Could history be wrong? More specifically, could the story and purpose of the pyramids of ancient Egypt, as presented in numerous TV documentaries and countless academic books, be fatally flawed? Indeed, is there another plausible paradigm, with an entirely different narrative for interpreting these magnificent monuments? Is there an alternative view that stands up to scrutiny, is consistent with the ancient Egyptian culture, and is corroborated with much more evidence than is the tomb theory of orthodoxy? Is there an explanation that is almost unknown to the public—let alone one that is fully considered?
Before considering this alternative view, it is probably fair to concede that some pyramids in ancient Egypt probably were used as tombs—there is, indeed, some good circumstantial evidence to support this view. So, we are not saying the peer-reviewed studies are entirely wrong. But simply because scraps of evidence can be found that some pyramids were probably used for burial does not, and should not, establish that this was the only original or intended function. The distinction is important, yet one that Egyptologists, wedded as they are to the ‘tomb,’ and ‘tomb only’ theory, rarely consider.
Ultimately, what counts is evidence. Alas, the evidence, which points to a very different purpose for these first pyramids, is usually ignored, glossed over, misinterpreted, or otherwise explained away. It seems almost as though the academic establishment intentionally chooses not to connect the dots of the evidence all around them. Would doing so paint a picture of our most ancient past, based almost entirely upon hidebound, and outworn, theories? Have the academic authorities invested so much in their cherished ‘tomb paradigm,’ that they cannot even consider other, perhaps more reasonable, possibilities? Has a big piece of the historical puzzle been almost entirely overlooked or ignored?
This problematic attitude has been well summarized by one of the few Egyptologists who has dared to speak out against such ‘academic censorship.’ In her controversial book, Kingdom of the Ark, Lorraine Evans, writes: “It is important to stress that many academics’ careers are based on these ‘facts’ and to disprove them overnight would make these people redundant.” In researching her book, Evans says, “I soon discovered that some academics were quite willing to share their work off the record [emphasis added —ED], but when it came to committing it to print they soon backed down and a wall of silence greeted me. None of them, it appeared, wanted to put their jobs on the line, to tell the truth. The sad reality of the matter is that we are relying on these people to tell us our history, but they seem content to operate under a veil of academic censorship.”
The trouble begins with the interpretation of evidence. Conventional academics, the virtual custodians of our past, offer theories of the evidence that, rather than clarifying the true historical facts, actually clouds them. Only hypotheses that reinforce existing prejudices—their personal belief systems—are offered. Take, for example, the heavy stone boxes found in a few of the first pyramids. Egyptologists have used the ubiquitous label ‘sarcophagi’ (meaning coffins), but is that the only use such stone boxes might have had?
In fact, the ancient Egyptians had, at least, three different terms for these enigmatic stone boxes, dArwEt, qErsEw, and nEb-Ankh—suggesting at least three different functions. It seems that qErsEw were indeed used for human burial, and were, in fact, sarcophagi, but that is not always the case, as can easily be observed in the so-called ‘sarcophagi’ of Khufu and Khafre, which contrast distinctly with those of other family members from the period, such as Kawab, Meresankh, and Minkhaf (the offsprings of Khufu and siblings to Khafre). Where the sarcophagi from the mastaba tombs of Khufu’s sons/daughters and siblings are exquisitely finished, highly decorated, and inscribed with the names and titles of the deceased the purported ‘sarcophagi’ of Khufu and Khafre are simply rough granite boxes, entirely anonymous, and bearing not a single inscription.
If we accept the maxim—that form follows function—with this evidence, we have our first hint that all is not what we have been told. Here, indeed, can be seen a clear distinction between the stone boxes in the mastaba tombs (which were obviously intended for burial) and those found in some of the pyramids. Moreover, it is not merely the outward appearance of these stone boxes that reveals a profoundly different function than those of the mastaba tombs. It is their actual contents which have been ignored or glossed over by academic authorities.
The first hint of the true purpose for these stone boxes (and, by extension, the giant pyramids themselves) presented itself almost two centuries ago when the Italian explorer, Giovanni Belzoni, became the first in recent history to enter the main chamber of Khafre’s pyramid. Prying open the lid of the granite container, Belzoni was astonished to find, not a king’s mummy, but a granite box filled with nothing more than ordinary earth.
Belzoni, however, immediately disregarded his own discovery, taking it as an aberration, assuming that the king’s actual body must have been stolen from the ‘sarcophagus’ in antiquity and that, to ‘honor the gods,’ the box had been filled instead with dirt. Incredibly, almost two hundred years later, Belzoni’s judgment remains the prevailing view of Egyptology. Few, if any, have ever even considered the possibility that the found in this stone container was, in fact, its originally intended content and that it had been placed there for a very good reason—something evidenced and explained elsewhere in the ancient Egyptian culture.
