Great Pyramid at Giza, that I believe will inherit his son, Khufu.

At the time of Sneferu and the Fourth Dynasty, the scarab amulets didn't exist ; gods Horus, Isis, Osiris, Nefertem, Ptah, Sokar, etc. didn't exist. The Eye of Horus didn't exist. The Four Sons of Horus didn't exist. The scarab beetle faced god Kephri-Ra didn't exist. The 8 Ogdoad primordial deities didn't exist. All these elements only start to appear progressively with the Fifth and Sixth Dynasty.

The question everyone should ask, is what the heck happened, that would explain that suddenly, in just a period of a few decades, scarab beetle amulets were crafted by vast numbers and all these new "gods" appear with so many unusual artifacts (the Khepeshes, the wooden base of figurines in the shape of a wooden beam, lotus flowers with copper pipes, etc.).

Pretty much everything we know about ancient Egyptian religion starts with the pyramid texts on the Fifth Dynasty: "The Pyramid Texts are the oldest ancient Egyptian funerary texts, dating to the late Old Kingdom. They are the earliest known corpus of ancient Egyptian religious texts. Written in Old Egyptian, the pyramid texts were carved onto the subterranean walls and sarcophagi of pyramids at Saqqara from the end of the Fifth Dynasty, and throughout the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, and into the Eighth Dynasty of the First Intermediate Period" (source : Wikipedia).


The Great Pyramid of Khufu was a profound Change of Civilization Event

When operating, the Great Pyramid would have appeared like a living beast : a lot of noises, fumes and smoke would get out of it. 4,500 years ago, no wonder such a sight changed forever the identity of the Egyptian people and was at the origin of many symbolic or mythological scenes, figures, gods and artifacts.

One of the ramifications of my theory about Sneferu's pyramids, is that many aspects of ancient Egyptian religion and artifacts, maybe even most of them, are based on the operating of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Everything starts with Sneferu's reign and is quest for the sodium carbonate manufacturing: Sneferu wanted pure "magical" man made natron for his mummification, and probably other purposes, like chemical "magical" demonstrations to the people.


Grand Gallery of Khufu Pyramid Giza Ancient Egypt

The grand gallery of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. Please note on the central gutter, the presence of traces, possibly of ancient wooden caisson that, with water, would have allowed the moving caisson to slide on it like it was ice covered.


Great Pyramid Khufu Giza Ancient Egyptian Operating Process Facts

The operating process diagram of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza (updated August 2021, Bruno Coursol). To this day, it is still unclear to me what happened to the water after it had been injected inside the horizontal passage. Let's say it was a few hundred liters every 20 or 30 minutes or so. Could the basin of the Queen's chamber be a temporary recovery basin that would have been needed to be emptied at the end of each day? Was it emptied into the well shaft? Was a water pump installed inside the niche of the chamber?


If my theory is correct, the pyramid elevation wasn't finish at the time of the operating was on the way. It is on the Lady Arbuthnot level that would have been installed a Solvay-like natron production unit that would have been cooled down by the Queen's chamber cold exchanger.


Figure Ptah Sokar Osiris God Ancient Egypt Risd Museum 3

Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure, 306–30 B.C. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue.


The Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure bases are representations of the wooden cradle float that was operated in the Great Pyramid

What is interesting in these photographs is not the hollow that have been made to insert the figurine base, but the rectangular shape empty of any marking, drawn around it and materialized by a thin black line : that was the real cavity where the granite block would have been inserted in.

Please note that the big rectangular area delimited by the thin black line and empty of any decoration, is not made for the foot of the mummy : it is way bigger. The mummy had clearly let a imprint inside the rectangular shape, it appears in a different yellowish color around the hole.


Great Pyramid Khufu Giza Grand Gallery Ancient Egyptian Operating Process Facts

The grand gallery of the Great Pyramid of pharaoh Khufu at Giza, Egypt. Source: The Great Pyramid Passages And Chambers" Volume 1 by John and Morton Edgar, 1910.

Great Pyramid Khufu Grand Gallery Ramp Gutter God Duamutef Ancient Egypt

Image on the left and center : Funerary Figure of Duamutef. 400–30 B.C. Late Period–Ptolemaic Period. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 133.


The Grand Gallery layout replica of the Four Sons of Horus figures at the Metropolitan

The first photograph is one of the Four Sons of Horus figures, visible at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at New-York, and is showing a jackal-headed figure representing Duamutef, the god who protected the stomach of the mummies.

