The final working phase of Cheops involved making the structure larger, adding the King’s chamber and raising the water even further. The means was much the same as the QC phase, though several improvements were added. All of these support the scheme in practical ways. These give reason to the portcullis, the Grand Gallery and the various parts of the KC.
In this phase the QC was blocked off from the water flow. The King’s Chamber became the new geyser cavity with exit pipes running to the 101st course.
The mechanism employed was almost identical to the QC phase. Ground water pressure took the water to the King’s Chamber via the Grand Gallery and portcullis. The height was ascertained during the running of the QC. Degassing occurred in the King’s chamber (See the QC diagram above) and in the Grand Gallery which exerted its force via the Davison passage. A combination of the two pushed the water down the KC and out through the shafts that ran to the top of the pyramid.
The water was brought out on the 101st course, where there were the same structures found on other flat top pyramids. There was a water reservoir, a weir and an overflow system. This sent the water down the side of the structure adding an extra 120 feet to its path. This extra distance increased the warming and turbulence, which helped process the water and added to the vapor that it created. This is a very short summary of the mechanic, for more detail see The Rainmaker.
The elements of the geyser are still there. The King’s chamber and low set exit pipes form the basics. There were several fine advances made in the design that added value and confirm the nature of the machine. One of the more intriguing is the automated Portcullis system. As the water rose and fell with the geyser cycle, this system could open and close automatically due to buoyancy. The exit pipes (air shafts) are at exactly the right height to allow the system to operate. A summary of the operation can be found here. The Portcullis System
The gains for this phase were much the same as the QC stage (see above) except for the byproduct of Rain. To make rain even on a local level requires huge amounts of energy. Fortunately the energy involved in this endeavor was of the order of 500MW a day. That is enough to seed a lot of clouds. This would also make Cheops the largest machine ever built before the 20th century.
The system is not just theoretical; small versions can be built and tested by anyone. There are models described in the Rainmaker that allow anyone to demonstrate rain making in this manner. The method and means to recreate the system will be placed here if there is enough interest. This includes the control mechanisms, detailed benefits and designs for working models. This will help clear up a lot of evidence from Giza that is currently confusing. At the moment it is detailed within the book, the focus here is primarily the stages of construction.
This brings us to the final construction phase of Cheops, which involves its failure. Any geyser is sensitive to the level of the water supply. Most geysers stop working because the water no longer fills the cavity. Cheops was no different. The water level rose and fell with the aquifer beneath. This happened and still happens throughout the year. Today it does not even get to the ground level making Giza a dry and dusty place.
A smallish drop in the water pressure would stop the portcullis stones from rising and falling. When the water tabled dropped, the King’s Chamber ceased to pump. This was the greatest machine failure in human history. The salt deposits found in the core of Cheops attest to the water standing idle for long periods. There was probably the hope that they would rise again, but it did not to happen.
As the water level fell, the site became a dry necropolis. Bodies were buried around the largest machine ever built. While the bodies were piling up, the Pharaoh’s had this massive white elephant mocking them from on high. At some point, likely during Khufu’s reign, it was decided to cover up this embarrassment to royal power. This is the saddest part of the Giza story.
Many of the stones from the faces had been reused for other buildings, just as they always are. A grand project was started to place stones on the structure and complete the peak. At the same time there was a conscious effort to remove any record of the building’s true function. It seems this was successful. A further outer skin of stones was added. The peak was finished to the apex. The white casing stones were added along with a lick of paint.
The only record of construction comes from this final stage. It was a smaller though no less difficult task. Less than an eighth of the mass had to be raised, but this was still an impressive project. Without a ready supply of water at height, the project had to be carried out the hard way. The accounts that passed through the ages about the construction of Cheops relate to this cover-up.
After a few generations the memory faded. Without the records, Cheops’ use fell behind the mists of time. The cover up was so complete that even the record that is left leaves few in any doubt as to the mere symbolism that the pyramid inspires. A modern industry has grown up around the tomb view.
A once grand and useful building has been turned into a tomb marker for the graves of those buried around it. It is a cenotaph to a dead vision. It was a monumental mound to regal embarrassment. The true function may discomfit the scholars who proffer the idea that the structure was a tomb, but no tomb was ever intended at the start. Cheops was originally a great machine powered by free flowing water and the sun, the fruits of Osiris and Ra respectively.
It is the sad fate for the king of all machines. It is consigned the status of a tomb stone. Maybe when the current civilizations fail and the future archaeologists look back they will think it was a fun park. The modern penchant for themed rides combined with the evidence of ticket booths and bus parks may force no other conclusion.
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The Great Pyramid Rainmaker