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The Great Pyramid: Early Reflections & Ancient Echoes

A saga of test tones, Indiana Jones, and the lost knowledge of yore...

By Tom Danley March 10, 2017

The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Optional Methods (Plans C, D & E)

The producer lived in Egypt part-time and had heard about a water well on the causeway.

The causeway, by the way, is the big stone ramp used to haul the stones up from the Nile for the Pyramid. One enters from the side through a short tunnel into the side of the actual roadway.

From here, you carefully climb over an iron gate and try NOT to fall into the 30 ft (9.1 m) deep hole immediately on the other side. Then you carefully descend a decrepit iron “ladder” down into the dark.

The bottom opens in to a room about 20 x 20 ft (6.1 x 6.1 m). At the far side is a down shaft about 6 x 6 ft (1.8 x 1.8 m) or so. You carefully get on another iron ladder (looks to be like 3/8-in round rusty steel bar) and climb down into the blackness about 60 ft (18.3 m). This was spooky. All we had for light was a helmet mounted flashlight (Photo 5).

This climb ends by opening into a tomb with three sarcophagi. They are set into deep niches in the walls. One is very large, made of smooth black stone, apparently precision made, with sharp corners even on the inside edges/ How did they do that? The other two made of limestone much smaller and in poor shape. All had been robbed.

Photo 5: Arches in the water well, author in frame.

Good To Go

After the lighting gear made it down and was set up, I immediately noticed the room was rectangular with square corners and had about 8 ft ceilings. At one edge was yet another downshaft. This one was smaller, maybe 4 x 4 ft (1.2 x 1.2 m), and went down quite a long way.

After climbing down an even worse ladder with ropes for safety, one encounters two pillars which would have held up the ceiling of the next “space” that once seemed to have been a two story room. The remains of the substantial rubble pile disguises that this room was ever man made. This level was a fairly creepy place with ample broken pottery shards and many human bones in the rubble.

The back walls are squared off. There’s a 7 ft (2.1 m) deep trench-like affair (full of water) around the back and two sides. It was like we were standing on top of the rubble pile created when the second story collapsed on the first. Anyway, they dug away a little at the center mound and about 10 in (25 cm) below the surface was a large granite slab. Radar detected a cavity below this slab about 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, and it seemed to lead off towards the Sphinx.

At this point more permits were needed so this discovery and all further work was snatched up by the head of the antiquities department.

(For semi-related fun I strongly suggest a visit to


We had gone as far as we could in the waterwell. The wooden skid was now done, and it was time for my part of the show. We had the Great Pyramid to ourselves every night after about 20:00 when the last of the sightseers depart and only the Bedouin guards remain.

As to not look the “wimp,” I grabbed a decent sized handful of cables and trudged up the slanting tunnel. When you get to the King’s Chamber, most people will have worked up a sweat. I am no marathon runner, and I had to stop at the top and catch my breath for a bit. These skinny kids come staggering up to the top with the gear and turn around go back down and get more.

The same guy carried my TEF 12 (which isn’t light), my main woofer (which was 80 lbs), and three trips of lighting batteries (each is a big car battery in a plastic cooler). I was impressed. And I realized that I was a wimp and there was no way around it. From then on when the crew hired locals to carry everything I knew they were earning a good wage — by local standards.

The lighting guy tapped into the AC mains (240-volt, 50 Hz) and set up his transformer, and we were ready. I picked a spot on the wall in the King’s Chamber to set up my stuff. I placed the source at one wall and the microphone at the opposite wall and was ready to go.

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