The half lower part of this image had been magnified and partially enlightened on the second picture of the figurine so that we can see clearly the different structures depicted.


My assumption is that what we have here is a complete representation of the grand gallery layout of the Great Pyramid of Khufu :

1/ The eastern and western ramps, with 2 hollow section rails by ramp

2/ The central gutter (painted here in yellow, but in blue in the Catawiki figure, farther below)

3/ The top platform, with the axle beam for operating the 3 ropes

4/ The south wall of the grand gallery

5/ The opening of the antechamber (black line)

6/ The opening of the passage to the King's chamber (black square)


Four Sons of Horus Figures Ancient Egyptian Religion

Funerary Figures of the Four Sons of Horus, with Imsety (human head) second from the left. 400–30 B.C. Late Period–Ptolemaic Period. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York. Imsety is the only one with a human head, the three other Sons of Horus figures have heads representing a jackal (god Duamutef), a baboon (god Hapy) and a falcon (god Qebehsenuef).


The axle beam for operating the 3 ropes of the gallery, was inserted into the 2 holes of the platform 

The second magnified image is from the figurine of Imsety, the god that protected the liver, and who was one of the Four Sons of Horus. This image shows the eastern and western holes of the platform and it also depicts that the axle beam ends were "inserted" inside these holes, that anchored the beam to this single giant block that is the platform.

If this draw of the platform is to be taken literally, that means that the main axle beam was placed onto that platform and that my first idea that it could have been situated further into the passage to the antechamber was wrong.


The Four Sons of Horus real meaning : the 4 crewmembers of the 2 scarabs of the grand gallery

Inside the grand gallery of the Great Pyramid, it was not 1, but 2 beetle scarabs that were operated. The question of knowing if they would be physically connected or not, is not so easy to answer, but I think they were.

Anyway, many or most of representations of scarab amulets, are showing 4 or 8 elements, and I think that the Four Sons of Horus are representing the team of this single scarab beetle unit. That is the reason why the complete layout of the grand gallery is depicted on these Four Sons of Horus figures visible at the Metropolitan Museum.


Golden Winged Scarab Dung Beetle Amulet Great Pyramid Khufu Giza Grand Gallery Ancient Egyptian Theory 2

Pectoral of Tutankhamun with the Winged Scarab, thanks to


The real meaning of the scarab amulets : giving life (to the pyramid and consequently to the mummies)

The ancient Egyptian scarab beetle amulet is describing the way that the Great Pyramid of pharaoh Khufu at Giza was operated. A working crew (most probably 2 teams of 4 men + 2 flying men behind the beetle), was moving a wooden gantry backwards, from the top to the bottom of the grand gallery. It allowed a "piston / impactor" (a wooden caisson cradle containing a granite block, to be lifted from the inclined well (the ascending passage) to the top of the gallery.

The 2 flying men have to stay behind the beetle scarab when it is going down the slope, so that they can force the latch bolts back into the walls for the next ascent of the gallery.

It would appear like the caisson was flying. The scarab beetle of the gallery gave life to the Great Pyramid and the scarab beetle amulet, its representation, was going to give life back to the mummies for the afterlife.


Tutankhamun Tomb Senet Game Table Sons Horus Griffith Institute

Tutankhamun Senet Game Table. © Griffith Institute, University of Oxford. Carter No.: 345. Handlist description: Games-box (ebony and ivory). Burton photograph: p1569. Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation.


The Senet Game Table on Sled Runners of Tutankhamun & the 4 crewmembers beetle scarabs

The Senet game table of Tutankhamun, not only represents the scarab beetle units on sled runners that were operated in the grand gallery of the Great Pyramid, but shows actually 2 tables. One side of the table is the traditional Senet game table, but I think that the other side represents the grand gallery and the  4 crewmember beetle scarab themselves.


Dendera Temple Astronomical Relief Ogdoad 8 Primordial Deities Egyptian Ancient Religion

Dendera astronomical ceiling relief in the Hathor temple representing the 8 Ogdoad deities. Top right : Nu and Nut; top left : Hehu and Hehut; bottom right : Kek and Keket; bottom left : "Ni and Nit" (for Qerh and Qerhet). Center : close-up of Nu. Source : Kairoinfo4u


The 8 Ogdoad primordial deities represent the 8 crewmembers that were operating the beetle scarabs of the grand gallery

One of the questions remaining about the design of the 2 beetle scarabs of the grand gallery is to know if they were physically connected or not. The many references of the Four Sons of Horus could indicate that the main operating unit was considered to be the 4 crewmembers scarab operated on each ramp of the gallery.

