Photograph of the cavity of Al-Ma'mun : "Great Pyramid Passages, Volume 1, by John and Morton Edgar, 1910" : https://archive.org/details/GreatPyramidPassagesVol11910Edition/page/n293/mode/thumb
The Pyramids of the Cold - Section 8 • The draining of the Inclined Well
In summary : at the end of the period of operation of the Great Pyramid and the shutdown procedure, the inclined well had to be drained out of its water, because all the equipment had to be taken out of the pyramid : the copper plate cold exchanger from the Queen's chamber, all the equipment of the Grand Gallery like the Hauling Beetle, etc..
Their only chance to do it, was to use the inclined well as a passage out of the pyramid, and for that to happen, they had to drain the well : they had to remove the water, and redirect it towards the subterranean chamber using the cavity supposedly digged by Al-Ma'mun.
The draining of the well was triggered by the breaking of the wedging block (represented in the Bes deity) that was supporting what is now known as the upper granite plug, and that was represented in the Taweret deity.
The most incredible, is that the all thing was actually triggered from the grotto of the pyramid : because to trigger the breaking of the wedging block, they simply increased the pressure at the bottom of the well by flooding the Grand Gallery (or maybe just the central gutter that was covered with the fixed wooden caisson). That water came from the King's chamber.
The grotto of the Great Pyramid was a shelter designed to protect the designated man or volunteer person who released the waters of the King's chamber from the inevitable portion of that water that would be passing through the well-shaft of the grotto. Most probably, the man in the shelter, released the impactor for the very last time by pulling a rope, except this time its fall opened-up the King's chamber and let the water flood the gallery.
The cavity of Al-Ma'mun only served the purpose of collecting the inclined well waters for the shutdown procedure of the pyramid. The draining of the well was triggered by the breaking of the wedging block (represented in the Bes deity) that was supporting what is now known as the upper granite plug of the ascending passage, and that was represented in the Taweret hippopotamus deity.
Photograph of the cavity of Al-Ma'mun : "Great Pyramid Passages, Volume 1, by John and Morton Edgar, 1910" : Plate LXIV, page 166 : https://archive.org/details/GreatPyramidPassagesVol11910Edition/page/n174/mode/1up
8.01 The Al-Ma'mun cavity was the water collector for the waters of the well
"Another good job completed yesterday, was the cutting of notches for the feet and hands in the part by which one climbs alongside the Granite Plug up to the First Ascending Passage. When we desire to ascend this passage, -we leave the Descending Passage by the hole forced on its right or west side by Caliph Al Mamoun, about ninety feet down from the Entrance. This hole is in line with the front of the granite stone which lies on the floor of the Descending Passage, The limestone block, "which now rests against the upper end of the granite stone (Plate IX), forms a convenient step by which to gain entrance, for the lower edge of the hole is about two feet up from the floor of the Descending Passage. From here the forced hole tends upward and west- ward Into a large cavernous space about twelve feet in height. Communicating with this space at the upper portion of its north-westward side is the inner or southern extremity of the long passage which Al Mamoun caused to be excavated from the north face of the Pyramid Plate V. In order to reach the upper end of the Granite Plug, and so ascend the First Ascending Passage, we require to scale the south-east wall of this cavernous space. During my first week here, I secured two photographs showing Hadji Ali Gabri climbing this wall — Plates LXIV and LXV. In both of these he is seen standing "with one foot on a ledge which is situated about three feet above the loose, sandy floor of the space, and the other in a notch. By taking advantage of this ledge and of the notches, we made the ascent at that time without undue difficulty. But now that we have had fresh notches cut, and the old ones deepened, the ascent and descent are much easier. One of the photographs (Plate LXV) presents a near view of the ledge, and also shows the lower end of the First Ascending Passage to better advantage than the other."
