D1 - The Great Gallery 1

Article first time online May 2009.
Completely reworked October 2019.

The ascending shaft leading to the great gallery.
Slope 26°, vertical height 2.23 cubit (1.17 m) and 2 cubit (1.05 m) wide.
Perpendicular cross section 2 by 2 cubit.
Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]

Photo by the brothers John & Morton Edgar – 1910, 1913. [4]

Original text: Ascending, by the aid of the side ramps, the grand gallery in the great pyramid of Gizeh; Showing, also, the low doorway of the horizontal passage leading to the Queen's Chamber.

Scetch from the book of the Edgar brothers – 1910, 1913. [4]

Original text: The grand gallery of the great pyramid of Gizeh, looking south; showing the sheer cut-off of the floor ; the two ramps ascending to the great step ; and the entrance of the horizontal passage to the Queen's chamber.

The great gallery, 4 cubit (2.10 m) wide and about 8 meters high.
1 cubit = 0.5236 m = 20.62 inch.
Above, at the end the entrance towards the king’s chamber.
Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]

Sketch from the book of the brothers John & Morton Edgar – 1910, 1913. [4]

Original text: The great step at the [south] end of the grand gallery; showing the low passage to the ante [chamber] and [the] king's chamber.

Photo by the brothers John & Morton Edgar – 1910, 1913. [4]

Original text: The step at the head of the grand gallery of the great pyramid of Gizeh; showing the ramps terminating against its north front [north front of the great threshold]; and the low passage leading horizontally southward to the ante-chamber.

The southern end of the great gallery, after it the entrance to the antechamber and the royal chamber. In the foreground the high limestone threshold, several restorations took place in present times.

Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]

The great gallery and the ascending shaft, one huge complex whole!

The ascending shaft together with the great gallery,
forming one very long corridor.

The great gallery is perfectly in line with the ascending corridor
and makes an angle of 26°.

The great gallery is without a doubt the hallway or room that stands out the most. The narrow ascending shaft suddenly turns into an immensely high gallery, this apparently makes no sense and looks totally useless in this regard. This gallery has a length of about 89 cubits (46.6 meters) and a height of about 8 meters, the width on the other hand is only 4 cubit, which means that there really can't be any question of a room. Due to the fact that the floor of the great gallery makes an angle of 26°, it can be completely ruled out that it’s a room. But why did the gallery have to be 8 meters high? The builders have had to make immense efforts to cover that large hollow space and to make it sufficiently strong that the gallery could withstand the pressure of the enormous weight of stones that were on top of it.


1 - There are some details in the great gallery that attract attention.

Detail all the way in the top of the great gallery (red line in the circle).

The upper stone layer (red planes) is making an angle of 26 degrees
with the vertical surface below it.

At the very end of the great gallery, where it merges into the ascending corridor, there is something remarkable (see the red area). All stone layers above the ascending shaft are perfectly vertical with the exception of the top layer, the red surface makes an angle of 26° with respect to the vertical surface below it. The stone layers that lie above the ascending corridor are always drawn horizontally, just like the building layers of the pyramid itself.

That little red area not only attracts our attention, it was already the case in the past. This is the reason why Howard Vyse or one of his contemporaries cut a hole in it, but absolutely nothing was discovered there.



Howard Vyse see Wikipedia:

The red area makes it clear that this stone layer is not horizontal but was also placed at the same angle of 26 °. It’s logical that the stone layers underneath also lie at an angle of 26°.

All stone layers above the ascending corridor are at an angle of 26 °!

The above drawing is much more logical, the ascending corridor makes an angle of 26° and all the stone layers on top of it run parallel to that corridor. As a logical consequence, the red area is now at right angles, that stone is perfectly rectangular and is part of the solid pyramid. The layers below form a vertical plane, it’s one whole and these aren’t part of the massive pyramid.

2 - A second point are the huge granite plugs blocking the ascending corridor.

The three granite plugs which are still blocking the ascending corridor.

Where the ascending corridor begins, there are still three granite plugs that completely block this corridor. These blocks have a section of 2 by 2 cubit. The corridor itself becomes a bit narrower at the bottom, so that the granite plugs got stuck there. In the drawing, these granite plugs have a length of 4 cubit per stone. The actual length is unknown (to us) but will probably be around 2 cubit.

To date, people are still convinced that the king’s chamber was the place where Cheops was buried. According to the still valid theory, those granite plugs were put in place to block the ascending corridor, only after putting away the mummy. To solve the problem of the granite plugs, dozens of theories have been devised over the course of time, with these plugs being stored in all sorts of imaginary ways. With every theory, however, it was always assumed that those granite blocks were located somewhere in the great gallery and that they were pushed down, through the ascending corridor all the way to the end of it.

[2] [Edwards:] "... That is why there was no alternative but to store the blocks somewhere in the pyramid during construction and, after the body was placed in the burial chamber, lower them down the ascending corridor. That such a method was used is clear from the fact that the three closing blocks that are still in place at the lower end of the ascending corridor are approximately 1 inch (2.54 cm) wider than the access to that corridor. Therefore these granite plugs can’t be placed from within the descending corridor. However, this conclusion raises two problems: where were the blocks stored before they were lowered into the ascending corridor and how could the men who must have pushed the closing blocks come out of the pyramid after their work was finished? [Edwards]

Well yeah, according scientists it's completely impossible to push down those granite blocks through the ascending corridor; The least friction would cause those granite plugs to block in that narrow shaft.

