THE QUEENS CHAMBER
“As indicated in a former letter, the masonry of the Horizontal Passage is very symmetrical. For a length of 64 feet from the beginning of the roof at the Grand Gallery end, each wall is built in two equal courses. In each of these courses there are 15 stones of uniform size, namely, 41¼ inches in length, and half the height of the passage in breadth Plate XI. The vertical joints in the upper course are in line with those in the lower; and those on the east are in direct opposition to those on the west wall. These 15 stones are within the passage, south of the Grand Gallery floor “cut-off.” But wall-stones of the same size extend further northward, almost to the north wall of the Grand Gallery, as Plate CLXXI shows. On the west side the special arrangement of the stones, because of the Well-mouth, breaks the uniformity to a greater degree than on the east side, where, it will be noticed in the lower section of the diagram mentioned, the vertical wall (or Ramp) joints are equally-spaced right from the north wall of the Grand Gallery. In a sense, therefore, instead of there being 15 uniform stones, there can be said to be 20.
It is by this architectural arrangement that the Horizontal Passage is, as it were, continued right from the termination of the First Ascending Passage south-ward to the Queen’s Chamber, even though the Grand Gallery also commences to ascend from the termination of the First Ascending Passage. There is, of course, symbolical significance in this arrangement See Par. 181
Following these uniform sets of stones, are two long stones in each course, averaging about six feet in length, after which each wall is built in one course only, apparently as far at least as the drop in the floor of the passage; but beyond this, on to the Queen’s Chamber, the very thick and hard incrustation of salt which entirely covers the walls of this passage, made it impossible for us to locate the joints with any certainty. This salt incrustation is peculiar to the Horizontal Passage and Queen’s Chamber, although a little of it may also be seen on the walls of the First Ascending Passage, and Grand Gallery. [In 1912, during my second visit to the Great Pyramid, I noticed that in the topmost Chamber of Construction above the King’s Chamber, this salt (chloride of sodium) exudes from the surfaces of the large inclined roof-stones, which are of fine limestone, in long flower-like stems. W. R. Wilde first described this curious formation of the salt in 1837 when he ascended to these upper recesses, soon after they were opened by Col. Howard Vyse.] This incrustation can well be seen in the two photos above the first of the niche in the wall and the other of the ceiling.
With the camera erected in the passage at the south end, a few feet in from the doorway of the Queen’s Chamber, we secured a photograph of the drop or step in this passage—Plate CLXXXIV. To show the difference in the height of the passage north and south of this step, between twenty and twenty-one inches, we stationed Judah near the step with a two-foot rule in his hand. It will be noticed that his head just touches the roof. The extreme irregularity of the floor-surface is due to a thick layer of dust, which covers an excavation made by Col. Howard Vyse in search of a supposed secret passage or chamber under the step. We took another photograph of the Horizontal Passage with the camera erected in the Queen’s Chamber, showing the doorway in the north wall of the chamber—Plate CLXXXVI. To show the height of the doorway, John stands near it on the west side, and Judah occupies the same position as in tie former photograph. The third black and white photo above is another look at the drop in the passage; here a small stone has been added as a step as the original drop is quite large about a foot and a half.
Whenever we visited the Queen’s Chamber, we found it very fatiguing to walk along the low part of the passage from the Grand Gallery. The reason is that we required to bend so low, lower even than when walking up the Descending and First Ascending Passages, because although these two passages are of practically the same right-angled height from floor to roof as is the Horizontal Passage, i.e., a little under four feet, yet while walking upward in them we had the advantage of the greater vertical height, which is about five inches more than the right-angled height. (Before John arrived in Egypt I photographed Judah walking up the Descending Passage Plate CLXXXVII. Contrast this with Plate LXV where John is shown walking down the passage, a mode of progression more difficult, even, than walking in the low Horizontal Passage.) We always experienced a feeling of relief when we reached the lower part of the floor to the south of the step, where we could straighten ourselves. In this part of the passage which measures about one-seventh of its total length, we found that one of average height like myself can walk upright, his head just short of touching the roof ; but John, who is a little over the average, had still to bow his head submissively until he reached the full freedom of the Queen’s Chamber. For the symbolical significance of this see Pars. 171-176 (We will take a look at this later).
The photo above is a beautiful picture very good detail.
