We continue once again with the Edgar brother’s examination of the First Ascending Passage.
“Since his return (from Jerusalem), John and I (Morton Edgar) have been working in the First Ascending Passage, verifying the measurements taken by Jack and me. Measuring in this passage is very trying. The joints on the walls seem so hopelessly confused that we had been inclined many times to give up in despair. However, we felt that we must continue, as otherwise the time already spent would be wasted.
Our labor has been rewarded, for what at first was confusion to us, is now seen to be wonderful symmetry. There is design in the whole passage. This we discovered when we had carefully drawn to scale an elevation of each of the walls, in conjunction with plans of the floor and ceiling Plate CXXVIII (See the second diagram below.)
In Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, 5th edition, page 295, Professor C. Piazzi Smyth inserted the following as a foot- note: “In the year 1872, Mr. Waynman Dixon applied himself long and steadily to mapping down everything measurable touching the reputed disorder of the joint-lines in the First Ascending Passage of the Great Pyramid, or that one leading up to the lower north end of the Grand Gallery; and presently perceived a most admirable order pervading the apparent disorder, tending also to hyper-excellent masonic construction. For the chief discovery was, that at stated intervals the smaller blocks forming elsewhere separately portions of the walls, floor, and ceiling of the passage, were replaced by great transverse plates of stone, with the whole of the passage’s hollow rectangular bore cut clean through them; wherefore, at these places, the said plates formed walls, floor, and ceiling, all in one piece.”
These plates of stone have been called Girdles. Before leaving home we had recognized the importance of the three upper ones as *marking important dates in the Law Dispensation.’ We therefore examined them with care, and found that while all of the Girdles are differentiated from the other stones in this passage by their remarkable structure, the other three are distinguished by symmetrical joints in the stones above and below them. An examination of these joints, as shown in the diagram—Plate CXXVIII, will demonstrate the exact symmetry of their angles one with another (We have highlighted them in Medium Gray so as to more easily distinguish this fact). Additionally, inserted into the walls immediately below the three upper Girdles, there are peculiar inset stones, which look like pointers, as if to call the Pyramid students’ special attention to these Girdles. And as if still further to accentuate their importance, you will note that the inset “pointer” stones are inserted into especially large wall stones, highlighted in Dark Gray in our diagram.
For the purpose of reference we have numbered the Girdles, beginning from the upper or south end of the passage, and counting downward—Compare with Plate XI. We find that the distance from the upper extremity of the passage to the lower joint of the first Girdle, is almost twice the distance between the lower joints of the first and second; while the distance between the first and second Girdles is nearly the same as that between the second and third, lower joint-lines in each case.’
*These are explained in Vol. II of Great Pyramid Passages; but we were unable to discover chronological significance in the lower Girdles.
Almost exactly in the center of the double space between the upper end of the passage and the first Girdle’s lower joint-line, the joints in the floor and both walls are nearly continuous with each other, forming, therefore, what we might term a Girdle Joint (Highlighted in Red). Inserted into the east wall immediately below this Girdle Joint (In between the word “East” and “Wall”), and as if to call attention to it, are two small inset stones, somewhat similar to the pointers immediately below the three important Girdles. The upper part of the passage from the top or south end down to the lower joint of the third Girdle is, therefore, divided into four parts of nearly equal length.
It is interesting to notice that the inset pointer-stones alternate, first on the east wall below the Girdle Joint, then on the west wall below the first Girdle, then on the east wall below the second Girdle, and finally on the west wall below the third Girdle. These inset stones were noticed by Mr. J. E. Perring in 1837, and are partially illustrated in Plate II of his great book of plates; but, so far as we are aware, the diagram we here present (Plate CXXVIII) is the only one in existence which shows the distinctive and symmetrical arrangement of the masonry of the First Ascending Passage in its entirety. Referring to the inset stones, Mr. Perring, filled with the theory that the Great Pyramid was a tomb, says: “In the upper [First Ascending] Passage, holes have been cut, which are now filled up, for the insertion of levers or beams to raise the sarcophagus.” Look once more at the diagram, Plate CXXVIII, and note the position and arrangement of the inset stones, and the symmetry of the whole passage: you will agree that Mr. Perring’s explanation is, to say the least, inadequate!
