A full and proper response from Scott at long last.
Scott Creighton wrote:
> MJT: The Granite Leaf is cemented in place, and
> therefore was/is immovable.
> 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?
My mistake, folks; I was using colloquial English.
Definition of cement: Something that hardens to act as adhesive material.
Perhaps I should have said mortar (tricky thing the English language).
> 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.
This may be plausible to us, but we have no way of knowing how the Pyramid’s builders saw it.
Equally, for all we know there wasn’t a suitable single block available at the time of the building.
And what are we to make of the whole of the north face of the Leaf between the faces of the wainscots being cut back about 1”, the grooves containing the Leaf differing in width by about 1”, and the thickness of the Leaf at the face of the west wainscot being about 1” greater than it is at the face of the east wainscot?
The Boss being about 1” deep (front to back), IMO, simply draws attention to this curious feature of the Leaf.
IMO, the Leaf does not appear to have served any actual function, which has me thinking that we are looking at something other than a part of a portcullis device.
Then there is still the uneven and out of level (W-E) top of the Leaf to consider.
If ropes were intended to go over the top of the Leaf, then surely a) the top would have been made level E-W to prevent the ropes shifting sideways and b) the top would have been made as smooth as possible to reduce friction between it and the ropes and thus reduce the risk of snagging.
> 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, after all, the purpose of the boss, to provide an
> anchor point for ropes or levers, thus:
I see this Boss as completely inadequate for the purpose proposed by Scott.
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
> 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.
See my correcting comment above re ‘cement’.
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.
As already mentioned, this is hardly efficient for ropes to run over the top of the Leaf.
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.
You don’t appear to be as well-acquainted as you should with the appearance and dimensions of the Leaf, Scott.
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.
As the Boss is on the upper section of the Leaf, then, yes, it could be that this section was to be raised whilst the lower section (which is sans Boss) stayed put.
However, I believe the 1” cut-back and 1” differences in widths and thicknesses is telling us something different.
> If anything this shows that the
> boss has become worn through extensive use.
A highly subjective viewpoint.
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.
However, we are expected to believe that a jack of some kind was operated within this confined space.
The builders’ lot would have been much improved by reducing the number of portcullis blocks from three to two and moving the Leaf some three feet to the south.
So why didn’t they do this?
I see this as evidence for the purpose of the Leaf being something other than a part of a portcullis system.
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.
Surely some of this ‘mortar lubricant’ would have remained in the grooves where the Leaf is, and this substance would have dried out – effectively ‘cementing’ the Leaf into place and making it immovable.
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?
It is not possible to see the condition of the ends of the Leaf or faces of the grooves where the Leaf enters the grooves.
> The Granite Leaf does not have to go all the way to the ceiling
> to function.
I don't recall saying it did.
The upper section of the Leaf could be lifted clear of the grooves and its highest point still be nearly 3 feet below the Antechamber ceiling.
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
> SC: Functionality? In the Ante Chamber? Don't you mean
> 'symbolic' given that this is your view of the purpose of this
Are you saying that symbolism and geometry cannot go hand-in-hand here?
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.
‘… no signs of plaster or ‘cement’ (inverted commas added by MJ) in the three grooves’ is from accounts dated 1867 and 1883 - decades before the 'modern restoration'.
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.
Or none at all…
MJT: There are no semi-circular hollows in the top of
> the east wainscot.
> SC: Because they were obviously not required.
Or they were removed…
> 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.
A perfectly reasonable explanation.
However, Petrie's drawings of these hollows suggest that the logs would not have fitted into them properly.
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.
Perhaps ‘suggests’ is more appropriate than ‘indicates’.
> 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
If I didn’t want solutions, Scott, I would not be here asking questions.
As it is, I would dearly like to know the true purpose - be it functional or symbolic - of the Antechamber.
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.
I am thinking in terms of the passage blocking being an alternative arrangement to a portcullis system, and not an addition to it.
> 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.
So, now we have a dual-purpose portcullis system.
Well, I suppose that's possibly one way around some of the problems with Scott's hypothesis.
> 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.
Well, it’s certainly contradictory.
The portcullis system as a means of sealing the KC as suggested by Borchardt (spelling?) and others always looks inadequate to me – but, then, I’m not an AE pyramid builder…
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.
Then we’ll just have to agree to disagree unless and until somebody puts your theory to a practical test.
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.
It ties into the 'counterweight' hypothesis.
Though I suspect that once again we are looking at something that was never intended to be put to an actual practical use.
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.
I was merely adding to my ‘something that was never intended to be put to an actual practical use’.
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).
> SC: Agreed.
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.
I’m not sure.
It’ll be interesting to learn what others here make of it all.
So few answers - and not one of them mine.