The Pyramids of the Cold Section 10 • The Great Serpent Apep and the snake water metaphors

Apep Ancient Egyptian Great Serpent Snake God of Chaos Apophis Underworld Water Metaphor Writer Book Aaron

Overthrowing of Apep in the Theban Tomb TT359, located in Deir el-Medina, part of the Theban Necropolis. It is the burial place of the ancient Egyptian workman Inherkhau, who was Foreman of the Lord of the Two Lands in the Place of Truth during the reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV (Wikipedia). Image thanks to kairoinfo4u: 

The Sycamore tree is here represented putting all its weight upon the Great Serpent Apep (Apophis), hence pressurizing the waters of the inclined well, when at the same time the cat is cutting a small portion of it; that is the small amount of pressurized water sequentially ejected out of the well. What it means is that the Sycamore tree really is all about the impactor, hence the impactor was made of Sycamore wood.

A perfect modern water metaphor, thanks to Aaron, in "My 2015 Four-Metaphor Poem about Writer's Notebooks":


The Pyramids of the Cold v2 (May 2023) • Part B: the inclined well of the Great Pyramid

Section 10 • Apep and the snake water metaphors

King Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Khufu Giza Gizeh Queen Horizontal Passage Ancient Egypt Operating Cold Production

In summaryif in ancient Egyptian art, snakes are represented absolutely everywhere, it is of course only because they've been used as metaphors; one of these metaphors, and probably the most important of all, was to glorify the use of water in a scientific and technological way (we'll see that snakes had also been used as metaphoric representations of ropes).

Among the snake deifications of water, Apep is certainly the most important of all, because he is about the pressurized waters of the inclined well.

If Atum is most of the time represented in a human form, he could also have been represented into a snake, and that is because Atum is the glorification of the small amount of the Apep pressurized water that was sequentially ejected out of the well towards the evaporative cooling passage (about 200 liters every 15 minutes or so).

In other words, the pressurized waters of Apep in the well, originate in the (unfiltered) waters of god of the Nile Hapi in the King's chamber and create a small amount of pressurized water in the cooling passage; and that is Atum, resulting from the endless cutting of Apep.

It is not by accident that these three ancient Egyptian gods have similar names: Hapi, Apep and Atum are all about the same water running through and powering up the Great Pyramid. And because Son of Horus Hapy "the Great Runner" is the deification of the water from Hapi (the King's chamber), running into the Grand Gallery after having passed through the biosand filter sarcophagus for treatment, that makes four gods who have similar names because they all are about the same water used in the Pyramid: Hapi, Hapy, Apep and Atum, in that order.


10.01  Snakes and the water metaphors

One of the most recurrent appearances in ancient Egyptian religion are snakes: the snake in Hapi's cavern, the great serpent god of the Underworld Apep (Apophis), Atum etc.

Of course, the waters of the Nile river would have exactly looked like a snake from the distance, and all by itself, it would be sufficient to associate snakes and water; but ancient Egyptians also associated snakes and water in (at least) three other representations: 

 when Hapi (god of the flood of the Nile) is in his cavern, and is creating a snake from his own water

2 • when the body of some snake figures are taking the form of the "water ripple" hieroglyph

3 • when some boats (Ra's boats) are represented moving onto the body of coiled snakes


Ancient Egyptian God Hapi Inundation Nile Source Cave Elephantine First Cataract

Isis temple, North wall of the Gate of Hadrian with a representation of the Nile god Hapi, crouched in his cave and surrounded by a serpent, Philae, Egypt:


10.02  Snake = Water [1] • Hapi in his cavern creating the very first snake out of water

On the above image from the Philae temple, Hapi (in his "cavern") is actually depicted creating the very first snake from his own water. As of today, I would say that Hapi, just like everything else in the ancient Egyptian religion, is nothing but another metaphor. What I want to say is that this is not because Hapi is the Nile god, that the water used to power up the Great Pyramid (and all the other structures, mastabas and pyramids before the Great Pyramid was built), was coming from the Nile: that particular water, circulating all other the chambers and passages of the Great Pyramid, in and out its structure, would simply have looked like the Nile circulating all other Egypt.

In my opinion, that water which powered up the Pyramid, was rain water; and this is why the Pyramid had to have a huge water tank: if water from the Nile would have been used, they wouldn't have any problem getting 200 liters of water every 15 minutes or so to the sarcophagus for water treatment.


Ancient Egyptian God Apep Great Serpent Snake Atum Water Ripple Hieroglyph Sign

Wall relief of Apep cut into pieces, temple of Edfu. Photograph by Rémih:

Serpent artifact from the Louvre Museum, with the body of the snake taking the shape of the "water ripple" hieroglyph sign. Inventory number E4851:


10.03  Snake = Water [2] • The snake's "water ripple" hieroglyph shaped body

The snake artifact E4851 from the Louvre Museum, is showing a unique design: the tail of the snake is nothing else than a continuous succession of "water ripple" signs, clearly highly suggesting that the snake is actually made of water.

Most probably, the "water ripple" sign and the representation of Apep with multiple cuts, as shown on the wall relief left photograph above, together, one above each over, is actually representing the same thing : the "water ripple" sign is the representation of Apep being cut, over and over again.


