Egypt: Explorers find 'strange door' under Great Pyramid of Giza
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Located on the Giza Plateau, the colossal monument is believed to have been built during the Fourth Dynasty for the Pharaoh Khufu. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is the only one still largely intact and is believed to have been constructed more than 4,500 years ago. There are three known chambers inside – the lowest was cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and is believed to have been unfinished.
And Egyptologist Dr Chris Naunton believes it could have been the intended final resting place of a mighty ruler.
He told Express.co.uk: “I suspect that, initially, the pyramid was going to be constructed with a subterranean chamber, but it was later decided to change the way things were done.
“They decided to have the burial chamber contained within the mass of the pyramid, rather than underground.
“The reason it is unfinished is because it was abandoned – that would be my first thought.
“It was, perhaps, intended to be the burial chamber, but its purpose disappeared when there was a change of plan.”
However, Dr Naunton explained how this method of construction appears to be seen across ancient Egypt.
He added: “The Egyptians were much more comfortable with not finishing things.
“We are rather more wedded to the idea that things have got to be completely, and perfectly, finished.
“Egyptian monuments were under construction for a very long time and often what happened was you would get the king suddenly die – then it would be new king, a new project – and they would either dismantle it or build over it.
“Places like Giza, and particularly big temples, they would have been in a constant state of building.
“I suspect they were not as bothered by something not being finished.”
The Great Pyramid is estimated to weigh approximately six million tonnes and comprises of 2.3 million limestone blocks.
It has been at the centre of numerous construction hypothesis, with researchers proposing how the ancient civilisation achieved such an impressive feat in just 20 years.
But Dr Naunton does not think it is that surprising.
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He explained: “In the last few years there was some experimental archaeology completed that showed very large blocks move far more easily over wet sand – so maybe they wet the sand.
“Beyond that, I don’t think we need to assume they had any type of advance technology.
“The way they did it was with a lot of people, some very sturdy ropes and a lot of heaving.
“They probably had some clever devices like sledges, wetting the send, ramps – whether they were around the pyramid or one very long one.”
The author behind ‘Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt,’ said he would like more evidence before giving a final verdict on the Great Pyramid’s construction.
He continued: “Beyond that, we just don’t know – over the years there have been so many hypotheses about how it worked, but you just can’t really prove them – even if you have one that works.
“Until we have a papyrus that shows the technical drawings, or something like that, we just won’t be able to say.
“People think ‘we just don’t know how they did it’ – well, it is amazing, but it’s also completely within the scope of human achievement.”
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