Morton Edgar, in "Great Pyramid Passages, Volume 1, by John and Morton Edgar, 1910", paragraph ref. 328, page 167 : https://archive.org/details/GreatPyramidPassagesVol11910Edition/page/n175/mode/1up
Hatshepsut’s birth scene, from Édouard Naville "The Temple of Deir el Bahari" (London, 1896), volume. 2, plate. 50. Image courtesy of the University Library Heidelberg, "The Ebony shrine, northern half of the middle platform" : https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/naville1896bd2/0050
The inclined well of the Great Pyramid of Giza, in period of operation (before the shutdown procedure and the draining of the well).
8.02 Taweret is the representation of the draining of the well because of the water breaking metaphor
The draining of the inclined well would have result in a huge amount of water gushing out of the bottom of the well after the upper granite plug had moved down and revealed the breach.
The metaphor with the water breaking is the origin of Taweret as the goddess of childbirth.
"In Ancient Egyptian religion, Taweret is the protective ancient Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility. The deity is typically depicted as a bipedal female hippopotamus with feline attributes, pendulous female human breasts, the limbs and paws of a lion, and the back and tail of a Nile crocodile.[...] She commonly bears the epithets "Lady of Heaven", "Mistress of the Horizon", "She Who Removes Water", "Mistress of Pure Water", and "Lady of the Birth House" [...] The name "Taweret" (Tȝ-wrt) means "she who is great" or simply "great one". Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taweret
As clearly said by Anneke Stracke in her thesis "The Hippopotamus of Deir el-Medina", goddess Taweret was clearly associated with water :
Excerpt from page 30 of her thesis : "Of the twelve objects within this catalogue that include hieroglyphic epithets of Taweret… three of them make clear mention of her role as a goddess of water. While it is not unthinkable that a hippopotamus goddess should be associated with water, it is still quite unusual that a quarter of all epithets of the goddess which survive from Deir el-Medina feature this role so heavily. The epithets preserved in Deir el-Medina refer to “the pure water”, “lady of the well” and “Taweret, who is in the midst of the purification waters of Nun”. https://studenttheses.universiteitleiden.nl/access/item%3A2624829/view
In short, some of Taweret's epithets are : "the Lady of the Well", "the Big One", "the Great One" and "She Who Removes Water", and she is referring to the upper granite plug (block #3).
In other words, Taweret is the upper granite plug : "The Great One", "The Big One", "The Lady of the Well" and "She Who Removes Water".
The original shape of the Bes wedging block of the inclined well of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
On this incredible picture, the wedging block is actually represented twice : not only we have the original design of the real block, but we have also its metaphorical representation in the god Bes. Image courtesy of Dosseman, from Two Bes-shaped legs for a bed, wood, New Kingdom : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Allard_Pierson_Museum_Bes_Legs_for_bed_7603.jpg
8.03 The actual original design of the wedging block
More than just being able to validate the couple Taweret/Bes as the 2 blocks sealing the inclined well, we can do even better and have a pretty good idea of the real design of the Bes wedging block, thanks to the "Two Bes-shaped legs for a bed", at the Allard Pierson Museum and Knowledge Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
As I have already said, the simple solution that I came up with, is most certainly wrong or at least incomplete.
The major problem is that the little imprint in the floor of the well between G8 and G9 is located against the West wall. If my idea was correct, this imprint would have been located right in the middle of the width of the well, so that there wouldn't have been any force applied against the wall.
Obviously, something is missing, and the wedging block was only part of the solution, but at least, we can start with something and we now also have what is most probably very close to the real original design of that wedging block : a very large base (A) that would have anchored the block into the floor of the well, and a very fragile protruding upper part (B), that was immobilizing the Taweret block, but which was also ready and easy to break on demand.
The diagram of the girdle stones layout in the ascending passage of the Great Pyramid of Giza, functioning as a flooded inclined well. Photograph from tomb KV 11 of Ramesses III, side chamber, image # 21076 by Matjaz Kacicnik, courtesy of ARCE, American Research Center in Egypt in partnership with the American University in Cairo Egyptology Department : https://thebanmappingproject.com/images/21076jpg
During the entire operating period of the pyramid, the bottom of the inclined well was sealed by the Taweret blog : the upper granite plug. Taweret was maintained in position by a wedging block presenting an easy to break protruding part, getting out of the floor of the well. The breaking of that fragile part released the Taweret block and the waters of the well were drained through the dormant breach, between the Girdle Stones G8 and G9.
