> Hi ck, glad you're back BTW. I was worried about you and was
> going to email you but thought it too presumptuous.
I was working on another site for a few weeks and posted at the regular ones much less. It was time to come back anyway even before the whole thing imploded.
Anyone's welcome to eMail me and you more than most. ;)
> What do you mean by "such structures in this area"?
I believe Herodotus was correct when he said it was cladded from the top down. Of course it's impossible to be shoving cladding stones underneath existing cladding stones so he must have meant something other than that the courses were cladded in reverse order.
I believe that all the great pyramids had to be built as step pyramids because the only means they had to lift stones was to pull them up one step at a time. Once the step pyramid was complete they filled in the top step first and cladded it from the bottom up. This first row of cladding stones required a special foundation that was built right into the pyramid. The second and third rows of cladding stones then held the first row in place. Then later after cladding the second to the top step they shoved in a thin row of decorative cladding stones to hide the seam. This is why there is a thin course at multiples of 81' 3" (975") since this was the height of each step.
They continued cladding this way doing the upper steps first all the way to the bottom. The last stone on the pyramid was likely a cladding stone at 79' in the center of the north side.
The top would have been particularly problematical to clad because they lacked proper access to the top. Only a single man or two could be there to tend ropes. Stable platforms for the first course of cladding stones would be necessary for every step but at the top these also needed to be light.
It's a shame more and better pictures aren't available but without even knowing that these are original it might not be worth the effort of trying to research. There are lots of dead ends caused by the lack of real data and this is just another of them.