mardi 24 mai 2011

Pyramides d’Égypte : arrêt sur images, avec les frères John et Morton Edgar - III

Troisième partie de l'album des Edgar Brothers

"[This] photograph shows John in the act of passing under the Granite Leaf. By actual trial, we found it impossible to raise our heads on the inner or south side of the Granite Leaf, without first lifting our feet from the limestone floor, and placing them on granite. With the exception of two small limestone blocks in the upper corners of the south and east walls, this, the main portion of the Ante-Chamber, is formed entirely of granite."

"A (...) photograph taken inside the Ante-Chamber, with the camera placed on the flat upper surface of the east wainscot, shows the upper portion of the west side of the Granite Leaf where it fits into its groove in the granite wainscot of the west wall. Above this, on the right side of the photograph, are seen the upper and middle of the three limestone blocks which form the north wall of the Ante-Chamber.Of the two blocks shown above the west wainscot, the one to the north is limestone, and the other is granite. The extreme blackness of the granite roof is due to the smoke from the torches and candles of the countless visitors who have passed below on their way to and from the King's Chamber."

"One other photograph was taken in the Ante-Chamber. This shows on the right side a portion of the west wall with its broad shallow grooves and its broken pilasters, and on the left the low passage, only three and a half feet in height and eight feet four inches in length, leading to the King's Chamber.
The narrow rebates on each side of the doorway are clearly apparent, as also the four vertical and parallel grooves, measuring 3¾ inches in width by 2¾ inches in depth, reaching from the ceiling of the Ante-Chamber down to the fractured doortop. The five spaces marked off by these four vertical grooves and the two side walls, stand out distinctly, and are of equal width, namely, six inches. The white line across the floor at the further end of the low passage, is the dividing line between the granite floor of the entrance passage, and the granite floor of the King's Chamber beyond. The prominence of this line is due to the fact that the floor of the King's Chamber is three-quarters of an inch higher than that of the Ante-Chamber and the entrance passage."

"Afternoon tea" in the King's Chamber; showing part of the dark granite walls of the chamber ; also the Coffer."

"We photographed the mouth of the south air-channel of the King's Chamber as it appears on the south wall. The surface of the wall immediately above and to the east side of the mouth is much broken away, and the opening is therefore much larger than it was originally. This air-channel runs horizontally southward for a few feet, then takes a bend upward, and after a second short length still another upward bend, from which point it progresses in a straight line, and at a constant angle, to the south face of the Pyramid."

"We photographed the doorway of the small passage by which we had entered the King's Chamber. To show how small it is, Grace stood near it on the west side. The opening of the north air-channel can be seen on the left-hand side ; it will be noticed that its upper edge is in line with the top edge of the doorway."

"We secured a picture of the Coffer, with six of us sitting in it to give an idea of its size. On the right-hand side of this latter photograph, it will be noticed that a portion of the floor of the chamber is missing. Some of the floor-stones were raised from this, the north-west, corner of the chamber by early looters, who then excavated a large hollow in the soft limestone below the hard granite floor, in the hope of discovering hidden treasure somewhere under the Coffer. This excavation enables one to see that the granite walls of the chamber rest on limestone exactly five inches below the upper surface of the floor. On the walls behind the Coffer, and also above the doorway, a great many disfiguring names are visible. Names are scrawled everywhere in the Pyramid. Generally they are carved in the stone ; but in the King's Chamber the granite is too hard to make this easily possible, and consequently most of the names are painfed on its walls."

"The Well-mouth in the north-west corner of the Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, from the east; showing the horizontal joint between the upper and lower portions of the square-cut-off Ramp to the south (left) ; the fragmentary remains of the missing Ramp-stone in the north (right) corner ; and the upper end of the First Ascending Passage to the right ; also part of the floor of the Horizontal Passage to the Queen's Chamber in the foreground."

"We photographed the small doorway of the Grotto from the inside, getting Judah to sit on the sandy floor on the west side with his head almost touching the roof.
Wedged in at the east edge of the deep hollow in the floor of the Grotto is a large granite stone, which, judging by its broken appearance, is a fragment of a larger block. It has two worked surfaces at right angles to each other, and, most wonderful of all, parts of two large holes drilled through it. The north-east upper corner of this stone may be seen at the lower left-hand corner of our photograph of the Grotto."

