Tourists to the Pyramids will have noticed there are large areas to the South East of Khafre and Menkaure that are guarded by barbed wire and police camel guards. They are very close to the pyramids but even so, it is very difficult for anyone to gain a vantage point even from a distance, to see what the areas look like. A few of the photographs at the bottom of this page will change that! From the usual tourist view above they simply look like a busy lower excavation area. Much more than a few rock tombs are tucked away below. Traditionally the depressions are thought to have been created by the alleged pyramid builders as they extracted raw materials for their work.
We present the account and photographs below at face value. The reader can believe what they will. It is impossible to convey the totality of our experience and our convictions from it. Our adventures in Egypt in the desert and on the plateau have led us to believe there is indeed a whole world below the ground where tourists walk, that includes tunnel networks to far places, elaborate constructions and likely artifacts from a time before Egypt emerged. As detailed elsewhere on this site we understand the motivation of the authotrities. They wish to preserve the archaeology. They wish to preserve Egypt's exclusive claim to a pharonic past that the world is in awe of. They wish to control and own any new discoveries. They wish to control and boost the tourist honey pot that is so important to its economy.
However the pressure is mounting from those who are piecing together clear evidence of a more ancient past. The authorities resist any suggestion of this and oppose any open activity that would settle such issues. There are numerous aspects of discovery that have added to the intrigue where the authorities could have settled matters 'at a stroke' with swift, simple, controlled, organised and above all 'open' exploration. In fact their approach sometimes seems to defy common logic.
But their attitude does make perfect sense if we think again. Egypt holds a torch to the world from within its Pharonic and dynastic roots. They seem paranoid to dismiss anything that would diminish this claim. But if Egypt came from a more advanced earlier civilization, surely their true greatness would be assured, as the earliest bedrock for much of modern civilization.
If the earlier heretage is true, it would be naive to believe the authorities would not already know this. So that leaves us with only one final conclusion: On the one hand the protection of its traditional past can be justified; while under the disguise of this protection, their agents are free to quietly seek, find and own anything from its pre-past that may still survive!
Egypt may legitimately claim the heretage.... but the ancient knowledge does not belong to them for one second.
It belongs to the world!
'Echoes from the Chamber' An Extract
We wandered again along the path and made a detour behind Menkaure. It was late afternoon and there seemed to be no one else about. From nowhere we were approached by a short Arab. He greeted us in a familiar way and we chatted. He said he knew us and we were completely baffled. We were carrying some photographs in our bag showing us together with various officials, including Zahi. These were produced and we identified the man as the father of one of the plain clothes police guards with us previously at the site office. The man offered to show us something special. He took us on a tour of the restricted areas of the quarry and rock cut tombs to the South East of Menkaure and Khafre.
We saw deep shafts and tunnels below ground. We saw the ones that linked to the complex below the GP. and far beyond. We went down into levels below ground. I felt like a child who had been given the cookie bag. We were not even surprised when we learned that Mark Lehner and his excavation team were elsewhere on just that day. We were shown the entrance only a short distance from the Sphinx square and milling tourists where we were told mthe inflatables had been dragged through to negotiate the underground lake. The plateau police melted away before us and we photographed where we wished. Our time with him only ended when we had to dash for an arranged appointment with a senior Coptic official. Our Arab friend bid us goodbye with the promise that we would meet him again in the future.
Some of the sample pictures below are grainy and dull, but this is because many of the areas we entered were in pitch darkness. Unfortunately we had not come prepared that day with flashlights and climbing equipment or we would have been able to explore much further. Many of the areas were dusty and much was stirred into the air. We made do with lit newspaper and the flashes from our cameras. The pics show some of the sights we saw, and some of the views from that area. We were told it was ok to take whatever pics we wanted so long as we did not photograph in the direction of the barbed wire, the police or their command post. The chief in charge spoke with our guide and allowed us to freely move on.
I apologise in advance if a couple of the pics are found to be mixed in from areas nearby, but they are all from restricted areas within feet of where tourist are otherwise allowed. We were told that very deep and clear cut shafts we saw, linked up with the network below ground to other places. From dropping lit newspaper we were able to see how sharply cut the shafts and intersecting tunnels were. If these are all innocent excavations, why is there no place alongside the back slapping presentations on the web for these to be officially described and photographs presented? Simply walking through this awesome area would be an amazing experience. Instead of barbed wire and a huge concentration of police, why is there not an observation walkway for tourists? Is this not as important as the vast seated area set up on top of another arguably vital hidden source of archaeology in front of the Sphynx for the light show? Hmmm!
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