The Great Pyramid Has 8 Sides.

Not much to say about it. Mostly just: Wow, after a half century of looking at pictures and movies of the thing, I missed this.

From this link:

They have several pictures, I’m just putting one here:

Great Pyramid showing side with two panels

Great Pyramid showing side with two panels

In his book The Egyptian Pyramids: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Reference, J.P. Lepre wrote:

One very unusual feature of the Great Pyramid is a concavity of the core that makes the monument an eight-sided figure, rather than four-sided like every other Egyptian pyramid. That is to say, that its four sides are hollowed in or indented along their central lines, from base to peak. This concavity divides each of the apparent four sides in half, creating a very special and unusual eight-sided pyramid; and it is executed to such an extraordinary degree of precision as to enter the realm of the uncanny. For, viewed from any ground position or distance, this concavity is quite invisible to the naked eye. The hollowing-in can be noticed only from the air, and only at certain times of the day. This explains why virtually every available photograph of the Great Pyramid does not show the hollowing-in phenomenon, and why the concavity was never discovered until the age of aviation. It was discovered quite by accident in 1940, when a British Air Force pilot, P. Groves, was flying over the pyramid. He happened to notice the concavity and captured it in the now-famous photograph. [p. 65]

There’s more in the article, including that it was observed in the 1700s, so hit the link…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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11 Responses to The Great Pyramid Has 8 Sides.

  1. omanuel says:

    Greater respect for authority than for logic and observation probably caused Germany to lose WWII after Dr. Carl von Weizsacker, a theoretical nuclear physicist advising Hitler’s atomic bomb project, replaced:

    1. Einstein’s 1905 equation for mass as stored energy, E = mc^2, and
    2. Aston’s 1922 equation for mass as Aston’s nuclear packing fraction with
    3. Weizsacker’s seriously flawed equation for nuclear binding energy.

    Equations (1) and (2) yield energy, a thermodynamic state function.
    Equation (3) incorrectly defines energy as a thermodynamic path function that underestimates NEUTRON REPULSION – the source of energy that powers the cosmos and causes heavy atoms to fission and atomic bombs to explode!

  2. oldbrew says:

    Quoting from the blog post below:
    ‘Consider the right-angled triangle formed by half the length, the height and the slope.’

    Phi and the Great Pyramid of Khufu

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    Which raises the interesting question was this intentional (perhaps to strengthen the pyramid against collapse) or was it simply an artifact of how it was constructed (ie different crews working from each corner toward the middle).

    This sort of question would be so much easier to solve if I could just get my Tardis to work properly.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    More likely an artifact created during the stripping of the marble cladding.
    Any rigging to lower the blocks would have to have been done from the peak.
    If the marble blocks were levered off of the pyramid, they would have been reduced to worthless gravel by the time they reached the bottom. Those blocks were far too valuable to risk. They would have cased and slid the blocks down carefully…pg

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    Given that it is perfectly symmetrical, I think the “accidental” explanations don’t work. Given that the precision is in the single degree range, again accident is ruled out. Accident would have one side at 1/2 degree and another at one. It isn’t.

    It must be by design, and likely to increase strength (it makes the 4 corners a slight wedge and all four wedges compressing to the center, as opposed to flat slabs where an edge has only down force. So all the facing would tend to ‘lean’ toward that side centerline just a little, which would tend to keep it all in place. Probably due to effects only seen when one reaches that scale of size and are applying facing of thin flat stones…

  6. tom0mason says:

    The facing stone was said to be white marble — if this is true do we have examples of it?
    I’m wondering that this is a trick to make this monument even more truly impressive against the glare of the surrounding sand.
    As I imagine it, when clad in its brilliant white marble at that slight angle, would help reflect and scatter the bright sunlight, making this pyramid appear like a great a faceted jewel, floating on top of the undulating folds of the desert.
    Maybe at correct times of day, season, direction and distance, an optical illusion is made with the corners of the pyramid appearing as slightly darker indentations, and half a flat side (now slightly brighter) appear to bulge outward. Move a few paces on, or wait as the sun passes over and phup! the illusion vanishes. Later as all the angles realign it reappears but moved across the pyramid side …
    Or maybe not…

  7. jimmy Haigh says:

    It’s alive!…

  8. Graeme No.3 says:

    But how did they work this out in the first place?

  9. Regis Llanfar says:

    A very large protractor…

  10. David says:

    There are a few facing stones still found at the base, and the confirm the concavity. The pyramid was originally surrounded by a paved stone area, and it is thought to have created interesting reflections there. If you think of it as a hugh solar observational tool, or ultra accurate sun dial, the subtleties make a great deal of sense.

  11. Larry Ledwick says:

    A little discussion about how the pyramid might have been laid out using technology available at the time.

    A note from personal experience as a machinist, there are many very simple techniques to multiply precision used in machinist work. They most certainly were also known to the ancients. Simple things like using a measuring square than reversing it to see if the vertical leg scribes the same line as it did in the opposite orientation, allows you to easily see angle errors that are very small. They would most likely have some master squares that had been very carefully verified and all measurements traced back to those primary devices. Long sight lines also allow very high precision.
    The great pyramid appears to have taken 20 years to build from 2580 – 2560 BC giving ample time for very methodical checking of key dimensions.

    Using those techniques that slight dish in the faces would have been easily detectable by an able surveyor, especially as he was working on the build layer by layer before it was cased and finished.

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