The Purpose of the Grand Gallery in the Great Pyramid of Giza

Gösta Lindwall, Nov 17, 2021

The scenario depicted in the following illustration is based on the current opinion of mainstream Egyptologists regarding the use of the King’s Chamber – it is assumed to be an instrument for aiding the soul of the Pharaoh on its journey over to the afterlife.

Overview of the Grand Gallery and related chambers in the Great Pyramid of Giza

Overview of the Grand Gallery and related chambers in the Great Pyramid of Giza

This article is the result of my research into the ancient Egyptian belief system and the ”established historical consensus”. I have also researched related work of Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock. Mikael Kindborg has helped me as a discussion partner and with editing the text of the article.

Below, I make an attempt to expand on the current mainstream theory by illustrating a hypothetical ceremonial scenario that includes the use of the King’s Chamber, the Antechamber, and the Grand Gallery. This scenario involves an essential part of the ancient Egyptian belief system called ”The trial of Osiris”, which determines the path for a soul's journey to the afterlife.

My idea is to illustrate a scenario based on the current mainstream theory. Leading up to the King's Chamber is the mysterious Grand Gallery, a passage whose architectural details have been hard to place into any logical scenario. This article is an attempt to aid in understanding the implications of the mainstream theory regarding the Grand Gallery, and in reasoning about its validity.

Origins of the Current Mainstream Opinion

What if mainstream Egyptologists are right, and the Great Pyramid of Giza was an aid in the ritual of helping the Pharaoh's soul over to the afterlife. What would it look like and would it give a credible explanation for the use of the King’s Chamber and the Grand Gallery?

Numerous imaginative explanations concerning the purpose and function of the pyramids have been proposed by alternative researchers, but what can be said about the prevailing scholarly opinion held today, and is this view more credible than the alternative theories?

It seems to be an absolute fact that Robert Bauval was right in pointing out that the pyramids in Giza have a ground layout mirroring the constellation of the three belt stars of Orion. ”As above so below”, writes Bauval.

The Orion connection corresponds well with the belief system of the afterlife in ancient Egypt and the journey of the soul. The ruler of the dead was Osiris, and his realm, Duat, was the Netherworld. This realm was attributed to the region of the sky known as Sahu or Orion.

The King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid holds an empty stone sarcophagus. In this chamber, there is a famous narrow shaft emanating within meters from the sarcophagus. This shaft is constructed at a 45 degrees angle, and is aligned towards the position of the star Zeta Orion that corresponds to the year 2,450 BC.

This shaft was recognized by egyptologist Aalexandra Badaway and astronomer Virginia Trimble in the mid 1960s. The same shaft was explored by a robot in 1992.

Since the mid 1960s, the mainstream opinion among scholars have been that the shaft in the King’s Chamber ”serves as a star-shaft through which the soul of the deceased could ascend to Orion and thence begin its navigation of the Duat” (Graham Hanckock, America Before).

According to the mainstream view, the shaft in the King’s Chamber was used as a transportation device to the afterworld.

So – what if the whole pyramid serves the same purpose?

Diagram of the Great Pyramid

Diagram of the Great Pyramid that shows the location Grand Gallery, the Antechamber and the King's Chamber with the star-shaft pointing towards Orion

Dating of the Great Pyramid

If the Egyptologist's theory of the ”alignment of the shaft” is correct, it puts a time stamp on the pyramid that supports the mainstream dating. The ancient date is possible to know since there is a continuous change in the position of the stars, caused by the wobbling of the Earth’s axis. An historical alignment towards a star constellation therefore constitutes an astronomical fixpoint in time.

The position of the stars varies in accordance with the cyclic wobbling movement of Earth’s rotational axis. This cycle is known as the ”Long Year” (the Precession of the Equinoxes) and spans 25,920 years. This means that the shaft in the King’s Chamber will be aligned with Zeta Orion every 25,920 years. Therefore, another credible construction date (astronomically), would be 2,450 BC + 25,920 years, which adds up to 28,370 BC.

There is yet another aspect of this dating that should be mentioned. The question is, can we be certain that the Giza plateau was located at the same geographical position thousands of years ago? Some alternative researchers have suggested that the crust of the Earth has shifted its position considerably in the past.

Marc Carlotto has done extensive research into the historical alignments of ancient megalithic sites. His study of numerous ancient sites shows that they align with great accuracy to assumed previous historical locations of the North Pole. If Carlotto’s modern version of Charles Hapgood’s theory is correct, there have been Earth crust displacements occurring in the past. When a site is located at another place, compared to today, the alignments towards the stars also change, and that could render our current dating of the ancient structures incorrect.

Belief System of the Afterlife and the Soul in Ancient Egypt

Why would transportation of a Pharaoh's soul to the afterlife be important enough for the ancient Egyptians to construct a monument like the Great Pyramid?

The following is a short version of the belief system of ancient Egypt.

In Egyptian mythology, the Universe was divided into two regions. The upper region consisted of the earth (the god Geb), the atmosphere (the god Shu) and the heavens (the goddess Nut). The lower region, the realm of the dead, was known as the Duat.

