Often it is the smallest of insights that present to us the most profound realisations; small discoveries that can turn an entire paradigm quite literally on its head.
For the best part of 200 years, Egyptology has presented the case that the sliding portcullis slabs within the Ante Chamber of the Great Pyramid were installed to present a final barrier to the King's Chamber. When the king's body was finally laid to rest in the King's Chamber, the portcullis slabs would be lowered, one by one, sealing the burial chamber forevermore. Of course, simple common sense would have told the builders that anyone who could bypass the three massive granite plugs at the bottom of the Ascending Passage would find this final obstacle to the King's Chamber a relatively minor inconvenience.
Various Egyptologists and other theorists have, over the centuries, presented a number of theories to explain the peculiar features of the Ante Chamber in a bid to describe how the sliding portcullis system would have worked in practice after the king's mummified remains had been laid to rest in the King's Chamber. Invariably they describe a system using ropes to suspend the three portcullis slabs. These ropes would be suspended from three wooden beams fixed above each of the three slabs. There is a fourth granite slab, the so-called 'granite-leaf' which also slides in grooves but, unlike the three portcullis slabs, does not slide to the floor, its grooves terminating a few feet from the floor as though serving as some kind of counter-weight. The means by which all of these features would come together to work seems to have perplexed the greatest minds in Egyptology. As Egyptologist, J.P. Lepre wrote:
Yet although the several parts come together rather cohesively, there is a very serious flaw in this hypothesis - a missing piece of the puzzle - which contradicts the supposed validity of the theory. For while the semi-hollows supposed to have received the wooden rollers are indeed present at the top of the west wainscot, they are missing on the east wainscot. The ledge of this east wainscot is entirely flat and therefore could not have received the edges of the rollers said to have spanned the width of the chamber. Not only this, but the west wainscot is nearly 9 inches higher than the ledge of the east wainscot.
These facts seem to negate the only logical theory for the interaction of the various components of this strange little compartment. For how could rollers be used when one side of those rollers would have had no semi-hollows within which to be set and they would furthermore be tilted to such a degree as to make the manipulation of the portcullis slabs a quite impossible task? Why the master architects designed the elements of this chamber in such a contradictory manner presents a unique and puzzling problem for all serious pyramid scholars. - J. P. Lepre, The Egyptian Pyramids, p.88
Now, it seems to me that the reason the Egyptologists have such trouble in explaining the mechanics of the Ante Chamber is simply because they are looking at the problem the wrong way around; they assume the mechanics of the Ante-Chamber were designed to systematically LOWER each of the three granite portcullis slabs thereby sealing the King's Chamber. However, when looking at the problem the other way around, taking the view that the mechanics of the Ante-Chamber was designed to RAISE the portcullis slabs, the convoluted mechanics of this enigmatic chamber suddenly make sense.
See attached Powerpoint presentation: Re-evaluating the Ante-Chamber Portcullis System.
Of course, this raises a very obvious and awkward question for mainstream Egyptology: if the architect went out of his way to include a mechanism within the Ante-Chamber that would allow for the easy raising of the portcullis slabs, what does that say about the protection of the king's remains? In short, putting in place a system that allows for the easy access to the so-called burial chamber places a serious question mark over the theory that the King's Chamber was intended for the mummified remains of the king which, if orthodoxy is to be believed, would require these portcullis slabs to protect the king. This is not achievable with a system that allows their easy removal.
Post Edited (20-Jun-12 15:46)