Great Pyramid of Giza - a Building Plan Theory
No drawing plan for the building of Khufu's pyramid (or any other pyramid for that matter) have survived.
Common sense dictates that ancient Egyptian architects must have prepared a plan much like any modern major building project requires.
Ole J. Bryn, former practicing architect and currently Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, has recreated an architectural plan for the Great Pyramid as well as other major pyramids.
Bryn's theory and plan tackles two important questions: How did the Egyptians know exactly where to put the enormously heavy building blocks? And how was the master architect able to communicate detailed, highly precise plans to a workforce of 10,000 illiterate men?
Ole J. Bryn believes that the Egyptians invented the modern building grid, separating the structure’s measuring system from the physical building itself, thus introducing tolerance, as it is called in today’s engineering and architectural professions.
Five factors are essential for producing a practical building grid:
• The grid must provide enough points of measure to be practical.
• The numbers in the grid should be divisible, similar, and whole.
• The grid should provide a practical way of labeling geographical positions in the building under construction.
• A true building grid must have a physical structure rising with it, viz. a core
• The grid for a true pyramid must be three-dimensional in order for the apex point to be reached.
The building grid is based on the Royal Cubit (Rc), determined as the forearm of the pharaoh, subdivided into seven palms and further into 4 fingers per palm.
With this system of measurement, the apex of the Great Pyramid of Giza is a point 280 Rc high. The entire building's purpose was to reach that singular point.
Bryn points out that "7" being a prime number, the core of the Great Pyramid of Giza must consists of 6 equally high (40 Rc) mastabas with the pyramidion as the seventh. If this is correct, as no one has seen the core of Khufu's pyramid, the location of the Queens Chamber on top of the first mastaba and the King's Chamber on top of the second mastaba as shown on the right would make perfect sense.
To determine the slope of the pyramid, ancient Egyptians used the "rise and run" method, called "seked". The seked of the slope of the Great Pyramid of Giza is 5 palms, 2 fingers run, for every one Rc rise. The slope would be specified on the building grid and measured on site with the simple plumb line and string.
At 280 Rc high with a seked of 5 palms and 2 fingers, the baseline of the Great Pyramid of Giza would "run" a total of 440 Rc, a measurement that divided by 7 would not yield a whole number.
Aerial photographs, taken in the 1920s, reveal that Khufu’s Pyramid was not set on a square base. Instead, the center line on each face is set inwards, forming what Bryn denotes a "diamond matrix".
Ole J. Bryn dismisses archaeologist John Romer's six square grid as impractical for construction purposes, but acknowledges its value for the interior layout of the pyramid, claiming the Egyptians subtracted 1 Rc at the center of the baseline to make the distance between this point and the center of the pyramid a number(219) wholly divisible by three (73 Rc).