But the problem is that we also have representations of the 8 crewmembers operating the whole thing : the Ogdoad (Ancient Greek: ὀγδοάς "the Eightfold"; Ancient Egyptian: ḫmnyw, a plural nisba of ḫmnw "eight"). The Ogdoad  were the eight primordial deities worshiped in Hermopolis.

Interestingly, the 8 Ogdoad deities only start to appear during the late Old Kingdom, but seem to have been antiquated and mostly forgotten by everyone until the Middle Kingdom where they are frequently mentioned in the Coffin Texts. The oldest known pictorial representations of the group do not pre-date the time of Seti I (New Kingdom, thirteenth century BC).

It is like the 4 crewmembers units (the Four Sons of Horus) had been chosen at the expense of the entire team of 8 crewmembers (the Ogdoad). It almost looks like a "political" statement.


As suggested by their names, the 8 Ogdoad deities are actually 4 pairs, representing side by side crewmembers

The difficulty here, is that on the pictures, they are also side by side but they are not depicted in the same 2 dimensions pattern that we would do today.

On my drawing, 1 and 5 are most probably Nu and Nut ; 2 and 6 would be Hehu and Hehut ; 3 and 7 would be Kek and Keket ; 4 and 8 would be Ni and Nit.


Great Pyramid Khufu Giza Grand Gallery Big Step Block Ancient Egyptian

The southern part of the single block that formed the top platform of the grand gallery, was under tremendous charge by the structure weight, that perfectly anchored the block. It was necessary to resist to the huge structural stress induced by the endless operating of both the beetle wooden scarab, and the moving caisson.


The single block platform of the grand gallery

The platform of the gallery has a very specific design : it is made of one single giant block, that goes way after the south wall of the gallery towards the antechamber.

Charles Rigano mentioned : "The single block forming the Step does not stop at the Gallery wall but extends an additional 66 inches* into the Ante Chamber".

* For Petrie, it was 64.90 inches. Source : The pyramids and temples of Gizeh. Antechamber and passages, section 47 (page 75). Petrie, W. M. Flinders (William Matthew Flinders), Sir, 1853-1942.


Ptah Sokar Osiris Figure Base Poles God Ancient Egyptian National Museums Scotland

Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure. © National Museums Scotland. Museum reference : A.1911.259.


The Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure of the National Museums Scotland and the 2 axle beam anchor poles

This figure is probably one of the most interesting of all, because not only it shows the lotus flower and the snakes that were both representing the fog nozzle of the horizontal cooling passage ; but also the platform at the top of the grand gallery.

Ancient Egyptians had a very special way of their own to mix technical data to artistic considerations. And I think we have here a perfect example with the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure from the National Museums Scotland : what looks like a beam simply put on the base, could actually represent the step of the grand gallery.

The 2 ramps are marked in dark paint, and the central hollow is also drawn.

More interesting is that the 2 eastern and western holes of the platform are also represented and that they are drilled into the wooden piece. I think the 2 poles are the ones that had been positioned inside these 2 holes and anchored the axle beam (not represented here).


Menat Necklace Ancient Egypt Malqata Metropolitan Museum Eric

Left and Center from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York : Menat necklace from Malqataca. 1390–1353 B.C. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18. Reign of Amenhotep III. Right : special thanks to Eric (Wsrmatre Stpnre, on Flickr)


The Menat necklace from Malqataca and the 3 ropes of the grand gallery

Another outstanding artifact from the MET. This time it shows the platform with the 2 axle beam support parts (the 2 cats) and the hollow part on the step, the 3 ropes and probably the 3 support beams of the antechamber.

The necklace is made of 3 kinds of beads :

• The "regular" size beads, that should represent a rope.

• The "small" size beads in multiple strings, that represent the untwisted ropes and so showing the fibres of the rope. Maybe the 2 metal discs at each end, represent a part of the rope making.

• The "big oblong beads". There is only 3 of these beads, and only 2 have the same color and the same shape. The other one is bigger and with a different color. We can try to find the exact significance of these 3 particular beads, but it is gonna be difficult, even if they clearly echoes to the main axle beam of the gallery's platform, or the 3 support beam for the storage of the ropes in the antechamber.

