CHEOPS  PYRAMID

G1 - The Kings Chamber 1

Article first time online: 10 July 2009.
Reworked : March 2020.

During measurements on Cheop's pyramid, Sir Flinders Petrie was able to define the then-used “royal” cubit at 20.62 inches (or 52.36 cm). The King’s Chamber measures exactly 10 by 20 cubit internally.

The inside dimensions of the King's Chamber are no problem at all, they are well known and can be measured easily. The dimensions on the outside of the King's Chamber however are not exactly known for the simple reason that one can’t reach the rear of these granite walls. Rudolf Gantenbrink, however, during his Upuaut project, has measured the thickness of the granite walls via the northern air shaft. This shaft goes straight through the wall and it was therefore possible to determine the thickness there.

 

KC01 - Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]
Shaft inlets within the King’s Chamber (According Rudolf Gantenbrink). [2]
Distance between the east wall of the chamber and the east wall of the shafts.
King’s Chamber Southern Shaft 2.49 m / Shaft width 18 cm Shaft height 14 cm
King’s Chamber Northern Shaft 2.48 m / Shaft width 21 cm Shaft height 14 cm

KC02 - Cad Drawing by Rudolf Gantenbrink [2]

On the above drawing by Rudolf Gantenbrink you can see that the wall thickness is about 172 cm, this is 67.72 inch or also 3.844 cubit. That’s 3+2/7 cubit (2 palm = 2/7 cubit = 0.286 cubit). It is well known that the walls of the King’s Chamber are separate from the massive part of the pyramid, this room stands like a lift in a his shaft. So, there’s a small space between the back of the granite walls and the massive lime blocks of the pyramid. The question is of course how great that space exactly is. The dimensions Petrie has noted in relation to the antechamber can probably provide us with the answer.

It’s possible that the walls of the King’s Chamber are exactly 3 cubit thick and that there’s a thickening of 2/7 cubit at the location of the air shafts. In any case, a wall thickness of 3+2/7 cubit is the largest possible. In further calculations in terms of volume and weight, this maximum thickness of 3+2/7 cubit is always assumed.

 

KC 03 - Drawing by Piazzi Smyth (Volume II plate 11). [4]

The dimensions according to Petrie in the table below, columns A and B: [3]
 

In the table above, columns A and B, the values ​​as recorded by Petrie are shown, the red figures refer to the joints in the floor of the anteroom. Column C (in inches) and column D (in cubit) contain the values ​​that the designers of the pyramid intended, the dimensions exactly in cubit and palm.
 

KC04 I – Drawing in inches - see column C in the table.

KC04 CU – Drawing in cubit. – see column D in table.

KC04 CM – Drawing in cm.

During calculations on an earlier version of this website (2009), the result was always rounded to the nearest palm, the drawings were never correct and this always caused problems. Well now, at the time the designers of the pyramid have decided to work with an accuracy up to 1/2 palm, yes, up to 2 digits (1 digit = 1.87 cm = 0.736 inch). So no, wall thicknesses of 3.36 cubit (3+2.5/7) can’t be rounded to 3.43 cubit (3+3/7). In the Antechamber we are actually getting a lesson in arithmetic, an exercise with fractions. If we are quiet and listen well, we can hear them laughing ... they are laughing at us.

KC05 - Yes, we have learned our lesson.

KC06 CU – Enlarging a detail of this drawing.

KC07 CU - Detailed drawing of the passage to the King’s Chamber.

KC08 - Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]
Passage from the antechamber to the king’s chamber.
Picture taken from in the antechamber.
The granite leaf above the entrance, with the 4 grooves in it, is 1.5 cubit thick.

KC09 - Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]
Passage from the king’s chamber to the Antechamber.
Picture taken from in the King’s Chamber.

KC10 - Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]
Passage from the King’s Chamber to the Antechamber.
Picture taken from in the King’s Chamber (detail).
Thickness of the granite wall in the passage is 3.36 cubit.

The wall of the King’s Chamber at the exit has a thickness of 3.36 cubit, this is 3+2.5/7 cubit. However, Rudolf Gantenbrink's measurements showed the walls to have a thickness of 3+2/7 cubit. It follows that at the exit, that wall is 0.5/7 cubit (or 0.5 palm) thicker.

(0.07 cubit = 0.5 palm = 2 digit = 3.74 cm = 1,472 inch).

There is not a single wide groove to be seen in the exit of the royal room, the wall of the King’s Chamber here is 2 digits thicker, perhaps to bridge that cavity or to hide it.

It is claimed that the entrance to the royal chamber consists of only one huge monolith with a thickness equal to the passage from the Antechamber into the King’s Chamber (4.86 cubit thick). This is not correct, the granite walls of the King’s Chamber more than likely have a thickness of 3.29 cubit (3+2/7 cubit). At the exit there’s a small thickening of 0.5/7 cubit to hide the gap between the granite wall and the limestone blocks behind it. As a result, the granite block at the passage has a thickness of 3.36 cubit (3 + 2.5/7 cubit).

 

KC11 - Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]
Picture taken from in the Antechamber, looking towards the south wall.
The granite leaf above the passage to the king’s chamber.

In the Antechamber, above the passage to the King’s Chamber, there’s that granite block with the 4 vertical grooves in it. This granite leaf should be about 4.5 cubit high but doesn’t reach the ceiling of the Antechamber. It's a granite sheet with a thickness of 1.5 cubit and although it fits very precisely with the entrance to the royal chamber, it is indeed a separate block. The free space above it was later filled with a block of limestone. In this stone, with a height of approx. 0.64 cubit, these four grooves were extended further up to the ceiling of the Anteroom.

If this hasn't already been done before, then someone should carefully remove that lime block to examine the cavity between the walls of the King’s Chamber and the massive part of the pyramid. Needless to say that a lot of new information could be discovered there.

 

KC 12 - Drawing by Piazzi Smyth (plate 12). [4]

KC 12A - Drawing by Piazzi Smyth (plate 12). [4]
Print of this image was not correct to scale,
corrected: length x 1,000 - height x 1,056 - 1 cubit = 20.62 inch.
Sizes in inches, according to data from Petrie.
Dimensions in red not from Petrie.

KC12B – Drawing of the Antechamber & the King’s Chamber.
Sizes in inches, according to data from Petrie.
Dimensions in red not from Petrie.

KC 13A - Drawing by Piazzi Smyth (plate 12). [4]
Print of this image was not correct to scale,
Corrected: length x 1,000 - height x 1,056 - 1 cubit = 20.62 inch.
Sizes in cubit, according to data (in inches) from Petrie.
Dimensions in red not from Petrie.

KC13B – Drawing of the Antechamber & the King’s Chamber.
Sizes in cubit, according to data (in inches) from Petrie.
Dimensions in red not from Petrie.

KC14A – Drawing of the walls of- and the entrance to the King’s Chamber.

KC14B – The granite leaf with the 4 vertical grooves, being part of the Antechamber,
stands above the entrance towards the King’s Chamber.
On top of this granite leaf a limestone block, also with 4 grooves in it.
This limestone fills the gap between the granite leaf
and the ceiling of the Antechamber.

The hydraulic press in Cheop’s pyramid.

KC15A – The monolith acts as a piston in a hydraulic cylinder.

As previously described sits there a hydraulic press with a small and a large cylinder in Cheop’s pyramid. Notwithstanding the immense dimensions, the piston of the small cylinder is formed by the monolith, this is the piston with the greatest displacement. All the water that was pushed away from the small cylinder was ending up under the King’s Chamber. This chamber actually forms the large cylinder of the hydraulic press.
 

The details of the small cylinder:

Displacement of the piston = 75 cubit. Cross-section of it = 41 cubit²

Displaced hydraulic fluid = 75 cubit x 41 cubit² = 3075 cubit³

Weight of the hydraulic piston = 1050 tons.

Force F1 on a slope of 26° = 1050 ton' x sin 26° = 460.29 ton'

Pressure on the water = 11.227 ton per cubit²

(this is approx. 4 kg/cm² or 4 atm.)

= roughly the same pressure as on our tap water.

KC16 – A hydraulic press inside Cheop’s Pyramid.

F1 = force placed on the small piston with section S1,
movement of the piston over a distance h1.

F2 = force developed by the large piston with a section S2,
movement of the piston over a distance h2.

F2 = F1 x (S2/S1)

A hydraulic press is a simple tool to increase a force.