One of ancient Egypt’s most important festivals was the Festival of Khoiak, which marked the rebirth of Osiris. During this month-long celebration, the festival participants would fashion small, anonymous stone boxes (sometimes wooden) and fill them with earth, scattering some grain on top of the soil. These miniature boxes (nEb-Ankh) were symbolic versions of the larger stone boxes found in the pyramid. A lid would sometimes seal the box before it was buried, with a large rock placed on top to symbolize the pyramid mound. So here we have an ancient Egyptian ritual from later dynasties replicating in symbolic form exactly what Belzoni had found inside Khafre’s pyramid in 1818. The later Egyptians dynasties fully understood what these rough, anonymous boxes in the pyramids contained, for they replicated them in ritual form with their own miniature versions.
Sometimes a small effigy of the god Osiris would be placed in the small stone container. Typically this Osiris figure was made of mud, packed with grain, and wrapped in linen. Known as ‘Corn Mummies,’ these figures, Egyptologists believe, were fashioned as part of the Festival of Khoiak simply to venerate Osiris as the god of rebirth and regeneration,the god of agriculture. This is why, the Egyptologists explain, the face of Osiris is often colored green (representing vegetation) or black (for the black Nile silt). But this is to take a very simplistic and superficial view of the evidence and to fail to connect the other dots that complete the picture.
With this evidence of the nEb-Ankh and the Osiris ‘Corn Mummies,’ we can now see evidence pointing to the probability that these pyramids were not intended as tombs for kings but, in fact, served some other purpose. But why place a stone box filled with earth within the pyramid? Why create these Osiris ‘Corn Mummies’? A number of clues come to us from the ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, the oldest religious writings found anywhere in the world. [A collection of Old Kingdom Egyptian writings, the Pyramid Texts were found carved onto the walls inside the pyramids at Saqqara. The Texts, some scholars believe, originated in sources dating to before dynastic Egypt. —ED]
In the Pyramid Texts we learn of the ancient Egyptian Creation Myth, where, in the beginning, there was nothing but water until the first mound (pyramid) rose out of the deep. The texts also tell us of the story of Isis and Osiris, that “Osiris is the grain” and that “the pyramid is Osiris… the construction [of the pyramid] is Osiris.” They further tell us that the body of Osiris was cut into sixteen pieces by his evil brother Seth and scattered along the banks of the Nile. Egyptologists dismiss these texts merely as ritualistic hymns, spells and incantations designed to assist the king, on his journey through the Duat and into the Afterlife. With this simplistic view they, once more, fail to connect the dots—and miss entirely what the texts actually say—burying a fundamental truth which is clearly visible to anyone with the eyes to see.
The enormous stone pyramids (and their satellites) of ancient Egypt numbered nineteen in total, but three were never completed, leaving sixteen fully finished. If, as the Pyramid Texts tell us, “the pyramid is Osiris” and his body was cut into sixteen pieces and scattered along the banks of the Nile, could it then be that the pyramids themselves were literally the body of Osiris, and like the ‘Corn Mummies’ of later times, had once been filled with grain and other seed types? What does the evidence say?
During the early explorations of the Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara, vast quantities of grain and many other seed types were found, along with some 40,000 stones vessels of all shapes and sizes. Someone in antiquity, it seems, was storing enormous quantities of grain within the ‘body of Osiris’. Once again, we can join the dots and make connections with the later tradition of the Osiris ‘Corn Mummies.’
But, there’s more. If we consider the classic figurine of Osiris—with distinctive Atef crown and the royal regalia of crossed crook and flail—and then map the key points, creating a stickman, we find a remarkable correlation with the layout of the pyramids. The first pyramids, we can plainly see, aligns very well with the figure of Osiris; they really do reveal, as the Pyramid Texts state, the ‘body of Osiris.’ As for the stone box filled with earth: a scattering upon the earth of the seeds within the box could provide the virtual life-spark, soul, or Ka within the body of Osiris formed by the pyramids.
Why, after all, would the ancient Egyptians build sixteen pyramids and fill them with various seed types and storage vessels? Egyptologist, Dr. Mark Lehner, offers one explanation: a Coptic legend states that an ancient king, Surid (possibly a corruption of the name Suphis/Khufu), upon learning of an impending deluge that would destroy his kingdom, had the pyramids constructed as arks, to store in them everything “that was of esteem” in the kingdom. In this scenario the pyramids were built, not as the tomb of the king but as the womb of the kingdom, ensuring they had everything required in order to ‘reboot’ the kingdom after the worst effects of the deluge had passed. In short, the pyramid arks would ensure the rebirth of the kingdom, of the earth. This chthonic function [pertaining to the subterranean world —ED] is what the ancient myths tell us was the purpose of these pyramids, but the idea is dismissed by the academics who, though possessing little evidence, still insist that the pyramids were built as tombs, and only as tombs.
