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CG/king's chamber

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  • Barry Carroll
    Chris-- Finally an answer to your question re the double cube of the king s chamber. Stechinni delivers a lot of dry mathematical observations about the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2003
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      Finally an answer to your question
      re the double cube of the king's chamber.

      Stechinni delivers a lot of dry mathematical
      observations about the king's chamber and the coffer,
      but he never comes right out with any
      interpretation that connects with Egyptian
      religious or cultural history.

      The most significant cultural connection theory I've found
      comes from Robert Lawlor. You can look at a diagram in
      the attachment to examine the geometry.

      Lawlor links the double square to the Throne of Osirus,
      also called the Throne of the World, that appears
      in Egyptian iconography as the Pharoah's seat in his role as
      god/king. In other Egyptian imagery Osirus himself sits on this
      throne in the underworld.

      Lawlor's explanation of the throne's geometry fits it in
      with the symbolism of foundation stones and foundation squares
      that appear in other south asian cultures. The Iku of the Sumerians,
      for example,and similar Hindu altars and temple floor mandalas
      are all squares representing the point of origin or the point where
      heaven touches earth. From here divine influence expands outward.

      In the attachment, the diagonal line crossing a double square becomes
      the radius of a circle that establishes the corners of a larger square that
      adds a gnomon to the original equal in area to the small square appearing
      in the lower right corner of the throne.
      As Lawlor sees it, this is the first step in a gnomonic expansion
      from the foundation square into the world itself.

      Lawlor does not establish any link to the design of king's chamber,
      but after following his logic on the role of the double square in shaping
      the Throne of the World, I think it is worth considering the potential
      significance of placing of a double cube at the center of a structure that
      is a symbolic miniature of the earth itself.

      A quick word about gnomons. A gnomon is a unit that can be
      added to any figure that makes it larger or smaller with
      out changing its shape. More on this later.

      The coffer functions as a gnomon too. Stechinni points out
      that the exterior volume of the coffer is double the interior volume.
      Stechinni spends a lot of time building up a case that the two volumes
      are measured in a unit called an artaba. This was once a widely used unit
      for the measurement of grain. The coffer's interior volume measures 40
      cubic artabas, its exterior volume is 80 artabas.

      For what its worth, this is a square-root-of-2 relationship and the
      royal cubit that measures the chamber and the edge of a cubic artaba
      used in the coffer are also in a square-root-of-2 relationship.

      There may be another reason for using a grain measure in the coffer.
      One often reads speculation that the coffer was intended as the tomb
      of Pharoah Cheops who built the Great Pyramid.
      Instead I think it seems possible that the coffer is intended as the
      symbolic resting place of the eternally dead and reborn Osirus.
      The significance of the grain-measuring artaba may lie in the association
      of the Osirus with wheat in the cycle of planting and harvest.
      The image of sprouting wheat in association with Osirus can be seen
      in the link provided here.


      One final word on gnomonic expansion as a symbol of the divine
      creative force the Greeks called Logos . The Egyptians weren't the only ones
      to use it.
      The Pythagorean symbol of the divine called the Tetractys

      * *
      seen right * * *
      if the formatting * * * *

      is an expression of gnomonic expansion. Likewise Jewish Caballists
      borrowed this arrangement and put the letters a of the Name of God in
      Hebrew on these dots in what amounts to an endorsement of the
      underlying principle.
      Whether Lawlor is right in his theory of the Throne using gnomonic
      expansion to express divine authority. I don't know. But if he is, maybe
      something like this is also behind the plan of the king's chamber.

      -------------or maybe this is all just an exercise in pretzel logic.

      best wishes
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