|GIZA A tale of Treasure|
Date: 2/21/02 11:36:33 PM Pacific Standard Time
Dear Mr. Steadman:
I have a strange story that I have been sitting on for about ten years, watching for any confirmation of the story. I have let this story get long in the tooth out of respect for what the Egyptians are trying to do if the story is true. Enough time has passed that security should not be compromised. The story is the most reasonable explanation among the many tedious speculations which I have encountered for the construction and purpose of the Great Pyramid. The story also goes a long way in explaining some of the quirky events that seem to have taken place on the Giza Plateau. I am wondering if you or any of your contributors have heard any stories or have any information concerning the events which I set forth below. I would appreciate your withholding my name and email address if you decide to post any of this.
In either 1988 or 1989, the newspapers published, on a daily basis, a rather high profile exploration of the Great Pyramid by a joint American-Egyptian survey team. The purpose of the survey was to utilize ground penetrating radar to detect any hidden cavities within the Great Pyramid. As the newspaper accounts progressed, the team did find a cavity behind a wall on the lowest level of the Great Pyramid. The team then drilled a hole in the wall in which to insert a fiber optic probe to see what was in the cavity. The last newspaper report stated that when the team drilled the wall, sand started running out of the hole. That was the last item published in any newspapers that I could find concerning what happened to the survey. I have not yet had time to go back and search the old newspaper archives to obtain copies of the news accounts of the survey, but at some point I will, since I am curious as to who the participants were. I have searched the Internet for any references to the survey, and have found none concerning this particular survey, although reports of several surveys on the Giza Plateau during that period are on the Internet. Apparently, a total news blackout occurred concerning the survey.
In the Spring of 1992, a young man that my hunting partner knew came back from Israel, where the young man had been studying archaeology. This young man was very intelligent and was a good informant. We decided to buy the kid a nice dinner and talk archaeological survey techniques with him. During our conversation, he mentioned that he had spent a lot of time in Egypt, so I asked him if he had heard anything about the above mentioned survey and what had happened when the sand stopped running out of the hole. He replied that he knew all about that incident.
As he told it, he had been dating an Egyptian girl whose father was an Egyptian general. Over time, he had gotten to be friends with the general. The general had command of a division of Egyptian troops which were guarding the Giza Plateau. One day, the general asked this young man if he wanted to see something interesting, since he was an archaeology student. The general took our friend down to the lowest level of the Great Pyramid where the survey had been working to show him what they found.
It turns out that the survey team had actually drilled into a counter-weighted door, that was filled with sand to hold it in place. When the team drilled the hole and the sand ran out, the weight holding it in place was gone and the door opened into the hidden room. The team was not sure whether the door was closed at the time the Great Pyramid was completed or whether it had been booby-trapped and someone in the past had triggered the booby-trap, closing the door. The hidden chamber was the storehouse and treasury for the first four dynasties of Egypt, and the size and extent of the chamber was still unknown at the time our friend saw it. He said that when he was there, artifacts were being carefully removed and catalogued. The removal team had only penetrated twenty-five feet into the chamber and had removed about nine tons of artifacts. He was unable to see the back of the chamber with the lighting available and with the artifacts stacked in the way.
He further stated that there was an immense amount of gold and gold covered artifacts and furniture present in the chamber. An item towards the front which was being prepared for removal that particularly impressed him was a sapphire the size of an ostrich egg which was mounted on a stand. The Egyptians had imposed a total blackout on any news of the discovery and closed the lower level to the public since they were terrified that if the news got out of the discovery, a division of troops would be insufficient to protect the Great Pyramid and the find from attack by people wanting to steal the treasure.
The general told our friend that the Egyptian government would announce the find once the chamber had been cleared and the artifacts locked away in a secure location for study. Obviously, no announcement has ever been made, although it is possible that it would take more than ten years to adequately survey the discovery and announce conclusions considering the amount of on-going activity taking place on the Giza Plateau.
This story makes sense in view of stories that I have read in recent years concerning the lower levels of the Great Pyramid being closed for periods of time, of Egyptian army trucks going onto the Giza Plateau at night (to remove the artifacts?), and of the withholding of information concerning events on the Giza Plateau.
It also makes sense since the fourth dynasty was the pinnacle of Egyptian wealth and power and then went into sudden decline in the fifth dynasty. If the fourth dynasty put their wealth in a treasure house, the loss to the Egyptian kingdom would trigger an economic decline in subsequent dynasties. Building of the Great Pyramid to protect their wealth seems a much better reason to undertake such a monumental building project than as a place to park some dead guy (especially since they were putting the dead folks in the Valley of the Kings) or as a place to conduct religious ceremonies. Apparently, it did its job for 4,500 years.
I have wondered what happened to artifacts from the early dynasties. I do not recall any significant artifacts from that period ever being found, in spite of the fact that this period was when Egypt was the wealthiest. I have always assumed that subsequent generations recycled artifacts and that none had been able to survive to the present. At any rate, I hope that the story is true. I sure would like to see that ostrich egg sized sapphire (and the other stuff, too).