Barque of Sun God Ra Seth Spearing Apep Great Serpent of the Ancient Egyptian Underworld

Apep (also Apophis) was the Great Serpent ancient Egyptian god of Chaos (isfet) that reigned over the Underworld and fought sun and creator god Ra in his solar barque (also solar barge), in endless fights, night after night. Image thanks to Soutekh67:


10.04  Snake = Water [3] • Ra's Solar boat sailing onto a coiled snake

As seen on the representation of Seth attacking Apep (below image), the body of Apep is actually fully supporting the barque. Apep is painted in blue, and his body is also suggesting the waves : the barque is sailing onto the snake representation of Apep.


Great Pyramid Giza King Chamber of Pharaoh Khufu Kheops Granite Sarcophagus Nile God Hapi

The piled-up rocks over Hapi's cavern in the Isis temple relief at Philae is the representation of the King's chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza.


10.05  Hapi in his cavern is the deification of the waters of the King's chamber


Apep Ancient Egyptian Great Serpent Snake God Apophis of the Underworld

The Sycamore tree putting its weight upon Apep and pressurizing the waters of the inclined well.

Overthrowing of Apep in the Theban Tomb TT359, located in Deir el-Medina, part of the Theban Necropolis. It is the burial place of the ancient Egyptian workman Inherkhau, who was Foreman of the Lord of the Two Lands in the Place of Truth during the reigns of Ramesses III and Ramesses IV (Wikipedia). Image thanks to kairoinfo4u:


10.06  Pressurization of the inclined well: the Sycamore tree is putting all its weight upon Apep

The sycamore fig tree that appears on the above image of Apep in TT359 has raised some problem until I stopped thinking about it in a "static" way and completely disconnected from the cutting that is made by the cat on the left part of the image.

We've seen that Apep is a metaphor of the inclined well waters, and that it's cutting is a representation of the small amount of pressurized water getting out of the well.

On this image, the cut is made right in front of our eyes: it means that at this very moment, the well is pressurized. It also means that the sycamore fig tree is about what is causing the pressurization.

1 • If we look closely, the trunk of the fig tree seems to be completely surrounded by the body of the snake, and nearly absorbed by it. The snake (the water) is all around the trunk of the tree; it means that the sycamore tree is actually depicted immersed into the water.

2 • Also, it almost looks like Apep had been punched down by the tree and he is held down on the ground like fighters would do. All the weight of the tree is actually constraining the body of the snake, and that is the representation of the pressurization of the waters of the inclined well.

The trunk of the sycamore tree is only a metaphor of the impactor getting inside the inclined well and pressurizing its waters. In short, the sycamore fig tree is the impactor, and most probably the impactor of the Great Pyramid was made of Sycamore wood.


10.07  Pressurization of the inclined well: the interlocked fibers of the Sycamore wood Ficus sycomorus* and its high hit resistance

Knowing that the sycamore fig tree was a representation of the impactor, we now have to ask ourselves if that impactor was made from sycamore fig wood or if this is another metaphor.

From the Majofesa website, about Ficus sycomorus* : "The sycamore wood is one of the toughest that exists in the timber market, according to hits, weather and time. It even acquired a sacred value thanks to its durability, as the Pharaohs and the most powerful men of the Ancient Egypt wanted their sarcophagi was built with this material to be preserved better and longer. It was believed that in time their mummies would reach a sacred aspect."

"The grain is interlocked."

In other words, the Sycamore would have been a perfect candidate for the purpose of the impactor : its interlocking fibers make this wood very hit resistant.

*Ficus sycomorus, not to be confused with unrelated trees. From Wikipedia : "The term sycamore spelled with an A has also been used for unrelated trees: the Great Maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, or plane trees, Platanus. The spelling "sycomore", with an O rather than an A as the second vowel is, if used, specific to Ficus sycomorus."


Apep Apophis God Great Serpent Snake of Chaos Nehebkau Book of the Dead

The pressurization of the waters of the well by the legs and paws metaphors.

Image on the left: the snake god Nehebkau (also spelled Nehebu-Kau), Spell 87 from the Book of The Dead Center: The Spearing of Apep (From the Papyrus of Nekhtu-Amen).


10.08  Pressurization of the inclined well: the legs onto or under the snake

It is the same kind of association with the legs and the snakes : legs are also referring to the weight that is putting pressure upon snakes (upon water), whether they are onto the snake, or under the snake, like with Nehebkau (above).

It is amazing and fascinating to see that logic can be completely forgotten and different pieces of the puzzle voluntarily misplaced. This treachery obviously has the only intent to give us misleads. The positions of the legs under the snake and the Sycomore tree just next to Apep instead of onto Apep, in many representations are precisely that : misleads.

One could try to decipher the serpent walking on human legs, forever, he'll never understand the trick: the real meaning of the legs are about pressure upon something. Legs should be represented onto the serpent like on the second above image, not the opposite.


Apep God Apophis Killing Great Serpent of Chaos Ancient Egyptian Underworld Restraint

The restraining of the Great Serpent Apep is a metaphor of the containment of the pressurized waters of the inclined well of the Great Pyramid of Giza. The restraining of Apep in the above relief from Ramesses KV19 tomb, is another representation of the containment of the inclined well pressurized waters. Once pressurized and contained into the well, a small amount of the "powered" waters can be redirected towards the evaporative cooling passage.


10.09  The restraining of Apep is the representation of the containment of the inclined well pressurized waters

We've seen that the Great Serpent Apep was a metaphor of the inclined well waters and that the fall of the impactor into the well pressurized it. The forces at play were so high that not only it was at the origin of some of the more impressive parts of the fights between Ra and Apep (the thunder noises, the rumble and trembling, etc.), but it also put the well on tremendous structural forces. That was the mission of the girdle stones : maintain the structural integrity of the well.