"In one of our photographs of the lower end of the Well, [a] larger stone may be seen lying further up the passage ; and part of one of the worked surfaces, and even the upper ends of the drill-holes may be discerned. Judah is seen reclining on the floor of the Descending Passage above the stone, supporting his head on the board which Mr. Covington had placed across the passage to keep back the debris when he was clearing away the rubbish below that point. This board, of course, is no longer required, as the entire length of the passage is now clear."

"[This] photograph (...) shows the details of a large section of the north end of the Grand Gallery very clearly. At the bottom appears the upper half of the doorway of the First Ascending Passage. Six of the seven overlappings of the walls are shown ; and it will be noticed that the lowermost on each of the east and west side walls is not developed on the north wall. Immediately above the third overlapping on the west (left) wall, there can be seen a small section of one of the pair of shallow grooves, which are cut opposite each other in the masonry of the east and west walls, and which run the entire length of the Grand Gallery. The original purpose of this pair of peculiar corresponding grooves is difficult to imagine ; the structural reason for their existence has not yet been satisfactorily explained ; but no doubt there is some symbolical significance in connection with them, as there is in connection with many other mysterious features in this immense and generally little understood edifice."

"The Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, looking south, showing the method of ascending the sleep slippery floor by the aid of the Ramps. Judah, who stands on the floor of the
Horizontal Passage, is leaning against the sheer-cut-off, while John is seen ascending the very steep and slippery floor of the lofty Gallery, his feet placed in the shallow footholds, and his hands holding firmly to the East Ramp."

"The entrance of fhe Horizontal Passage to the Queen's Chamber, showing the sheer-cut-off of the Grand Gallery floor."

"The Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, looking south, showing the sheer-cut-off of the floor, and the two Ramps ascending into the darkness beyond. The Ramps are exceedingly useful. The ancient builders carved out a series of large oblong holes on the upper surface of each of them, for what reason we do not know ; but they enable one to take hold of the Ramps more firmly."

"The drop or step in the Horizontal Passage leading to fhe Queen's Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. To show the difference in the height of the passage north and south of this step (which is between 20 and 21 inches in depth), we got Judah to stand in front of it with a two-foot rule in his hand. It will be noticed that his head just touches the roof. The extreme irregularity of the floor-surface in due to a thick layer of dust, which covers an excavation made by Col. Howard Vyse in search of a supposed secret passage or chamber under the step."

"In the Queen's Chamber we photographed the east wall, showing the full height of the "Niche", that most peculiar recess which measures 184 British inches in height, by 41 inches in depth, with a width at the bottom and top of 62 and 20 inches respectively. John is sitting at the entrance of a long horizontal excavation which is now largely filled with debris, while I am shown walking toward the door, the top of which, it will be noticed, is in line with the top of my head."

"The air-channels of the Queen's Chamber are very interesting. Their existence was not known till so recently as 1872 A.D., exactly six thousand years after the creation of Adam, according to Bible chronology. Scratched on the walls above them we read the words : "Opened, 1872." In Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, Professor C. Piazzi Smyth relates how Mr. Waynman Dixon, perceiving a crack in the south wall of the chamber, which allowed him at one place to push in a wire "to a most unconscionable length", set his man, Bill Grundy, to apply his chisel, with the result that before long the tool went right through into a cavity beyond. Further excavating proved the cavity to be the inner end of a neatly squared air-channel. Proceeding to
the opposite wall, Mr. Dixon discovered a second channel similar to the first. The builders had actually constructed two air-channels for the Queen's Chamber, but had not carried them through into the chamber itself. They had left the last five inches uncut. That this was their set purpose is proved by the fact that the orifices were not merely plugged, for there was no jointing, but, to quote Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, “the thin plate was a 'left', and a very skilfully, as well as symmetrically left, part of the grand block composing that portion of the wall on either side". This is well seen in the photograph which we took of the orifice of the north air-channel. Half of it is still covered by this five-inch thickness of once concealing stone. (This was the last flashlight photograph taken by us in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh)
What purpose could the ancient architect have had in view to induce him to expend so much time and trouble in constructing two long air-channels, in such a way that they would be useless as conductors of air until someone would seek, find, and remove the barrier ? For we must remember that the first part of the channels to be laid down in the process of building the Pyramid, would be those portions which are incomplete to the extent of the five inches of uncut stone ; and that all the hundreds of feet of carefully executed channelling which ascend from the Queen's Chamber at a steep angle, must have been added stone by stone as the Pyramid rose course by course. As even a casual examination of the various features of this great stone building convinces one that its erector was not by any means a fool, and that he had reason in everything he did, the problem of these air-conductors of the Queen's Chamber has puzzled the minds of many, even as numerous other features in the Great Pyramid have done."