This phase of Cheops has evidence from the structure itself. The parts and mechanism make this abundantly clear. The use of the cold geyser technique to lift water to ever greater heights began here. The Queen’s Chamber is in effect the evidence with its pipes that no longer reach the outer layer. This part of the project also provides a clue as to the origins of the idea for the most ambitious next working stage.
The Queen’s Chamber was built on the summit of the original platform and a stepped pyramid was built up to the 58th course. With outlet pipes in two directions, the chamber formed a man made geyser cavity. The immense amount of stone was needed to withstand the water pressure and support the summit chambers.
The mechanic of this phase was simple. Carbonated ground water was forced in to the QC by the natural water pressure. When it filled the QC, dissolved gas in the water was released by turbulence and the slight increase in temperature between the cool ground and the chamber. This gas forced the water down the QC and out of the ‘air shafts’. When the gas level reached the exit pipes, it vented in the classic geyser style. This is identical in principle to a soda siphon.
At this point most of the water had been pushed to the summit and the chamber was nearly empty. The pressure had also been decreased due to venting. The ground water pressure was now higher than the chamber’s, this sent water into the chamber and the cycle repeated. This is identical to Kunkel’s method for a single chamber. However, instead of steam being produced by heat, gas trapped in the water was released to provide the force. See Diagram (Blue is indicated by the water, Yellow is the gas).
The remnants in the structure all add to improving this dynamic. The chamber design, the ‘air shafts’ to a previous summit, the solid sealed granite roof slabs and the mass of the structure all have distinct functions. They all contribute to the system.
The water pumping concept is common to other functional models of Cheops. Kunkel uses much the same pattern of support. However, his and all the other models introduce extra parts for the system. Excepting Cadman’s RAM pump, none of them work. Here, nothing needs to be added, except the natural fizzy water and the system will operate. Of course great chunks of the pyramid are removed for this phase, which is just as controversial.
This step pyramid was used in the same way as the other step pyramids. Some are known to have had water reservoirs on their summits and/or reservoirs surrounding them. Akapana and Angkor Wat are both recognized as having water reservoirs on the top level. This short Cheops was no different. It supported sanctuaries built in much the same style as the other step pyramids of Egypt.
Only one sanctuary is shown above, but there were likely the usual arrangement of five sanctuaries on the summit. The function and operation of the sanctuaries is described HERE, they were of great use to the builders. This type of pyramid structure in Egypt is mentioned by writers such as Herodotus, though not in the context of Cheops.
Gravimetric analysis of the structure shows steps up each side. The texts mention ‘battlements’, which implies ledges around the building. There are also references in the Pyramid Texts to a summit where the pharaoh’s body was cremated. None of these features are consistent with a smooth sided peaked pyramid. They are however in line with the more common tiered pyramids found in Egypt and the rest of the world.
The gains at this stage include an increase in the volume of water that could be processed and energy independence with the solar aspects. The water was further degassed and warmed as it flowed down the side of the sun heated pyramid. Water and energy are always important factors in any settlement. This water was put to good use on the plateau for a number of industries that emerged. The transport network also grew to maturity at this stage.
This phase also led to the origins of the penultimate Grand Design. There were two factors that evolved from the QC phase. The first and foremost was useful information. Most argue that Cheops was built all in one go, from the ground to the peak. This can not be the case if the structure was a machine because there was no way to know how high the natural water pressure would reach without a phased build. As the structure was built, the maximum water level became clear.
Secondly, a side effect of this stage was the impact of all the falling water. Likewise this could not have been known before the build and operation. No one could even guess at the effect since nothing so large had ever been built before. Water vapor had been seen in the solar chambers, but it was slight and short lived. The vapor was more of an irritant than a goal.
The massive flow of warm water down the side of Cheops led to an amazing insight that was applied with intent in the final working phase. The effect they noted was the mist that formed from the weir on the summit. At any hot geyser or large waterfall this same mist can be seen. It leads to unique weather patterns. The vapor from a geyser/waterfall laces the air with moisture. This causes fog and cloud which in turn makes localized rain. The mist and cloud likely inspired the builders on to the final working stage, where these properties were taken to a higher level.
Please feel free to share this page and move onto the NEXT