Thanks for your reply.
With respect to the image you posted, taken from the tomb of Kheruef in Thebes, that depicts the pharaoh raising a djed pillar which is - if drawn to scale - about one and a half times the height of the man to its left, steadying it as the pillar is pulled upright.
This would suggest a height of approximately 2.75 metres, which leads one to conclude that it was not of "considerable size" but, being made of wood or stone, naturally required ropes to lift it into its vertical position.
Indeed, most Djed pillar depictions on reliefs accompanied by people suggest this approximate height.
See here: [en.wikipedia.org]
Or here: [www.williamhenry.net]
As for its purpose, I understand the djed pillar to be associated with the myth of Osiris. The coffin into which Osiris was tricked was flung into the Nile. When it ran aground in Byblos, the root of a tree grew around the coffin and the king ordered it to be cut down and fashioned into a pillar in his palace, unaware that it contained the coffin containing the body of Osiris.
Isis extracted the coffin from the wooden pillar and then consecrated the pillar with myrrh, wrapping it in linen. This wooden pillar is known as the pillar of Djed.
In this way, the pillar is associated with fertility and regeneration in Nature - and indeed, Osiris is a god of vegetation. Were pillars erected in honour of Osiris to court his favour with respect to his governance of regrowth in nature and a good harvest? I presume so.
I also presume that Djed pillars were commonly fashioned from wood, in accordance with the mythology from which it springs.
According to Wikipedia: "Djedefre's pyramid is architecturally different from those of his immediate predecessors in that the chambers were beneath the pyramid instead of inside it. The pyramid was built over a natural mound and the chambers were created using the 'pit and ramp' method, used previously in the construction of mastaba tombs. This technique allowed the chambers to be made without tunneling, and avoided the structural complications of making chambers within the body of the pyramid itself. Several Pyramids and Sun Temples were built over natural mounds; utilising these may have been a way of shortening the actual work required, although the mound may have been symbolic of the Primaeval Mound of the Egyptian Creation mythology."
The unfinished or 'Layer' pyramid of Khaba is an Old Kingdom structure and you are correct insofar as inviting people to consider whether it ever housed the body of the king who we assume ordered its construction. The site, its subterranean chambers and the necropolis have not been completely investigated.
But if one assumes, as you suggest, that this structure did not serve as a tomb, what compelling evidence can you present to suggest some other function?
Also, in what way do you consider Egyptologists to ignore the significance of Djedefre's name - also known as Radjedef? Is it that the word Djed appears in both his names? His name associates him with 'stability' in the land and constancy over the annual inundation of the Nile essential for fruitful harvest, does it not?
What is the significance you attach to this nomen which Egyptologists might have missed or be deliberately ignoring?
Also, what am I missing with respect to the straight line you have drawn, thereby "connecting" the three sites? Can you not extend the line further south to include Neferirkare and Unas, too?
I am left wondering what material you consider to have been used in the construction of Djed pillars and what you consider to have been the function of such pillars.