In the Queen’s Chamber we photographed the east wall, showing the full height of the “Niche,” that most unaccountable recess which measures about 184 British inches in height, by 41 inches deep, with a width at the bottom and top of 62 and 20 inches respectively. John is sitting at the entrance of a long horizontal excavation which is now largely filled with debris; while I am shown walking toward the door, the top of which, it will be noticed, is in line with the top of my head. The whole of the doorway, and more of the inclined roof, are shown in K. Vaughan’s drawing; the Niche, also, is more clearly defined—Plate XXX above. We have supplied a more recent color photo in place of the Edgar brothers original as it is much clearer than the original black and white, thus enabling us to make out the details a bit easier. The original photo resembled the drawing; we present the drawing so as to empathize the amount of debris which was still in the chamber at the time. As you can see it has all been cleaned up and a grating has been placed over the opening in the niche. The photo below shows this more clearly.
Professor C. Piazzi Smyth believed that the measurement of the eccentricity of the Niche southward from the center of the east wall, is intended as another key to the length of the Pyramid Cubit; and his measurements to support this theory are verified by those of Professor Flinders Petrie.
The long horizontal excavation driven eastward from the back of the Niche (behind the grating) is another of those fruitless attempts to discover additional chambers and passages in the Great Pyramid. Some have expressed the opinion that the Granite Plug in the First Ascending Passage conceals the lower end of a small vertical shaft, and would have the Plug removed in order to test the truth of the theory. They base their theory on the fact that the small vertical Well-like shaft in the Trial Passages (See Par. 520) descends to the junction of the two inclined passages, and argue, therefore, that a similar shaft should be found at the junction of the Descending Passage with the First Ascending Passage in the Great Pyramid. We venture to dissuade all from entertaining the thought of removing the Plug blocks, as we believe we have good grounds for the opinion that the Granite Plug was intended for a very different purpose than that of concealing a passage, and that it was firmly fixed in its present position to stay!
In any case, the theory will not hold, for an examination of the sectional drawing of the Trial Passages (Plate CLVIII) shows that the lower opening of the vertical shaft is situated at the point of intersection of the roofs of the inclined passages, and not at that part of the ascending passage which corresponds to the position occupied by the Granite Plug in the First Ascending Passage of the Great Pyramid.
We do not share the opinion held by some that there are chambers and passages in the Great Pyramid other than those with which we are already familiar. The present passage and chamber system of this wonderful Stone Witness so completely and beautifully meets all the symbolical requirements of our heavenly Father’s great plan of the Ages, that it would be difficult to imagine how any of the features of that plan could be further or better symbolized by the addition of a single passage or chamber.
This includes the most recent studies in which it is purposed that there are two further voids, possible chambers located in the pyramid, one the smaller located just above the Descending Passages supposedly located a bit below and behind the two large angular stones found at the entrance, and the other a much larger one located above the Grand Gallery. The odds are more likely that what they are seeing is echoes reverberating off the stone. This may be caused by a number of things including the settlement of the stones over the last 4000 years. Recall likewise that there was an earthquake in 908 A.D. that was strong enough to crack the large granite ceiling stones above the Kings Chamber, this same quake may have crumbled some of the softer limestones in the pyramid and over time a cavity may have formed in certain places. In fact “experts say that builders often incorporated cavities in the pyramids to relieve stress from the overlying stone and avoid collapse.” A cavity (i.e. a hollow or vacancy) in the stone however is not considered a chamber in the truest sense of the word even as the relief or construction chambers found above the Kings Chamber are not considered chambers in the accepted sense of that word.
The idea that there are hidden chambers laden with hidden treasure has long since driven men mad to seek to find just where, the sheer number of excavations points found in the Great Pyramid is a testament of this. Yes it true not all seek for gold and silver, some seek another type of treasure namely fame, notoriety and the honor of men at the prospect of locating another hidden chamber regardless of what it may or may not contain. Poor souls they cannot see the forest for the trees, the Great Pyramid’s true treasure is not hidden in some secret chamber nor does it consist of gold or silver, but rather the true treasure hidden in the pyramid is in its symbolic significance, in its portrayal of the Divine Plan of the Ages, this treasure is hidden in its mathematical measurements and computations. But alas as the Lord has stated, “Eyes they have but see not, ears but comprehend not”, and so they are left groping in the dark seeking for what is right in front of them.
We will continue with our look at the Queens Chamber in our next post.