The newly-discovered underground causeway leading to the Great Pyramid of Giza.

After Decades of Searching, the Causeway for the Great Pyramid of Egypt has been Found

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Dozens of foreign missions carried out over three decades using the latest high-tech instruments failed to find the causeway of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Now, unexpectedly, the passage has finally been located by a local resident living near the Giza Plateau, who was illegally digging beneath his home when he discovered a tunnel leading to the Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the three pyramids in Giza.

Arabic news source Ahram.org reports that a resident in the village of El Haraneya in Giza, a prohibited area for drilling, began digging beneath his house to a depth of about 10 meters (33 feet), when he discovered a passage consisting of huge stone blocks.

The Minister of Police for Tourism and Antiquities was alerted to the discovery and security forces immediately placed a cordon around the property.  The Ministry of Antiquities was notified of the incredible finding, and archaeologist Kamal Wahid was placed in charge of a committee to investigate. In its report, the committee confirms the finding of the corridor leading to the Great Pyramid, the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in Giza.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza. Source: BigStockPhoto

The Khufu pyramid complex consisted of a Valley Temple near the Nile River, which was once connected to a long causeway that led to the Temple of Khufu (also known by the Hellenized name, Cheops). This temple was connected to the pyramid.  The discovery of basalt paving and limestone walls suggests the Valley Temple is buried beneath the village of Nazlet el-Samman.  

Artist's reconstruction of the pyramids of Giza, showing the long causeways attached to each complex

Artist's reconstruction of the pyramids of Giza, showing the long causeways attached to each complex. ( Saint Anselm College )

Despite decades of research and excavations, only a few remnants of the causeway (a covered, raised road, like an above ground tunnel), which linked the pyramid with the Valley Temple have been found, until now. 

Ancient Greek Historian Herodotus, who visited the Great Pyramid in the 5 th century BC, described the causeway as being about a kilometre (0.6 miles) long, though this account is contested by modern Egyptologists.  Former Minister of State for Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass, estimated the total length of the causeway as being about 825 meters.

In his second book of ‘Histories’, Herodotus described the causeway as being totally enclosed and decorated in fine reliefs. He wrote:

there passed ten years while the causeway was made by which they drew the stones, which causeway they built, and it is a work not much less, as it appears to me, than the pyramid; for the length of it is five furlongs and the breadth ten fathoms and the height, where it is highest, eight fathoms, and it is made of stone smoothed and with figures carved upon it. For this, they said, the ten years were spent, and for the underground chambers on the hill upon which the pyramids stand 
Herodotus: Second book of the Histories .

Drawing of the remnants of a causeway leading to the Great Pyramid

Drawing of the remnants of a causeway leading to the Great Pyramid, 1979 ( Wikimedia Commons )

The causeway of the second pyramid of Giza, Khafra’s pyramid, survived to some degree, however, it is in Saqqara, at the causeway of Unas’ pyramid, where one is able to get a better perspective for what they once looked like.  The Unas’ causeway, which even has a small section of the roof remaining, is the best surviving causeway.

“It consisted of a covered passageway, 720m long, its interior surfaces decorated with high quality reliefs depicting a range of colourful scenes,” writes the Egyptian sites blog . “The walls were lit by a slit in the roof of the causeway which ran along the whole of its length. The theme of decoration on the causeway walls progresses from the living world in the east to the land of the dead in the west.”

Causeway of the Pyramid of Unas

Causeway of the Pyramid of Unas ( Wikimedia Commons )

For now, very little information has been released regarding the discovery of the passageway leading to the Great Pyramid in Giza. However, it is hoped that as investigations by the Ministry of Antiquities progress, we may have a much richer understanding of the great pyramid complex at Giza.

Featured image: The newly-discovered underground causeway leading to the Great Pyramid of Giza. Credit: Ahram.org.

By April Holloway

Comments

This was something many people were waiting for.

I hope we will get an update very soon

Sunny Young

OK...In my research on Khufu I mentioned that Dr Hawass kept on moving the angle of the causeway so that it would not overlap with the location of the harbor. (As this comment box does not allow images to uplaod I cannot include images)

Hawass first published data on the angle of the causeway in Orientalia Monspeliensia IX, pp 245-256 where the angle drawn by the causeway was circa 42 degrees north of due east

In 2008 Hawass himself then co-published a book with Ashraf Senussi on Old Kingdom pottery but somehow the angle of the causeway was suddenly 32 degrees north of due east

Between the first paper and the second paper the angle shifted a full 10 degrees. He plotted the direction of the causeway very accurately in the earlier first paper...and gave no reason for the shift in angle in the second paper.

Even more worrying is the faact tht Hawass  drew the maps so they were difficult to use...and the change in angle seems at first galnce to have only been made to ensure the direction drawn by the causeways do not overlap the location of the harbor wall...this could have been used as a tool to test the age of the Pyramids...

and now an amateur discovers the causeway intact.... and Hawass the person who keeps on changing the angle of this causeway.....is in charge of studying them....

For my research I need to know the angle of these causeways.........I mentioned this in my book.

Could it be the line draws an angle at 33 degrees north of due east?

The other causeways present at Giza draw the sidereal month value and the 1 degree motion of earth around the sun....see prior work published on Saskaywaman (Ancient Origins) which shows that linear geometric patterns appear worldwide to align to astronomical values.....specifically those used to predict eclipses.

If it is found that the Pyramids also draw astronomical values as an angular array....Hawass would then have to admit the astronomical alignments drawn by the Pyramids are identical to those seen at other ancient archaeological sites....

Dr. Derek Cunningham
Author: The Map that Talked

Dr. Hawass is not a friend of Egyptologists or researchers. If he didn't discover something then he will prevent anyone else from studying the discovery as if it hadn't happened. He is an egotist and I had hoped that the \egyptian Spring would see him removed from his position at the head of Egyptian archaeological obstruction.

I totally agree. I think Dr Hawass is a close minded, bigoted fool and we will never learn the truth while he is the head of Egyptian studies.

The truth about the GP will not be disclosed easily. Even IF Hawass were not involved.
Lots of vested interests involved.
As to the age of the GP, however, do not forget the Cartouch found in the upper relief chamber over the King's Chamber.
I'm more interested in what is behind the NON-load bearing stone opposite the Coffer on the North Wall of the King's chamber.

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