So, when we are looking at the restraint of the Great Serpent Apep, on the above image from Ramesses KV19 tomb, we are looking at the representation of the water that was restrained inside the well. The ropes are representations of the restraint, and the red elements in a inverted U shape, are the girdle stones: the upper girdles are actually 2 U-shaped half girdles stacked on top of each other. 


10.10  Apep worship is a gradual process of dismemberment and disposal, with water references

These are excerpts from "In an annual rite called the Banishing of Chaos, priests would build an effigy of Apep that was thought to contain all of the evil and darkness in Egypt, and burn it to protect everyone from Apep's evil for another year. The Egyptian priests had a detailed guide to fighting Apep, referred to as The Books of Overthrowing Apep (or the Book of Apophis, in Greek)."

"The chapters described a gradual process of dismemberment and disposal, and include : Spitting Upon Apep / Defiling Apep with the Left Foot / Taking a Lance to Smite Apep / Fettering Apep / Taking a Knife to Smite Apep / Putting Fire Upon Apep".

My interpretation is that the rituals practiced by the worshippers of Apep, once a year, were reproducing the operating cycles of the inclined well pressurization: it started with giving water to Apep (the "Spitting upon Apep"), then putting him under pressure, like with the sycamore metaphor on the Tomb of Inherkau TT359 ("Defiling Apep with the left foot"), then restraining him ("Fettering Apep") and finally watching him cut into tiny pieces in the form of flying sparks as a metaphor of the small amount of pressurized water ejected from the well on every cycle ("Putting fire Upon Apep").

It also probably is a reference to the high heat of the Solvay towers that would have been associated with fire. The water made cold was created to cool down the "Solvay fire".

Please note that "Taking a Lance to Smite Apep" appears twice. The first one is most probably referring to the cutting of Apep into equal size pieces, while the second one is referring to "coughing up all that Apep had swallowed".

Also, the rituals are described as "a gradual process of dismemberment and disposal".


Apep Ancient Egyptian Great Serpent Snake God of Chaos Apophis Underworld Water Metaphor 2

The multiple cutting of Apep is a representation of the multiple ejection of a small amount of pressurized water from the inclined well, towards the evaporative cooling passage.

"Cat Killing a Serpent" facsimile painting copy of a scene in the tomb of Sennedjem (TT 1) in Deir el-Medina of western Thebes. The cat killing the serpent is associated with Chapter 17 in the Book of the Dead. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York:

Wall relief of Apep cut into pieces, temple of Edfu. Photograph by Rémih:

Top right: otherthrowing of Apep, from Tomb TT335 of the sculptor Nakhtamon. East side Box 4:


10.11  The cutting of the Great Serpent Apep in equal length segments of 14.6 meters

It is clear on the above images that the goal was not to kill the Great Serpent Apep, but to cut it in equal length segments. The cut is precisely made the same way we would do ourselves today, when we want to cut a string with a knife: we make a loop and make the cut vertically, from the top down.

Also, on the right image, the sign above the serpent, is the Egyptian "water ripple" hieroglyph (U+13216, Gardiner N35).

From "Apep was seen as a giant snake or serpent leading to such titles as Serpent from the Nile and Evil Dragon. Some elaborations said that he stretched 16 yards in length and had a head made of flint".

Maybe this "16 yards" (14.6 meters) data is genuine and indicates the real measurement of a particular part of the inclined well design that had to deal with pressurized water; it could be about a pipe in which the Atum pressurized water was supplying the fog nozzle.

Also the mention of Apep's head that is made of flint is certainly not to disregard. Flint is a material that was used to produce sparks and ignite fire; and that is probably referring to the "lake of fire" or "water of fire" that ancient Egyptians were commonly associating with Apep and the Underworld.

Is the "water of fire" the pressurized water? Was some kind of equipment dealing with pressurized water, actually made of flint, or is it just about the metaphor of the pressurized water that can hurt or burn?


Killing of the Great Serpent Apep Apophis of the Underworld Cut into Pieces Relief from KV 17 Tomb of Sety I

Relief from the tomb of Sety I, KV 17. Photograph thanks to kairoinfo4u and posted on flickr


10.12  The Great Serpent Apep is a metaphor of the pressurized waters of the inclined well

The Great Serpent Apep is one of these snake metaphors representing the water used to power up the Great Pyramid; on the above image, the goal is clearly not to kill Apep, not even to do him any harm, but really to cut it into multiple pieces of equal size.

"Apophis, the god of chaos (isfet), was an enormous serpent who attempted to stop the sun-boat's journey every night by consuming it or by stopping it in its tracks with a hypnotic stare. During the evening, the Egyptians believed that Ra set as Atum or in the form of a ram. The night boat would carry him through the underworld and back towards the east in preparation for his rebirth. These myths of Ra represented the sun rising as the rebirth of the sun by the sky-goddess Nut."

"Apep, also called Apophis, was the god of chaos and Ra's arch-enemy. He was said to lie just below the horizon line, trying to devour Ra as Ra traveled through the underworld."


Ancient Egyptian Board Game Mehen Apep Apophis Chaos Great Serpent Snake Goose 2

The ancient Egyptian Mehen "board games" showing coiled snakes cut into equal size pieces, are representations of the endless ejection of a small amount of pressurized water from the well.


10.13  The Mehen game boards are representations of the Great Serpent Apep cut into equal size pieces

Amazingly, this multiple times cutting of the Great Serpent Apep into equal length pieces, is exactly what is depicting the famous ancient Egyptian Mehen board game.

