MJT: The Granite Leaf is cemented in place, and therefore was/is immovable. Apart from this singular fatal clincher:Quote
The top of the Leaf is 'a mere natural surface of the granite boulder out of which it was cut, utterly rough and irregular; and not materially broken away as it dips down deeply into the grooves and is there plastered over.' (Petrie 1883).
SC: Clincher? Fantasy land again. “Cemented in place”? What cement then did the ancient Egyptians use 2,500 years before the Romans invented it? Is that the same cement that they used to create their limestone blocks as proposed by Joseph Davidovitts? Or is it perhaps some modern Portland cement? Have you had this “cement” analysed?
”Nor was this most unique yet modest boss described and pictured by me with full correctness even in " Life and Work," I having made it much too high, too accurately rectangular at its lowest corner line, and too sharply and neatly defined all round : as I am enabled now to say positively, having been kindly furnished by my friend Mr. Waynman Dixon with a cast of it [the Granite Leaf boss] in Portland cement taken by him in the Great Pyramid last year (1872); and still another cast of it in plaster was obligingly sent to me by Dr. J. A. S. Grant, of Cairo, in 1874..” (Emphasis mine).Smythe, Piazzi, ‘Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid’, p.207
SC: So do tell – what is this “cement” of yours that “cemented in place” the Granite Leaf? Is it some cement the ancient Egyptians used that we are hitherto unaware of or is it more likely to be the ‘modern’ Portland Cement used by Waynman Dixon on the Granite Leaf some 11 years before Petrie made his own observation? What do you think more likely?
If the Granite Leaf was intended to be immovable then it would have been inserted as a single granite slab and not one on top of the other. The fact that the upper slab – the Granite Leaf – has a raised boss and rebates at each side is a strong indicator that the upper slab was intended to be levered upwards in a manner probably not too dissimilar to this:
This was, afterall, the purpose of the boss, to provide an anchor point for ropes or levers, thus:
And we find them all over the pyramids. Just one example:
MJT: The top of the Leaf is 'a mere natural surface of the granite boulder out of which it was cut, utterly rough and irregular; and not materially broken away as it dips down deeply into the grooves and is there plastered over.' (Petrie 1883).
SC: Ah, so we’ve now gone from cement to plaster – plaster in the grooves. Such mortar was used as a lubricant to assist in the reduction of friction of a moving (stone) object – you should know that.
MJT: The level of the top of the Leaf from east end to west end varies by at least 7.75" – between the faces of the wainscots the difference is less at about 5.25”.
SC: So what.
MJT: The thickness of the Leaf (north-south) at its west end is 1” greater than at its east end.
SC: So what – my sash windows have a slightly wider gap at one end than the other but it doesn’t stop them from being raised and lowered.
MJT: The Boss on the north face of the Leaf's upper section projects only 0.94" to 1.1", and its edges slope slightly outward from front to back, and is, therefore, clearly inadequate as a point at which to place the upper end of a prop (note: Similar bosses exist in other parts of the Antechamber and inside the King’s Chamber).
SC: As stated above – boss’s were used as leverage and anchor points to move/raise stone. If anything this shows that the boss has become worn through extensive use.
MJT: There is only a 20" gap between the north wall of the Antechamber and the north face of the Leaf.
SC: Enough of a gap for a man to climb up and over the top whereupon the portcullis system would be fully at his mercy.
When fully raised the upper section of the Leaf would be free of its grooves and unstable - no explanation is offered as to how this would have been controlled adequately.
SC: Releasing the Granite Leaf from its grooves would probably be required from time to time in order to remove the build up of the mortar lubricant that had dried. Easily done with a copper chisel.
MJT: The grooves above the varied-in-level top of the Leaf are well-finished and clear of any signs of wear and have no traces of plaster or cement – this implies strongly that the Leaf was not raised once it was in place.
SC: So how do you think the wear came about below this level? The Granite Leaf does not have to go all the way to the ceiling to function.
MJT: The pilaster at the south face of the Leaf is nearly half the width of the other two pilasters (3” against 5.7”) – suggesting a matter of geometry not functionality.
SC: Functionality? In the Ante Chamber? Don't you mean 'symbolic' given that this is your view of the purpose of this chamber?
MJT: There are no signs of plaster or cement in the three grooves for the portcullis blocks.
