THE SUBTERRANEAN CHAMBER
“The Subterranean Chamber is by far the largest chamber in the Pyramid, being, approximately, 27 feet from north to south, by 46 feet from east to west. Its area, therefore, is more than double that of the King’s Chamber, which measures 17 feet by 34 feet. Although the roof and walls of this large Subterranean Chamber are by no means smooth, they are for the most part square and level; but the floor is extremely rugged and unfinished, and is much encumbered with stones and sand.” (Page 176)
“While the roof and four walls of the Subterranean Chamber have been made fairly even, the floor, on the contrary, has been left in an extremely broken and unfinished condition, by reason of which the name ‘Bottomless Pit” has been aptly applied by some to this chamber. It is a fitting termination to the long low Descending Passage which leads down to it.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 91)
“In very early times, the Descending Passage appears to have been sufficiently clear to allow of venturesome travelers making occasional visits to the Subterranean Chamber; but in 1763, Davison, when describing the Descending Passage, wrote: ‘At the end of one hundred and thirty-one feet [from the junction of the First Ascending Passage] I found it so filled up with earth, that there was no possibility of proceeding.” It remained in this condition until the year 1817, when, by the efforts of M. Caviglia, access to the Subterranean Chamber was restored; and at the same time the whole length of the Well-shaft was cleared. M. Caviglia was afterward for a short time in the employment of Col. Howard Vyse.
Caviglia did not completely clear out the Descending Passage, for, twenty years afterward (in 1837), Col. Howard Vyse, in his description of the state in which he found the Great Pyramid previous to commending his extensive operations on it and the other Pyramids of Gizeh, wrote that, though open, it was ‘much encumbered with stones and rubbish.” This no doubt explains why he measured the passage along the roof-line, and not along the floor. When Professor C. Piazzi Smyth visited the Pyramid in 1865, the passage below its juncture with the First Ascending Passage appears to have again become so blocked with dust and large stones, that he did not visit the lower sections at all. The measurements of these parts given in his Pyramid books were derived from Col. Howard Vyse’s publication, and are, unfortunately, inaccurate.
In 1881, Professor Flinders Petrie caused the obstructing debris to be removed sufficiently for him to descend. It was during these operations that he discovered the large granite stone, which lies on the floor a little lower than the entrance to the First Ascending Passage. He did not disturb it. The parts which he found most encumbered were those at and below the granite block, and the lowermost thirty feet of the slope where the rains had washed down much sand. He did not have this material carried out, but instructed his men to distribute it more or less uniformly deep along the length of the passage as well as in the Subterranean Chamber. Thus we see that the floor of this Descending Passage has never been so thoroughly cleared, at least in modern times, as it now is.” “For the first time known in history, an accurate continuous floor-measurement of the passage from end to end was now made possible.” (Page 145, 171)
“During their first inspection of the Great Pyramid in the Spring of 1909 the Edgar’s had instructed their Arab assistant Judah to employ men to clear out the stones and sand which had accumulated in the Subterranean Chamber and Descending Passage, this in order to better facilitate a more accurate measurement of the Passage and Chamber, prior to this an American excavator had previously cleared out about thirty feet of the lower end of the passage as well as the lower end of the Well-shaft, but by the time of their visit the passage was once again blocked with debris throughout the greater part of its length, with the lower third completely filled again. Apparently it was much easier to throw any excess refuge down into the lower end of the Descending Passage and into the Pit than it was to bring it up the passage discarding it outside the Pyramid. Later during their second visit in 1912 they would once again embark on a further cleaning and restoration of the subterranean Chamber, as pictured in the black and white photo below. The color photo is of a more recent restoration which I believe took place around 1998-99.” (Pages 143, 181)
Personally I believe the debris adds character to the Subterranean Chamber and to what it signifies and that it was a mistake to remove all the debris, luckily however we still possess photos such as those taken by the Edgar’s above to remind us of its original condition prior to excavations. The true significance and meanings to the interior passages and chambers did not fully come to realization until just about the time of the Harvest Message and thus I believe the Lord intended that what we would take (i.e. comprehend) with regards to the mystery of the Pyramid and its interior chambers and passages should be based upon what was revealed at this particular time prior to any excavations and or etc.
Archaeologist are fawn of excavating sites meticulously believing that the true significance of a fine is hidden beneath the debris covering the site, but in this particular instance I believe the debris is a central element in the visualization of the chambers theme, the unfinished, broken and refuge filled chamber uniquely represents the abode of the dead, the final resting place of the refuge of the earth, the bottomless pit.
“The Subterranean Chamber of the Great Pyramid is roughly halved into two parts-an eastern and western. In the eastern half, the floor is excavated much lower than in the western. The large deep shaft is approximately in the center of the eastern portion. At the northeast corner of the chamber the floor is 12 feet, and at the southeast corner 14 feet, below the roof; but at the middle of the east wall, opposite the shaft, it is 17 feet below the roof. In the western half, which begins about 21 feet from the east wall, the rocky floor rises in high receding mounds, which reach to within about 10 inches of the roof. In our photograph which was taken with the camera erected near the east wall and pointing directly west (See black and white photo at top of page), it will be noticed that these mounds lie north and south, and are divided by a narrow trench, two and half feet wide, which inclines up the middle of the chamber, rather to the north of the center, and terminates with a width of two feet at the west wall. John is sitting at the entrance to this trench on the north side, while Judah reclines on top of the north mound.