"Mehen is a board game which was played in ancient Egypt. The game was named in reference to Mehen, a snake deity in ancient Egyptian religion."

It is interesting to see that some of these Mehen artifacts also show the head of a goose, that is once again an animal that can attack snakes. Another interesting question, would be to know why isn't it a cat or a cat's paw that is joined to the artifact, but a goose. Is the fact that the goose is a farm animal important?

From "5 Farm Animals That Kill Snakes" at "Geese may appear to be gentle and harmless, but they are among the type of farm animals that kill snakes. When the need arises, a goose loses all of its gentle nature and turns fierce. Countless times, geese have been seen overpowering small snakes by killing them. Scenarios like this often occur when the snakes try to attack the offspring of the goose. In the course of trying to protect its offspring, a goose can end up killing a snake."


10.14  The link between Mehen artifacts and Apep cutting : water distribution

• The Ballas Mehen was found covering a pot…

Following excerpts are from: "Ancient Egyptians at Play, Board Games across Borders". Walter Crist, Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi, Alex de Voogt (Bloomsbury Egyptology):

"Of the few boards that have good archaeological provenance, the oldest comes from the late Naqada Tomb 19 at Ballas, now in the Ashmolean Museum (Petrie & Quibell 1896: 42), and dates to the end of the fourth millennium BCE (Rothöhler 1999: 11). Found covering a pot, it was likely a votive representation of a mehen board rather than one used for play, since it was only 10.5 cm in diameter (Kendall 2007: 37), but appears in the form of other full-sized game boards."

• And another one was most certainly also a jar lid

"Another mehen game without provenance, now in a private collection, may have been a jar lid much like the Ballas game as it is only 4.5 cm in diameter and unlikely to have been used for play considering it contains 336 very small spaces (Kendall 2007: 37). It depicts a coiled serpent, with a tail and head, much like the others already discussed, but with an important distinction: four holes* were drilled on different parts of the serpent and may have been filled with a colored paste or some kind of inlay, distinguishing those spaces from the others (Kendall 2007: 37)."

*Unfortunately, no picture of this particular Mehen artifact is available ; probably the position of these 4 additional holes could be of some interest.


10.15  Were any of the Mehen artifacts designed as game boards?

What we know for sure, is that some of the Mehen board games hadn't been designed to be played with, whether because they are too small, the segments too tiny, or for both of these reasons.

The question is: were any of the Mehen artifacts designed as game boards?


Killing of Apep in KV9 Tomb of Ramses V VI Ancient Egypt

Tomb KV9 of Ramses V-VI. Fourth corridor, ninth division of the Book of Gates. Photograph by R. Prazeres


10.16  Another representation of the pressurization of the inclined well waters in KV9

This scene is also a representation of the pressurization of the inclined well. This time, this is not the impactor that is used to put weight on the body of the snake, but the characters themselves. Probably they are also meant to represent the cutting of the snake in equal length segments.


10.17  Apep and the combination of 4 different metaphors

In my opinion, the metaphors about Apep are the most striking of all the metaphor combinations used by ancient Egyptians I know of, and it is in 4 acts :

1 • The metaphor of the pressurization of the inclined well: the sycamore tree

2 • The metaphor of the pressurized waters: the Great Serpent Apep

3 • The metaphor of the pressurized waters containment: the restraining of Apep by the ropes (see farther below).

4 • The metaphor of a portion of the pressurized water injected into the cooling passage: the Great Serpent Apep cutting and the Mehen artifacts                

What all this metaphoric art is saying about the ancient Egyptian lost civilization is really admirable. I already had the utmost respect for the beauty of the Great Pyramid functioning and its marvelous impactor operating cycle, but I am starting to believe their artistic capabilities were at least equally outstanding.

The fact that their extraordinary extremely high sophisticated society was so diminished by modern people is totally beyond me.


Ancient Gods of the Egyptians Apep Apophis Sir Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge

The confirmation that the cutting of Apep in many equal length segments was actually related to the injection of pressurized water into the horizontal passage, could come from the Book of the Dead.

Please note that on this picture, there are 2 snakes, but they are really one single serpent : Apep. What is represented here is that the attack on Apep is on 2 parts, on a temporal perspective :

1 • The attack on the head of the snake is representing the coughing up of the swallowed water : that is the small amount of pressurized water ejection process, on every cycle

2 • The multiple cutting of the snake into equal length segments indicates the repetition of that sequential cycle, over and over again


10.18  The Book of the Dead serpent that swallows in one gulp part of the stream… and cough it all up

Excerpt from “The Gods of the Egyptians; Studies in Egyptian Mythology", Volume 1 by Sir Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge, 1904:

About the Book of the Dead, chapter 108: "At about noon, the barque of Ra reaches the summit of a mountain where a serpent 50 cubits (26 meters) in length is found whose foremost 3 cubits are of silex."

"This serpent swallows in one gulp part of the stream. Set, at the front of the boat, directs his lance of fire against him, and causes him to cough up all that he had swallowed".  Behind the boat, a lion headed entity runs a blade through the serpent Apep."

What we have here, is the same scene as the one with the sycamore tree : the big serpent Apep not only is allowing the barque to move (it is in the first place, the water coming from the King's chamber), but the barque is also putting its weight on him. That weight is pressurizing the water Apep: the cutting can be made into equal size portions of water, and injected in the horizontal passage.

That serpent that swallows in one gulp part of the stream and cough up back all of it, is describing the operating cycle  of the pressurized water injection into the evaporative cooling passage.