SC: It might not have been required (there being slightly more of a gap in the grooves) or it might have been removed as part of the modern ‘restoration’ of the chamber.
MJT: There are no signs of wear in the top of the Antechamber’s north doorway similar to that seen in the doorway in the south wall of the Grand Gallery, and the doorway in the south wall of the Antechamber.
SC: Obviously less stress/friction occurring here.
MJT: There are no semi-circular hollows in the top of the east wainscot.
SC: Because they were obviously not required.
MJT: If the east end of the logs were cut and put into place as suggested (see most recent images posted), then the logs would drop in level W-E by about half the radius of the semi-circular hollows at about 4.4” over a distance of about 41”.
SC: There are all manner of possibilities that do not require semi-hollows in the east wainscot. Here’s another:
And I am sure many other possibilities could be imagined.
But yes, it’s a puzzle why the builders simply did not place semi-hollows in the east wainscot as, on the surface, this would seem the simplest thing to have done. But they didn't and there has to be a practical/logical reason why they did not. However, having semi-hollows on both sides of the chamber might result in the beams rotating – even if tightly jammed in - and this might be what the builders were trying to avoid.
MJT: If the Antechamber was intended to be a properly functioning portcullis system (for whatever reason), then surely care would have been taken to ensure it worked efficiently and easily.
The above indicates that it would not have done so.
SC: The above indicates nothing of the sort. If it indicates anything then I rather think its your penchant to avoid possible solutions and to present only problems. Not that presenting problems is a bad thing – it should be done. But not in isolation without possible solutions. Unless, of course, you do not wish – for whatever reason – for a solution to be found.
MJT: Then there is the fact that such a system was totally unnecessary, anyway. All that is required for Scott’s and Gary’s RVT was for a block of limestone measuring slightly less than 43.75” high by 41.25” wide by, say, 36” long, to be slid into the passage between the south wall of the Grand Gallery and the north wall of the Antechamber.
Fit handles to the GG end of the block so that it can be hauled out onto the Great Step quite easily as and when required. Smear a bit of plaster into the gaps between the sides of the doorway and the block and BINGO, one efficient and easy to use re-sealable passage.
SC: Why secure the chamber any more than is necessary? They are not trying to prevent entry, merely restrict airflow. The Portcullis system was already there serving its primary function (probably as a counter-weight system) so it could be utilised to adequately seal the chamber (from air) without recourse to anything else. And that is what was done. And having sealed the chamber (from air) in this manner, allowed easy access to it later which is consistent with the RVT but is entirely contradictory with the tomb theory.
MJT: Another issue is the fact that it is wrong to view the Antechamber in isolation.
SC: You mean like the King’s Chamber is a Decoy so the Ante Chamber is merely symbolic? Is that the kind of isolation you are talking about?
MJT: However, I see that Scott and others have tried to link the Antechamber to the Grand Gallery as an integral part of a system to seal the Ascending Passage with three (or more?) stone blocks, and or drag large granite beams up to the King’s Chamber. However, the problems with the Granite Leaf, etc., have an adverse effect on this.
SC: I disagree.
MJT: Then there is the problem with the rectangular holes in the tops of the two GG ramps. Broadly, there are two lengths of hole - described usually as long and short - and they are all irregular in length and their ends are not all positioned diametrically opposite each other (see Piazzi Smyth 1867). The depths of these holes are also varied (this could be down to a natural accumulation of detritus over the millennia). Any beams placed across the Gallery would be skewed N-S by up to 2”, which would cause problems with the granite plugs that were supposedly stored in the Gallery.
SC: Agreed. But what exactly has this to do with the price of fish? In my opinion, and I know you agree, the granite plugs of the Ascending Passage were built in-situ.
MJT: The groove in the east and west walls of the GG is very roughly cut and much broken away from along its edges. The groove is only about 1” deep and is close to the bottom edge of a corbel. It could not have been used to support a platform for people to walk along, as some folk have suggested.
SC: Some folk may have – I haven’t.
MJT: At least one point on the Ascending Passage floor is fractionally narrower than one of the granite plugs at its lower end, suggesting that the blocks were built in situ (see M & R).
MJT: I hope this gives you (and perhaps others here) a better idea of why Scott’s Antechamber hypothesis is, IMO, fatally flawed and does not work.
SC: And I hope my rebuttal shows that you are somewhat over-stating your case.
Post Edited (30-Jun-12 16:48)