The multiplication factor is S2/S1

The displacement of the large piston is much less than that of the small one.

h2 = h1 x (S1/S2)

The Large Cylinder.


The surface of the King’s Chamber to the outside of its granite walls appears to be about 17x27 cubit, which is an area of ​​459 cubit². That ground surface would therefore also be the surface of the large piston. Based on this, the displacement of that piston can be calculated as well as the vertical force that it could exert.


The displacement of the large piston is:

h2 = h1 x (S1/S2)
h2 = 75 cubit x (41 cubit²/446.76 cubit²)
h2 = 75 cubit x 0.092 = 6.9 cubit.

The upward force on the large piston is:

F2 = F1 x (S2/S1)
F2 = 460.29 ton’ x (446.76 cubit² / 41 cubit²)
F2 = 460.29 ton’ x 10.9 = 5017 ton’

F2 = P x S2
= 11.227 ton’/cubit² x 446.76 cubit² = 5016 ton’

KC15B – The floor of the King's Chamber is the piston
in the large cylinder of the hydraulic press.
An upward force of 5016 tons on the floor of the King’s Chamber,
its surface is 446.76 square cubit.

To enable a hydraulic press inside the pyramid, the King’s Chamber had to be the piston in the large cylinder. This room has a ground surface of 446.76 cubit² and there was an upward pressure (force) on it of 5016 tons. Moreover, the base had to be made of one piece.

KC 17 - Drawing by Piazzi Smyth - (Volume II plate 13). [4]

KC17B – The walls of the King's Chamber resting on limestone beams.

Very little is known of what can be found under the floor in the King's Chamber. The granite blocks of the floor aren't attached to the walls, there is even a small space between them. However, the floor itself consists of several blocks so this floor could never have been the piston. The granite walls of the King's Chamber have been found to rest on a limestone beam. It isn't known whether this is the start of one huge limestone plate on which the walls and floor of the royal chamber are resting on.

KC18 – some dimensions of the King’s Chamber, not very accurate.
Drawing Charles Piazzi Smyth – Volume II plate 14. [4]

In earlier excavations under the floor of the royal chamber (possibly executed by Giovanni Battista Caviglia [5]) a well was cut up to 7 to 8 cubit deep. It is not known whether the limestone under the floor consists of 1 piece or more of several blocks. If this was indeed one huge limestone monolith, then this very exceptional fact would certainly have been mentioned and described in the literature. There should be a cavity underneath that limestone, but the excavation of up to 8 cubit under the floor still did not go through the limestone and therefore no cavity was discovered.

The granite floor with a thickness of 2 cubit and the layer of limestone below of 8 cubit brings the total thickness to around 10 cubit, this with a total surface area of roughly 27 x 17 cubit brings the total volume to (27 x 17 x 10 ) cubit³ = 4590 cubit³. At an average weight of 375 kg/cubit³ this brings the total weight to 4590 cubit³ x 375 kg/cubit³ = 1,721,250 kg or 1721.25 tonnes. In total, an upward force of 5016 tonnes could be exerted. The granite floor of the royal chamber alone, plus a possible "piston" underneath, would already have required a force of at least 1721.25 tons. For the rest, namely the walls, the ceiling and the pressure relief rooms above, there left "only" 3294.75 tons. [5016 - 1721.25 tons].

Moreover, the question is whether limestone would have been strong enough for that task? One would expect that such a large piston would be made from granite and not from limestone.

Unfortunately, considering all the facts, it becomes clear that this idea sounds completely impossible and is indeed not the right solution.

So, back to square one? Back to ... the drawing board?


----------------------------------------------------
References to chapter G1


[1] – Photos taken by Jon Bodsworth


See Photo Gallery 2 : Jon’s own photos of the pyramids and surroundings.

 


[2]Rudolf Gantenbrink
See his website
www.cheops.org




[3] – Petrie W.M. Flinders – The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh – 1883.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flinders_Petrie

Book Online see:  http://www.ronaldbirdsall.com/gizeh/index.htm

 


[4] – Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819 – 1900).

Drawings from his book : Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1877)

See Wikipedia: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Piazzi_Smyth

Terms of copyright: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Piazzi-plate_7.jpg


 



[5] - Giovanni Battista Caviglia.

See Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Battista_Caviglia