I first thought that a pipe was set inside the inclined well, filled up with water between every cycle, and that same amount of water would then be ejected out of the well due to the pressurization. But maybe there was no pipe at all.

I'm still not sure what is the flint (silex) part about : is it the fog nozzle itself or the part that was set at the exit of the well ?

In this part of the Apep myth, everything is depicted but everything is also mixed up :

• The summit of the mountain is the top of the grand gallery (the upper platform)

• The barque is the impactor

• The 50 cubits length serpent is the part of the inclined well that was flooded

• The swallowing of the stream by the serpent is the filling up of the well between each cycle

• The coughing up of what the serpent had swallowed and the cutting of Apep is the ejection of the pressurized water


Apophis Great Serpent Apep God of Chaos Egypt Snake Atum Creation Ancient Egyptian Underworld

Events involving snakes (water) for the production of evaporative cold, in the ancient Egyptian metaphoric style.


10.19  The main deifications of the water used to power up the Great Pyramid


10.20  The discontinuous high pressurized water injection towards the fog nozzle

When the impactor hits the water of the inclined well, it pressurizes it and a small amount of its water is then ejected from the well.

A small amount of the waters of the well is extracted from it, and that is the real meaning of the Great Serpent Apep being attacked by representations of Sun god Ra: nobody is trying to kill the snake, they are just cutting him into pieces, of equal lengths. 

(WHF): "Apophis is sometimes depicted as a coiled serpent but, often, as dismembered, being cut into pieces, or under attack. A famous depiction along these lines comes from Spell 17 of The Egyptian Book of the Dead in which the great cat Mau kills Apophis with a knife".

(WHF): "According to the most popular creation myth, the god Atum stood on the primordial mound, amidst the swirling waters of chaos, and began the work of creation".

My comments: the ejected water is then directed towards the fog nozzle of the horizontal passage, passing through the bottom platform of the gallery, most probably with water splashes everywhere, and the cold can now be created.

From this part, we can think that the "primordial mound" would then represent the bottom platform of the grand gallery.


10.21  The Great Serpent of the Underworld Apep

The work on the inclined well and its water turned out to be like no other part of the study, because this time pretty much everything is perfectly described metaphorically in ancient Egyptian texts mentioning Apep, the Great Serpent god of Chaos of the Underworld.

In the following subsections, the excerpts are coming from Joshua J. Mark, and can be find in the World History Foundation Encyclopedia (Canada), "WHF" and from Wikipedia's page on Apep:


Great Pyramid of Egypt Pharaoh Khufu at Giza Gizeh King and Queen Chamber First Ascending Passage Granite Plug Inclined Well


10.22  The Four main ancient Egyptian gods who deified the water that powered up the Great Pyramid of Giza: Hapi, Hapy, Apep and Atum


10.23  Apep (Apophis) is the metaphor of the pressurized water of the inclined well (from the primordial still waters)

Ancient Egyptians used an impactor that was endlessly lifted to the top of the grand gallery and then released into the steep slope of the central gutter to gain speed and energy before it hit the waters of the inclined well and pressurizes it. It is possible that the cycle took about 15 to 20 minutes: the time needed by the crew of the grand gallery, to lift the impactor back up from the water of the inclined well to the top of the gallery. This cycle would have been realized all day long, for weeks, months, who knows…

(WHF): "No matter how many times Apophis was defeated and killed, he always rose again to life and attacked the sun god's boat. The most powerful gods and goddesses would defeat the serpent in the course of every night, but during the day, as the sun god sailed slowly across the sky, Apophis regenerated and was ready again by dusk to resume the war".

My comments: in the Apep Myth, the cycle doesn't take 15 or 20 minutes but an entire day ; that is because, from the impactor point of view, when it got inside the inclined well, it was night ; and when it got out of it, and reached the gallery, day light came back again.

In Apep myth, when they talk about night and day, that is actually depicting the operating cycle of the grand gallery.


10.24  Nu are the primordial still waters of the inclined well, before being hit by the impactor

From Wikipedia: "Nu (also Nenu, Nunu, Nun), feminine Naunet (also Nunut, Nuit, Nent, Nunet), is the deification of the primordial watery abyss in the Hermopolitan Ogdoad cosmogony of ancient Egyptian religion."

"The name is paralleled with nen "inactivity" in a play of words in, "I raised them up from out of the watery mass [nu], out of inactivity [nen]". The name has also been compared to the Coptic noun "abyss; deep".


10.25  The Solar Barque (Solar Barge) is the impactor

Of course, the Apophis Myth doesn't mention any impactor, but it is right there: it is the barque (or the barge), because to get the impactor moving they got to constantly pour water inside the fixed wooden caisson of the central gutter.

On some images, we see that the barque is actually sustained by the Great Serpent. It is called the Solar Barque, because again, the grand gallery was considered as Day, whereas the inclined well was considered as the (Underworld) Night.

(WHF): "The sun was Ra's great barge which sailed through the sky from dawn to dusk and then descended into the underworld."

(WHF): "In a text known as the Book of Gates, the goddesses Isis, Neith, and Serket, assisted by other deities, capture Apophis and restrain him in nets held down by monkeys, the sons of Horus, and the great earth god Geb, where he is then chopped into pieces; the next night, though, the serpent is whole again and waiting for the barge of the sun when it enters the underworld."

We'll see that only the wooden part of the impactor was actually seen as a boat. The wooden part was only the vessel for the granite weight that had been glorified into Osiris.