8.04 The lower end-to-end girdles are arranged in 2 sets with different orientations
When you look attentively to the drawing of the Edgar brothers (plate CXXVIII), showing the girdle imprints on the floor of the passage (red and green short lines), you can see something absolutely amazing : these girdle stones were arranged in 2 sets of girdles, and that these 2 sets were positioned at a different angle to the vertical axis.
This particular layout reveals a dormant breach, just waiting to be opened up, and it is located right where the Al Ma'mun cavity has been digged.
8.05 The breach opening for the shutdown procedure of the pyramid
The 2 sets of girdles with different orientations are opening up to reveal a dormant breach. More amazing is that at the exact location where the breach is positioned, we can find a tiny squared imprint in the floor with a granite plug still stuck inside, and on the other side of the wall is the huge Al-Ma'mun cavity, leading to the subterranean part of the Great Pyramid.
My guess is that this particular layout was designed to drain the well for the shutdown procedure of the pyramid : a small granite block would have been positioned in the small imprint (colored in blue on the drawing), placed against the wall, directly next to the dormant breach.
This is Petrie talking about the part just ahead (south) of the granite plugs : "The present top one is not the original end ; it is roughly broken, and there is a bit of granite still cemented to the floor some way farther South of it". Source : The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh par W. M. Flinders Petrie. Chapter : Ascending Passage, page 21.
When time has come to shut the pyramid down, the impactor is lifted up to the top of the grand gallery one last time, unless this time there is no float anymore. When the impactor is released and enter the inclined well, it doesn't pop back up to the surface but sink to the bottom of the well with high velocity. When it hits the granite plug block n°3 that was dormant all along by this small granite block in the imprint, it opens the breach and all the water is drained trough the cavity of Al-Ma'mun.
The draining of the well was necessary in order to empty completely the pyramid of all its content. More about it farther below, same post (dormant breach, little imprint, draining of the well into the cavity of Al-Ma'mun...).
The representation of the releasing of the impactor of the Great Pyramid of Giza, for the inclined well draining procedure.
Burial chamber relief, tomb of Seti I, KV17 in the Valley of the Kings. Photograph thanks to kairoinfo4U : https://www.flickr.com/photos/manna4u/36500349182/
8.06 The falcon headed man pulling the rope and triggering the draining of the well
The first thing to see on that KV17 relief, is that the Apis bull is blocked in his progression by what looks like kind of a paper clip : the bull's third hoof is stuck by this paper clip like element.
But this situation is not permanent : if the falcon headed man pulls down the rope he is holding to, then we can easily imagine that the paper clip thing flattens itself… and the Apis bull gets released.
The movement of Apis then pulls the 2 ropes on his back, and the element stuck into the ground gets out… and the "secret pouring hole" of Taweret is revealed.
The water flow can now start.
This scenario, I've already described it when I was talking about the necessity of draining the inclined well at the end of the period of operation of the Great Pyramid, so that all the equipment was evacuated.
What I said, is that this operation was triggered from the grotto, and that the draining occurred in a very particular location inside the well, resulting into the fact that the lower girdle stones were set into 2 different orientations in a vertical plane, opening up a dormant breach between the G8 and G9 girdle.
8.07 The release of the impactor by a slide bolt latch ?
In previous posts I've suggested the idea that once at the top of the gallery, the impactor had to be blocked in place before being released into the slope for another descent, and I've imagined that maybe another latch bolt was used for this purpose.
But maybe another kind of mechanism was used, and if I'm saying that, it is because the "paper clip" like element on Seti's I tomb is very much looking like a perfect slide bolt latch.