The three upper Girdles are vertical (See Plate XI), and square across from east to west, and are each composed of two stones, an upper and a lower, the upper forming the roof and part of both walls, and the lower the floor and the remainder of the walls. The joints on the walls of the passage between the upper and lower portions of each Girdle are horizontal, but are not opposite each other. In the first and third Girdles which, we have seen, are indicated by pointers on the west wall, the joint on the west is higher, or nearer the roof, than its companion on the east wall; while in the second Girdle, which is indicated by a pointer on the east wall, the east joint is higher than the west. It would therefore appear that the two stones which form each Girdle are not set horizontally one upon the other from east to west, but at an angle. The above two diagrams depict the third girdle illustrating how the two stones were joined together. The craftsmanship of the stone cutters were amazing, each stone needed not only to be cut so as to perfectly align with one another horizontally, but at the same time the exact degree of incline of the Ascending Passage needed to be maintained as it cut through the center of these great stones.
Those Girdles which lie lower down the passage than the three just described, are all in contact with one another. Though, like the first three, they are vertical, they do not lie square across the passage; their joint-lines on the floor and roof incline upward diagonally from the east wall to the west wall. Some of these lower Girdles are formed out of a single stone. As can be seen in the diagram (Plate CXXVIII), the fourth Girdle is very irregular in shape, its south face being cut to form no less than six distinct joint-lines with the stones above it.
The whole of the passage from the fourth Girdle down to the upper end of the Granite Plug is much dilapidated, extensive exfoliation having taken place on walls, roof and floor. Accurate measuring at this part is therefore almost impossible. However, we tried our best to get the exact positions of all the joints by stretching lines tightly along the four angles formed by the walls with the roof and floor, and taking off-sets to these lines from the various joints. Indications in the masonry forming the roof at this dilapidated part show that the stones which form the Girdles here were built in solid, end to end, after which the bore of the passage was cut through them. Above the fourth Girdle, however, there can be no doubt that the passage was constructed in the usual way, i.e., that the floor was first laid, the walls erected at the proper distance apart on the floor, and the roof-stones then placed on top of the wall-stones. Nevertheless, it is quite probable that the stones forming the three upper Girdles were built in entire, and the bore of the passage cut through them in situ. The two roof-stones immediately above and below each of the three upper Girdles, are in themselves partial girdles, thus further calling attention to the importance of these three prominent Girdles.
And yet, to the casual visitor to the Pyramid, and even to the observer who keeps his eyes about him, none of this wonderful symmetry in the masonry of the First Ascending Passage is clearly visible. The joints between the stones are in most instances so close that it is difficult to locate their exact positions, more especially as they appear to run in all directions. The first impression one gets from an endeavor to understand the system of masonry in this passage, is that it is without order. Here is the impression which Professor C. Piazzi Smyth had formed of it: “The walls show sometimes vertical and sometimes perpendicular-to-passage joints, and these are now and then confusedly interfered with by parts of horizontal courses of masonry. Altogether, there is smaller and less perfect masonry employed in the First Ascending Passage than in the Entrance Passage; giving the practical impression of the former being a necessary means of communicating between the Entrance Passage and the Grand Gallery, and having little or no symbolic importance in itself.” We have reason to believe, however, that Professor Smyth latterly came to see the important symbolical significance of this Passage; that it represents the Law Dispensation, the Age during which God had special dealings with the Jewish nation by virtue of their Law Covenant, even as the Grand Gallery symbolizes that Dispensation which follows the Jewish Age, namely the Gospel Age.
Because of the intercepting Granite Plug, and dilapidation’s, it is difficult to obtain a continuous end-to-end measurement for the length of the First Ascending Passage. Between the published figures of Professors Smyth and Petrie there is a difference of nearly 2¾ inches. A total length of very slightly over 1545 British inches (1543.464 +Pyramid inches.), from the “Point of Intersection” on the floor of the Descending Passage, up to the vertical line of the north wall of the Grand Gallery, is a fair mean between these two measures, and is the figure which yields harmony throughout the Scriptural time-measurements, and the scientific features connected with this passage. The floor-length from the upper, or southern, end of the Granite Plug, up to the vertical line of the north wall of the Grand Gallery is, according to Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, 1291.2, but according to Professor Flinders Petrie, 1293.8, British inches. According to our understanding, the theoretically correct value is a mean between these two extremes, or about 1292 1/4 British inches (1290.946 + Pyramid inches.). Regarding his measured length of the Granite Plug, namely, 178.8 British inches, Professor Smyth wrote: “It was so very difficult and roundabout to measure, that I do not attach much value to the numbers.” Professor Petrie, we believe, secured a truer length: his measure, 178.5 British inches, being barely ⅛ of an inch more than the theoretically correct amount, which is 178.189 + Pyramid inches, the figures which we now adopt.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 281-285)
Once again we will continue with our next post.