10.26  Apep god of Chaos : the impactor descent and crash

Over time I think it will be possible to evaluate how fast was moving the impactor, but one thing that will be very hard to reproduce or evaluate is the sound of the impactor fall, and the extreme deafening noise at the moment of the impact with the waters of the well. Especially with the grand gallery acting like a huge resonance chamber.

Of course, the descent and the crash into the well, would also have caused the structure to tremble.

(Wikipedia): "It was thought that his terrifying roar would cause the underworld to rumble… Apep's movements were thought to cause earthquakes, and his battles with Set may have been meant to explain the origin of thunderstorms."

(WHF): "Apophis is associated with earthquakes, thunder, darkness, storms, and death."


Solar Barque Sun God Ra Re Boat Fighting the Great Serpent Apep of Chaos Seth Underworld

Apep (also Apophis) was the Great Serpent ancient Egyptian god of Chaos (isfet) that reigned over the Underworld and fought sun and creator god Ra in his solar barque (also solar barge), in endless fights, night after night. Image from Wikimedia Commons, author: Soutekh67


10.27  The Apep (Apophis) myth is completely inverted and doesn't make any sense

The myth about the Great Serpent Apep, god of Chaos of the Underworld and Sun god Ra, actually doesn't make any sense if you really think it through.

A proper and convincing story, would have been to say that Sun god Ra would fight the Great Serpent Apep (Apophis) during the day, he is the Sun god after all, and he would have kill the snake just before dusk. Then Apep would resurrect during the night (he is supposed to live in the Underworld after all) and restart the fighting cycle with Ra, at dawn.

But the actual myth is the exact opposite of that: Ra is fighting Apep during the night, and Apep resurrects during day light.

The myth about Apophis the Great Serpent only makes sense if you have the real backstory of the operating cycle of the grand gallery and the inclined well of the Great Pyramid of Khufu.


10.28  The Apep myth is the representation of the inclined well operating

The key element of the evaporative cold production was the ascending passage that actually was partially flooded and every 15 to 20 minutes, its waters were pressurized by the fall of the impactor operated from the grand gallery. Every time it got pressurized, a small amount of its waters were ejected into the horizontal passage where the fog nozzle was set to create the fog of microdroplets that would evaporate and cool the air.


10.29  The Great Serpent Apep of the Underworld is a metaphor of the pressurized Waters of the inclined well

I've been looking for evidence of the reality of the flooded inclined well and its water for quite a while now, until I really started to work on Apophis (Apep), the famous Snake of the Underworld.

First of all, I must admit I should have known better and find out about Apep way sooner, because I've already found out about another snake: the Dendera snake. On the Dendera reliefs, the snake represents the way that water, coming from the inclined well is transformed into a fog of microdroplets of liquid water. That water evaporates and cool the air.

The Dendera snake is a small snake, and it is a small amount of water coming from the inclined well. Well, guess what metaphor ancient Egyptians used to represent the inclined well water: yep, a big snake.

The small Dendera snake is a portion of the big Apep snake, so how did they represent that portion: they cut a piece of the big snake. Once again here, everything is nothing else than metaphors. There is no snake and no killing or slaying of the snake: they just represented the fact that maybe about a few hundred liters of water from the pressurized well was injected into the horizontal evaporative cooling passage, sequencially.

Like for the explanation of the knives of the Dendera reliefs, the knife used here on the Great Serpent Apep is also metaphoric. The knife isn't here to kill the snake, it doesn't even really mean cut. The knife, like in Dendera, means separate.

A small quantity of water had to be separated from the rest and injected, through the Nefertem pipe to the fog nozzle of the horizontal cooling passage.

• The Underworld (the Duat) represents the entire interior layout of the Great Pyramid

• The primordial waters Nu (Nun, Nunet) represent the still waters of the inclined well

• The Great Serpent Apep (Apophis) represents the waters of the inclined well pressurized by the impactor

• The solar barque represents the impactor (actually it is only the wooden part of the impactor)

• The night and day cycle represents the impactor operating cycle (in and out of the well)

• The overthrowing of Apep is the ejection of a small amount of pressurized water from the well towards the horizontal cooling passage


Atum Ancient Egyptian God of Chaos Apep Apophis

The Great Serpent Apep giving birth to Atum and Atum looking back at where he is coming from.

This is a representation of Atum "defeating" Apep, the ancient Egyptian great serpent god of Chaos of the Underworld, as explained by scholars. But if Atum is also frequently represented as a snake, it is because Atum really is a portion of Apep. Atum is a actually a metaphor of every buckle of the coiled snake Apep. In other words, Atum is  a small amount of Apep, that is a small amount of its water. Atum is the deification of the small amount of pressurized water ejected from the well after the impactor has rammed into the inclined well.

Center relief from the Tomb of pharaoh Ramses I. Thebes West:


10.30  The secret real meaning of Atum defeating Apep: the creation of Atum himself

1 • The theoretical part : "Atum is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearance of a snake."

2 • The illustration : the relief depicting Atum "defeating" Apep, the ancient Egyptian great serpent god of chaos of the Underworld (above photograph), in the Tomb of pharaoh Ramses I, Thebes.

If Atum emerged from chaos waters, and is looking to Apep without doing anything to him (no knife and no blood), what is Atum really doing is looking back at himself: Atum is looking at where he is coming from.

In other words, Apep is the chaos waters and Atum is made of that water.

This idea that Atum is actually made of water is reinforced by his representation in an human form with the skin painted vivid blue (above left photograph).