It is easy to see that if the falcon headed man pulls down the rope, this "paper clip" element instantly flattens itself and the bull can move again. The question is to know if this element was only metaphorical on the relief or if it also was inspired by the real thing.
The representation of the releasing of the impactor of the Great Pyramid of Giza, for the inclined well draining procedure, triggered from the grotto of the pyramid.
Photograph of the grotto inside the Great Pyramid of Giza : Plate CLI page 278 in "Great Pyramid Passages, Volume 1, by John and Morton Edgar, 1910" : https://archive.org/details/GreatPyramidPassagesVol11910Edition/page/n293/mode/thumb
8.08 The falcon headed man laid flat on the ground and on his back... in the grotto
If someone triggered the last impactor release from inside the grotto, he would have been laid flat on the ground, right behind its opening and on the raised floor of the grotto.
If we look closely, we can even see that the grotto of the Great Pyramid is also suggested around the falcon headed man… unless it is pure coincidence that the ropes are drawn the way they are, forming a perfect virtual enclosure around him.
The shelter in the grotto of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
"Great Pyramid Passages, Volume 1, by John and Morton Edgar 1910" page 276 : https://archive.org/details/GreatPyramidPassagesVol11910Edition/page/n285/mode/2up
8.09 The shelter in the grotto
This Great Pyramid grotto thing reminds me of the Geb, Shu and Nut scene, where nothing can be understood without having water in mind.
Nut cannot be understood without water, as the similarity with Tefnut's name ('tf'= to spit and 'nwt'=water) and the water pot emblem of Nut can suggest. The exact same way, to understand the design of the grotto, you do need to add water.
More precisely, the grotto has been designed fearing water : the grotto is a shelter from water coming down the vertical well shaft. This is the reason why there is a deep hole in the floor to accumulate the water and preserve the upper part of the grotto.
This upper part has another particular design : its end part has been set the further away to the doorway as possible ; the doorway East wall protecting the very last end of this upper part.
This is a perfect design of a shelter, the further away from the doorway in an elevated section with a protective retention basin at the entrance.
8.10 How to break the Bes wedging block
The grotto is clearly designed to offer an elevated shelter where one would have been protected from water getting inside. There is even a "deep hole" that would have work as a protective basin when water would have get in, and that would have slowly empty itself because it has been dig into natural rock.
The problem is to understand why water was supposed to pass through the well-shaft, because it means that part of, or all the Grand Gallery would have been flooded.
So, the question is now, why did ancient Egyptians flooded the Grand Gallery ? And the reason is because of the wedging block.
We've seen that this Bes wedging block was designed with a very fragile protruding part on which the Taweret block was put. The resistance of this wedging block was calibrated to sustain the pressure induced by the waters of the inclined well.
But how do you break the wedging block if you do not have access to it ? You increase the pressure.
The only thing that would have break the Bes wedging block, is by increasing the height of water above the Taweret block and increase the pressure at the bottom of the well.
8.11 The fixed caisson of the Grand Gallery
The interesting thing about the (hypothetical) fixed caisson in which the impactor was moving, is that the Grand Gallery didn't need to get fully flooded : they would just have to flood the fixed caisson. The pressure at the bottom of the well is only depending on the height of water, not the volume of water.
The "road marking-like" layout of the blocks inside the "forced entry passage" of the caliph Al-Ma'mun.
Photographs of the "forced entry tunnel" of Al-Ma'mun, thanks to Mike Dash in his blog "A Blast from the Past" : https://mikedashhistory.com/2011/09/01/inside-the-great-pyramid/
Road markings at Achnacloich Rail Bridge, thanks to Bear Scotland (Perth) : https://www.bearscot.com/new-road-markings-at-achnacloich...
8.12 The "forced entry tunnel" supposedly digged by the caliph Al-Ma'mun
Please note the very particular layout of stone blocks that appear on the above photograph of the "forced entry tunnel of the caliph Al-Ma'mun" : massive light color blocks are literally encased between small thin dark color blocks.
