Khufu's Pyramid as a Conceptual Machine for projecting
the Pharaoh's spirit throughout Egypt and the heavens
The book comprises a total of 10 Chapters in 3 Parts: Ancient Egyptian Lore; How they Built the Pyramids; and, Culture and Psyche.
PART 1. ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LORE
- Chapter 1, Nascent Society, introduces the environment of ancient Egyptian and the origins of order, society, culture and belief
- Chapter 2, Pyramids in Perspective, examines the evolution of pyramid design and construction, finding repeating patterns as evidence of evolutionary control in architectural design. It also shows how the various necropolis sites are interlinked and, in so doing, sadly invalidates the romantic theory that the Giza Pyramids emulate Orion’s Belt. On the other hand, the chapter introduces a new, much simpler and more believable theory of pyramid location and layout
- Chapter 3, Myths Legends and Stars, looks at the Osirian Legends, the beliefs and supposed purposes of the pyramid builders, sees the Legends in the stars, and identifies the star where Khufu may have hoped to endure. Astronomical observations show how the ancient Egyptians measured time and found the cardinal points so accurately. Contrasting stone structures from Gozo and Malta, built ~1000 years before the pyramids, indicate how different cultures and beliefs shaped different architectures, and why Egyptian architecture was so determinedly rectilinear
- Chapter 4, Ancient Egyptian Mathematics examines the novel basic mathematics in the Old Kingdom, their unique approach to fractions, their simple binary multiplication, the unusual units they used (including one for slopes and another for food quality), how they recorded the height of the Inundation, and what we might deduce from their records about the demise of the Old Kingdom
- Chapter 5, Ancient Tools and Methods, looks at the kind of tools the pyramid builders used, the possible purpose of the horned tool found in the Queen’s Chamber and how they measured the area of circles without using pi. A new theory about the so-called ventilation shafts in the Great Pyramid is introduced, showing how and why the shafts tie the pyramid to the stars and the latitude
PART 2. HOW THEY BUILT THE PYRAMIDS
- Chapter 6, Energy, Work and Organization, uses school science, built into a convenient Pyramid Calculator, to calculate the work needed to raise a pyramid, the number of men it would take, the amount of food and drink they would consume, the numbers of ovens and vats needed for baking and brewing, the numbers of ships needed for stone and food, and the acreage of wheat which would have been needed to support the workforce. All those interesting questions answered
- Chapter 7, Pyramid Construction, examines the processes of building a pyramid complex and the problems of raising so much stone through such great heights in such short times, both with and without ramps. The rates of setting stone militate against ramps and in favour of parallel working on all sides of the pyramid at once. An incredibly simple method of raising even the heaviest stone without ramps, ropes or levers is presented, consistent with this parallel working dictum
- Chapter 8, Systems Engineering-Egyptian Style, uses modern systems engineering methods to show how the ancient Egyptians went about the process of organizing and building in the correct sequences, and reveals the complexity of the task that they mastered without the dubious benefits of today’s Cartesian reductionism.
PART 3. CULTURE AND PSYCHE
- Chapter 9, Ancient Egyptian Culture, presents Archaic Period and Old Kingdom art, artefacts and canon, in the form of tomb art, stelae, statues and models of food and drink preparation, boats, houses and farms. Early art from Gozo and Malta are also presented as a contrast, showing just how culturally distinct was the Old Kingdom
- Chapter 10, Understanding the Pyramid Builders, draws upon each of the preceding chapters to throw their different lights on the Old Kingdom culture and psyche, seeking an integrated view of the, then, state of social development. A surprisingly comprehensive view of some levels of society emerges, but can we ever “get inside the minds” of the ancient Egyptians?