This story, I suspect, regular readers here knew I would be talking about. Using muons, scientists seem to have confirmed the existence of yet another chamber in the Great Pyramid:
Now, so many people sent this story along this week, with the statement or query that this seems to prove my "weapons hypothesis" for the structure, or asking if it does, so I'm constrained to blog about this issue today.
First, the chamber seems to be a kind of parallel structure to the Grand Gallery, lying above it:
The massive cavity stretches for at least 30 metres and lies above the grand gallery, an impressive ascending corridor that connects the Queen’s chamber to the King’s in the heart of the historic monument. It is the first major structure found in the pyramid since the 19th century.
It is unclear whether the void is a chamber or a corridor, or whether it played any more than a structural role in the pyramid’s construction – such as relieving weight on the grand gallery below. But measurements show that it has similar dimensions to the grand gallery, which is nearly 50 metres long, eight metres high and more than a metre wide.
“We know that this big void has the same characteristics as the grand gallery,” said Mehdi Tayoubi at the HIP Institute in Paris, a non-profit organisation that draws on new technology to study and preserve cultural heritage. “It’s really impressive.”
Now, if one follows the reasoning of pyramid researcher and engineer Chris Dunn, author of The Giza Powerplant, this would appear to make the chamber not a "relieving chamber" but rather some sort of acoustic amplification chamber, for Dunn does an excellent job of pointing out its acoustical properties. The idea of "relieving chambers" is derived from the standard narrative that the chambers above the King's chamber are "relieving chambers" to deal with the massive weight pressing down on the structure. They are no such thing, argues Dunn. Rather, the "relieving stones," notes Dunn, appear to have been so roughly carved on their tops to achieve certain acoustical properties. Or to put it more simply, the rough carving is to give the "relieving stones" resonant properties.
So by parity of argument, one might argue that this new chamber is for a similar functional and acoustic purpose.
But that's the rub: this is speculation, argued speculation and hypothesis to be sure, but still an hypothesis. And in the final analysis, until more is known about this chamber, one has to argue that the new chamber (1) may tend to corroborate such "machine hypotheses" as I outline in the above two paragraphs, or (2) to corroborate the standard Egyptological narrative, or (3) disprove one or the other absolutely.
How would it do the last? The answer is simple: if the chamber were accessed in such a way that there was no possibility of fraud, and if, for example, a mummy or actual pharoanic burial chamber was found, then, of course, the machine hypotheses would be immensely damaged. Why do I say "with no possibility of fraud?" Recall, in this case, the case of British Colonel Vyse and his suspiciously "convenient" discovery of cartouches in the "relieving chambers" above the King's Chamber, as outlined by Alan Alford in his book The Phoenix Solution. The problem with Vyse's discovery, as Alford points out, is twofold: (1) there were mistakes in the cartouches of a basic and egregious nature, such that it is unlikely an Egyptian builder would make them, and (2) the cartouches all appeared to be written on walls in the "relieving chambers" that were not dynamited by Vyse to gain entry into them. The odds of this were and are, as Alford points odd, not very likely. The problem, in other words, is that Egyptology, in the form of Colonel Vyse, would appear to be willing to go to extraordinary lengths to "prove" its narrative, and the proof, on examination, is highly problematical in his case.
For the moment, by parity of reasoning, it looks as if the new chamber does more to corroborate the machine hypotheses than the standard Egyptological view, but that said, it falls far short of conclusively proving them.
See you on the flip side...