In my opinion, it would be the perfect layout to help workers to dig a tunnel from the exterior of the pyramid, that would lead them directly to the granite blocks and the inclined well drain hole. It looks like a perfect traffic sign to me !
8.13 The problem of the King's chamber shafts
The question now is to imagine the entire sequence of the draining of the well, starting with the person who would have get inside the grotto, and trigger the all thing.
Once inside the shelter, this person pulls down a rope connected to the impactor, resting at the top part of the Gallery. The impactor is released for the last time, and start to slide down the slope, like usual. But this time, the impactor is also connected to the King's chamber closing apparatus and it results in the release of the waters of the King' chamber.
This scenario of the draining of the well, involving the waters of the King's chamber to increase the pressure at the bottom of the well and the breaking off of the wedging block, does also solve another problem I couldn't figure out until now : the presence of the 2 shafts leading to the King's chamber.
If I'm right about the fact that when the pyramid was in operation, the elevation was stopped around the level of the Lady Arbuthnot's chamber (please read the Section on the sarcophagus), then the question is what would these shafts been implemented for?
8.14 The elevation sequence of the Great Pyramid construction and the Al-Ma'mun "forced entry tunnel"
Thanks to the understanding of the Al-Ma'mun tunnel, we can reconstruct the main sequence of events of the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza :
1 • The construction of the pyramid is stopped at the level of Lady Arbuthnot's chamber
2 • The pyramid is then fully operational and serves for weeks, months or years, but only when the inundation of the Nile is high enough (it probably explains the presence of the Nilometers)
3 • When the pyramid is not needed anymore, the elevation starts again and the structure is finalized.
4 • During the following inundation period of the Nile, the draining of the well can be realized.
5 • A passage to the granite plugs is digged from the outside of the pyramid and the entire equipment of the pyramid can be taken out. This passage is the "forced entry passage" supposedly digged by Al-Ma'mun.
Ancient Egyptian god Sobek as a Nile crocodile with ram's horns. Both of these attributes are referring to the impactor of the Grand Gallery which was plunging into the waters of the well like a crocodile and ramming into them with tremendous power.
8.15 The crocodile putting its weight upon Taweret and forcing her to move
In this Apis and Taweret relief from the tomb of Seti I, we've just seen that Apis is a representation of the recess granite block of the impactor, released from the top of the Grand Gallery, and that Taweret is representing the upper granite block that was sealing the bottom of the well.
This Taweret sealing block was forced to move, a few meters only to reveal the breach, and that it was the recess granite block that (somehow) triggered the movement.
On the relief, this particular part is represented in the crocodile putting its weight upon Taweret.
We've already seen this weight metaphor about Apep and the pressurization of the water of the well : the sycamore tree, the men or just legs are putting weight on Apep, and they are doing this vertically. The only goal was to put pressure.
Here, with the crocodile, the pressure is made to trigger the movement of the Taweret block, and the crocodile isn't put on top of her head but one her back, like you would do to push someone forward : you push hard on his back.
8.16 The crocodile is also a metaphoric representation of the impactor
It is interesting to see that the impactor was represented in many different ways, depending on the context, and the angle of vision necessary to the narrative.
• The sycamore tree, the men and the legs are representations of the weight of the impactor and the induced pressure.
• The calves (bulls and cows) and the rams (horns) are about the shock, the impact, the collision with the waters of the well.
• The crocodiles are about the way that the impactor was getting into the water and stayed underwater for a short period of time, before getting back onto the shore.
Sobek illustration thanks to Jeff Dahl : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobek#/media/File:Sobek.svg
Crocodile image thanks to ninfaj and posted on flickr
Ram fighting, National Games, Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Asrlar_Sadosi_2008c.jpg
Image of Basque ram fighting : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_de_b%C3%A9liers#/media/Fichier:Aharitopeka.jpg
Diagram of the Great Pyramid of Egypt in operation, before the shutdown procedure and the draining of the inclined well.