Despite the difficulties though, the prevailing historical narrative, is yet maintained by a determined establishment not only through indifference to significant evidence but also by the aggressive manufacture of bogus ‘evidence.’ The best example of this occurred in 1837, when the British antiquarian and electoral cheat, Colonel Richard William Howard Vyse, blasted his way into four hidden chambers within the upper reaches of the Great Pyramid. Within these chambers Vyse, according to his own published account, found ‘quarry marks’ (including some royal names) painted onto some of the roof and wall stones. Egyptologists hailed this discovery as incontrovertible proof that the pyramid was indeed a tomb, built for Khufu, circa 2550 BCE. The ‘evidence’ was accepted without further scientific analysis on what amounts to nothing more than the word of the British colonel. Such remains the case today.
The truth of the matter, however, is considerably different and, indeed, much more sinister. In his 1980 book, The Stairway to Heaven, best-selling author, Zechariah Sitchin, first put forward the sensational claim that these painted marks had actually been faked by Vyse and his team. While some of the case presented by Sitchin has since been discredited, an entire corpus of new evidence has recently surfaced that shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that Vyse did indeed fabricate this evidence in the Great Pyramid, as Sitchin claimed, and that, in so doing, he perpetrated one of the greatest hoaxes of all history.
In 2014, having tracked Vyse’s handwritten field notes to a small archive in Aylesbury, England, and after laboriously deciphering his extremely difficult handwriting, this writer found a number of clearly incriminating pages suggesting that, indeed, Vyse has perpetrated a fraud. I had much to say on this in Atlantis Rising #106, “Crime in the Great Pyramid,” but here are the high points.
On March 30, 1837, Vyse’s private notes stated the following: “In Wellington’s Chamber, there are marks in area of the stones like quarry marks of red paint, also the figure of a bird near them, but nothing like hieroglyphics.” The passage is remarkable for a number of reasons which are more fully explained in my forthcoming book, The Great Pyramid Hoax (Bear & Co., Dec 2016), but the most important point is Vyse’s admission that, after having opened and thoroughly examined this chamber twice, he had found “nothing like hieroglyphics.” And yet, despite this, Vyse’s assistant, J.R. Hill, (acting on Vyse’s instructions) very soon presented the facsimile drawing of a royal cartouche from this chamber. That single symbol remains, to this day, the sole evidence upon which the standard dating of the Great Pyramid is based.
Vyse stated repeatedly that he wanted to make an important discovery in these chambers; indeed, he wished to discover a cartouche that would date the structures. Given this desire, it is very had to believe that, in his private writings, he would make no mention of any cartouche having been found in this chamber. And yet, seemingly from nowhere, his assistant subsequently presented just such a thing.
In another passage from these same private notes, Vyse writes: “For Raven & Hill. These were my marks from cartouche [Vyse’s sketch of the infamous cartouche is drawn here —ED] to inscribe over any plain, low trussing.” Vyse is making a note to himself of his intention to instruct his assistants to copy a Khufu cartouche onto a roof trussing. He does not say here that he had found a cartouche already inscribed (past tense) on a particular trussing but that he has a cartouche “to inscribe” (future tense) over any trussing within the chamber. There seems little doubt—these painted marks were intentionally fabricated by Vyse and his team.
Such actions—the indifference to, and misinterpretation of, evidence, indeed by its active fabrication—tell a false version of the true history of these monuments. But, hopefully, as the mistakes, misinterpretations, and, indeed, crimes of the past are exposed and disentangled, the buried and distorted truth of our ancient past can now find its way to the surface, and our true origins can, at last, emerge from the darkness.
CAPTIONS: The plain, uninscribed granite box in Khafre’s pyramid was found filled with earth. The key points of the Osiris figure (right) correlate with the relative positions of the first pyramids along the banks of the Nile. Italian explorer, Giovanni Belzoni, liked to dress as an Arab. The so-called Khufu cartouche found in one of the chambers above the King’s chamber in the Greay Pyramid (photo courtesy of Dr. Robert Schoch). Vyse’s private journal entry of 27th May, 1837.
Author Scott Creighton’s forthcoming book, The Great Pyramid Hoax (Bear & Co., December 2016), offers further, never-before-seen evidence of the audacious hoax perpetrated by British explorer and antiquarian, Colonel Richard William Howard Vyse, and his assistants inside the Great Pyramid in 1837.