Photo by the brothers John & Morton Edgar – 1910, 1913. [4]

Original text: The large cavity excavated round the western side of the granite plug in the great pyramid of Gizeh, excavated by Caliph Al Mamoun in 820 A.D. This cavity connects the descending passage with the lower end of the first ascending passage.

Picture taken in Al-Mamoen’s “robbers tunnel”, third granite plug on the left.
Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]

Photo by the brothers John & Morton Edgar – 1910, 1913. [4]

Original text: The upper south end, and portion of the west side, of the granite plug which completely blocks the lower end of the first ascending passage in the great pyramid of Gizeh.

Picture taken in Al-Mamoen’s “robbers” tunnel,
the second and third granite plug on the left.
Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]

The bottom of the first granite plug.
Picture taken in the descending shaft.
Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]

The intersection where the descending corridor (1)
and the ascending corridor (2) meet.
The “robbers tunnel” carved by the workmen of Al-Mamoen (3).
The three granite plugs in the ascending corridor (2)

The drawing above shows where the descending (1) and the ascending shaft (2) come together. At the bottom of the ascending shaft are still the three granite plugs that are blocking off this corridor, making it impossible to reach the king’s chamber. The team of caliph Al-Mamoen has carved a tunnel (3) from the north wall of the pyramid to this point. Granite plug 3 was largely chopped away. Shaft 2 becomes a bit narrower at the bottom to allow the granite plugs 1, 2 and 3 to jam. Probably the workmen of Al-Mamoen have chopped into the much softer limestone until they passed the plugs and ended up in the ascending corridor, perhaps only then have they found the courage to break away pieces of the third granite plug. So, in the first instance they discovered the ascending shaft. The story goes that the workers suddenly heard a large stone block falling down, making them realize that there had to be another shaft below them. They carved deeper then into the lime stone to finally end up in the descending corridor.

Anyway, the three granite plugs are still sitting in their final destiny. It's certain that the problem of storing and placing those plugs (1, 2 and 3) still raises huge question marks to which no adequate answers have yet been found.


3 - The third and perhaps the largest question mark can be placed next the bizarre constructions in the great gallery, on the top of the ledges and in the side walls just above.

28 holes in both ledges of the great gallery.

Detail of the holes 25 to 28 in each ledge and side wall of the great gallery.

In the longitudinal direction of the great gallery there is a ledge on both sides with a perpendicular cross-section of 1 by 1 cubit, the vertical height of it is about 60 cm. If one steps up the great gallery, it’s like walking on a path with a width of 2 cubit (1.05 m), on either side of that path there is a ledge with a width of 1 cubit through which this corridor (gallery) is in total 4 cubit (2.10 m) wide.

There are 28 holes in each ledge, spread over the entire length at a regular distance (3 cubit) from each other and per pair directly opposite each other in both ledges. Just above those holes in the ledges, there are also rectangular holes in the side walls of the great gallery, with the exception of the lower two on both sides. These holes seem to be filled afterwards with a limestone (red). Then grooves were carved in the side wall and also in these stones. These grooves run parallel to the ledges, so also at an angle of 26 ° (purple lines). Above the third last hole at the bottom, in both ridges, there is a rectangular hole in the side wall that was filled with a limestone, but no groove was carved afterwards.


One of the holes in the ledge and the side wall

of the great gallery.

Another hole in the ledge and the side wall

of the great gallery.
Photo taken by Jon Bodsworth [1]

Front view of one of the rough grooves (purple) in the limestone (red)
and in the side wall of the great gallery.


Top view of such a hole in the balustrade and a rough groove in the side wall of the gallery. That groove is not a circle segment, it is only the beginning and the end that is circular. In between that groove runs almost parallel to the side wall.

[5] - Petrie 46, page 72: The holes cut in the ramps or benches, along the sides of the gallery, the blocks inserted in the wall over each, and the rough chopping out of a groove across each block— all these features are as yet inexplicable. One remarkable point is that the holes are alternately long and short, on both sides of the gallery; the mean of the long holes is 23.32 [inch] , with an average variation of .73, and the mean of the short holes is 20.51, with average variation .40. Thus the horizontal length of a long hole is equal to the sloping length of a short hole, both being one cubit. This relation is true within less than half their average variations.

The solution to this mystery?

Animated .gif file of the great gallery.

In reality, a huge gallery, twice as long as there’s to see now.

The great gallery is the only thing clearly visible, but the “monolith”, this immense block of stones at the very bottom merges completely into the massive whole of the pyramid so that we no longer can contain it. The only thing that our brain still can distinguish is the narrow ascending corridor. In reality there stands an immense block of stones there in which this ascending corridor was left open.

Another animated .gif file of the Great Gallery.

This is the only fact that happened in the Great Gallery, more there isn't to say about it.
Although, explaining this won't be that easy.


References to Chapter D.

[1] - Photos taken by Jon Bodsworth.

See: Photo Gallery 2

[2] - The pyramids of Egypt.
Edwards, I.E.S – De piramiden van Egypte (1947).
Uitgeverij Hollandia – Dutch translation
Derde druk - 1985 - ISBN 90 6045 559 2

[3] - De Piramiden van Egypte.
Bob Tadema Sporry & Auke A. Tadema
Unieboek b.v. Bussum - 1971, 1977, 1980
ISBN 90 228 3315 1

[4] - Photos taken by the Edgar Brothers.
Great Pyramid Passages, Volume 1 & 2 , (1910 & 1913)
John Edgar & Morton Edgar.
Photos obtained from Jon Bodsworth's website in August 2009.
Photos public Domain, see Wikimedia:

Books online:

[5] - Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853 – 1942)
See Wikipedia:
See also: The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh – 1883
Book online by Ronald Birdsall: