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It is the contention of the Pharaoh's Pump Foundation that the very ineffective barriers in the passageways of the great Pyramid were really various types of valves. The antechamber is no exception. The Antechamber is a valve that opens when the water is highest in the Grand Gallery and closes when the water is lowest in the Grand Gallery! Its operation is complex and it is an integral part of the operation of the pump. From the evidence that still survives in the form of observations from early explorers and what still survives in the Great Pyramid Mr. Kunkel has recreated the design of an operational valve out of available materials that would perform its function. Below is an idea of what he talks about in his book on how this valve operated when the pump was functional.
Originally, this upper diagonal, was sealed off from the chamber to the south of it, which is called the King’s Chamber, by a granite shut-off mechanism, found in the part called the Anti-Chamber. Here, in this passage, are found grooves and slots with semi-circular cuttings above on the wainscote, which could have served as bearing for round shafts, to which ropes were attached, to raise and lower the slabs in the grooves or guides. To this day, a slab in its grove is found here. It cannot close the passage, nor was it meant to be, because its grooves do not extend to the floor. It can move up, but not all the way down.
Each side of the Anti-Chamber has a wainscote. One is found in the east wall; the other is the west wall. The top of the wainscote is the east wall is flat. It is 103.1 inches high; while the top of the one in the west wall is 111.8 inches high.
In the west wall, “are three semi-cylindrical cross hollows of 9 inches radius, cut down into it.” LAGP
These are bearings. Round shafts of 18 inches diameter can be placed in them. The round shafts will not lie in a true horizontal position, but will be seven tenths of an inch higher on the flat top of the wainscote.
A rotary movement of shafts so positioned will keep the shafts snug in their bearings.
The slabs fitted tightly says Smythe, “that not even a fly could pass in.” (LAGP) And if we add to this the use of a heavy lubricant impervious to water, we have the makings of an airtight shut valve. — It is my guess, that this mechanism operated by a float. And the float may have been a hollowed out rectangular block of granite, positioned with its open end down, like a tumbler inverted in a pan full of water. I believe that it was made to lie at rest on the ledge on top of the wainscote in the Ante-chamber; and that it had a round shaft in it, positioned as shown in the drawing.
The height of the water column in this case is approximately 125 feet, which will exert a lifting force of nearly 50 pounds per square inch, which is a very powerful lifting force.
PROBLEM: - Invent a valve which is air-tight, and vacuum-tight, when
pump is empty. - Also, one which can be opened at will, when the pump is
The up and down movement of the float, activates the pulley mechanism, and causes the cedar shaft of roll back and forth on the track. This rolling movement activates the pulley linkage.
When the float was down, the slabs were down, effectively sealing the upper diagonal, so that a vacuum could be developed in it, while the King’s Chamber was sealed to resist pressure.
Here in the Anti-Chamber are remains of mechanical elements which cry loudly for the need of missing elements to make this machine complete. The need is for a device which will raise and lower slabs at certain times in the Ante-Chamber, and the only mechanism which can be properly fitted to function in this odd chamber is a PULLEY. A pulley made of round shafts together with slabs to which rollers are attached to the top.
If a heavy rope is threaded around these rollers ad shafts in a desired fashion, the result will be a pulley mechanism about as complex as any mad ever dreamed up.
It is believed that the ancient knew nothing about the mechanics of the pulley, Somehow this strikes a false note, and doesn’t make sense. It is utterly inconceivable that its mechanical advantages should remain hidden to these masters of handling great mass.
Our definition of a pulley is, “a sheave or a small wheel with a grooved rim with or without a block in which it runs, or any wheel used to transmit power by means of a band, belt or the like.
Round shafts, turning in a bearing over which ropes pass, can also be a pulley.
Before we leave the subject of pulleys and float mechanism; I’ll try to reconstruct a float, using known mechanical elements which will function in this Anti-Chamber.
So here goes. — I’ll make it out of granite.
Granite is rock formed by fire. It is very hard and extremely durable. Because it has been fused by fire it resists chipping and splitting. Modern men use diamond saws and drills to form it.
But the fact, that it is hard, and resists cutting did not deter the ancients. They cut it with jeweled saws, drilled holes in it, and cut thousands of inscriptions in its facing.
Contrary to popular opinion; granite is not as heavy as many people think. It is slightly heavier than aluminum; only five pounds per cubic foot heavier. Granite weighs 170 pounds per cubic foot.
Now, for the reconstructed float. — If you can imagine, a bath tub cut from a block of granite, you have formed a clear basic picture of the float.