• The 2 green oblong beads could refer to the 2 lateral ropes that were connected to the wooden beetle.

• The bigger black and white oblong bead would then refer to the bigger central rope, the one that was connected to the impactor.


Great Pyramid Khufu Grand Gallery Menat Necklace

Image in the center thanks to Stefan, from Khufu

In my opinion, but I may be wrong on this point, the round shape at the bottom of the artifact is a representation of the hollow that had been made in the center of the big step onto the platform. Its function was probably to recover the water dripping from the central rope while the impactor was pulled up towards the top of the gallery. The water would then be redirected inside the central gutter and then to the inclined well.


Great Pyramid Granite Stone Khufu Grand Gallery Giza

Image on the left : Red granite stone EA1097 from the British Museum : "Fragment of red granite relief: Horus name of Khufu". Center image of Imsety from : Funerary Figures of the Four Sons of Horus. 400–30 B.C. Late Period–Ptolemaic Period. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York.


The design of the top part of the grand gallery of the Great Pyramid of Khufu

It really looks like the granite slab from the British Museum is showing a schematic draw of the top part of the grand gallery. If it really is the case, it confirms the existence of the 3 ropes and the 4 hollow section rails of my theory, but it also probably shows us how deep were the 2 structures that anchored the axle beam into the top stone platform of the gallery. These structures would most probably have been made of granite, or wood, or maybe both with granite and wood casing to reduce friction.

The 5 horizontal lines could also represent the 4 rows of the scarab beetle, and the image of the bird would be exactly where the 11th member of the team would be : it would be the leader of the 8 + 2 crewmembers of the beetle.


Great Pyramid Khufu Giza Grand Gallery Top Stone Ramp Ascending passage Ancient Egyptian 02
Great Pyramid Khufu Giza Grand Gallery Scarab Top Stone Ramp Ascending passage Ancient Egyptian 01

The operating of the wooden beetle scarab and the moving caisson "impactor" (wooden cradle float + granite block), inside the grand gallery of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Updated version, August 22, 2021.

The design of the entire process, doesn't require any pulley at all, just an axle beam and 2 sets of ropes mounted on the opposite.


Ptah Sokar Osiris Figures MET Metropolitan Museum

The fact that the figurine is made of 2 shell parts assembled together, could indicate that the granite block was inserted into 2 pieces of wood, like a stuffed candy would.


Ptah Sokar Osiris Figure Ram Horns Figurine Base

Left image from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence : Ptah-Sokar-Osiris / wood, gesso, and paint, 332-30 BCE. Second and third images from the Metropolitan Museum : 86.1.88a–d and 25.3.204. Last image from National Museums Liverpool : 1973.1.685.


The ram's horns headdresses of the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris mummy figures represent the impactor shocks

The ram's horns significance is one of the easiest representation of the grand gallery operation to comprehend : the entire process was to make the moving caisson ram into the water of the inclined well, so that its energy would be converted into pressurized water directed to the horizontal cooling passage.

The moving caisson was an impactor for the inclined well water.


The ram's horns of the Dendera astronomical ceiling relief

Another interesting thing about the ram, comes from the Dendera astronomical relief on the photograph above : there are actually not 1 but 4 ram heads to reproduce the fact that the impactor was going both ways.

In fact, they depicted the impactor twice : the ram and the caisson on which the ram is standing on. 2 ways of describing it : from a structural point of view (just a box) and from a functional point of view (the ram). More interestingly is that there a 4 heads. In my opinion, they represent the scarabs of the gallery : 2 wooden beetle scarabs (one on each ramp) going both ways.

The ram also has wings, and for the exact same reason that the winged scarab amulets have them too : when the impactor was released from the top of the grand gallery, it would have looked like it was flying.

If these hypothesis are correct, it is another perfect example of the difficulty to decipher ancient Egyptian art : everything can be completely deconstructed and reorganized with multiple ways of describing the same thing just to fit to artistic considerations or different point of views.


Limestone False Door Senwehem Pharaoh Giza Project Harvard University Boston Museum

Figurine : Large Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure from Catawiki. Late Period c. 664 – 332 BC. Limestone false door of Senwehem, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston provided by the Giza Project at Harvard.


