Point to Shift Up or a Pyramid to Shift Back

All in all, there is no incontrovertible proof that the second pyramid of Giza was built by Khafre. We only have very clear evidence that this pharaoh quickly became associated (probably while he was still alive) with the architectural complex of the annexes to the pyramid, and it is likely that the buildings were completed during his reign. So, strange as it may seem, there is no incontrovertible proof that the second pyramid was planned and built by one of Khufu's sons, and consequently there is no incontrovertible proof that it was built after the first pyramid.

There is, therefore, another opportunity for placing the point represent ing the second pyramid on the calibration lines based on simultaneous transit. Instead of reflecting it with respect to the time axis, we can shift it back until it meets the line in the area of the east-deviating errors, the area to which it actually belongs. If we do this, we see that it places the second pyramid at an epoch immediately (some years) before the one marking the time of the construction of Khufu's pyramid.

Following strictly this reasoning, one would infer that the archaeoas-tronomical data show that the second pyramid was built first, or rather, that the orientation ceremony for this pyramid took place first, while the building itself remains undated. This idea does not disagree with the archaeological data, since, as has been seen, there is no proof that Khafre was the initiator of the project for the second pyramid. Building a pyramid of two million blocks is a very serious business, so if there is already one around, and a king takes it upon himself to build another just a few yards away, maybe he would make it smaller, for financial or other reasons, like Menkaure. But if he wishes to make it more or less the same size as the other, why would he make it slightly smaller? Who has ever made something slightly smaller than that of his predecessors? "Piu' grande ma non piu' bella" which means "Bigger but not more beautiful,'' commented Michelangelo when he compared his design for the dome of St. Peter's in Rome with Brunelleschi's earlier masterpiece in Florence.

Yet he did make it bigger.

When I first suggested that archaeoastronomical data showed the need to reverse the chronological order in contrast to that traditionally accepted (Magli 2003), I did not really have any adequate historical or archaeological justification to back me up, although the need for a tomb for Khafre could easily be solved with the anonymous pyramid of Zawiet el Arian. But immediately afterward, discussing with my friend and colleague Juan Belmonte, he observed that the data actually allow the two pyramids to have been planned together. Indeed, it is possible to suppose that the original design for Khufu's tomb included two buildings, just like that of his father Sneferu at Dashour and like the two tombs in Djoser's complex, in line with the duality of burial place that has prevailed from the time of the earliest dynasties. From the technical point of view, once having shifted the point of the second pyramid back in time, the relative difference between the orientation errors of the two great pyramids is so small (2.6') as to fall effectively into that band of errors ascribable to the repeated observation of the same phenomenon at the same time.

In conclusion, the simpler hypothesis that is compatible with the data is that the bases of the two great pyramids of Giza were traced out together in a common project. Khafre then appropriated the second pyramid, and his original tomb, left unfinished, may really have been initially the great pit of Zawyet el Arian, which is anonymous, but appears to be very similar to the pyramid of Abu Roash. (We could try to improve our knowledge of fourth dynasty pyramid chronology by using dendro-chronology, that is, the dating method based on the examination of the annual growth rings in ancient trees; the sequences of these rings are no longer complete, but the technique would at least allow us to put the wooden finds from the pyramids—for example, Khufu's boat and the wooden beams at Dashour—in chronological order).

As we shall see in the next chapter, highly convincing proofs exists to support the homogeneity of the design of the two main Giza pyramids and to explain the origin of this project, actually the largest architectural project in human history. These proofs have always been in plain view. But to see them one has to acknowledge that the extraordinary "rebirth machines'' created by the pharaohs were rooted in a vision that was deeply anchored to the sky and the stars.

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