A scene on the west wall of the Osiris Hall at Abydos shows the raising of the Djed pillar.

Zep Tepi and the Djed Mystery: Backbone of Osiris - Part I

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The Djed, by its very nature, is one of the highest mysteries in the Ancient Egypt history. It was built in the core of the so-called Cheops pyramid, just off the King Chamber, perfectly integrated in the monument symmetry.

Actually, scholars cannot yet explain what its original purpose was. There is a quantity of theories, which seem to have a great deal of reliability. Nevertheless, as is often the case, the official theory is the least convincing.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, or Cheops’ Pyramid

The Great Pyramid of Giza, or Cheops’ Pyramid (Nina Aldin Thune/ CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The Mysterious Djed

Egyptologists believe the Djed was built into the Great Pyramid with an engineering purpose due to its architectural peculiarity. In fact, its chambers should have had a specific function: unload the weight of the top of the monument, in order to avoid any structural effect on the King Chamber.

Diagram of the interior structures of the Great Pyramid. The djed is highlighted with the King’s Chamber.

Diagram of the interior structures of the Great Pyramid. The djed is highlighted with the King’s Chamber. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Along the years, alternative researchers have broken down, piece by piece, the Egyptologists’ proposal through very exhaustive reasoning focused on scientific and symbolic issues detected during the archaeological investigations.

Hieroglyphic symbols from left: the Ankh- symbolizing life, the Djed- symbolizing strength and stability, and the Was scepter- symbolizing power. Reliefs at Deir el-Bahri, Egypt.

Hieroglyphic symbols from left: the Ankh- symbolizing life, the Djed- symbolizing strength and stability, and the Was scepter- symbolizing power. Reliefs at Deir el-Bahri, Egypt. ( CC BY 2.0 )

If the Djed has not a structural function, as claimed by scholars, what was its initial purpose? Why did the ancient builders work so hard to arrange the heavy granite stones into the largest monument of Giza?

The Grand Purpose

To understand the Great Pyramid symbolisms and functions, we need to focus two basic assumptions proposed by scholars and alternative researchers. Scholars propose the Djed had a theological and ritual purpose, and alternatives’ theories suggest it was a technical and scientific device, in relation to higher sciences and technologies.   

The methodologies applied on the origins of the theories are very complex, because of their independence and chronological differences, although they are comprehensive and effective in explaining all hermeticism or tradition included in the monument.

‘The Djed was conceived as a technical-scientific device’ theory, for example, originated from alternative researchers’ interpretation of the builders’ purposes, while the theological-ritual hypothesis can be perceived as its consequence, because—according to scholars—it is not possible to join technological science and the pyramid’s age.  

Therefore, while recognizing the validity of the two lines of thought, I believe the alternative theory is much more persuasive.

The Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid of Giza leads up to the King’s Chamber.

The Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid of Giza leads up to the King’s Chamber. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The scholars’ proposal is too tied up in the effort to respect an historical reconstruction, based on hypothesis—scientifically never shown—concerning mankind’s evolution.  Moreover, scholars have consistently refused all assumptions regarding the possible existence of a remote, highly evolved civilization both scientifically and technologically. Rather, they underestimate, more or less willfully, all scientific evidence integrated into the monuments of Giza, and the possibility that humankind's history could have followed a different path, completely dissimilar to that which we know.

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Top Image: A scene on the west wall of the Osiris Hall at Abydos shows the raising of the Djed pillar. ( Jon Bodsworth )

By Armando Mei

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