Also, it is said that "Atum was […] the first being to emerge from the darkness and endless watery abyss that existed before creation" . "Darkness" and "abyss", would be very appropriate talking about the inclined well waters, where Atum is coming from.


10.31  Atum is the representation of the small amount of pressurized water ejected from the inclined well

Among all gods, Atum really is of great importance, and some would say he is the most important of all, the first creation god as explained by every scholar.

This study explains why he was so important, why he was seen as the first god of creation.

Just think of "cold production" when you read "creation" in academic articles and everything will come into place: Atum, as the small amount of pressurized water ejected from the waters of the inclined well, was the last step of the process, just before the creation of the cold.

Excerpt from Wikipedia's page on Atum:

"Atum was a self-created deity, the first being to emerge from the darkness and endless watery abyss that existed before creationA product of the energy and matter contained in this chaos, he created his children—the first deities, out of loneliness. He produced from his own sneeze, or in some accounts, semen, Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. The brother and sister, curious about the primeval waters that surrounded them, went to explore the waters and disappeared into the darkness." 

Atum had in him, all the energy of the inclined well waters and all the energy of the impactor that constantly rammed into the well. This is only because the small amount of water representing Atum, was under pressure, that the fog of microdroplets could have been created ; hence the reference to the fact that Atum created Shu and Tefnut from his own sneeze or his own semen.

And all that vocabulary, about energy, creation, liquids under pressure and water is present in every description of Atum we can find. The only reason why it doesn't matter that Atum created Shu and Tefnut from his own sneeze or his own semen, is because it is only a metaphor referring to the spray of a liquid under high pressure.


Atum Ancient Egyptian Snake God of Creation Atem Great Serpent

Atum represented in an human form (left) and as a snake in snake coffin artifacts from the Brooklyn Museum: Snake Coffin Accession Number 36.624 (center) and Snake Coffin (Atum) Accession Number 16.600 (right).


10.32  Atum ascending from the chaos waters

"In the Book of the Dead, which was still current in the Graeco-Roman period, the sun god Atum is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearance of a snake, the animal renewing itself every morning."  

"Early myths state that Atum created the god Shu and goddess Tefnut by spitting them out of his mouth.[…] Other myths state Atum created by masturbation."  

Of course, the "chaos waters" are directly referring to the pressurized waters, after they have been hit (rammed) by the fall of the impactor.

The constant reference to the day cycle is a little more tricky to understand: the cycle is not about the Sun, but about the impactor getting in and out of the well. The real cycle is about the operating of the impactor. When it got into the well, it was like going into the night and when it got back into the Grand Gallery, it was like going back into the day, into light (whether it was light from the Sun or from lamps).


10.33  Atum, the first creation god, father of Shu and Tefnut, was also represented as a snake

Atum was the first creation god of ancient Egypt and the father of Shu (the god of dry and warm air) and Tefnut (the goddess of spat water and humidity).

During the Amarna period, if Akhenaten and Nefertiti represented themselves precisely in these two particular deities while all the other traditional gods were banished, it is because they wanted to be associated with the creation of the most magical part of the Solvay process : its evaporative cooling.


Atum Creation God Ancient Egyptian Mehen Board Game

Mehen board game photographed by ©Rowan Millar, posted on flickr:


10.34  Atum in front of the coiled serpent Apep : Apep has already been cut multiple times

As we can see on the above image, the character "defeating" Apep is Atum.

This scene is very important because it shows the continuity between these two characters: Atum is actually coming from Apep : Atum is the small amount of pressurized water ejected out of the inclined well by the fall of the impactor.

The first thing to note on the scene where Atum stands in front of Apep, is that Atum doesn't have any knife : Atum is not killing or cutting the snake. Actually, Apep is already cut. That is the meaning of the coils of the serpent: each buckle represent a cycle of water pressurization and ejection, and Atum is a representation of each of these buckles.

The Mehen artifacts, showing a snake that has been cut multiple times in equal size portions, are exactly describing that part of the real explanation of the myth about Apep and Atum.


Creation God Atum Nefertem God Nefertum of Lotus Flower Blossom Deity Ancient Egypt

Right : Nefertem emblems from the Louvre Museum : inventory number N 5118 © Musée du Louvre / Christian Décamps: and ME299 © Musée du Louvre:


10.35  It is well known that Atum is indeed passing through Nefertem: the "life force of the creator god Atum transmitted through Nefertem" reference

What I'm saying is that Atum was a representation of the pressurized water ejected from the inclined well, and that it was transformed on the lower platform of the grand gallery into a fog of microdroplets of liquid water inside the horizontal passage. For that to happen, a pipe had to be set on that platform, as well as a fog nozzle.

I'm also saying that these two pieces of hardware were represented into Nefertem's emblems : a pipe and a lotus flower. The lotus blossom being the fog nozzle.

In other words, we can say that Atum (the pressurized water from the well) was passing through Nefertem (the hardware); and amazingly, this idea of Atum passing through Nefertem is already well known :

Excerpt from Michael J. Masley : "Meeks points out that the relationship between the sun and the lotus-Nefertem is well attested in the Pyramid Texts but the birth of the sun-god in the lotus blossom is known only after the Amarna period. Pyramid Texts Spell 249 (Pyr. § 266a): xa (wnjs)| m nfr-tm m zSSn r Srt ra “Unis will appear as Nefertem, as the lotus at the sun-god’s nose” corresponds to the image of the Egyptian deities giving life (anx) to the nose of the king and thus the life-force of the creator god Atum is transmitted to the sun-god Re through Nefertem. As such, Nefertem is a mediator that connects the two great gods."