The lubrication of the moving caisson and the false door of Senwehem

Like suggested farther below with the red granite stone from the British Museum, I think that what we call today "false doors" in ancient Egypt is mislead by the fact that they are in a vertical position. In my opinion they represent the structures that were used to operate beetle scarabs all over ancient Egypt, from Dynasty 0 to after the Great Pyramid.

The most portrayed of these structures is of course the one used in the gallery of the Great Pyramid and its layout could have been partially different from what shows the false door of Senwehem, but one of the most important feature of the design is the water supply of the central gutter that allowed the moving caisson to slide on the wood covered floor of the gutter. This particular false door is to my knowledge the only one showing that clearly this part : the water supply mouth.

The figure from Catawiki shows a magnificent blue color at the place where other figurines are showing what could be the central gutter of the grand gallery (see farther below). This blue color stripe is so unexpected that it even doesn't look authentic, like someone wanted to highlight something, but it is not. This is the original blue color.

In order to get the moving caisson sliding into the slope and gain energy, it had to be placed on a fixed caisson, and water had to be poured in between the 2 of them. The blue color doesn't show anywhere else on the base or the mummy figurine (except what looks like water drops on the front side of the mummy), it had to be very important to be that large. Of course, I think it shows the lubrication of the cradle.


Pharaoh Dynasties List King Rulers Ancient Egypt History

List of pharaohs in ancient Egypt showing the Serekhs (Horus names), from the French Wikipedia page "Chronologie détaillée des pharaons de l'Égypte antique". 


Section still under construction...


Ptah Sokar Osiris Figure Hawk God

Images on the left : The Metropolitan Museum, second half of Dynasty 26, ca. 600–525 B.C. Images on the right : Egyptian polychrome Ptah Sokar Osiris Figure, Brunk Auctions #1004.


The Sokar Hawk is a representation of the latch bolts

In my opinion, the main intent with this hawk, that is forming a perfect right-angled corner on the photograph above from the MET, was to represent the 50 latch bolts that were installed inside the walls of the grand gallery.

But it could also mean that the locking and releasing system of the moving caisson at the top of the gallery, was also a latch bolt, like it is maybe suggested by the Brunk Auctions photographs : the narrowness of the hollow, kind of a slot, could indicate that the system would have been a variant of the latch bolts that were installed into the walls of the gallery.

Interestingly, the hawk from the MET, is placed in a reverse position if we consider the great amount of figures that have been found ; but like for the mummy figure itself, maybe they were supposed to be placed in both positions to mimic the 2 directions of movement inside the gallery or maybe it is just a little mistake of the photographer.

Also, the top view of the base from Brunk Auctions show the exact same rectangular black drawn line that indicates the real cavity where the granite block would be placed.


Imhotep Figure Ptah Sokar Osiris God Figurine Base Ancient Egypt MET British Museum

Left : Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure of Ankhshepenwepetca from the Metropolitan Museum. (712–664 B.C. Third Intermediate Period). Second photograph : Statue of Seated Imhotep from the Metropolitan Museum (332–30 B.C. Ptolemaic Period). Third photograph : Imhotep, donated by Padisu (664–30 B.C. Late Period–Ptolemaic Period). On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134. Right : Seated Statuette of Imhotep from the Brooklyn Museum. On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor.


The representation of the granite block weight within the wooden cradle float

On the above photographs of Imhotep and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figures, what is interesting to see is how is implemented the granite block in the design of the figures. Some of them are showing a big portion of it, while in others, the block is almost completely not showing at all.

Of course, the last picture from the Brooklyn Museum is one of my favorites, because it only shows the granite block, alone, without the wooden cradle float.


Imhotep Dynasty Djoser Sneferu Khufu Time Line

Hypothetical influence of Imhotep on pharaohs Djoser (Dynasty 3) and Sneferu (Dynasty 4) that could explain the fact he was represented with the wooden cradle float and/or the granite block weight. (draw under construction).


Was Imhotep the real mastermind behind Sneferu's and Khufu's pyramids?

From Wikipedia : "Very little is known of Imhotep as an historical figure, but in the 3,000 years following his death, he was gradually glorified and deified. It appears that this libation to Imhotep was done regularly, as they are attested on papyri associated with statues of Imhotep until the Late Period (c. 664–332 BCE). Wildung (1977) explains the origin of this cult as a slow evolution of intellectuals' memory of Imhotep, from his death onward"


When Djoser died, Imhotep is thought to have gone on to serve his successors, Sekhemkhet (c. 2650 BCE), Khaba (c. 2640 BCE), and Huni, possibly Sneferu's father (c. 2630-2613 BCE). Scholars disagree on whether Imhotep served all four kings of the Third Dynasty but evidence suggests he lived a long life and was much sought after for his talents.