At the north end of the west wall at the roof, we disclosed in our clearing operations a small and roughly squared recess. In appearance it is as if a small westward passage had been contemplated, but had been abandoned shortly after work on it had commended, as it is only from six to eighteen inches deep, the inner end being very irregular. Adjoining the wall to the north of the recess, there is a peculiar upright ridge of rock reaching from the floor to within 13 inches of the roof. It runs parallel with and about three feet from the north wall of the chamber; the long narrow space between the two is not unlike a horse-stall.” (Page 181)
In the black and white photo below is shown one of the Edgar’s attendants (Stanley) kneeling at the north–west end of this small ridge of the rock running along the north wall, he is looking directly at the small recess cut into the rear of the Chamber.
“In the unfinished floor of the Pit (as the Subterranean Chamber is generally referred to) appears the large, square mouth of a deep vertical shaft (pictured below in the colored picture). We (that is the Edgar brothers and their attendants) had always to avoid walking too near its edge, for the rough uneven floor of the Pit is covered with loose crumbling debris…” (Page 59)
“We should prefer the removal of every vestige of this debris, that we might examine and photograph the original contour of the rough floor, but the expense stands in the way. We have had some clearing done, however, in front of the doorway of the little south passage, and also at the west wall, which was almost entirely hidden by a bank of the debris seven or eight feet deep. This obscuring bank (referred to by Professor Flinders Petrie) having been cleared away, the west wall is now exposed to view; and we find that for a width of 13 feet in the middle of this end of the chamber, the floor is fairly well leveled, and is about five and a half feet below the roof, leaving almost sufficient headroom for one of average height to stand upright.
The larger stones removed by our men are stacked elsewhere in the chamber. The sand and small stones were thrown into the lower depths of the vertical shaft in the middle of the floor at the eastern end; for this portion of the shaft is a modern excavation by Mr. Perring, as explained in the first volume of Pyramids of Gizeh by Col. Howard Vyse. The upper, original, part of the vertical shaft (which we refrained from filling) is peculiarly arranged in two sections.
The ancient workmen cut a square hole in the floor, the bottom of which is fairly level and at a vertical distance of about 22 feet below the roof of the Subterranean Chamber. (It is not possible to state a definite depth for the hole below the chamber’s floor, for this floor is so irregular, as can be judged from our photographs, that any figures would be misleading.) And from one corner of this hole they cut another, smaller, square hole for a further depth of three and a half feet. The first hole, or shaft, is approximately seven feet square, and the second approximately five feet square. (Only approximate measures can be secured, for there is no part of the Subterranean Chamber clearly defined.) The sides of these ancient shafts lie nearly diagonally to the sides of the chamber. From the floor of the lower, second, shaft Mr. Perring sunk his irregularly rounded excavation. (Page 176)
In the first photo above we are standing on the opposite side of the vertical shaft looking north toward the square doorway of the Small Horizontal Passage by which entrance was gained to the Chamber.
“…Directly opposite this doorway… we perceived by the light of our candles another low doorway (second photo). On investigating this we found it to be the beginning of a small-bore passage, running horizontally southward for fully 50 feet to a blind end.” (Page 59)
Both the mouth of the deep vertical shaft and the small blind passage located at the bottom left hand corner of the south wall can be seen in the black and white photo above, however since that time due to safety concerns a gate has been erected around the deep vertical shaft in order to keep anyone from stumbling into the shaft, likewise you will note that a gate has been placed over the small blind passage as seen in the first photo below.
Below we have two photos the first is a view of what you would see immediately upon stepping (i.e. crawling) through the short little horizontal passage at the end of the Descending Passage into the Subterranean Chamber and looking toward the south west rear corner of the chamber, the second photo is a view from inside the chamber standing in front of the 50 foot little blind passage looking back toward the north wall and the entrance into the chamber.
The illustration below is a cross section of the Subterranean Chamber looking west, showing the 50 foot blind passage, and the vertical shaft which was dug beneath the Chamber extending into the bedrock. Extending another 36 feet below this vertical shaft is Perring’s shaft.
“Col. Howard Vyse had instructed Mr. Perring to excavate this deep shaft to test the truth of a theory which claimed, on the supposed authority of Herodotus, that a still lower and secret subterranean chamber existed, in which Cheops, the accredited builder of the Great Pyramid, was said to have been interred. But after penetrating to a considerable depth without result, the work was abandoned because of the lack of pure air. About a thousand feet to the southeast of the Great Pyramid, there is a large and very deep sepulchral pit, now named ‘Campbell’s Tomb,” which was cleared out by Col. Howard Vyse. Professor C. Piazzi Smyth proves that this tomb more nearly answers Herodotus’ description of Cheops’ burial place, and Professor Flinders Petrie concurs with him in this opinion.” (Page 181)
“Campbell’s Tomb is a shaft tomb located about thirty meters west of the Sphinx enclosure. The tomb is at the bottom of a fifty-foot shaft sunk into the quarry floor and has been dated to about 600 B.C. Sand filled the shaft until its excavation in the 1830s.” The second illustration above was taken from Colonel Vyse’s notes.
In conclusion the Subterranean Chamber or Pit as it is often referred to, represents the death state, oblivion, described in Eccl 9:10. “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” The Bible refers to death as “the pit of destruction”.
“But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; But I will trust in you.” Psa 55:23
“For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise you; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your truth.” Isa 38:18
The Pit chamber is an appropriate picture of the death state. It is large, and there is no way around it, and in its original condition (with all the debris remaining) the entire floor gravitated (tilted) toward the Vertical shaft. The Subterranean Chamber symbolizes the natural end of man’s downward course, death, destruction.”
“The wages of sin is death.” Rom 6:23
(The Great Pyramid: Ancient Wonder Modern Mystery, Page 19)
In our next post we will examine the First Ascending Passage.