Roughly, this tub will be 9 feet long, 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep. It will have walls about 4 inches thick. It will be water tight and if inverted will hold compressed air, and weight about 7,500 pounds.
If this float is cut in such a way as to form an inside lip on each side, and the lip undercut so as to form a track for a round wooden shaft, when the float is inverted the float is complete. (Cedar was used extensively by the pyramid builders).
The shaft must have a sloppy fit, so that it can roll freely back and forth on the track.
If a rope is thrown over the shaft and one end is taught; as the float rises and sinks, the shaft will roll freely back and forth on the track. An upward movement of the float, will make the shaft turn in one direction; while a downward movement will make it turn in the other direction.
I would like to elaborate somewhat on the function of the manual control duct.
I’ll guess that it originally connected with the north discharge tube of the King’s Chamber, because it is positioned almost at the same level as the discharge tube.
I’ll guess too, that the part that was blasted out by Caviglia about 1834, was the valve, (a butterfly valve) which admitted water into the Anti-Chamber. I’ll guess too, that this small valve intrigued him to the extent and that he believed it might be the ‘open sesame’ to a treasure vault. — He found nothing and obliterated the valve for all time.
When water was admitted into the Anti-Chamber through the manual control duct, air was trapped in the inverted float, and as the float rose it pulled the slabs up with it.
When the slabs were up, the passage was open, allowing water from the King’s Chamber to drain into the upper diagonal.
Once this draining operation started I believe it was impossible to stop it at will. However, as it emptied and the float came down, it shut itself off, automatically.
Speaking of automation, observe my restoration of the slab with the lifter. The lifter does two things. First, it lifts the slab with knob, and then seals or shuts off the manual control duct. — Once the King's Chamber had water in it, the slabs could always be under water, thus, making a positive vacuum seal. The whole cycle was automatic from start to finish. — "All the wonders of physic," says Herodotus.
During pumping operations; the Ante-Chamber is dry, and under this circumstance, the force required to lift the slabs would be tremendous.
But, if water is admitted to the Ante-Chamber through the INLET DUCT, all the mechanical elements in it, become submerged bodies. Submerged bodies have a loss of weight; because they are buoyed up by water.
Granite weighs 170 pounds per cubic foot. Water weighs 62.4 pounds per cubic foot. A cubic foot of granite weighs 170 normally, but when it is submerged it weighs 107.06 pounds. 170-62.4 = 107.6.
The INLET DUCT is connected to the discharge tube. — The discharge tube is connected to the King's Chamber.
Thus, if water is admitted through the INLET DUCT, and fills the Ante-Chamber, the water pressure in the King's Chamber and the discharge tube become equal. — The columnar height of the discharge tube determines the pressure in the Ante-Chamber.
Under this condition, there is no pressure against the slab which seals the King's Chamber, because the pressure in both chambers are equal. — This condition makes a very easy job for the float. — All that it must do, is lift the submerged slabs. — Also, the float is given an upward boost by the height of the discharge column, compressing the air trapped in the inverted float.
At first it would seem that this complicated pulley system is unnecessary, but one fact must be borne in mind; that during the time the Pyramid was under construction and the King's Chamber was roofed over, and became functional; it must be drained occasionally.
After it had been roofed over, the columnar pressure in it could not have been more than three pounds per square inch. With such a low working pressure; the lifting problem becomes more acute.
With such an acute problem facing the engineers, a more complex lifting mechanism must be devised; one that will operate at extremely low pressures, such a complicated pulley system, like the one shown here.
One mechanical fault with this arrangement, is that the upward pull, will have a tendency to make the float wobble; therefore, close tolerances must be adhered to in the outside dimensions of the float. The wobble is caused by the rotation of the shaft, moving from one place to another.
In the large drawing of the Ante-Chamber you will observe that one slab is in constant suspension.
Khalaph Al Mamoon, 835 A. D. records that when he first entered the Pyramid, he, "heard a stone fall in a hollow place."
What could possibly fall? — A suspended slab? Of course! A slab held up by rope for twenty-eight hundred years. The strain of 28 centuries was just too much for the rope, — It just gave up. Just couldn't take it any longer. Probably the slab and the rope both heaved a sigh of relief, and were thankful that it was all over. Twenty-eight centuries was far too long for anything to hang. — The vibration and the fresh air did the trick.
There is so much more information about this area, both text and images that are in the book.
Check out the FAQ page for more info about Pharaoh's Pump and the 1/2 inch to the foot, two story model that the Pharaoh's Pump Foundation is starting to build!!!!
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