I've highlighted in bold the important parts of the above text that allows us to understand the fine relation that exists between Nefertem and Atum: they are both connected to the cold production but each one is a very particular aspect of it.

We need to keep in mind that all the efforts on the evaporative cooling, were for one reason only: the chemical "magical" manufacturing of sodium carbonate, the natron that would be used for the mummification of the pharaoh; hence the reference to the "life-force" and Sun god Re.


The Great Pyramid of the Cold Pharaoh Khufu Kheops Egypt Coursol Bruno French Egyptologist Layman Operating Diagram Apep Apophis

Diagram of the operating Great Pyramid of Egypt for evaporative cold production (hypothetically for chemical manufacturing cooling of pure sodium carbonate "natron", the salt used for the mummification of pharaohs). When in operation, the elevation of the Great Pyramid was not finished, and it is only after the shutdown procedure and the draining of the inclined well, that the 3 granite plugs were finally close to one another.



© 2023 Copyright All rights reserved.

The Pyramids of the Cold v2 by French Egyptologist Layman Bruno Coursol Great Serpent Apep Apophis Great Pyramid of Giza


The Pyramids of the Cold version 2 (May 2023 - May 2024)

Summary of the study and Table of Contents


Part A: The evaporative cooling process

Section 1 • The horizontal evaporative cooling passage layout

Section 2 • The Dendera Light and the creation of the fog of microdroplets by the fog nozzle

Section 3 • The water cycle glorifying metaphors: Geb, Shu, Nut, Tefnut

Section 4 • The theorization of the evaporative cooling process by Akhenaten and Nefertiti

Section 5 • The theorization of the evaporative cooling process in the Weighing of the Heart


Part B • The inclined well of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Section 6 • The inclined well layout and the girdle stones

Section 7 • The Taweret "Lady of the Well" temporary sealing granite plug of the well

Section 8 • The Bes temporary wedging block immobilizing Taweret

Section 9 • The draining of the well

Section 10 • The Great Serpent Apep and the snake water metaphors

Section 11 • The Was scepter and the control over "snakes"

Section 12 • The beating Heart of the Great Pyramid


Part C • The composite impactor of the Great Pyramid (Horus, Ra, Osiris, Medjed, Sobek...)

Section 13 • The wooden and stone composite design of the impactor: Ra and Osiris

Section 14 • The endlessly immersed Osiris stone and the seed metaphor

Section 15 • The Anubis sledge and the bobsled mask

Section 16 • The sledge runners of the impactor: Thoth

Section 17 • Medjed: the smiter nobody can ever see

Section 18 • The Apis bull and the ramming impactor's metaphors

Section 19 • The crocodile god Sobek impactor (more or less) floating in the waters of the well

Section 20 • The Obelisk and the Benben stone rising from water


Part D • The Grand Gallery's of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Section 21 • The Sacred "sloping paths" of the "oval-shaped cavern of the act of Hauling"

Section 22 • The central wooden caisson of the Gallery: Sekhmet and the Triad of Memphis

Section 23 • The hauling ropes of the Grand Gallery: Isis, Nephthys, Hatmehit, Wadjet and Nekhbet

Section 24 • The hauling Beetle and the Seven Scorpions of Isis

Section 25 • The Great Cow goddess Hathor and the operating cycle of the hauling Beetle

Section 26 • The 10 operating phases of the Grand Gallery

Section 27 • The guide to the Afterlife for the smart traveler and the canopic jars

Section 28 • The scarab amulet glorifications of the hauling Beetle


Part E • The very large and roughly finished sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid

Section 29 • The biosand filter sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid

Section 30 • The Elephantine Triad deification of the biosand filter of the Great Pyramid

Section 31 • The Great Pyramid's operating flat roof and the water supply issue


Part F • Chemical manufacturing and industrial cooling before the Great Pyramid

Section 32 • The Serdab and the "Refreshment of the Gods" Step Pyramid of Djoser

Section 33 • Sneferu's Red Pyramid and the accumulated ammonia

Section 34 • The Disc of Sabu and the Solvay process for pure natron manufacturing


Part G • The tremendous impact of the Great Pyramid on the whole ancient world

Section 35 • The hidden secrets of the Hermetica Emerald Tablet (around 1600 C.E.)

Section 36 • Thor and the magical Hammer in the Great Hall of Bilskirnir

Section 37 • The Churning of the waters of the Ocean of Milk (Hindu mythology)

Section 38 • The Tibetan prayer wheels and the Grand Gallery's operation

Section 39 and Conclusion • The cooling water of spitting Kebechet


Part H • Epilogue

Section 40 • The smiting Ark of the Covenant and the Ten Commandments

Section 41 • The 293 kilograms windlass Staff of Moses and Aaron... and the First Plague of Egypt: water turning into blood

Section 42 • Ezekiel's Four Egyptian pulley "Wheels within the Wheels" and the four angel ropes

Section 43 • David, Saul, two giant Goliaths, five little stones, an aeolian harp... and a weaver's beam

Section 44 • The holy water fonts and the biosand filter


Part I • The magicians of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Section 45 • The Legend of Khufu and the "magician" polymath Imhotep

Section 46 • The two magical eyes of Isis and the brilliant but painful flame of her twin sister's braids

Section 47 • The Aegis Shield of Athena "Subduer of the Winds" and the upper hatch of the central wooden caisson

Section 48 • The Seven Magical Words spoken by 'Divine Sealer' Goddess of Arrows and Bronze Neith


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