Maybe his ideas have been burrowed by his successor during the Fourth Dynasty, but most probably, in my opinion, he might as well also served Sneferu himself.


Imhotep Seated Figure Djoser Dynasty God Ancient Egypt Medicine

Left : Figurine of Seated Imhotep E3640 from the Louvre Museum. Date de création/fabrication : Basse Epoque (attribution d'après style) (-664 / -332 BCE). © Musée du Louvre / RMN-Grand Palais / Hervé Lewandowski. Second image : figure of Imhotep EA40666 from the British Museum.


The representation of the granite block weight alone : the seated figures of Imhotep

Imhotep was a scientist, an architect and an engineer, so we shouldn't be surprised about the way he is depicted in his seated figurines : he holds the knowledge in his hands, seated with his feet in contact with what represented the most important piece of the Great Pyramid operating, the granite block that was inside the wooden cradle float.

We could argue that the "Imhotep's stone" is  not the granite block that was inserted inside the wooden cradle float, and that it was just representing the fact that Imhotep was the first architect to use stone blocks instead of bricks.

But I don't think it is : on the Metropolitan Museum figurine of Imhotep donated by Padisu (previous set of photographs above), this block quite doesn't show at all, and it is pretty much absorbed by the base, which I believe is the cradle, but here it doesn't really matter.

If the intent was to show a block because Imhotep used blocks, they wouldn't have quite completely hide it.


From Imhotep's "Refreshment of the Gods" Pyramid... to the "Pyramid of the Cold"

Imhotep biggest influence was not in the medicine field, but in architecture. He is the one who built the first true pyramid in ancient Egypt, made of stone blocks and not dried mud bricks : the Djoser's Step Pyramid. Interestingly, this unprecedented step pyramid was called "The Refreshment of the Gods" ; and that obviously echoes the evaporative cooling process used in the Great Pyramid.

My conviction is that the term "refreshment" is not fully accurate: Imhotep's first pyramid was certainly not the "refreshment pyramid", but "the Pyramid of the cold".


Ancient Egyptians didn't master an ammonia Solvay-like process overnight : it had to be a long experimental journey, over many generations (the Disc of Sabu is dated from the First Dynasty, 3100 BCE to 3000 BCE ; and the Djed Pillars from even before that). Most probably, their biggest challenge from the beginning was cooling down the reaction chambers.

It is certainly not by accident that Imhotep not only was the first one to build structures out of limestone blocks, but also the first one to add columns to their design. Columns echoes to the Solvay towers but also to modern cooling towers (read the post about Sneferu's Red and Bent Pyramids for more on the subject).


Great Pyramid Khufu Granite Block Subterranean Chamber

Left is the north part of the recess looking north towards the descending passage, a block on the west side. Right is the south part of the recess with the entry to the subterranean chamber, a block on the west side. The 2 blocks really look different, but apparently everybody says that it is the same block...


The question now, is to determine which granite block was inserted into the cradle

Because of the cradle design revealed by the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figure bases, it is now obvious that the granite block n°3 of the ascending passage plug couldn't had been the block used inside the moving caisson, like I first thought. Though it is very hard to figure out the real dimensions of this block today, and what they were before it got at the bottom of the well 4600 years ago, it looks like it would or could be too big to fit in.

We also have to consider the possibility that the block probably didn't really need to be made of granite : it would have been completely protected inside the cradle and so, could have been probably made of limestone as well.


The granite block found in the subterranean recess was most probably the one used inside the impactor

If the granite block n°3 is out of play, we have 4 other granite blocks that could have been used inside the cradle, but I am still wondering if the 2 photographs above are showing the same block or not. For now, the only data I have are as follows :


1 • the granite block located inside the recess of the subterranean passage that leads directly to the subterranean chamber. Dimensions : 64.77 cm x 50.8 cm x 43.18 cm, and no holes. (25.5 inches x 20 inches x 17 inches)*.

This block is the only granite block found in the Great Pyramid passages, with no holes. In my opinion, it is the block that was inside the moving caisson. Its volume : 0.142 m³. Considering 2700 kg / m³, the recess granite block would weight about 380 kg.


2 •  the granite block, called Petrie's Block, on which an iron grill-door had been fixed inside the descending passage. About this stone, Morton Edgar says : "Although the large granite block on which the grill-door is fixed, takes up nearly the full width of the passage, it did not interfere with our work". Source : Great Pyramid Passages Volume 1 1910 edition by John and Morton Edgar (section 287, page 142)Dimensions : 80.01 cm x 53.34 cm x 11.76 cm, and 3 holes*.


3 • the granite fragment on the ledge of the subterranean pit, with 2 holes*. Dimensions unknown to me.

4 • the granite block in the grotto. Dimensions : 53.34 cm x 45.72 cm x 43.18 cm, and 2 holes*.


* Source : Pyramids of the Giza Plateau: Pyramid Complexes of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, by Charles Rigano.


Anyway, we can consider this new scenario :

1/ The subterranean granite block would have been the weight inserted into the moving caisson cradle of the grand gallery.

2/ The granite block n°3 wasn't used into the caisson, so its only purpose would have been to trigger the drainage of the well, like I have already suggested in a previous post (The shutdown of the pyramid and the shelter inside the grotto).

For the shutdown of the pyramid, the block would have been set at the entry of the inclined well, and pushed by the water coming from the explosive drainage of the King's chamber.


Ptah Sokar Osiris Figures British Museum

Photographs from the British Museum. From left to right : EA9768, EA9743, EA23046 and EA9757.


The toy cars analogy

I suspect that some of these Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figures were used like kids play with toy cars today, and that it was mimicking the original caisson movement inside the gallery. It would explain why so many bases of the figures are so worn out, compared to the standing figures themselves.

It is certainly not by accident that the figure itself and the Sokar hawk are not fixed to the base, but are removable.

The mummy would have been positioned looking towards the top of the gallery, slowly ascending the slope, but once on top, it would have been turned over for the descent.


Great Pyramid Khufu Construction Flat Roof Basin

The Great Pyramid of Khufu wasn't finished when operating the manufacturing of natron, there was a flat roof with water recovery basins. The green circle indicates the temporary end of the King's chamber north shaft that was used to collect the water of the recovery basins. From this particular point only, the shaft has a direct-line course to the north.


The elevation of the unfinished operating pyramid

What are showing the Funerary Figures of the Four Sons of Horus from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, that we have already seen in this post, is that the south wall of the grand gallery didn't seem to go very high, and that some kind of a different structure was built instead. That confirms the hypothesis I've already made : the pyramid elevation wasn't finished at the time where she had been operated for the manufacturing of natron.


There is actually a representation of this, showing the flat roof of the pyramid and the 4 apothems :

Nun Lotus Vessel Lotus Flower Ancient Egyptian Brooklyn museum Faience

Nun Vessel (faience, 8.8 × 26.3 cm) from the Brooklyn Museum. Early Dynasty 18, ca. 1539-1500 B.C.E. 


The primordial waters of Nun depicted on the Brooklin Museum Nun Vessel

The academic point of view of Nun : "Nun (also Nu), is the deification of the primordial watery abyss in the ancient Egyptian religion. Ancient Egyptians envisaged the oceanic abyss of the Nun as surrounding a bubble in which the sphere of life is encapsulated, representing the deepest mystery of their cosmogony". Source : Wikipedia.

Once again, Nun didn't exist at the time of the construction of the Great Pyramid and my assumption is that it is the Great Pyramid that started the myth. The "primordial waters" refer to the water of the inclined well.

I also have to say that I'm stunned and tired of the way that our modern society is depicting ancient Egyptian culture. Just by having a look at the extraordinary artifacts found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, you can feel the magnificent sophistication of their work. And still, it looks like we are making a great deal to make these guys look like retarded people, barely able to think by themselves and stack blocks to build pyramids. It is painful to me and very distressing.



The flat roof of the operating Great Pyramid on the Brooklyn Museum Nun Vessel

According to the academic description, "The square in the center of this bowl is a pond from which lotus buds and flowers grow. The lotus blossoms symbolize life emerging from the waters of nonexistence".

If nobody feels weird about the idea of a square pond, surrounded by other squared structures everywhere, well... I am !


To me, it shows the Great Pyramid at the time where the manufacturing operations were on the way. The lotus flowers are representing the fog nozzle of the horizontal cooling passage, and the black square, "the pond", is the flat roof of the pyramid. 

If that representation of the Great Pyramid is to be taken literally, it means that during the natron manufacturing operation, the elevation wasn't finished.

I've already made that assertion based on the Queen's chamber operation : the blocking slabs discovered at the top end of the 2 shafts, show that the copper tubes that were passing through the slabs, had been flattened against the slab. It means that these 2 locations were accessible after the operating of the pyramid.

It also add up with the fact that, starting with the Lady Arbuthnot level, the granite beams of the King's complex, are no longer supported by blocks made of granite, but of limestone that would have allow very easy access from the Lady Arbuthnot and Campbell chambers to the outside of the chambers. This was necessary to supply dry air to the antechamber and ventilate the 3 ropes compartments.

It even shows that the first part of the elevation had already received the casing stone blocks and that the second part didn't.

Finally, it shows the 4 apothems, meaning they were important and had a major role.


Mummy Board inscribed for Henettawy Isetemkheb daughter MET New York

Mummy Board inscribed for Henettawy, daughter of Isetemkheb. Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21 ca. 990–970 B.C. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York.


The Mummy board for Henettawy shows us the entire process of the Great Pyramid of Khufu operation

The lower part of the board is the lower part of the pyramid, the part we are familiar with ; and the upper part of the board is the upper part of the Great Pyramid, the one we don't have access to.

Like in the real pyramid, the 2 parts on the Mummy Board, are clearly separated.


• The lower part of the Mummy Board depicts, from bottom to top :

1/ The 3 rings that connected the moving caisson (1 ring) and the beetle scarab (1 ring for each ramp scarab) to the 3 ropes

2/ The "Nefertem copper pipe" supplying the "lotus flower" fog nozzle of the horizontal cooling passage

3/ The horizontal cooling passage itself


• The upper part of the Mummy Board, is showing the ultimate reason of the entire pyramid layout : the sand filtration of the 2 components we have already talked about in the Dendera post.

The final element of the display is the liquid dropping from the sand filter. It should most probably represent the Natron Na2CO3.

We've also seen in the Dendera post, that the 2 arms were representing the 2 shafts of the Queen's chamber. These arms are here represented 2 times, on the left and on the right of the board, I think each pair is for one shaft and that the 2 vertical lines descending from the arms represent 2 copper pipes that were connecting the Queen's chamber with the Natron production site on the flat roof of the pyramid.

The snakes represent the fog nozzle (again, please read the Dendera post for all the details about it), and they are supported by the arms : the cold (made by the adiabatic evaporation of the liquid microdroplets of the fog), was transmitted to the upper part of the pyramid (the flat roof) by the 2 shafts.


Great Pyramid of Khufu Giza Grand Gallery Rutherford Granite Plug Block

The curved shape of the granite block n°3

Because I didn't find anywhere the half-moon shape of the float I first considered, and that we know now for sure what exactly looked like the moving caisson, the only reason I can think of for the curved shape of the granite block n°3, would be to increase the pressure that the water would have create onto the block and assure that the block would gain enough speed and energy inside the inclined well so that it would successfully trigger its drainage into the Al Mamun cavity.

Or maybe it is an optical illusion, and I am the only one seeing it !



All the posts about Ancient Egypt & Updates on the Theory : please click here


Figure Ptah Sokar Osiris God Ancient Egyptian Metropolitan Museum

Image on the right : Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure, 306–30 B.C. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue.


Please note that the 2 ramps are showing the same double lines as the ones found on the squared scarab amulet that we can see below. It would reinforce the idea that the wooden beetle was in fact a double beetle. For more on this subject, please visit :

The scarab amulets : the wooden gantry that was giving life to the Great Pyramid



All the posts on the sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate manufacturing by the Solvay process, and its cooling in the Great Pyramid of Khufu : click here or on the "LE BLOG" button


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Commentaires (1)


This is the most interesting, well researched article I've read in a long time. It is so logical, and explains the hieroglyphic depictions, the naming of the "gods" and the process of natron production so simply, even an elementary student could understand it. Like others, I've been attracted to the pyramids since an early age and have always wanted to know how they were built. I never thought they were tombs but did sort of think they might be an energy producing unit of some sort. This article put to rest my questions on that score. I would like to know who the author of this research is. Is this possible? Thank you. Sincerely. Marie Harvey

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