8.17 Summary of the study : hidden behind the academic vision of the ancient Egyptian religion, a vast number of metaphors are describing some of the most advanced science and technological knowledge of that time : ancient Egyptian gods were nothing else than pharaohs' metaphoric self-glorifications of their theoretical and experimental scientific accomplishments in physics and chemistry.
Pharaohs used the power of Science to legitimate themselves as kings of Egypt : they forged an entire religion, based on science to rule their kingdom, and they presented that science as Magic.
The end game of this technological program that probably started on the very first Dynasty, was the Great Pyramid of Giza where evaporative cooling was engineered in the known part of the pyramid from the pressurized water produced in the inclined well, known today as the ascending passage.
The evaporative cold simply took advantage of the power of water, and was most probably necessary to cool down chemical manufacturing of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate produced by an ammonia-soda Solvay process, as suggested by the very strong ammonia smell and the limestone kiln in the so-called burial chamber of the Red Pyramid. At that time, sodium carbonate was called natron, and it was the salt used for the mummification of the pharaohs (Sections 14, 15 and 16).
The cooling seems to have represented the most difficult part of the process, as suggested by the Step Pyramid's official name : according to scholars, the very first pyramid complex, the Step Pyramid of Djoser, was called "the refreshment of the Gods". No doubt that a more accurate translation would certainly be "the cooling of the Gods".
It means that ancient Egyptians were the first civilization to master a Solvay-like process for sodium carbonate manufacturing, long before it got reinvented in the 1800's in Europe. The key elements of that process is the temperature control of the chemical reactions (the cooling), and the dome shaped plate necessary for the counterflow chemical reactions to occur in an efficient way. That counterflow reaction plate is what really is the disc of Sabu.
As shown with Akhenaten and Nefertiti, the creation of the evaporative cold was the most sacred accomplishment of all (Section 17), and this is exactly what the Dendera Light is all about : the Dendera Light is the fog of microdroplets of liquid water that evaporates and creates the cold. Talking about the snake inside the Dendera Light Bulb : "The field surrounding Ra’s snake form is referred to in ancient Egyptian literature as protective magical energy in liquid form that all gods and pharaohs possess" (Faulkner, Section 2).
Everything that had been done in the Great Pyramid of Giza inspired most of the ancient Egyptian religion, and it had been glorified into what we know today as the Underworld.
The Underworld is referring to the chambers and passages of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, and in particular to the Grand Gallery where a hauling gantry beetle operated a wooden coffin shaped impactor that had a small nested granite block inside it. The impactor generated endlessly, over and over, maybe every 15 minutes the pressurized water that was then transformed into a fog of microdroplets inside the horizontal cooling passage.
The Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid where the act of hauling was done, is the "Secret Hauling Cavern of the Underworld" described in the Amduat "Book of the Hidden Chamber".
The most important chamber of the Great Pyramid wasn't the King's chamber that only was the main water tank of the pyramid, but the Queen's chamber, the only one on the central axis of the pyramid. Because the Queen's chamber was inaccessible from the rest of the pyramid, it was glorified into the "Hidden Chamber of the Underworld" (Section 11), and because the Queen's chamber was the coolest place in the pyramid (about 5°C / 41°F), and with a constant 100% Humidity rate, this chamber was the one where the biggest amount of very hard salt encrustation had been documented by the first explorers of the pyramid in the 1800's and before it had been removed in 1998 by Zahi Hawass (Section 1). Very hard salt encrustation is the signature of the evaporative cooling process, even nowadays.
The most incredible thing is that pretty much everything I've just said, actually appears in one single myth, but it doesn't originate from ancient Egypt : it is the "Churning of the Ocean" Hindu myth that produces the immortal nectar Amrita. The fact is that the endless churning of water that ends up with the production of an elixir that gives eternal life, is exactly what were doing ancient Egyptians in the inclined well : natron was the salt used for the mummification of pharaohs.
Natron gave eternal life to pharaohs, just like the Amrita (Section 19).