The human soul was thought to consist of nine different aspects. Khat, the human body, was the physical aspect of the soul. Mummification was used to preserve the part of the soul that was bound to the remains of the physical body in the tomb. Of the other eight aspects, Ka was the vital essence (the vital spark) that distinguished the living from the dead. and death.

The spiritual form of the deceased had to find its way from the earthly plane to the realm of the dead in the constellation of Orion. The part of the soul reaching for Orion (Ka) was seen upon as the ascender, reaching for a way to rise into the journey though to the sky.

Sacred rituals were an important part of the death of Pharaoh in ancient Egyptian culture. The different aspects of the soul had to be nurtured and supported, both in the tomb and on their way to the afterlife.

This would make the Great Pyramid a ”machine”, whose purpose was to help the deceased to secure the passage to the realm of the dead.

This would also explain why no mummies have been found in the Great Pyramid, because it was a device for sending the heavenly soul on its journey, and the mummy was moved to its permanent resting place after the soul had departed.

The Purpose of the Grand Gallery

As mentioned above, the Great Pyramid contains a “star-shaft” that extends out from the King's Chamber. Through this shaft the soul of the deceased is believed to have ascended to Orion.

An area of the pyramid held in mystery is the Grand Gallery, a steep, high and narrow corridor leading up to the King’s Chamber. What might have been the purpose of this passage?

The constitution of the Grand Gallery is by many claimed to be remnants of some kind of mechanical device or chemical process. Researchers have associated the shelves, alcoves and recesses inside the gallery with structures for attaching equipment or machinery of some kind.

But what if the pyramid was an aid for the Pharaoh’s soul in travelling to the realm of the dead, as the Egyptologists suggest. Maybe the answer is in the Egyptian belief system and the many obstacles in the journey to the afterlife?

Detained view of the Grand Gallery

The Grand Gallery is set for a ceremony where the trial of Osiris is played out. A procession of priests hold the vessels in which the aspects of the soul (Kath and Ka) are contained. Wooden statues along the corridor represent the entities involved in the trial.

Essential for the passage to the afterlife was the trial of Osiris in the Hall of Truth. This involved weighing the heart of the deceased against the ”feather of truth”. Should the heart be heavier than the feather, this meant failure in claiming the purity of the soul.

In this process multiple entities were present. Besides Osiris himself, Anubis was leading the soul, Thoth was holding the scales, the goddess Maat was present, and they were surrounded by 42 judges asking 42 questions.

Following the mainstream context, my suggestion is that the Grand Gallery represents the Hall of Truth through which the soul had to pass before entering paradise.

The purpose of the gallery would in such a case have been to hold representations of the deities involved in the ritual. There could have been wooden statues of gods, or other items, along the sides of the passage.

Possibly, the gallery also featured some kind of mechanics to move the idols involved in the ceremony. The steep ramp would in this scenario support a sledge with the priests holding the vessels containing representations of the soul (Khat and Ka) of the deceased Pharaoh.

The Antechamber

In the corridor between the Grand Gallery and the King's Chamber there is a smaller room called the Antechamber. The walls of the chamber have marks and traces of attachment points for some kind of mechanical device.

Some kind of sliding doors, locking sports or pulleys may have been used for closing the chamber or dragging something along the ramp in the Grand Gallery. In the illustration above, a sledge is depicted that is dragging the priests and the soul of the Pharaoh up to the King's Chamber. This scenario is in line with the hypothesis of the established Egyptologists.

Besides holding some kind of rope winch for the sledge, the Antechamber could have represented a ceremonial gate between passages in the journey to the underworld.

There are also a number of unorthodox theories regarding the purpose of this chamber that have been suggested by alternative researchers.

The King’s Chamber

When entering the King's Chamber, there likely was a ceremony involving the two parts of the soul.

The sarcophagus could have been used to hold a representation of the physical aspect of the soul (Khat) or the mummy itself. And the shaft pointing towards the Orion constellation could have been used as a kind of stargate sending off the astral part of the soul (Ka) on its journey to the afterlife.

The sarcophagus in the King's Chamber

The part of the soul bound to the remains of the physical body is kept in the sarcophagus in the King's Chamber until the journey to the afterlife is completed

Astronomically, perfect alignment of the shaft towards Orion only occurs twice a year, which might mean that the ritual needed to be performed precisely at that time. This would also emphasize the importance of mummifying the body, to preserve the physical aspect of the soul until the journey could take place.

This would fit with the established reason for mummification. Based on the Egyptian belief system of the afterlife, certain aspects of the soul need to recognize the body when travelling back and forth from the spirit realm to the burial chamber.

The star-shaft in the King's Chamber

The star-shaft through which the ascender, the spiritual form of the deceased soul, can travel to Orion

When the ascension was completed and the soul had successfully reached the afterlife, the vessels and the mummy (if used) would have been transported to the tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

It would also be logical that the Grand Gallery, the Antechamber and the King's Chamber would be empty between ceremonies. Every soul had to be guided and treated differently in the passage. The set up of the items needed when guiding a Pharaoh would in such a case have been individual and installed before a ceremony.

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