The Great Pyramid and 2787 BC

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For the last six years (this is written in 2015), I’ve been studying the Pyramids, Sumer and related topics about our distant past. It’s a wonderful subject. Originally, I was researching such material in order to write a thriller in the mould of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ but I soon found several fascinating pieces of evidence about our past that I thought deserved more than just being spicy ingredients in a pot-boiler.

In truth, I did use some of that material for a fictional story, but I’ve created a graphic novel rather than a text novel (which is, ahem, far more high-brow). The graphic novel is called ‘The Great Secret’. It’s an adventure story in which a young man in the 1920's stumbles on a mystery involving Giza, Tutankhamun and strange, secret societies. In between the chases and surprises, I’ve made a big effort to explain some of the theories and ideas that I’ve developed through my research. What is possibly the most important theory concerns the Great Pyramid and is the subject of this article. Off we go…
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The Great Pyramid is one of the three Giza Pyramids. It stands on the raised sandstone plateau that lies on the edge of modern-day Cairo. The Giza Pyramids were very precisely built. They sit at almost exactly 30 degrees from the Equator. The Great Pyramid alone contains millions of two-tonne limestone blocks, fitted together with hair-fine precision. Its central chambers are made with granite blocks that are tens-of-tonnes in weight. The pyramid is flat to within inches, square to within inches and aligned to true north (not magnetic north) to within inches. It is an astonishing feat of engineering.
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The Ancient Egyptians said in their records that the Great Pyramid was built to send their god-pharaoh’s soul to the stars. This purpose is reflected in the words they used to describe the Great Pyramid. The general Egyptian word for a pyramid means ‘a place of ascension’. The Great Pyramid was known, in particular, as ‘The House of Light’. What’s more, the word ‘pyramid’ itself comes from the Greek words ‘pyro’ (meaning ‘fire’) and ‘mid’ (from the Greek word ‘mesos’ meaning ‘middle’). The word ‘Pyramid’ therefore literally means ‘fire in the middle’.

It therefore seems reasonable to conclude that the Ancient Egyptians regarded their Great Pyramid as some kind of building that contained, or created, a light. The astonishing scale of the Giza Pyramids and the precision of their location, orientation, construction and components indicates that their site’s builders didn’t undertake that massive task out of simple primitive superstition. They seemed to have had a sophisticated plan. What was this plan?

Let us surmise that the Ancient Egyptian architects did actually plan to do what they said they did. They did make a huge effort to send the spirit of their god-king to another star, on a ray of light. Whether this feat is possible is, in a sense, irrelevant to this article for the Ancient Egyptians believed it was possible. They believed it enough to build a massive and precisely constructed device for that purpose.

We can also leave the question of how the Ancient Egyptians made the light inside their pyramid to another discussion. That can be treated as a separate and independent topic. Let us, for now, proceed with the understanding that the Ancient Egyptians built an incredibly large and precisely constructed building with the purpose of firing a ray of light at another star. From this point on, I will not be talking about Ancient Egyptians, gods, myths or anything esoteric or written.

I will only be talking about astronomy and modern science when solving the riddle of the Great Pyramid's purpose.
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If someone looks into the possibility of firing a ray of light at another star, he or she will very quickly find out that it's a very difficult task. Our planet is constantly rotating. Because of this, nearly all the stars in our sky are continually moving. If someone fires a beam of light at a star in our night sky, that star will have moved long before the ray reaches it.

Fortunately, there are two locations in our night sky where a star does not move. They are the South and North Celestial Poles. If a star is positioned on either of those two locations, it will hardly move at all, because it is moving in a tiny circle, of a very small radius. As a result, it is a viable target for a beam of light fired from our planet as it is effectively a sitting duck. Therefore, a star on our North Celestial Pole is a viable target for a device sited in our Northern Hemisphere. The device would need a firing shaft pointed at true north. In addition, the elevation of its shaft would match the latitude of its location.

Lo and behold, the Giza Pyramids sit at almost exactly 30 degrees latitude in the Northern Hemisphere and the elevation of the northern shaft leading out of the King's Chamber is 30 degrees from the horizontal. It would seem that the King's Chamber Northern Shaft is set up exactly right to send a beam of light to the only location in the Northern Sky that is a viable target location.
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The Great Pyramid’s target therefore seems clear. It was designed to send a beam of light at a star sitting on the North Celestial Pole, But what star?

Nowadays, there is no star sitting directly on our North Celestial Pole. Polaris is close, but not that close. Fortunately, the position of the stars in our sky change over centuries due to precession. Precession is caused by the slow change of Earth’s orientation, like a spinning top that slowly moves in a titled circle. Our precessional cycle lasts around 25,000 years. During that long, cyclic period, as our planet’s axis points to different locations in a celestial circle, certain significant stars do pass extremely close to our North Celestial Pole.
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These passage-events are very rare, with gaps between them of many thousands of years, but they do happen. The last significant instance of this phenomena was in 2787 BC when the star Thuban moved almost exactly on to the North Celestial Pole. The Thuban event is of particular significance because of how close Thuban came. It was the closest a star has come to our pole in ten thousand years or more.

Was the pyramid built for this date? Rather than rely on Victorian archaeological theories, we can refer to carbon-dating evidence. The Egyptologists Mark Lehner and Robert Wenke carried out carbon-dating work at Giza in 1984. They analysed thirteen samples of mortar from the Great Pyramid and produced dates in the range 3101 BC to 2853 BC and an average date of 2977 BC. They took seven samples of mortar from the Second Pyramid which produced an average date of 2988 BC.

It would therefore seem, according to that scientific data, that work on the Giza Pyramids began in 3100 BC. The construction ran for 250 years and was completed in 2850 BC, roughly sixty years before the moment when Thuban sat on the North Celestial Pole.
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This carbon-dating evidence, I think, adds the final piece to the jigsaw, as it shows scientifically that the Great Pyramid was built in time for the transit of Thuban across the celestial north pole. The pyramid builders' motives may be open to discussion but scientific evidence tells us their purpose. The builders had a target - Thuban - and a target date: 2787 BC. If they missed this, there would not be another chance to hit a remote star system with a ray of light for many thousands of years. Other aspects of the Giza mystery may be contentious and mired in controversy but these astronomical facts are simple and unrefutable as they are based on solid scientific information. The builders of the Giza Pyramids knew, far ahead of time, that Thuban would be on the celestial pole and they planned and built those pyramids in time for that celestial event.

There are logical consequences that arise from this evidence, consequences about our past and life in the universe which are fascinating to explore. Many of them will be covered in my graphic novel, along with other evidence I’ve unearthed.

Minor notes: Some readers may point out that the academic literature states that the northern passage of the Great Pyramid is slightly lower than 30 degrees. In response to that comment, I would recommend they study Gantenbrink's detailed surveying of the passages and the slight uplift recorded at the end of the passage as it exits the pyramid.

Adrian Ellis, Summer 2015